“Everything good is found in ginger,” states an old Indian proverb. That’s why Ayurveda often refers to ginger as a universal medicine. Chinese medicine, the other most ancient yet living tradition, also turns to ginger medicinally because it restores Yang, or hot energy. Currently, India and China produce most of the world’s ginger because it grows best in warm, damp areas.
The aromatic, spicy root has long been used in both traditional and Western healing systems to make tea. Ginger tea brings with it a host of powerful health benefits.
Ginger Tea’s Healing Effects
Researchers say the active volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols, are what give ginger its power, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.Tea made from ginger has high levels of vitamin C and amino acids, as well as various trace elements such as calcium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, and many others.
Drinking ginger tea can:
Help the body absorb nutrients
Help alleviate the stomach pain
Help with irritable bowl syndrome
Help with weight loss
Help fight cancer
Help manage glucose levels
Improve the food digestion
Increases the production of gastric juice
Protect against Alzheimer’s Disease
Open inflamed airways
Reduce arthritic inflammation
Relieve menstrual discomfort
Ayurveda also teaches that ginger tea has a powerful antispasmodic action, according to herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher.
Ginger Tea and the Doshas
Ginger tea’s heating qualities make it useful for treating Vata imbalances, such as digestive issues, because it improves all three phases of gastrointestinal function (digestion, absorption, and elimination).
During cool weather, sip ginger tea throughout the day. During warmer weather, try a cup in the morning or before a meal. Ginger intensifies Agni (digestive fire) so the Kapha dosha may find drinking ginger tea—2 to 3 cups daily, especially before meals—useful to help stimulate slow digestion and sharpen dull taste buds.
Ginger tea can slightly increase Pitta dosha, so avoid drinking large amounts if your Pitta is out of balance.
How to Make Ginger Tea
To make 1 quart of ginger tea, chop an unpeeled 2-inch piece of whole ginger into coarse pieces and place in a 2- to 3-quart pot with one quart of purified water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, allowing the tea to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the tea and store in a thermos bottle or glass jar.
To make 1 cup of ginger tea, take a piece of whole, unpeeled ginger root and grate 1 heaping teaspoon. Stir the ginger into a cup of hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain or let the ginger settle at the bottom of the cup.