There’s a reason for the old Indian saying, “Everything good is found in ginger.” Actually there are several: it fights inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stress and dozens more.
Ginger tea is delicious, easy to make, and it almost literally builds a shield around the body’s systems. How does this ancient, tasty, scientifically-proven root work its magic? The main engine is a powerful, unique antioxidant called gingerol.
Most researchers now think inflammation lurks behind almost every disease we can think of, from heart disease to cancer to Alzheimer’s to hay fever to insomnia. By that emerging worldview, it’s no wonder a plant so good at thumping inflammation also shields us from a zillion ills.
Check the list below for five ways delicious ginger tea can ward off sickness.
Health Benefits of Ginger Tea
The list of ginger tea health benefits is a lot longer than your arm and probably as long as LeBron James’ arm. It may seem crazy that one little cup of tea could fight so many ills, but all the bad guys in the list below come straight from inflammation. By letting the air out of inflammation’s balloon, ginger battles:
- Cancer. Reams of studies show the gingerol in ginger roadblocks several avenues to cancer.
- Heart Disease. Gingerol thwarts heart disease two ways: By decreasing inflammation and by slowing oxidative stress.
- Alzheimer’s. Studies show ginger shields against Alzheimer’s disease by decreasing inflammation in the brain.
- Allergies. Ginger soothes another inflammation-based-baddie in the form of allergies. A 2008 study shows the root can ramp down allergic asthma. It’s thought to fight chronic sinus issues also.
- Diabetes. What does ginger have to do with diabetes? Research proves it dials down blood fasting blood sugar and improve several other diabetic markers.
- Stress. Drinking ginger tea can calm us. It also soothes the stomach, a bonus for those with anxiety-related tummy trouble.
- Circulation. Ginger is a vasodilator. That means it opens blood vessels, aiding blood flow and improving circulation.
- Nutrient absorption. Taking vitamins and eating well are both good strategies, but they don’t help if the nutrients pass through the system. Ginger tea is thought to amplify nutrient absorption.
- IBS. Studies show ginger helps reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including cramps and nausea.
- Arthritis. Another inflammation-based disease, arthritis gets a knock from ginger tea as well.
- Menstrual pain. Ginger soothes the inflammatory side of menstrual symptoms like headaches, muscle pain and swelling. It also knocks out nausea and cramps.
- Appetite. Ginger works as a powerful appetite suppressant, making it a great choice for those seeking weight loss.
So Easy to Make
The ginger tea recipe is so simple we almost shouldn’t list it. Just grate a two-inch cube of ginger and steep it in a mug of boiling water. Ten minutes does the trick, though those who want to maximize the health perks can steep the tea for several hours.
Want some other fun drinks that are tasty and easy to make? See our coffee alternatives list here. Lots of them are very healthy!
Ginger Tea Side Effects
Not everyone should drink ginger tea or eat lots of the root because it does cause certain side effects:
- Appetite. Because of its appetite-busting powers, underweight people shouldn’t drink ginger tea.
- Medication interaction. Ginger could interfere with diabetes meds, blood thinners or other medications. Check with your doctor before starting a ginger tea regimen.
- Blood thinning. Those who bleed easily should avoid ginger tea’s improved circulation effects.
- Heart conditions. Large amounts of ginger can actually worsen certain heart conditions.
To give your health a total makeover, see our post here on the magic Tom Brady diet plan.