What Is Ginger Tea?
Ginger means many things to many people. To a landscaper, it's a desirable blooming plant. To a child, it's the spice in gingerbread. Sushi lovers use pickled ginger as a palate cleanser. But many people who love ginger in its other forms have never had a cup of ginger root tea. As a tea, ginger has several health benefits.
If you're looking for a warm, relaxing drink with health benefits and a strong taste, lemon ginger tea may be for you. It’s a favorite among herbal tea drinkers; in fact, people have been drinking lemon ginger tea for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
Many people living in different countries consider ginger a health food. Ancient texts from India, China, and the Middle East mention ginger and its medicinal qualities. Although studies support its use for several conditions, scientists need more research to understand exactly how it works.
Ginger root is readily available in supermarkets. Under its pale brown skin, it's fibrous and usually cream-colored. You can make ginger root tea by peeling the root and slicing or chopping it. Place the root in water and boil for up to 10 minutes, and then let it stand before drinking. Some people like to add other herbal ingredients such as turmeric, pepper, lemon, mint, or cinnamon. Ginger is a member of the same plant family as cardamom and turmeric.
In medieval times, the spice trade carried ginger to Europe, where it was used in candies too.
Since then, ginger has been used as a condiment in numerous forms, including fresh, dried, pickled, crystallized, powdered, and ground.
What is lemon ginger tea?
Lemons are well known around the world for their sharp, sour flavor and for being an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Lemons have been used both as a flavoring and as a main ingredient in many teas.
Together, the sour flavor of lemon and bitter tartness of ginger combine into a tea with a crisp, sharp flavor, which has many health benefits.
Benefits of Lemon Ginger Tea
Lemon ginger tea offers the following health benefits:
Relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea
Ginger has a long history of use for soothing digestive problems. Several studies have looked at whether it can ease nausea and vomiting resulting from cancer chemotherapy. One meta-analysis of 10 studies reported positive results. Two other studies found ginger effective when used with anti-nausea medications.
Relief from pregnancy-related nausea
Other studies have centered on the use of ginger for nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy. An analysis of these studies found that ginger was better than a placebo for relieving nausea. However, ginger did not significantly reduce the number of vomiting episodes. The studies found no dangers associated with using ginger during pregnancy.
Gingerol and the other antioxidants in ginger root may reduce inflammation in the body. Ginger acts similarly to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. In one study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, ginger reduced pain on standing. The effect was moderate.
Relief from nausea
People have used ginger to treat gastrointestinal (stomach-related) complaints since ancient times, and it has been used to give relief for nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. Clinical studies show that ginger in its many forms, including lemon ginger tea, is an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting—even those resulting from pregnancy and chemotherapy.
Lemon ginger tea can also help you lose weight. Lemon has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and the amount of fat stored in the body. Ginger has been shown to reduce hunger, which can help people lose weight.
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which have immunity-boosting properties. Ginger also has immunity-boosting properties and can guard against some bacteria.
Protection from some cancers
Ginger is believed to reduce the risk of some cancers.
Reduced risk of cardiovascular and liver disease
Lemon and ginger contain components that are believed to help reduce risks associated with cardiovascular disease and liver disease.
Lemon ginger tea can help reduce pain associated with inflammation, arthritis, and even headaches. Some people enjoy drinking a cup of lemon ginger tea to relieve muscle soreness after a good workout, or for relief from menstrual pain.
Lemon Ginger Tea Nutrition
Lemon and ginger are normally good sources of vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. However, dehydrating and boiling the ingredients tend to remove these nutrients, leaving only small amounts in the final tea.
Nutrients per serving
An 8-ounce serving of unsweetened caffeine-free lemon ginger tea contains:
- Calories: 0
- Total Fat: 0 grams
- Sodium: 0 milligrams
- Total carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Sugars: 0 grams
- Proteins: 0 grams
These amounts may vary by brand. It’s common to add other ingredients such as milk, cream, or a sweetener to lemon ginger tea, and these ingredients may change the tea’s nutritional content.
Side effects of ginger tea
Both lemon and ginger are recognized by the FDA as “generally safe.” However, ginger can cause some blood thinning, so you should check with your doctor before taking it if you are using medication like warfarin or other blood thinners.
Although ginger can soothe some digestive problems, it can cause issues in susceptible people. Most reports are of bloating and indigestion.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use herbal medicines without consulting their doctors.
Complications with blood thinners
Some researchers believe that ginger could affect how blood thinners work in the body. Blood thinners can be prescription drugs like warfarin or over-the-counter medications such as aspirin. If you take any medication with blood-thinning qualities, consult your doctor before drinking ginger root tea. Ginger may also interact with diabetes medication and medications for high blood pressure. It can lower blood sugar and lower blood pressure, so use caution when taking ginger if you are on any of those types of medications.
How to Prepare Lemon Ginger Tea
You can find lemon ginger tea at many grocery stores. Most often, you can prepare it from tea bags or tea mixes. However, if you’d like to get the maximum benefit and flavor, you can prepare your own lemon ginger tea using the fresh ingredients and the method mentioned below.
- 1-inch length of fresh ginger
- 1 lemon
- 4 cups boiling water
- Slice a 1-inch long fresh ginger, as finely as you can. Alternatively, you can also grate the ginger.
- Add the ginger to boiling water. Allow it to boil for 20 minutes.
- Slice 1 lemon into fine slices. Reserve a few lemon slices to use as a garnish.
- Add the lemon slices, and allow the mix to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Strain and drink this tea throughout the day. Garnish each cup with one of the reserved lemon slices. It’s great hot or cold!