Ginger has been known for thousands of years both as a cooking ingredient and as medicine. This perennial herb originally comes from China and India. Today, it is widely grown in Asia, Australia and in the Americas. While the delicate leaves of ginger can be used in salads, its root contains the real benefits. The root called “rhizomes” are rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper and dietary fiber.
Ginger’s root has a very distinctive, tangy taste. It is used in many Asian dishes to balance their flavours. Also, a very aromatic tea can be made of its root. Drinking ginger tea is an excellent way to enjoy a range of health benefits associated with the plant.
The root of ginger is known to be very beneficial for a number of conditions. It helps combat nausea, improves digestion and helps the absorption of food. It prevents bloating and some people feel that it boosts their appetite. Ginger detoxifies the liver and it has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it a good remedy for joint and muscle problems. For people who suffer from respiratory problems due to allergies or to common cold, ginger can be a remedy, too. The root also improves blood circulation by preventing fat blocking arteries. In addition, it can relive pain related to menstrual discomfort; it strengthens immunity, boosts fertility and relives stress.
Though the health benefits are proven, ginger also can cause some side effects. If an excessive amount of ginger tea is consumed, digestive problems and acidity may present themselves. Also, too much ginger tea may lower blood sugar levels. Ginger may also disturb some anesthetic agents, causing bleeding and the slowing down of the healing process. Therefore, it is best to avoid ginger for a while for those, who have a surgery scheduled. Ginger may also disturb a good night’s sleep, so it is best not to drink ginger tea at night. Generally, ginger should also be avoided by people who suffer hemophilia or similar conditions; those who have hypertension and those who have gallstones. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid ginger tea, just to be on the safe side.
It is remarkably easy to make ginger tea. Try it today and enjoy the health benefits. The recipe below is for four servings, so drink it with your family or friends to avoid over-indulgence!
- 500 ml water
- 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of honey or agave nectar
- Juice of half a lemon
Optional additions: pinch of pepper, camomile flowers, fresh mint leaves, half a teaspoon of turmeric.
- Peel the ginger root with a peeler.
- Grate the ginger with a grater.
- Boil the water.
- Place the grated ginger in a teapot and pour over the water.
- Add the cinnamon, lemon juice and honey/agave syrup. Stir well.
You may serve it hot or cold with ice-cubes. It is lovely both ways! Enjoy!