Turmeric is a well-known spice in Asia with many healthy ingredients. In Ayurvedic medicine, the turmeric root is said to have an antioxidant effect and helps against inflammation in the body. The golden-yellow powder has a wide range of uses in food or as a coloring agent. Turmeric tea is said to have a higher bioavailability than the pure powder.
Turmeric is said to help against various diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and others. On the basis of scientific studies, we get to the bottom of the most important questions in this article. Existing doubts about the topic will be cleared up and should give you clarity.
the essentials in brief
- The miracle tuber turmeric is known for its ingredients. In Asia it is a traditional remedy. Known as a superfood in Europe, it contains a lot of vitamin C, magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium.
- The dried powder is used to season dishes or the fresh root is made into tea. It is also used as a dye to color rice or chicken.
- Turmeric is also said to have a healing effect on certain diseases. As a natural remedy, it is used against cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, gall and liver problems and multiple sclerosis.
What is turmeric and how do you make tea with it?
In the following three paragraphs we will explain what turmeric actually is and how you can use the power root to prepare a good and above all healthy tea.
What is turmeric?
The plant species from South Asia belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric, or curcuma is also known as yellow ginger, yellow, yellow or saffron root. Turmeric differs from ginger in its bright yellowish to orange color. In addition to the many ingredients, it contains the polyphenol curcumin and essential oils.
Turmeric root is easily confused with ginger root because of their similarity. Turmeric root flesh is orange in color. Ginger, on the other hand, is yellow in color. (Image source: FOODISM360 / unsplash)
With their skin, the two species are very similar in appearance, but they taste different. Ginger is clearly the hotter root. Turmeric tastes mildly spicy and slightly bitter. For processing, the root is peeled, grated and dried. The powder is used as a spice for dishes and as a natural coloring agent.
What ingredients does turmeric have?
The turmeric plant requires large amounts of water to grow. As a result, many trace elements and minerals are also absorbed from the soil. This results in a large mix of different ingredients.
The most well-known and valuable ingredient in the root is curcumin. The table gives you an overview of the most important active ingredients and nutrients as well as essential oils.
|active substances and nutrients||Essential Oils|
|ferulic acid (organic compound)||turmeric|
|caffeic acid (phytochemical)||zingiberol|
|Vitamins (A, B1, 2, 3, C and E)||turmeric|
|Minerals (magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, etc.)||alpha and beta turmerone|
|Reisin (liquid natural resin)||terpenes|
In a study, a total of over 90 different ingredients could be detected. Including those of the table. (1)
How do you prepare a turmeric tea?
The preparation of a turmeric tea is not difficult. Simply put, you wash and peel the roots, slice or grate them and boil them in water for a few minutes.
On the internet you will find many different ways to prepare turmeric tea. We give you a quick and easy recipe to help you strengthen your immune system.
To strengthen the immune system and relieve cold symptoms, you can prepare a turmeric spice tea. To cook such a tea, you take the following amount of ingredients and prepare them according to the following recipe.
1 piece ginger (3 cm long), 1 piece turmeric (4 cm long), 1 tsp cardamom pods, 1 tsp cloves, ½ stick cinnamon, 1 pinch pepper and 2 to 3 tbsp honey
- Wash the ginger and turmeric before slicing them and lightly crush the cardamom pods.
- Boil the ginger, turmeric and spices in a saucepan with 500 milliliters of water. Put a lid on and let the mixture cook over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the stove and sweeten the tea with honey to taste. Then pour the tea through a sieve into your favorite cup.
- Serve the tea hot. The portion is enough for two people.
In addition to the tea version, you can also add the turmeric powder to your smoothie or treat yourself to a turmeric latte. However, the turmeric latte has nothing to do with a café latte. Because it is without coffee and soy or almond milk is suitable as a milk substitute.
If you would like the vegan drink sweet, add agave syrup or honey. Just give it a try next time.
Is Turmeric Tea Healthy?
Various effects are attributed to turmeric, both in powder form and as a tea. The healthy spice should be taken in the recommended amounts both as a preventive measure and in increased amounts for certain illnesses.
Depending on the mixture, turmeric tea can have a yellowish to golden yellow color. Its effect is said to strengthen the immune system and alleviate the symptoms of a cold. (Image source: Simon Birt / unsplash)
The following paragraphs deal with the effects of turmeric on the human body.
How does turmeric work in the body?
Science is certain that curcumin can be attributed to two primary effects in the human body.
