Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange popular spice made from the rhizome or root of the Curcuma longa plant. Turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and is a member of the Zingiberaceae or ginger family. It has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years in Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.
India grows 78 percent of the global supply of turmeric. In this article,we look at a range of potential health benefits.
Turmeric tea is one popular form of consuming turmeric. It has a unique but subtle flavor. The tea is also great way to reap the following health benefits of turmeric.
Contents of this article
1. What is turmeric tea?
2. Nine potential benefits of turmeric tea
3. How to prepare turmeric tea
Fast facts on turmeric tea
- The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin.
- Curcumin gives turmeric its characteristic yellow color.
- Curcumin is proven to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties
What is turmeric tea?
Generally curcumin has low bioavailability, which means the body has a hard time accessing and absorbing the compound. For this reason, turmeric supplements,with their guaranteed high concentrations of curcumin, are popular.
Turmeric tea, brewed using grated turmeric root or pure powder, is considered one of the most effective ways to consume the spice.
There is no specific recommended daily intake of turmeric. Based on available research, the suggested daily intake depends largely on the condition it is being used to treat.
Most research in adults supports the safe use of 400 to 600 milligrams (mg) of pure turmeric powder three times daily, or 1 to 3 grams (g) daily of grated or dried turmeric root. Grating the turmeric yourself is the best way to ensure a pure product.
Eleven potential benefits of turmeric tea
Drinking turmeric tea is believed to bring about several benefits, eleven of which are described in more detail here.
1. Turmeric tea helps keep your digestive system healthy
Turmeric tea is a great supplement for those who are suffering from digestive system problems. Turmeric helps to promote healthy bacteria in the intestines, ensuring that bad bacteria is not allowed to flourish.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping ease the pain of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and acute diarrhea. Turmeric tea may even relieve cramps that accompany these conditions. Additionally, turmeric tea can help to relieve the pain and swelling from hemorrhoids and anal fissures.
Since turmeric is a strong spice, even when diluted with dairy or other types of milk, it can be harsh on your stomach if you suffer from regular heartburn or have ulcers. Make sure to consult with a doctor before consuming turmeric tea.
Curcumin has long been used in traditional medicines as a treatment for many digestive conditions.
Several studies have found that curcumin may help reduce the pain associated with IBS and improve the quality of life of those people with the condition.
A 2012 study in rats found that curcumin helped decrease the time it took for food to empty from the stomach to the small intestine, otherwise known as gastric emptying.
2. Reduces arthritis symptoms
Turmeric tea’s strong anti-inflammatory properties can help ease inflammation and swelling in people with arthritis.This reduces painful symptoms.
One study found that an active compound in turmeric, called curcumin, was effective in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Another study in 2017 reveals that out of 206 American adults with self-reported rheumatoid arthritis, 63 percent used non-vitamin supplements to manage their symptoms, with turmeric being the most popular product that was taken.
3. Prevents and treats Alzheimer's
Studies have shown that curcumin may help reduce the chances of several neurodegenerative conditions. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers are thought to reduce cellular damage, inflammation, and amyloid deposits or plaques that occur with these conditions.
The good news about this cross-cultural spice is that people in India, who eat turmeric in their daily curries, have among the world’s lowest rates of Alzheimer’s disease. That does not appear to be a coincidence. In fact, extracts of turmeric have been found to contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease. Research in mice suggests that turmeric extract appears to decrease beta-amyloid and other markers of Alzheimer’s disease.
Curcumin in turmeric may also be able to slow down or prevent some of the age-associated protein changes linked to neurodegeneration.
4. Boosts immune function
The medicinal properties in turmeric maybe able to boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders. One study theorized that turmeric can moderate the immune system.
Therefore,curcumin is proven to improve immune function with antioxidant,anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
Furthermore,curcumin has also been shown to act as an immune modulator, helping regulate immune cell function against cancer.
5. Turmeric tea can help you lose weight
The bio-active compounds present in the spice are responsible for awarding it with a wide array of medicinal benefits;turmeric’s ability to trigger weight loss is one such benefit.
The most important bunch of bioactive compounds present in the herb is curcuminoids. The herb is also a rich source of vitamins B and C, α-linolenic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, sodium, potassium, volatile oils, fibers, carbohydrates, and proteins.
The combination of all the above mentioned substances provides turmeric the ability to induce weight loss.
Drinking turmeric tea is a great way to help achieve your weight loss goals. The active ingredient curcumin in turmeric plays a major role in helping to burn fat by increasing the metabolism.
Again,curcumin can also help keep blood sugar levels in healthy ranges, which can also help prevent weight gain and aid in weight loss. Additionally, turmeric tea helps to detoxify the body, particularly the liver, which can also aid in healthy weight loss.
