A relatively new health fad has hit the tea industry, and that health fad is turmeric. Turmeric is a yellow spice which acts as a natural food coloring. It is popular in India, as a major ingredient in many curries, and in Okinawa, an island of Japan, it is popular as a tea.
Many people are interested in the fact that turmeric tea is such a popular drink in Okinawa, because Okinawans live unusually long lives. The average lifespan of someone from Okinawa is 81.2 years. When compared to a global average of 71.5 years, and the average in America, which is 78.9 years, it’s easy to see why people are so interested in how Okinawans live their lives.
Now, it is quite likely that the unusual life expectancy of Okinawans has to do with genetics, or the fact that their diet is largely composed of tofu and fish, and contains almost no red meat. The fact that it has actually been declining, and that this decline has been largely attributed to Western influences, means that it is almost certainly those things. But it may also have something to do with turmeric tea.
Turmeric tea does have more going for it than being just a fad. It has proven anti-inflammatory properties, much like rooibos, and may be linked to the prevention of Alzheimer's. It’s also a delicious spice, so if you’re looking into health fads, this one has a certain degree of truth to it, and at least isn’t harmful.
The problem with turmeric tea is that turmeric is a spice. This means that it tastes excellent in curry, but much less excellent as a tea, if you are the average American who is much less used to it. To cut through the flavor, while still maintaining the healthy, island-y taste, many people add ginger. If you’re very, very into turmeric tea, you can keep fresh ginger on hand, and grate some off every time you want to make tea. Or, you can buy dried ginger, which is effectively the same thing, but more convenient, and less likely to become strangely soft and slimy after a week.
If the turmeric flavor is still too strong (turmeric and ginger, even together, have a rather prominent, spicy, herbal flavor), you can try adding turmeric to our Ginger’s Island tea. This tea already contains ginger, along with many bits of dried fruit, which are notably also present in the Okinawan diet. The flavors together cut through the strong herbal notes of the turmeric and ginger, to give the whole tea a more rounded, fruity flavor.