By Rachael Link, MS, RD
There are few things as comforting, flavorful and delicious as a hot cup of ginger tea. Frequently used as a quick fix for settling the stomach and easing digestive distress, fresh ginger tea benefits extend way beyond its ability to treat nausea. In fact, studies show that ginger can boost fat burning, alleviate inflammation and even control cholesterol and blood sugar.
Ready to get brewing? Here’s what you need to know about ginger tea benefits, plus how to make ginger tea for weight loss, morning sickness, pain relief and improved immunity.
Ginger Tea Benefits: Why Is Ginger So Good for You?
The use of ginger as a powerful natural remedy dates back thousands of years. In fact, documentation of its health-promoting properties can be traced back all the way to ancient Greek, Roman, Chinese, Sanskrit and Arabic texts. (1)
However, it’s only in recent years that we’ve begun to uncover exactly why ginger is so good for you and the powerful effect that it can have on your health.
Research shows that ginger contains many valuable compounds like gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone. Gingerol, in particular, is believed to account for most of the beneficial effects of ginger. (2, 3)
Some studies have found that gingerol can even effectively inhibit inflammation. (4) While inflammation is a perfectly normal immune response, chronic inflammation is believed to be at the root of conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. (5) Thanks to its gingerol content, ginger makes the list of top anti-inflammatory foods and has been used as a natural treatment for many inflammatory conditions, ranging from arthritis to Alzheimer’s.
Not only that, but ginger has also been found to be effective in fighting against pathogenic strains of viruses, fungi and bacteria that contribute to disease. (6)
Recent studies have continued to unearth the many ways that ginger affects health, and so far it has been shown to boast some impressive benefits. From relieving nausea to boosting brain health, enhancing weight loss and controlling blood sugar, a cup or two of ginger tea each day has the potential to make a big impact on your health.
8 Ginger Tea Benefits
- Soothes the Stomach
- Enhances Immunity
- Protects Brain Health
- Eases Pain
- Increases Weight Loss
- Supports Digestive Health
- Promotes Blood Sugar Control
- Keeps Cholesterol in Check
1. Soothes the Stomach
Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness for centuries. If you’re feeling a bit queasy, sipping on a hot cup of ginger root tea may be just what you need.
One study out of Thailand showed that ginger was able to decrease both nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. (7) Plus, another study in 2012 out of the University of Rochester Medical Center even found that ginger reduced nausea severity caused by chemotherapy in adult cancer patients. (8) To maximize the nausea-fighting potential, try adding some lemon or mint to your tea as well.
2. Enhances Immunity
Whether you’re starting to feel a bit under the weather or you have a full-blown case of the sniffles, ginger tea may be able to help give your immune system a much-needed boost. In fact, many people use ginger tea for cold symptoms, allergies and infections as an effective natural remedy.
Ginger contains compounds like gingerols, shogaol and paradols, which can help fight free radicals, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic disease, according to some test-tube studies.
Ginger root also has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Test-tube studies suggest that it may effectively protect against respiratory tract infections, fungal infections and even gum disease. (9, 10, 11)
3. Protects Brain Health
Thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation, some research has found that ginger root benefits the health of your brain and could help protect against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s.
A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that taking ginger extract for two months improved attention and cognitive function in middle-aged women. (12) Similarly, a 2011 animal study found that ginger protected against brain damage and improved memory in rats. (13)
4. Eases Pain
If you suffer from chronic pain in your joints or muscles, you may want to consider adding a cup of ginger tea into your routine. Ginger has been shown to alleviate inflammation, reduce muscle and joint pain, and even decrease the severity of menstrual cramps.
