What is ginger tea?
Ginger tea is made by infusing dried or fresh ginger in hot water for a few minutes, allowing the oils of the ginger to infuse into the water before drinking.
Ginger tea has a warming, slightly spicy taste. You can make your own by grating or slicing fresh ginger into a mug, or buy it as dried, loose pieces or in tea bags.
What is the history of ginger tea?
Ginger tea has a long history dating back to China some 5,000 years ago, where it was traditionally used as a health tonic. Ginger was introduced to Europe much later, originally as a culinary spice.
What are the 6 main health benefits of ginger tea?
1. May help to ease digestive discomfort
Ginger tea is probably most well-known for its potential to soothe digestive issues, and in particular for helping ease nausea. One study even suggests it may be just as effective as some medications, but with fewer side effects, in the case of morning sickness.
Ginger contains key phytonutrients known as gingerols, and research has shown that these can have an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect which, when drunk as a tea, may help support a healthy microbiome.
3. May help to reduce blood pressure
A 2017 study found that those who consume ginger on a daily basis had a decreased risk of hypertension. While the study didn’t look specifically at ginger tea, it may be useful to consume ginger tea if you have high blood pressure.
4. May aid weight loss
There have been a few studies into the benefits of ginger when it comes to weight and obesity. A review of this research highlighted that ginger may have a positive impact on obesity through a number of different mechanisms, including appetite control and increasing thermogenesis (heat production). Again, this research is not specific to ginger tea, but it may be beneficial to include ginger tea as part of a balanced diet.
5. Ease headaches and migraines
There’s been a fair amount of research into ginger and its pain-relieving properties, including its potential benefit for those who struggle with headaches and migraines. Drinking ginger tea, therefore, may also help both prevent and relieve headaches.
6. Antioxidant rich
Ginger is high in antioxidants and has been shown to have antiproliferative effects on tumour cells, in particular pancreatic and colon cancer – consuming ginger tea regularly may offer a preventative effect.
Is ginger tea suitable for everyone?
Ginger has a distinctive taste and so, quite literally, may not be everyone’s cup of tea!
Some people may experience side effects from drinking ginger tea, such as bloating or heartburn, and because of its potential blood pressure-lowering effects, it should be consumed in moderation by those with low blood pressure or on any blood pressure medications.
How do I include ginger tea in my diet?
Ginger tea can be consumed at any time of day. It works well as a pick-me-up first thing in the morning, but you may also find it helps after a meal to ease digestion.
You can add fresh lemon or honey, or buy different flavoured tea bags, such as lemon and ginger or ginger green tea.
This article was published on 17th June 2020.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
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