Turmeric, a flowering plant from the ginger family, has been recognized for its medicinal value for thousands of years and is a staple part of both ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. In more recent years, scientific studies have established its place in modern western medicine, too.
The secret to turmeric’s amazing health benefits is a phenolic compound known as curcumin. This compound – which is also responsible for turmeric’s bright yellow color – has amazing anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Studies have found that it relieves pain, reduces blood clots and detoxifies the body. Its ability to regulate enzymes and cytokines that cause inflammation – which in turn cause illness – make it a powerful way to prevent multiple diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Curcumin also has potent antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
The myriad health benefits of turmeric tea
As reported by Natural Health 365, there are at least six ways in which consuming turmeric in tea form can benefit your health.
Alleviates lung conditions: A metanalysis published in the journal Pharmacological Research in 2017 found that curcumin shows promise in the treatment of lung conditions like asthma, cystic fibrosis and even lung cancer. Since it also has anti-fibrotic effects, curcumin can prevent tissue scarring, making it a potent weapon against diseases like pulmonary fibrosis.
Fights and prevents cancer: Turmeric inhibits the growth, survival and invasion of cancer cells, and has shown promising results in the fight against breast, skin and colon cancer. An animal study published in 2016 in the journal Nutrients, found that curcumin prevents the growth of tumors. Other studies have found that it promotes apoptosis, or cancer cell death. It has also been found to enhance the efficacy of cancer drugs given to pancreatic cancer patients.
Reduces heart disease risk: By fighting inflammation, curcumin can prevent heart disease. Natural Health 365 reported:
It also reduces blood pressure and increases production of beneficial nitric oxide. By reducing the “stickiness” of blood platelets, turmeric may work against atherosclerosis and cut the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Turmeric also boosts “good” (HDL) cholesterol, while decreasing “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels. One study found that 500mg of curcumin taken daily for just one week could increase HDL cholesterol by an impressive 29 percent, while reducing overall cholesterol by 12 percent.
Acts as a powerful antioxidant: Free radicals are the natural result of biochemical reactions in the body. Substances which accelerate the generation of free radicals can be found in the environment, the foods we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Over time, free radicals cause damage to different parts of the cell through a process known as oxidation. This causes these parts of the cell to lose their ability to function normally, and over time, it can cause the cell to die. Many studies have proven that increased free radical production results in nerve cell injury and causes disease. Antioxidants are nature’s way of protecting the body against free radicals, and can be found in vitamins C, A and E as well as in enzyme antioxidants. Studies have found that turmeric is a powerful antioxidant.
Aids digestion: Turmeric tea promotes a healthy digestive system, reducing bloating and gas.
Treats depression without side effects: As previously reported by Natural News, peer-reviewed, breakthrough research concluded that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in treating depressive disorders but lacked any serious side effects and was well-tolerated by patients across the board.
Delicious turmeric tea recipe
An informative Wellness Mama article includes the following delicious turmeric tea recipe:
- 2 cups milk of choice such as almond, pecan, coconut, or dairy, or use bone broth in place of the milk for a more hearty tea
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- pinch of ground black pepper
- tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
- Drink immediately.