This turmeric tea recipe is a favorite staple in our home. I used to think only chamomile or green tea had health benefits, but this tea with its earthy golden spice is perhaps an even more powerful (and soothing) remedy. In fact, turmeric tea (or “golden milk” as it’s also called) has been revered since ancient times for its healing properties.
You’ve probably encountered turmeric in Indian or Asian dishes. It is easily recognized by its bright yellow (and I mean very bright yellow!) color.
“Golden milk” is a great way to get the health benefits of turmeric even when it isn’t on the menu. Prepared this way with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger, even my kids absolutely love the flavor.
We have this tea several times a week, depending on the time of year and what sounds good. I love drinking this tea especially before bed because it aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.
Why Drink Turmeric Tea?
Turmeric tea is more than tasty … consuming turmeric (whether in tea or in curries, soups, sauces, or other cooking) supports digestion, immune function, the liver, and even possibly offers protection from some types of cancer.
This tea actually maximizes the natural antioxidant power of turmeric because it is a) hot and b) combined with other beneficial spices and a little bit of fat.
There are several variations as to how to make turmeric tea (given below), but here are the components you need to get the full benefits of turmeric:
- Pepper (tiny amount)
- Some kind of fat for absorption
Start with this base, and adjust spices and sweeteners to your satisfaction!
Curcumin: Turmeric’s Secret Weapon
The secret of this ancient spice is curcumin, a compound well-studied for its health benefits. Turmeric contains up to 3% curcumin by weight.
Curcumin is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. (This is one reason turmeric has long been a folk remedy for helping protect the body from the affects of smoking or chewing tobacco.)
Curcumin may also improve digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems!
Turmeric Tea Golden Milk Recipe
Turmeric tea or golden milk is a great way to get the benefits of turmeric daily. I love drinking this just before bed.
- 2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut, and dairy all work in this recipe)
- 1 tsp turmeric or turmeric spice mix (where to get it)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (where to find it)
- pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
- tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)
- First, blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Then, pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Drink immediately.
This may stain blenders and countertops. The color will eventually fade, but making a thick paste of baking soda and water and scrubbing the stain can help.
Recipe can be halved or doubled if needed.
Turmeric Tea Shortcuts!
Option 1: Dry Turmeric Tea Mix
If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time you make tea, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add to warmed milk when ready.
- 1/2 cup turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup cinnamon powder
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 TBSP ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
To use, add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups milk of choice, warmed.
Option 2: Golden Turmeric Paste
Another reader, Rose, also shared this variation (thank you Rose!):
- 1/2 cup turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup filtered water (no fluoride)
- 1 ½ tsp black pepper
- 5 TBSP virgin coconut oil
In a stainless steel pot, combine water, turmeric, and black pepper. It should make a thick paste. Cook and stir for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Finally, transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
To use, whisk 1 teaspoon Golden Paste to 2 cups milk of choice, warmed (or the coconut oil will congeal). Add molasses, vanilla, and cinnamon to taste.
Turmeric Tea FAQs
This recipe has gained popularity over the years and I’ve received a few (hundred) questions about it. I created this list of commonly asked questions to address the most asked ones:
Can I Make This with Another “Milk”?
It won’t be as creamy, but you can even make this recipe with plain water instead of any milk at all. Bone broth is another great option for the base and you can omit the sweetener if you use broth. If you don’t use milk or broth, consider adding a tiny amount of some kind of fat (like butter or coconut oil) as it increases absorption.
Feeling really brave? Try using camel milk instead!
Where Do You Get Turmeric?
I always order turmeric in bulk because I use it in many spice blends, in beauty recipes, and to make this tea. Look for one that is organic, non-irradiated, and contains curcumin (the brand will often specify a percentage). I personally have ordered this one on on several occasions.
What If I Don’t Like Turmeric/Pepper/Tea?
This might still be worth a try, as it doesn’t taste like any of those. The black pepper is important to this recipe since it contains piperine, a compound known to increase the benefits of turmeric.
Can I Omit the Honey/Maple Syrup?
Of course. I find that it helps mellow out the strong flavor of the turmeric, but it is not necessary. You can also use blood sugar-friendly stevia or nutrient-rich blackstrap molasses to get the benefits.
Can I Get Turmeric in my Diet Another Way?
Sure! But this is the most tasty, in my opinion. If you aren’t into tea or don’t want to take the time to drink it, just add the ingredients to any food, or take alone. For instance, throw some turmeric, black pepper, and olive oil on some roasted veggies to accomplish the same thing. (One brave reader mentioned that she just makes a paste of turmeric and avocado oil and swallows it with 2 whole peppercorns!)
I Have ___ Health Condition or Am Pregnant/Nursing. Can I Drink This?
I always recommend talking with a doctor before consuming any natural remedy. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports it is safe to cook with turmeric while pregnant and nursing but that turmeric supplements should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. Turmeric can have contraindications with certain medicines.
Since this tea contains turmeric, consult with a doctor or midwife before consuming this if you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition. Talk to someone who knows your situation before making a decision.
Can Kids Drink Turmeric Tea?
I give small amounts to my kids. Turmeric is a spice after all! They love the taste and love to help make it, but check with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns before drinking this.
This Stained My Counter/Blender/Cup. What Do I Do?
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the stains aren’t harmful and will fade over time. The bad news is that it will take some time.
Can I Make a Big Batch and Keep in the Fridge?
Sure! I’ve made up to half a gallon and kept it in the fridge. I find I enjoy it cold too, but it can also be reheated in a small saucepan.
Can I Use Fresh Turmeric Root?
Yes! It isn’t often available where we live so I stick with dry, but you can grate a 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root into the recipe to accomplish the same thing. You may also want to strain it using a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining pulp or pieces.
How do you use turmeric? Share your uses below!