In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is used to fight inflammation. According to a study, the curcumin contained in the root has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is used in the treatment of various diseases as well as prevention. (2)
Curcumin consists of yellow color pigments and that is why it shines so yellow. It is often used to color food or as a coloring agent in cosmetics and medicinal preparations. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, it also has an antioxidant effect. A study was able to prove that because of the chemical structure, curcuminoids contribute to the neutralization of free radicals and thereby render them harmless. (3)
When it comes to the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream, bioavailability is always an issue. The better the bioavailability, the easier it is for the body to absorb. Due to its poor water solubility, curcumin is not very stable. (4)
The addition of the active ingredient piperine contained in pepper also increases bioavailability. In the following video you will learn some information about the effects of turmeric and which diseases it can help with.
Does Turmeric Help You Lose Weight?
Scientific studies on turmeric show that the spice can have a positive effect on lipid metabolism. Conversely, this helps to lose weight and lower cholesterol levels.
Turmeric helps with weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels.
A 2017 meta-study shows how the curcumin contained in turmeric root has a positive effect on lipid metabolism. Regular intake of curcumin can influence and improve the HDL value. (5)
A study in Thailand also showed that the effects of turmeric lower cholesterol. Taking 500 milligrams of curcumin over seven days has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. (6)
Due to the positive effect of curcumin on the lipid metabolism and the lowered cholesterol level, a weight loss effect can also be achieved indirectly. Researchers came to this conclusion in a study with 44 obese people.
These were treated with a curcumin preparation. Measurements were taken after 30 and 60 days. In the table you can see the results by what percentage the measurements between the periods were better.
|measured value||Percent Improvement|
|weight loss||from 1.9% to 4.9%|
|Body Mass Index (BMI)||from 2.1% to 6.4%|
|Reduction hip circumference||from 0.7% to 2.5%|
According to the packaging, turmeric has a very low cholesterol value. 100 grams contain 354 calories, which are divided into 10 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 65 grams of carbohydrates.
What diseases can turmeric help with?
There are numerous studies that have a confirmed effect against various diseases. The following list provides an overview of various research on the subject.
- Cancer: The ingredient curcumin contained in the yellow root is considered an anti-inflammatory. A clinical study supports the notion that curcumin may show promise as a cancer drug. The study tested the product Theracurmin. The results of the study showed that subjects had higher levels of curcumin in their blood plasma and the drug has good bioavailability. (8th)
- Alzheimer's: In a Japanese study and review of three independent case studies of Alzheimer's therapy, a chief physician concluded that the curcumin contained in turmeric can counteract the symptoms of Alzheimer's. The patients suffered from impaired cognitive performance, had psychological problems and displayed behavioral problems. Within a year, the complaints improved significantly. An increase in memory performance is associated with the anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and antioxidant effects of curcumin. (9)
- Gastrointestinal disease: In a 2014 American study, experts concluded that curcumin has potential in treating the diseased digestive system. It is also very effective in the treatment of gastritis and liver fibrosis. (10)
- Diabetes: Long-term use of curcominoids can delay insulin resistance. That was the result of a study in which prospective diabetics took 1.5 grams of curcominoids daily for 9 months. (11) Gallbladder disease can also be associated with diabetes. Consuming sugary foods and a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of gallbladder disease. Followed by an increased insulin level and changes in the intestinal flora. A study has shown that taking turmeric can reduce inflammation of the gallbladder. (12)
- Multiple Sclerosis: The central nervous system is affected in patients with multiple sclerosis. The study has led to the conclusion that turmeric is not attributed a healing effect in MS. However, if you take it, the discomfort and symptoms will be relieved. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect is responsible for this. The spice can prevent other diseases in the central nervous system. (13)
- Arthritis: In a 2012 Indian study, 3 control groups with rheumatoid arthritis were treated differently. One group was given 500 milligrams of curcumin daily. The complaints and values of the affected persons improved. The results of the study also show that curcumin treatment can be more effective than medication. (14)
Many studies confirm the positive effects of curcumin on the body and help against the diseases listed. Nevertheless, there are also studies that have not proven any helpful effect of curcumin.
What side effects can turmeric have?
According to a study research by the German Consumer Center, the following should be considered when taking turmeric. In the usual amount of spices, turmeric is considered harmless as a food. Known side effects when taking larger amounts can be: (4)
- allergic reaction
- Diarrhea or increased stool frequency
- Pain in the digestive tract and abdomen
The side effects can, but do not have to, occur in everyone. How someone tolerates the spice is also related to dietary habits. The WHO classifies turmeric as harmless with a daily dose of up to 3 grams of turmeric powder. In the case of gallstones and diarrhea, you should avoid it. (15)
What alternatives are there to turmeric tea?
