It’s simple to make, tasty, refreshing, and filled with healthy benefits. Since I started drinking it, I seem to have cured a nagging, intermittent case of heart burn and indigestion. In fact, this was the main reason ginger tea came on to my radar in the first place, when I read that it was good to eliminate or control these issues.
I have also noticed a great improvement in head and chest congestion caused by allergens and irritants. My general sense of well being and energy levels have improved, and I just plain feel better more often than I have for quite some time.
So what does the research seem to say about ginger and it’s curative effects?
Fresh ginger root tea is a fast-acting remedy, because the body digests it quickly. This make it particularly good for conditions since as stomach upset or headaches which seem to have a sudden onset by providing relief of symptoms in a short time.
Ginger tea improves blood circulation. The chemical compounds in fresh ginger root seem to help lower low-density lipoproteins, which are the “bad” cholesterol components that cause lipid deposits in your arteries, restricting blood flow and placing strain on your heart muscle. Enhanced blood flow improves the delivery of vitamins, minerals and oxygen to your body’s cells, improving overall health and energy, as well as reducing blood pressure. It may also decrease your risk of cholesterol-related heart disease.
The use of ginger tea for nausea relief dates back to the times of ancient Chinese healers, who recommended it to sailors as a sea sickness preventative. The chemicals in fresh ginger tea seem to have the same effect on your stomach as over-the-counter motion sickness drugs. Ginger tea in at least some people seems t be particularly effective for treating nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments.
Ginger tea has antiviral properties, helping to destroy virus cells that cause common colds, influenza, cold sores and more. It may also help fight the spread of established viruses, speeding recovery from colds and flu.
The chemicals in fresh ginger tea may help shrink cancerous tumors, according to researchers, thus helping prevent the spread of cancer, and may increase the chances of cancer remission. However, scientific studies have only been conducted on animals, so the anti-cancer benefits of ginger tea for humans are unclear.
Fresh ginger tea helps to reduce inflammation of muscles and connective tissues. This may help ease pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, muscle strain, and other similar conditions. However, ginger tea cannot prevent the degradation of muscle and bone cells associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Fresh ginger tea increases movement of blood in the circulatory system. When the movement increases, it rises to the blood vessels just beneath the surface of the skin, and, as a result, perspiration increases. When perspiration cools, it lowers the body’s temperature. Therefore, fresh ginger tea is a useful remedy for reducing fevers.
Fresh ginger tea can effectively relieve headaches. The herb’s active constituents, gomgerol and shogaol, are two components that are known to decrease inflammation, which results in headache pain relief. Additionally, ginger regulates circulation in the brain’s blood vessels, which also can reduce the intensity or duration of headaches.
Fresh ginger tea can be applied as a compress to treat muscle pain and arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which inhibits production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, the components in the body that cause inflammation. A ginger compress is one of the most effective topical herbal applications that has been tested.
Danish research has found that ginger may help to control or eliminate migraine headaches in some chronic sufferers by blocking the above mentioned prostaglandins. They are chemicals in the body that cause inflammation of blood vessels, and thus, cause pain. Migraines are generally caused by prostaglandin activity in the brain. Gingerols, one of the active ingredients found in ginger, prevent platelets from sticking together. These are partly responsible for blood clotting. It can thin the blood which in turn helps your circulation. Unlike aspirin, ginger tea has a calming effect on the stomach.
Interesting results were found when analysing the effects of ginger on ovarian cancer. Researchers discovered that ginger may have caused the death of ovarian cancer cells. In colon cancer, ginger may slow the growth of cancer cells. Further studies are required to discover how ginger can benefit cancer patients.
Studies have also found that ginger is quite possibly a general immunity booster. Finally, ginger has also been found to help prevent kidney damage in diabetics, though more research needs to be done to prove this beyond reasonable doubt.
So how do you make fresh ginger tea? Simple. For one serving, cut a two inch long piece of ginger from a fresh, whole root and peel it lightly. Either thinly slice the root, or, my favorite way, place pieces of the peeled root in a garlic press and squeeze. Place the ginger into a pan of boiling water holding about one and half cups of water, turn off the heat and allow to steep for ten minutes. Longer if you like a spicier ginger flavor. Strain the tea into a cup with a little honey and a lemon wedge and enjoy. Or poor the mixture over ice and have a refreshing glass of iced ginger tea.