Turmeric Tea Recipe

I started making this turmeric tea for its beneficial properties, and now it is one of my favorite daily rituals - made from a honey turmeric paste with lots of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.

Turmeric Tea

This is how turmeric tea worked its way into my life. The backstory - for a while it felt like someone was sticking a hot poker between my shoulder blades, particularly if I moved my neck in certain directions, like left or right. And the mornings? Ouch. I'm not entirely sure what I did, but I think it might have something to do with shepherding heavy boxes up and down our stairs. Over and over. Apologies for the complaining, but it was something that had been bothering me for the past few weeks, and nothing was really helping until it occurred to me to bump up the turmeric in my diet. It has significant anti-inflammatory properties (as well as a host of other benefits), and I started going for it - adding extra turmeric to curries, drinking turmeric tea in the morning and evenings, and generally keeping it out on the counter for easy access.
Turmeric Tea Recipe

Turmeric Tea Inspiration

I remembered an Ayurvedic turmeric paste I'd read about when I was flipping through books in the Los Angeles Library earlier in the summer, and started using that as my tea base. And it helped! I like turmeric in general, but the tea is, flat out, a favorite. I make a paste of honey and turmeric that keeps in a jar for easy use. I heat water, pour it over a spoonful of the paste, and finish with a big squeeze of lemon and a substantial amount of freshly ground black pepper. It's good stuff - the black pepper makes it invigorating (and also helps the body absorb the turmeric), and the honey sets off the earthy-acridness of the spice enough that the tea is still balanced and delicious.Turmeric Tea Recipe
One thing - use mildly hot water here, but not boiling - to help preserve the properties of the raw honey. I'll make note in the recipe below, but wanted to call that out in particular. You can also blend the paste into smoothie, or swirl it into yogurt.

Turmeric Iced Teas

Turmeric Tea Variations

I love combing my spice drawers & herb stashes to experiment with different blends. Here are a few recent turmeric-centric favorites.

  • Ginger Verbena Turmeric Iced Tea: I have a prolific lemon verbena plant and I love using the leaves (fresh or dried) in this tea. To eight cups of boiling water add 20 crushed cardamom pods, 10 lemon verbena leaves, 20 black pepper corns, and 10 crushed ginger slices (peeled, 1/4-inch thick, size of a quarter). Boil for 15 minutes, remove from heat and stir in 1/8 teaspoon dried turmeric, or a bit of the honey paste (recipe below). Strain, chill, serve over ice.
  • Ginger Tulsi Turmeric Iced Tea: I also grow a good amount of tulsi basil in my garden. It makes a wonder gift on its own, or as part of custom tea blends. And I love it in this iced tea. Basically the process is the same as the above iced tea, simply swap out the lemon verbena, swap in tulsi basil.
  • And when I'm ready for a break from turmeric tea, I trade in 8-10 threads of saffron in its place. For a saffron version. Or you can double up and use both!

More Homemade Tea Blends

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do! -h

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Turmeric Tea

4.22 from 70 votes

Turmeric tends to stain anything it comes into contact with, so be careful.

  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml good, raw honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric
  • lemon
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
Make the Turmeric Paste
  1. Work the turmeric into the honey until it forms a paste. You can keep this on hand, in a jar, for whenever you'd like a cup.
Brew the Tea
  1. For each cup of tea, place a heaping teaspoon of the turmeric paste in the bottom of a mug. Pour hot (but not boiling water) into the mug, and stir well to dissolve the turmeric paste. Add a big squeeze of juice from a lemon, and a good amount of black pepper. Enjoy! Stir now and then as you drink so all the good stuff doesn't settle to the bottom, or top off with more hot water as you drink it.
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
7 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


I've been meaning to tell you how much I truly love this tea. I started drinking it about a month ago because of stiff knees (being a runner and doing multiple deep knee bends every day carrying a toddler is no joke!). It has helped my knees, and I look forward to the warm drink that is not coffee or caffeine. Sometimes I simmer ginger root and add that as well. Thanks for the keeper.


Wonderful stuff! I had been warned that turmeric is too strong a flavor for this application, but I tried it anyway. I just used the paste to sweeten my peach green tea and the drink is just lovely. I have some inflammation issues, too, so hoping this will help. In any event it tastes great! Thank you for the idea.


Tried this recipe tonight...Loved it. Thanks!

Jade DaRu

Thank you Heidi for this amazing tea! I have been sharing your recipe with my friends. Love it!!! Ling Ling

Ling Ling

thanks for a great way to ingest turmeric! Very tasty.


Turmeric stains are non photostable, so if you have stained something, leave it in a sunny place and the stains disappear. It's worked for me with my stick blender on more than one occasion!


2.5 tsp turmeric to 1/3 cup honey is an awfully small amount of turmeric for the amount of honey used. How many cups of tea does this make? I usually recommend 1 tsp turmeric per mug of tea for anti-inflammatory benefit. Agree with the black pepper and consume-with-fat tips to improve absorption.

