When we think of ginger the first things that come to mind are: gingerbread men, ginger shots, and delicious ginger cake. Not many of us are aware of all the health benefits that ginger has to offer.
Ginger comes from rhizomes; an underground stem that grows horizontally and forms roots downwards while leaves and new stems sprout on top. Buds are then formed along the stems. Ginger tonics have been used to treat ailments for over 5000 years and it has been valued for its many medicinal purposes throughout history.
Ginger is available in various forms: whole fresh roots, dried root, powdered ginger, preserved or ‘stem’ ginger, crystallised ginger and pickled ginger.
Ginger is very important to have in your diet to maintain a balanced gut and a healthy lifestyle. With this in mind, Microbz include ginger in the Bio-Live Gold, Dark and GOO for You probiotics to ensure you get the amazing health benefits. Below is an article by Helen Sanders, chief editor at Health Ambition exploring the health benefits of ginger as well as a delicious ginger tea recipe for you to try.
Health Benefits of Ginger and a Homemade Spiced Ginger Tea Recipe
by Helen Sanders
Fresh ginger is a pungent and powerful herb with many health benefits, particularly for your digestion. Here’s a look at what makes it so good for you and a cinnamon, honey and ginger tea recipe for a simple way to make it at home.
Health Benefits of Ginger
From the moment you first taste it on your tongue, ginger has a beneficial effect on your digestive system. Phenolic compounds like gingerol help to stimulate saliva in your mouth and then bile and gastric juices in your stomach to improve your digestion.
Ginger’s volatile oils have muscle relaxant properties which can help to ease bloating, spasms and cramps in your gastrointestinal tract. For this reason, strong ginger tea is often used to help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Those suffering from IBS may find making up this ginger tea at home can be an effective natural remedy, especially if you drink it just before eating.
Ginger is also a useful treatment for those who experience heartburn after a big meal. Compounds in the herb have been shown to improve the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle, that blocks off your stomach and its acids from your esophagus, is supposed to close tightly when you are digesting food. However certain chemicals in processed foods and the caffeine in coffee in particular can interfere with this. For heartburn sufferers, it’s definitely worth considering replacing coffee and other high caffeine drinks like cola with more natural options like ginger tea.
A powerful anti-inflammatory, ginger is often reported to be a beneficial treatment for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. While regular cups can be effective, those on prescription medicines would be advised to check with a doctor before having more than a couple of cups a day of ginger tea in case it interferes with their medication.
Ginger is a natural treatment for various types of nausea and motion sickness and the tea is particularly fast acting. In fact, a study in the Lancet medical journal showed it to be more effective for motion sickness than popular drugs for the condition.
It’s very soothing to drink ginger tea if you have a sore throat and the recipe below, with the addition of honey and cinnamon, is even helpful for reducing cold symptoms. In fact, if you were to make up a strong cup of it at the first hint of a sore throat, it may well never develop into anything more.
How to Make Cinnamon, Honey and Fresh Ginger Tea
Half a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon
Half a teaspoon of honey
Start with a ginger rhizome that is firm and relatively blemish free. Give it a good scrub under hot water and then, with a sharp knife, carefully cut off between five and 10 very thin slices. Put these in a mug with half a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon and half a teaspoon of honey.
Boil the water in your kettle but let it sit for a minute after it is boiled to let any sediment settle before you pour it. It’s also worth cleaning out your kettle with vinegar regularly to minimize those crusty deposits, particularly if you live in a hard water area.
While the kettle is boiling, mix up your ginger slices, cinnamon and honey in your cup. Try and crush up the ginger a little with your spoon to release even more of the beneficial oils.
To make the tea, simply pour hot water into your mug and stir it up well. Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and then you can remove any floating pieces of ginger with a spoon, strain it if you like or simply blow them to the other side before you drink it as I do.
True Ceylon cinnamon is superior to the more common Cassia cinnamon in both taste and health benefits. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, regulates your blood sugar and appetite and can even help reduce elevated LDL cholesterol levels. Like ginger, cinnamon is definitely a herb worth getting more of in your diet.
I hope you like this spiced ginger tea recipe. I think it tastes and smells great and with all of the health benefits of ginger it makes a very healthy substitute for coffee. Please let me know what you think if you make it up for yourself.