Unearthed fantastic Ginger tea health benefits that had been rooted over the millennia. And how this amazing drink can improve your overall health!
I grew up on ginger. My mom swears by the power of ginger and makes us eat it all the time. We drink ginger (chicken ginger soup), chew ginger (ginger candy), eat ginger (ginger noodles). “Here, put some ginger in there,” as she handed me freshly grated ginger on a tiny plate, “but mom, I’m eating cereal!”
Let’s face it, COVID changed everything. We’re all learning to take better care of ourselves: more vitamins, more veggies, more fresh air, and sunshine to boost our immune systems, organically! The goal is to maintain optimal health to ward off all illnesses.
So I started making Ginger Turmeric Pepper Tea (stay tuned for this amazing DIY recipe) to boost my immune system. And I feel the power of surging wellness when I drink it. But is ginger everything that is said about her? So I embarked on a research journey seeking scientific proof of ginger’s health benefits!
First, what’s Ginger? This ancient beauty is rooted in our daily lives, both in Eastern and Western cultures.
Here in the west, we cook with ginger (sesame ginger chicken, anyone?), bake with ginger (ginger snaps), breathe ginger (gingerbread candles at Christmastime), drink it cold (ginger ale), and hot (ginger lemon tea). We even rub ginger on our skin! We love ginger so much that we even name pretty redheads Ginger. Remember that feisty, headstrong character on Gilligan’s Island, played by Tina Louise?
Asian cultures have consumed ginger for thousands of years! Here are a few ways:
- Japanese sushi served with pickled ginger
- Cantonese Ginger Chicken Soup <Mama’s signature soup!>
- Korean Honey Ginger Tea
- Thai Ginger Chicken (Gai Pad King)
- Hong Kong Ginger Milk Tea (姜汁奶茶)
After giving birth, Cantonese women add a special dish to their diet composed of ginger, eggs, sweet vinegar, and pig’s feet. <ugggh! Don’t over think it. It’s ancient chinese “feet” secret.> Rich in calcium, iron and protein, this must-have Ginger Vinegar soup restores the yin-yang balance to the new mothers.
Roots of Ginger
Origin stories are fascinating! Ginger is no exception. This wondrous plant was first discovered in South East Asia and then domesticated. Those people cultivated variants like bitter ginger, turmeric, and white turmeric. They used ginger leaves to weave mats and ginger root to flavor food.
They also used the ginger root in healing rituals and spiritual protection, such as blessing their ships with ginger!
About five thousand years ago, sailors brought ginger to the Pacific Islands. It then reached South India and Sri Lanka. Later, ginger traveled throughout the Comoros, Madagascar, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. <what a world-traveler!>
She’s a tropical beauty with leafy stems up to three feet tall! <a power petite!> She flowers in various colors, red, green, and purple. Her most virtuous part, though, lies under the soil! <like where women are most beautiful— hidden on the inside.>
Instantly recognizable and curiously shaped, Ginger’s root is a rhizome, botanically named Zingiber officinale. Ginger roots are used in ancient medicines as well as modern recipes across the globe.
Ginger’s medicinal qualities come from two primary components: Gingerols and Shogoals.
- Gingerols are piercing pungent compounds, giving ginger her unique scent.
- Shogaols impart the characteristic sharp, spicy taste to ginger in dried form.
Ginger root can be consumed in many ways, including freshly cut, dried as a spice, made into tablets, and even liquid form. In addition, the ginger root contains around 2% essential oils, which are infused into many wellness products, such as throat lozenges, soaps, and fragrances.
Truly, ginger abundantly blesses our lives. So what’s the most popular and convenient way people get this healthy spicy fix? Ginger Tea!
History of Ginger Tea
Did you know that Ginger tea was used as herbal medicine throughout Asia for thousands of years?
In Tang Dynasty China (from 618 to 907 AD), people added ginger as one of the key ingredients to make tea soup. Yes, in the birthplace of tea, Chinese people first cooked tea into soup!
Throughout the world, people drink ginger tea differently. For example, in Korea, people pour boiling water over fresh ginger slices and serve with jujubes and pears. Some preserve the ginger root in honey to mix with hot water, making Honey Ginger Tea.
In Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia, people brew strong Black tea, sweeten it with condensed milk, and flavor it with ginger, cloves, and other spices. <yummy Chai Tea Latte!>
In Java, Ginger tea is flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and lemongrass, then sweetened with palm sugar. Other Indonesian islands make ginger tea with pandan leaves, then add palm/cane sugar with milk. <wish I had this drink while traveling through Texas!>
India also mixes ginger with black tea, sugar, and milk, called Adrak Wali Chai. <amazing drink!>
These days, you can find various ginger teas practically anywhere in the world, loose and in tea sachets.
An elixir made from two ancient botanical beauties, Ginger and Camellia Sinensis, ginger tea is a match made in heaven. It’s as ubiquitous as it is beneficial to the human body. Research studies have shown the abundant health benefits of ginger tea! Here are 12 significant ones:
12 Health Benefits of Ginger Tea
Ginger tea can prevent a myriad of diseases and improve your overall health and wellness.
#1 Alleviates Nausea and Sickness
A 2003 study found that ginger reduces nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. In addition, it pushes back nausea onset and speeds up recovery time. Ginger can relieve morning sickness in pregnant women as well as nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Please keep in mind ginger could interfere with clotting after surgery, so check with your doctor when using it to replace an anti-nausea drug.
#2 Improves Heart Health
Consuming ginger daily can decrease your risk for hypertension and coronary heart disease. Ginger tea can prevent blood clots, heart attacks, and high cholesterol. It also improves blood circulation.
#3 Regulates Blood Pressure
Ginger extract can lower blood pressure because of its dual inhibitory effect. Therefore, greater doses of crude ginger extract can help reduce blood pressure.
#4 Provides Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
Increasing your ginger intake, be it through the plant itself or Lemon Ginger Tea (my favorite), can significantly reduce pain from osteoarthritis. It also reduces disability from the disease, and patients who take it are more likely to discontinue osteoarthritis treatment. Combining ginger with sesame oil, cinnamon, and mastic can also reduce stiffness from osteoarthritis when applied topically, increasing mobility and reducing pain.
#5 Reduces Inflammation
Not only can gingerols reduce nausea, but they also have anti-inflammatory effects. Reducing inflammation can slow the aging process and prevent inflammatory disorders like hepatitis, gastritis, and esophagitis. It also helps with muscle pain and recovery from exercise.
Shogaols have shown the most potent anti-inflammatory properties in ginger. Gingerols and shogaols inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines <that sounds like a villain in The Matrix) from synthesizing while suppressing other inflaming factors. As a result, ginger rhizomes can prevent allergic reactions and inflammation!
Ginger tea can improve the following inflammatory diseases:
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Septic shock
- Myocardial infarction
People in Asian countries often combine ginger with another root in the same family, turmeric, to further boost anti-inflammatory benefits. Heard of Ginger Turmeric Tea? It is a wonderful tonic that can help those suffering from inflammation.
#6 Promotes Weight Loss
Ginger tea can increase the thermic effect of food, which helps you burn more calories. It also boosts the feeling of fullness, so you are less likely to overeat. By increasing the calories you burn, while simultaneously reducing your sense of hunger <a twin win!>, you are more likely to lose weight. Essentially, ginger can lead to fat reduction. Drinking two grams of ginger powder in tea daily may help you lose weight! <skinny jeans alert!>
# 7 Optimizes Immune Systems
Gingerols have antioxidant properties that can boost your immune system. In addition, they reduce oxidative stress resulting from excessive free radicals. The scent of ginger can relax you and reduce stress, especially if you inhale steamy Ginger tea! <ginger relaxes in a stimulating way. yin and yang. fascinating right?>
The steam can break through congestion and help with your cold or allergies. Gingerols can help fight the flu or a common cold while aiding your digestion. <double wow!>
To enhance ginger tea’s health benefits and taste, you can also add lemon or citron to make Lemon Honey Tea (aka Citron Ginger Tea). The combination of vitamin C and ginger powerfully boosts immune support.
