Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) says every meal should include ginger. He likes to chew few sliced ginger right after each meal.
Last year I got very bad cold on airplane when I was travelling to China. The woman sitting next to me couldn't stop sneezing and wiping her nose. I was very sick right after getting off the airplane. Had high fevers for almost a week and coughed almost my lungs out. I was in China for business, but ended up staying in hospital for almost 3 days because of fever. So this year I had some Jasmine ginger green tea with me while taking my flight. It worked like a charm!! When people around me sneezed, I was completely fine!!
One of the world’s healthiest foods, ginger is most commonly used in Asian cuisine as a spice. Ginger, also called Zingiber Officinale, belongs to Zingiberaceae family, which also includes turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.
Ginger nutrition profile:
The following table shows vitamins and minerals per 100 g ginger contains:
Calcium, ca mg 16
Iron, Fe mg 0.60
Magnesium, Mg mg 43
Phosphorus, P mg 34
Potassium, K mg 415
Sodium, Na mg 13
Zinc, Zn mg 0.34
Copper, Cu mg 0.226
Manganese, Mn mg 0.229
Selenium, Se ug 0.7
Vitamin C mg 5
Thiamin mg 0.025
Riboflavin mg 0.034
Niacin mg 0.750
Pantothenic Accid mg 0.203
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.16
Folate, total ug 11
Choline, total mg 28.8
Vitamin E mg 0.26
Vitamin K ug 0.1
Figures above are per 100g of ginger root from USDA National Nutrient database for standard reference
Ginger Health benefits
Ginger contain over 200 volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds, such as gingerols, shogaols, zingerone, and paradol. It is frequently used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat various illness and is one of the top natural remedies
The anti-inflammatory substances in ginger, including gingerols and shaogals, help kill viruses such as rhinoviruses, which cause colds in the first place. Drink three or more cups of ginger tea daily until you are well.
There are two different types of colds-one is caused by cold weather another one is caused by heat. Chinese medicine believes ginger is effective in fighting colds caused by cold weather, but not by heat.
Many headaches respond to anti-inflammatories like aspirin. Ginger’s special anti-inflammatory compounds play the same role in reducing headaches.
Morning sickness from pregnancy is caused by high levels of hormones generated during pregnancy. Ginger promotes the secretion of various digestive enzymes that help neutralize stomach acid. Phenols from ginger can help relax stomach muscle and reduce stomach activity. Phenols can also help intestine more digested food and toxins faster.
Motion sickness refers to the condition when the brain receives conflicting messages from the inner ears, eyes, and other parts of the body in response to motion.
Drink ginger tea right before travel. Bring few slices of fresh ginger root or ginger snacks. Keep one slice of ginger in your mouth when taking a car or a cruise.
It is believed that ginger may inhibit prostiglandins synthesis, which stimulate some muscle contractions, control inflammation and impact some hormones.
Drink hot steeped ginger tea for few days.
Menstrual cramps are caused by increased production of prostaglandins in the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Women who experience menstrual cramps have greater amounts of the prostaglandins. The anti-inflammatory compound Gingerols from Ginger can effectively block prostaglandins. It can also inhibit cyclooxygenase and lipooxygenase pathways in prostaglandin synthesis. This helps relief pain.
Ginger tea has been widely used in Chinese medicine to treat menstrual cramps. The Chinese recipe is to add brown sugar in ginger tea.
Bioactive compounds in ginger helps improve blood circulation. In addition, anti-inflammatory component such as Gingerols help soothe muscle inflammation.
Ginger helps soothe stomach muscles and reduce stomach activities. Sipping ginger tea can help reduce the chances of nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger helps reduce the inflammation in joints. Either drinking ginger tea or apply warm raw ginger pieces around the pain area will be helpful.
Oleoresin in ginger has an antitussive property, which can relieve and suppress coughing. The aromatic compounds gingerols and shogaols helps soothe coughs.
Sore throat and colds go hand in hand. Ginger tea helps improve blood circulation and sweat off the toxins. The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger helps fight bad bacteria and virus. Make sure to drink warm ginger tea when you have a sore throat.
The volatile oils in ginger helps relax stomach muscle therefore reduce stomach cramps. Ginger also can help improve digestion which is another cause for stomach ache.
Had seafood not fresh? No problem. Drink some warm ginger tea which helps flush out toxins. Its anti-inflammatory compounds help fight bad bacteria.
Food can easily go bad in summer time. Drinking ginger tea can effectively prevent stomach flu caused by bad bacteria
Ginger helps stimulate saliva, bile and gastric juice production to aid in digestion.
Ginger has a long history of treating nausea in Chinese medicine. It helps block receptors in your stomach from binding serotonin that results in increased nausea. Ginger also helps better digestion and soothe the nervous system, stomach and intestines to reduce the nausea feeling
The active compounds in ginger have antispasmodic and anti-emetic abilities. It soothes stomach muscles to prevent vomiting.
You can drink ginger tea or chew few slices of fresh ginger root to calm down stomach.
Ginger can act as a blood thinner and anti-inflammatory agent which may help reduce blood pressure.
The active compounds in ginger, such as gingerols and shogaols, have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronical inflammation in brain is believed to attribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can improve brain function and reduce inflammations in brain.
Ginger may lower blood sugars by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down glycogen. If you are looking for a natural source to reduce blood sugar, ginger is the solution!!
Ginger may lower both serum and hepatic cholesterol while inhibiting platelet aggregation, which helps prevent heart diseases.
Ginger contains anti-oxidants that help fight free radicals. Free radicals’ damages cause a variety of diseases and accelerate aging. Drinking ginger tea can help inhibit free radicals’ formation.
How to prepare ginger tea?
There are so many different ways to take ginger (powder, extract, capsule, pills etc.). Ginger tea is one of the most convenient and effective way to take ginger because you can control the volume and concentration (strength of your ginger tea)
If you have Jasmine ginger green tea from Tea Beyond, you can do the following:
Step 1-bring water (spring water is preferred) to boil. Wait about 2-3 minutes.
Step 2-Add tea to teapot and pour hot water in. Steep for about 2 minutes. Wait until it cools down to drink
If you prefer raw ginger root, here are the steps you can use to prepare ginger tea:
Step 1-Peal off the skin and rinse
Step 2-Slice ginger root into few pieces
Step 3-Bring water to boil and drop the ginger slices into boiling water.
Step 4-Cook for about 3 minutes or until you see water changed to light yellow color.
You can drink plain ginger tea or add 1 tsp of honey or lemon juice for a better taste.
When is the best time to drink Ginger tea?
In Traditional Chinese medicine, it does mention it’s preferred that ginger tea is consumed in the morning or during day time. This is based on Yin Yang balance. In the morning, Yang rises while at night Yin stays dominant. Ginger tea helps Yang rise or grow stronger. Therefore, it’s better to drink ginger tea in the morning or day time where our Yang needs support.
But if you feel you are having a bad cold at night, drink it when need it.
Ginger’s possible interactions with medications
In general, ginger is safe to consume. However, it may interact with prescription and OTC medicines. If you take the following medications or other medications or you are not sure if ginger tea is right for you, please consult with your doctors before drinking ginger tea.
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