Nothing soothes the soul and body more than a steaming hot cup of ginger tea on a blustery winter day, or a tall glass of refreshing iced ginger tea to cool you off in the heat of summer. This root has been used for over 5,000 years in hundreds of countries as a remedy for many common ailments such as digestive issues, inflammation, and arthritis, and is often viewed as the starting point of much modern medicine. Ginger originated in Asia and is still most commonly grown there due to the optimal growing conditions, however, it has risen in popularity in Western culture not just as a fragrant way to spice up culinary creations, but as a potent healing superfood.
So What Exactly Makes This Root So Beneficial?
Ginger root is loaded with healthy compounds such as gingerol, shogaol, paradol, and zingerone. Though these words may seem unconvincing at first, it is important to realize their necessity in helping the body function optimally.
Gingerol, for instance, is used by the body to combat chronic inflammation, one of the greatest silent killers in American culture, by improving the function of the cardiovascular system. Chronic inflammation is when the body responds to trauma, even though it has not experienced any, causing swelling and damage to healthy tissues. This is considered to be at the root of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease and is generally caused by an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
Why Ginger Tea
One of the easiest ways to obtain all the powerful health benefits of ginger root is to make it into a tea. Steeping the root in hot water allows the valuable nutrients to escape and make them more easily accessed by your body. Many companies sell ginger tea already packed in easy-to-use tea bags, but fresh ginger is usually safer and healthier as many of these brands follow preservative processes that remove some of the vital nutrients from the root. If you are unable to procure fresh ginger or don’t have the time to slice it up, be sure to purchase 100% organic tea with no added elements – like this one on Amazon.
Ginger is also frequently sold in dried or powdered forms that are taken as supplements. However, ginger tea is by far the most relaxing and therapeutic way to enjoy the profits of this spicy root.
9 Health Benefits Of Ginger Tea
1. Relieves Nausea
One of the most exalted benefits of ginger tea is its ability to reduce nausea and settle the stomach. This is why many mistakenly reach for a glass of bubbly artificial ginger-ale when plagued by a stomach bug. While ginger-ale will do little to soothe an upset tummy, ginger has been used as a remedy to ease stomach upset from motion sickness, morning sickness, and vomiting since it was first cultivated in the ancient civilizations of China. In fact, there is even evidence to suggest that it may be as effective as prescription medication for preventing seasickness.
Another talked-about use for ginger related to stomach upset is its ability to decrease the effects of morning sickness in pregnant women. Be cautious before using this alternative treatment as some say that ginger may cause a miscarriage when ingested in large amounts, though there is little evidence to back these claims. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any outside remedies for pregnancy-related nausea.
A study also examined the effects of ginger in regards to adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. This study showed a significant decrease in nausea severity for those exposed to chemo. Groundbreaking research even suggests the possibility of using the gingerol compound as a treatment for particular types of cancer. One study performed on in vitro cancer cells revealed a significant ability to kill cancer cells while preserving the healthy cells.
Tip: To boost the nausea fighting powers of ginger, try adding mint leaves or lemon juice to your tea.
2. Strengthens The Immune System
Ginger is filled with powerful antioxidants that serve to protect and strengthen the immune system against disease. Not only that, but ginger tea can actually reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and allergies by discouraging negative respiratory symptoms. Plus the spice and kick of ginger tea helps clear the sinuses and remove clogged up mucus.
Studies show that ginger root possesses potent antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and antihistamine properties that all contribute to a clean immune system. This root can insulate your body against bacterial and viral infections and buffer the effects of free radicals, thereby preventing chronic illness and inflammation.
3. Encourages Healthy Digestion
Gut health should be one of the most crucial concerns of those wishing to improve their overall health and wellbeing as many illnesses that spread throughout the body start with poor gut bacteria. However, many people ignore the digestive system and don’t pay attention when their stomach signals that something is wrong.
Ginger tea has been shown to decrease the cases of indigestion and stomach ulcers while encouraging proper function of the gut and promoting healthy bowel movements.
4. Boosts Brain Function
Much of the brain deterioration that occurs in aging individuals comes as a result of inflammation. Due to gingers ability to reduce this chronic inflammation, it is often taken as a means of encouraging healthy cognitive function and increasing memory and alertness. One study performed on a group of healthy, middle-aged women showed an increase in memory capability and attention after just two months of regular ginger consumption.
