The Many Benefits of Tasty, Tingly Ginger Tea

Updated on December 11, 2019
Moon Lightened profile image

We make it a habit to have a cup of ginger tea before we eat our meals. It aids digestion, improves appetite, and reduces flatulence.

This article will break down some of the history of ginger and detail its many wonderful uses, with an emphasis on the delightful ginger tea.
This article will break down some of the history of ginger and detail its many wonderful uses, with an emphasis on the delightful ginger tea. | Source

Ginger is one of the most abundant, vibrant, delightful and hardworking spices around, but it rarely receives the recognition it deserves. If you're not familiar with the wonders of it as a tea, then this is a most auspicious occasion. Let me introduce you to not only a new flavor dimension for your afternoon tea, but the whole world of health benefits that tasty, tingly beverage offers you. I'll brew us a pot and grab a plate of biscuits. Pull up a chair and we'll explore. Sound good?

What Is Ginger Tea?

Ginger tea is a spicy beverage enjoyed regularly throughout Asia and is well-known throughout most of the world. It can be steeped with or without the addition of tea leaves and is excellent served with honey or lemon. It's usually served hot, but this isn't always the case.

My husband insists on letting his cool until it's room temperature before taking the first satisfying sip. It can also be served iced. I've noticed that ginger tea always seems to produce its own unique signature smile too, which is a rather nice side effect indeed. In China, it's commonly steeped with brown sugar. In Korea, it's made with ginger sweetened and preserved in honey. It's a tasty treat and we're going to explore the many benefits of regularly sipping ginger tea for your health and wellbeing.

Here's a look at a ginger plant just after it's been pulled out of the ground.
Here's a look at a ginger plant just after it's been pulled out of the ground. | Source

How to Make Ginger Tea

Making this tea is not difficult in the least. There are dried, bagged, and boxed versions available, but I would suggest for maximum flavor and maximum health benefit to make it with fresh ginger. You can find it readily available at your local market or grocery store quite easily.

  1. Wash your ginger root well and dry. (You can peel it or not, the choice is up to you. We don't tend to peel ours unless there's a dry or questionable patch on it.)
  2. Cut your root into 1/4" thick slices. (There's no need to be fancy. These will be tossed out when you're finished.)
  3. Boil 1 1/2 cups of water and add the slices.
  4. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and let it sit for 5–10 minutes.
  5. When it's finished, you can then add sugar, honey, lemon, tea leaves, milk, cream, or whatever other ingredients you wish at that time.
  6. Strain and enjoy!

Consult Your Doctor If You're Pregnant, Have Gallstones, or Are Entering Surgery

Do not take ginger or drink it as a tea during pregnancy without consulting your doctor. If you have a medical history of gallstones, you should also consult your doctor before taking ginger tea. This tea should not be taken before any kind of surgery and should be stopped at least a week prior to the day of surgery. The high amount of ginger intake can cause stomach problems, as well as deter necessary blood clotting.

The Health Benefits of Tingly, Tasty Ginger Tea

Did you know Confucius was known to never take a meal without having ginger? I don't blame him. Since 500 BC, the world has known the immense benefits ginger has for the digestive system. This is because ginger contains shogaols and gingerols that beneficially stimulate the production of gastric juices, bile, and saliva, which contain enzymes that promote proper balanced digestion of food.

We make it a habit to have a cup of ginger tea before we eat our meals. Not only does it aid with digestion, it improves appetite and also helps guard against any unpleasant flatulence or belching. I can't think of one circumstance where that isn't a plus. It was lauded as the "Alka-Seltzer of the Roman Empire" and given to soldiers of the Revolutionary War as a regular part of their diet. It almost makes you feel the flow of human history rushed along on the benefits of a warm and delicious river of ginger tea enough to take up a paddle.

Nausea, Dizziness, and Upset Stomach

If you're suffering with nausea and dizziness due to flu, morning sickness, motion sickness or are post-operative, a nice of cup of ginger tea a few times a day will give you relief. Ginger has an immense calming and warming effect on the stomach. I eat a small piece of it raw or brew a cup for heart burn, and it works more quickly than any chalky tablet. It's a lot more pleasant too.

Recovery From Sickness

If you are down with a cold or the flu, you just can't beat snuggling up with a cup of ginger tea. It will warm the body and ease your chills and body aches. It's also a source of vitamin C, which gives a healthy boost to the immune system while you're down. Try adding a little lemon or honey for a sore throat or cough for added support and relief. It will help you restore your voice as well.

Source of Potassium

Did you also know that drinking a cup of ginger tea regularly is an excellent and beneficial source of potassium? It's a nice trade-off if you're not a banana-eater. The health benefits of having an adequate amount of potassium in the diet include the prevention of stroke and high blood pressure, reducing anxiety and stress, increased muscle strength, balance water in the body and electrolyte function, and the promotion of healthy functioning of the kidney, nervous system, and heart.

