For today’s Self Care Sunday, I want to share with you a drink that I have added to my repertoire. It is similar to a lemonade, but it packs a lot of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative benefits. One of the main sources of this drink’s benefits comes from curcumin, the polyphenol in turmeric which has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (source). These effects have been proven beneficial for conditions ranging from different types of cancers to diabetes. There are way too many conditions for me to list here, but you can learn more about what the clinical studies have shown for the benefits of curcumin for different conditions in this article: Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin.
Curcumin comes from the plant turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. Which brings us to the second source of health benefits in this lemonade…ginger. Like curcumin, ginger is also known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger is also well documented for its effectiveness in helping to prevent certain cancers (source).
Now that you want more curcumin and ginger in your body, it is important to start adding these as much as you can to your diet. I add it whenever I can to anything from burgers to scrambled eggs to sauces. But, therapeutic levels of curcumin are much higher than adding a bit of the spice to meals here and there. We need something that can pack more of a punch to increase our intake, and this lemonade recipe has helped me to do that.
I have seen multiple different versions of this tea claimed by different naturopaths/holistic doctors, so we can’t be sure who truly brought this type of recipe to the U.S. But, we do know that it is based off of a tea that Okinawans drink. The Okinawans credit the tea for their low levels of cellular inflammation and their longevity. Here is my version…
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (or a 3 inch strip of fresh turmeric root, peeled)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or a 4 inch strip of fresh ginger, peeled)
- 1 lemon (juice of)
- Raw honey or liquid stevia to taste
- Black pepper
- Bring the water to a full boil in a small pot. Add the turmeric and ginger and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the tea through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the particles. Allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator.
- To serve, use one cup of mixture as a serving. I like to add at least a half a cup of cold water to it, because it is very strong. Add sweetener and lemon to taste, and ice if you prefer. I never use use, but I like it with this drink. This is the tough part, but add a pinch of black pepper too. The drink can be bitter, but the sweetener and fresh lemon juice will help make it palatable and enjoyable, despite the other ingredients.
While I can’t say that this recipe is delicious, I can say that I feel great after I drink it. Chris and I both notice that after we have it, our minds feel completely clear and we have more sustained energy. When your body responds positively to something, the taste improves, so stick with it if you do not like the taste at first. This lemonade is not something I drink every day, more like a few times a month. The recipe makes 4 servings, so that is two rounds for Chris and I.
I do also take curcumin supplements with piperine (black pepper extract). Adding the piperine increases the bioavailability (your body’s ability to absorb a substance) of the curcumin by up to 2000% (source). That is why a pinch in the tea makes a difference!
I hope you give this lemonade a try! Anything to help prevent cancer and decrease inflammation and oxidative stress is worth it to me!
For further reading…