“You eat with your eyes first” – this is a popular saying that alludes to the fact that visual stimuli play a key role in altering the perception of flavor, taste and smell. The striking, vibrant golden hue and the wonderful aroma that arises from a bowl of yellow rice! Who doesn’t love that? Turmeric, the Golden spice, responsible for this effect has been used since ancient times in cuisines all over the world to give the eye-catching golden color, mustard-like flavor and the earthy aroma to various dishes.
But the benefits of turmeric just don’t end there. The spice also has a long history of being used as a medicinal ingredient, especially in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. A popular drink, featuring turmeric as the main ingredient and used a remedy for a wide range of health problems is the Turmeric tea, also referred to as Golden tea.
What is Turmeric Tea or Golden Tea?
The various healing and disease preventing effects of turmeric may be accredited to curcumin, a bioactive component found in large amounts in the spice.
While turmeric can be ingested by adding it to various dishes, the easiest way to get the most benefit out of the spice is to prepare turmeric tea and drink it once or twice a day. You can use fresh turmeric root or powder or turmeric tea bags to brew the tea. Just like raw turmeric, golden milk tea also has the same characteristic yellow color. But while raw turmeric has an extremely bitter taste, turmeric tea provides a rather mild and soothing effect.
Health benefits of Turmeric Tea
Turmeric tea benefits are countless. It has been used for a long time as a remedy to combat various conditions caused by inflammation as well as for treating many other health problems. The medicinal effects of the turmeric drink can be attributed mainly to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the spice. Here are some of the health benefits of turmeric tea:
- Turmeric tea for Arthritis
Fresh turmeric tea has potent anti-inflammatory properties that helps provide relief from the joint pain, swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis. According to a study, curcumin, a bioactive compound found in turmeric, is effective in reducing pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis. The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin are found to be on par with many anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone and phenylbutazone, that too without any side effects.
- Turmeric Tea Helps Prevent Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, curcumin is a compound that has anti-cancer properties. Studies show that the compound has the power to inhibit the precancerous changes that lead to cancer. It can also kill cancer cells and prevent other cells from becoming cancerous.Here’s a turmeric tea recipe for cancer prevention that combines the goodness of turmeric with other cancer fighting ingredients:
Ingredients: Turmeric powder – 1 ½ tsp, Ginger powder – ½ tsp, Cinnamon powder – ½ tsp, Powdered Cloves – 1/8 tsp, Raw coconut oil – 1 tsp, Almond milk – 1 ½ cup, Honey to taste
Directions: Combine all the ingredients and heat on low temperature for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. To prepare iced Turmeric Tea Latté, just cool the turmeric drink and then pour it into an ice-filled glass.
- Turmeric Tea for Weight Loss
Another benefit of drinking turmeric tea regularly is that it aids in weight loss. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, plays a key role in increasing the metabolism, thereby helping to burn fat easily. It also prevents the accumulation of fat in the adipose tissues. Turmeric tea is an effective detoxifying drink that helps get rid of the toxins in the body, especially the liver. This can also promote weight loss.
Golden tea is also helpful in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, which further help prevent weight gain. Turmeric ginger tea is another effective remedy for weight loss. The active compounds, gingerol in ginger and curcumin in turmeric have been found to support weight loss and help maintain a healthy weight.
Here’s a recipe for turmeric and ginger tea for weight loss:
Ingredients: Grated fresh ginger – 1 tsp, Grated fresh turmeric – 1 tsp, Water – 1 cup, Honey to taste
Directions: Boil water in a pot and add turmeric and ginger. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to steep for about 15 minutes. Then strain the tea, add honey and serve this turmeric root tea.
- Turmeric Tea for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition which is characterized by the gradual deterioration of cognitive abilities. Various factors such as oxidative stress caused by free radicals, atypical inflammatory reactions, deposition of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain and metal toxicity are believed to be the main contributors to the disease.
The curcumin in golden tea has been found to be effective in preventing as well as treating Alzheimer’s disease. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the substance along with its ability to decrease the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and inhibit the degradation of neurons make curcumin a great remedy for Alzheimer’s disease.
