Tummy tea, 3p


It’s been almost a week now since I fell ill at Ballymaloe literary festival on Friday night – festival-goers hopefully didn’t notice my decidedly below-par sluggishness under a professional veneer of an inch of makeup and a litre of strong sugary tea, as I was there to work and didn’t want to let anyone down by cancelling any events at the last minute, so powered on through and napped in between.

I don’t know what exactly it was that pulled me under, my chief suspect was a delicious sea urchin I’d had for dinner on Friday evening,  as I have had difficulties with shellfish before (most notably a piece of regurgitated shrimp sitting in my hair through the duration of my appearance on BBC Question Time…) But six days later with a still-upset stomach, I’m not so sure my sea-urchin-diagnosis is correct. I’ll spare you the gory details.

This morning,  frankly bored of being unwell, I decided to make myself something with turmeric in, to try to rebalance my digestive system and settle my tummy and get everything back to normal. It’s mostly better,  but caffeine, alcohol,  acid and spice set it back off to gurgling and burbling and cramping and rather like my mums IBS,  actually. And in my line of work that’s deeply unhelpful. I could shrug off caffeine and booze – reluctantly – but without lemon or vinegar or chilli or pepper or paprika, well, I think I’ve knocked 99% of my recipes out right there. Not a happy thought.

So, here’s my Tummy Tea. It’s not a miracle cure but having spent the last six days on a cocktail of ibuprofen and imodium and rennies (and then halting the ibuprofen because it buggers up your stomach lining and I didn’t want to make myself worse), this is a very pleasant change. Ginger is known for relieving nausea, hence the ubiquitous packet of ginger snap biscuits found in the handbags of most pregnant women, and turmeric has wondrous anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. I added the honey to sweeten,  but you can replace with any sweetener of your choice.

Makes 2 cups at 3p each

1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1p (Natco turmeric 75p/100g, Sainsburys)
2 slices (5g) of fresh ginger root, 2p (40p/100g, Sainsburys)
1 tsp honey, 3p (Basics honey, £1/340g)
500ml boiling water

First boil your water and find a nice jug, if you have one, or your largest mug if not.

Slice your ginger and toss it in, and add the turmeric and honey.

Pour over the boiling water and stir well. Leave to stand for five minutes to cool, then pour and enjoy.

Jack Monroe. You can follow me on Twitter at @MsJackMonroe and on Instagram @MsJackMonroe and find me on Facebook as ‘A Girl Called Jack’.


  1. Hopefully soon you can stomach a little yogurt, keifer, or kombucha tea to help repopulate you poor gut’s flora.

    Feel better soon!

  2. I feel very sorry for you ,I had some bug before Christmas which I thought was food poisoning or something ,turns out it was a virus and it took me nearly a month to get rid of it. My husband got it later and just stopped eating for about 3 days and seemed to get over it more quickly.i am not sure I could manage that long without eating !!
    I love your recipes even though I don’t make them all I love your style of writing do keep it up.

  3. I’m a huge ginger fan! I buy ginger chews at the Chinese market and carry them in my purse so I can always have one after a meal.

  4. I’m a firm believer of peppermint tea for upset tummies, however, as I have psoriasis and have read that turmeric is good for this condition, I can’t wait to make this tea up daily.

  5. It’s clearly an internet virus as I read your blog and I’ve got it too this morning 🙁

    My cure for a bubbling gut is mint tea. And I avoid anything aspirin based like ibuprofen – go for something like co-codomol. As that’s supposed to bung you up, I figure it must help a little in the circumstances!

  6. H Jack

    I loved your previous turmeric and lemon tea recipe and this sounds great as well. I’ve heard from a herbalist friend of mine thought that turmeric works much better if you add a pinch of black pepper to it!


  7. and this sounds perfect for someone to sip as they sit in a darkened room, listening to Mozart and taking it easy as chemotherapy drugs course through their veins hunting down any wayward cancer cells 🙂

  8. Turmeric is my all time favourite spice for all sorts of reasons. Mixed with warm milk or water it makes a disgusting but effective cough medicine to be taken last thing at night, and apparently mixed with water into a paste it is great on small wounds and scrapes.

    I’m definitely storing this recipe for dodgy tummies – thanks Jack.

  9. Was given a similar recipe by an elderly Asian neighbour as a cure all for coughs and colds, have used it for many years with great success. Best wishes xx

  10. I make a similar potion if I am feeling unwell but I add cloves and a slice of lemon sometimes. I really recommend using a vacuum flask and putting all the ingredients in it and letting it brew for about half an hour and then pouring from there into a mug! Keeps it nice and hot and ensures all the goodness goes into the water from the ginger.

    Really recommend getting a flask – whenever i boil my kettle I put the leftover water into the thermos and it will stay really hot for ages. I often have enough for a cup of tea and it saves boiling the kettle again.

  11. Hi!! I just want to tell you that I found your blog and I love it!
    But I’m not from London so I just want to know what it does mean the P near the number, penny or pounds? Thank you!!! :-*

    • We give our horse Tumeric for this very reason. Nature’s own offerings are by far the best preventions and cures 😊

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