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!

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do. xo

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Turmeric Tea

4.2 from 68 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!

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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

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