Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Dec

Creamy Turmeric Tea

To call this beverage tea might be a little misleading. “Creamy Mug of Warming Deliciousness” is more accurate. It just plain feels good to drink this slightly sweet, slightly spicy blend of heated almond (or coconut) milk, turmeric, ginger, cayenne and honey. Turmeric tea will perk you up in the morning, calm you down at night and soothe sniffles and sore throats. It’s also a really pleasant way to end a meal.

At first glance, the ingredients might not sound like a combination you’d want to drink. Something magical happens in the mug, though, and the result is richer than regular tea, less intense than coffee and oddly delicious. Turmeric is the dominant flavor and admittedly, one that takes a little getting used to. Although not spicy itself, turmeric’s slightly bitter, earthy flavor is the perfect backdrop for other spices, which is why it’s a main ingredient in curry powder. The ginger and cayenne in this tea aren’t overwhelming because they’re floating in creamy, turmeric-infused milk that’s been lightly sweetened.

Turmeric is ginger’s mellow cousin and is a root used just as often for its bright yellow-orange color as it is for flavor. Turmeric powder is a frequent ingredient in East Indian, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Caribbean cooking and is also believed to have numerous healing properties. When cooking with turmeric, it’s most often used in conjunction with ginger and spices like cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Moroccan Chicken Casserole is one dish that benefits from turmeric’s flavor. If you’d like to use turmeric more often, you can also add extra turmeric to dishes that already have curry powder in them, like Butter Chicken or Beef Curry Meatballs. Or, after trying this recipe, you might just go through all the turmeric in your spice rack by brewing mugs of Creamy Turmeric Tea.

Servings: 1 cup of tea


  • 8 ounces (1 cup) almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2-inch wide round slice of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener
  • Optional additions: a small pat of butter, cinnamon, cardamom


Gently warm the almond or coconut milk on the stove.

In a mug, combine the remaining ingredients.

Drizzle a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the mug and mix until the liquid is smooth with no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and mix well. You can leave the pieces of ginger in the tea, or strain it out before drinking.

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Making this as soon as I get home. so perfect for the season :) thanks Mark

    Steffo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Inspiring recipe! I tweaked it because I’m a little sluggish in the gut so upped the cayenne to 1/4t, and just to round out the flavor I added 1/8t each cinnamon and cardamom. Used about 1t raw honey to sweeten. Just a few minutes after drinking it my sinuses are draining (didn’t even know I had fluid up there but I sure can breathe easier!) And my mouth to belly is so warm and tingly. What a comforting, soothing and healthful combination!

      Christen wrote on December 14th, 2013
      • I skip the tea entirely and eat a paste instead. I take two parts Trader Joe’s Curry with one part Trader Joe’s Turmeric, then add a 50/50 mix of coconut oil and avocado oil until it’s a thick paste. Put it in a jar and toss it in the fridge. Once a day I just scoop out a teaspoon full and eat it. Surprisingly decent.

        Clay wrote on February 23rd, 2014
  2. I used a turmeric tea 2x/ day along with topical tea tree oil to cure a stubborn abscess as a last resort before I went back to the doctor for more antibiotics. The combination worked great in just a couple days. However, I used a whole teaspoon of turmeric, and the recipe I used did not call for the other spices. Unfortunately, it tasted awful to me and I’m sure I used more sweetener to choke it down. Hopefully this recipe is better tasting and just as potent, if I ever need it again.

    Rachael wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • I’m also drinking turmeric tea 3X/day for a similar situation, and I think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Period. It tastes like a blend of dirt, incense, and evil. Or really rancid patchouli, maybe. At any rate, I’m adding sweetener and milk like bad to make it somewhat close to palatable.

      This recipe might be better, what with the ginger and all. The funny thing is that I’m totally in love with curry/curry powder. Turmeric by itself? Not a chance.

      AKM wrote on March 14th, 2012
      • Haha! Your awesomely descriptive comments made my day :o)

        I drink turmeric tea multiple times every day and I completely agree with you; it’s bad! Somehow, though, I manage to choke it down. Perhaps it’s because even with the nastiness that is turmeric tea, I’d rather suffer through drinking it than to suffer the toxic effects of modern medicine later. I am definitely going to try this recipe in hopes of improving the outlook.

        Thanks for the health-inducing laugh ;0)

        Primelle wrote on January 10th, 2013
        • Ah, glad I could give you a giggle (over a year ago). Hee hee.

