A little bit about ginger...
Ginger is a popular aromatic and pungent spice. It can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. It is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics and it is also a very common ingredient in recipes.
This is what fresh and ground ginger looks like:
Regarding the benefits of Ginger, I will try not to bore you with all the detailed explanations of these, there are countless sources on the internet that can provide you with everything you need to know about ginger. I will try and keep it to why I always have ginger in my fridge and why I try to use it as much as possible in my day to day life, whether it be in my cooking, home remidies or my drinks, which I will get to later!
My Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Ginger
It is high in Gingerol (a natural oil), which makes it a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which is great for cleansing the body of any impurities. Its warming and healing benefits are also great when there is a nip in the air.
Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the clearing your sinuses that can flare up seasonally or during colder months. Perfect for when you need to get rid of throat and nose congestion.
Speeds Up Digestion
Ginger helps to speed up the emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion or related stomach discomfort.
Immune Boosting Properties
Ginger cannot only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often useful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification.
Assists in Weight Loss
I tend to focus on eating well and exercising regularly for a healthy lifestyle, rather than letting the scales dictate too much, but ginger can help with weight loss. When used in conjunction with other therapies, ginger helps by stabilising blood sugar levels and diminishing your appetite, which can make cutting calories a little easier.
Ginger Tea Recipe
What you will need:
Medium Sized Saucepan
Pestle and Mortar (optional)
2x Pouring Jugs
2x Mugs of Water
1x Mugs of Milk
1x Thumb of Ginger
4x Green Cardamoms
1x English Teabag
1. Place saucepan on the hob with medium/high heat. Grab one of your mugs and fill twice with water and pour into the saucepan and let the water come to a boil.
2. Thinly slice the ginger (don’t worry about removing the skin) and throw the ginger and Cardamoms into the pestle and mortar and gently bash until the ginger has loosened its fibres and the cardamoms have opened (try not to bash into a pulp as all the gingery juicy goodness is required to soak in the water). If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, just dice the ginger and peal open the cardamoms.
3. Once your contents is in the saucepan, lower the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 1 minute.
4. After 1 minute add your teabag and leave for 1 minute.
5. Add one mug of water and then turn the heat up again to bring to the boil (be careful to watch how much the tea is rising as once it reaches boiling, it can bubble and expand quite rapidly).
6. Once boiling, lower the heat and leave to simmer for 2 minutes.
7. Grab your tea sieve pour into one of your pouring jugs ensuring that the ginger, cardamoms and tea bag are captured by the sieve.
8. Transfer the tea between the two pouring jugs from a height to cool the tea slightly and froth the milk. The frothing is important to ensure the tea does not develop that layer of tea scum that we all hate! Be careful to avoid splash back when transferring between the two jugs and only transfer from a height if you feel confident enough to do so.
9. Pour tea into your two mugs and enjoy!
*Special mention - green cardamom really deserves its own post taking into consideration all the benefits it provides. Although this post has been focussing more on ginger, the cardamom is still very important to why this tea is so good for you!*
Please note that in general, ginger tea doesn’t seem to have serious side effects. For one, it would be difficult to drink enough of the tea to expose yourself to anything irritating or harmful. In general, you don’t want to consume more than 4 grams of ginger a day. One possible minor side effect of drinking ginger tea is heartburn or stomach upset, similar to how you feel when you eat chilies or other spicy foods. You could mistake this irritation for a ginger allergy, however you might have an allergy to ginger if you experience a rash or discomfort in your mouth or stomach after drinking ginger tea.
If you have never introduced ginger or green cardamom into your diet then please consult your doctor beforehand. Also if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements.