The Health Benefits of Ginger Tea: Immunity, Inflammation, and More!
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Ginger has a number of different health benefits and is also a natural remedy for many health conditions, including nausea, colds and flu, arthritis pain, asthma symptoms, low blood circulation, headaches, and migraines.
So it's no wonder that ginger tea has such a rich history as an immune booster, a digestive aid, and a tasty treat to help keep cool on a hot day or get warm on a cold one.
In this article, we'll explore the health benefits of ginger tea (and ginger in general!), talk about how this powerful plant boosts your immunity, and talk about some fun ways to add it to your diet!
Table of Contents
Ginger and Ginger Tea
Ginger is native to Asia and is a flowering plant in the same family as turmeric, cardamom, galangal, and other members of the Zingiberaceae family.
Ginger grows up to three feet tall with long green stems that produce flowers followed by brownish-yellow cloves which are then harvested for use.
There are many uses of ginger in both cooking and medicine. In cooking, ginger is used as a spice and flavoring in dishes like curries, stir-frys, and more.
In health care settings, ginger root is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, overindulgence in food or drink, stomach upset, morning sickness associated with cancer chemotherapy, and other health conditions.
Combining the two purposes is ginger tea, which has been enjoyed for centuries around the world for both its great taste and numerous medicinal uses.
The History of Drinking Ginger Tea
The first records of ginger tea can be found in ancient Chinese and Japanese texts, and its consumption continued throughout the ages.
As ginger began to spread to other countries, such as India and North Africa, the health benefits of ginger tea were discovered worldwide.
In Europe in particular, ginger was used to improve digestion and settle upset stomachs during a variety of illnesses.
In the late 19th century, the health benefits of ginger became known and it was highly consumed in Western countries, completing its spread around the world.
Today, ginger tea is a popular health drink in many countries, and the many benefits of ginger tea are well-known.
An Overview of Ginger Nutrition
- 4.8 calories
- 1.07 grams (g) of carbohydrate
- .12 g of dietary fiber
- .11 g of protein
- .05 g fat
- .1 g of sugar
Key Vitamins and Minerals
Ginger also contains:
- Vitamin B3 and B6
- Vitamin C
The Health Benefits of Ginger Tea (and Ginger In General!)
The most well-known benefits of ginger center around its potential as a powerful immune-system booster and digestive aid. However, drinking ginger tea has a number of other different effects as well.
One of the major benefits of ginger is its anti-inflammatory properties. This happens thanks to compounds called gingerols -- which are responsible for giving ginger its flavor. Gingerols help prevent inflammation by inhibiting molecules called prostaglandins which are produced by the body to cause inflammation.
Ginger is also incredibly high in antioxidants. In addition to boosting your immunity, which we'll explore below, the antioxidant properties in ginger help protect against free radical damage and inflammation, which in turn keeps your cells healthier and helps prevent premature aging.
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Ginger has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. This happens because ginger contains an active ingredient that is thought to stimulate cells in the pancreas to produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Ginger has also been shown to help reduce your blood pressure. The main factor here is their ability to relax and dilate your arteries and blood vessels, which allows blood to flow more easily, lowers your pulse and reduces strain on your heart.
Fight Nausea and Motion Sickness
Another place where ginger has a major benefit is in fighting nausea and motion sickness. This is due to compounds called gingerols in the root, which have an anti-nausea effect.
Ginger also helps with stomach problems such as indigestion and It's great for motion sickness, and general stomach ills due to its antispasmodic properties.
But ginger doesn't just fight nausea. It also helps with digestion. Researchers believe this is due to ginger's ability to relax the intestinal muscles and relieve spasms of the stomach lining, which allows food to pass through more easily
This was supported by several studies which showed that those who ate ginger were less likely to experience indigestion.
Combat Menstrual Pain
Ginger also combats menstrual cramps and other ailments thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce swelling and pain.
This was supported by studies that showed that women who drank ginger tea during their menstrual cycle were less likely to experience cramps and other pain.
An Aid for Pregnant Women
Ginger can be particularly helpful for pregnant women. In addition to helping with morning sickness, ginger also helps reduce joint pain and assists with muscle health, all of which can be very important during pregnancy.
Ginger Tea and Immunity
However, one of the most powerful benefits of ginger tea (and ginger in general) is its power as an immunity booster.
Ginger boosts your immunity in several ways.
