This Turmeric Tonic is a honey laced lemon ginger anti-oxidant beverage that’s just as good over ice as it is hot. Turmeric barely has any flavor at all so the fresh ginger and lemon juice really shine through. This is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy turmeric’s and ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties and the best part is… you don’t need any special equipment to make it!
Turmeric Tonic COLD
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the rhizome, which is a large knobby root, of the turmeric plant. Most of the time you can find this bright orange spice in powder form in the spice isle of your local grocery store.
If you find it fresh… snatch up! When it’s dry and ground into a powder has a very mild flavor that’s slightly warm and a tad bitter. When it’s fresh it’s tastes a little like a carrot that’s been rubbed with ginger. It’s commonly found in Asian recipes and most curries.
Cooking with turmeric is a wonderful way to enjoy its flavor while benefiting from its anti-inflammatory properties like in this Turmeric Tonic.
Turmeric Tonic Recipe
- Gather ingredients and heat water or coconut water over the stove in a pot
- Add sliced ginger and fresh or ground turmeric ~ Simmer for at least 20 min.
- Stir in honey, lemon juice & fresh ground pepper
- Ladle into mugs or serve in a tall glass over ice
What’s in the Turmeric Tonic?
Fresh or Ground Turmeric – Turmeric is showing up more and more in health food stores, farmer’s markets and food coops. It’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a powerful medicine.
Ginger – This is also a rhizome (knobby root) that is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as well. It’s been used for centuries to aid in digestion. Use the fresh root if at all possible. It’s widely found in the produce isle of most grocery stores.
Coconut water – Incredibly hydrating, coconut water has tons of vitamins (including B6 & B12) plus it’s full of amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients. Make sure you choose UNSWEETENED coconut water. Too much sugar can negate the positive effects of the Turmeric Tonic.
Lemon – Lemons are not only refreshing and vibrant, but they are a powerful detox agent. Rich with flavonoids that have anticancer properties and loads of antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals that may help protect us from disease.
Honey – If you can find it, honey collected from local bee keepers are best. Honey from your area has been shown to significantly help lessen allergy symptoms.
Fresh Ground Pepper – Adding fresh ground pepper which contains piperine has been shown in one study to significantly aid the body’s absorption of turmeric’s vital nutrients.
What is a Turmeric Tonic Good For?
The health benefits of turmeric are wide and varied regardless if taken in as a supplement (as in a turmeric pill) or wether you cook with it. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin which studies are showing it causes a decrease in swelling (inflammation) as well as containing antioxidant properties. Therefore turmeric is used for:
- joint pain
- itching (pruritus)
- high cholesterol
- hay fever
Some people swear by it for other issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal cancer, and Crohn’s disease, but so far there hasn’t been enough research in those areas. For more in depth information on turmeric, Lyfe Botanicals is a website that really goes deep with tons of research.
How to Store Fresh Turmeric
Last week I was lucky enough to visit River to River Farm (owned and operated by John and Tam Pirmann) in southern Illinois as they were harvesting turmeric. According to John, since fresh turmeric is rather expensive and only available for a limited time, the best way to store it is in a small mason jar with a tight lid completely submerged in vodka.
He says it will keep like this for months in your cupboard. When you’ve used all your turmeric, I would think the remaining vodka would make for a hell of a martini too!
Turmeric and Black Pepper
The curcumin in the turmeric is poorly absorbed by the body. To increase absorption and therefore its effectiveness coupling it with fresh ground pepper is key. National Center for Biotechnology Information research has shown combining black pepper with turmeric enhances curcumin absorption by up to 2000%!
How much Turmeric Tonic can you drink a day?
As Robin Berzin, MD, explains, “Curcuminoids only comprise a small part of turmeric. If you want anti- inflammatory effects to need to get 500 to 1000 milligrams of curcuminoids per day.” That means you would need about 2.5-5 teaspoons of turmeric a day since there’s about 200 mg of curcumin in 1 teaspoon of fresh or ground turmeric.
This recipe for Turmeric Tonic has 2 teaspoons of dried turmeric powder or 4 inches of the fresh rhizone and therefore on the low end of the recommended amount. One could easily sip on a double batch all day long.
Turmeric, either ground or fresh, has a very intense yellow color. It will stain your fingers and your clothing a bright sunny yellow if you’re not careful. So handle it with care and reap it’s wonderful health benefits all year long.
Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Lemon Turmeric Tonic
- 4 cups coconut water or water
- 4 inch fresh turmeric root or 2 teaspoons ground sliced thin
- 3 inch fresh ginger root sliced thin
- 1/4 cup honey
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Bring water to a simmer in a sauce pot
Add turmeric and ginger to water and simmer for at least 20 minutes
Stir in honey, lemon juice and ground pepper until honey dissolves completely.
Ladle into mug and enjoy warm or over ice
This is a delicious warm and aromatic drink that is great to keep steaming on the stove all day. Dip into all throughout the day for a nutritious and tasty treat.
It's excellent in a tall glass over ice to for hot summer days too.
Optional:Try a bit of cinnamon or if you want more of a spicy kick, add a bit of cayenne pepper.