Today’s post on the Tea Blog is all about the amaaazing benefits of ginger in your tea.
We *were* gonna call this series “Healing Herbs.” But that doesn’t work, because technically, ginger is a spice. (Herbs come from a plant’s leaves. However, spices come from its roots, bark, or seeds. Basically, a spice is anything that’s NOT a leaf.) So, I guess it’ll be “Healing Herbs (& Spices!)” 🙂
Back to ginger! It’s actually been used for thousands of years, both to flavor foods and as an important part of herbal medicine. But present-day scientists are studying the benefits of ginger. They provide us with a modern perspective on this ancient remedy.
What is Ginger?
In case you didn’t know, ginger is a spicy, aromatic root. It grows in pale, lumpy bulbs. It’s not the most attractive spice, but it’s super powerful! Ginger is actually from the same plant family as both turmeric and cardamom.
Benefits of Ginger for Nausea and Vomiting**
Perhaps the most common use of ginger is for stomach issues. Generally, studies show that it’s effective (see, for example Ernst & Pittler ). But sometimes, there are mixed results (Chrubasik et al. ).
Often, researchers focus specifically on ginger for morning sickness during pregnancy. These experiments have more conclusive results. For instance, Borelli et al. (2005) systematically reviewed multiple experiments and concluded that ginger was superior to a placebo.
Likewise, Willetts et al. (2003) found pregnant women who’d taken ginger reported less nausea than the control group. Additionally, these scientists followed the ladies throughout their entire pregnancies. They found no adverse effects to the newborns, compared to the general population of infants.
Benefits of Ginger for Inflammation and Pain**
One of the many health claims associated with ginger is its ability to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. Studies like Young et al. (2005) and Minghetti et al. (2007) indeed found these effects.
Grzanna et al. (2005) compared ginger to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. (NSAIDs = pain-relievers, like aspirin or ibuprofen.) These researchers believe ginger shares pharmacological properties with NSAIDs but may actually be better, with fewer side effects, especially with chronic inflammatory conditions.
Because it has strong antioxidant properties, ginger may either lessen the effects of free radicals, or prevent their formation in the first place. Over the long term, free radical damage ages cells and causes inflammation. Plus, it can make you more prone to scary degenerative diseases.
Benefits of Ginger for Scary Degenerative Diseases**
There’s a lot of interest in the benefits of ginger for treating the many aspects of cardiovascular disease. For example, Nicoll and Henein (2009) reviewed multiple experiments, concluding that ginger shows promising anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-platelet, hypotensive and hypolipidemic effects. However, most of the relevant studies were in test tubes or with animals. Obviously, scientists need to do more research with actual humans to draw final conclusions.
Excitingly, the antioxidant properties of ginger are associated with anti-cancer activity (Shukla and Singh ). The effectiveness of ginger in preventing or suppressing cancer growth has been examined in a variety of cancer types, including;
- colorectal cancer
- breast cancer
- skin cancer
- liver cancer
- bladder cancer (Bode & Dong, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects )
Ginger also appears to reduce cholesterol and improve lipid metabolism. This may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (Ibid.) Hooray!
In sum, there may be many potential benefits to ginger, and the drawbacks seem to be very limited. Obviously, researchers need to conduct further studies to proclaim the final word on ginger’s effectiveness. But in the meantime, ginger tea looks like it might be quite good for you, after all! So drink up, tea lovers!!
CommuniTea Center is proud to offer a variety of yummy, ginger tea and herbal tea options, including:
- Chai Delight (black tea)
- Gentle Cleanse (green tea)
- Lemon Ginger Allure (green tea)
- Mo’ Rockin’ Minty Chai (green tea)
- 90 Miles to Cuba (rooibos)
- Lemon GoGo (tisane)
- Cold Combat (Thera-TeaTM)
- Holy Chai (Thera-TeaTM)
- Turmeric Ginger (Thera-TeaTM)
**Please, please, please: consult a doctor before using any nutritional product, including teas, herbs or herbal teas. But especially if you’re pregnant, nursing, taking other medications or supplements, or have any illness! For example, some practitioners recommend pregnant ladies do not take more than 1 g of ginger per day, and/or not to take it for too many days in a row. Again, talk to your doctor!! 🙂
**Also: these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
If you enjoyed this Tea Blog post, you may also enjoy…
…Chamomile Tea: A Wonderful Herb with Potentially Amazing Benefits
…Ayurveda and Tea: All About India’s 5000-year-old System of Naturopathic Medicine
Plus, ginger is a common ingredient in many chai recipes. More here: All About Chai (& a Pumpkin Chai Recipe)