          Guess what? I gave up on drinking turmeric and decided to try it again recently. Anupy Singla mentioned how she and her family drink it every morning with hot water, lemon juice, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and/or sugar (optional) before or instead of coffee. I decided to try it, and lo and behold, I can stomach turmeric now, pun intended! I may try it this way as an evening treat, and keep on with my lemon drink in the mornings.

          Like you and Mark and tons of people have said, it’s just too healthy and good-for-us to ignore. :-)

          AKM wrote on May 16th, 2013
  3. This sounds delicious.

    I have heard that to release the healing properties of turmeric, there needs to be black pepper present so I suppose that one could add a few peppercorns to the mixture. Has anyone else heard that?

    Melissa wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Maybe the cayenne pepper will do the trick. Didn’t see that at first.

      Melissa wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • It looks like it is specifically black pepper that enhances the benefits of turmeric: This must be the reason that black pepper is included in traditional Indian chai. I am going to try this recipe with some finely ground black pepper today. I will post the results on my blog at Stay tuned!

        Debra wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • I believe you need the black pepper b/c of the piperine. It interacts with the curcumin from the turmeric. Chili peppers do have capsaicin but not piperine. AFAIK, it enhances the effect of turmeric. Happy drinking!

        taratootie wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Technically it’s the piperine in the peppers, not the peppers themselves. So you could theoretically get a black pepper extract of piperine supplement and take that with turmeric. Turmeric is great by itself, but with added piperine our bodies and intestinal flora can absorb it better.

      It’s fine to take it by itself. Black pepper just makes it that much better.

      Sampson wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • I was going to mention that. I don’t think cayenne will work. Piperine is the alkaloid that makes black pepper spicy. Cayenne is hot because capsaicin is the thing that make peppers hot.

      John wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • I’ve read that tumeric should be consumed with fat to get the most benefit from it.

        getfitkate wrote on December 8th, 2011
        • coconut milk is a great source of fat.

          Bruno wrote on January 25th, 2012
  4. HMOG. This looks AMAZING!

    Samantha Moore wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  5. This sounds amazing and I will probably try this out tonight, but I am a little confused as to how it will both perk you up in the morning and calm you down at night?

    Crystal wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  6. I’m Indian and this is always my mother’s recommendation when I’m feeling down or like I’m coming down with something. It is indeed warm and soothing and wonderful. We usually make it with turmeric, whole milk, black pepper (rather than cayenne) and sugar (though I experiment with other sweeteners now). Try it, you’ll love it!

    Anu wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  7. have to run out and buy some turmeric!

    PaleoDentist wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  8. For ease of use I throw my ginger in bag in the freezer and when I need some use a fine microplane grater on it skin and all. It’s grated so fine the skin doesn’t make any difference that I’ve noticed. It also keeps forever that way.

    Michael C wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • I do something similar, got tired of ginger root growing mold on it. Basically, I wash, run it through my food processor unpeeled, then freeze. Makes it MUCH easier to use ginger root regularly.

      jpatti wrote on June 6th, 2013
  9. Can anyone recommend a good almond milk brand? I’m wary of the loooong ingredients list of the one I found at the local grocery store.

    I’d love to try this, it sounds delicious.

    Jane wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • I used to choose Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened ( But now I just buy organic raw soaked almonds and make it myself in 5 minutes. It’s like night and day, both in taste and nutrition. Same goes for coconut milk.

      Helder Correia wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Make your own

      1 cup of almonds
      3 cups of water (if you want to dilute further use 4 cups of water)
      1 tbs vanilla or 1 vanilla stick(optional)
      3-8 chopped dates to sweeten (optional)

      Put in the blender and blend.
      Strain through a mesh bag or strainer (I use a tea strainer)use the pulp for other things (Google almond pulp for ideas).

      Much healthier than any shop bought milk…lasts about 3 days.

      loligoss wrote on December 4th, 2011
      • Another recipe…

        soak 1 C Almonds overnight
        place in blender with 4 C water
        blend until almonds are a fine pulp
        strain through cheese cloth

        As a bonus.. rather than discarding the remaining almond pulp, dry and use as almond flour

        Jodi wrote on December 4th, 2011
        • Thanks to both of you! That looks a lot easier than I expected.

