Turmeric Tea and the Nrf2 Pathway

I don’t give a darn what conventional doctors say about diet and MS. I’m sticking with my amazing Turmeric Tea and green juice. Greens boost methylation, incredibly important since I have the MTHFR genetic mutation, and my Turmeric Tea is fantastic too!

What’s In Turmeric Tea

The main ingredients of Turmeric Tea are turmeric and ginger. Turmeric contains curcumin which activates the Nrf2 pathway, key in reducing inflammation, and ginger, high in antioxidants and replete with anti-inflammatory properties, does the same. This tea also contains black pepper which makes the curcumin in the turmeric far more bio-available. I love using food as medicine and this drink has incredible benefits for me.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Commonly grown in India, it is turned into the bright yellow spice that stains your counter tops and is often used in South Asian cooking. The turmeric root contains curcumin, a Nrf2 activator. This powerful genetic pathway turns on over 200 genes, many of which are related to detoxification and cellular repair.

What is the Nrf2 Pathway

Nrf2, or nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, is a protein that protects against oxidative damage triggered by inflammation and injury. This protein signals the body to repair itself via the Nrf2 pathway which triggers the expression of antioxidant enzymes and survival genes. However, this pathway is latent until triggered by a Nrf2 activator, which can range from fasting to exercise, to fish oil and much more.

What is Protandim

When I write about the Nrf2 pathway I get comments about a product called Protandim. It contains milk thistle, bacopa, ashwagandha, green tea extract, and curcumin. Many people ask me about this supplement and I don’t see an issue with it. I prefer to take stand-alone supplements because they come in higher doses and I can control the combinations. As of this writing, Protandim contains 675mg of their proprietary blend. I prefer to know how much of each supplement I’m taking and take different stand-alone Nrf2 activators.

What are Nrf2 Activators

There are numerous Nrf2 activators that may be taken in a variety of doses. For example, I take 500mg per day of meriva, and 300mg per day of DIM, which contains sulforaphane. These two supplements alone contain 800mg of Nrf2 activators, so I prefer them to Protandim. I also prefer resveratrolquercetin, and alpha lipoic acid which are also Nrf2 activators.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is another spice that is very popular in South East Asian cooking. It can be consumed in a number of ways. One of my favorites is this Ginger Licorice Tea, and still better is my low-carb Paleo Pumpkin Pie! I love eating functional foods that contain Nrf2 activators, but I also rely on supplements. I wasn’t diagnosed with celiac disease until I was 30 years old so my gut suffered from damage from gluten during a large portion of my lifetime. Eating healthy grain-free, low-carb food and getting a boost from potent supplements in a wonderful strategy for me.

Turmeric Tea

Drinking healthy teas that I make from scratch using fresh roots, herbs, and spices is another strategy that works well for me. This potent Turmeric Tea is simply three very powerfully healthy foods –turmeric, ginger, and black pepper, concentrated into a beverage. After you make it the first time and pour off the tea, you can add another quart of water to get another two servings.

Turmeric Tea

Print Recipe
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 ounce turmeric, sliced, not peeled
  • 1 ounce ginger, sliced, not peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Add water to a saucepan
  2. Add turmeric, ginger, and black pepper
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into mugs
  5. Serve
Whenever I am looking for a good healthy recipe, I always think… “I bet Elana has one”

Drinking Instructions

If your digestive fire is super high you can drink this during the summer as a healthy iced tea. That’s how my family likes it. If you feel a cold or a cough coming on you’ll definitely want to sip it it as hot tea. This allows the turmeric and ginger to steam your sinuses while getting into your digestive system. Both of these methods of absorption provide a boost to the immune system.

Storage Instructions

Sometimes I make a double batch of Turmeric Tea and store it in mason jars in the fridge. It stays fresh for up to 2 days.

Healing Autoimmune Disease

During my lifetime I’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis, and multiple sclerosis. I live with and navigate these disease processes every day. The silver lining of all of this illness has been learning. Another benefit has been sharing my knowledge and helping others. While I’m sometimes sad and overwhelmed with all that’s on my plate, I’ve been able to meet all of you and have incredible people with me on this path of healing.

Knowledge, Connection, and the Path of Healing

What are your favorite hacks for healing? Leave a comment so we can all continue to grow, connect, and learn from each other in this incredible community!


89 responses to “Turmeric Tea and the Nrf2 Pathway”

  1. I have been taking protandin now for nearly 3mths. I am trying to find something cheaper that i can take. Havent notice a big change yet. I have got arthritis in my joints, just wondering if know of something else that i can change too. Thank you

    • Gaylene, I love Meriva, quercetin, ALA and the other items I link to in this post. They work better for me because the doses are much higher :-)

  2. God bless you! You have to do what you need to do! I have been taking Protandim as my NRF2 activator for 7 years now. 11 patents on a supplement is monumental. I love the Golden Tea. Not only does it taste good..it is good for you.

  3. Elana, Many thanks for sharing! Will try this next week.
    Can this be taken anytime during the day, incl before bed?
    Ok to drink 1-4 cups per day…..or is that thot to be excessive?
    I’m particularly seeking warmth esp at night.
    Healthy & Happy Holidays to you & yours!

    • Pat, you’re welcome! I don’t take it before bed often, mostly in the morning or afternoon, but feel free to experiment!

  4. I just made it this past week! So much slicker on my dry Sjogren’s throat than water. I add fresh lemon grass because I grow it in my garden and slice an orange into it too. I tripled the ingredients and freeze half for later. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Elana, I’m truly grateful for everything you share. I want to get turmeric and ginger and other healing foods into my daily regime and hope to try this soon.

  6. I can’t wait to try this!!! Thank you Elana for sharing your recipes and experiences. You have been my “go to” for recipes for so many years. I always know they will be simple and delicious!

    on a side note – Is anyone else having difficulty moving to the next page of the recipe list? When each recipe is listed as a picture icon to chose from, nothing happens when I click the next page… it does this for every category (keto, paleo, grain free, etc.), not just one. The website will not ever move past the first page of picture icons? Thanks for the input :)

    • Argia, thanks for your sweet comment and for letting me know I have been your “go-to” for recipes for so many years! And thanks for your question on how to navigate the special diets section of the newly designed website. If you click on the numbers, instead of the arrows, the pages should move. Let me know if you have any trouble with that, it’s working for me :-)

  7. Elana,
    maybe I will make this into ice cubes and put it in my ice tea!! will try it first to see how it tastes!

  8. Elana, I am going to try this to see if it helps my gut feel better. I was diagnosed with celiacs at age 56 and there has been enough damage after this amount of time that I also have ibs-c, fibromyalgia, osteo arthritis and am right on the very edge of having osteoporosis. I am now 64 and still struggle with it all. low fodmap diet has worked wonders but ibs-c still causes me issues. hopefully I will get some relief with this drink. also getting ready to start keto diet. get depressed sometimes but when I do I tell myself that I am lucky because there is always someone who has more to deal with and has a harder life than I do. thank you for all of your wonderful recipes and many words of wisdom! you made my journey into gf much easier to travel. wishing you all that is wonderful! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! MARIAN

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