Using Fresh Ginger In A Recipe for Health and Happiness!

benefits of gingerWhile making some recipes that included minced ginger this past week, I started thinking about this strange-looking rhizome (kind of looks like a foot…no?) and what other things it’s good for, besides making food taste so good!

I knew a LITTLE bit about the health benefits of ginger from listening to people I know and respect tout its’ ability to help with stomach discomfort and in treating cold and flu symptoms. But I personally have only used it in food…which is a wonderful way to use it!  It just gives dishes a fresh kick of flavor that I love!

But if you’re only using it in cooking…you’re missing out on a whole lot of great natural remedies that people in Asia have been using for thousands of years!

Since we are in the cold and flu season, I thought I’d start with that.


  • Fighting Off Colds and Flu 

Wheezing, coughing, and a runny and clogged nose are common respiratory symptoms during the winter months. Ginger can help ease these symptoms by acting as a decongestant to release phlegm. Ginger is also effective in helping to relieve asthma symptoms. The volatile oils and vitamins in ginger provide antiviral properties that help in the prevention and fast recovery from colds, sore throat, sinusitis and flu.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that to treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, steep 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, and drink two to three times a day.

You can also add a few drops of ginger essential oils and a little honey to hot water for a quick and easy ginger tea!



benefits of ginger

  • Combating Stomach Discomfort

Gingers healing properties come from it’s volatile oils (gingerols and shogaols), which are also responsible for it’s pungent taste. The oils cause more digestive enzymes to be produced which helps with the whole digestion process and neutralizes the acids that can cause nausea, cramps and even diarrhea. It also improves food absorption which helps prevent/relieve stomach aches and eliminates bloating due to excessive gas.



benefits of ginger

  • Relieving Cramps, Morning Sickness and Motion Sickness

Ginger has demonstrated a success rate of 75 percent in curing morning sickness and stomach flu. It also relieves migraines and dizziness, and drinking ginger tea can relieve menstrual cramps. If you are a woman suffering from menstrual cramps, try placing a hot towel drenched in ginger tea over the pelvic area to relieve pain and relax the muscles. Drinking a cup of ginger tea can also provide a soothing effect.

To keep from being nauseous during a trip, drink a cup of ginger tea before setting off on your travels.



benefits of ginger

  • Reducing Pain and Inflammation

Ginger is an extremely potent analgesic, acting as an all-natural painkiller without the harmful side effects. It also contains potent anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger tea can ease inflammation of the joints, which is commonly referred to as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also effective in alleviating tired, sore muscles and joints.

A warm ginger tea soak can lessen swelling and puffiness, or rubbing ginger oil on an affected area can help reduce pain. Intake of ginger twice daily has been shown to improve the pain and swelling of the joints in arthritic patients and improves their range of motion.



benefits of ginger

  • Maintaining Normal Blood Circulation

Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which help to improve blood flow. Consuming a cup of ginger tea can help improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever and excessive sweating. The active components of ginger, such as minerals and amino acids, help make the blood flow smoothly, and may help prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease.



benefits of ginger

  • Strengthening The Immune System

Packed with antioxidants, ginger can help improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.



benefits of ginger

  • Relieving Stress and Coping with Depression

Ginger contains a potent antioxidant called gingerol, which helps cleanse the harmful chemicals our bodies produce when we’re worried, helping relieve psychological stress. Ginger also stimulates the production of stomach acid, crucial to digestion, which can break down when we’re stressed. That’s explains how stress can lead to an upset stomach! Hot water with a slice of lemon and chopped ginger is an excellent way to stimulate digestion.

Ginger tea is a remarkable stress reliever because of its comforting and relaxing scent. Simply taking a whiff of ginger essential oil may be all you need to help improve your mood. Also, some compounds present in ginger have the capacity to bind to human serotonin receptors, helping in the treatment and reduction of depression and anxiety.



benefits of ginger
  • Treating Bad Breath

Gargling with ginger and lemon juice is a very good natural remedy for halitosis or bad breath. Add a teaspoon lemon juice and a teaspoon ginger juice (or 2-3 drops of ginger EO) to a glass of warm water and gargle with it once or twice a day.



benefits of ginger

  • Healing Hypopigmentation Scars (White Scars)

Hypopigmented scars, or skin that has lost its’ pigmentation, can often be remedied with ginger. Just cut a fresh slice of ginger root and rub the juice over the skin two or three times a day. Cut a fresh slice each time you do it, and don’t rub the skin too hard. Ginger triggers the melanocytes that are not working under the skin, to react and mimic their neighboring cells. Hypogimented scars will appear to shrink and then blend between 4 to 12 weeks use.




