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A friend told me to try fresh ginger for inflammation.

Q. Dear Terry, “A friend told me to try fresh ginger for inflammation. I don’t really like the taste. Are ginger supplements just as effective?” — George H., Madison, WI

A. Dear George, I think one of the most exciting uses for ginger is its role in inflammation. Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory botanical and many of the ways it modulates inflammation cannot be replicated by other botanicals. Ginger inhibits the production of certain compounds that stimulate inflammation, interrupts the inflammatory cascade, and modulates many of the genes associated with inflammation. This has distinct implications for many conditions because we know chronic inflammation is at the root cause of almost every disease seen today, including cancer.

Aside from cancer and stomach upset, ginger is also proving useful for cognitive function, mood disorders like depression, heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, colitis, liver disease, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Like all botanicals, ginger contains a wide array of compounds that may have profound health benefits. Researchers have taken special interest in gingerols and shogaols because of their potent anti-inflammatory abilities.  

Even though ginger is a very strong anti-inflammatory in its own right, I like to take ginger oil combined with turmeric oil for even greater benefits. Ginger and turmeric are actually distant cousins and may even work better together. While ginger oil contains gingerols and shogaols, turmeric essential oil contains turmerones, which also possess very powerful anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and antioxidant capabilities.

Scientists that have studied ginger and turmeric began to wonder the same thing, do they work better together? In an animal model of gastric ulcers, for example, the combination of ginger and turmeric essential oils increased depleted levels of antioxidant enzymes, like glutathione, and reduced lesions of the stomach wall.

While ginger can be taken fresh, you would need to eat large amounts every day to obtain the same amount of oil that you would get from a supplement. I recommend a ginger oil that is standardized to at least 25% gingerols and shogaols and turmeric essential oil standardized to at least 60% turmerones. I would take ginger oil and turmeric oil once or twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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