We can certainly get behind these benefits.
There’s a reason that ginger ale is recommended when you have an upset stomach: Among its many benefits, ginger has been found to reduce nausea. That fizzy drink that is always a mainstay on airplane beverage carts isn’t the only way to drink your ginger, however. Ginger tea is an easy way to take advantage of the health properties of ginger, especially if you commonly only use ground ginger (which usually involves smaller doses and changes the nutrient profile). What other benefits can you expect from drinking a daily cup of ginger tea? We asked the experts that and more—including how to steep a perfect, delicious cup every single time.
Ginger Tea Benefits
Ginger is known for its uses in Indian and Asian cuisine, but it is also found in many drinks, including ginger ale and ginger beer. If you’re looking for a way to your ginger as the lone ingredient—without munching on some raw ginger—then ginger tea is the drink you’ve been looking for. While a cup of tea can prove to be a great relaxation ritual, when it’s a cup of ginger tea you’re sipping, you’ll be getting a vast array of health benefits, too.
“Ginger is one of those foods where it might be easier to list the things it doesn’t do,” says Sarah Philipp, a certified health coach and founder of Abundelicious. “Ginger root contains beta-carotene, lecithin, amino acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and vitamin C.”
The most widely studied compound found in ginger is gingerol, which is credited with a lot of its benefits. In general, ginger is noted to have “anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardioprotective properties.” According to Maura Henninger, a board-certified naturopathic doctor based in New York, ginger is an extremely versatile herb that is widely celebrated across all types of medicine.
“It's often used for the treatment of cardiovascular issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” Henninger notes. “It also has positive effects on asthma and diabetes, [and] supports joint health and circulation.”
Studies have found that ginger actually contains some of the same compounds found in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which explains its use as an anti-inflammatory. Ginger can also be used to reduce cholesterol and also to reduce blood pressure. As mentioned, one of the most common ailments ginger is used for is nausea, and Henninger shares that ginger tea can specifically be helpful for pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. However, if you are generally experiencing gastrointestinal issues, ginger may prove to be an effective treatment, as well.
Related: Do Ginger Shots Actually Work?
Lemon Ginger Tea Benefits
If you aren’t too fond of the taste of ginger, one of the easiest ways to change the flavor is to add a bit of lemon. Even better than changing the flavor profile, lemon has its own set of benefits—which is why you may have heard the recommendation to start the day off with a cup of lemon water—and can only add health benefits.
“Lemon does offset the tanginess of the ginger,” confirms Henninger. “It confers its own digestive benefits and is alkalizing, which [potentiates] the anti-inflammatory nature of ginger.”
Studies have shown that lemon also has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, so while you don’t have to add it to your ginger tea, combining the two to make lemon ginger tea will give your cup a little boost of benefits.
Related: Make Your Own Lemon Iced Tea
What Are the Side Effects Of Ginger Tea?
“Ginger tea can cause an upset stomach if you drink too much,” shares Philipp. “You might experience a little gas at first if you’re drinking it for digestive purposes. Think of it as moving things through and out of your system.”
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that ginger hasn’t been noted to interact with any medications, however, it may interact with anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners). Henninger explains this is because ginger contains salicylates, which can themselves act as blood thinners, so talking with your doctor before you add ginger tea to your routine is encouraged. Additionally, pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using it to calm pregnancy-related nausea.
“You should check with your healthcare provider if you have a bleeding disorder, diabetes or a heart condition,” adds Henninger, “but otherwise, anyone can benefit from drinking [1-3 cups of] ginger tea per day.”
How To Make Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is very simple to make and, in fact, you can buy ready-to-steep tea bags in most grocery stores. In that case, you simply follow the directions on the packaging. If you want to make it yourself, Henninger reveals that using fresh ginger will actually provide the most benefit.
She instructs you to follow these simple steps: “Take peeled and sliced ginger and let it steep in boiled water. My rule of thumb is for every 2 inches of fresh ginger root, use 4 cups of water.”
Next up, read more surprising health benefits of tea.