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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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.


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