Hailing from the dense, humid tropics of Asia and India since ancient times, ginger has been used as a cooking spice and herbal medicine for thousands of years. It comes from the root of the Zingiber officinale plant. Today, it is cultivated in China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the West Indies. Ginger tea comes in many variations and can be served with orange slices, milk or lemon.
History and Folklore
Ginger is one of the oldest and most commonly used spices in the world, having been used by Chinese healers for more than 5,000 years. It became a popular trading spice more than 2,000 years, when India began exporting the root to the Roman Empire, who used it both as a flavoring agent and as an herbal remedy.
During this time, it was an exceptionally expensive and sought-after spice throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Ginger became common in England during the Middle Ages, and was imported primarily to be used in the creation of sweets. During the 1500’s, Queen Elizabeth I of England is said to have created the first decorated gingerbread man, which became a popular Christmas gift signifying love and respect.
Use In Cuisine
Ginger has a biting, pungent, zesty, and slightly citrusy flavor. It has a sharp warming property, and a sweet spiciness in taste.
When pickled, ginger turns pink and sweet. Pickled ginger is commonly served in paper-thin slices as a condiment for sushi, or as a palate cleanser in some Japanese restaurants. Fresh ginger can be used in teas, juices, soups, stir-fries, salads, and other dishes from around the globe. Dried ground ginger is used as a spice in baked goods and curries.
As a beverage, ginger tea can be purchased in either tea bags or full-leaf loose. Popular ginger teas include:
- Biodynamic® Ginger Tea (which is comprised of 100% ginger root)
- Organic Thai Ginger SuperHerb® Tea
- Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea
- Get Burning® – Herb Tea for Metabolism
- Ginger Peach Black Tea
Teas that are 100% ginger do not contain caffeine, although blends may contain some, depending on the other herbs and spiced used.
Ginger is known worldwide for its powerful preventative and healing properties. It has been used a remedy for a wide range of illnesses, from the common cold to the flu, and from headaches to stomach cramps. Sipping from a warm mug of tea with ginger and breathing in the aromas is also thought to promote relaxation and an overall sense of well-being.*
Containing a high level of antioxidants called gingerols and shogaols, it is thought to boost circulation, reduce the production of free radicals in the body, and relax muscles. It is also used to treat muscle and joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.*
Ginger tea can help settle the stomach and ease nausea caused by motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy.* However, pregnant women should always consult with their doctors before trying any new herbal or other medicines.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.