How to Make Ginger Tea

Ginger tea in teacup with fresh ginger on table

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Ginger tea is a warming, invigorating, and spicy caffeine-free alternative to black tea or coffee, which has numerous health benefits. Ginger is an ancient herb that's been used throughout history for its medicinal benefits, particularly for indigestion, nausea, and motion sickness.

Many people drink ginger tea to find relief from a sore throat or cough and other symptoms associated with the common cold. Ginger root has also been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While ginger is generally regarded as safe, it is also important to consume it in moderation. Learn about the health benefits and risks of drinking ginger tea and try the recipes below to brew your own at home.

Benefits of Ginger Tea

Proponents of ginger tea tout its healing properties, some of which are supported by scientific evidence.

Anti-Aging

The aging process in humans is genetic and affected by biological, social, and physiological factors. But there is some research to support that ginger may have anti-aging effects in certain people.

A 2019 review of current evidence examined the relationship between ginger consumption and the pathogenesis of aging and degenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. While the evidence suggests that ginger may be able to help slow the aging process, researchers point out that studies were limited to certain types of age-related and degenerative diseases. The review concluded that more research is still needed to determine exactly how ginger plays a role in the prevention of age-related diseases.

Nausea Relief

Ginger is a well-known remedy for nausea and current research supports its effectiveness. For instance, a 2019 review found that ginger can help treat chemotherapy-induced vomiting as well as fatigue.

In 2016, researchers analyzed the use of ginger to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy, pregnancy, and general motion sickness. The authors concluded that ginger is an "effective and inexpensive treatment for nausea and vomiting and is safe." The researchers did indicate that more studies are still needed to determine the best dosage for treatment. While there is no consensus on the amount, most experts suggest around 1,000 mg of ginger a day.

By contrast, some researchers have said that more evidence is still needed to determine the effectiveness of ginger as a non-pharmacological treatment for pregnancy-related nausea as well as its safety.

If you're pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, talk to your healthcare provider about using ginger for relief from nausea and vomiting to determine whether it's safe for you.

Blood Pressure 

In a study published in Nutrition, researchers found that daily ginger consumption was associated with a decreased risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

Pain Relief

Ginger is often used to treat inflammation, a known contributing factor for chronic pain. Research supports the use of ginger to reduce muscle pain following intense physical activity. In addition, there is some evidence to show that ginger may help relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis, but more research is still needed.

A 2019 study was able to show that ginger helped relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints.

Immunity Support

Ginger has traditionally been used around the world for its immune system boosting properties, and research supports its effectiveness. Studies show that ginger can help relieve symptoms of the common cold and the flu and support immune function.

Weight Management

Research supports ginger for both weight loss and weight management. A 2018 review found that ginger could promote weight loss in obese subjects by increasing thermogenesis (the “thermic effect” of food) while minimizing intestinal fat absorption and regulating appetite. 

How to Make Ginger Tea

Making ginger tea is a simple process that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. But before you start brewing your fresh ginger root, be sure to wash, scrub, and peel it first. Next, slice it thinly and then steep it in a pot of boiling hot water for 10–20 minutes, depending on how strong you would like your tea to be.

The following ginger tea recipes offer a few different variations on this nutrient-rich hot beverage. If you find that any of these recipes are too spicy or strong for you, try adding more hot water to suit your taste.

Easy Ginger Tea

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 slices of ginger root
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put the ginger root slices directly in a mug.
  2. Add the boiling water and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add honey to taste, if desired.

Turmeric Ginger Tea

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 slices of ginger root
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 dash of ground turmeric
  • 1 dash of black pepper
  • honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put the ginger root slices directly in a mug.
  2. Add the boiling water, turmeric, and black pepper. Stir well. Allow the tea to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add honey to taste, if desired.

Grated Ginger Tea

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put the ginger root in a tea infuser and place it directly in a mug. (Instead of a tea infuser, you can use an individual tea filter or a teapot with a filter or you can strain the ginger using a sieve after the tea has steeped.)
  2. Add the boiling water and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the ginger.
  4. Add honey to taste, if desired.

Stovetop Ginger Tea

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • optional: honey, to taste 

Directions:

  1. Peel the ginger root and slice it into thin slices.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, add the ginger.
  3. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the ginger slices and pour it into your favorite mug. Add honey to taste.

Lemon or Lime Ginger Tea

Make the basic ginger tea recipe and then squeeze the juice of a lemon or lime wedge into each teacup.

Ginger Green Tea

A simple way to make ginger tea with green tea or any other type of tea (white tea, oolong tea, black tea) is to make the ginger tea first and then steep the green tea in the hot ginger tea for one to two minutes.

Side Effects

Though uncommon, ginger tea may cause side effects, especially when consumed in large amounts. The recommended intake for ginger tea is no more than one or two cups a day.

  • Stomach upset: Although ginger is said to aid digestion, drinking too much of the tea can trigger an upset stomach, diarrhea, or loose stools in some people.
  • Insomnia: While there is no caffeine in ginger, people who have difficulty sleeping may want to avoid drinking ginger tea before bed or at night. However, some research indicates that ginger tea can actually promote relaxation and sleep for some people.
  • Heartburn: Although it's an uncommon side effect of ginger consumption, a 2020 review published in Nutrients showed that heartburn was reported in 16 studies where subjects consumed between 500 and 2,000 mg of ginger per day.
  • Slowed blood clotting: Ginger may slow blood clotting, so it should be avoided at least two weeks before or after surgery and shouldn't be taken with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications or supplements (such as warfarin, aspirin, garlic, or ginkgo) or by people with bleeding disorders.

Consult with your doctor to determine an appropriate level of ginger consumption if you have an upcoming surgery or have been diagnosed with a bleeding disorder.

Precautions

A cup of ginger tea can be a delicious, energizing alternative to a cup of coffee, but the most important thing to keep in mind is to drink it in moderation. According to some online sources, 4 grams of ginger (or less than 2 tablespoons) per day is considered the daily maximum. This includes all sources including food and tea.

Those who are pregnant or lactating should speak to their doctor before drinking ginger tea. If you have high blood pressure, gallstones, heartburn, acid reflux, or diabetes, you should ask your doctor before drinking it regularly, too.

Keep in mind that ginger tea should not be used as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of a health condition.

If you have acid reflux or other conditions or are taking medication, you may need to consume less ginger tea than the average person or avoid it entirely.

A Word From Verywell

While ginger tea can be a delicious and comforting way to relieve some symptoms of certain ailments, it should never be used as a substitute for being treated by a medical professional. If you have a health condition or are pregnant, talk to your doctor to determine if drinking ginger tea is a safe and effective way to find some relief. When enjoyed in moderation, ginger tea can be a wonderful way to boost your overall health and wellness.

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