That said, it’s no secret that many enjoy adding extra flavor (not to mention health perks) to H2O. What’s not to love? One of our favorite ways to give a cup of plain water an extra tasty kick is by making turmeric water, a simple concoction featuring one of the most potent anti-inflammatory spices. We spoke with a registered dietitian and spice expert who shared how to make turmeric water at home. Ready to stay well-hydrated all summer long?
Health benefits of turmeric water
Turmeric water is a simple combination of water infused with turmeric, a plant in the ginger family that’s native to Southeast Asia and is grown commercially in that region, primarily India. Notably, the bright orange plant contains curcumin, the main compound in turmeric that has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
According to Ujjwala Baxi, RD, a registered dietitian and VAHDAM India ambassador, turmeric water is loaded with delicious flavor and health benefits to boot. “Turmeric water is packed with antioxidants, which help unlock the body’s capacity to reduce inflammation and stave off chronic illness. When the stored toxins are eliminated, we are able to release pain and open our body’s cellular realm to new nutrients and boost immunity,” Baxi says.
To dial up the health potential of your turmeric water, try adding in a sprinkle of black pepper to the glass—this makes the spice up to 2,000 times anti-inflammatory. Baxi points out that turmeric and fat can work synergistically in the body as well: “When turmeric is paired with fats like ghee or oil, it can release flavonoids, an antioxidant compound that may help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease,” she says. When whipping together a cup of turmeric water at home, Baxi often adds a few drops of ghee and a pinch of black pepper.
Additionally, Baxi says turmeric water can be consumed any time of the day. “Its wholesomeness can be beneficial in the mornings, on an empty stomach, or simply before, along, or after meals,” she says.
Why turmeric is considered a holy spice in India
Folks have used turmeric for its impressive medicinal properties for centuries. And in some places, it holds special cultural significance as well. For example, in India, turmeric is used for cooking, but it’s also considered a sacred spice. “Turmeric is considered a holy spice and owns its space in all Indian auspicious rituals and ceremonies. The golden spice is known to bring prosperity, happiness, good luck, and harmony in relationships—all essential virtues for a well-settled family life,” Baxi says.
“Turmeric is considered a holy spice and owns its space in all Indian auspicious rituals and ceremonies. The golden spice is known to bring prosperity, happiness, good luck, and harmony in relationships—all essential virtues for a well-settled family life,” Baxi says.
The spice is also used in several different Indian savory dishes or as a replacement for expensive saffron in sweet dishes, thanks to its distinct and vibrant yellow hue. “The yellow turmeric root is not only used for curries, biryanis, and varied regional cuisines but also to prepare golden milk lattes to boost immunity,” Baxi says. And in addition to cooking, you can find turmeric in many skincare products to help brighten and smooth complexions.
Time to get sipping. Cheers!
Turmeric water recipe
Yields 1 serving
A few drops of ghee
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of black pepper
1 cup water
A squeeze of lemon juice
- In a small wok over medium-low heat, add a few drops of ghee. Heat the fat and switch off the flame.
- Add the turmeric powder and black pepper powder. Stir well and add one cup of water.
- Boil the water and spice mixture. Once done, add the lemon juice just before consuming the water. Stir well before drinking.
A registered dietitian shares the benefits of consuming turmeric: