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Healthy You

3 Turmeric Remedies to Boost Immune System

Saturday, December 14, 2019 8:40 AM

By: Lauren McRae

Turmeric is being studied for it's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Two of NorthShore's dietitians share their favorite ways to incorporate this nutritious plant into their days. Whether you're looking for a way to warm up or to boost your immune system this flu season.

A Tsp. of Honey
For allergies and colds, Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD, ABOIM, Medical Director, NorthShore Integrative Medicine Program, suggests this turmeric concoction: 


Combine all of these ingredients into 1 tsp. of raw local honey, then eat the honey. 

  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A pinch of black pepper 
  • A pinch of ginger 


Dr. Mendoza Temple says the raw, local honey has pollens mixed in it that landed on the bee's coat when it made the honey, so it helps desensitize you to local allergens. The turmeric is a natural, anti-inflammatory to quell the swelling of sinuses, and black pepper helps move the turmeric through the bloodstream to where it needs to go.


Ginger and Turmeric Hot Cider 
Warm apple cider is the perfect winter comfort drink for Lori Bumbaco, Oncology Dietitian at NorthShore. This special cider combines ginger and turmeric for a unique flavor and nutrition profile. 


  • 1 cup fresh, sweet apple cider
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp grated fresh turmeric
  • 1½-inch by ½ -inch strip lemon peel, white part included


  • In a small saucepan, combine cider, ginger, turmeric and lemon peel over medium-high heat.
  • Heat until a ring of bubbles appears around the edge of the pan – about 3 minutes.
  • Cover pan and set aside to steep for 5 minutes.
  • Pour hot-spiced cider through a fine tea strainer into a mug.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutritional information (per serving):
Calories: 120
Total Fat: 0 g
Carbs: 30 g
Protein: 0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Sodium: 8 mg

Recipe original appeared in the American Institute for Cancer Research.


Warm Spiced Turmeric Milk 
Another good way to get a healthy dose of turmeric during cold winter months is by substituting hot chocolate for this drink from Emmaline Rasmussen, MS, RD, LDN, Clinical Research Dietitian at NorthShore.



  • 1 cup of low-fat milk (or milk substitute)
  • ¾ tsp honey
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground allspice


  1. Warm the milk on the stovetop.
  2. Gently whisk in remaining ingredients until dissolved.
  3. Heat on low for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture through a sieve then serve.

What's your favorite way to enjoy Turmeric?