The most well-known alternative to turmeric tea is ginger tea. The two super roots from Asia are externally similar. They differ in colour, taste and ingredients. The high vitamin C content of both roots strengthens the immune system.
The color of ginger tea is usually yellow-transparent. With its positive effect on the immune system, it is often drunk in the colder months of the year. (Image source: Dominik Martin / unsplash)
A ginger tea is prepared quickly. Wash the ginger root and leave the peel on. Take a 1 to 2 inch piece and cut into thin slices or grate it. Put the pieces in a cup, brew it with hot water and let the tea steep covered for ten minutes. Feel free to add a slice of lemon and sweeten with honey.
By mixing it with other spices, you can prepare different-tasting alternatives to turmeric tea. In addition to the positive effects of turmeric, additional effects can be achieved by mixing it with other spices.
If you decide to drink turmeric tea regularly, you can spoil your palate with the following spice combinations.
- Turmeric tea with cinnamon
- Turmeric Chai Tea
- Turmeric mate tea
- Turmeric tea with fennel and anise
The root of the turmeric plant, which comes from Asia, is well known. The ingredient curcumin is considered anti-inflammatory in Ayurvedic medicine and has an antioxidant effect. Turmeric is also rich in vitamins, minerals and essential oils. Prepared as a tea, the curcumin has a better bioavailability than the powder. The body can absorb it better that way.
Curcumin is anti-inflammatory and fights free radicals in the body. By taking the lipid metabolism is stimulated, the cholesterol level is lowered and a weight loss effect can be achieved. Curcumin may also help treat cancer, Alzheimer's, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. However, research on the root is just beginning. 3 grams are recommended as a daily dose. An overdose can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Dosoky, NS; Setzer, WN Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Essential Oils of Curcuma Species. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1196. Source
- Yurenka JS (2009). Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic, 14(2), 141-153. Source
- Menon, VP, & Sudheer, AR (2007). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 595, 105-125. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5_3 Source
- Bioavailability of curcumin and possible side effects from ingestion according to the German Consumer Advice Center. Source
- Ganjali S, Blesso CN, Banach M, Pirro M, Majeed M, Sahebkar A. Effects of curcumin on HDL functionality. Pharmacol Res. 2017;119:208-218. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2017.02.008 Source
- Alwi I, Santoso T, Suyono S, et al. The effect of curcumin on lipid levels in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Acta Med Indonesia. 2008;40(4):201-210. Source
- Di Pierro F, Bressan A, Ranaldi D, Rapacioli G, Giacomelli L, Bertuccioli A. Potential role of bioavailable curcumin in weight loss and omental adipose tissue decrease: preliminary data of a randomized, controlled trial in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. Preliminary study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015;19(21):4195-4202. Source
- Masashi Kanai 1, Atsushi Imaizumi, Yoshihiko Otsuka, et. al. Dose-escalation and Pharmacokinetic Study of Nanoparticle Curcumin, a Potential Anticancer Agent With Improved Bioavailability, in Healthy Human Volunteers. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol, 2012 Jan. Source
- Hishikawa N, Takahashi Y, Amakusa Y, et al. Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer's disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Ayu. 2012;33(4):499-504. doi:10.4103/0974-8520.110524 Source
- Thavorn K, Mamdani MM, Straus SE. Efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of digestive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. System Rev 2014;3:71. Published 2014 Jun 28. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-71 Source
- Appendino G, Belcaro G, Cornelli U, et al. Potential role of curcumin phytosome (Meriva) in controlling the evolution of diabetic microangiopathy. A pilot study. Panminerva Med. 2011;53(3 Suppl 1):43-49 Source
- Moga MM. Alternative treatment of gallbladder disease. Med Hypotheses. 2003;60(1):143-147. doi:10.1016/s0306-9877(02)00351-1 Source
- Qureshi M, Al-Suhaimi EA, Wahid F, Shehzad O, Shehzad A. Therapeutic potential of curcumin for multiple sclerosis. Neurol Sci. 2018;39(2):207-214. doi:10.1007/s10072-017-3149-5 Source
- A complex of curcumin and phosphatidylcholine is effective in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Source
- Prof. Dr. Sigrun Chrubasik-Hausmann, specialist in general medicine. The recommended daily dose of turmeric according to the WHO. Source