Turmeric Powder

Spice Check –The Anti-Inflammatory Response of Turmeric and Ginger

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The color yellow carries various meanings. It denotes clarity, energy, positivity, happiness, and more. You might have never thought about this, but even the color of your food plays a huge role in whether you will eat it or not. Today, “leading a healthy lifestyle” has become a mantra. People are gravitating towards natural foods and supplements. From vitamin tablets to protein powder… the diet food market offers everything you need to fulfill your recommended nutrients intake.

But wait a minute… are diet supplements really what you should be going for? Well, if your body lacks certain vitamins or other minerals, then you should definitely consider this option. What we are talking about here are natural supplements… spices to be exact. There are hundreds of spices, each with their unique ability. Cinnamon is known for being loaded with antioxidants, rosemary is known as the perfect arterial protector, thyme is a strong infection inhibitor, oregano is known as a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent, mint is known for the gastrointestinal relief it provides, and the list goes on.

The spices we are going to talk about today are ginger and turmeric. Before we begin, let’s discuss their origin:

The Origin of Ginger

Ginger Root

The ancient Chinese and Indians used ginger root to create tonics for treating common ailments. It is believed ginger was first cultivated in Southeast Asia, and it soon spread to other countries. The spice dates back 5,000 years and was celebrated by the Romans for its healing powers. In the 1st century, ginger reached the Mediterranean regions. It was considered one of the most powerful spices in Rome, but with the downfall of the Roman Empire, ginger lost its worth. After a few years, it rose back up again and was then used for making delicacies.

The Origin of Turmeric

Turmeric dates back 4,500 years, and its traces were found in pots in New Delhi. These pots dated back to 2,500 BCE. It wasn’t until 500 BCE that this spice emerged in Ayurvedic medicine. It was discovered that inhaling turmeric fumes can alleviate congestion and the juice helped with wounds and bruises. Turmeric is known for its compound curcumin, which can tackle just about any degenerative condition linked to the nervous system, heart, and brain.

The Power of Curcumin – An Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Inflammation is great for the body as it helps in fighting against foreign infectious invaders and repairing the damage. Without inflammation fighting bacteria, there’s a possibility that harmful pathogens might kills you.

The compound curcumin is so effective that it even surpasses the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. It helps block the molecule NF-kB, which travels to different cell nuclei and stimulates inflammation genes.  

According to a study published in the Foods journal on the health benefit of curcumin, the spice increased inflammation-related neutrophil function. The participants of the study aged between 40 and 60 years old were given 400 mg powder/day that contained 80 mg curcumin, for four weeks. *These adults had no specific ailments. The results revealed that not only their inflammation response was improved but the spice also lowered triglyceride levels, salivary amylase activity (marker of stress) and beta amyloid plaque (brain aging marker). Further test showed that curcumin also helped people manage exercise-induced muscle soreness and inflammation.

Ginger’s Anti-Inflammatory Response

The studies on ginger relating to its anti-inflammatory response are quite contradictory. However, there are hundreds of studies conducted on its benefits. The compounds in ginger are known for their ability to treat a common health problem called Osteoarthritis (OA). This disease involves degeneration of joints that lead to symptoms such as joint stiffness and pain. Ginger has somewhat the same NF-kB response.

According to a study published in the Arthritis & Rheumatology journal, ginger has great anti-inflammatory response. 261 participants with OA having different level of pain took part in the study. For 6 weeks, the patients receive extract of ginger, which they had to take twice daily. The results showed that pain from the OA in the knee reduced significantly.

So now you know how powerful these two spices are! Why not start using them daily in your food? As studies have proved, even if you are not sick, they will still benefit your health.

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