The Exotic Teapot Blog
Put the sun in your tea: turmeric
Turmeric is part of the ginger family, and is widely used in south Asian cuisine for its earthy flavour and 24 carat colour: it’s been nicknamed the Golden Spice and the Golden Wonder.
There are also some promising signs of medicinal properties.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which in vitro studies show to be both anti-inflammatory, and having strong antioxidant properties. Not bad for something that’s usually clanging around in your spice rack.
Turmeric and health - the potential benefits of curcumin
Turmeric may ease pain caused by inflammation, in conditions such as arthritis and it could provide a buffer against oxidative processes in the body which are related to ageing and several metabolic diseases.
Turmeric affects inflammation at a molecular level, and since inflammation in the body is linked to many prevalent Western diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s (dementia), the logic follows that it is beneficial --but more trials in humans are required to understand more about the processes involved.
In traditional Indian Ayurvedic healing turmeric is used to boost the immune system and aid digestion. Its warming essence is mobilising and cleansing, and it’s also a skin tonic: in India turmeric face masks are a pre-wedding beauty fix!
There is still much to learn about this golden spice of the Orient, and further research will no doubt throw more light on its complex natural effects.
Turmeric in our tea
One thing is for sure, spices pack flavour, whether in curry or tea. And we’ve managed to blend two turmeric teas that match its warmth with a little bitterness for the palate plus a perfectly pitched cast of other spices.
Turmeric Chai Black Tea
Inspired by Ayervedic cooking, the golden embers of turmeric are matched with cinnamon, pepper (thought to activate the curcumin & help absorption), ginger, aniseed, cloves, cardamon and chili. This spice base invigorates you in the morning, and bumps up the natural health properties of your black tea.
Indian Chai is an ancient-drink-come-remedy. It’s simply great in the morning; a warmth that settles out from your stomach with dashes of spice that prick the senses. With or without milk, and with a dash of honey should you wish.
Ayurvedic Energy Blend
A bolt of energy zapping you awake, this is our most intense Ayervedic blend, combining six powerful spices into a cup of liquid warmth: pieces of turmeric root, cardamon seeds, chips of ginger, whole cloves and nutmeg. Like an ancient rug weave, this is a classic mix, steeped in tradition and reborn time and time again.
All of these teas use the subtle, cleansing warmth of turmeric along with other spices, but if you want one to instantly snap you awake, without any need for caffeine, this might be the one to pick.