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Ginger Tea: An Ancient Solution to Today’s Common Ailments

June 02, 2018

Story at-a-glance

  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one the oldest cultivated plants currently in existence. Historians believe that ginger has been grown for more 5,000 years, ever since ancient Indians and Chinese discovered and used it as a tonic root to help treat a variety of ailments
  • Ginger is a caffeine- and sugar-free plant that contains a mixture of vitamins and minerals working together to benefit your health. Furthermore, when made into tea, ginger releases gingerol and protease, which are compounds that may help boost cardiovascular circulation

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one the oldest cultivated plants currently in existence. Historians believe that ginger has been grown for more 5,000 years, ever since ancient Indians and Chinese discovered and used it as a tonic root to help treat a variety of ailments. The plant was introduced to the Western world when it was exported from India to the Roman Empire.1

Back then, ginger was considered to be an incredibly luxurious spice and was difficult to procure. During the 13th and 14th century A.D., however, Arab traders planted ginger roots throughout their voyage in Africa, causing the plant to spread and prices to go down. Today, ginger can be purchased easily almost anywhere compared to hundreds of years ago, where the price for a single pound of it was equivalent to a single live sheep!2

What Is Ginger Tea and Why Should You Take It?

One easy way of obtaining ginger’s advantages is making your own ginger root tea, and it is one of ginger’s most commonly prepared forms. In its simplest sense, ginger tea is made by boiling sliced ginger root in water.3

Another method for making ginger tea is using powder or teabags bought online or from your local store. If this is your preferred method, make sure that the product you’re buying uses high-quality ingredients from a reputable company. But if you have the time and resources, I strongly suggest growing your own ginger roots because this approach is healthier and safer.

The Potential Benefits of Ginger Tea Are Numerous

What is ginger tea good for, anyway? Throughout history, it has been prescribed by healers and herbalists to help their patients alleviate a variety of conditions. Drinking it regularly may help:4

Relieve nausea: If you feel nauseous due to whatever reason, drinking ginger tea may help you feel better.5

Promote stomach health: Drinking ginger tea may help boost stomach health by reducing the effects of chronic indigestion.6,7

Manage inflammation: Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties have been well-known throughout history. Taking it as tea may help you remedy muscle and joint pain after a strenuous workout.8,9

Ease respiratory conditions: Ginger tea may help relieve inflammation related to the respiratory system, such as asthma, allowing you to breathe better.10

Boost brain function: In a study conducted among healthy middle-aged women, researchers discovered that ginger may help improve attention and cognitive processing without causing any side effects.11

Relieve menstrual discomfort: The muscle-relaxing properties of ginger may help provide relief for women suffering from menstrual cramps, as evidenced in one study.12

Strengthen the immune system: The numerous antioxidants found in ginger tea may help boost your immune system, thereby helping reduce your risk of contracting infectious diseases.13


Caffeine Content and Other Nutrition Facts of Ginger Tea

Ginger is a caffeine- and sugar-free plant that contains a mixture of vitamins and minerals working together to benefit your health. Furthermore, ginger contains gingerol, a unique compound that may help boost cardiovascular circulation.14

How to Grow Ginger in Your Garden

Making high-quality ginger tea starts with the plant itself. Make sure your garden has rich, loose soil with lots of shade. Next, choose an organic ginger root from a reputable grower, as this is what you will need to place into the ground. Ideally, it should be around 4 to 5 inches long with several fingers that have greenish tips.15

Plant the root in early spring after the last frost has passed. Next, cut off the fingers and place them in a shallow trench no deeper than 1 inch.16 Once the roots are firmly placed in the ground, water them thoroughly, and leaves will emerge within a week or two. After you’ve reached this phase, continue watering, but sparingly. Overall, it may take 10 months for the plants to completely mature.17

Harvesting the plants is easy, as you only need to lift them gently from the soil. If you want to replant a new batch, simply break off a part of a root that has foliage and then return it into the ground. Wash the remaining bunch thoroughly with running water,18 and then store them in a reusable plastic bag with the air vacuumed, and place into your refrigerator’s crisper.19

How to Make Ginger Tea

Once you have your own ginger plant, you can now proceed to making fresh ginger tea. It’s quite easy to make, ensuring that it’ll be a regular fixture in your diet for years to come. To begin making your tea, you’ll only need around 2 inches of raw ginger, and 1 and a half or 2 cups of water. Afterward, follow this procedure:20

How to Brew Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

2 inches of raw ginger

1 and a half or 2 cups of filtered water

Procedure:

1. Peel the ginger root and slice it thinly to maximize the amount of the plant you can use.

2. Boil the slices in filtered water for 10 minutes. If you want a stronger and tangier flavor, boil for 20 minutes and add more ginger.

3. Turn off the heat, then let the tea simmer.

4. Add fresh lime juice and/or raw honey if you want to modify the flavor.

5. Enjoy your tea!

You may also create turmeric-ginger tea to give yourself a big boost in antioxidants. Here’s what you will need:21

How to Make Turmeric-Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon raw honey

1 lemon wedge

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Procedure:

To make the tea, simply mix all ingredients together and boil the water on medium low heat for 10 minutes, then strain into a cup.22

Side Effects of Ginger Tea Are Virtually Nonexistent

The great thing about ginger tea is that it is safe to drink, and no serious side effects have been reported. However, there’s an occasional chance that you may develop heartburn, diarrhea or mouth irritation.23

Adding Ginger Tea to Your Regular Diet Can Help You Achieve Optimal Health

Ginger has been around for thousands of years, and it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere soon. Based on the evidence, taking it as a tea may potentially benefit your well-being. But in order to maximize its effectiveness, I recommend that you grow your own ginger roots so you avoid ingesting pesticides and other harmful chemicals that normally come from conventionally grown herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ginger Tea

Q: Is ginger tea good for you?

A: Ginger tea may benefit your health, as it is known for managing inflammation, eliminating free radicals and alleviating nausea.24

Q: Is ginger tea safe to take during pregnancy?

A: There’s currently little data about drinking ginger tea during pregnancy, but the American Pregnancy Association considers it possibly safe.25

Q: Where can you buy ginger tea?

A: Ginger tea bags are available at the grocery store, but it is better to make your own tea using ginger roots grown from your garden.26

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Sources and References

  • 1 Mother Earth Living, March 16, 2011
  • 2, 10, 24 PubMed “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects 2nd Edition”
  • 3 Very Well Fit, “An Easy Ginger Tea Recipe”
  • 4 The Times of India, August 11, 2017
  • 5 British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2000;84(3):367-71
  • 6 European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 2008 May;20(5):436-40
  • 7 World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2011 Jan 7;17(1):105-110
  • 8 The Journal of Pain, 2010 Sep;11(9):894-903
  • 9 Phytotherapy Research, 2010 Nov;24(11):1620-6
  • 11 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012;2012:383062
  • 12 BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2012;12:92
  • 13 International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S36-S42
  • 14 Planta Medica, 2013 Mar;79(5):322-6
  • 15, 16, 17, 18 Gardening Know How, “Growing Ginger Plants: How to Plant and Care for Ginger”
  • 19 Kitchn, January 7, 2015
  • 20 The Spruce, “How to Make Homemade Ginger Tea (Recipe)”
  • 21, 22 AllRecipes, “Ginger-Turmeric Herbal Tea”
  • 23 “Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology,” April 2011
  • 25 American Pregnancy Association, “Herbal Tea and Pregnancy”
  • 26 SFGate, “What Does Ginger Tea Do for You?”
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