Spices travelled around the world with the help of colonisers like the British. What was once exclusive only to certain cultures, became widely available around the world. There is much to discover when it comes to the many benefits of spices and herbs. One example is turmeric, which is a ubiquitous spice used in Indian cooking and is a significant ingredient in American yellow mustard.
Benefits of curcumin in turmeric
One would think that turmeric is nothing but a pungent, earthy spice that gives flavour to curries. It is, in fact, linked to many health benefits, and a subject for ongoing medical research. Many studies have surfaced regarding the low rates of Alzheimer’s disease in India. Many attribute this to the abundance of turmeric in the diet of locals. Statistics show that Indians are four times less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s between the ages of 70 to 79 compared with Americans of the same age. A study showed that curcumin might reduce the markers of Alzheimer’s disease like beta-amyloids.
Another benefit of taking turmeric is how it can help reduce inflammation associated with many diseases like cancer. But it is a fact that incorporating enough turmeric in your regular diet to reap these health benefits is impossible. Therefore, a turmeric drink is known to be the best delivery method for curcumin. In Japan, for example, people in Okinawa drink large amounts turmeric tea which they make or buy from local producers.
How to make turmeric drink
Making turmeric tea is easy. There are several recipes you can find online, and turmeric powder is also readily available in supermarkets. If possible, look for fresh turmeric root when making your own turmeric concoction. Here is the basic recipe for turmeric tea:
- Boil four cups of water
- Add a teaspoon of powdered or ground turmeric and allow the water to simmer for another ten minutes.
- Use a fine sieve to strain out the residue and serve the tea in a cup. You can also add lemon or honey to enhance the taste.
- Experts recommend adding a pinch of ground black pepper because it increases the absorption of curcumin.
You can also experiment with the recipe by adding ground ginger. Ginger also helps mellow down the pungent taste of turmeric.
Side effects of drinking turmeric
Taking turmeric tea in moderation is advisable. But if you drink more than one teaspoon a day, you will likely experience a few side effects. Some of the side effects of drinking too much turmeric are dizziness, upset stomach, and increased bowel movements. It is also possible to get an allergic reaction to turmeric which is why it is advisable to consult a physician before jumping on the trend. There are also many manufacturers that produce turmeric supplements, and each product may have a different formulation. As much as possible, read the label carefully and check with a doctor if you find any unfamiliar ingredients listed on the bottle should you decide to take it as a daily health supplement.