          Jane wrote on December 5th, 2011
    • Hi there. You can make your own almond milk with a blender. there are many recipes. I usually just soak raw sliced almonds for a few hours add spring water, agave nectar and a dash of sea salt and blend it.

      tayona wrote on December 14th, 2011
    • I use Pacific Almond milk ( I don’t like the Silk brank – blech ).

      Longing to make my own almond milk now that I have a vitamixer .. just need some time 😛

      MonicaP wrote on January 25th, 2012
      • vitamix!!!! my dream blender… this is year i’ll make it happen

        tayona wrote on January 25th, 2012
        • I’ve had my Vitamix blender for 10 years now. Way worth the money!

          Trish wrote on January 26th, 2012
    • Almond milk is easy to make. Soak 1 cup Almonds overnight. Rinse in the morning and blend with 3 cups filtered water in a powerful blender. Then strain in a mesh sieve or nut milk bag. You can add sweetener if you like. It’s a tiny bit of work
      but worth it. It taste great and has no preservatives.

      amy wrote on November 19th, 2015
  10. Mmmm I bet the cayenne pepper gives it a good punch. I’m going to have to try this as cayenne is good for the heart…

    Justin wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  11. Mmmm I bet the cayenne pepper gives it a good punch. I’m going to have to try this as cayenne is good for the heart…

    Justin wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Turmeric is not absorbed by the body very well. In order to increase the amount you absorb, you should take it with black pepper and some kind of fat/oil. Coconut milk is a good source of fat but I don’t think cayenne pepper will improve the absorption.

      jill wrote on March 7th, 2015
  12. Could I use ground ginger for this? 1/2 tsp or so?

    Jessie wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • i threw in a pinch(ish) of ground ginger. give it a shot – what is there to loose

      Pablo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • Great point!

        Jessie wrote on December 4th, 2011
    • I used 1/2 tsp ground ginger and it was great!

      Alicia wrote on December 30th, 2011
  13. Nice stuff. I drifted from the recipe completely. Just took a quick look at the ingredients, whipped something together; and wow.

    Pablo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  14. I thought that Almond milk was not a paleo food? can you clarify?


    Matt wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Almonds are paleo and water is paleo – almond milk is almonds and water.

      Commercial almond milk usually has some unnecessary preservatives and crap added, but if you make your own it’s definitely a paleo food.

      Sampson wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  15. I thought that Almond milk was not a paleo food? can you clarify?


    Matt wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • It IS a Paleo food. Nuts and water are very paleo ingredients.

      Andrea wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • Agreed, almond milk is fine and SOY milk is the one to avoid for serious. But still be careful. As a poster above stated, many cartons of almond milk found in the stores have additives and such. I found that the almond milk I had been using has soy lecithin in it, curses!

        cTo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
        • Thanks…thats what I originally thought and then I thought I read that it wasn’t, but maybe it was just referring to the additives.

          Any suggestions on Almond milk that does not have additives?

          Matt wrote on December 4th, 2011
        • You can make your own with soaked almonds…

          Andrea wrote on December 6th, 2011
    • However almonds are high on Omega 6, so if this is an area you are focusing on you might want to limit it. Coconut. Ilk would be better in this respect.

      AdrianaG wrote on December 4th, 2011
      • From Wikipedia re Almonds: Almonds contain approximately 49% oils, of which 62% is monounsaturated oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid), 24% is linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid), and 6% is palmitic acid (a saturated fatty acid.

        So only 25% of the 49%, in other words 12.25% of the oil content of almonds is O-6, so no they don’t have much O-6, and in raw unroasted uncooked almonds the o-6 linoleic acid is in the natural, organic, UN-oxidized & UN-adulterated CIS molecule form which the body uses to make PGE1 prostaglandin, the body’s most powerful ANTI-inflammatory and PGI2 prostacyclin which is the body’s most powerful anti thrombotic and anti platelet adhesive, HUGELY important for proper blood flow & viscosity so we don’t get blood clots or strokes.

        Natural, cold extracted CIS omega-6 is essential for good health. If the nuts you’re eating taste good then the O-6 oils in them are also good, but if the nut tastes rancid it means the oils in them are oxidized and rancid also, SPIT IT OUT, RANCID OXIDIZED OILS ARE TOXIC!

        It is the adulterated, oxidized commercially produced heat & chemical extracted TRANS O-6 in grocery store oils & all shelf stable processed foods that causes inflammation & shuts down the body’s entire fat & hormone metabolism and that cause arterial plaque formation, cellular hypoxia & cancer.

