You may know turmeric as that jar of yellow powder you keep on your spice shelf to make a curry or pickle cucumbers. There's much more to this fragrant and brightly colored spice than a once-in-a-while ingredient in cooking.
For thousands of years, Turmeric tea has been a staple natural healing remedy in India's traditional medicine, known as Ayurvedic medicine. People have used this herbal tea to help heal everything from inflammation to cleansing the liver, boosting heart health, and getting a better night's rest. In this article, we will find out what turmeric tea is and how science is now paying close attention to the fantastic turmeric tea benefits for better human health.
What is Turmeric Tea?
Turmeric tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea made from dried or grated turmeric root. Many have described the flavor of turmeric root as having a similar taste to ginger root. This makes sense since turmeric and ginger both belong to the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family of plants. The active ingredient in dried turmeric that gives it its recognizable yellow color is curcumin - which also gives it some incredible health benefits.
Making traditional turmeric tea is easy. Simply steep the dried or fresh, or ground turmeric in hot water. A hot cup of turmeric tea will let off a bright orange, yellow-golden color and have a bitter but sweet earthy flavor with a slightly spicy kick. You can also enjoy a unique twist on the taste of turmeric tea by trying this fantastic turmeric blend.
What are the Benefits of Drinking Turmeric Tea?
For centuries, people have used turmeric as a medicinal plant to treat several health conditions. Although ancient cultures of India had success in soothing sore throats, calming headaches, and improving the look of skin, it was until modern-day scientists discovered the reason behind some of these health claims.
Turmeric contains a group of polyphenol antioxidants called curcuminoids, the most potent component in turmeric responsible for helping people prevent and heal several health-related problems. Even though most of the studies use turmeric and curcumin supplements, and the amount of this compound present in tea may be less than in a turmeric supplement, it is believed that turmeric tea may have similar healing properties.
Researchers are still investigating the healing power of curcumin and how turmeric tea may play a role in supporting better overall health. Let's look at the top health benefits of that nutritious and delicious cup of turmeric tea.
#1. Reduces Inflammation
The first health benefit worth noting is turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural process the body goes through to fight off infection and help heal the body. However, chronic inflammation can cause several health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers.
The reason turmeric helps reduce inflammation is because of the active compound curcumin. Sipping turmeric tea or taking a turmeric supplement may help people suffering from chronic diseases such as Crohn's disease and arthritis. Reducing inflammation will also help reduce joint pain or stiffness, improving immunity and even helping regulate hormones associated with weight loss.
#2. Boosts Your Immune System
Research suggests that curcumin may help improve immune function. This compound is loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is also anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties that help the immune system. While other studies show that curcumin may act as an immune modulator regulating immune cell function to help fight against free radicals and cancer cells.
#3. Aids in Weight Loss
Having a cup of turmeric tea may support weight loss. Turmeric is full of dietary fiber that can make you feel full without needing more food to feel satisfied. It also helps boost metabolism, which burns more calories from stored fat cells.
The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation in the body while also reducing bloating and water retention. Since turmeric tea can help balance the hormones that regulate a person's appetite, it changes dietary behaviors minimizing the cravings for sweet snacks or binge eating.
Turmeric tea has an earthy, mildly bitter flavor that some people enjoy. Without adding milk or honey, one cup of turmeric tea will contain roughly 10 to 30 calories. This makes turmeric tea an excellent replacement for high calories drinks such as soft drinks, juice, or alcohol.
#4. Better Sleep
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help improve a person's overall health, which will also help reduce stress levels and improve mood, which makes going to sleep and staying asleep longer easier. It contains L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces stress and has a calming and relaxing effect, making it a great tea to have just before sleep.
#5. Soothes a Sore Throat
Sipping on a warm cup of tea is a common remedy for soothing a sore throat. Turmeric tea takes that soothing feeling one step further. The curcumin in turmeric is already naturally anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce the inflammation present in a sore throat. Still, it also contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
#6. Better Heart Health
In some countries with higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and poorer food choices, heart disease can run rampant. Turmeric supplements and tea with a well-balanced diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation and protecting the body against cardiovascular diseases. Turmeric may also help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels while increasing HDL or good cholesterol.
