The best herbal medicine is the one you actually take on a regular basis.
When it comes to herbs, just like yoga, accessibility is very important to me. There is so much good medicine growing in our backyard that’s also affordable. Our ancestors and many other cultures have been using these same herbs for decades, without fancy machines or modern delivery. That’s why I want to show how easy it is to bring plant medicine into your life.
Herbal medicine is a slower medicine, unlike the fast acting pills of modern medicine. It literally gets into the roots of our system with its roots. This means you receive more benefits by taking it daily and letting it build up in your system, compared to only using it when you need it. Cut out the middle-man when it comes to expensive occasional wellness shots and just make your own.
I’m here to share one of my favourite herbal tonics with you. Ginger turmeric juice! It can be taken as a wellness shot, if you are not a fan of the taste, or watered down and sipped on throughout the day. I usually make it at the beginning of the week and drink it daily. I also add lemon to it for the alkaline and vitamin C benefits. You could add orange or pineapple juice to it for extra flavour as well.
The base only requires ginger root, turmeric root, and black pepper (all fresh and organic if you can, but use what you have). You can use a juicer or it can easily be made in a blender and strained too.
Why do I drink it? It’s anti-inflammatory, packed with antioxidants, and also pain relieving. Chemicals within these herbs, such as gingerol and curcumin, have been scientifically studied for their pain reducing properties. This is helpful with injuries, chronic inflammation, menstrual pain, headaches, stomach aches, arthritis, or just soreness from a tough workout.
Long-term or high-dose use of aspirin and NSAIDs have been linked to stomach damage. Research shows that the active compounds in ginger may help protect the lining of the stomach from damage due to these drugs, as well as alcohol and excess hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach in some conditions.
Turmeric and ginger really are superfoods. There have been numerous modern studies done on them and certain cultures have documented using them as early as 5,000 BP! It is great for digestion, immunity, detoxification, blood sugar balance, lowering cholesterol, and weight management. It could reduce the risk of cancers and heart disease, so it is wonderful for preventative healthcare too. It’s antibacterial and antiviral, which can only help us during these wild covid times. It also increases circulation, which I love because I’m often cold and it get’s things moving if anything feels stagnant.
I really like it as one of the first things to drink in the morning or to accompany intermittent fasting. The bright, strong colour coming from the curcumin already tells that it’s rich in antioxidants and therefore supports the natural cleansing of the liver and kidneys.
-Don’t forget the black pepper, which increase the bioavailability or absorption by 2,000%!
-You can make a large batch and drink it throughout the week for convenience, though the be aware that the nutritional value will deplete over time. For optimal nutrition you can make it daily for the most potent healing affects. Though remember something is better than nothing and taking it regularly is better than once in a while. So be realistic! Compromise with your time and life to make sure you get it in.
-If your store it in the fridge make sure you use glass that you don’t mind getting stained. You can reuse an old glass container or even pour them into small individual size shots. If going the mini shot route, fill it to the top and secure well.
–The juice can also be poured into an ice-cube tray and frozen for up to six months. That way you can take a couple out of the freezer in the morning, add it to water, or leave it to defrost and drink as a shot. You can also pop a couple of juice-cubes into your morning smoothie or afternoon soup to reduce the taste.
-Add a nut milk to it to make a version of Ayurvedic Golden Milk. It’s a lovely drink to wind down in the evening with.
-For even more convenience you could also take herbal tinctures or supplements. Though you should consult with an herbalist or doctor for the correct dosage amount.
–Keep in mind that fresh turmeric stains everything it comes into contact with, so be mindful of what chopping board and kitchen appliances you use with it. You can also wear gloves or an apron while preparing the turmeric. It’s also a good idea to wash your blender or juicer immediately, unless you don’t mind the yellow stain.
-Feel free to mix up the recipe by using less or more ginger, turmeric, pepper, or lemon depending on your taste.
Turmeric does seem to have blood-thinning properties, so if you have problems clotting or are on blood thinners you will want to avoid turmeric, or at least contact your doctor and double-check if you will be okay. On the other hand, if you are having problems with heart disease and clogged arteries, turmeric may be useful in helping you to stay healthy and avoid medication. Again check with your doctor or healthcare practitioner if you have any concerns. You can also just make the ginger juice, without the turmeric and black pepper.
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