        Maybe one day people will wake up & realize there are TWO kinds of O-6 & will quit conflating the good O-6 with the bad TRANS O-6 & get on the path to even more phenomenal good health. Maybe…

        cancerclasses wrote on December 5th, 2011
        • HUGELY informative post. Nice to see someone getting their hands dirty in the science.

          Alex wrote on March 5th, 2012
    • Whole Foods brand of Almond Milk does not contain carageenen or soy lecithin. It has the least amount of added crap to it and is organic and GMO free.

      Pam wrote on January 14th, 2015
  16. That sounds really good, I don’t have any ginger so I’ll try it without. Tumeric is a new spice for me. I’ve been using it in my turkey soup, Yum

    bbuddha wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  17. I think I am going to try this recipe…simple and interesting! Awesome….

    Ed wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  18. Where was this last week when my furnace was out?!

    Also, for the ginger — I recommend keeping it in the freezer and running it over a microplane. So efficient with minimal mess.

    Jenn wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Great idea for keeping ginger! I use it VERY rarely, so I’ve just been using the powder. Thanks for that!

      Amy wrote on March 8th, 2012
  19. I just made a mug of this (it is 10pm here) and YUUUUMMMMY. I added a pinch of cinnamon and a cardamon pod (which went into the saucepan with the milk). Thank you!

    Sarah wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  20. Tried it without any sweetener, seemed like it could work for the base of a soup/stew. Maybe add some chicken, carrots, sweet potato..

    Michele wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • I thought the exact same thing. Would be wonderful with parsnips

      Lyle wrote on February 3rd, 2013
  21. Would watering it down a bit really mess with the flavor? One cup of coconut milk seems like a LOT – and I definitely don’t need that many calories 😉

    (Before you start hounding me, I have to count calories. I know it’s not the primal way – but it works for my body!)

    Allison wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • I use coconut milk to make hot chocolate all the time, and yeah I find that I HAVE to water it down otherwise its just way too much. I usually water it down with 1/4 – 1/2 the amount of coconut milk as water. It still tastes rich and flavorful, just a little more easily drinkable.

      Also, SERIOUS PROTIP: with the thick fats in coconut milk, IT HOLDS HEAT REALLY REALLY WELL and takes longer to cool than most water or milk-based drinks you’re used to. I totally burned my mouth and part of my throat the first time i heated it up and took a big sip. Would not recommend.

      cTo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • Clarify: 1/4th to 1/2 of the original amount of coconut milk is the amount of water. So if I had one cup of coconut milk, I would add 1/4th to 1/2 cup water.

        cTo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
        • Fantastic – thanks for the tips!!

          Allison wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • I made it with 5TBS of coconut cream and about half a cup- a cup of water. I used a little more of the turmeric and a dusting of cinnamon on top to bulk out the flavor and completely completely eradicate any watered-down-ness. It was delicious. I added half a teaspoon of manuka honey too (as well as all of the suggested spices.) was delicious. Like a cross between laksa and chai latte.

        SophieE wrote on December 3rd, 2011
      • That’s a great tip. I was wanting to make some hot chocolate the other day and was wondering how I could do it. Thanks.

        Michael Maier wrote on December 4th, 2011
    • This isn’t calling for coconut milk from a can, but for coconut milk “beverage” – like the kind made by So Delicious or Silk. It’s the same consistency as the other option of almond milk. And also, like other comments noted, add black pepper to really boost the power of the turmeric.

      Lydia wrote on January 26th, 2012
      • We make ours with the canned coconut milk. It is wonderful.

        Regan wrote on March 13th, 2014
  22. Turmeric IS very warming…I love it! I sneak it into all sorts of recipes in larger or smaller amounts…

    Kate (Cathy Johnson) wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • i also sneak turmeric in almost dish.

      but i have never thought about making a “tea”,
      that is interesting.

      PHK wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  23. This is awesome, just finished a mug of it! I added lots of ginger and cinammon, as well as some mixed spice powder (cloves/cardamon/cinnamon/nutmeg/coriander mix)…amazing! and full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories! Thanks so much for this one!

    Milla wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  24. Thanks for the post. I thought it was pretty good but a little thin for my tastes so I added a dash of clove powder, cinnamon, and chili powder. I knew it was still missing something, then I hit upon it. Coconut oil. Coconut oil pushes it over the top and makes a nice drink. I will keep playing but as a first try it was a worthy drink.