One study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that ginger extract was able to significantly reduce knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. In the study, 261 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were divided into a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, parallel-group, with one getting ginger extract and the other the control. After six weeks, “the percentage of responders experiencing a reduction in knee pain on standing was superior in the ginger extract group compared with the control group.” (14)
Another study from Georgia College and State University’s Department of Kinesiology in 2010 found that ginger decreased exercise-induced muscle pain. (15) Further, research conducted by the Herbal Research Center at Shahed University in Iran also found that taking ginger root extract for five days significantly reduced menstrual pain severity compared to a placebo. (16)
5. Increases Weight Loss
A 2017 review looked at 27 articles and found that ginger may be able to aid in weight loss by increasing fat breakdown, blocking fat absorption and suppressing appetite. (17) Another study published in the European Journal of Nutrition also found that hot tea consumption was associated with a lower waist circumference and decreased body mass index. (18) These are just a couple ways ginger tea benefits weight loss.
6. Supports Digestive Health
Some studies have found that ginger can help promote proper digestion by preventing common conditions like indigestion and stomach ulcers.
One study out of Taiwan showed that taking ginger capsules improved gastric motility and actually doubled the speed of stomach emptying to help prevent dyspepsia, or indigestion. (19) Meanwhile, an animal study in 2011 reported that ginger powder protected against the formation of aspirin-induced stomach ulcers in rats. (20)
7. Promotes Blood Sugar Control
Diabetes is a growing health concern around the globe. In fact, according to a 2017 review published by Population Health Management, the prevalence of diabetes is expected to increase by 54 percent between 2015 and 2030. (21)
Ginger tea may be beneficial when it comes to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. A study in Iran supplemented 22 participants with ginger daily and found that it led to decreased fasting blood sugar and better long-term blood sugar control. (22) Another study in 2014 showed that ginger powder improved blood sugar as well as insulin resistance in people with diabetes. (23)
8. Keeps Cholesterol in Check
High cholesterol can build up in the blood, clogging blood vessels and increasing your risk of heart disease. Some studies have found that ginger may lower cholesterol levels to help protect the health of your heart.
An animal study conducted by the Department of Pharmacognosy and Medical Plants at Damascus University in Syria in 2013, for example, showed that ginger extract reduced total and bad LDL cholesterol with nearly the same effectiveness as a common medication used to lower cholesterol in rats. (24) Plus, another study published in the Saudi Medical Journal found that ginger significantly decreased triglycerides, total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol compared to a placebo. (25)
How to Make Ginger Tea
While you can easily pick up a pack of ginger tea bags from the store, making it at home using fresh ginger is surprisingly simple and lets you customize what ingredients you add to make it all your own.
Here is an easy ginger tea recipe that you can use to get in your daily dose of ginger health benefits:
- Using a 2-inch knob of ginger, peel and cut your ginger into thin slices. Wondering how to cut ginger? It’s easier than it may look; try using a spoon to peel and scrape off the skin, then use a knife to slice it thin.
- Add ginger to a pot of water and boil 10–30 minutes, depending on how intense you want the flavor to be. Boiling it longer and using more ginger allows more flavor to infuse into the water, making for a stronger cup of tea.
- Once your tea is done simmering, remove from the heat, strain, discard the ginger and add in any additional optional ingredients. Try a wedge of lemon for a citrusy lemon ginger tea or try your ginger tea with honey for a bit of natural sweetness.
- Enjoy your tea hot or let it cool down and drink it as a refreshing glass of ginger water.
Although uncommon, some people may have an allergy to ginger. If you experience any food allergy symptoms, such as hives, itching or swelling, after drinking ginger tea, discontinue use immediately and talk to your doctor.
Additionally, ginger tea has been associated with mild side effects like heartburn, diarrhea and stomach pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, decrease consumption and consult with a health care practitioner if you have any concerns.
For best results, it’s recommended to stick to one to three cups of ginger tea per day to maximize ginger tea benefits and minimize the risk of adverse side effects.
Final Thoughts on Ginger Tea Benefits
- Ginger contains gingerol, which is responsible for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects — and therefore all the wonderful ginger tea benefits.
- Brewing your own ginger tea at home using fresh ginger is a simple way to take advantage of the many health benefits of ginger.
- Ginger tea benefits include reduced nausea, improved immunity, better brain and digestive health, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, pain relief, and increased weight loss.
- Stick to one to three cups of ginger tea daily, and couple it with a nutritious diet and active lifestyle to enhance your health even more.
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