Most people know ginger as a spicy ingredient that gives your meal a zesty kick! Its warm and earthy flavor has elevated dishes all over Southeast Asia for thousands of years. But that's not all; ginger has an equally long history as an ancient herbal remedy that treats everything from arthritis to an upset stomach and even the common cold.
This article will dig deep into what makes this root a popular remedy today, the benefits of drinking ginger tea, and some possible side effects. Before adding ginger tea to your diet, consult your healthcare professional first to ensure it won't affect any medications or cause any allergic reactions.
What is Ginger Tea?
Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family of plants and is a native plant to Asia. People consume ginger in several different ways. The root and stem of the plant are typically used for medicinal purposes or as an ingredient in cooking.
One of the most common ways people consume ginger is by drinking tea made from the root. The best methods involve boiling slices or pieces of the root in water or milk. Or you can steep a delicious cup of ginger tea like this one to get all the spicy flavor and healthy goodness.
The oils and compounds naturally found in the raw ginger root and stem give ginger its signature aroma and flavor. The two main compounds responsible for taste and aroma are gingerols and shogaols. These are the main bioactive compounds of ginger root and the reason behind all of the health benefits of ginger. Whether you eat ginger raw or fresh or use powdered ginger in cooking, one of the best ways to get the health benefits of ginger is with a nice hot cup of spicy ginger tea.
Here are some of the more common forms of the harvested ginger root available:
Fresh pieces of the root
In a fine powdered form
And, of course, our favorite - ginger tea!
The Many Health Benefits of Fresh Ginger Root Tea
Whether you prefer adding fresh ginger to a salad or drinking ginger tea, here's a list of the top health benefits of consuming ginger.
#1. It Helps Relieve Motion Sickness
Ginger has been used for centuries to help with disorders of the stomach. Just like in ancient times, today, taking ginger can help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, such as vomiting, dizziness, and cold sweats.
One study conducted on naval cadets who sailed in rough waters saw a reduction in the symptoms associated with the constant rocking motion of the boat. Ginger works to stop feelings of sickness because of the bioactive compound found in ginger that blocks brain receptors that cause vomiting and dizziness.
#2. Prevents Nausea from Morning Sickness or Chemotherapy
Research suggests gingerols in ginger may help prevent nausea in pregnant women, people going through chemotherapy, or people who can't take conventional medicine for nausea.
It may even help with nausea caused by surgery. One study found that women who took ginger were more successful in reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting from general anesthesia than those who took standard drugs to relieve nausea. Checking with your doctor before taking ginger for nausea after surgery is vital since it may interfere with blood clotting and blood pressure medications.
#3. Better Heart Health
The stresses of life and a diet of processed foods can wreak havoc on the heart by causing problems such as high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. Studies show that regular consumption of 2-6 grams of ginger supplements daily may help prevent the onset of heart disease. Here are several ways the active constituents in ginger can help assist a healthy and happy heart:
It helps prevent blood clots and improves blood circulation
Lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and lower LDL cholesterol levels
It helps prevent heartburn and heart attacks
#4. Reduces Weight and Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Many studies show that regularly consuming ginger has incredible results for weight loss and lowering blood sugar levels. Ginger works wonders on weight loss by increasing thermogenesis or heat production in your body. A higher body temperature helps break down and burn fat for energy.
Ginger may also help inhibit fat storage and fat absorption and help control a person's appetite. People with type 2 diabetes who take ginger may be able to reduce fasting insulin levels, triglycerides, and hemoglobin A1C, which shows your blood sugar levels for the past three months.
#5. Ginger's Anti-Inflammatory Properties and Pain Relief
Using ginger to treat chronic inflammation and pain dates back hundreds of years. Today science is watching how ginger helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the body - and finding some positive results.
Scientific research shows that ginger reduces inflammation due to its main compounds - gingerol and shogaol - by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory markers. The anti-inflammatory effects of ginger may also provide relief to women who suffer from menstrual pain and menstrual cramps, rivaling even some of the top conventional pain relief medications.
#6. Better Brain Health
Ginger's ability to help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation could also help the brain prevent the onset of ageing and degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In animal studies, gingerol's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help protect the brain and boost better brain function.
#7. Anti-Cancer Properties
Can ginger prevent cancer? Studies suggest that the compounds gingerol and school may be the contributing factors to ginger's cancer-fighting abilities. In test tubes, these compounds cause cell death and prevent cancer cell growth.
While other test tube studies show that ginger may have the ability to affect different types of cancer cells, inhibiting growth. This includes colon, colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, and lung cancers. Although this shows excellent promise for ginger's anti-cancer abilities, more human studies are needed.
#8. Better Gut Health
That hot cup of ginger tea may boost the digestive system. Many healthcare professionals see a well-functioning digestive system as the first step towards better health.
Studies show that those who consume ginger regularly have less bloating, gas, and general stomach-related ailments. The main reason for this is that ginger consumed in tea, raw, or capsule form is known as having a carminative effect. This means it helps increase movement in the digestive tract while reducing the onset of gas. Ginger also helps promote healthy stomach enzymes that assist with the breakdown of the foods we eat.
Potential Side Effects of Ginger
Most people can drink ginger tea without causing any severe side effects, and it is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA says that an adult can safely consume up to 4 grams of ginger daily, and a generally recommended safe dosage of ginger would be around 1,000 mg of fresh ginger. You can calculate the specific amount in the following:
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of fresh ginger extract (grated)
0.4 teaspoons (2 ml) of liquid ginger extract
4 cups of ginger tea (in tea bags or 4 servings of loose-leaf)
2 teaspoons of ginger syrup
Although ginger tea is less concentrated than the other forms of ginger and side effects are rare. Sometimes, ginger tea, ginger root, dry ginger powder, and ginger supplements may negatively affect a person's health. Some of the more common side effects people experience from ginger are:
Gas and bloating
Heartburn and acid reflux
In some severe cases - diarrhea and abdominal pain
Since ginger has a blood-thinning effect and can also lower a person's blood pressure, people on blood pressure and blood thinners should avoid taking ginger or speak to their doctor before consuming fresh raw ginger, ginger supplements, or drinking ginger tea.
Begin Your Ginger Journey to Better Health Now
Whether you're using dried ginger to spice up your curries or grating some of the fresh root into your stir fry, ginger adds a ton of flavor to both sweet and savory foods. It also contains several beneficial effects for better human health.
From ginger's anti-inflammatory properties to fixing an upset stomach, relieving muscle pain, and improving digestion, the benefits of ginger seem endless. When you add ginger powder, ginger juice, ginger tea, or a ginger supplement to your diet, you may even feel the healing effects instantly.
If you're looking for a natural alternative to remedy these conditions, you can create a healthy and soothing beverage with just a little hot water and, of course, a delicious ginger tea. To begin your ginger journey, try these fantastic ginger tea blends from Firebelly.