Both ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) are in the zingiberaceae family. Plus, they both have been used for centuries in Asian cooking and healing remedies. Their rhizomes (underground stems) are the primary part used. These can be ingested as a food or spice, in tablet or capsule form, or made as a tea. A poultice can also be crushed and applied topically. The essential oils of ginger and turmeric are useful diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the skin to reduce inflammation.
Below is a recipe of tea to help reduce inflammation. Plus, continue reading for some research on the anti-inflammatory actions of ginger and turmeric.
First, slowly heat all the ingredients in a saucepan for about an hour on low. Then, strain to drink. Enjoy!
Ginger has been used in treating digestive upset including diarrhea, nausea, and gas. Plus, it may also be useful in treating respiratory conditions, muscle pain, and headache. Active constituents include curcumene, farnesene, zingiberol, gingerol, and shogaol. These help give it the ability help reduce inflammation. The gingerol component has shown to be effective for rheumatoid arthritis with a decrease in stiffness, pain, and swelling. It has also proven useful for osteoarthritis in three double blind studies.
Turmeric is commonly seen as the orange spice in Indian curry dishes. Further, it is well known in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for its healing properties. Also called Indian saffron, it is the components of tumerone, atlantone, and zingiberone that give it the vibrant orange-yellow color. Turmeric has been documented as reducing the symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Further, in one study, it was seen as an effective treatment protocol for rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies have shown it as a viable treatment for IBS, pancreatitis, and certain types of cancers.
In other studies, the anti-inflammatory qualities of the curcumin of C. longa where comparable to that of cortisone and phenylbutazone, but with much less toxicity. Documented anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin include the inhibition of leukotriene formation, platelet aggregation, and neutrophil response, while promoting fibrinolysis and stabilizing lysosomal membranes. In a study of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, curcumin was shown to exert similar results as phenylbutazone.. Meriva, a product that combines the curcumin of turmeric with soy phospholipids, improved the bioavailability of the anti-inflammatory properties of the curcumin, and absorption rates where five times higher with Meriva than with just turmeric. Thus, the recipe for ginger turmeric tea listed above utilizes the fat in the almond or coconut milk to improve the absorption of the curcumin.
 Pizzorno, J., & Murray, M. . (2013). Textbook of natural medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences.
 Srivastava, K., & Mustafa, T. (1989). Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders. Medical Hypotheses, 29(1), 25-28.
 Ahmed, S., Anuntiyo, J., Malemud, C., & Haqqi, T. (2005). Biological basis for the use of botanicals in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2(3), 301-308.
 Hanai, H., et al. (2006). Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 4(12), 1502-1506.
 Julie, S., & Jurenka, M. (2009). Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent. Alternative medicine review, 14(2).
 Jurenka, J. (2009). Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Alternative medicine review, 14(2).
 Satoskar, R., Shah, S., & Shenoy, S. (1986). Evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. International journal of clinical pharmacology, therapy, and toxicology, 24(12), 651-654.
 Marczylo, T. et al. (2007). Comparison of systemic availability of curcumin with that of curcumin formulated with phosphatidylcholine. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology, 60(2), 171-177.