HS: Hi mg - this mixture will last me a week or so with daily use. One could certainly dial up the ratio of turmeric in the honey, but I've found it gets a bit acrid for my tastes. It tastes quite strong to me as written, but in a good way.


I made this tea tonight. It is really good! I love it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. :)

Lisa Griffin

I am trying your tea right now. Love it! I used fresh turmeric root that I found at my Oriental Market. I had been juicing it with my carrot juice but this is good idea too. I grated it per someone else suggestion on here and boiled in water. Then put in honey, fresh squeezed lemon juice and freshly grated black pepper. YUM!


This tea is similar to the jamu in Indonesia. Jamu refers to any natural health tonic but the most common one you find, at least in Bali, is one made of a blend of fresh turmeric, water, lime and honey. It is always drunk cold so I love the idea of a tea for days you need something a bit more comforting. Because of the health benefits of turmeric I also add it to all my morning juices. We are very lucky here to have an abundant supply of fresh turmeric. Love Kellie's idea of adding coconut milk for taste and to boost benefits.


I like the idea of mixing it on advance!! I add fresh or frozen finely grated ginger.


Turmeric is a great healer for internal injuries.So the turmeric tea is a great idea.


Made this yesterday morning and it was so soothing and tasty, and seemed to have a good effect on my rosacea, which has been flaring up lately. My tongue and toothbrush turned bright yellow--I freaked out the guy at Jiffy Lube :D


that is one brave person putting turmeric on marble! haha


Heidi, do you have a good honey recommendation? I'm always confused which is the best to buy - too many choices!

HS: Hi Tara -there's such a vast range, part of the fun is tasting around, or collecting/trying different honey on your travels. Look for good quality raw honey and if you can buy direct from the producer, or at a local farmers market, even better. :)


Hello, your recipe has filled me with nostalgia! My mum made this for me as a kid when I got sick. So potent, so fresh...she had to put honey in it for me though x


I've been enjoying having this paste in my kitchen since last week, ready for hot water and some company on a whim, but I absolutely LOVED a most recent discovery of spreading it on plum slices. Oh yum! Thanks Heidi!

HS: Ooh! Love that idea Jess - so glad you like the paste :)


I've always heard that heating (cooking/boiling) is what unleashes turmeric's healing properties. I guess one could do that first, let it cool a bit and then add the raw honey.


So interesting. We use turmeric in Indian cooking all the time, but never in tea. It's pretty bitter on its own, so hopefully the hot water takes that taste away. I can see how it's invigorating, as it's a natural antiseptic!


I can't wait to try this. I use to sprinkle turmeric on scrambled eggs, but I don't really eat eggs anymore, so this tea sounds perfect.


Mmmmm. Gonna have to give this one a try. Knew about the effects of turmeric, however was always unsure how to get added amounts into my diet. I need this badly as I'm on a lot of anti inflammatories at the moment which I hate taking. Thanks!!


Wow. What a clever idea. I love turmeric and start adding the fresh root to my morning juices this time of year. (New favorite has been red cabbage, turmeric, apple and ginger.) Can't wait to add this to the repertoire!


Hope you're feeling better now.. turmeric is excellent for a sore throat as well. when we were kids my mom would add a bit of turmeric and honey to a glass of warm milk to make a soothing drink before going to bed.. it works so well.


You've got my parents and I hooked! There is now a jar out on our counter, too. Thank you!


Thank you, Heidi. You come to the rescue in a simple wholesome way. I love ginger tea (just a sliver of ginger root in hot water with some honey), so this isn't too far from that taste. I have a medicinal tea that I make from burdock root, which I dug, dried, and ground, but it's a bitter medicine without any joy. I'm going to try to make a burdock-honey paste to improve that remedy, since it works so well with here with the turmeric.

Diana Abreu

I used to add turmeric to my night time tea or milk, I also eat a lot of curries plus adding it to other dishes I cooked but I found the turmeric was really staining my teeth so I stopped. I would like to start using it again any suggestions to prevent teeth from staining?


Not only does it taste pretty good, it really helped clear up congestion from a lingering case of bronchitis! Thanks!

HS: Love hearing this Ellen!


Hello Heidi. I didn't read through all of the comments so this has probably already been said, but as well as the bioavailabilty of curcumin in turmeric increasing substantially in the presence of oil, adding fresh black pepper is recommended too. Just a little. I am a cancer health educationist with a major UK charity so it is my job to keep up with these things and I'm so pleased that this amazing spice has been getting more attention lately. I have arthritis and issues with my lungs and I have found that by having turmeric everyday I rarely have to take pain killers or antibiotics.


Couldn't drink in tea form. I mix the honey with turmeric and mix in cinnamon and put on rice cake. Yummy. I think is also good for one.


Wow, I never would've thought to make turmenic tea... I have to try this today!