#8 Possibly Prevents Cancer
Gingerols also exhibit anti-cancer properties. In addition, Shogaols and paradols (another component of ginger) may also prevent cancers.
In colon cancer, ginger can inhibit the growth of human colon adenocarcinoma-7 (HCA-7) cells.
Some herbs have anti-inflammatory powers, and you can maximize these benefits by combining ginger with bay leaf, turmeric, rosemary, and sage. <sounds as beautiful as a Simon and Garfunkle song.>
Ginger tea may also help with pancreatic cancer. Shogaols and gingerols slow the growth of tumor cells until they eventually die. Thus, taking ginger daily may prevent and treat cancer.
#9 Lowers Blood Sugars
Ginger tea helps control blood sugar levels. It also improves hemoglobin A1c, which represents the long-term levels of blood sugars. In individuals with type 2 diabetes, ginger can result in a 12% reduction in fasting blood sugar.
#10 Treats Chronic Indigestion
Ginger can accelerate gastric emptying if you suffer from chronic indigestion, as ginger speeds food processing from your stomach to your small intestine.
You can reduce stomach pain, early satiety, belching, nausea, fullness, bloating, and discomfort using ginger.
The combination of artichoke and ginger extracts can further boost your gastric-cleansing power. Double-dose detox!
#11 Protects Cognitive Function
While inflammation and oxidative stress can make you look older <oh no!>, they can also age your brain <oh double-heck no!>. These two factors contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Since Ginger tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, it can inhibit brain inflammation as you age.
Ginger can improve cognitive function by increasing reaction time and enhancing your working memory.
#12 Lowers Risk of Infections
Ginger has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can prevent many kinds of bacteria from growing in your body. Interestingly enough, ginger can prevent gingivitis! It also prevents periodontitis, an inflammatory gum disease. <protect that gorgeous smile of yours!>
If you like making your Ginger tea with fresh ginger, you can protect yourself from the respiratory syncytial virus. That’s right! Ginger has antiviral properties that can prevent respiratory infections. Such a power drink!
Frequently Asked Questions
Considering Ginger tea provides such abundant health benefits, you may have some questions about integrating ginger or ginger tea into your diet. Here are answers to several frequently asked questions:
Does ginger help with sleep?
Because ginger is a natural stimulant, it doesn’t produce any calming effects that aid sleep in most people. However, if you naturally fall asleep easily <lucky you!>, drinking a warm cup of ginger and lemon tea before bed may help boost your metabolism and immune system, though!
What are the side effects of ginger?
Ginger doesn’t typically create serious side effects. However, some people may experience minor side effects such as:
- Upset Stomach
- Mouth irritation
If you are taking medication, speak with your doctor before adding ginger into your diet regimen.
Is drinking ginger tea good for your skin?
The short answer is no. You’re probably shocked to hear that after reading all these health benefits of ginger tea! However, sliced and grated fresh ginger comes with powerful skin benefits when applied topically <mama’s right, again!> such as stopping hair loss, removing wrinkles, eliminating acne, and reducing cellulite. Here is a wonderful article if you want to learn more about that.
How often should you drink ginger tea?
You can drink ginger tea every day without problems. However, you should not consume more than four grams of ginger each day. You are unlikely to have that much if you only drink it in tea. Ask your doctor about it if you have low blood pressure, a blood disorder, or gallbladder problems. You may not be able to drink it if you are on blood thinners.
What time of day is best for ginger tea?
The best time to drink ginger tea is in the morning or afternoon as its thermic effect stimulates the metabolism to boost your energy.
How much ginger tea should you drink each day?
Try not to drink more than four cups of ginger tea each day. This amount will provide you with all of the health benefits without running into complications.
So, in the end, mom is right! <she’s always right, she told me.> Drinking a cup or two, or three, or four of Ginger Tea each day can benefit your body inside and out. It’s a natural, delicious, and comforting remedy to many ailments and makes an excellent addition to your healthy lifestyle.
So there you have it! Sip for health. And cheers to Ginger Tea!
Disclaimer: This article (including healthy tips/advice) provides general information only and is not intended as medical advice. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical advice/opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. 9 Dragons Tea does not claim responsibility for this information.