First, ginger is an effective antioxidant that can help clean up free radicals in your body. Free radicals are the molecular byproducts of your metabolism, but also occur as a result of exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke or pesticides.
Free radicals are not good for your health because they have a tendency to react with our cells' proteins, DNA, lipid membranes, and other components, and they can "distract" your immune system from fighting real threats.
Second, as we mentioned above ginger can help alleviate inflammation. Your body usually resorts to inflammation to help kill infection, but when this response becomes chronic or excessive, inflammation can do more harm than good. Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties keep this inflammation down, helping your immune system continue to function.
And finally, research has demonstrated that people who drank ginger tea on a regular basis for two months had significant increases in their health-promoting body defenses—including the levels of natural killer cells, the body's first line of defense against everything from viruses that cause the common cold to cancerous tumors.
Should I Add Ginger to My Diet?
Yes! First off, ginger helps protect your body against health problems like high blood pressure, cancer cells, and inflammation.
Second, it tastes great and has a number of incredibly versatile uses (which we'll explore in further depth below).
And finally, there are few, if any, side effects of eating ginger. As long as you're not allergic to it, which is rare, it's just about all good for you.
Best Ways to Add Ginger to Your Diet
Does the Way You Prepare Ginger Matter?
While the majority of ginger's properties will stay the same no matter what form of ginger you eat, there are some differences depending on how you go about preparing and consuming ginger.
For example, a ginger powder may be more potent than fresh ginger because it has been extracted from the root, but this doesn't mean that you should always use powdered ginger.
In fact, research shows that the effects of many other spices can vary depending on how they are prepared and whether or not you cook with them; so there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Our recommendation? Enjoy ginger the way that you like it most (though we usually recommend avoiding sugary drinks like ginger ale).
Fresh Ginger or Raw Ginger
Fresh ginger (in the form of ginger slices, raw ginger, etc.) is the simplest way to prepare ginger. For this method, you can either chop the ginger up into smaller pieces or grate it with a grater before you add it to your food.
You also have the option of using fresh ginger in its whole form by peeling off the skin and then eating it as is (though this may not be an enjoyable experience for those who are sensitive to spicy foods).
Another immensely popular way to enjoy ginger is as a powder. This is incredibly versatile, and it can be added to a wide range of dishes like soups, stir-fries, stews, and more.
Ginger powder is made from dried root and it doesn't need any additional preparation, which makes this an even more convenient option for busy people who don't have time or energy to go through all the steps required by other methods.
Hot Ginger Tea
One of the oldest ways to enjoy ginger is in ginger tea. Ginger tea is a healthful choice for people who want something warm and comforting to drink when they're feeling under the weather, as well as anyone looking to improve their immunity without sacrificing flavor!
To make hot ginger tea, you'll want to start by boiling water on the stove or in an electric kettle. Next, add some ginger slices or grated pieces of root into a teapot. Once the water has boiled, pour it in, and then let the tea steep for five to ten minutes before you enjoy it!
(Another, even easier option, is just to buy ginger tea bags!)
Finally, you can also enjoy ginger by adding its extract to smoothies and cooking. Extracted ginger is made from a ginger root that has been ground up and then mixed with alcohol, which extracts all the benefits without any of the hassles.
A few drops or even a teaspoon is enough to add some zing (and health benefits) to your next recipe!
A Key Ingredient in Amla Green Immunity!
If you'd like to know our favorite way to enjoy ginger and ginger tea, you don't need to look anywhere further than Amla Green Immunity.
Amla Green is already one of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet, thanks to the incredible power of concentrated amla (the world's strongest antioxidant and second-strongest form of vitamin C) and green tea.
We'd go into all of the reasons you should add just those two to your diet (like lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, disease risk, and improving your hair health) but we'd have to write a whole article!
Amla Green by itself is an incredibly strong immune system booster but we live in a world where we're more aware than ever of the epidemiological challenges we all face.
That's why we added elderberries, vitamin D, zinc, and (you guessed it) ginger to the new formula, to create an organic, all-natural immune-boosting supplement like nothing else on the planet.
And we want to share it with you! That's why we're offering a zero-risk guarantee for your first shipment of Amla Green Immunity. If you don't like it, just let us know, and we'll give you your money back.
But we think you'll like it. A lot.
Click here to try Amla Green today and experience the metabolic benefits that thousands of people are raving about!
Amla Green has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles, and we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
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Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Cyrus Khambatta