Laura @ Transylvanian Kitchen

Do you use a particular type of turmeric? I feel like the brand/quality could affect the taste - would love to know what you use. I think I might try this to help my legs recover from tough runs up and down these San Francisco hills.

HS: Hi Emma! - I generally just buy organic turmeric...Updated: check out Diaspora turmeric


I've used turmeric when making curries and some Spanish Caribbean foods but never thought to make a tea! I'm going to try this tonight and add a couple of cardamom pods.


I do LOVE it as much as you do! Great idea. Turmeric is my idol! :)

Preena @ A Teaspoon of Turmeric

What a wonderful idea! I only needed 2 minutes between reading the post and having my first mug of turmeric tea. It's really autumny and fresh here in France today, so this tea was exactly what I needed. Thank you, Heidi!


Hi Heidi! This recipe could not have come at a better time. I was just on the phone with my dad who lives in Pakistan, and we were having this discussion on using turmeric to lessen my cat allergy symptoms. I knew he was right, but the prospect of having to cook a turmeric-filled curry everyday to increase my turmeric intake didn't seem worth the effort. That's when I saw your post in my inbox, a quick easy way to get my turmeric :) I added black lemon powder for the tang (and ease of use, so I wouldn't have to squeeze a lemon each time), and stirred some black pepper directly into the honey mixture (again, the laziness kicked in). It's delicious. I don't know why I never thought of this earlier. When my cousin in Pakistan had a baby, her mother would prepare a drink for her every morning with warm milk, turmeric, ground almonds and honey. Loads of goodies for the breastfeeding new mom! Now that I'm breastfeeding, this tea will really help. Thanks Heidi


Wow, this sounds intriguing, possibly delicious, and definitely healthy! I will have to give it a try. I've been adding a 1/2 tsp. or so of turmeric to my daily fruit smoothies---daily only since I got a working blender about 3 weeks ago---precisely because of its health properties, but your tea seems like an even nicer way of adding more turmeric to my diet! (Adding extra turmeric to curries is already a given for me... : )

Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

I'd love to try this but am a little concerned about turning my teeth yellow! Anyone have any experience with this or words of wisdom?

Hi Carol - I haven't experienced staining. I think, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, some cultures actually use it for whitening teeth.


As many have mentioned, turmeric is really good for you. I put it in my smoothies for breakfast every morning but look forward to trying this tea. Thanks for sharing.


Heidi! A longtime fan here. I'm so sorry to hear about your discomfort. I have an autoimmune thyroid disease and one of the many side effects (in addition to having to eat gluten-free, wah wah) is chronic lower back pain. I try to eat anti-inflammatory foods whenever I can, so will definitely be trying this tea. My acupuncturist recently recommended two things. I haven't tried either yet, but she RAVED, so thought I'd pass along. First is an earthing kit and the second is a magnet belt. You can get both on amazon. They are an investment, but I am so excited to get mine in the mail because of what I've read about both. Feel better! xo Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe

Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe

Sounds soothing and lovely.


I started drinking turmeric tea last winter when I had a persistent cough, and it really did give some instant relief. Only I added in garlic for more immune-boosting properties, and it wasn't as tasty ;)


Hello - this is my first post, though I love the blog! Does the tea stain your teeth at all, if you drink it twice a day? Thanks!


I've been making a similar tea, with the addition of cinnamon in the paste and a splash of apple cider vinegar- so good for quelling congestion and inflammation! And delicious.


I made and used a turmeric paste made with coconut oil to paste over swollen gums (inside and outside) for an infected swollen gum, it was a bit messy, but it worked..the relief was profound. The coconut oil is also healing.

jeannine lewis

sounds weird. But I just bought some new turmeric, and just made the tea, and it's delicious! How surprising! I've been feeling poorly for past 5 days so hopefully this will help! Good luck with the neck/shoulder pain, the best thing for me (unsolicited advice, sorry) is seeing my osteopath, and doing yoga and pilates!


I am so happy to see this recipe here. Love it. If you find fresh turmeric in your area, try it. The flavour is amazing and you can keep it in the freezer and just grate as you need. Most Asian markets will carry it. Worth the effort.


In addition to the turmeric tea, you should probably see a physical therapist about this. I experienced something like this around the time of my doctoral exams. Turns out it was a repetitive stress injury in my neck, which, if left untreated, could have resulted in the loss of use of one of my hands! If it's been going on for a couple of weeks, it's unlikely you just pulled something.


Just made this and am sipping it now. Delicious before bed drink and I am eagerly awaiting its touted anti-inflammatory effects. Steve (from across the street w/the Golden Retriever).

Steve Posin

Hello Everyone,Thanks for the nice article! Turmeric is an excellent remedy for many health issues like chronic inflammation, acne, skin rashes, diabetes and arthritis. It's an excellent blood purifier clears the infection. Turmeric stimulates the digestion and regulates the metabolism. Depending upon your constitution you can use either black pepper or fennel seeds or ginger while making the turmeric tea. Warm milk with turmeric & honey best remedy for cold. Enjoy Turmeric tea daily for happy and healthy life ! :-)

Ayurveda Amritvani

OMG I LOVE this so much Heidi. It turns out turmeric tea is tasty! Thanks!


