Ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat ailments and add an earthy, spicy flavor to dishes. Ginger originates from Asia and belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. People usually use its edible root or stem. It is also an ancient herbal remedy that people have used for a host of ailments including arthritis, diabetes, coughs, colds, and nausea. Ginger is consumed in many ways in folk medicine, including in the form of ginger tea. You can make ginger tea by boiling the peeled root in water or milk. This article reviews the health benefits and potential downsides of consuming ginger tea. It also provides an easy recipe that you can follow to make it yourself.
- 1 What is ginger tea?
- 2 Health Benefits of Drinking Ginger Tea
- 2.1 1. May Relieve Motion Sickness
- 2.2 2. May Relieve Nausea Due to Morning Sickness or Chemotherapy
- 2.3 3. May Help Manage Blood Pressure and Support Heart Health
- 2.4 4. May Help Manage Weight and Blood Sugar
- 2.5 5. May Relieve Pain and Inflammation
- 2.6 6. May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
- 2.7 7. May Protect Your Brain
- 3 Potential disadvantages
- 4 How to make ginger tea at home
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Drinking Ginger Tea
What is ginger tea?
Ginger is one of the most common ingredients in the world, used as a spice and herbal remedy. In folk medicine, people often use it to treat coughs and flu, among other ailments.
It has traditionally been used in many forms, including:
– in powder
Likewise, it is available in multiple forms, such as:
As mentioned above, ginger tea is prepared by boiling the peeled root in water or milk. The oils and compounds responsible for ginger’s characteristic aroma and spicy flavor make up about 1-4% of the ginger root. Two of these compounds, gingerols and shogaols, are considered the main bioactive components of ginger. This means that they are the source of most of the health benefits of ginger and ginger tea.
Here are some of the known and potential benefits of ginger tea.
Health Benefits of Drinking Ginger Tea
Here are 7 potential health benefits of ginger tea.
1. May Relieve Motion Sickness
Folk medicine suggests that ginger tea can help calm symptoms of motion sickness, such as dizziness, vomiting, and cold sweats. A 1988 study of 80 sea cadets unaccustomed to rough seas determined that those given 1 gram of powdered ginger reported reduced vomiting and cold sweats. Although researchers don’t understand exactly how ginger works, some have suggested that certain compounds in ginger block a brain receptor that plays a key role in the vomiting center of the brain. However, current research is limited or inconclusive. Still, if you get nauseous from time to time, ginger tea might be a good treatment to try.
2. May Relieve Nausea Due to Morning Sickness or Chemotherapy
Some experts believe that the gingerols in ginger can help relieve nausea caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy, or surgery. Researchers suggest that ginger could be an effective and inexpensive alternative to traditional anti-nausea medications for people who are pregnant or undergoing chemotherapy who cannot take conventional medications. A study in 92 women found that ginger was more effective than standard medication in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting caused by general anesthesia. Nevertheless, be sure to consult a doctor before using ginger after an operation. It can interfere with blood clotting. Although research on this is still emerging and further studies are needed.
3. May Help Manage Blood Pressure and Support Heart Health
Research suggests that consuming ginger in daily doses of 2-6 grams may help protect against heart disease. Ginger can do this by:
– lowering blood pressure
– help prevent heart attacks
– help prevent the formation of blood clots
– relieve heartburn
– reduce cholesterol levels
– improve blood circulation
4. May Help Manage Weight and Blood Sugar
There is plenty of research showing that consuming ginger has beneficial effects on weight and blood sugar management. Research suggests that ginger can help manage body weight by:
– increasing thermogenesis, the production of heat by your body, which helps burn fat
– by increasing the breakdown of fat into energy
– inhibiting fat storage
– inhibiting fat absorption
– help control appetite
Additionally, ginger may help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity by reducing fasting insulin, hemoglobin A1C, and triglyceride levels. Hemoglobin A1C is an indication of your blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months.
