Turmeric Tea: Benefits, Side Effects, and Preparations

Turmeric tea

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

In This Article

Turmeric tea is an herbal tea that comes from the Curcuma longa plant. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties as well as other proven medicinal benefits.

What Is Turmeric Tea?

Turmeric is often used as a spice in various cuisines. It is part of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family and comes predominantly from India. For thousands of years, the benefits of turmeric spices and teas have been harnessed in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

Many teas are made of dried leaves, but turmeric tea is made by brewing grated, dried, or powdered turmeric. It is a desirable tea because it contains high amounts of curcumin, a chemical compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Experts recommend consuming turmeric with black pepper since it can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by up to 2000%.

You can make turmeric yourself by brewing fresh turmeric in hot water. You can also buy turmeric tea in tea bags or loose tea. In loose teas, turmeric is often blended with other spices like ginger, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves.

Turmeric tea is widely available and can be purchased online or in most grocery stores. Experts recommend checking the ingredients list of turmeric tea blends or powders—avoid turmeric products with low-quality fillers and dyes.

How to Prepare

To make turmeric tea, you will need a turmeric tea bag, one serving of loose turmeric tea, or 1 teaspoon of powdered or grated turmeric. You can add loose turmeric tea or turmeric powder directly to your teacup or use a tea infuser.

  1. Place turmeric tea—either a tea bag, serving of loose leaf tea, or serving of powdered turmeric—in a teacup.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then let it sit for 1 minute to slightly reduce the temperature. The ideal brewing temperature is 212° Fahrenheit or 100° Celsius.
  3. Pour eight ounces of hot water over the turmeric tea bag, loose tea, or powdered turmeric.
  4. Simmer the tea for 5-10 minutes. If using freshly grated turmeric, allow the tea to steep for up to 15 minutes.
  5. Strain the tea into another container for a smoother tea or enjoy it as is. Add sweetener, milk, or juice as desired.

Common additives into turmeric tea include honey, milk, orange juice, lemon juice, ginger, or cinnamon. To increase the absorption rate of the curcumin in turmeric, add a dash of black pepper. Brewing turmeric in coconut with other milks is another take on traditional turmeric tea. This yields a latte alternative called Golden Milk.

Caffeine Content

Since turmeric tea is an herbal tea, it does not contain high amounts of caffeine. Turmeric is naturally caffeine-free. This makes it desirable for people who are sensitive to caffeine or actively avoid it. Though turmeric tea does not contain caffeine, it is considered to be a caffeine-free alternative to coffee since it can naturally boost energy levels.

Some turmeric tea blends may contain other types of tea, such as black tea, which contain higher amounts of caffeine. When paired with other herbal teas like ginger and peppermint leaf, turmeric tea blends are caffeine-free. The caffeine content of turmeric tea will depend on other ingredients in the tea.

Health Benefits

There are a few notable health benefits to drinking turmeric tea.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. This is due to the active ingredient curcumin, which may reduce inflammation in the body. Because of this, it is often recommended for people with arthritis, liver damage, Alzheimer’s, lung conditions, and other inflammatory health conditions.

Immune Boosting Functions

The antioxidant content in turmeric tea makes it ideal for boosting immune function. It is considered a remedy for cold and flu symptoms since it also has antiviral and anti-microbial properties.

May Aid in Cancer Prevention

Consuming turmeric tea may also be beneficial for cancer prevention. The current research is in its preliminary stages, so more research is needed to confirm the effects of turmeric on cancerous cells.

To maximize the health benefits of turmeric tea, opt for a loose leaf tea or freshly grated turmeric over a tea bag of turmeric powder. These methods will yield a stronger cup of tea, which increases the amount of turmeric consumed in each serving.

Side Effects

Turmeric as a spice or tea is generally safe to consume without any serious side effects. However, some people may experience side effects like nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea. In most studies on the effects of turmeric, little to no side effects are reported. Some people may be allergic to turmeric, though turmeric allergies are rare.

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  1. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its' Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017;6(10)