E.WagnerHolisticHealth: August 2016

E.WagnerHolisticHealth: August 2016

The parts of these plants that we typically use in

teas, curries and herbal formulas are rhizomes, which are modified stems that grow

horizontally underground and store nutrients for the plant. Unlike roots, rhizomes often have leaves and

nodes and do not anchor the plant to the ground or prevent erosion. Rhizomes may send out adventitious roots. Fresh ginger is usually green, pink, and

whitish in color. The sliced rhizome is

usually medium to pale yellow. Turmeric,

when fresh and whole has a light brown to medium orange skin; sliced, it is

bright orange. It is best to use both

herbs fresh rather than dried, if you can find them that way.

When fresh, the aromatic oils are present and supply

more nutrients than herbs have in the dried form. Although we are often advised to peel the

skin off, if the rhizome is organically grown and free of mold, it is better to

leave the skin on since that part contains a lot of nutrients. It is generally best to lightly cook these

herbs, not letting the temperature rise above about 130 degrees F. Adding black pepper to Turmeric will tend to

make its effects more potent. Most

packaged and bottled supplements are poor quality. Fresh, whole herbs are always best, followed

by organic powders from reliable sources, such as Frontier Herbs.

Ginger and Turmeric are safe for most people to

use. These herbs usually would not be

used as simples (singly) or in infusions (see previous several blogs for

explanation of infusion) but would instead usually be used with at least one or

two other herbs or in an even larger formula.

They also can be used in teas or in cooking. The Ginger and Turmeric we are familiar with

come from plants in the same family –Zingiberaceae. This family of plants probably originated in

Southern Asia, can only thrive in a fairly narrow range of temperature, from

approximately 58 to 86 degrees F, and require considerable annual rainfall.

Both Turmeric and Ginger have warming qualities and

therefore should be used with caution with a fever. Otherwise, they are quite effective in

strengthening the immune system, alleviating pain and inflammation, including

that from arthritis. By limiting and

even reversing inappropriate inflammation, these two herbs also can help

improve brain function, increase energy level, elevate mood, and possibly

prevent or at least slow some types of degenerative conditions, such as spinal disc

studies have shown ginger to be an effective anti-microbial for both

has also been shown to have anti-microbial properties, especially in regards to

Occasionally, people have allergies to one or both of

these herbs, usually ginger. To be safe,

if you have never used one or both of these herbs before, start with a very

small quantity, and if this causes no reaction, you should be able to use

it. Give yourself periodic rests from

Below are two reports of successful use of these

A woman with toenail fungus mixed organic turmeric

powder with either organic apple cider vinegar or just water, formed a paste, and

then spread the paste on the affected nails and wrapped the nail in gauze

the fungal infection began to diminish and in six months the infection was no

longer visible. If she stopped for

longer than one month, the fungus began to return, so she had to use the paste

at least twice a week thereafter. She

also avoided sugar, bread, and mushrooms, and ate a healthful diet with many

A man with severe osteoarthritis of the knees began

using green tea with ginger. He used two

or three slices of whole organic ginger rhizome per cup of water, leaving the

skin on. The green tea was also organic,

one tsp per cup of water. He allowed the

ginger to simmer in the tea for 20 minutes, keeping the temperature below 130

degrees F by monitoring with a candy thermometer. He made two days’ worth at a time and kept it

refrigerated. He drank two to four

ounces after each meal for three months before he began to notice results, and

then continued for another three months before the pain and swelling were

gone. At that point, he found he was

best off taking a one-week break after every one to two months, to give his

body a rest. If he took longer than two

to three weeks’ break, pain and swelling would begin to return. He also ate a healthful diet, avoiding sugar,

wheat and dairy, and processed meats.

feel free to contact me with questions about references about studies

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