In its raw form, ginger is known for having a spicy kick, so it may not be your go-to flavor choice unless you're really in the mood for its earthy, pungent flavor. Not only is it used in cooking as an aromatic, but the spice (yes, it's classified as a spice) has also long been used as a health remedy for conditions like nausea and motion sickness. According to Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, founder of BZ Nutrition in New York City, ginger root is a vegetable with long-standing medicinal properties, and drinking ginger tea can provide alleviating properties, too
Ginger is native to the continent of Asia and comes from the flowering plant of the Zingiberaceae family. Most people are more familiar with the concept of consuming its root, or stem, which can add unique, zippy flavor to various dishes and condiments in many types of cuisine. Ginger tea, steeped in boiling water or infused into herbal blends, can be equally delicious, soothing, and beneficial to the body.
Ginger Tea Benefits
It's known to help alleviate nausea
Drinking ginger tea may help to ease symptoms of motion sickness, such as dizziness, nausea, and cold sweats. However, it's important to note that research is quite limited still, and you may find that motion sickness medications are more effective. "Ginger tea is also a common go-to therapy for pregnant women who cannot have standard anti-nausea medications," adds Zeitlin. Similarly, ginger extract, a component of ginger tea, may be helpful in relieving nausea from chemotherapy if you're being treated for cancer.
It helps with inflammation
"Drinking ginger tea can be wonderfully soothing, as it may not only help alleviate nausea, but it can also help control inflammation in the body," says Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Conn. "[This is] because it contains the substances gingerol and shogaol." Research shows that these substances may help manage internal inflammation. Additionally, there is also some research showing that ginger tea can help boost your immune response and alleviate nasal congestion from colds and allergies, Zeitlin adds.
It can aid digestion
According to research published in 2019 in the Food Science and Nutrition journal, ginger is "an important dietary agent which possesses carminative effect"—which means it it helps relieve gas. It also "decreases pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, reduces intestinal cramping, and prevents" indigestion, flatulence, and bloating. Ginger has also been shown to aid in speeding up digestion (or gastric emptying), particularly in those who struggle with dyspepsia (aka indigestion).
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It may help manage cholesterol
Additionally, consuming ginger may be beneficial for cholesterol levels, Gorin explains. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes drank black tea with either cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, or saffron for two months—versus tea on its own. The volunteers who consumed the spices in their tea saw beneficial effects on their total, LDL "bad" cholesterol, and HDL "good" cholesterol levels.
It has reported heart-healthy properties
Research has also shown that consuming ginger may help to protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, relieving heartburn, improving blood circulation, and preventing heart attacks and blood clots.
It has pain-relieving potential
Research has also shown that ginger may be helpful in relieving pain, such as knee pain brought on by osteoarthritis.
How to Prepare Ginger Tea
While you can easily find ginger-flavored or ginger-infused tea bags at the store, you can also easily make ginger tea from scratch at home with boiling water, sliced ginger root, fresh lemon juice, and honey for a healthy hint of sweetness.
"Drink your ginger tea straight up or with some lemon, or enjoy it iced for the same benefits," Zeitlin says. "You can also use 8 ounces of unsweetened ginger tea as the liquid base for your smoothies."
Your options don't stop at plain old hot or iced tea, though. Use it to add flavor to various dishes, from veggies to grains. "Not only can you drink ginger tea on its own, but you can also use it as a base for cooking rice so that you end up with a spicy kick to your finished dish," Gorin adds. "Another option is to use it instead of vegetable broth to sauté vegetables in."
More Genius Ways to Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger and Honey Iced Tea
Stir freshly grated ginger and honey into your favorite tea and chill for the ultimate summer sip.
Iced Green Tea With Ginger and Mint
To make this chilled ginger tea with a refreshing hint of mint and mellow caffeine kick from green tea, bring fresh ginger in water to a boil, add your green tea bags and mint leaves, then squeeze in some lemon and honey.
Ginger, Lemon, Honey Cold and Flu Elixir
Under the weather? Sip on this easy, homemade drink that will soothe your cold symptoms and warm you up from the inside and out.
Easy Homemade Ginger Ale
It's not quite ginger tea, but it involves creating a fresh ginger simple syrup, adding a spritz lemon, and topping it off with club soda. This homemade ginger ale is 10 times better than that stuff from a can—promise.