Immune Boosting Turmeric Tea
Words & Photography by Linn Thorstensson
February is here, and we are moving towards spring. Wet and windy days are all part of this time of year, but I can’t help longing for the sun, longer evenings and warmer weather. It is so easy to feel a little out of sorts and if your immunity is low then you could easily catch any bug doing the rounds.
This warming, nourishing, golden liquid is just the thing to lift your spirits. If you could drink sunshine, then a cup of turmeric tea would be just that. You can really feel how this tea invigorates your cells from the inside out, just the same way the first warming rays of sunshine awaken the seeds in the spring, nourishing and nudging them to grow and eventually flourish into beautiful flowers.
Turmeric is a super food. There are no two-ways about that. It is most commonly used in its powder form. Fresh turmeric is a root and grows freely in countries such as India and Indonesia. It is one of the main ingredients in curry blends. Turmeric is also often used as a natural food colouring. Be aware, it does tend to stain everything! Turmeric is still used a lot in Indian cooking, but it is also heavily used for its medicinal properties. The spice is one of the most researched natural compounds in modern time. Some studies have shown the most potent part of Turmeric, Curcumin, to be as potent as Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, when it comes to reducing pain and inflammation. Other studies have shown a marked effect on cancer due to its strong antioxidant capacity. As a spice it has many positive effects on our immune system, so we are doing ourselves a huge favour by including more of it into our lives.
When I was studying nutritional therapy, I remember my lecturer suggesting adding about a teaspoon to a little yoghurt and eating it, as a medicinal way of using the spice. Perhaps not the most palatable way as it turned out. Turmeric has an earthy, slightly bitter flavour, that is quite easily masked, but not by natural yoghurt! I came across the original version of this tea when researching one of my favourite blogs for a recipe for an entirely different ingredient. The headline caught my eye and, of course, I had to try it out. After testing out the original version, I made my own flavour combination. The use of honey to blend the spices is really clever as it makes them dissolve a lot better in the warm water. My mix, with cinnamon and cardamom, seems to neutralise that earthiness from the turmeric, so it will suit even those with a slightly sweeter palate. These spices also have their own health benefits. The cayenne pepper will help the body absorb the goodness from the turmeric better, and the lemon juice is not only key for balancing the flavours, but also offers detoxing support for the liver. So go on, drink some sunshine! And beat those winter blues.
Inspired by a recipe on www.101cookbooks.com.
4 tbsp quality honey, preferably local
2 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1-2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
Add the honey and all the spices to a small glass jar. Stir until well combined and a paste is formed.
To make the tea, add a heaped teaspoon of the paste to a cup. Add hot water (off the boil) and stir.
Squeeze some lemon juice into your warm golden liquid.
Keep stirring your tea in between your sips as the turmeric tends to sink to the bottom.
Enjoy the nourishing feeling of doing something good for yourself.