Ginger and Turmeric Infused Tea

 

The other day, as I sat sipping my turmeric and ginger infused tea, I began to wonder at the various health benefits of these wonderful spices. My curiosity grew so much that I decided to dig a little deeper.
What I learned is nothing short of amazing.

If you’ve found this page, then you are probably interested in what they have to offer too. And I know you’ll be happy that I decided to share what I found out right here, so you’re in just the right place.

I’ve also included some of my favorite recipes for making tea using turmeric and ginger at the end of this article. If you just want the recipes and don’t want to read any further, just scroll all the way down!

Or click on one of the items below to jump to something that might interest you now

Teas are a great way to start incorporating these beneficial spices into your everyday life, and they work amazingly well. But more about that later.

A Close Family

red flower from a ginger plant with green stem, Zingiberaceae plant family

Both turmeric and ginger are members of the Zingiberaceae plant family along with another widely used spice, cardamom. They are both native to Southern Asia, mainly because they need warm temperatures and considerable amounts of rain to survive!

The part of the plants used to produce both spices is called the rhizome or more commonly for us mere mortals, the root.

From ancient India and China right across to Rome and Greece, these spices have been revered for both their culinary and medicinal use for many thousands of years. Unsurprisingly, given its bright color, turmeric was first used as a dye for clothing and still is in some Indian cultures.

While finding their way across the world on the lucrative ancient trade routes, many spices became extremely valuable. In the Middle Ages, as little as one pound of ginger was worth in the region of 1 shilling and 7 pence, roughly the price of a whole sheep at the time!

ginger, turmeric, and other spices in barrels at spice market

 

Despite coming from the same family, they have some very different qualities so let’s take a closer look at each one.

Turmeric – a super spice?

Turmeric is more than just that lovely, aromatic, golden-colored spice used in many Asian dishes; as if that wasn’t enough!

It’s now becoming increasingly popular for other reasons. The ancient civilizations are probably wagging a finger at us and saying “We told you so!”.

I’m talking here about its medicinal qualities of course. As the results of more research get reported; it’s becoming increasingly evident that turmeric has these in abundance.

I should note here that it’s one of the active ingredients found in turmeric called curcumin that provides most of these spectacular benefits. Curcumin is the yellow pigment which gives turmeric such a vibrant color.

It looks like everything we’ve heard about bright colored food being good for us is once again confirmed!

Curcumin has many widely regarded health benefits. Scientists are continuously studying these health benefits so that we can better understand exactly just how powerful this super spice is!

Some of the potential health benefits include:

It’s a strong natural anti-inflammatory. Short-term inflammation in our bodies is a good thing as it helps our bodies fight infection and repair damage. Long term or chronic inflammation is not.

Curcumin is very efficient in fighting against this low-level chronic inflammation.

turmeric root pieces on brown mat

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties have been proven to be so powerful that it rivals that of some modern drugs! One of the main groups of people that can benefit from this is those with any form of arthritis. Okinawans are well known to love drinking turmeric tea to help ease their sore joints.

It has powerful antioxidant effects. Curcumin neutralizes free radicals, which are bad for us and believed to be one of the main culprits behind aging and many diseases.

Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors involved in the onset of heart disease. It may even help reverse some of these factors.

It can help fight cancer. Several studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells and it may prohibit their growth from the beginning.

New discoveries are regularly being made, so I think to call it a super-spice is not far off the mark!

Mostly we use turmeric in its powdered form, but it can be used fresh as well, much like ginger. To get the most benefit it would be best to take this in a supplement form, but however you choose to introduce more of it into your diet, it will all help.

I’ll add a warning here. Both these spices are considered safe for most adults to consume for medicinal purposes. But as always, please check with your health professional before taking any supplements. It is especially crucial if you are already on any prescribed drugs or are pregnant.

Ginger – another medicinal marvel?

Overshadowed a little these days in the health benefits department by its close cousin, ginger still has a lot to offer us.

It wasn’t always this way. Ginger was once one of the most highly prized and valuable spices available, and it still is one of the most commonly cultivated herbs. Evidence of its use in medicine goes back to 200 B.C., so it’s got a long track record in all sorts of healing and soothing scenarios.

The active ingredients in ginger are called gingerol and shogaol. They are present in the volatile oils contained in the root both in its dry powdered form or fresh from the supermarket.

You don’t need to take ginger in large quantities to experience some of the benefits, and indeed, it’s probably better if you don’t overdo it.

So what are the health benefits of ginger? You may notice there are some similarities to those shown above for turmeric which is not altogether surprising.

It’s good for gastric and digestive problems. Any problems relating to your gut including indigestion, stomach cramps, excess gas, etc. can all be relieved with ginger.

Joint health – ginger has been shown to reduce pain in anyone suffering painful joints. This includes pain caused by all types of arthritis as well as plain old twists and sprains.

It’s a very potent anti-inflammatory, just like turmeric. So if you’ve been paying attention, you will know why that’s important!

Ginger has also long been prescribed to help with many types of nausea and illness. If you’re suffering from morning sickness, post-op nausea or any other kind of stomach ailment, ginger can help (see one of my tea recipes later on for this).

You can also use ginger to ease feverish conditions such as colds and flu. As it’s diaphoretic, it encourages perspiration, which helps bring temperatures down. Ginger infused tea (again see below) is also very soothing and will make you feel a lot better.

Last but by no means least, ginger can also be used on the skin to stimulate circulation and soothe burns.

Pretty powerful stuff and well worth incorporating into your daily life.

Some Ginger and Turmeric Tea Recipes

I think you will agree that we’ve discovered just how wonderful these two ancient spices are for us. So what better way to start introducing them into our diet than by making tea with them!

Here are just a few recipes to help you along the way. Make sure that you use something you don’t mind getting stained to make and drink these. Turmeric has a habit of turning things yellow including clothes!

Turmeric, Ginger & Honey Tea – excellent for relieving the symptoms of colds and flu.

Ingredients:
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
Lemon wedge
Honey, as needed for taste

Directions:
Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan.
Add the turmeric plus the ginger, reduce the heat and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain the tea into a cup. Add a lemon wedge, honey, and enjoy!

Ginger Tea – this one will help fight nausea.

Ingredients:
1 cup of boiling water
1 and a half teaspoons of grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
Honey, as needed for taste

Directions:
Place the ginger in a teapot (or small saucepan if you don’t have one).
Add the boiling water and leave it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Strain the tea into a cup. Add honey to taste and enjoy!
You could also make this straight in a mug by using a single cup tea infuser of course.

Turmeric Tea – great as a pick me up and to cure all sorts of aches and pains.

Ingredients:
1-2 cups of water
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of clove
Pinch of black pepper
1 teaspoon of turmeric
Honey, as needed for taste
Milk (non-dairy works best)

Directions:
Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan.
Add the turmeric and other spices, reduce the heat and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain the tea into a cup. Add milk, honey, and enjoy!

Now,  if you want to keep it simple, do as many turmeric tea lovers do and just add a bit of coconut milk and some honey!

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