To increase your intake of turmeric and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, here’s Dr. Weil’s turmeric tea recipe taken from Dr. Andrew Weil’s website. Dr. Weil is referred to as the guru of holistic health and integrative medicine.
- Boil four cups of water.
- Add a tsp of freshly grated turmeric to the boiling water and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea and add ginger, lemon and honey.
Drink the tea regularly and you’ll be able to keep all inflammatory diseases at bay, let alone Alzheimer’s disease.
- Turmeric Tea Helps Boost Your Immune System
Want to strengthen your immune system and fight off disease-causing pathogens? Regular consumption of turmeric tea can do the trick. The antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin in turmeric tea boosts the immune health and protects your body against various diseases.
Studies indicate that turmeric can increase the number of white blood cells or leukocytes that are involved in fighting off the foreign invaders that cause diseases.
Another way in which golden tea improves the immune health is by detoxifying the body by getting rid of the harmful toxins that get accumulated in the body.
An immune boosting super effective turmeric and ginger tea can be prepared by steeping turmeric powder and fresh ginger root. The turmeric ginger tea recipe for weight loss, mentioned above, is also effective in strengthening the immune system and preventing diseases.
Piperine chemical in Black pepper is believed to increase absorption of turmeric curcumin in the intestine. Hence turmeric black pepper tea is a good way to boost immunity. Try out this recipe of Turmeric ginger black pepper tea:
Combine all the ingredients : Turmeric powder – 1 ½ tsp, Ginger powder – ½ tsp, Black pepper, powdered – ½ tsp, Milk – 1 ½ cup and Honey to taste. Heat and bring to boil. Drink hot.
- Protect Your Heart with Turmeric Tea
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity are some of the factors that can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Studies on the effect of turmeric on cardiovascular problems suggested that curcumin in the spice not only protects the heart but also lowers the risk factors leading to heart diseases. So, make sure to add turmeric tea to your regular drink to enjoy its cardiovascular benefits.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidants effects of curcumin improves heart health and helps prevent various heart diseases including atherosclerosis, cardiac fibrosis and myocarditis.
Curcumin prevents the formation of blood clots, reducing the risk of heart attack. It has been found to be beneficial in repairing the heart in people who have had a heart attack.
Studies indicate that turmeric tea is beneficial in lowering the total cholesterol as well as bad cholesterol or LDL levels. It has the ability to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the lining of the arteries and also to block the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
Turmeric shows anti-hypertensive effects and so drinking golden tea regularly can help keep your blood pressure levels under control. Renin and angiotensin are two enzymes associated with regulating blood pressure. Research indicates that curcumin can lower high blood pressure by controlling the activity of these enzymes. The compound also has vasorelaxant effects, which means it can relax blood vessels, thus allowing blood to flow freely through the blood vessels without any obstructions, thus reducing hypertension.
- Turmeric Tea for Diabetic Patients
Another important benefit of curcumin is its ability to lower blood sugar levels, and so drinking turmeric tea can be very useful for people suffering from diabetes. According to a study published in the September 2013 issue of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, curcumin helps reduce insulin resistance as well as fasting glucose levels.
High levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) affect your body’s ability to absorb glucose properly, leading to insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels. Curcumin reduces insulin resistance and blood glucose levels by decreasing the amount of these free fatty acids.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric tea helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in people with diabetes. Curcumin is also beneficial in preventing complications associated with diabetes, such as cardiovascular problems, diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, microangiopathy and metabolic syndrome.
Where to Buy Turmeric Tea?
If you don’t have time to prepare turmeric tea from scratch, there are plenty of turmeric tea brands available in the market. You can find different flavors of organic turmeric tea online and in many of the grocery stores too.
A very close relative of ginger, the benefits offered by turmeric are so many that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the Golden Spice of Life.
Have you tried the turmeric tea? Did you like it? Do share your experience with us!
Photo – Flickr user – Jules