Ginger is a light brown root with a distinctive taste and qualities that make it a much-coveted herb due to high levels of Vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals. Once made into tea, you can add peppermint, honey or lemon to mask the taste of the ginger. The benefits of ginger tea are well documented and include treatment and cures for some common conditions, but there are also some precautions to take.
Ginger Tea Benefits
1. Relieve nausea
One of the best-known benefits of ginger tea is its ability to combat nausea. Drinking a cup of ginger tea before traveling can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. If you did not drink ginger tea before you became nauseous, drink a cup of ginger tea at the first sign of nausea to relieve the symptom.
2. Improve stomach performance
Ginger tea is very useful in improving digestion and increasing absorption of food. This benefit can also prevent belching and bloating after eating too much. In some people, ginger tea seems to have a positive impact on appetite.
3. Reduce inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger tea are well known and make it an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems. In addition to drinking ginger tea, it may also be useful to use as a topical soak on inflamed joints and other body parts.
4. Fight respiratory problems
Ginger tea can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Try a cup of ginger tea for the respiratory symptoms associated with environmental allergies.
5. Improve blood circulation
The vitamins, minerals and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. Ginger may prevent fat from depositing in the arteries helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke.
6. Relieve menstrual discomfort
Drinking ginger tea is not the only way you can benefit from this mixture. If you have cramping during your menstrual cycle, try soaking a towel in warm ginger tea and apply the towel to your lower abdomen. The effects of the ginger may help relieve the pain and relax the muscles. At the same time, drink a cup of ginger tea with honey.
7. Strengthen immunity
Ginger tea may help strengthen your immunity due to the high levels of antioxidants in ginger. Many people drink ginger tea to help prevent cancer.
8. Relieve stress
Ginger tea has calming properties that may help lower your stress and tension. This is thought to be due to a combination of the strong aroma and healing properties.
9. Increases fertility
Some people believe that ginger tea is an aphrodisiac that works to boost a man's fertility. Some studies show that regular intake of ginger may increase a man's sperm count and help with erectile dysfunction.
10. Other benefits
Several other potential benefits of ginger tea include:
- Fights infection and bad breath
- May slow down the growth of cancer cells
- May help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol
- Helps to detoxify the liver
- Contains powerful antioxidants that may reduce free radicals in the body
How to make ginger tea:
Ginger Tea Side Effects and Precautions
Although the positive benefits of ginger are well-documented, there are also some side effects and precautions that you should know about.
1. Side effects
Because of the known side effects of using ginger, it is always a good idea to consult a nutritionist who will look at your diet, life style and medications before recommending a healthy amount of ginger to take each day. Some of the side effects that can happen include:
- Digestive problems. While drinking ginger tea can aid digestion, too much of the tea can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Too much ginger can lead to acidity and low blood sugar, so ginger tea should probably be avoided by diabetics.
- Interaction with anesthesia. Some anesthetic agents used in surgery can react adversely with ginger resulting in bleeding and slowed healing. Most surgeons and anesthesiologists recommend deleting ginger from your diet for a week before any surgery.
- Killing sleep. Ginger tea may prevent a good night's sleep. It is recommended that you drink ginger tea early in the day to avoid loss of sleep at night.
There are several groups of people who should be aware of specific precautions when using ginger tea. These include:
- Those with blood disorders. Ginger tea may inhibit blood coagulation. If you have hemophilia or if you are taking blood thinners, be sure to consult your healthcare provider BEFORE drinking ginger tea.
- Those with hypertension. If you have hypertension and are taking medications for that disorder, consult your physician before using ginger since it can lower blood pressure to unsafe levels.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The use of ginger tea in pregnant or lactating women is controversial. Some physicians recommend ginger tea for morning sickness but others are concerned about possible toxicity to unborn and children being breast-fed.
- Those who have gallstones. Ginger tea tends to increase the production of bile in the body. Since bile can cause increased pain in someone suffering from gallstones, avoid using ginger if you know you have gallbladder disease.
3. Recommended daily intake
First, be aware that you CAN get too much of a good thing! The Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 2 grams of ginger for every kilogram of body weight each day. For a 155-pound (70 kg) person, this would amount to a limit of 140 grams of ginger each day. This is almost 1/3 pound of ginger-an unlikely amount to use every day. However, even at lesser amounts side effects may show up.