I imagine it would be good for circulation issues too, especially if grated ginger is added. Mmmmm....


Hello Everyone, Thanks for the nice article! Turmeric is an excellent remedy for many health issues like chronic inflammation, acne, skin rashes, diabetes and arthritis. It's an excellent blood purifier clears the infection. Turmeric stimulates the digestion and regulates the metabolism. Depending upon your constitution you can use either black pepper or fennel seeds or ginger while making the turmeric tea. Warm milk with turmeric & honey best remedy for cold. Enjoy Turmeric tea daily for happy and healthy life ! :-)

Ayurveda Amritvani

Your shoulder/neck pain sounds like it could be a strained muscle or even triggerpoints in one of the muscles to me.... Have you tried seeing a massage therapist? I am going to try this tea. I love turmeric and use it a lot in cooking as it is.


You can buy fresh variety of tumeric root at an Indian grocery store. it is in season now and we used to have it as a condiment on the table. I think they peel it and slice it into small matchsticks and add a little salt to it. It is considered very healthy. See if you can locate it. It sort of looks like ginger.


I'm so glad you posted this! Glad to know herbal medicine is wafting into more homes! I've had a terribly inflamed foot from an injury... I couldn't let anything touch it, less alone walk on it. One of the big things that healed it was turmeric tincture (along with some other herbs) and a few other herbal soaks/salves. I will be doing a posting about it soon. Thanks for sharing the paste!


I suffered from severe poison ivy for about seven weeks this summer. I got a wild hair, after even the steroid shots did nothing, to try the turmeric route. Without a lot of research, just wild instinct, I started taking 1 tb turmeric in a 1/4 cup plain yogurt with a teaspoon of raw local honey. The turmeric was for the extreme inflammation, and the local raw honey was for the allergen aspect. I was fine in three days.


I also try to up my turmeric for anti-inflammatory reasons AND because some think it may be one of the reasons there is so little Alzheimer disease in India. I take capsules daily and get it as well in some of my cooking, and have made tea from the root before. This, however, is so much tastier! Thanks for the great idea - I just drank a cup and you're right - the honey really balances out the taste of the turmeric, and the lemon tops it off nicely!


Have you tried the TumericALIVE drinks? Available in Whole Foods and made of all raw, organic, non-GMO ingredients like turmeric (obviously), ginger, honey, mint, cinnamon. Delicious and awesomely restorative.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been dealing with horrible inflammation myself, and had heard that tumeric was the best thing for it. But this is the first simple recipe I've seen that I think I could consume every day! Here's hoping it does the trick. Cheers.


great idea. thanks for posting. turmeric is proven anti inflammatory. I've used it to cure many ailments before. will try this tea soon. sounds very practical to do too.

Sylvia Reyes

Wow, I've never thought of using turmeric this way. Have to try it!


Hi, Thank you for this suggestion. I have been dealing with the same issue for a few months. Wanted to share that I had tremendous relief from Black Seed Oil (cumin seed) as well. Heavy anti-inflammatory. The capsules are easier as the oil tastes like motor oil. And I have a high tolerance;) Thanks for all that you share! Your recipes have become staples in our home. Christina

christina Affholder

You can also rub the turmeric into a little ghee and then massage the inflammed areas.

mira goes to market

I have a giant bag of turmeric, so this might be the perfect thing to do with it! I have never thought about using turmeric in a beverage application, and I am excited to try it. I may also add some fresh ground ginger. It sounds like happiness in a mug!

Laura @ All Spice and Yum

I've been taking turmeric tea and honey for a while, or alfalfa and honey, or peppermint and cinnamon, but haven't tried black pepper or lemon w/ it. Lemon is an alkalizer and cleanses the liver I've heard. Black pepper is supposed to be some excito-toxin? I'd like to read about its other properties, in unlocking the cells for absorption. Some oils do that, according to Dr. Revici's cancer work. As for an anti-clotting agent not for use before surgery, after a strange bout of food poisoning, I'm glad I had just learned that cayenne pepper was a clotting agent. It stopped internal bleeding for me. Good for strokes, too. Thanks for the reminder of water temp. I let the tea kettle sit for a while, usually. An easy morning smile therapy for me is tasting the tip of the spoon of honey before it goes into the tea. Ahhh, partially crystallized honey. The price now from a local Oregon apiary is around $32 a gallon. I also want to comment about turmeric root vs. the spice after being given a tomato from Costco that still looks the same after two months. Beware of irradiated food.

Pamela Cohen

This looks amazing! It's such an original use of turmeric.I have been trying to come up with more turmeric drinks to challenge my husband to substitute for coffee some mornings, and I will definitely try this one. Thanks Heidi!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

Your timing is perfect! I've been on my own quest experimenting with turmeric and am enjoying the tea as I write. I was using turmeric root, but this is a nice way to use the very easily attainable ground spice. Thank you!

