The turmeric plant grows five to six feet high and is found primarily in southern Asia. Used for centuries as an agent in traditional folk medicine, turmeric is the subject of recent research examining potential health benefits. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric may be beneficial for several health conditions, including indigestion, ulcerative colitis, infections, cancer and diabetes. While research is still in early stages, turmeric shows promise and is safe if taken in recommended dosages.
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Things you need
- Medium-size saucepan
- Filtered water
- Powdered turmeric
- Kitchen scale
- Fresh ginger root
- Fine mesh strainer
- Honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 lemon
Pour two cups of filtered water in a medium-sized saucepan. Allow the mixture to steep off the stove for five to ten minutes, then bring to a boil over high heat.
Chop a 1-inch piece of ginger finely. Ginger is in the same botanical family as turmeric, and their tastes are similar and complementary. Half a teaspoon of powdered ginger is an acceptable substitute. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that ginger also aids in digestive disorders, including nausea, so the combination is a powerful health tonic.
Measure one to three grams of turmeric on a small kitchen scale.
Add the powdered turmeric to the water and stir to prevent clumping. Add the chopped or powdered ginger. You can also add cloves or peppercorns to bolster the peppery flavour of the turmeric.
Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 30 minutes. Because turmeric is a rhizome, or a bulbous area of a plant near its root, a decoction method is preferable to a traditional infusion meant for more delicate flowers and leaves. A longer boiling time will result in stronger tea.
Strain your tea using a fine mesh strainer. This will trap large pieces of ginger and any clumps of turmeric.
Add up to a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup and the juice of half a lemon in order to counteract the bitterness of the turmeric. Add sweetener incrementally, tasting as you go, in order to produce the most palatable mix.
Store your tea in the refrigerator if you do not wish to drink it right away. Turmeric tea can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. You can rewarm turmeric tea in the microwave or in a saucepan over high heat.
Tips and warnings
- Drink turmeric tea as often as you wish without exceeding the recommended dosage of three grams a day.
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or diabetic, you should not add supplemental turmeric to your diet.
- Turmeric may interact with medications, including blood thinners, drugs controlling stomach acids and drugs for diabetes. Consult your doctor before use.
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