Both ginger and turmeric are powerful anti-inflammatory herbs. They are very versatile since they can be used in flavoring foods or just made into a tea to promote circulation, reduce pain, and improve digestion.
In Chinese Medicine we use ginger to tonify the Stomach and Spleen. Its nature is warming, which aids the digestive fire and its energy is said to be descending. This is helpful when there is digestive upset, nausea, dizziness or even motion sickness. Western Medicine has recently shown support of ginger’s anti-inflammatory nature (see study). There are even studies showing the effectiveness of ginger for motion-sickness and preventing nausea from chemotherapy (see study).
Turmeric is used in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to aid digestion, to promote circulation and alleviate pain and to reduce swelling in the body (this is for reducing swelling with trauma and from tumors/cancer). Its nature is also warming since it promotes blood circulation and aids digestion. Western medicine shows much positive research with turmeric for arthritis (both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis), Alzheimer’s and cancer. Dr. Andrew Weil has a great article outlining this (see this article).
Essentially what the research is saying about these herbs is that they have naturally occurring COX-2 inhibitors, which reduce the inflammatory pathways in the body to alleviate pain. What I am saying about these herbs is that they taste good and Traditional Medicine has used them effectively for thousands of years, so eat up!!
Sautéed Vegetables with Fresh Turmeric and Ginger (serves 4)
- 1 small onion
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- 2 inches grated fresh ginger root
- 2 inches grated fresh turmeric root
- 1/2 block of tempeh
- 2 garlic cloves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 TBS liquid aminos (soy or coconut) or salt to taste
- 2-3 TBS nutritional yeast
- 2-3 cups cooked rice or quinoa
Steam saute the onion and cabbage first for a couple minutes (just add a little water to the bottom of the pan to lightly steam while you are cooking… this avoids needing to use oil). Then add broccoli (florets and stalk). Steam saute for another couple minutes and then add remaining vegetables: peas, corn, carrots… whatever you have on hand. Add the ginger, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and turmeric the last couple minutes of steam sauteing. Make sure to add more water if needed to make a nice broth to pour over cooked rice or quinoa.