Ginny J

Any thoughts on using fresh turmeric instead of dry ground turmeric? Our natural foods grocery had turmeric root for a while, looks similar to ginger root but the color is that deep gold. It didn't seem to have the pungent flavor you might expect. Have you tried that in your preparation?


My yoga instructor raves about the benefits of turmeric, ginger, and hot peppers. The last time I got a sore throat, I just sucked on a mixture of honey, turmeric and lemon juice for two days, and it got better after the first day. I sometimes made a tea version as well, but had forgotten about it, so thanks for the reminder. And I will be adding pepper the next time; I am going to love that!


Love you blog and thanks for sharing. The pictures looks lovely. Turmeric have amazing healing power and lots of wonderful benefits. Turmeric powder and Honey mix well together to form a paste. Eating a tablespoon on an empty stomach and or before a meal will help with those who have acid re-flux.


Hello, I read your write up about turmeric tea with interest. One of the home remedies for sore throat in South India is as follows: Bring raw milk to a boil For one cup of milk, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir. Add a teaspoon of palm sugar put a pinch of finely grated black pepper stir well and drink. This will take care of sore throat and pain immediately. Whenever I come down with the sniffles this was the prescribed medication in our house along with mulagutawney soup aka pepper rasam as it is known in our language. This was a sure thing to chase away the discomfort. I do the same now for my kids, they love it. I stock on the palm sugar when ever I go home for a visit. Love your blog, you are an inspiration - mona


Every Indian is familiar with turmeric milk. Anytime you take a fall or are at a risk of developing any internal infections, just drink 1/2 cup turmeric milk. Regular warm milk with 1/2 tsp honey mixed in it. It's wonderful in the winter :) PS: To people concerned about "raw" turmeric, don't worry! It's good raw and cooked! PPS: It's wonderful for your skin as well. Just mix a pinch of turmeric in your favorite homemade face mask :) [my favorite is 2 tbsp yogurt mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, and a tiny pinch of turmeric]


I've never heard of this, but I'm definitely going to try it. I often get a sore neck and back hopefully this will help! thanks x


You can buy fresh variety of tumeric root at an Indian grocery store. it is in season now and we used to have it as a condiment on the table. I think they peel it and slice it into small matchsticks and add a little salt to it. It is considered very healthy. See if you can locate it. It sort of looks like ginger.


Hello Heidi, I have been following your blog forever! The tea looks great....I will try it. But I want to add that I also had some neck issues, soreness that felt like "burning" and indeed, it might have been a pulled or sore muscle, but it would recur and I finally went to my internist who insisted on a MRI (I am a violinist). Anyway it turned out to be more serious, involving discs and compression and stenosis (Narrowing of the spinal column) so I just want to encourage you to have it looked into if you get recurring discomfort and/or symptoms like numbness or tingling in your arms/hands. The neck (the cervical spine) is a busy place and we should pay attention when we experience more than normal discomfort like burning, tingling, etc. Good Luck!


I make a golden milk with almond milk, turmeric paste, a cinnamon stick and a cardamon pod. Once the golden milk is warm I add a little honey. It is a relaxing a healing beverage and you sleep so well!!


This sounds wonderful. My only concern is the honey as I am trying to reduce my fructose intake.


Love this recipe! Interesting reading the comments especially Mark's below who mentions that the FDA classifies Turmeric as a coloring. How odd that such a powerful healing spice can be so wrongly downgraded be a federal organization who's purpose is to inform us and keep us healthy! Hmmmm...


This sounds good. I'm going to give it a try.


I have saved many turmeric tea recipes to try, but this one was so straightforward that I am sipping on some right now! I love that you start with a concentrated paste that can be used throughout the weeks. It is surprisingly nice tasting and I am excited to finally have a go-to turmeric tea! Thanks again, Heidi!!


This tea sounds marvelous. I am a little bit nervous to try it in my mortar and pestle - but, I saw your comment about a quick wash afterwards should ward off any staining . So glad your neck and shoulders are feeling better.

Kelly Turnbull

Turmeric is also great with almond milk, instead of hot water. And I'm pretty sure it's cured headaches for me before!

chloe grindle

This is wonderful for arthritis and gout. I make a version of this using one teaspoon tumeric, one inch piece ginger root, one lemon, cayenne and honey to taste and four cups water. I juice the ginger and lemon. Simmer the tumeric in the water for five minutes. Mix all together and strain. Pour in quart jar and drink over several days. Love this stuff and so does my suffering friends.


Oh, making a paste with honey is a great idea - love the convenience of it (and the deliciousness, too)!

leaf (the indolent cook)

My favorite tumeric use is when you have a cold/virus, mix 3 tablespoons of tumeric and 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey. You than take 1 teaspoon of the mixture 3 times a day until it is used up. Makes enough for 2 1/2 of so days. Takes away cold symptoms after 24 hours.


