Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices in the world, a potent root that possesses a wealth of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been linked with a host of benefits.
In our previous guide to turmeric and everything that is great about it, we didn’t really tell you the best way to take it. That’s what this guide is for—so keep reading to learn about the best turmeric tea, latte, powders, pills, extracts, and supplements. There are so many ways to consume turmeric because the health industry and the food industry have both jumped on this bandwagon, so let’s see if we can find the best one.
Turmeric and Black Pepper
We want to note a few things before we tell you about the best ways to consume turmeric. Firstly, it isn’t absorbed greatly by the body and it needs some other ingredients to help this process along. One of the most commonly used additives, and one of the most effective, is plain old black pepper.
You can maximise the absorption of turmeric by adding a small pinch of black pepper to any drinks that you make. If you’re taking a good-quality supplement, they may have already added black pepper—or rather its component piperine—to the tablet. In fact, piperine is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of black pepper and may provide some additional benefits of its own, giving you more reason to include a pinch every time you consume turmeric.
Secondly, it’s not the turmeric itself that is so effective, but the curcumin that can be found within it. That’s why many pills and extracts tend to focus on curcumin as opposed to turmeric. However, you can still get enough of this magical compound by consuming turmeric whole, so you don’t need to worry about extracts.
This should be one of our favourites because we love tea so much. However, it’s not quite tea as we know it, nor is it tea as we like it. The problem with this drink is that it’s not very nice. Once you add the turmeric and black pepper, you have a very powerful drink that can be difficult to consume for someone used to fragrant herbal teas, fruit teas, and smooth black teas.
You can add lots of milk, of course, but that’s where the turmeric latte comes in. Speaking of which . . .
This is basically a frothy milk version of the turmeric tea. It’s sweet, as well, and it can also be enhanced with a pinch of black pepper, but the milk adds a level of creaminess that makes it easier to drink. You can also add a shot of espresso if you want to give it an extra kick, as the strong coffee overrides the turmeric taste somewhat.
If you add a little honey and some spices in addition to the turmeric and milk then it will taste like a strong chai tea. In fact, our favourite way to consume turmeric is to add some pure turmeric root to a chai tea mix, bringing everything to the boil in a pan before adding lots of honey and milk.
One of the best ways to consume turmeric is to buy it in powdered form. It’s pure, it’s very cheap, and you can add it to all kinds of drinks and foods. It only takes a tablespoon or even teaspoon here and there, and if you have the powdered form, it is very easy to add some to a curry in the afternoon, to enjoy some in a drink in the evening, and maybe even to wash some down in-between.
There are some issues with cheap and counterfeit spices on the black market, and this is more prevalent than you might think. However, the irony here is that turmeric is often used in place of other spices as it’s so cheap. One of the biggest cons is to swap turmeric for saffron because the latter has a larger price tag.
Most of the time, turmeric pills contain a curcumin extract. It is usually standardised, with the details of this on the back. However, extracts should be avoided where possible because many of the extracts you buy are extracted using solvents and other nasty methods. We can’t say for certain if this is the case with turmeric, and we definitely can’t say if that’s the case with all turmeric pills, but it’s true of many extracts, and few customers seem to acknowledge that.
Be wary and always look to get the thing you want in its pure, unadulterated form before you look for shortcuts with extracts.
These often contain turmeric and/or curcumin extracts in addition to other health ingredients. The goal is to provide an all-encompassing wellbeing supplement that can be taken every day. The problem is, they rarely contain 100% clean and organic ingredients and often come bundled with questionable ingredients like laxatives, diuretics, and stimulants.
They want you to feel good quickly so that you attribute those feelings to the turmeric supplement. However, turmeric consumption is unlikely to have such a notable effect on your health and will instead make you feel gradually better over the long-term.
Turmeric Face Mask
This may be great for your skin, but it’s unlikely to do anything for the rest of you. If it’s all turmeric and other natural ingredients, however, then go for it—your skin is just as important! We’re too reliant on artificial ingredients and harmful chemicals in this day and age, so we could all use more natural and organic ingredients in our beauty regimes.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it; turmeric can stain. If you have ever cooked with it, you’ll know this already. You can remove such stains with a little baking soda and lemon juice, but at what cost to your skin?
That’s why we recommend keeping the turmeric to a minimum in a face mask. You can combine a teaspoon of it with the same amount of apple cider vinegar and yoghurt and four times as much honey. Add a drop of lemon oil, mix it up, and then apply to your face, making sure to avoid your eyes and not apply it too thickly.
You can also buy turmeric face masks from many top skincare brands, but they can set you back upwards of £30 for the tiniest tubs. That’s a huge expense when you consider that you can spend the same amount of money to get a year’s supply and still have plenty of healthy turmeric leftover.