Food & Drink,  Mind / Body

Summer Elixir

For some of us, summer isn’t always the holiday we want. Or sometimes it’s too much of what we want—sun, drink, late nights. That’s why when I’m feeling like I’ve overdosed on any or all of these things, I resort to my favorite seasonal elixir, which helps me detoxify physically and mentally. The key ingredient here is fresh turmeric root, something which is not always easy to find in Istanbul. I’ve tried with the powder, but don’t seem to enjoy the same feeling afterwards. Fortunately, as I was watching cool little video the other day, shot by I noticed that the natural food and organic supplier in Besiktas, Kirkambar, had some on the counter.

If turmeric, either fresh or powdered, isn’t part of your diet, it probably should be. The potential health benefits are astonishing, especially for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease treatment, or better yet, prevention. This power-packed root of the ginger family has been used for millennia as a spice, textile dye and perhaps most importantly, a folk medicine, used topically and internally. Like its cousin ginger, turmeric is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s also thought to be the key reason why India has the lowest per capita rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the world as it’s the spice that gives curry its distinctive color. If you’re interested in the health benefits of the four key ingredients listed below, I’ve linked to The World’s Healthiest Foods website, which provides really interesting research-backed information on good nutritional choices.


1 liter of fresh spring water, boiled

1 small bunch of fresh cilantro/coriander leaves

1 thick slice of ginger cut into thin strips

2-3 small pieces of fresh turmeric root, enough to fill a garlic press

lemon slices


First, boil your spring water and pour into a teapot. Wash ingredients and pat dry with paper towel.  In a stainless steel tea steeper place ginger strips and cilantro and begin to steep in teapot. Fill a garlic press with fresh turmeric, and squeeze into the tea steeper, so juice and extruded turmeric mixes in with steeping ginger and cilantro. Let steep for a minimum of five minutes or as long as you want. Pour into your favorite tea-drinking vessel (mine is pictured below) and drink with a slice of lemon. Sweeten if you like with a natural sweetener.

Within twenty minutes, I feel like a different person. Please let me know what you think if you try this.