Add a healthy zip to your teatime routine with ginger.
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In its raw form, ginger is known for its spicy kick, and may be your go-to flavor choice when you're in the mood for an earthy, pungent flavor. Used as a culinary aromatic, this spice (yes, it's classified as a spice) has long been known to remedy conditions like nausea and motion sickness. According to Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, founder of BZ Nutrition in New York City, ginger root has long-standing medicinal properties, and drinking ginger tea can provide alleviating properties, too.

Native to Asia, ginger comes from the flowering plant of the Zingiberaceae family. Most of us are familiar with consuming its root to add a unique, zippy flavor to dishes and condiments of many cuisines. Ginger tea—steeped in boiling water or infused into herbal blends—is equally delicious, soothing, and beneficial to the body.

Ginger Tea Benefits

1 It helps alleviate nausea.

Drinking ginger tea may help ease symptoms of motion sickness; such as dizziness, nausea, and cold sweats. But research is quite limited, and you may find motion sickness medications more effective. "Ginger tea is also a common go-to therapy for pregnant women who cannot have standard anti-nausea medications," adds Zeitlin. Similarly, ginger extract, a component of ginger tea, may be helpful to cancer patients for relieving nausea from chemotherapy.

2 It helps with inflammation.

"Drinking ginger tea can be wonderfully soothing, as it may not only help alleviate nausea, but it can also help control inflammation in the body," says Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Connecticut, "because it contains the substances gingerol and shogaol." Research shows these substances may help manage internal inflammation. Additionally, research suggests ginger tea can boost your immune response and alleviate nasal congestion from colds and allergies, Zeitlin adds.

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3 It aids digestion.

According to research published in 2018 in the Food Science and Nutrition journal, ginger is "an important dietary agent which possesses carminative effect"—meaning it helps relieve gas. It also "decreases pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, reduces intestinal cramping, and prevents indigestion, flatulence, and bloating." Ginger is also shown to speed up digestion, particularly in those who struggle with dyspepsia (aka indigestion). 

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4 It may help manage cholesterol.

Additionally, consuming ginger may be beneficial for cholesterol levels, Gorin explains. In one study, volunteers with Type 2 diabetes drank black tea with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, or saffron for two months—versus tea on its own. Those who consumed those spices in their tea saw beneficial effects on their total cholesterol levels, as well as their LDL ("bad") and HDL ("good") cholesterol.

5 It has reported heart-healthy properties.

Research has also shown that consuming ginger helps protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, relieving heartburn, improving blood circulation, and preventing heart attacks and blood clots.

6 It has pain-relieving potential.

Research has also shown that ginger may help relieve pain, such as knee pain brought on by osteoarthritis.

How to Prepare Ginger Tea

While ginger-flavored or ginger-infused tea bags are readily available, you can easily make ginger tea from scratch at home with boiling water, sliced ginger root, fresh lemon juice, and honey (for a healthy hint of sweetness). 

"Drink your ginger tea straight up or with some lemon, or enjoy it iced for the same benefits," Zeitlin says. And your options don't stop at plain old hot or iced tea. "You can also use 8 ounces of unsweetened ginger tea as the liquid base for your smoothies," she continued.

But don't stop there: Ginger adds flavor to dishes from veggies to grains. "Use it as a base for cooking rice so that you end up with a spicy kick to your finished dish," Gorin adds. "Another option is to use it instead of vegetable broth to sauté vegetables in." 

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