Adapting fo Stress: Tumeric Tea

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A million miles an hours feels too good. Until I sink into a pile of blankets and fluffy pillows with a cup of tea and a good book. A million miles an hours feels like I'm accomplishing so much when in fact for me I am not doing much at all. At least nothing important to my long term goals and aspirations.

A million miles an hour feels so good until I get sick. Until I can't function, until I am on autopilot and can't seem to string together a sentence.

Stress and burnout have been my close friends for most of my adult life and it is not a healthy relationship. Stress can unravel anybody and always seems to do a number on me when I forget to take care of what matters.

  • Eating nourishing food

  • Moving my body

  • Meditating

  • Getting a good nights sleep

But even after making a conscious effort to take care of myself, when burnout creeps in I'm left in a puddle. I don't have this all figured out, as much as I make it seem I do. (If fact this week I am most definitely toeing the line of burnout). I can say that since adopting healthy habits stress doesn't affect me the same way. Even still, along with all the healthy habits I mentioned, in times of stress I try to add more adaptogens to my diet.

Adaptogens are herbs, plants or spices that help the body deal with stress and fight fatigue. Science has still yet to discover the full extent of adaptogens. However, Eastern medicine like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have used adaptogens for centuries. There are many ways you can incorporate adaptogens into your life to help fight stress. The herbs or spices can be difficult to track down but most you can find at your local health food store or online.

There is, however, one adaptogen that I think is the most accessible. Tumeric, the base to many curry powders and any good tofu scramble. Tumeric is inexpensive and easy to find at any grocery store in its dry form. Some studies have shown it can help fight depression and inflammation. These studies have focused on the active medicinal chemical in tumeric called curcumin.

As someone who has tendonitis and depression I've used tumeric for two years on and off. I use it more often now that I am training for a 5k to fight the natural inflammation that occurs from running. But I wanted to share how I use tumeric with you so I've put together two tumeric tea recipes. One uses whole and fresh spices and the other ground or dried spices so everyone can enjoy this adaptogenic tea regardless of budget or location.

You can make either hot or iced, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for sweetness. Switch up the spice amounts to make a tea that you can drink everyday! The only ingredient that I insist you use (besides the tumeric) is the black pepper. Black pepper helps increase the body's absorption of curcumin so please try your best to use a little.

I hope you enjoy this tumeric tea and work to stress a little less this weekend.

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Tumeric Tea using whole spices

1 cinnamon stick

1/2” piece of fresh ginger, sliced

1 “ piece of fresh tumeric sliced

1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper

4 cups of water

Hot Tea Instructions

  1. place all of the spices into a pot and and pour over the water. Bring everything to boil and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. strain and enjoy!

  2. To make iced just boil all of the spices in half of the water called for and replace the other half with cold water or ice. Once the tea is strained pour over the ice to enjoy the tea right away.

  3. Using fresh and whole spices means that you have the opportunity to reboil all of the spices again for a second batch of tea if you wish.

Tumeric Tea using dried spices

1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground pepper

3 cups water

  1. Combine all of the dried spices together in a tea pot or other heat resistant container. Bring water to a boil and pour over the dried spices. Let the spices infuse for 3 to 5 minutes and strain through a coffee filter. Enjoy right away with sweetener of your choice.

  2. To make iced just replace 1/2 of the water with ice or cold water.

*disclaimer: I am not a dietitian, nutritionist or health practitioner. Please consult with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements or teas.

Ali Lawrence