Heidi et al, I just made the recipe for the turmeric tea, and am sipping as I work. To any timid blog readers, I say: Fear Not-- It's delicious! Thanks again Heidi for another wonderful adventure in gastronomy.


this is so beautiful, and beneficial! i use turmeric everyday in cooking, and always have it with a spoon of honey and ginger when i have a sore throat (grandma's recipe!), but never thought of making it into a tea! one word of caution, alot of Indian stores sell turmeric, but it is really mostly food color. my mother gets dried turmeric root from india and we make our own powder in small batches and use as needed. there is a HUGE difference in taste, smell, and color from the little bags you get in the Indian stores. "real" turmeric does not stain as fast as the "fake" stuff, so it is a little easier on countertops and fingernails. it also tastes earthy and divine! can't wait to go home and brew a cup of this today!


Thank Heidi--I've been a huge fan for years!! Honey is an emulsifier, and emulsifiers help mix substances that are otherwise not willing to combine (hydrophobic and hydrophilic). So this should work. Previously, I've used fenugreek as a water-soluble anti-inflammatory tea (and for oats and legumes). If you think you may be pregnant--avoid over use of tumeric! Also, not recommended for nursing moms. Pineapple, especially the core, has bromelian and B6--both are good for healing muscles and recommended for pregnant ladies. I'm also recooping from an injury--loving green-lipped mussel muscle rub!!!


This is intriguing -- might have to try it!


Just came across a nice stash of fresh tumeric. Any idea how I can use fresh instead of dried?


This looks lovely! I've only had turmeric tea once before but it didn't have honey in it and was quite strong. I love the idea of adding honey and lemon to balance the flavor out, I'll definitely give it a try!

Stephanie @ Eat My Tortes

Thanks for this Heidi. Your post was perfect timing. I am sipping on a cup of turmeric tea as I write this. I came down with a cold and was thinking about turmeric and then saw your post. I added a little fresh grated ginger as well. To our good health!


I used to make turmeric tea "golden milk" by boiling turmeric in a little water, then adding milk (or almond milk), honey and a little sesame or almond oil drizzled on top. Yum! I was told you had to "cook" the turmeric for 5 min in boiling water for it to be safe to consume, do you think this is not necessary, it looks like you skip that in your recipe.


I have osteoporosis with a lot of upper back pain. I make a similar but stronger paste of 1 tsp of tumeric, 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 tsp raw honey, about 1/4 tsp ground black pepper and mix it in a cup of water or milk. My back pain has decreased significantly since I started drinking this once or twice a day.


I started making turmeric tea last winter and it was so comforting. In the summer, tea wasn't as appetizing so I made it into "ice cream"-- using the frozen banana trick: one frozen banana, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, dash of cayenne, and a few turns of the pepper mill, processed in a food processor until it resembles soft serve. I was thinking this same concoction could be used to make a sweeter turmeric tea (I used to make it unsweetened-- w/o honey or agave).


Heidi – Much gratitude to you for sharing this recipe. Several weeks ago I came across a recipe for “golden tea”, a turmeric-based tea used frequently in alongside the practice of kundalini yoga. The only difference between this tea and yours is that Yogi Bajan’s recipe includes a bit of almond oil, which aids in the body’s digestion of the turmeric. I was feeling some joint pain at the time, and made the tea – it was delicious, and immediately soothing! Your post is reminding me that I need to start making it again. Thank you.


Hello...thanks for this article. I have been doing turmeric tea for a couple of years now and it helps with my pain. It reached a point it wasn't doing as well as it had been. So, I started using the capsules, 500mg X 2 daily. I had a 'light headed' feeling and stopped it altogether? Also noted a stomach problem. When I stopped it, these issues ended. I also want to know about the 'thinning' properties of the turmeric...have read it thins the blood. Wondered if that might have been my problem. Think maybe I should stop the capsule and get back to my tea? If so, what about the turmeric amounts. The capsules illuminated the pain entirely...but the other issues I just can't handle. Help me out here?


While black pepper can help with absorption, a lot of the beneficial compounds (curcuminoids) in turmeric are fat soluble - so adding coconut milk or another good fat to this tea would greatly help the bio-availability and effectiveness.


My mom (Indian descent) used to make all us kiddos drink a tumeric and honey concoction anytime we were coming down with sniffles or just general malaise. However, as I got a little older I tended to shy away from it (one of those...what do parents know type of deals). Then several years ago I came down with a bought of bronchitis that I just couldn't shake, and my mom reminded me of the drink, and I SWEAR to you it worked. Turmeric really does have healing powers.


Turmeric is a wonderfully supportive spice for inflamed joints and muscles and your tea is an excellent idea. For deeper relief, a restorative yoga class would help and I know you have fabulous teachers in San Francisco. Thanks for the recipe.