Aphrodisiac

Ginger has also been touted throughout the pages of history as an aphrodisiac. It was lauded extensively by the ancient Greeks as both a booster and a sustainer of one's amorous nature. Italy's famous University of Salerno medical school prescribed that a rule for happy life in old age was to “eat ginger, and you will love and be loved as in your youth.” Sounds like we can throw away that bottle of wine and steep up a nice steamy pot of ginger to take to the boudoir instead.

Pain Reliever

Ginger tea can also help with tooth pain, the pain associated with menstrual cramping, and a hangover. If you suffer migraines, try a cup of ginger tea at the onset. It not only helps with the headache pain, but it will also help with the subsequent nausea.

Cardiac Health

Want a healthy heart? Another benefit of ginger tea is that it helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels. It also reduces clotting and thinning of the blood, promoting healthy circulation and lowering blood pressure.

Anti-fungal

If you're tired of drinking it, you can also use the tea as a foot soak. It's anti-fungal properties are an effective way to treat athlete's foot.

A Bit of History About Ginger

Ginger is a botanical relative of marjoram and turmeric and is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Did you know we would have to go back nearly 5,000 years to begin our search through the history of this root?

It appears in Greek literature about 200 BC, where it's medicinal as well as economic importance were chronicled for the first time. It was first cultivated in China where the vast wealth associated with growing large fields of the spice were extolled. Simultaneously, it was also grown in India and used extensively as a beneficial tonic, although it's been cultivated for ages in many countries. Ginger was first exported from India to the Roman Empire, where it became a very popular every day spice. But after the empire fell, its use almost entirely died out in that region until the Arabs took over the spice trading in the East.

In the 11th century, ginger was added to buttermilk drinks by the Europeans. But roughly 200 years after, it began being widely used in pastes and the cooking of meats by the merits of its preservative abilities. By the 13th and 14th centuries, this useful herb had come into its own as a useful and beneficial spice. It was so valuable that one pound of it could buy you a sheep. In the 15th century, ginger plants were being carried by Arab traders throughout Africa and its rhizomes also transported by ship to the Caribbean, where further cultivation and expansion of its popularity began.

The early Greeks mixed the root in their breads, giving rise to the first "ginger breads." American colonists brewed it into beer, sipping it to calm digestive ailments, which today we call ginger ale.

Here is a list of symptoms that ginger can been used to address:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • morning sickness
  • heartburn
  • dizziness
  • common cold
  • cough
  • fever
  • inflammation
  • flatulence
  • chronic pain
  • muscle aches
  • arthritis pain
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • asthma
  • bad breath
  • infection

The Spiritual Side of Ginger

It's hard to argue the sense of relaxation and peace you feel snuggling up with a cup of your favorite tea. Ginger tea has been believed to have a spiritual dimension since its use began. Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Indian systems viewed ginger as a healing gift from God. Chinese pharmacopeias claim long-term use of the fresh root will put a person in contact with spiritual graces. Writings of the Quran describe ginger as a beverage of the holiest heavenly spirits.

Regardless of what you use this tea for, you'll find a pleasant, soothing, warming, and relaxing surprise in every cup. Enjoy!

© 2011 Moon Lightened

Comments

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    • Moon Lightened profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Lightened 

      7 years ago from Delhi, India

      I don't think a cup a day could hurt. We drink it every day.

    • profile image

      Sophia 

      7 years ago

      Hi! Thank you for your article! :)

      May i just ask. To obtain maximum benefits from ginger tea, do i drink it weekly? Or daily? Is there any proper prescription?

      Please reply. Thank you! :)

    • Moon Lightened profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Lightened 

      8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Heather, if you can't tell I'm addicted to it. Whether you drink it with or without tea leaves it just gives you the warm fuzzies and it's a good time of the year for it! Thank you for reading and your comments!

    • Heather63 profile image

      Heather Adams 

      8 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Great article, Moon Lightened! I have come to enjoy the taste of ginger, and tea will be a great new way to try it. Thank you for all the info, especially the history - it was fun to learn about.

    • Moon Lightened profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Lightened 

      8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thank you for reading, Senoritaa. I've been using ginger for a few years now and I know for tummy problems you can't beat it. Glad you liked it!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      8 years ago

      Ginger really has a lot of benefits. It can treat cold and digestive disorders, add flavor, relieve stress, and so much more. Great hub!

    • Moon Lightened profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Lightened 

      8 years ago from Delhi, India

      dinkan, thank you so much for reading and commenting. We have ginger, milk and sugar in our tea every day. I'm addicted to it, especially now that the weather is going cooler. One thing we do is boil the ginger in the water before adding anything else. Then after 5 or 10 minutes we add tea leaves and sugar, bring it back to a simmer until the tea leaves have released their flavor, then we add milk.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 

      8 years ago from India

      @Moon Lightened Is there any problem if ginger is boiled with tea and milk?

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 

      8 years ago from India

      Ginger is used widely in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Had ginger and curry leaves with buttermilk. tomorrow morning will try the tea. thanks for sharing the benefits of ginger with us. rated up and useful!

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