Drinking tea is always associated with a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. In fact, how many of us enjoy tea just for instant rejuvenation and some gossiping? All of us, right! It’s aptly said that, “Tea time is fun time”.
Tea is not only associated with brews concocted with tea leaves, but also pertains to herbs and spices steeped in water. It’s not essential to drink tea made with exotic and expensive herbs in order to reap the benefits associated with tea. As a matter of fact, one of the most beneficial teas can be prepared with one inexpensive and easily available pantry staple called turmeric.
Turmeric – But isn’t it a spice?
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and is native to India. It is an essential ingredient for flavoring Indian curries. It may add that zing to cooking, but that’s not the only thing that turmeric is famous for. The “curcumin”, a compound found in turmeric, is world renowned for its cancer fighting properties. Curcumin has also been used a base for anti cancer drugs. Better still, research indicates that turmeric is beneficial in controlling the symptoms and providing relief for illnesses like arthritis, allergies, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Other benefits have also been extolled by the ancient texts of Ayurveda.
How to Brew this Magic Potion?
Young turmeric is easily available in natural food and Asian grocery stores. They are easily identifiable as they look like ginger and the root is bright yellow beneath the peel. You can substitute dried and ground turmeric, but the fresh one is the best bet for its anti inflammatory, anti fungal and anti cancer properties.
The recipe is simple:
– Just 4 cups of water needs to be brought to a boil.
– Add 1 tablespoon of fresh grated turmeric.
– Simmer this concoction for up to 10 minutes.
– Strained and enjoy with a spoon of honey and a pinch of lemon juice.
– A pinch of fresh black pepper powder may be added to increase the potency of curcumin.
One tablespoon of dried turmeric may be substituted for the fresh one. Steeping is essential and should not be missed as it allows for a stronger brew and let the nutrients seep out into the concoction.
Benefits of Drinking Turmeric Tea:
1. Wards off Alzheimer’s disease:
Alzheimer’s is caused due to the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. Turmeric tea can reduce the accumulation of this plaque and also reduce the neural inflammation associated with this disease.
2. Prevents muscle aches and pains:
Curcumin is anti – inflammatory and hence soothes muscular pains. Turmeric tea can be consumed 2 times a day to reduce the pain and swelling associated with any muscle pull or injury.
3. Reduces the risk of Heart Disease:
Turmeric blocks NF-kB , which leads to inflammation related to heart diseases. Regular consumption of turmeric tea will reduce the accumulation of this molecule and also ensure that the endothelium (blood vessel lining) is able to regulate the functions of the heart.
4. Provides a punch of antioxidants:
Turmeric has been proven as a treasure trove of antioxidants. It ensures that free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging and diseases get subdued. Curcurmin also enhances the body’s ability to produce antioxidants.
5. Curtails the ill effects of coughs, cold and flu:
The anti inflammatory and antioxidant powers of turmeric ensure that the symptoms of cough and cold get mitigated. Sipping hot turmeric tea clears the nasal passage and reduces congestion.
6. Purifies the blood:
Turmeric tea is excellent for detoxification and helps purify the blood. This reduces the incidences of pimples and acne.
7. Impairs the formation of cancerous cells:
The antioxidant inducing and anti inflammatory traits of turmeric have an adverse effect on the growth of cancer cells called angiogenesis. It also helps stem the spread of cancerous cells (metastasis) and has been proven to kill such cells. Turmeric tea can also be consumed as a preventive measure.
8. Keeps the blues away:
Research indicates that consumption of turmeric tea can help in mitigating the effects of the SAD syndrome as well curtailing any feeling of despondency. Curcurmin increases the levels of dopamine and serotanin, which can help in reducing the effects of psychiatric diseases. It also increases the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is essential for mental health.
9. No more hair fall:
Curcumin can also help alleviate any hair infections and scalp infections, thus promoting healthier hair and less hair fall.
10. Panacea for postmenopausal symptoms:
Curcumin contains chemicals (phytoestrogens) that exhibit traits similar to estrogen and this helps alleviate PMS related symptoms.
11. Reduces gum pain:
Sipping hot turmeric tea eases gum inflammation and pain and works better than OTC painkillers.
While the beneficial effects of turmeric cannot be denied, certain precautions must be undertaken before regular consumption of this turmeric tea. It is essential to consult a doctor before drinking this tea to rule out any risks associated with allergies, medical interactions and side effects.
• In some instances’ turmeric has been found to worsen GERD and Gallbladder Diseases.
• Turmeric may also slow down blood clotting and hence should be avoided before surgeries.
• Turmeric may also interact with other medicines that reduce coagulation.
• Pregnant women should be extremely cautious before ingesting any herbs and should consult a doctor.
The pros and cons of consumption of turmeric tea should be evaluated before embarking on a regime of drinking the tea. Turmeric tea definitely is a delicious and relaxing way of achieving health benefits.