    Greg wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  25. Wonderful! I must admit I’ve found myself drifting to thick sweetened coffee drinks again now that the weather is cooler (one is sitting next to me as we speak >.<) so new options and ideas are always appreciated. I can't wait to try!

    cTo wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  26. Happened to have these ingredients in the house so we whipped up two mugs of this and we love it! Used half coconut milk, half almond milk so it’s still creamy, but not overly so. Loved the touch of cinnamon in it too.

    Madam Von Sassypants wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  27. This seems like a really nice recipe for the holidays. Gonna try making a paleo (or as-paleo-as-possible) eggnog this year.

    Sampson wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  28. I’m Indian and I LOVE turmeric tea. My mother would always make it for me when I was ill. Even just smelling it makes me feel better.

    I use black tea, turmeric, ginger (fresh), milk (whole) and sweetener (jaggery or honey). I sometimes add chai masala (whatever I feel like grinding up, usually just cardamom and cinnamon) too.

    I make mine with water. I bring it to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. I add the milk and sweetener later. I don’t want to heat the milk too much, I just heat it enough to be nice and warm, but not hot. Means I can drink it faster.

    I like my dairy, so I’ve never considered using coconut or almond milk for turmeric tea. I’ll try that sometime.

    Mokka wrote on December 3rd, 2011
    • Just wanted to comment that I love using jaggery (coconut palm sugar paste) as a paleo-friendly sweetener instead of honey. It is an unrefined sweetener that tastes like caramel. I use it instead of honey because I have to watch carbs, and jaggery has fewer carbohydrates. The “Thai Taste” brand that I get has 3 grams of carbs per tablespoon, as opposed to 17 grams per tablespoon for most other sweeteners.

      getfitkate wrote on December 8th, 2011
    • Mokka you have inspired me to experiment with this recipe using green tea.

      I use the recipe ingredients with the addition of a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of cinnamon. I heat all the ingredients together to boiling then pour it into a cup, through a strainer, to steep the waiting tea leaves for a few minutes. After steeping, I add 4-6 tsp of homemade coconut milk and a half tsp or so of maple syrup.

      The drink seems to vary a bit in taste but is always good and often really, really good, especially since the weather has turned cold. Next, I am going to track down some cardamon so I can try that as well.

      Sharon wrote on December 10th, 2011
  29. Im waiting for mine to cool now! I added cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper, as well as doubling the turmeric. I had to add more honey to make it palatable though (upon a small taste test). I hope it kicks this cold!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    taratootie wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  30. This is what i drink when i’m sick with cold/flu…it’ll clear up your sinuses quicker than anything! Good on a sore throat too.

    Nion wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  31. Oh yum! This was soooo good. As others did, I used this as a springboard recipe. More turmeric, a pinch of black pepper, some pumpkin pie spice because it was handy, a bit of honey and…well, yum!

    Sue Solberg wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  32. This sounds excellent. I might just have to try this tonight!

    Christopher Sturdy wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  33. This sounds quite freaking delectable! I’ve been drinking tea just about every morning here in cold Chicago. The cold is on the horizon for this week so I may have to go more intense and make this! Maybe Sunday morning?!

    It compliments my awesome toadally primal smoothies quite well :)

    Primal Toad wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  34. Mark I am India telling Indians to do this…crazy…heavy cream a nice addition and I will add the coconut oil. This stuff is so good you can heal your dog or a cut or coat your house in it. Get it in and get it on.

    andre Chimene wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  35. wow, this looks so nice, I can’t wait to go home and try it!

    Cayla wrote on December 4th, 2011
  36. That was amazing! I tweaked the recipe slightly as I didn’t have coconut milk- I used some melted coconut butter with a bit of double cream, and fresh coconut water instead.

    Stephen wrote on December 4th, 2011
  37. I read this last night while sitting by the fire with a glass of port…made a mug of it-YUM!!! This was just as enjoyable in front of the fire as the port!

    I did not use the canned coconut milk, I try to always have So Delicious unsweet coconut milk in the fridge. While prob not as creamy, still excellent!

    Will wrote on December 4th, 2011
  38. I have to try this ! I used to steep turmeric in hot water and drink it when I had cramps or a cold, but this version sounds so yummy !

    Orannhawk wrote on December 4th, 2011

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