What better way to celebrate the start of summer than with an invigorating beverage that also acts as a powerful natural medicine?
Ginger root is my choice for tea every day — either hot or cold as you’ll see from the recipes at the end of this blog.
Here are just a few reasons why I recommend consuming ginger root daily:
4 healing properties of ginger
- Reduces inflammation and relieves pain. In one study, 82% of women taking ginger capsules reported improvements in menstrual pain symptoms compared to 47% of those on placebo. Another study showed ginger root could reduce inflammatory markers within a month. For arthritis some people have found relief consuming daily as little as one quarter inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food or made into a tea.
- Is a powerful antioxidant. Gingerol, the main bioactive component in ginger, is a potent scavenger of damaging free radicals and has been shown to help protect against colon cancer and induce the death of ovarian cancer cells. Even the sweat we produce when drinking hot ginger tea promotes immunity as our sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that helps fight off infections.
- Aids in digestion and detoxification. The plant phenolic compounds in ginger are known to relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and reduce nausea. Ginger contains digestion-enhancing cysteine-based plant enzymes similar to papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple stem. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping two inches of crushed ginger root in a cup of hot water often settles the stomach. Also for a quick fix, just chewing a few slices of fresh ginger often brings nausea relief.
- Provides an important source of the amino acid cysteine. Glutathione is our main intracellular antioxidant and one of the most protective compounds in our body. Glutathione has to be produced within the cell itself and to make this precious antioxidant we need the sulfur-containing amino acid known as cysteine. Tasty ginger root is a great source of bioavailable cysteine.
2 of my favorite ginger tea recipes
Hot or cold, you can enjoy ginger tea every day with these two recipes:
Summer ginger tea delight
Grate 1-2 grams of fresh ginger. Boil water. Add ginger to 8-12 ounces of boiling water and let steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain ginger. Add a few ice cubes to chill the tea.
In a separate glass, place 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries and three mint leaves. Muddle the blueberries and mint together. Fill glass with ice. Add ginger tea to glass. Squeeze lemon into iced tea to taste.
Ayurvedic toxin-busting ginger tea
Steep together an inch of grated ginger root, 3 crushed cardamom pods and 1 teaspoon fennel seeds. After straining and drinking this toxin-busting tea I finely cut up another 2” of ginger root and steep it for 15 minutes in one quart water. Drink hot or at room temperature. Watch my video about ginger tea too!
Bode A. Ginger is an effective inhibitor of HCT116 human colorectal carcinoma in vivo. paper presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, Phoenix, AZ, October 26-3-, 2003. 2003.
Ginger. The World’s Healthiest Foods. May 9-15, 2016. www.whfoods.org
Kyung, H et al. Amino-acid sequence and glycan structures of cysteine proteases with proline specificity from ginger rhizome Zingiber officinale. Euro. Jr Biochem. V. 267, Issue 5, March 2000: 1516-1526.
Rhode JM, Huang J, Fogoros S, Tan L, Zick S, Liu JR. Ginger induces apoptosis and autophagocytosis in ovarian cancer cells. Abstract #4510, presented April 4, 2006 at the 97th AACR Annual Meeting, April 1-5, 2006, Washington, DC. 2006.
Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders. Med Hypothesis 29 (1989):25-28. 1989.
Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Med Hypothesis 39(1992):342-8. 1992.