I'm convinced that what has kept me well over the summer is my turmeric ginger ale! I make a ginger-turmeric-lemon peel- brown sugar syrup, keep it in the fridge, and have a little in a glass of cold seltzer with fresh lemon. Thirst quenching and immune boosting all in one! (I used fresh turmeric root, but I'm sure you could use powder as well).


Sorry to hear about your pain...in fact I have had similar problems with my neck which keep reappearing. I will give this a try. This is probably a good winter warmer. Regarding turmeric stains. I have heard you get rid of them with alcohol and water should not be used. Have not tried this yet, but I got this advice from a chef who is a bit of a guru of spices. :-)

Michael Kplus

Turmeric is so cleansing! It helped me immensely a few years back. I won't go into detail...lets just say I ended up not needing minor surgery. Sounds drastic yes, but really and truly, it was wonderful. I drank it as a Jamu drink. Jamu being a healing drink (various sorts) from Indonesia. I can't speak higher of this spice. I also had some ginger in my drink.


I have a friend who is always touting fresh turmeric and its medicinal attributes, and they carry it at the Berkeley Bowl. Is fresh perfectly switchable with the dried? Always looking for new ways to calm down inflamation.


A few months ago I was sick with a bad cold, and the last stage was this hacking cough that wouldn't go away (and would not let me sleep!). I made a similar turmeric tea (with warm milk instead of water) and it completely quelled the cough. So much more effective than the prescribed cough medicine! And it's just delicious, and so calming.


I absolutely LOVE turmeric tea! I also add lots of fresh ginger ... and sometimes add coconut milk for a creamy hot chai.

Kimberleigh Poston

Pukka do just about the only ginger tea that I've ever thought was worth it-- normally, I can't be bothered because they're nowhere as nice as making one with fresh ginger. Their triple ginger is ginger, galangal and turmeric and smells like making ginger snaps.


What a great idea Heidi! I've recently been seeing fresh turmeric root at the grocery store right next to the ginger....I've been slicing it up and putting it in tea too! Some people swear by drinking this stuff before a night out to prevent hangovers :)


Gosh, you sent me down memory lane with this one, Heidi. Whenever I had a cold or a bad throat, my grandmom would mix together some honey and lots of turmeric and I'd eat it straight off the spoon. Another thing she did was make little balls of jaggery and turmeric through the winter to build immunity.


Hi Heidi, thanks for the interesting recipe. I take tumeric pills whenever I have sinus inflammation and they do help. I use tumeric in my cooking often too. I was wondering if using a spoon and bowl to mix the honey and tumeric would work as well as a mortar and pestle?


Just the right thing for a cold autumn day. thanks Heidi.


I enjoy a turmeric, raw honey, lemon, cayenne, ginger tea too, but the black pepper sounds like a great idea. What turmeric do you use Heidi? I'm wondering if there's a notable difference between organic and non organic turmeric.


I have actually started adding turmeric to my home amde Pulled tea that you get in Vietnam. I love the spice it adds to it and the colour of yours looks magnificent! I wonder have you tried to make this with fresh turmeric? It would make it so much more fragrant and I think you can freeze cubes of this tea as an iced drink too

HS: I haven't done a fresh turmeric version, but plan to!

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

Thank you! I think you just discovered the solution for my problem. I have to try this recipe.


Big thumbs up. This tea is delicious! (And I'm hoping it'll ease some aches and pains my husband and I have).


what a fabulously easy (+ yummy!) way to get more turmeric into your diet. thanks so much for sharing!


I LOVE turmeric and the idea of turmeric tea. You may already know this but to help increase the bioavailability of turmeric even more, try eating a spoonful of a healthy oil before consuming turmeric. Even something like peanut butter may help the body absorb the turmeric since curcumin is fat soluble, much like vitamins A, D, E, and K. Turmeric is the most bioavailable if heated in oil. I will definitely give this a go!

HS: Thanks for this Hannah - I have seen versions made with almond milk, or with a dab of almond oil to finish. Sounds delicious.


I'm sitting here with a wheatbag on my shoulder, trying to lessen the pain of the knife which also appears to be lodged deep into shoulder blades. I must get onto this, it sounds excellent.

erin @ she cooks, she gardens

Brilliant! I mixed the paste and made the tea right after reading your post. I've made my own turmeric capsules in the past, but I like this idea much better. I've been adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to my smoothies lately, but this honey-turmeric paste will be interesting to try on alternate days. Any suggestions on what fruit pairs well with turmeric?

Michele Garcia

Any reason why the honey has to be raw? I used NZ Manuka honey (it might be raw but I'm not sure). Is that okay?

HS: I think much (all?) of the New Zealand Manuka honey is raw - speaking of which, NZ has so much good honey! Varietals I'd never heard of before visiting. One of my favorite honey places!


