We are all familiar with turmeric, a household favorite in a variety of Asian cooking, not only that it's also a staple ingredient in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. With a boast of healthful perks, turmeric is a comforting ingredient that has made its way in the Indian spiced tea or locally called the masala chai, and turmeric is often used as the prime ingredient. Also because of its subtle and unique flavor, it is easier to incorporate turmeric into your diet and obtain its complete goodness. So let's talk about a tea that not only tastes good but also has a variety of health benefits.
So what is turmeric and why is it good for you?
Turmeric comes from Curcuma Lunga which is a flowering plant, similar to ginger. The roots of the plant are harvested and used as-is or are dried, and ground into a powder giving birth to the popular spice which is used in various Asian dishes which not only enhances the flavor of the dishes but gives curries a gorgeous color as well. As a culinary spice, a medicinal ingredient, and even a dye since the Vedic ages, turmeric is the prime ingredient of an Ayurvedic drink called ‘golden milk’ known to have various health benefits and is enjoyed by people across the Indian subcontinent.
Turmeric tea is known through various studies that consuming it can alleviate minor symptoms and strengthen your immune system. Turmeric tea has anti-inflammatory properties which assist in reducing swelling in arthritis patients. Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin and is known to help in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Certain studies tentatively also state that antioxidants in turmeric prevent Alzheimer’s. What's to make note of that some research shows consumption of turmeric tea reduces synaptic marker loss and accumulation of amyloids which is linked to Alzheimer's development.
Additionally, turmeric may help in reducing blood sugar levels and also hinder the process of blood clotting, hence it's advisable for insulin users and people who take blood thinners to check with their doctors before incorporating it into their diet. For patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis, the effect of turmeric tea has had similar effects to ibuprofen helping in the reduction of pain in certain patients. Curcumin is also a polyphenol and can be used to treat various skin conditions, muscle soreness, and other illnesses which can be treated with the consumption of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory plant-based compounds.
Let’s make a cup of turmeric tea, shall we?
The key to making a perfect cup of delicious tea is to not over steep it, so make sure you time the process. The recipe below serves four, so adjust the quantities of the ingredients accordingly.
2 cups water
½ cup chopped turmeric
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 orange pekoe tea bags
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups steamed whole milk
Ground turmeric (optional)
Bring water, chopped turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
Add tea bags and let them steep for 10 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the strained solids. Add honey as desired.
Pour steamed milk evenly into 4 glasses. Pour 1/4 cup tea mixture into each glass. Sprinkle with ground turmeric as garnish if desired.
Bottom line is turmeric is a plant-based blessing, with many health benefits and flavors to match. It has been used as an ingredient for medicine since ancient times. A staple in the kitchen, it's inexpensive and easily available making it accessible to anyone. Turmeric is a delicious alternative if you are not open to the taste of drinking it with just milk. The flavors of the tea leaves enhance the flavor of the turmeric making it a delicious drink. So, treat yourself to a warm cup of turmeric tea and raise a cup for your health.