Turmeric tea is a daily ritual for me now. I drink at least 8 oz every morning to re-hydrate, vitalize, and reduce my chronic inflammation.
Why I drink turmeric tea every day
I started drinking a turmeric tea tonic in the mornings about two years ago to improve my health. I haven’t kept up the ritual as faithfully as I’d like. But since the beginning of my program, I have been drinking a glass every morning.
Turmeric is an Indian spice famous for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
By making a tea from fresh turmeric, ginger root, and lemons I felt like I would be able to start my mornings fully hydrated and invigorated. Consistently drinking turmeric and its active ingredients will improve my health and make my joints hurt less. There are also benefits from fighting cancer, reducing instances of depression, and lowering my risk of heart disease.
It’s also a matter of discipline. My plan is to drink a cup every day for the duration of my 16-week diet plan. I may even try to go every day for a full year, then reflect on the effects.
Turmeric Tea: turmeric, ginger, and lemon
The ingredients to my turmeric tea are pretty straight-forward: Acutal turmeric root (or powder), sliced ginger root, whole lemons, peel and all, and water. Each component has a recognized medicinal benefit:
- Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. People have used it to counter inflammation for thousands of years.
- Ginger may lower blood sugar levels. It is also a great digestive aid and an anti-inflammatory.
- Lemons aid in weight loss and has a great flavor. It also turns alkaline in the body and reduces stomach acidity. That means less heartburn.
So, employing them together could have multiple levels of benefits for me. Plus, it is sugar-free, gluten-fee, dairy-free, and practically calorie-free.
The “Jack Gets Fit” speed-brew method for turmeric tea
Most turmeric teas are slow-brewed. They are either done on the stovetop at a simmer or cold brewed overnight in the refrigerator. I have tried both methods but felt I wasn’t getting all the roots had to give. So I developed a different technique.
The concensus that I found in research agrees that the health benefits I am seeking in turmeric, ginger, and lemons survive the cooking process, so application of heat isn’t a concern.
And I wanted a method that didn’t take all day or all night with a fire on the stove.
I chose to use my pressure cooker. I have a 6-quart capacity Pressure Cooker XL. It is now used now exclusively for turmeric tea. With this, I can make turmeric tea in about 3 hours with practically no cooking maintenance.
My steps to making my turmeric tea
The first thing to do is, of course, get the ingredients for the tea. I choose to use all fresh instead of dried or powdered ingredients. This way I feel like I’m getting a better brew this way, and its a little less expensive.
I buy whole turmeric root, whole ginger root, and whole organic lemons at my local international market, the Buford Highway Farmers Market. It is a great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce and meats, and international seasonings, herbs, and spices.
When I am ready to actually brew my tea, I get out the pressure cooker, my cutting board and a knife.
I start by splitting 2 cups of fresh turmeric root down the center to expose as much of the rhyzomes insides as possible. I throw them into the pressure cooker pot. Then I slice 1/2 a cup of ginger root very thinly and toss it in. Then I split 6 lemons into quarters and add them to the pot. I top it off with at least 3 quarts of filtered, room -temperature water.
Next, I affix the lid of the pressure cooker and turn it to the closed position. I close the pressure valve on top. Then I plug the cooker in and select the “high pressure” setting, and set the timer for 2 hours. The cooker begins heating up the water. This can take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the temperature of the water. Once sufficient pressure has built up, the cooker’s timer counts down until the brew time is done.
Let some steam off
I let the pressure cooker slowly release pressure on its own once the timer goes off. This usually takes another 30 – 40 minutes. I remove the lid and pull out the inner pot. The contents go into a large bowl, through a colander to catch the roots and lemon chunks, which I discard. I pour the bright yellow liquid from the bowl, through a fine mesh strainer, into two half-gallon glass mason jars. If I need more liquid to make a full gallons-worth, I add more filtered water. Once they have cooled I put plastic tops on the jars and keep the tea in the fridge. A gallon will generally last me about two weeks.
I use the pressure cooker XL exclusively for turmeric tea now because the flavor and color of the turmeric is very strong and has a tendency to seep into whatever else gets cooked in the pot. The same with the bowl and colander I use to strain with: they are stained yellow and have a turmeric scent, so I only use them for this process. The glass jars don’t absorb color or flavor, and I started using them when the plastic ones I’d been using became too stained. Since I make the brew about every two weeks, it is not too much of a hassle to have dedicated equipment.
Storing and using
I keep the tea in the jars in the fridge with the tops secured tightly. Every morning I pour about 8 – 12 ounces to drink before I have coffee or anything else.
Now I find turmeric tea quite tasty and frereshing. But I admit, it is an acquired taste. Turmeric alone has a strong flavor. The lemon peel, which has the citric oils, is kind of bitter. Nothing so bad I couldn’t drink a glass, but strong.
As for results, I feel like it is helping me with joint pain and chronic inflammation. But my on again, off again routine makes that impossible to confirm.
I will keep drinking it for at least 4 months, then see about stretching it to 12 months. That should be a sufficient time frame to form a better opinion.
How I’m doing
Day 3 of the “Christian Bale Diet” and I haven’t killed any body. In fact, I’m feeling pretty good. Still too early to see if this is going to have the impact on my weight loss and energy I’m expecting.