The use of ginger to protect and repair the brain is of particular interest to those studying neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Altzheimer’s.
5. Relieves Pain
Since much pain comes from chronic inflammation, it makes sense that the gingerol compound in ginger can also help reduce muscle, joint, and bone discomfort. One study examined the effects of regular ginger extract consumption by those suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. This study revealed a remarkable pain decrease in the group that was treated with ginger versus the placebo control group.
While ginger may not be able to compete with prescription pain meds, or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) it is far less damaging on the body for long-term use since it is easy on the stomach and possesses no adverse side effects. If you struggle with chronic pain try a cup of ginger tea each day. Your body will thank you.
6. Aids Weight Loss
Losing weight can be a tiresome, lengthy process, so it’s nice to have a little bit of help along the way. Ginger tea can help you eat less and eat healthier by suppressing your appetite and giving you something to sip on throughout the day instead of other unhealthy beverages. It can also help to increase the rate of fat breakdown to help you lose weight quickly while and decreasing fat storage to prevent weight gain.
7. Helps Control Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in the United States due to the prevalence of fast, processed, sugar-laden foods and unhealthy lifestyle choices along with a chronic lack of movement. Ginger can help regulate this disease by maintaining normal blood sugar levels and preventing crashes and spikes. One study also showed that ginger improved insulin resistance and encouraged healthy blood sugar.
8. Improves Blood Circulation
Poor blood circulation can be extremely dangerous and can result in a heart attack, blood clots, and stokes. Ginger acts as a natural blood thinner to encourage healthy blood flow to all parts of your body while preventing excessive clotting. Whether you suffer from atypical blood clotting or not, improving the cardiovascular system encourages brain function, cell growth, and healthy skin.
9. Reduces Stress
Ginger tea is thought by many to be a powerful calming agent that brings peace and harmony to the body. This is in theory due to its flavor and fragrant aroma. Drinking any tea is often considered a therapeutic process, as the warm liquid relaxes you from the inside out.
How To Make Ginger Tea
- 1-inch fresh ginger root
- 1 cup filtered water
- Peel and thinly slice fresh ginger root. This will ensure optimal flavor.
- Add water and ginger to a pot or teakettle on the stove and boil on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let tea simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain out ginger pieces.
- Stir in raw honey to taste, if desired
How To Make Turmeric Ginger Tea
Turmeric is one of India’s most magnificent healing spices and is known to reduce inflammation and deliver powerful antioxidants. Plus the flavor pairs wonderfully with ginger and can make your daily tea even healthier.
- 2 cups filtered water
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 lemon wedge
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove and boil on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let sit for three minutes.
- Strain into glass and enjoy!
How To Make Spicy Ginger Tea
If you like a little extra kick to your tea, you’ll love this cayenne ginger recipe. Serve hot or over ice for a nutrient-packed, invigorating beverage.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- Peel and thinly slice ginger
- Boil water
- Add all ingredients to a mug while water is boiling
- Pour hot water into a mug and stir well
- Let steep for 5-10 minutes
- Strain and enjoy
- It is unwise to take ginger in large amounts if you are on any medication that may thin your blood, as ginger can serve as a natural blood thinner.
- Check with your doctor before consuming ginger tea if you have a history of gallbladder problems as there is a small chance it may increase bile production.
- If you experience a skin rash or burning sensation in your mouth or stomach after ingesting ginger, cease use immediately as you may have a ginger allergy.
- Some people may experience minor heartburn or stomach upset after consuming ginger.
- It is unwise to use ginger alone as a treatment for any condition. Be sure to check with your doctor before regularly drinking ginger tea if you are experiencing health issues.
- Consuming more than 4 grams of ginger per day is unwise. Stick to one-two cups of ginger tea daily for optimal benefits.
Are you ready to sip on a cup of ginger tea today to reap all the amazing health perks? Always remember to buy certified organic ginger from a reputable source or grow it yourself for optimal effect and benefits. This superfood truly does live up to its name! Try experimenting with different added flavors to keep ginger tea fresh and exciting.