The first use of ginger for its medicinal purposes can be traced back to the 13th century ancient China. Ginger root has ever since been used for thousands of years in India, Japan, South East, and Middle East Asia and Europe. It was utilized either as a dietary supplement, beverage or as an ingredient in traditional recipes. Regardless of how it was used, ginger has been and still is one of the main sources of healing and medicinal properties when it comes to herbal and alternative medicine.
Over the course of centuries, it has been determined that the best way to utilize and take full advantage of all the health benefits in ginger is through tea.
Ginger tea is the best source of antioxidant properties you will ever come across. Nowadays, this tea is recommended as a part of anti-nausea treatment, especially in cases of motion sickness, morning sickness or even for chemotherapy-induced sickness, to name a few.
The benefits and use of ginger tea are countless, and it can surely be a healing strategy and successful treatment for numerous diseases. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, we will look at the plant itself, as well as the tea health benefits and the ways you can make it right now at home.
Ginger: Chemical Composition
To understand the plant and its health benefits, it is important to look at the chemical composition of the plant. Numerous studies have discovered that ginger contains more than 400 bioactive components which make it so healthy and beneficial.
The components are most active in fresh ginger, while their effectiveness is slightly reduced in dried or powdered ginger. Let’s look at some of the most important ginger components that have been extensively researched, and their health properties;
- Terpenes (zingiberene, β-bisabolene, α-farnesene, etc.) – responsible for the taste, spiciness, and the medical benefits of ginger. They enable the plant’s therapeutic role, better health management and its role in the prevention of numerous diseases. Terpenes affect the impact on genetic and metabolic activities.
- Phenolic compounds (gingerols, shogaols, and paradols) – active compounds that possess biological active properties, including anti-inflammation, antimicrobial and anticancer properties. Phenolic compounds have high antioxidant activity and are known to soothe gastrointestinal issues as well as digestive upset.
- Amino acids (leucine) – ginger is rich in amino acids, including glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and most importantly leucine. Leucine is known to encourage protein synthesis; a process where muscles rebuild and become stronger. This amino acid also helps insulin production (regulates blood sugar levels) and encourages wound healing.
- Vitamins and minerals (B3, B6, C, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Folate, etc.) – these vitamins and minerals in ginger are known to promote good digestion, increase energy levels, good eyesight, healthy appetite, better metabolism function, increase red and white cells production, etc. The best way to take advantage of vitamins and minerals in the plant is through tea; due to hot water, all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals get released and reach their full potential in our bodies.
- Other compounds – ginger is also rich in carbohydrates (70%), lipids (free fatty acids, 8%), and volatile oils, which are usually part of the terpenes. In ginger, there are also raw, dietary fibers, proteins, calcium, riboflavin, and thiamin.
5 Health Benefits of Ginger Tea
Because ginger offers such an array of important chemical compounds, its medical application can be widespread and incredibly impactful. By drinking the tea, you will get the most of ginger’s beneficial properties.
Ginger has always been a trustful aid in alternative or traditional medicine. It is a well-known pregnancy remedy in China and India and is generally used for better food digestion, to alleviate heartburn, diarrhea, in loss of appetite and many other medical issues. Therefore, let’s take a close look at the conditions and diseases the tea can help;
1. Nausea and vomiting
Studies have shown that patients who are experiencing nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy or motion sickness are seeing positive results in treatments that included ginger tea. The plant has shown to be exceptional in cases of mild to moderate nausea and vomiting cases. The reason for that lies in the vitamin B complex ginger contains, as it lessens the causes and symptoms of nausea, morning sickness and alleviate the urge to vomit.
Moreover, because vomiting stresses the body, especially the stomach and esophagus, ginger tea makes sure to calm these parts of our bodies. It takes care of the so-called gastric emptying as well; gastric emptying enables us to find the cause of vomiting, stomach pain or one’s inability to gain weight. Ginger tea is also used to alleviate postoperative nausea, nausea caused by medication or drugs for antituberculosis and antiretroviral therapy.
Nowadays, numerous over-the-counter antinausea medication contain either ginger extract, oil or powder. Many antinausea teas are made with the same, aforementioned ginger forms. These have proven effective against motion sickness, especially in children and adults who suffer from irregularities in the nervous system, inner ear or the eyes; all of which can cause motion sickness.