Hi Heidi, I just made something similar last night but with almond milk, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, and honey. It's a new favorite. XO

HS: Hi Shari! Give it a try with good black pepper - there's something I love about it with the lemon. I'll have to make up some almond milk and give that version a go. xo


hey! tumeric ("haldi") boiled in milk with some pepper and honey added to it is a well-known cold remedy here in india. or even as a preventive. you can also add it to salt water to gargle with. i like adding some haldi to soup stock as well. for your tea - though this may be extra work, you should boil it with the water rather than just adding extra hot water on top. boiling is supposed to extract the properties of the haldi rather than just mixing it.


Drinking a teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of water several times a day is supposed to help with plugged ducts while breastfeeding. I could never stand it, but I also couldn't get the turmeric to mix into the water. I plan to try this tea now that I'm breastfeeding my second child. Mixing it with just warm water really turned me off to the flavor of turmeric, but it's been a few years, so I hope I'll like it this way. Thanks for the recipe! I'll be sure to share the link with my breastfeeding friends.


Sorry to hear about your pain. There's nothing worse than pain in your neck or back is there? This tea sounds fantastic, and it's so wonderful it worked. I've been waking up lately with back pain, so I'm definitely going to try this. In fact I'm going to the kitchen now to make some as I have everything in my pantry.

Jennifer @ Delicieux

this looks great! I'm assuming this would also be great for digestive problems. does this keep in the fridge/pantry and for how long? thanks!


My eyes said beautiful. My tastebuds said... 'but how does it taste.....?????'. I'm going to give this a try. I already have a new bag of tumeric.

phi @PrincessTofu

It is nice to hear that the turmeric helped with your muscle pain. The tea sounds good, and I think I'd like to try it. From my own research: Even though most of us would consider turmeric to be a spice, the FDA classifies it as a food colour. Many processed foods use it just for the colour. It can also slow down blood clotting which may be an issue if you are scheduled for surgery (ref Oregon State University – Linus Pauling Institute).


I have been known to subject myself to "turmeric shots" if I'm feeling under the weather, but I think adding a little tea and lemon would make them much more palatable--I'll have to try this tea next time!


Turmeric is by far one of the most medicinal spices out there and I, too, have experienced amazing results when I consume it. I actually drink a tea almost identical to this on a regular basis...although I now need to try it with the black pepper (I've read about how black pepper helps the body absorb turmeric's nutrients recently...so cool!) I also like to make my tea with the fresh turmeric root by grating it as I would ginger. Powerful stuff!

Renee @ Nourish The Roots

I love Turmeric tea. I also love to put a honey turmeric paste on my face for a delicious facial! And if you have leftover honey/turmeric, its also great on sauteed veggies like onions & squash :)


Thank you for this! I am always looking for ways to get more turmeric into my diet. I haven a disease which causes chronic inflammation. I think this will help me.

Lisa@ The cutting edge of ordinary

I've been doing turmeric in capsule form because very little of what I cook calls for it. I'm absolutely planning on giving this tea a try!


I knew that turmeric was really good for you but I never would have thought to use it for tea. I always think of it in savoury applications. Thanks for the tip!

Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

What a powerful recipe - I recently tried a turmeric tea for the first time and wasn't blown away, but this recipe looks superb! I think the addition of honey and pepper seals the deal for me. It's amazing how foods can be so powerful. Thanks for an amazing idea.


Sounds gorgeous. I remember having a beautiful Turmeric Tea in Tokyo a few years ago. It was wonderfully smokey, and I have been looking everywhere for it. This recipe will be a great substitute I'm sure.


Oooh through yoghurt, love that idea! My friend recently introduced me to a similar recipe. I've been loving tumeric for it's health benefits, adding it with particular fervor to roasting cauliflower. Thank you for this one. Heidi xo

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Does the paste need to be refrigerated, or can it be left out?

Teddy Edwards

hi heidi, i've never had turmeric tea but it sounds like it may be good in cooler months coming up too. hope you'll be all better soon!


this sounds perfect! I've been feeling kinda off lately too. I might make my tea with a bit of raw ginger or ginger juice. Thank you for the inspiration heidi!


Very interesting! My mother in law makes drinks with turmeric all the time, but this sounds more complex. Will give it a try tonight!


well, now. i do love my turmeric, but mostly find myself eating it in curries and indian-leaning vegetable dishes. but tea? i had to read it through, twice, but think in the process i might just be sold. for who doesn't have achy sore grumps here and there? and who doesn't love a splash of gold in their day? i'm thinking the yogurt swirl, especially, has serious potential...thanks, as always, heidi.


Yum! I caught the cold that's been floating around my college recently, so I've been drinking ginger that's boiled with turmeric and black pepper. I like the idea of mixing it with honey for easy use.


I'm surprised it hasn't stained the mortar and pestle! xo

HS: A quick scrub immediately after and it is no worse for the wear.


What you described, about the turmeric, lemon, water - reminds me of one of my favorite juices on a cleanse I did. They used agave rather than honey and added some cayenne rather than black pepper and I was sort of meh about it in the beginning but by the end, it turned out to be a favorite so I know I'd love your tea. And glad you shoulder is doing better!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

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