Some studies show that taking turmeric extract helps lower blood pressure because it relaxes and dilates the blood vessels allowing your heart to pump blood more efficiently. In a recent study, long-term use of turmeric showed lower systolic blood pressure or the amount of force exerted on the arteries during a heartbeat. Better circulation means a better functioning circulatory system and better overall health.
#7. Helps Fight Cancer
Curcumin as a way to prevent and treat cancer? The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may help lower the risk of damaged cells in the body, reducing the risk of cancer cell growth. Studies have shown that curcumin may have anti-tumor properties that inhibit tumor growth and the spread of cancerous cells.
In a 2014 medical review, more than 2,000 published articles used the keywords "cancer" and "curcumin." However, further research is needed to discover ways to use curcumin as a cancer treatment in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy.
#8. Manages Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
For hundreds of years, people have been treating digestive issues with curcumin. Another benefit of curcumin's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties is that it can help regulate gut bacteria. Some studies suggest this factor may help people suffering from IBS and other intestinal inflammatory problems such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
#9. Better Skin Health
Many people suffer from skin conditions like acne. Some may only have a pimple here and there, while others have large patches of red and painful acne sores on their body. Drinking turmeric tea may help inhibit inflammation, reducing acne onset.
The antibacterial properties may even help clear up breakouts and prevent acne from forming. Curcumin has been traditionally used as a natural treatment for acne, and many skincare products incorporate curcumin as a main ingredient.
#10. Curcumin and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Alzheimer's disease affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is a severe neurological disorder affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. The beneficial compounds in turmeric may help slow the progression of Alzheimer's symptoms.
The antioxidants in turmeric protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in the brain. The powerful compound called curcumin may inhibit enzymes linked to poor communication between functioning neurons in the brain, stopping the decay of memory and cognitive performance and protecting against neuronal cell death caused by Alzheimer's disease.
#11 Better Lung Health
Asthma occurs when inflammation narrows the airways, preventing proper airflow and making breathing difficult. Turmeric tea reduces inflammation in the airways and lungs, protecting the body from oxidative damage.
Curcumin inhibits the enzymes linked to decreasing airway obstruction and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the respiratory system, improving lung function and reducing the symptoms associated with asthma. A recent medical review suggested that curcumin could potentially provide relief from pulmonary conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and may even help with lung cancer.
Non-Health Benefits of Turmeric Tea
We've looked at some of the top health benefits of turmeric tea, but did you know there are other possible benefits of turmeric powder? Here are some other great uses for this bright yellow spice.
It can be used as a natural, plant-based dye - The bright yellow-orange color of powdered turmeric comes from the curcuminoids found in turmeric. Turmeric is an ideal clothing and fabric dye without harsh chemicals.
Cooking and Baking - Adding just half a teaspoon of ground turmeric to bean dishes, soups, sauces, stews, marinades, and pickling brines is all you need to elevate the flavor and color of the food. You can even add it to cakes and desserts to give them a bright yellow-orange color!
Side Effects of Drinking Turmeric Tea: When Should You Not Drink Turmeric Tea?
Turmeric and curcumin are generally safe to consume, even if you drink turmeric tea daily. However, in some rare cases, consuming too much turmeric tea may cause digestive system issues such as diarrhea, upset stomach, and yellow stool. Turmeric tea in large amounts may also cause skin rashes and headaches.
If you want to buy turmeric tea, consult a medical professional to find out if you can drink turmeric teas or take concentrated turmeric supplements as an alternative natural remedy. Your doctor will know if turmeric will affect certain medications, such as blood thinners, or if your system can absorb curcumin supplements effectively without any severe side effects.
Enjoy Turmeric Tea Benefits
Adding turmeric tea to your day will give you an earthy caffeine-free drink with several potential health benefits. Whether you're trying to ease abdominal pain from bloating and gas or help reduce high blood pressure or balance blood sugar levels, the turmeric tea benefits are many. If you're considering buying turmeric tea with all that great turmeric tea taste and benefits, here's the perfect blend for your cup.