Turmeric Tea to Warm-up, Fight Cancer, or Build Your Brain
Last year I discovered turmeric and have since learned of it’s many benefits. I originally started using it as a cheap alternative to saffron. It has only been in the last couple months that I learned that turmeric powder and/or fresh turmeric have healing powers. I’ve come to rely on this Asian herb for many thing to enhance food but also as a food ‘medicine’.
Turmeric has been linked to decreased risk of cancer as well as improved brain health. You can cook with it, or create a daily tea. Since I’ve begun drinking turmeric tea (instead of the regular, and probably more traditional, ‘green tea,’ for my health, I believe I have seen a decrease in aches, pains, fatigue, etc. Of course, much of this could be due to other factors like fresh air, exercise, plenty of rest, sunshine, good food (plenty of fresh veggies), and avoiding stress.
Fresh turmeric root is available in many stores in San Diego, but other places might find it more difficult to get. I’ve considered growing some next to my ginger root for double the benefits.
The flavor is unique, but good. You should try it to be sure you will like it before committing yourself. Fresh turmeric has a strong, slightly bitter flavor compared to the powdered form. You can use the powder easily if you can’t get it fresh. I keep the powdered form around to add to curry dishes, rice, and vegetables. I must warn you that it gives everything a vibrant yellow color and it also stains, so be careful with it.
When I make a tea out of it, I create an herbal infusion the same way as I would using any herb or root. I’ve added the simple recipe I use below. If you don’t like it straight, try it as a base for green, black, Earl Grey, chai, or your favorite tea (about half water and half turmeric infusion). This will give you a richer tea with more body. It’s great on cold mornings.
One other thing I’ve started to do is add it to my stock pot when making soup stocks. I peel it and put the peels and little knobby bits in the water with my other vegetable clippings and soup bones. The inner root portion can then be use for teas and as a general cooking ingredient.
You can make a turmeric infusion with fresh or powdered turmeric. It’s a simple thing to make ahead. Make enough so you can easily reheat a cup whenever you want.
- 2-inches of fresh turmeric, sliced thin (or 2 tbsp powdered turmeric)
- Optionally, you can add an equal amount of ginger root or 1 tsp of ginger powder
- Add turmeric (and ginger if using) to 3-4 cups of water (if using powder, gently stir to combine)
- Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat
- Simmer for 30-60 minutes, remove from heat
- Pour into a glass jar with a lid.
- Close lid, set it aside over night
- Reheat the mixture when you are ready for tea
- Dilute the infusion to your taste.
- Optionally, you can sweeten your tea with honey and/or lemon.