5. May Relieve Pain and Inflammation
People have used ginger to treat inflammation for centuries, and now science is backing it up for certain uses. Research shows that compounds in ginger called gingerol and shogaol help reduce the production of pro-inflammatory markers. Ginger has been particularly studied for its effects on the relief of pain related to osteoarthritis of the knee. Ginger tea can also help relieve menstrual cramps if you take it at the start of your period. Research shows that it can be as effective or more effective than over-the-counter pain medications.
6. May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Studies have even shown that ginger can help prevent cancer, mainly due to its gingerol and shogaol content. Test-tube studies have shown that gingerol and shogaol may contribute to the anti-cancer properties of ginger by causing cell death and preventing cancer cells from multiplying and growing. Other test-tube studies have shown that ginger may have an effect on several types of cancer cells, including pancreatic, colon, rectum, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers. More studies on the effects of ginger and ginger tea on cancer in humans are needed.
7. May Protect Your Brain
Scientists have studied the protective effects of ginger against oxidative stress and inflammation, two factors that play a decisive role in the development of degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies show that gingerol and shogaol may offer protection against age-related decline in brain function through their antioxidant properties. Test-tube studies also suggest that ginger extract may increase cell survival against beta-amyloid — a protein closely linked to Alzheimer’s disease that can induce toxicity in brain cells.
Consuming ginger tea is unlikely to cause serious side effects. Ginger is generally recognized as safe, including for people who are breastfeeding or benefit from breastfeeding. It is safe to consume up to 4 grams of ginger per day. However, these amounts are generally not achieved in studies. Although there is no consensus on the correct dosage of ginger, studies recommend a safe daily dose of 1000 mg of fresh ginger.
This is equivalent to 1 teaspoon (5ml) of freshly grated ginger extract, 0.4 teaspoon (2ml) of liquid ginger extract, 4 cups (946ml) of prepackaged ginger tea or 2 scoops (10 ml) ginger syrup. Note that ginger tea is likely less concentrated than these forms of ginger. So while drinking ginger tea can have side effects, you are unlikely to experience them if you only drink one or two cups. That said, if you think you’re experiencing side effects from drinking ginger tea, stop drinking it immediately and consider talking to a healthcare professional about your symptoms. People who experience side effects after consuming ginger most often report gas, bloating, nausea, heartburn, or reflux. Other reported symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain. As ginger may lower blood pressure and have a blood-thinning effect, people taking blood thinners or blood pressure medications should consult their healthcare practitioner before consuming additional ginger.
How to make ginger tea at home
Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe for making your own ginger tea.
4-6 thin slices raw ginger, peeled (for a stronger ginger tea, add more slices)
473 ml (2 cups) of water
the juice of a lemon
honey or other sweetener, to taste (optional)
Instructions for preparing it with water
First, wash and scrub the ginger root. Next, peel the ginger and slice it thinly.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Place the ginger slices in the water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Simmer longer for a spicier tea. Remove from fire. Add lime or lemon juice and honey to taste, if desired.
Instructions for preparing it with milk
You can also prepare ginger tea with milk:
Boil ginger root slices in 1 cup (237ml) of water for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add 2 cups (473 ml) of milk.
Return the pan to the heat and gently simmer the milk and ginger for 5 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drinking Ginger Tea
Here are some frequently asked questions about drinking ginger tea that can guide you if you’re still not sure if you want to try it:
Can you drink ginger tea every day? Yes, ginger is generally recognized as safe. You can safely consume up to 4 grams of ginger per day, which is far more than you would consume in a cup of ginger tea.
Can you drink ginger tea before bed? Yes. Ginger tea is considered a caffeine-free brew because, unlike black, green, oolong, and white teas, it does not come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the source of caffeine in tea.
When is the best time to drink ginger tea? You can enjoy your cup of ginger tea any time of the day, starting in the morning, just before bed, or any time in between.
What are the effects of ginger on the body? Ginger is rich in compounds with many beneficial effects on the health of the body. It has potential antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, weight-loss, and brain- and heart-protective effects.