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How to Make Turmeric Tea | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Dec. 4. 2014

Turmeric Tea

Dec. 4. 2014
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


A lighter, more refreshing version of the famous Turmeric Milk.

Today I’m bringing you all a variation of my famous Turmeric Milk, which I call famous for good reason. My Turmeric Milk has taken international storm and I LOVE how much you’ve all been enjoying it for a boost in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits all while tasting delicious. Using similar concepts behind turmeric beverages, today is a lighter more refreshing version I call Turmeric Tea. It’s a simple herbal tea made with water, aromatic and warming spices like ginger, honey, and of course the star ingredient turmeric to fight inflammation. The flavor is slightly sweet, earthy, with a hint of spice and even though I enjoy this year round, I find it even more enjoyable in the cooler months of the year.

Click here to get your free eBook with our Top 20 Turmeric Recipes! 

Let’s rewind a bit to the coffee craving McKel. Before living whole and well and following the Nutrition Stripped lifestyle, believe it or not I used to be a avid coffee drinker…neh, a “I can’t function, think, do without” coffee drinker in late high school into college. It was especially prominent during my undergraduate studies trying to soak up any energy I could out of a coffee cup. This was the part in my life where my story was focused on “health” foods and fads, it was also when I was just a student still learning practices I “thought” were healthy, yet weren’t further from the truth. My daily relationship with coffee came to an end one Saturday morning where I woke up with the inclination to just stay in bed and sleep longer- I’m such a morning person that this never happens and I’m normally jumping out of bed. I found myself trying to nurture this calling from my body of wanting a bit more sleep, yet I developed a splitting headache after about 20 minutes laying there unable to sleep. The thought of coffee crept into mind and I easily put two and two together. I couldn’t sleep in because my body was physically craving and now mentally/behaviourally craving coffee!

The thought of a substance having that much “control” over a simple moment like the urge to sleep in one morning, shook me and I stopped drinking it cold turkey the next day. I had never realized the impact of coffee on my body and how my energy was much more stable without it; I had less migraines (which if you know my story, was huge!), more stable moods, and my skin was brighter after limiting it. It took a lot of motivation and about a week of dealing with headaches before I was in the clear- also supplementing with nutrient-dense foods, fresh green juices, turmeric milks and teas, I was feeling amazing and my energy skyrocketed! I should note that my story isn’t definite- meaning everyone is different and coffee is metabolized very differently depending on your body. Some of us are slow metabolizers (a variation in the gene known as COMT) and are more easily affected by the caffeine than fast metabolizers. I still do enjoy coffee, but it’s one thing I have to keep a close eye on and have only occasionally as it’s very easy for me to enjoy too much and feel quite burnt out. A mini-moral of sharing my story is to listen to YOUR body and how your body reacts to certain foods, drinks, and well coffee!

I have many of my female clients “get off the coff” for a variety of reasons, most of them being rebalancing their natural hormones!

Here are some of my other favorite coffee alternatives: 

  • Teeccino– an amazing herbal coffee blend, no caffeine and tastes/looks like coffee
  • Dandy Blend– a old classic herbal blend made with dandelion. You’re not only getting the flavor but dandelion has been used for detoxing the liver
  • Matcha green tea- check here for my favorites
  • 2 tablespoons maca powder in almond milk – ’nuff said, it’s awesome.

‘Tis the season for tea

You can guess, my next option to replace coffee in the morning was tea. I fell in love with tea, the routine of making and drinking tea, the flavors, varieties of nutrient and antioxidants found in teas, and the versatility. I even converted my coffee and caffeine drinking man into a tea lover- that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment in my book! Some of my favorite teas were ones I discovered in local tea shops or by branching outside of my go-to which was green tea. There are so many varieties of tea that I’m writing a blog post entirely just on their differences. My morning go-to is a mug of fresh lemon in hot water with ginger tea or with subtle variations like I’m sharing today. It’s light, refreshing, and gets digestion moving first thing in the morning, which is one important point I always speak of! Nonetheless, tea is always served and offered to all guests and friends in our home and it’s now become our little morning and evening routine together. Tea is a very special thing in our life.

I enjoy Turmeric Tea most in the mid-morning after breakfast when I’m craving something warm or in the evening times. There are a couple ways to make this, which I was purposeful in making several variations for those of you who don’t have turmeric root, or ground cinnamon readily available. You have the option to use whole roots (ginger root, turmeric root, cinnamon stick, etc.) or the ground versions of these spices. If using the whole root version there’s an added bonus of re-steeping the tea just by adding more water and simmering again. Also see below for a way to make this tea for a holiday gift or to share for later.

Make your own tea bags | *makes 4 tea satchels

  1. In a very small bowl, mix 2.5 tablespoons ground turmeric, 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 4 tablespoons loose lemongrass tea, and 20 peppercorns.  Stir to combine.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture in a tea satchel.
  3. Brew as you would normal tea, and add fresh ginger root to the satchel right before brewing. Add in orange, and honey when steeping. An added bonus to making these ahead of time is you can give these away as gifts for the holidays with a cute tea mug!

