As most of you I’m sure can imagine, here at SEI MEE TEA we LOVE plant medicine. Medicinal herbs and green tea are such an important part of holistic healing. Such a beautiful gift mother earth gives us, using her bounties to heal us from the inside out. Sticking to our theme of chronic inflammation for the month, today I have compiled for you a list off our top 3 favorite herbs to use as part of your health care routines to holistically combat chronic inflammation. Alongside a healthy diet, exercise, stress management and regulated sleep, herbs are like the “cherry on top of your sundae” of healthful daily habits.
We love these herbs because not only are they very medicinal, but they are also tasty, making them a great addition to your kitchen spice cupboard providing an easy way to consume just by simple adding to different meals each day!
If you are not yet familiar with what exactly inflammation is please check out my blog post… “Do You Have Underlying or “Chronic” Inflammation?” for a more in-depth look!
In addition, if you are looking for ways to tackle your inflammation, along with today’s post you may want to check out our other blogs on inflammation, “Using Nutrition to Combat “CHRONIC” or “UNDERLYING” Inflammation” , and “9 Simple Lifestyle Modifications to Reduce Chronic Inflammation”
Latin name: cucuma longa (L.)
Common names: cucuma, cucumae longae rhizoma, cucumin, indian saffron, turmeric root
Major Constituent: curcumin
A native plant to India and Southeast Asia, today turmeric can be found being cultivated in many countries across the world. It has been used in folk medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, Being used for many things ranging from infections and parasite treatment to strengthening and toning the digestive system and regulating menstruation.
Today medical research is shining a light on the anti-inflammatory properties of this ancient herb and its role in combating such diseases as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, arthritis, and chronic anterior uveitis, as well as certain types of cancer. The amount of studies on turmeric are numerous, narrowing down curcumin as the main constituent responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies are suggesting curcumin to be a highly pleiotropic molecule, meaning it has the ability to interact with numerous molecular targets involved in inflammation. Curcumin modulates the inflammatory response by down-regulating the activity of enzymes involved in the inflammatory response of the immune system.
If you are ready to start incorporating turmeric into you holistic health regime SEI MEE TEA has put together an anti inflammatory blend that you can purchase here.
This blend can be mixed into milk or water and drank as a tea or mixed into your favorite dishes for added flavor AND health benefits!
Latin Name: Zingiber officinale (Roscoe)
Common Names: African ginger, black ginger, cochin ginger gingembre (French),
jamaica ginger, hiang (Chinese, Kankyo (Japanese), shoga (pickled ginger Japanese) shokyo (dried ginger japanese), sunthi (indian), and Zingiberis rhizoma
Major Constituents: Gingerols
Native to the east and west indies, ginger has become a common kitchen staple around the world. Growing in tropical regions, Jamaica is well known for their top quality ginger! As with turmeric, ginger is becoming well known in the plant medicine world as an anti-inflammatory warrior! Studies suggest that ginger has a better therapeutic profile and fewer side effects than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).
In India, Ginger is referred to as ‘vishwabhesaj’ translating to “the universal medicine.” In both Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine ginger can be found in about half of all prescriptions used for healing. Over the years ginger has been most commonly used to aid in nausea, diarrhea, flatulence and other gastrointestinal disturbances among many other things.
Today research has been focused on the anti-inflammatory benefits ginger provides us. Research on ginger’s anti-inflammatory benefits really took off in the 1970’s and has had continuous support through the years proving it to work in our bodies the same way that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) do. That is that they both reduce prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are a group of lipids involved in many healing processes throughout the body, including inflammation which is an immune response to injury or dis-ease.
As with inflammation, prostaglandins are good for us in small doses, they help our bodies heal. BUT…. the issues arise when too many are being produced which is the result of chronic inflammation. In addition to inhibiting prostaglandin production, ginger has also be shown to suppress leukotriene biosynthesis which is also involved in the mediation of our inflammatory responses.
*Ginger is not recommended for people with ulcers of the digestive tract, or high fevers. It is also controversial for use during pregnancy as there is not enough studies supporting positive or negative effects of use during pregnancy.
Latin Name: Camellia Sinensis
Common Names: tea plant, tea shrub, tea tree
Major Constituents: Catechins (EGCG), L-Theanine, Caffeine
Native to China, green tea has been used for over 3,000 years in tea rituals. Beginning during the Sung Dynasty, tea ceremonies quickly spread to Japan which is where our connection to green tea stems. For thousands of years green tea has been used in many Asian cultures as a remedy for many illnesses and disease.
Recent research is placing green tea in the category of ‘super-foods’ that fight against cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neuro-degenerative diseases.
This same research is also placing green tea in the category of inflammation warriors, alongside turmeric and ginger.
Green tea works in very similar ways that turmeric and ginger do in that their constituents interfere with certain inflammatory responses throughout the body. It is said that the ECGC found in green tea is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action as they interfere with the signaling pathway responsible for regulating pro-inflammatory mediators.
For a more in-depth look on the health benefits of green tea check out our blog post, “Is Green Tea Really THAT Good for You –and Why, Exactly?“
AND if you are ready to jump in and start incorporating green tea into your daily routine then head on over to our store and shop our beautiful selection of powdered green teas today!
And among those tea selections you will find our Matcha Ginger blend, which is one of my personal favorites! Not only do you get double the anti-inflammatory benefits, but the flavors of green tea and ginger together is very warm and stimulating, making for a great morning or afternoon tea!
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
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Journal of Medicinal Food.Jun 2005.ahead of printhttp://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125
Meet the Author: Mackenzie