Fresh ginger has long been used for its medicinal properties; it enhances your digestion and can soothe tummy troubles, too.
In fact, chemical analysis of ginger shows that it contains over 400 different compounds! One specifically, called 6-gingerol, is shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.1
Not only is fresh ginger full of digestive and health benefits, but it’s delicious.
You can grab a knob of fresh ginger in the produce section of almost any grocery store. Break it in half if there are only large pieces if you want to keep costs down.
Organic ginger is usually around the same price since you’re buying a small knob of it, but if conventional is all there is I think that’s totally fine. It will keep in your refrigerator 1-3 weeks depending on how fresh it was when it was brought into the store.
When you buy a small knob of ginger, you can get multiple mugs of tea for usually around twenty to thirty cents each (or less!).
Provided you’re not allergic, sipping fresh ginger tea definitely something that should be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.
A note on the water you use: Tap water is a precious resource that we’re lucky to have access to in the developed world. If you have access to a water filter use it. The unfortunate truth is that excess arsenic, lead, chromium, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PCBs, MTBE, PFOA, mercury, cysts, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other stuff that isn’t great for your cells show up in tap water. What’s in your water depends on where you live. We can talk about water filters another time. For now, just remember that any filter is better than no filter in most cases unless you live in a place where you’re sure you don’t need it. The filter that comes built-in to your fridge or a simple pitcher-style filter both work fine.
30 Cent Ginger Tea
Boil (preferably filtered) water.
Grab a mug. Any mug works. I generally use a 10-12 ounce mug for this.
Fill it 1/4 way up with cool or room temp water. This simply prevents pouring boiling hot water onto the fresh ginger as boiling water can damage the fresh enzymes. Don’t worry too much about this. Just add a little cool or room temp water to your mug before pouring in hot water. (This tip also works for hot lemon water to preserve the lemon’s enzymes.)
Grate in about 1/4-inch fresh ginger (that’s about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.) Use more if you’d like. The more you use, the spicier it will become.
Allow the hot water to come off the boil for about a minute, then pour it into the mug, leaving a bit of room at the top so it doesn’t spill over.
Add 1/2 teaspoon or so of high-quality honey, or not if you prefer not. A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime is nice too if that sounds nice, but not necessary.
For the most health benefits, only use fresh ginger and fresh citrus in these types of drinks as they contain the most enzymes, antioxidants, and plant nutrients.
Can I pre-grate my ginger?
Fruits & veggies have the most amount of enzymes when they’re freshly cut or grated because the longer a larger surface area is exposed to air the more it will oxidize. So, it’s best to grate right before you eat it. It only takes a few seconds. You can use a hand-held Microplane grater, rasp, or ginger grater (or any grater). Or, get in there and give it a super-fine chop with a knife. Large chunks may have some benefit but not as much as grated ginger.
Can I use powdered ginger?
Not really. While it may have some benefits, it’s hard to know how it was processed. Powdered ginger is great in baked goods, but is not used for medicinal benefits unless specifically stated by the brand that makes it.
Anything I should avoid?
Avoid pre-grated ginger, powdered ginger, highly-processed honey, and bottles of citrus juice (those are mostly citric acid with flavoring and contain no health benefits).
We drink fresh ginger tea a few nights a week after dinner, and sometimes in the morning if someone’s throat feels dry. Sip it any time of day for a soothing, delicious treat.