You know me… always trying to find a natural way to relieve whatever ails me.
I have not been feeling well from my Cronh’s Disease. I could tell by how my abdomen was bloated from the inflammation to certain foods and certain stresses. But then the Universe, or Big Brother who’s always watching, started sending me messages – a few posts on Facebook and even a few emails claiming the benefits of turmeric tea for inflammation – I had to go with the flow and decided to try it.
Turmeric is a spice used for centuries in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as a powerful anti-inflammatory and to treat a variety of conditions such as flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic. There are also new developments that turmeric is also helpful in patients with IBS, Crohn’s Disease, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis and even can have cancer prevention benefits. It’s also what gives mustards and curry its yellow color.
Turmeric can be found in fresh form in most supermarkets nowadays. I have bought it at The Boys Farmer’s Market, in Freshmart and even in Econo Altamira, here in Puerto Rico. Most people confuse it with ginger, but the bright yellow interior gives it away. Turmeric is also be readily found in supplements at health food stores. Here is a picture of a recent trip to Whole Foods in Florida.
I have been drinking turmeric tea for a few months now… and as with any natural remedy, consistency and persistence is key to see results. After 2 weeks of consistent drinking, I noticed I do not get as bloated as I used to, I have seen a reduction of the inflammation inside my lids from my eye allergies, and I have also noticed reduction of hemorrhoid tissue (sorry for the TMI)… Let’s try to erase that mental picture and check out how I make turmeric tea…
1-2 medium sized pieces of fresh turmeric
4 cups of water
- Grate the pieces of turmeric into a large pot with 4 cups of water.
- Boil turmeric in water for about 20 minutes.
- Let rest and drink warm. Sweeten with brown sugar, agave nectar, coconut sugar or honey if you prefer.
The amount of tea you can make with 4 cups of water will give you about three 12oz servings of tea.
Some tips on working with turmeric:
- Turmeric STAINS like crazy… so I use mostly paper towels when handling it and anything related to it. If a little stains your countertops, just clean with Fantastik or Bar Keeper’s Friend as quickly as possible to avoid the stains to set.
- When you grate it, your grater and fingers will get stained yellow. The key is to immediately wash them with dishwashing liquid. I use Dawn and a Scotch scouring pad to avoid the stains to penetrate. Most of the yellow in my nails goes away after washing a few times, but if you want to save a very expensive manicure, wear gloves.
- If it stains your fingers, it probably also stains your teeth when you’re drinking it. I try to brush my teeth immediately after drinking the tea. My mom suggested drinking it with a straw, but I have not been able to try that technique yet. I forget…
- Store the fresh rhizones in the fridge. I have also freezed them. Freezing them makes them a bit harder to grate and the color of the finished tea will not be as intense. I feel, and this is just a hunch, that the benefits are also less potent.
- When boiling turmeric in a pot, the turmeric will bubble – very similar to the way pasta water or even potato water create starch bubbles when they boil. I place a wooden spoon over the pot to prevent the bubbles to bubble over the pot and make a mess of turmeric all over my stove. It has happened a few more times than I would care to admit. I try to watch the pot a bit to lower the heat to medium to prevent any boil-overs before they happen.
- To avoid staining my ceramic mugs, I drink turmeric tea out of stainless steel insulated cups. These do not get stained yellow and are easy to clean with a scouring pad. My stainless steel pots get cleaned as soon as I finish my last serving of tea with a sprinkling of Bar Keeper’s Friend. I don’t think you would be able to tell which is the pot I use to boil my turmeric tea.
Have you ever had turmeric? Or turmeric tea? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section…