Unchecked chronic inflammation may contribute to the development of many disorders. Eating foods, herbs and spices that are rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds helps regulate our immune system and protect our cells’ health by reducing chronic inflammation. This recipe features three anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant superstars that also taste delicious.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a magnificent food that has a long list of traditional uses for improving our body’s health through its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and neuro and liver protective actions. In India and in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used internally and externally for all manner of disorders including to promote wound healing. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is equally familiar to most people and has a wide range of uses in cooking and in Western Herbal Medicine.
I could be writing for a long time if I went through all the uses for these herbs. It’s lovely to read the research that is emerging in support of the traditional uses for turmeric, ginger and galangal. Some of the reasons to use turmeric that are supported by research include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, elevated blood lipids, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Turmeric is often prescribed in Western Herbal Medicine to improve gastric, digestive and liver function, for cardiovascular health and in inflammatory disorders such as asthma and eczema.
Ginger is often used to reduce nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, post-operatively and in motion sickness. Research shows ginger is also anti-inflammatory, may reduce arthritic pain, stimulates circulation and is a synergist that helps increase the delivery or activity of other herbs in cells around the body.Traditionally ginger is used to enhance digestion and soothe colic, flatulence, or cramping, increase warmth and reduce headaches and menstrual pain.
In our house we love a turmeric and ginger tea each evening. It’s warming, gives our livers some TLC and helps soothe any digestive upsets before settling into a restful sleep. I’m also seen drinking lots of it after playing sport because it’s anti-inflammatory action helps prevent too much pain and discomfort for me later on! All this drinking of turmeric and ginger tea can be expensive if you’re buying it in teabags, or messy if you are cutting or grating fresh roots up each time. So instead, let me present to you the amazing anti-inflammatory turmeric & ginger paste recipe! As per usual it makes a lot (if you’re going to make it, make a lot so you don’t have to do it again in a hurry)!
You’ll notice that I use galangal (Alpinia galanga) in the recipe too which enhances the spicy flavour, you could leave it out if you don’t like it too spicy. Galangal is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and supports digestion too; which means it also helps protect our cells from damage.
The black peppercorns are needed to enhance absorption of the active compounds in the turmeric, so don’t leave them out.Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of ginger and galangal to suit your palate.
Anti-inflammatory Turmeric, Ginger & Galangal Paste Recipe
- 200g organic turmeric root (try to pick really orange looking ones), washed and roughly chopped
- 200g organic ginger root, washed and roughly chopped
- 150g organic galangal root, peeled (this is easier said than done!) and roughly chopped
- 300g organic coconut oil
- 10 black peppercorns
- Wash and chop the roots. (If organic, and your blender is powerful enough, there’s no need to peel them.)
- Put all the ingredients into a high-powered blender.
- Pulse/turbo blend until the roots are broken down into small chunks or smooth – whatever your preference is. (If using a thermal cooker you can turbo until small chunks, do the next step and then blend smoother.)
- Add 100mL water and gently cook the mix for 5 minutes at 100 degrees.
- Blend again if you like to a smooth paste.
- Transfer into small, air-tight containers or jars and store one in the fridge for up to one week and freeze the rest for up to three months. (This is prone to going mouldy after 8 days if you don’t do step 4 and cook it. I’ve found it best to keep about a week’s worth in the fridge and freeze the rest in similar size containers.)
To use, add a heaped teaspoon of the paste to your cup and pour one cup (250mL) of boiling water over it. Stir to combine. Cool and drink in your favourite chair with your feet up. You may also like to add honey or cream to your tea if you prefer a touch of sweetness or if you would like children to drink it.
I’d love to know what you think of the tea and what you use turmeric or ginger for.