Ahh, flu season. Aches and pains and a sore throat put me in no mood to cook right now, but I am sipping copious amounts of tea. Ginger is my old standby, which I usually mix with honey for a warm, soothing drink. This time I added another ingredient: turmeric.
I recalled that turmeric is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and thought this warm, tongue-tingling spice might make a good addition to flu-season tea. It turns out this is not a new idea; turmeric tea is found in Okinawan and Indian cuisine and I found several recipes in herbal cookbooks and natural health Web sites.
Here's a quick little recipe for the version I made. In addition to turmeric and ginger, I added soy milk and honey, which helped balance out the slightly bitter and pungent spices. The result was earthy and comforting. Feel free to play around with the proportions, to substitute fresh ginger and/or turmeric, etc.
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Splash of milk or soy milk
Honey or maple syrup, to taste
In a small saucepan, bring water to boil. Add turmeric and ginger, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and strain tea into a cup. Add sweetener to taste.
(Image: Emily Ho)