The Many Health Benefits of Ginger and Turmeric Tea
Health Benefits of Ginger and Turmeric Tea
How much tea do you drink? The many health benefits of ginger and turmeric tea.
When my water intake dips lower than I’d like, I augment my fluid intake with tea. Herbal blends, in particular, have many medicinal benefits and give my system a good flush.
The problem is, sometimes I brew a bag and it tastes kind of weak, or stale. Then, I wonder how long that box was sitting on a shelf before I bought it.
How many months ago were these herbs dried?
Really, how effective is it?
Are you confused? Don't be, just keep reading...
That’s when I began to replace the word “tea” with “infusion”.
Infusions steep longer and contain higher quantities of beneficial ingredients. And for me, infusions always include fresh ingredients or herbs I recently dried myself.
No old, dry, stale herbs of suspicious origin!
Today, we’re talking about my favorite rhizome infusion.
But for the uninitiated, you can just call it “ginger and turmeric tea”.
I catch fewer colds and rarely feel aches and pains from my exercise regimen. It’s truly powerful stuff, and I can’t wait to show you how to make it.
Here is why:
A Closer Look at Rhizomes
The part of the ginger and turmeric plant that we most often consume is the rhizome.
The rhizome isn’t exactly a root. Rather, the roots shoot out from the rhizome, which lies underground as well.
Above ground, ginger and turmeric plants boast vibrant green leaves with stunning flowers.
If you live in the right climate (spoiler alert: a hot one), you’ll get endless benefits from growing these babies.
Aside from being beautiful and interesting, ginger and turmeric contain special compounds in concentrations not found anywhere else.
That’s why we want them both.
Actually, ginger contains numerous gingerols, but the one with the most known benefits is 6-gingerol.
Most likely, you’ve heard all about curcumin before.
It’s what makes turmeric so yellow but it’s also the subject of extensive study. That’s because its medicinal properties are so great, it’s been known to outperform many medications.
Turmeric and ginger are botanically related. Still, I suspect that’s not the only reason why they’re so great together.
The curcumin in turmeric, while very medicinal, isn’t as bioavailable as we would like. It metabolizes very quickly in the liver before we can yield its many benefits.
How do you fix this?
Those in the know recommend we take curcumin with piperine.
Piperine is a relative of capsaicin that makes black pepper spicy. Piperine, when taken in tandem with curcumin, increases absorption.
Additionally, healthy fat is said to improve bioavailability.
While gingerol may not be as effective as black pepper, it’s a close relative of piperine.
Therefore, drinking ginger and turmeric together may enhance absorption to a degree. After all, it takes a very small amount of a peppery polyphenol to boost curcumin.
A teaspoon of turmeric would need only a tiny pinch of pepper to become way more effective.
However, opinions vary on what and how exactly is the best way to get more out of curcumin.
I, for one, am very interested in any forthcoming research covering the bioavailability of curcumin.
One thing is certain, though.
When you increase curcumin’s powers with piperine, curcumin isn’t the only component feeling the effect.
If you take certain medications, always talk it over with a doctor in advance. A three-fold increase in medication hitting the bloodstream is risky, to say the least.
The Real Health Benefits of Ginger and Turmeric
Admittedly, there’s a lot of overlap between the benefits of these two. But they still outdo one another at some of the same tasks.
Here are just eight of the many health benefits of ginger and turmeric.
1. Both Fight Inflammation
Ginger and turmeric are among the most potent natural anti-inflammatory foods you can buy or grow.
As my readers know, any one health issue you face grows more dangerous in the presence of inflammation.
Here is the hard fact...
Turmeric probably wins out over ginger in this regard. After all, this is exactly what it’s so famed for! But ginger’s still no slouch.
In 2001, more than 200 people suffering from osteoarthritis took either extract of ginger or a placebo.
Those who took the ginger presented with a “moderate” reduction in pain. Moreover, they took less “rescue medication”, i.e., pain medication.
2. Ginger Lowers Diabetes Risk
A recent study focusing on overweight patients with type 2 diabetes shows promise for ginger as a treatment. Ginger capsules reduced fasting blood sugar after eight weeks.
What’s really impressive to me is that the subjects had been diabetic for more than a decade.
That same study concludes that ginger is able to improve multiple features of diabetic chemistry. It not only reduces plasma glucose but HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) and insulin sensitivity.
3. Turmeric is a natural pain reliever
Going back to inflammation, it seems that you can replace OTC pain relievers with turmeric.
That’s right - it’s so effective at fighting inflammation it can replace things like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.
OTC pain relievers seem like no big deal. However, long-term use can increase your risk of liver damage and stroke.
There is no such known risk when taking moderate doses of turmeric. Just less aching from arthritis and other inflammatory illnesses that cause chronic pain.
How is this possible?
It appears that turmeric - or more specifically, curcumin - helps with the generation of new blood vessels.
OTC pain relievers often just inhibit enzyme production. That just reduces symptoms.
Anecdotal evidence like Jerry's story following hip replacement isn’t anything to sniff at. Curcumin is one of the most intensely studied natural “supplements” out today.
Honestly, I have the feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more in the years to come.
4. Ginger is Perfect for Sour Stomachs
Ginger ale was just about the only good thing about being sick as a kid. Back then, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t so soothing because it was cool and fizzy.
The key is that it actually contains ginger.
This is important.
Since time immemorial, ginger has been used as a cure for nausea. Today, the natural side effect of pregnancy - morning sickness - is still best treated with a natural cure.
