Ginger also known as Zingiber officinale is a flowering plant with its origins in Southeast Asia. It has been used as a natural health remedy all over the world for a long time. It contains gingerol, a phenolic compound to which the medicinal and health properties of ginger are attributed. Gingerol possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which makes ginger widely used as a spice in various food recipes and also in natural medicine.
Turmeric also known as Curcuma longa, is also a flowering plant, and belongs to the ginger family known as Zingiberaceae. Turmeric is used in many recipes, and is a very common spice in the Indian cuisine. It contains Curcumin, a chemical compound which helps in not only the prevention but also treatment of various chronic conditions. Turmeric can be consumed in various forms but is mostly used in its ground form as a coloring and flavoring agent in many recipes. Turmeric powder ranges in color from bright yellow to deep orange.
Benefits of Ginger and Turmeric
Both ginger and turmeric are widely studied for their ability to reduce and help relieve chronic pain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric is quite effective in reducing the pain related to arthritis. Ginger has also been shown to decrease chronic pain associated with arthritis, along with several other conditions like the intensity and duration of menstrual pain and also muscle pain caused by heavy exercise such as weight lifting.
Improves the immune system
It’s not uncommon to see an individual sipping on warm ginger and turmeric tea at the first sign of a common flu. The reason being that ginger and turmeric are known to help improve the immune system and fight off illnesses like the common flu, cold and seasonal allergies. Ginger in particular has shown to be effective against respiratory conditions and help against respiratory tract infections in infants, children, and adults. Curcumin present in turmeric has been found to possess anti-viral properties helping to reduce symptoms of influenza virus.
The medicinal properties in turmeric may be able to boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders. Both turmeric and ginger can also decrease levels of inflammation, which can help improve immune function.
Helps with stomach problems
Ginger and turmeric both possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help to settle an upset stomach. In case of nausea, ginger and turmeric tea helps to alleviate the symptoms and promotes healthy digestion. It also helps to eliminate bloating and cramping. By stimulating peristaltic motion it helps against constipation. Curcumin may help reduce the pain associated with irritated Bowel Syndrome. It is also beneficial in the treatment of acid reflux and stomach ulcers.
Lowers risk of heart disease
Turmeric and ginger help fight off many forms of heart diseases. Curcumin present in turmeric does so by improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. Any dysfunction of the blood vessels contributes to heart diseases as they are involved in the regulation of blood pressure. Turmeric and ginger also help reduce inflammation and oxidation which are also factors responsible for many heart diseases.
Helps prevent cancer
Various studies have shown the ability of ginger and turmeric to help in the prevention of cancer, especially cancer of the digestive tract. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help in the prevention of cell damage, cell mutations and the growth and spread of tumors. They contribute to the death of cancer cells and reduce growth of new blood vessels in the tumors.
Improves brain function
Brain cells, also known as neurons are responsible for the brain’s activity and function. Neurons not only increase their connections with other neurons but also multiply and increase in number. The growth hormone that functions in the brain known as brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) is responsible for the healthy functioning of the brain. A decrease in the level of this hormone is linked to several common brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. Curcumin, present in turmeric can increase levels of BDNF, helping to prevent and fight off such brain disorders.
Other benefits include the ability to reduce cholesterol, manage diabetes, and also being good for the skin. Many skin care regimens include ginger and turmeric masks.
One of the best ways to make use of both ginger and turmeric is Ginger and Turmeric tea. This tea infuses the health and medicinal properties of both and it also tastes great! It helps to relieve pain and gives a boost to the immune system.
How to make ginger and turmeric tea?
- Hot water 1 cup
- Ground ginger 1 tsp
- Ground turmeric 1 tsp
- Honey or lemon 1 tsp
- Black pepper (optional)
- Milk (optional)
Boil water in a sauce pan. Add ground turmeric and ginger and stir. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then strain the tea into a cup. Add in honey or freshly squeezed lemon. If you want you can add a little bit of black pepper for flavor. Also, if you want, you can add in some milk if you prefer to have your tea with dairy. Enjoy!