  • Fighting Cancer

A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells. Ginger powder has also been proven to induce cell death in ovarian cancer cells.
benefits of ginger


Now that you know all that ginger can do…here’s how to make ginger tea:


  • Clean the root under cold running water, slice into roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch ovals.
  • Add to boiling water, and simmer for about 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (depending on desired strength). Use about 2 to 3 ounces of ginger to half gallon of water.
  • You can add a quartered lemon about ten to fifteen minutes before end of cooking if desired. Serve hot.
  • Other options: Add honey or cinnamon. Both add to the taste and flavor of the ginger tea…and both have their own very beneficial health benefits. Honey is an excellent medium for transmitting the benefits of herbs such as ginger to the body, and cinnamon has a lot of the same properties as ginger, including relieving common digestive annoyances.


You can also add a few drops of ginger essential oils and a little honey to hot water for a quick and easy ginger tea!


After reading all these…I’m off to make a spot of ginger tea right now…


What are some of the ways you like to use ginger?



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  1. Patty says

    Love ginger! Especially in ginger tea. This is a recipe I heard on the radio years ago. I prepare a batch and keep it in a jug in the fridge and heat it one cup at a time. When my children were school aged, I would bring them a warm cup of ginger tea to sip in bed at bedtime. Nice treat and helped them sleep (and stay healthy1).

    a piece of ginger, the size of your thumb or slightly larger, washed and finely grated
    1 whole lemon (wash and leave whole! Do not cut!)
    8 cups water
    honey or sugar to taste

    Add ginger, honey or sugar and the whole lemon to the water and bring to a boil. Turn down and cook at a slow boil for 25 -30 minutes, until the lemon is soft. The softer the lemon, the more juice and pulp you’ll get. Remove from heat and with a sharp knife, slit the lemon. Press with a fork to remove all the juice and pulp. Serve warm or hot. Enjoy!!

    • Ayala Be'er says

      I add it to my Juicer daily along with: a beet, a carrot, an apple and curcumin. Should live forever with this….☺

    • says

      Happy Birthday to Navy of course, and in the hedaer pic, Bonda looks ADORABLE and her elder sis has grown up so well too.. they have such expressive eyes.. both of them.

  2. says

    I have arthristis and sometimes my pain meds just don’t help as much as I would like. I think I’ll try some ginger. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information!

  3. Carol says

    Dumb question here… do you peel off the outside skin of the ginger before using it , like grating it for Patty’s recipe above? I’ve never really used ginger before but I just bought some yesterday and not sure how to use it. Thanks.

  4. Susie E says

    The local national chain grocery store sells ginger for $4.59 a pound. The local Indian Market sells it for $.59 a pound. Guess where I’m headed!

  5. carmen says

    I make a pitcher of tea using ginger, lemon grass and lemon balm every week. Makes an excellent cold or hot tea.

    • says

      Haven’t actually tried to, but I doubt that powdered ginger would have the same taste / benefits that fresh does.

  6. KimH says

    I love ginger tea. Ginger is very stimulating so I use it every once in a while when I need a boost of energy.
    I dont remember reading about its uses in arthritis but I’ll definitely remember it & give it a try.

    I keep a lot of ginger in my freezer instead of the frig. It stays fresh & doesnt spoil as it does in the veggie crisper. When I need some, I have it on hand.

  7. Sandra says

    Wow, thanks! I knew ginger was good for you but didn’t know all of this. A little goes a long way and I never use it all at once so I peel it and throw it in the freezer. When you need it you barely need to defrost it and it’s good as when you first bought it. I make a hot tea w/ it by using an infuser w/ ginger slices and hot water. But when it cools I add lime juice and some sweetner (stevia but you can use sugar) and voila! Ginger limeade. It’s soooo good iced. Plus lime is full of vit C so it’s awesome when you’re sick. And even when you’re not. Also when I traveled to Australia I was bale to buy ginger tablets to take to avoid sea sickness. Worked like a charm and drug free!

  8. Karen B says

    One if my good friends, a two time lung cancer survivor (fighting for 3rd time now) uses ginger in tea and cookies to combat nausea after chemo.

  9. CTY says

    Thank you Jillee for the list.
    Do you think ground ginger would work for cold/flu & nausea. I was thinking of adding it to my travel first aid kit.

    • says

      From what I have read, the ground ginger doesn’t provide the same effects as fresh. However, for travel/motion sickness I read some people chew on candied ginger.

      • Susan says

        Fresh is always better, but I have had ginger capsules work for nausea. It probably helps too if you use a high quality brand. There is also a drink my ND told me about years ago-it is “Reed’s Ginger Brew”-All Natural Jamaican Style Ginger Beer (not alcoholic). We can find it at a local grocery store’s ‘natural’ section. There are 3 strengths-I recommend starting at 1.