Ginger tea, made by steeping crushed ginger root in hot water, can be used to cure some digestive issues.
Ginger has many beneficiary properties. It contains many antioxidants, which may help prevent cancer according to medical studies. It is also known to effectively cure all forms of nausea including seasickness and carsickness as well as morning sickness; do note, however, many physicians recommend against the use of ginger to combat morning sickness, although pregnant Chinese women traditionally use it for exactly this purpose.
According to the PDR, ginger has been shown to promote production of saliva, digestive juices, and bile. It also tends to boost the pumping action of the heart, prevent the formation of blood clots, lower LDL cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. It may have a stimulative effect on the immune system; this has not been concluded. Ginger also has mild laxative effects due to stimulation of the GI tract.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger has lead some to use it for the treatment of diseases such as arthritis and bronchitis; one study of 261 participants showed that ingesting ginger twice daily significantly reduces the pain experienced by sufferers of osteoarthritis, versus those being administered a placebo.
As ingesting ginger may lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent blood clotting, it may be helpful in preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke. Ginger also has pain relieving, sedative, fever reduction, and antibacterial effects.
Ginger root should not be consumed in doses exceeding 6 grams per day. This may damage the lining of the stomach and cause stomach ulcers. Large overdoses may lead to CNS depression and heart irregularities and you should seek medical attention immediately if you suspect a large overdose.
Avoid ginger if you are at risk of internal bleeding or have gallstones. The PDR also recommends against using ginger to treat morning sickness, although there is no evidence that ginger is harmful during pregnancy.
Do not take large doses of ginger if you are also taking a blood-thinning drug.
It is notable that ginger will not cure the underlying cause of any disease, especially nausea; it will only allieviate some of the symptoms associated. Mild cases of food poisoning, for example, can be easily waited out; but severe cases can be fatal, and you should always seek medical attention if you suspect a dangerous infection. If your doctor tells you it will go away on its own, or just perscribes simple antibiotics such as penicillin, ginger tea is a good way to quell the symptoms in the meanwhile.
Ginger root has a strong and spicey flavor; chewing on a small piece of the root may be quite painful and difficult for many individuals, somewhat in the way chewing on a cayenne pepper would be, as the active constituent is a compound similar to capsaicin. A diluted tea, however, should be easily drinkable by most; and for those who enjoy the flavor of ginger root, can even be a pleasant beverage.
To prepare the tea, crush the ginger and pour hot water (recommended: 85C) over it. Fill the vessel with approximately 175-250mL (6-8oz) of hot water and steep for about 5 minutes. Strain, if desired. Honey may be added to sweeten the tea to taste.