6. Helps reduce cardiovascular complications
Several studies have shown curcumin to have beneficial heart health properties by acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
A 2012 study found that taking 4 g per day of curcumin 3 days before and 5 days after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery reduced the risk of acute myocardial infarction or heart attack by 17 percent.
7. Helps prevent and treat cancer
One of the most clinically established therapeutic properties of curcumin is its anti-cancer action. As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory,curcumin is thought to lower the risk of cells in the body becoming damaged,reducing the risk of cell mutations and cancer.
Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that curcumin has anti-tumor properties, limiting the growth of tumors and spread of cancerous cells.
According to a 2014 medical review, more than 2,000 articles have been published using the keywords "curcumin" and "cancer." The use of curcumin as a cancer treatment alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy is currently being investigated.
8. Turmeric tea Keeps your eyes healthy
Eyesight's something that many of us take for granted. As we age, the risk for loss of eyesight becomes greater. For those with retinitis pigmentosa, cloudiness and eventual loss of eyesight is a very real threat. While genetics play heavily into this, making it very difficult to reverse the condition, there are studies that show how turmeric can help prevent the buildup of protein that causes blindness.
9. Helps prevent and manage diabetes
Turmeric’s active component, curcumin, is credited with many of the spice’s purported benefits. The traditional and ayurvedic medicines have used turmeric for diabetes for thousands of years. Several studies using animal and human models have shown that curcumin supplementation may have anti-diabetes properties.
A 2013 review of studies suggests that curcumin can decrease the level of glucose in blood, as well as other diabetes related complications. Researchers also found that curcumin may have a role in diabetes prevention. More clinical trials with humans are needed for a better understanding of curcumin and turmeric’s effects.
Other research suggests that turmeric extract could help stabilize blood sugar levels and make diabetes more manageable. This extract can be found in over-the-counter supplements. It may also provide general health benefits, such as in aiding digestion.
10. Protects against liver damage and manages liver conditions
A few studies have shown that curcumin can protect against liver damage.Potential liver and gallbladder benefits of curcumin include increasing production of the digestive fluid bile while also protecting liver cells from damage from bile-associated chemicals.
11. Helps treat and manage lung conditions
Scientist suggests that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin may help reduce the symptoms of chronic or long-lasting lung conditions.
Turmeric and its curcumin compounds are safe and have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show turmeric compounds do not interfere with antibacterial and other treatment activity of conventional drugs for lung conditions.
In fact, researchers suggest turmeric's curcumin compounds could actually help make taking these potentially toxic medications safer and more effective. Curcumin suppresses pro-inflammatory proteins, helps quench free radicals, and boosts natural antioxidant levels. In animal studies,curcumin helped prevent further lung injury from conventional drugs.
A2017 medical review concluded that although the clinical evidence is limited,curcumin might help treat asthma, pulmonary and cystic fibrosis, lung cancer or injury, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How to prepare turmeric tea
Turmeric tea can be prepared from either pure turmeric powder or grated or ground, dried turmeric. Fermented turmeric preparations, commonly sold as tea products, claim to have higher concentrations of biologically available or absorbable curcumin.
The steps to follow for making turmeric tea are:
- boil 4 cups of water
- add 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground, grated, or powdered turmeric
- allow the mixture to simmer for approximately 10 minutes
- strain the tea into a container and allow it to cool for 5 minutes
Many people put additional ingredients into their turmeric tea to improve the taste or help with its absorption. Common additives include:
- Honey, to sweeten the tea and give the mixture more anti-microbial properties.
- Whole milk, cream, almond milk, coconut milk, or 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee (unclassified butter) to help with absorption, as curcumin requires healthy fats to dissolve properly.
- Black pepper, which contains piperine, a chemical known to help promote curcumin absorption, and that can add a spice flavor to the tea.
Lemon, lime, or ginger, to enhance antioxidant and antimicrobial properties in the mixture and improve taste.
Potential risks and complications
Turmeric is generally safe as long as you consume it in moderation. You should check with your doctor about drinking turmeric tea if you have had:
- inflammation of the gallbladder or gallbladder stones
- obstruction of bile passages
- stomach ulcers
- diabetes (turmeric supplements may lower blood sugar)
Taking too much turmeric may cause side effects, however. These include:
- increased stomach acidity, which can cause ulcers
- a blood-thinning effect
Because turmeric may thin your blood, you should stop drinking turmeric tea two weeks before surgery. Do not take turmeric tea if you are on blood thinners, either.
Who should drink turmeric tea?
Turmeric tea is considered safe for most people to drink. It can relieve pain and inflammation without the side effects that even over-the-counter medications like NSAIDs can cause, such as internal bleeding, ulcers, and reduced white blood cell count.
Almost anyone can benefit from drinking turmeric tea, especially because it can boost the immune system and act as an anticancer agent. People with pain caused by inflammation can perhaps benefit the most. People who have diabetes or who take blood thinners should talk to their doctors before trying any turmeric supplement, however.