All About Ginger Tea
Ginger is a powerful plant that has been used to add an extra kick to foods and treat ailments for centuries. The underground or root stem of the ginger plant is either consumed as an oil, spice, dried, powdered or fresh. Ginger is a member of the turmeric, nutmeg, saffron, cardamom, and Zingiberaceae family, it is grown in Australia, Indonesia, Fiji and Jamaica. Ginger is available dried, fresh, in lozenges, capsules, tinctures, powder, ginger ale, ginger snaps, cookies and gingerbread. In this article, you will read about the interesting health capabilities associated with ginger tea and much more.
The History of Ginger
You will also hear ginger referred to as Zingiber Officinalis, the plant was discovered approximately 5,000 years ago when the ancient Chinese and Indians decided that it was a potent root tonic and had many healing properties. Ginger originates from Southeast Asia, but since it was discovered it has been cultivated in several different countries. The Ancient Romans used ginger often, but after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was no longer available in the country. The ginger plant grows with several stems of ribbed leaves and yellow and white flowers.
The Ingredients in Ginger
There are many active ingredients in ginger, all of which have got several health benefits. These include the following:
- Phytochemical compounds
There are many beneficial nutrients found in ginger, these include the following:
- Vitamin B6
How to Make Your Own Ginger Tea
Readymade ginger tea is available in the majority of convenience stores; however, the health benefits are a lot more potent when made at home with fresh ginger root. You will need the following Ingredients:
- Four to six slices of raw, peeled ginger
- Two cups of water
- Honey or agave nectar or the juice of half a lemon or lime for taste
Directions to Make the Ginger Tea
- Scrub the ginger root, peel and slice it.
- Pour the water into a medium sliced saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add the ginger to the water and continue to boil for a further ten minutes.
- Take the saucepan off the cooker, add your preferred ingredients to sweeten and enjoy.
Depending on your preference, ginger tea can also be made with milk; after boiling the ginger root in water for ten minutes, sieve the ginger out, drain the water and then add two cups of milk to the saucepan. Add the ginger and then allow the ingredients to simmer for five minutes.
The Benefits of Ginger
There are several health benefits associated with ginger, these include the following:
- Alleviating Nausea From Chemotherapy and Morning Sickness
Ginger contains several active compounds such as gingerols and phenol compounds which can help treat nausea associated with surgery, chemotherapy, and pregnancy. It is important that you seek advice from your doctor before drinking ginger after surgery because it has the ability to cause clotting. Experts suggest that ginger could be a suitable alternative to prescription anti-nausea medication.
- Ginger Treats Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joint degeneration, and this results in stiffness and pain. In a study of 247 people, it was discovered that those who consumed the ginger extract did not need to take as much pain medication because they experienced less pain.
- Ginger Improves Risk Factors Associated With Heart Disease and Reduces Blood Sugar
Studies suggest that ginger contains powerful properties that protect against diabetes. It significantly improves HbA1c markers which aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels. ApoB/ApoA-I and oxidized lipoproteins were greatly reduced in people who took ginger. Both of which seriously increase the chances of a person suffering from heart disease.
- Ginger is a Potent Treatment for Chronic Indigestion
You will also hear chronic indigestion referred to as dyspepsia; the condition involves severe discomfort and pain in the stomach’s upper region. Experts believe that one of the main causes of indigestion is a delay in the stomach is emptied. One study found that ginger increased the speed at which the stomach was emptied by four minutes.
- Ginger Can Reduce the Symptoms Associated With Menstrual Pain
The physical pain that women experience during their monthly cycle is referred to as menstrual pain. It is also known as dysmenorrhea. A study of 150 women discovered that women who consumed 1 gram of ginger powder per day at the beginning of their menstrual period experienced less pain. Results show that the ginger was just as effective as drugs such as ibuprofen and mefenamic.
- Ginger Can Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is a common disease caused by an overgrowth of abnormal cells. Several studies have discovered that ginger extract contains potent anti-cancer properties such as gingerol.
- Ginger Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can speed up the aging process, both of which are believed to be the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies suggest that bioactive compounds and antioxidants in ginger can prevent inflammatory reactions that take place in the brain. Research also suggests that ginger has a direct effect on brain function.
- Ginger Can Help to Fight Against Infections
Fresh ginger contains a bioactive compound called gingerol, this is known to reduce the risk of infection and stop the growth of several strains of bacteria. It is extremely potent against the oral bacteria that cause inflammatory disease in the gums such as periodontitis and gingivitis. Fresh ginger also protects the body against the RSV virus which is known to cause respiratory infections.
- Ginger Can Help to Suppress Appetite
For those who want to lose weight, ginger tea is a great way to stop yourself from overeating. Research suggests that ginger tea reduces the feelings associated with hunger for approximately 6 hours. People also feel full for longer periods of time after consuming ginger tea. To use ginger tea as an appetite suppressant, drinking one cup of ginger tea every time you have a meal. You can choose to do so after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, to gain the full benefits of ginger for weight loss purposes, it is advised that the consumption of ginger tea is combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
Ginger Fights Fungus
According to several studies, ginger works better than prescription medication when it comes to fighting fungus related conditions. As well as drinking ginger tea, ginger can be applied topically combined with other essential oils to fight fungus.
Potential Side Effects
As you have read, there are a lot of health benefits associated with ginger tea; however, there are also several negative side effects. Here are some of them:
- Throat or mouth irritation
- Dermatitis (when used topically)
- An overdose can cause depression of the central nervous system
- An overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmias
- A tendency to over bleed
Ginger can also cause negative side effects when it is combined with other drugs. According to research, there are 73 medications that cause a physical reaction when combined with ginger; here are some of them:
- Green tea
- Devils claw
Experts also advise that you should not combine ginger root with medications such as warfarin because of their blood-thinning capabilities. This combination has the potential to increase the risk of complications with bleeding and bruising. It is also advised that ginger should not be combined with high blood pressure or diabetes treatments.
If you are taking any of the above medications and you experience any side effects due to their interactions with ginger, it is essential that you book an immediate appointment with your doctor.
Treatment with ginger is not appropriate for everyone; children under the age of two should not consume ginger root. Experts suggest that people suffering from gallstones should consult their doctor before consuming ginger root. It is also advised that those who have a history of diabetes, bleeding disorders and heart problems should not consume ginger root.
The dose of ginger a person is required to take is dependent upon the condition; experts suggest the following recommendations:
- Vomiting and Nausea: Half a gram of ginger twice a day
- Menstrual Cramps: 250 mg of ginger extract four times a day at the beginning of the female cycle
- For Morning Sickness: Between 500 and 2500mg of ginger divided into two or four doses taken three times per day
- Osteoarthritis: 170 mg of ginger three times per day
Ginger tea is a delicious and natural drink that has got several health benefits. Even if you don’t suffer from a health condition, it is in your best interest to consume ginger tea because it prevents a number of different ailments and strengthens the immune system. As you have read, ginger is extremely simple to make and anyone wanting to enjoy its benefits can easily incorporate it into their daily routine. However, as with all things, it is important that you don’t go overboard and that it is consumed in moderation to prevent any negative side effects.