2. Anticancer activity
The effects of ginger tea consumption in the prevention of cancer development in humans are still an ongoing study. However, these effects, as well as the very proof of the prevention of cancer development in animals has been revealed by numerous studies. Animal and epidemiological studies have shown that the consumption of ginger (either as a beverage, powder or supplement) is associated with the suppress in the growth of prostate, gastric, pancreatic, liver, ovarian and brain cancer. Here’s how this root plant affects certain types of cancer;
- Gastric cancer – ginger causes the apoptosis (programmed cell death; cancer cells die as ‘something’ injures them). Moreover, the tea promotes the healing of gastric ulcers due to its ability to release more antioxidants. Ginger itself is also used in the alleviation of gastric cancer chemotherapy effects, such as nausea, vomiting, development of acid reflux, etc.
- Pancreatic cancer – ginger components, like phenolic compounds (gingerol especially) have shown to be successful in the suppression of pancreatic cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Studies have shown that ginger, in any form, is effective in preventing tumor growth, or in the increase of pancreatic cancer apoptosis. Asian variety of the plant, especially, is known for its zerumbone component which inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer.
- Liver cancer – the studies of effects of ginger on liver cancer have been conducted on mice; the results have shown that ginger is effective in the increase of important antioxidant enzymes in the blood, reduction of acute inflammation as well as chronic inflammation, all of which can eventually prevent liver cancer.
In general, ginger, especially in the form of tea or oil, has shown promising anticancer activity. Preclinical and clinical studies have shown exceptional results.
For example, a pilot study, including 20 patients who had a risk of colorectal cancer have received 2g of ginger (oil, tea, powder), for 28 days. The results showed that ginger has increased the apoptosis of the cancer cells in all 20 patients.
The plant simply has the ability to function through molecular targeting, operating on a cellular level. That is why it is so successful in preventing the development of cancer or improving the treatment of cancer as well.
3. Cardiovascular protection
Regular consumption of ginger tea, oil or any other form of this miraculous plant can act as a protective factor against the development of cardiovascular diseases. A series of studies have shown that ginger is able to decrease the levels of blood lipids and blood pressure, which in turn protects the heart and acts against heart diseases.
It is also effective in lowering triglyceride, lipoprotein cholesterol (a combination of fat and protein), and reduction of the levels of TC (total cholesterol) plasma, which all can be responsible for heart attacks. To put it simply, the plant basically prevents fat from depositing into arteries, which eventually helps prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Ginger detox tea is also effective against hypertension-derived complications, blood-thinning, blood-clotting and overall acts as anti-coagulant in regards to its regular flow to the heart. The best way to take advantage of these effects and properties is through the so-called liquid consumption of ginger; it is recommended to be consumed as tea at least twice a day, or as juice, also twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
4. Anti-obesity activity
As mentioned before, ginger contains compounds known as gingerols and shogaols. These compounds are not only effective in gastrointestinal disease prevention, antiinflammation or anticancer activity; they are also exceptional in stimulating numerous biological activities in the body. For example, the tea itself, also known as detox tea, can address the issue of excess weight. It helps the food digest faster, stabilizes blood sugar levels, keeps the fat from breaking down in the body, and eventually, helps in weight loss.
To be more specific, gingerols and shogaols are the main components responsible for the anti-obesity property. These bioactive compounds show anti-obesity activity through a mechanism that inhibits decomposition of fatty acids as well as the enhancement of fatty acid catabolism.
Regular consumption of ginger tea, or its supplement form, will surely assist you in your weight loss adventure, make you feel fuller, more energized and your metabolism will receive an exceptional boost.
More: Best Slim Teas
5. Respiratory protection
Many people don’t know this, but ginger tea is exceptional when it comes to the treatment of respiratory issues and diseases. As a result of numerous studies, ginger and its bioactive components have been successful in rapid relaxation of an obstructed airway, alleviation of asthma by the reduction of allergic inflammation, decreasing coughing and dealing with other minor respiratory diseases and syndromes.
Gingerols, shoagols, and eucalyptol in the plant are all effective in treating airway resistance and inflammation. That is why during the flu seasons people are advised to drink the tea regularly. The tea soothes the airway and respiratory muscles, enabling easier breathing, preventing mucus formation in the sinus area, reducing coughing, etc.
More you should know: Side Effects of Ginger Tea You Must Aware Of
Ginger is one of the most exceptional plants and dietary condiments we have ever come across. Its health benefits are endless, and it is so accessible and cheap compared to actual medication.
Ginger tea is also one of the easiest ways you can consume ginger and still get all of its health benefits. If you’re looking for a way to fight some of the health issues you have, or you simply want to improve your immune system and metabolism, ginger tea is the way to go. This beverage will remove all toxins from your body, help you lose weight, fight off diseases and make you look and feel exceptional.