Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy to treat a wide range of health concerns from nausea and colds to indigestion and joint pain. It is also purported to help boost the immune system and promote cardiovascular health.
Ginger is a perennial tuber or root that is native to Asia but cultivated in the West Indies, Jamaica, and Africa. It is one of the most widely used herbs in the world.
The tea is made by peeling and grating fresh ginger root, immersing it in boiling water, and simmering the tea for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the desired strength. Ginger is also available as a prepared tea – and can be purchased in capsule and extract form.
According to herbalist Joy Mary of www.morethanalive.com, ginger tea offers the following medicinal benefits.
Treating Nausea: The brew has been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat nausea. Pregnant women report relief from morning sickness after consuming small amounts of ginger root, ginger tea, and ginger ale. When given in large doses, ginger also relieves chemotherapy-related nausea.
Relieving Joint Pain: Ginger has been used to treat joint pain by stimulating blood circulation and has been used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and Raynaud's syndrome.
Digestive Disorders: The herb can be used to address flatulence, indigestion, and diarrhea. It does this by mimicking some digestive enzymes used to process protein in the body.
Promoting Heart Health: As little as 5 grams of dried ginger a day has shown to slow the production of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the liver.
Ginger also has been linked to preventing platelets from sticking together, a condition that could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Treating Colds: Drinking ginger herbal tea is sometimes recommended for relief of cold symptoms because it is said to loosen phlegm and fight chills by spreading a warm feeling throughout the body.
Always consult with your doctor before consuming ginger herbal tea for medicinal purposes. Ms. Mary warns that pregnant women should be careful not to consume too much ginger because it may stimulate uterine contractions.
People taking blood thinners, barbiturates, beta-blockers, insulin or diabetes medications should consult a physician before use since ginger may conflict with these medications. Ginger may also interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins, and cause stomach upset in higher doses.
Also, because ginger helps thin the blood, it should not be taken two weeks prior to surgery. For more information, visit www.morethanalive.com.