Ginger is a fiery spice that plays a major role in Asian cuisine, but it can also be made into a tea, which can provide the drinker with an array of health benefits. It is those supposed health benefits that we put under the microscope here as we ask, Can ginger tea help you to detox, can it provide other benefits and does it cause any side effects?
Ginger Tea for Detox
To use ginger tea as part of a detox you just need to consume it every day. You can begin with 1 cup and then advance to 2 or 3 a day depending how well tolerated it is. It will help you in many ways (discussed below) and will also ensure your body is nourished with a host of vitamins and minerals found in this fiery spice.
You can make ginger tea from ground ginger, but it’s always best to use actual root ginger. It’s cheap, much cheaper than you might think, and can be frozen. So, buy a dozen roots, keep 1 or 2 out of the freezer at all times, and grate when ready. We recommend starting small, with one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger per cup, and leaving it to stew for between 3 and 5 minutes. Do not add milk, but do add honey if you want to sweeten it a little.
You can also add a splash of fresh lemon juice to cut through the heat and something more delicate and fruity (like dried berries) to balance the acidity.
Ginger as an Anti-Cancer Drug
You have to take a lot of anti-cancer claims with a pinch of salt. The vast majority of them are based on antioxidant content. We know that antioxidant consumption can help to prevent cancer when consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle, and many health sites take this information and run with it, claiming that everything from the herbs you sprinkle on your potatoes to the ones you put in your tea can cure cancer, because pretty much all plants contain these compounds.
However, unless the antioxidant level is extremely high, as with green tea, or the plant/herb/tea contains another beneficial compounds, then there is no benefit worth writing home about.
So where does that leave us with ginger, and more specifically, ginger tea? Well there are antioxidants here and there are also anti-inflammatory compounds, which can also reduce the threat of cancer. But the main compound that interests us is something known as gingerol (rather imaginatively named, don’t you think). This has been experimented on under laboratory conditions and scientists have discovered that it has the potential to suppress tumor growth.
That’s great news and, unlike other anti-cancer claims, it’s actually something worth getting excited about. It means that ginger could be as potent as spices like turmeric in battling against cancer. However, more research needs to be done before this becomes something we can actually use to great effect and you should never assume that a cup of ginger tea a day will stop you from ever getting cancer or that it will cure the cancer you have.
Ginger Tea as a Digestive Aid
Ginger will not soothe your gas or indigestion quite like peppermint will. But it can do something that most other herbal teas can not: it can alleviate the symptoms of nausea. It is actually really effective at this, so much so that many doctors recommended ginger to people suffering from regular bouts of nausea, such as pregnant women and travel sickness sufferers.
If you are in-between bouts of violent vomiting then it probably won’t put a stop to that, but most nausea does not result in actual vomiting and is merely a very unpleasant side effect stemming from everything from constipation and diarrhea, to viruses and fatigue. Ginger can help with this kind of nausea and when consumed in the form of the ginger tea it may be even more effective. The act of drinking tea can be very soothing to your body, relaxing your stomach, lubricating your throat and giving your digestive system something to process.
Stem ginger is great for this, but ginger tea with a bit of honey is even better. The sweetness combined with the potent ginger works wonders.
If you are using large amounts of tea for this purpose then you should discuss it with your doctor. It may not be recommended to use such an excessive amount if you are using it for morning sickness or sickness associated with chemotherapy.
Ginger Tea as an Inflammatory
Turmeric, ginger, ginseng—they all look very similar, they are all fiery and filled with antioxidants, and they can all help to reduce inflammation. There is something miraculous in these spices that instantly soothes inflammation in the body and when you consider that inflammation can be the cause of everything from pain to cancer, you begin to understand just how important that is.
Regular consumption of ginger tea as part of a healthy diet could help to reduce pain, swelling and other serious issues associated with inflammation. And if you are also consuming large amounts of spices like turmeric, as well as the occasional cup of ginseng, then you will be constantly supplying your body with the weapons it needs to tackle this problem head-on.
Ginger Tea Side Effects
This is a very well tolerated tea and one that should not cause any side effects in people who are healthy and do not have an allergy to ginger. However, if you have a preexisting health condition or stomach complaint, then you may want to consult with your doctor first. It is highly unlikely that ginger tea will cause any issues, as there’s a good chance that you’re consuming this spicy root regularly anyway, but in such cases it is always best to get a second opinion.
The only common side effects that occur are reflux in those who suffer from conditions like GERD, and nausea when too much of the drink has been consumed. This is not something you should feel when you consume occasional cups of ginger tea though because, as mentioned above, it actually has compounds that work to reduce nausea.