Indeed, if you or anyone you travel with gets motion sickness, treat it with ginger first. I always keep a few ginger chews in my purse on trips.
5. Turmeric alleviates mood disorders
One in ten Americans takes a prescription antidepressant. More than half of these people have been taking them for years.
To be clear!
I don’t encourage anyone to stop taking their antidepressant.
But I do wonder if a fraction wouldn’t have to if they ate a better diet and got more exercise. And, of course, got more turmeric.
While we think of depression as invisible, its effect on the body is very real, tangible even.
Some doctors believe that those suffering from depression deal with more oxidative stress and inflamation.
Inflammation makes us think of joints, tissues, liver, and heart. But the brain gets bogged down by inflammation, too, and this makes us susceptible to disorders and brain diseases.
Curcumin has proven to be as effective as Prozac in the treatment of depression.
In addition to that, it shows promise as an Alzheimer’s preventative. Research is still ongoing.
Do you get seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Try starting on turmeric a few months before the blues usually hit. That may be the best way to see whether or not it’s effective for you.
6. Ginger May Help Prevent Female Cancers
Ginger’s great for everyone, but I can’t help but think it loves women just a little more.
Anytime we’re talking about cancer, it’s a given that more research needs to take place. There’s no one sure way to prevent it. Yet ginger is essential to your anti-cancer diet.
What if you’re already diagnosed or a survivor?
Let me explain.
Ginger, on top of being good for you, doesn’t carry the risks that other anticancer therapies do. In fact, it can alleviate some side effects of these necessary, yet cell-destroying treatments.
7. Turmeric Can Lower Cholesterol
Did you know that antioxidants can help lower cholesterol?
That’s because they keep blood vessels from degenerating. Blood vessels that are struggling to keep it together collect more cholesterol. First and foremost, turmeric is high in antioxidants.
Cholesterol-lowering medications are absolutely rampant in our culture.
On one hand, heart disease is the number one cause of death, so it makes sense.
On the other, tens of thousands experience extreme adverse effects from these meds. And many have been confirmed dead because of them.
One-quarter of adults over 40 take these drugs. But high cholesterol can be reversed, and it doesn’t always demand a pill.
With turmeric, cholesterol metabolizes much more quickly. It can’t accumulate in the body and cause disease.
Moreover, macrophage cells that soak up cholesterol, die, and leave the cholesterol behind as caseum can’t do their dirty job.
Turmeric specifically prevents the cells from grabbing the cholesterol, becoming sick, and spreading it around.
8. Both Strengthen the Immune System
Ginger and turmeric are both sources of minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. All three of those are essential for staying healthy during cold and flu season.
They’re also both naturally antibacterial.
In addition to that, curcumin may provoke the immune system into fighting harder. Not to mention, they’re both spicy and soothing to sore, itchy throats.
For fighting off bacterial illness and viruses, try the recipe I share below. But in this case, don’t forget to add a dash of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Make Your Own Ginger Turmeric Tea
Now it’s time to get the health benefits of ginger and turmeric tea.
Here is how...
First, I’d advise using fresh ginger and turmeric. These knobbly-looking rhizomes look tough but are easy to work with.
Cut off a knob of ginger about the size of your thumb. Cut off about the same amount of turmeric, plus a little more. Now it’s time to peel. Use a spoon, and flip it so the convex side is facing up.
Now scrape it downward. The papery peelings come right off!
Here is a 60 second video showing you how.
Chop it all up while you heat up 3.5 cups of water. Once it’s boiling, add the ginger and turmeric slices. Boil for approximately 5-10 minutes, then switch off the heat.
Now let it all steep for about an hour. The water will cool off, but this infusion is best cold.
After steeping, strain out the ginger and turmeric solids and toss them out. Pour the liquid into a large glass jar or pitcher. It’ll stay good for a few days.
Add a pinch of black pepper for bioavailability insurance.
From there, you can sweeten it if desired. Use stevia, pure turbinado sugar, or raw honey. Shake or stir, and serve over ice.
YOUR BONUS TIP:
I know that fresh ginger and turmeric aren’t always accessible to everyone.
Think twice before you buy in bulk - spices in bulk often go stale before you use them up.
To make the tea with ground spices, use:
3 cups filtered water
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch black pepper
Add a little water to your ground ingredients to make a thick paste.
Meanwhile, heat up the water, but don’t boil it.
Stir in your turmeric/ginger paste and sweetener. Chill or drink hot. If storing, shake it up frequently, as the powdered spices will settle at the bottom.
Final Verdict on The Many Health Benefits of Ginger and Turmeric Tea
I know, we talk about inflammation ad nauseam. But I’m really serious about figuring out how to stomp it out, and you have to be, too.
I’m not sure I’ve heard of anything better than ginger and turmeric for reducing inflammation naturally.
Turmeric, in particular, may be the closest thing us nutritional medicinal folks have to a panacea.
Together, they can:
- Ease joint pain and relieve arthritis pain
- Alleviate Menstrual cramps
- Ease the discomfort of nausea and chronic indigestion
- Relieve depression and seasonal affective disorder
- Lower cholesterol
- Keep blood sugar in check
- Help prevent certain kinds of cancer
- Prevent cold and flu
And there are many more health benefits! I’m sure we’ll have time in the future to discuss more.
In the meantime, I want to hear from you.
Are you like me, sneaking turmeric into anything you can?
How does ginger and turmeric tea sound to you?
Did you try my recipe? Leave me a message in the comments and let me know.