A few months ago, I got a call from my uncle, who was super excited about this amazing tea recipe that he wanted to share with me. He had been using it to ease the soreness and joint pain from working in the vineyard, and thought it might help me and my inflammation issues.
As per my usual, I did some research to see why this combination works so well. Many studies have been done about the benefits of consuming turmeric, most of them focused on the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties due to its curcumin content. I also found out that the bioavailability of curcumin is greatly increased when it is consumed with piperine, (which is found in black pepper), and oil. Add that to the immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper and you definitely have a powerful combination.
The day I got the recipe, my uncle assured me that it didn’t taste as bad as it sounded – and believe me, I was skeptical looking at the ingredients on paper. Garlic? Olive oil? Yikes. He was right though - it actually tastes great, especially with the addition of lemon and honey. It has a very earthy, savory taste, with a little kick from the cayenne.
I like to make a big pot of this on days when I am feeling stiff or getting run down. It is nice to use a french press because there is a large volume of solids to strain out at the end. The recipe makes four cups, so don’t be afraid to halve it if your vessel isn’t quite as large. Also be forewarned that turmeric stains everything it comes into contact with – hands, cutting boards, clothes, etc. Best to use caution so all of your favorite kitchen items don’t end up yellow.
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea
32 oz boiling water
1/2 Tbsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
5 peppercorns, whole
1 1/2 Tbsp raw honey (or 10 drops stevia)
cayenne pepper, to taste
Put water on the stove to boil. Combine all ingredients in a strainer or teapot. Pour boiling water into the pot and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy!