January and February are always the hardest months of the year for me. The cold, bleak weather combined with way too much time indoors brings me down.
Irritability and insomnia take their toll, and I find I’m a major bear. Last week we had a few warm, sunny days—only to sink back into 30-degree temps this week. Brr. Grr.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about how turmeric is great for brightening skin, and I stumbled onto this amazing spice again when looking for natural scar remedies [source]. Sam nosedived into a table recently and got a few stitches on his forehead. I’m applying a turmeric paste to reduce the rather unsightly scar.
Turmeric Tea Health Benefits
Turmeric is rich in curcumin, an antioxidant that helps your body produce more serotonin and dopamine [source], both of which are natural mood boosters. Even just adding a teaspoon of turmeric into your daily diet can reduce the blues.
In fact, a recent study by Baylor University showed that taking 1,000 mg of curcumin daily could have the same effects as taking an antidepressant [source]. You can buy curcumin supplements here to use when needed for those times when you feel a little down, or use the powder and whole root forms.
Apparently, turmeric is a lot like coconut oil—you can use it for just about anything. It’s naturally anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory and works on everything from acne to Alzheimer’s [source].
Dr. Sanjay Gupta drinks turmeric tea to calm his nerves before bed. Yep, this warm, spicy tea has some relaxing qualities for sure.
Curcumin has also been shown to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation [source]. So try using it for those times when you can’t seem to catch up on your sleep, like during the busy holiday season when there just isn’t enough time to get everything done in the day.
For the best overall effect, try using the whole root, which is known to increase by seven or eight times your body’s ability to use curcumin it provides [source]. You can chop it finely or grate it to steep in hot water or for use in your cooking.
My family drinks almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you like. Start out with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and work your way up to 1 teaspoon. Not only do you get the turmeric benefits, but I find the ritual of making the tea and drinking the warm milk to be really comforting.
My sleep and my mood have definitely improved. Plus, it tastes pretty darn good, which calms my nightly munchies cravings.
Take a look at this article to see how the addition of pepper enhances the beneficial effects of curcumin. Even just a pinch of pepper boosts the levels of curcumin in the blood, allowing it to do what it does best.
Have you tried turmeric for the winter blues?
Turmeric Tea for Winter Blues + Insomnia
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch black pepper
- Heat the almond milk in a small sauce pan. When the milk is warm (not hot) stir in the spices. Pour into a large cup and and add honey to taste.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified pediatrician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.242