I know most of you have tried my Turmeric Milk and have loved it, I can’t wait for you to try this lighter version of tea and hear what you all think! Share below if you try it or your thoughts on trying it.

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1-2



2 cups water

1 inch fresh ginger root, minced

2 teaspoon ground turmeric (or 1 inch turmeric root)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 2-3 cinnamon sticks)

1 lemongrass tea bag

6 peppercorns, optional

Pinch of sea salt

TO SERVE: sliced oranges, honey, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon coconut oil



In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil, add peeled and minced ginger root, turmeric, cinnamon (you may also add cinnamon sticks), peppercorns if desired, sliced oranges, sea salt.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat. Add lemongrass tea bag if using- steep for 3 minutes and then take out.

Pour in a tea mug.

TO SERVE: add coconut oil, which is optional, honey to taste, and fresh lemon juice. Enjoy hot or warm.


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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Whit

    I LOVE this idea for gifts! I always like to include something handmade with my gifts, and this is perfect.

  • Mandy

    Can you use a stalk of lemongrass in lieu of the lemongrass tea bag?

  • Callie Bell

    I love the health benefits of turmeric. In the past I have mixed it with water and sucked it down through a straw. I use a straw, because I’m afraid the turmeric will stain my teeth (caps). Anyone have experience with this issue?


  • Callie Bell

    I love the health benefits of turmeric. But, because it’s a super stainer, I’ve always just mixed it with water and sucked it down with a straw. I’m afraid sipping it would stain my teeth (I have caps in the front). Any experience with this issue?


    • Unfortunately yes, turmeric does stain! But I find it helpful to brush your teeth afterwards or to add a little coconut oil to the drink so it doesn’t stick to your teeth-

  • I absolutely love turmeric tea, especially this time of year when everything cools down and you need an extra immune boost!

  • Becky Garten

    What a lovely post. I would love to learn more about the not so great effects coffee has on our body and also about this COMT gene! Any recommended reading?

    • Awesome, pub med searches will help you, that’s the best direction if you’d like to know more about the specific gene types!

  • Tanaya


    Lots of love and best wishes from India. I’m sincerely inspired by the recipes on your blog and have tried most of them. My whole family loves it too. Honestly, on a gloomy day, your instagram and blog makes me smile. Health is wealth after all!

    Keep shining as always…

    • Hi Tan, thank you so much for those sweet words- I’m so happy that reading my blog inspires you and makes you smile! Best to you xx M

    • carri foss

      My daughter is heading to India at the end of the month, any suggestions on what to bring back for this health conscious mama?

      • Visit the shop for my healthy travel tips bundle! Loaded with ideas and personal things I’d bring 🙂

  • Rebeca

    I love turmeric tea! It’s my drink of choice on cold evenings. The one I make is slightly different though, so I’ll have to try yours. 🙂

  • Lauren

    Loooooove your Tumeric Milk. I’ve been recommending the recipe to all of my friends. I can’t wait to try the tea!

  • Sophie

    What a great idea! I think this would make a great gift! Where can we get tea satchels? Are those tea ball (metal cages) good, too?

  • Sophie

    Is the tea supposed to be thick and creamy? And bitter? Mine came out pretty bitter and thick which I didn’t really like.. I made your tumeric milk and loved it but the tea not so much. But I think I did something wrong…

  • Julie

    Is this tea completely caffeine free?

  • Annie

    Amazing recipe, but I have a really hard time finding lemongrass tea, any ideas what it could be substituted with? Thank you for your amazing blog.

  • Susan

    Hi McKel,

    I’ve only just discovered all of the benefits of turmeric – how did I not know this?!? – and am so happy to have found your wonderful site, while searching turmeric tea recipes. I am very health-conscious and am always looking for nutritious and delicious GF, plant-based recipes – so I’m very excited to start enjoying yours!

    I also thought your comments about the negative effects coffee had on your health, was particularly interesting … though I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker myself, I came across this excerpt from a book called “Caffeine Blues”, recently, which explains why many people, like you, suffer the effects of drinking it – I thought you and your readers might be interested to know, as well.

    According to the book Caffeine Blues, caffeine is a “biological poison used by plants as a pesticide.” It gives leaves and seeds a bitter taste, discouraging predators, and if animals or insects do eat the plant, the caffeine can cause central nervous system disruptions and even lethal side effects. (This is why chocolate and coffee grounds can kill dogs) The human body is clearly more durable, but the “stimulating” effect of caffeine is your body boosting the system to flush the poison out as quickly as possible– which also explains its ability to “flush out” our bodies. In fact, caffeine has a similar chemical make-up to morphine, nicotine, and cocaine, which might explain why it’s so addicting, and also why we feel withdrawal symptoms when we cut back. If you need more motivation, daily doses of caffeine have been associated with sleep disorders, gastrointestinal distress, and malnutrition– it robs the kidneys of their ability to hold onto calcium, magnessium, potassium, and zinc.

    • Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes and the wonders of turmeric! I’ll be addressing coffee in a future Q&A video on my YouTube channel xx M

  • I love the combination of ginger and cinnamon. Looks like a great, warming winter tea in addition to its health benefits!! Thanks for sharing:)

  • am

    I find that a tsp of cinnamon sits at the bottom of my mug…I can’t seem to swallow all that cinnamon when I get to the end of this tea…am I doing something wrong?

    • No, it’s natural for some spices to sink, you still get all the flavor from the brewing of it and simply don’t drink that last sip 😉 You can add coconut oil or a fat to help the spices “stick” and combine better

  • Gary

    I’m trying this today. I am sometimes prone to post-viral cough after a cold and this February is one of those occasions sadly! Beclamethasone inhaler is first line of attack but there’s only so much corticosteroid you can use. These natural anti-inflammatory foods will be a welcome boost. Thanks

  • Brigit

    I really enjoyed this tea. The flavor and smells were so good. I used all of the ingredients above mentioned only thing is I was wondering how to maybe get rid of the grittiness of the cinnamon I found it didn’t dissolve that well. Maybe use filter?

  • Barbara


    I’m from the Philippines and currently diagnosed with spondyliscitis and renal cyst, will be trying your turmeric tea since I don’t want to go under surgery and would prefer herbal alternative.

    Be glad to share my progress once I started drinking your turmeric tea…hoping for the best!

  • Rollin Waggoner

    I drink way to much coffee, I am overweight, age 72. I would like to try your tea with Tumeric. My wife needs toe joint replacement. Tumeric again?

    We do drink ginger root with honey. I do not drink as much as I should of this….my wife drinks one/two cups per day.

    Neither of us drink alcohol products.

  • Joy

    Awesome recipe. Do you need to peel or mince turmeric root as well?

    • If you’re using fresh turmeric, you can grate it which will get rid of the fine skin (it’s not as tough as ginger root for example).

      • mixy

        How do you wash your hands after grating turmeric?
        My hands and nails remain yellow for 2 days! 🙂


        • Haha story of my life! Baking soda and soap with warm water normally help, otherwise I just let it ride out 😉

  • Albena

    Hello, thank you for the recipe. Is it normal that the tea turns red? Does it still keep its benefits?

    • I’ve never had that happen before, oddly enough! If you’re using turmeric the health benefits won’t go anywhere 😉

  • alex

    hello, i can use green tea leafs instead?
    2) how many orange slices should i use?

  • Tracey L. Miller

    Hi great post and wonderful recipe. I noticed that you state that peppercorns are optional; are you aware that turmeric needs black pepper to be bioavailable? I’ve seen a lot of research regarding this of late. Keep up the great work.

    • McKel Hill

      Yes, the black pepper is optional and turmeric doesn’t “need” black pepper with it, it simply increases its absorption. Hope you enjoy!

  • Nancy

    Can you make this and then refrigerate it to use the next few days. Will it loose any benefits

    • McKel Hill

      I recommend making it as your serve, good thing it only takes a couple minutes to make it!

  • Mel

    I am new in all this turmeric stuff.. can I have the turmeric without boiling it? My stomach was upset when I had it like that…

    • McKel Hill

      You can enjoy turmeric in food as well! Search “turmeric” from the upper right corner and you’ll find a host of recipes using turmeric 🙂 xM

  • Poydras Austria

    I make 5 cups at at a time, and I’ve actually converted my french press to store the rest in the fridge for the rest of the week. An added bonus is the natural strainer from the french press.

    • McKel Hill

      GREAT idea Poydras! French press does wonders for loose leaf tea #soeasy xM

  • Natalie

    Hi this is the first time I’ve used Turmeric. Made a tea but it hasn’t dissolved. Is that right?

    • McKel Hill

      It will sink to the bottom or you can filter it through a cheesecloth!

  • Sandra Pleasants

    I read on arthritis book and it said to used tumeric tea for inflammation so I went to get the recipe and am making it now.
    its very good I added honey and slice of orange to it. Sure hope it works for the inflammation . Thanks for the recipe

    • McKel Hill

      So glad you’re enjoying it Sandra!

  • Rahab

    Stains everything in site. Any way around this problem?

    • McKel Hill

      warm water, baking soda, and soap – and being extra careful! ><

  • Laila

    Thank you for recipe. Just made it, it will be good for my chest congestion. Love the pepper.

  • Laila

    Thank you for recipe. Just made the tea, it will be good for my congested chest.

  • Bhoomi

    It is actually a century old recipe in India to drink turmeric milk in winters to prevent flu and other illness. Its good that you made it tastier and now may be it can be included in our everyday routine/

    • It is! For good reason huh? It’s a classic and so warming and comforting to drink this time of year. Happy you enjoy it!

  • I’ve been making this exact same tea (without the salt) for the damily since the chilly weather arrived, it’s a family favourite 🙂

    • It’s such a cozy drink to enjoy this time of year, happy you and the family are enjoying it Stella!

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