Want to beat those winter blues?
Updated: Feb 10, 2019
Beat the winter blues and boost your immune system with a lemon, lime, ginger and turmeric drink.
Turmeric as a spice and a medicine, belonging to the ginger family is very popular in Asia. It has an important place in the cuisines of Iran, India, China, Polynesia, and Thailand, used as spice it influences the nature, colour, and taste of foods. Turmeric is also known to have been used for centuries in India and China for the treatment of illnesses such as dermatologic diseases, infection, stress, and depression.
The active ingredient is Curcuma longa (curcumin), according to Nagpal and Sood. (2013) curcumin has proven properties like antimicrobial, hepatoprotective (preventing liver damage), immunostimulant and antiseptic properties. Turmeric's effects on health are generally centered upon the orange-yellow coloured substance called “curcumin.” In their review Kocaadam and Sanlier (2017) have shown curcumin to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects. The pharmacological activities of turmeric’s major compound, curcumin, have been studied intensively (Chauhan, 2002; Goel et al., 2008).
Studies have demonstrated that curcumin has poor bioavailability, 50% or greater of an oral dose of curcumin passes through the gastrointestinal tract unchanged, in other words it does not get absorbed by the body (Ravindranath and Chandrasekhara, 1980). However, Yue et al. (2012) have shown that transportation and absorption of curcumin was enhanced in the presence of turmerones, turmerones are the major constituents of turmeric.
Therefore, it could be safe to surmise that fresh turmeric root is more beneficial than an extract.
Taking turmeric with black pepper (which has piperine) or fats/oils (as turmeric is fat soluble) are said to increase turmeric bioavailability / absorption in the body, although further research is needed.
Ginger has been a part of healing strategies in Asia, India, Europe, and the Middle East for centuries for treatment of such disorders as arthritis, stomach upset, asthma, diabetes, and menstrual irregularities.
There is scientific support based on evidence primarily from animal and in vitro studies that ginger may alleviate the symptoms of nausea and vomiting following pregnancy, surgery, cancer therapy, or motion sickness and suggestive evidence that ginger reduces inflammation and pain. However, it is not known whether ginger antioxidant constituents are bioavailable in humans once ingested or whether they can affect markers of oxidative stress in humans (Singletary, 2010).
According to Karna et al., (2012) ginger has been shown to display anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, indicating its promising role as a chemopreventive agent. Most importantly, ginger extract did not exert any detectable toxicity in normal tissues such as gut and bone marrow.
According to Percival, et al., (2012), ginger consistently reduced all 3 cytokines in the inﬂammatory model and yet had modest antioxidant capacity relative to the other herbs and spices studied. This suggests that the bioactive compounds in ginger, do have physiological activity in this model system.
According to Kawaii et al, (2000) lemon is cultivated mainly for its alkaloids, which are said to have anticancer activities and antibacterial potential. Further to this, citrus flavonoids have a large spectrum of biological activity including antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, anticancer and antiviral activities (Burt, 2004 and Ortuno et al., 2006). Flavonoids can function as direct antioxidants and free radical scavengers and have the capacity to modulate enzyme activities and inhibit cell proliferation (Duthie and Crozier, 2000).
According to Mohanapriya et al, (2013), Lime (Citrus Aurantifolia), has been used for years for treatment of various ailments which include, weight loss, skin care, good digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, urinary disorders.
Step 1: Juice two or three lemons or to taste
Step 2: Juice of two or three limes or to taste
Step 3: Peel and grate fresh turmeric root (roughly the size of your little finger)
Step 4: Peel and grate fresh ginger root (roughly the size of your thumb)
Step 5: Add a pinch of black pepper
Step 6: Mix the ingredients together
Step 7: Add to water, can be taken hot or cold. Also, ideal to mix with a smoothie or as a salad dressing.
Burt, S.A., (2004), Essential oils: Their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods: Av review, International Journal Food Microbiology, 94: 223-253.
Chauhan DP. (2002). Chemotherapeutic potential of curcumin for colorectal cancer. Current pharmaceutical design, 8, pp. 1695–1706.
Duthie, G. and A. Crozier, (2000), Plant-derived phenolic antioxidants, Current. Opinion. Lipidology., 11: 43-47.
Goel, A. Kunnumakkara, AB. Aggarwal, BB. (2008). Curcumin as “Curecumin”: from kitchen to clinic. Biochemical Pharmacology, 75(4), pp. 787–809.
Karna, P. Chagani, S. Gundala, S. Rida, P. (2012). Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer, British Journal of Nutrition, 107(4), pp. 473-484.
Kawaii, S., T. Yasuhiko, K. Eriko, O. Kazunori, Y. Masamichi, K. Meisaku, ChihiroIto and F. Hiroshi, (2000), Quantitative study of flavonoids in leaves of Citrus plants, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 48: 3865-3871.
Kocaadam, B. Şanlier, N. (2017). Curcumin, an active component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), and its effects on health, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(13).
Labban, L. (2014). Medicinal and pharmacological properties of Turmeric (Curcuma longa): A review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Biomedical Science. 5(1), 17-23.
Mohanapriya, M. Ramaswamy, L. Rajendran, R. (2013). Health and Medical properties of Lemon (Citrus Limonum), International Journal of Ayurvedic And Herbal Medicine, 3(1), pp.1095:1100.
Nagpal, M. Sood, S. (2013). Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview, Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 4(1), pp. 3–7.
Ortuno, A.A., P. Baidez, M.C. Gomez, I. Arcas, A.G. Porras and J.A. Del Rio, (2006), Citrus paradise and Citrus sinensis flavonoids: Their influence in the defence mechanism against Penicillium digitatum, Food Chemistry, 98(2): 351-358.
Percival, SS. Vanden Heuve,l JP. Nieves, CJ. Montero, C. Migliaccio, AJ. Meadors, J.(2012). Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 31(4), pp. 288-94.
Ravindranath, V. Chandrasekhara, N. (1980). Absorption and tissue distribution of curcumin in rats. Toxicology, 16(3), pp. 259-265.Singletary, K. (2010). Ginger: An Overview of Health Benefits, Nutrition Today, 45(4), p. 171-183.
Yue GG, Cheng SW, Yu H, Xu ZS, Lee JK, Hon PM, Lee MY, Kennelly EJ, Deng G, Yeung SK, Cassileth BR, Fung KP, Leung PC, Lau CB. (2012). The Role of Turmerones on Curcumin Transportation and P-Glycoprotein Activities in Intestinal Caco-2 Cells, Journal of Medical Food, 15(3), pp. 242–252.,