Ginger is common in food and medicine around the world. The ginger plant is rich in natural chemicals that can promote your health and wellness.
Ginger water, also known as ginger tea, is one way to enjoy the benefits of ginger. Read on to learn more about ginger water benefits, uses, and side effects.
As with a lot of herbal medicine, more research is needed to better understand and prove uses for ginger and ginger water. There are many anecdotes about uses for ginger water that can’t be guaranteed healthy or effective. However, there are several potential benefits backed by limited research.
As with any herb or supplement, ginger may interact poorly with other medications you take. Side effects from ginger are rare but can include the following if ginger is consumed in excess:
- burning in the mouth
Don’t consume more than 4 grams of ginger on any given day in any form.
People with heart conditions, diabetes, and gallstones should especially talk with their doctor before taking ginger as a supplement. You should also talk to your doctor about the safety of taking ginger if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or about to have surgery.
Is ginger water safe during pregnancy?
Researchers have looked at the role ginger may play in helping treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. One study noted that the evidence supports the efficacy of ginger for the treatment of pregnancy nausea, but that there may be safety risks for some women. A systematic review of studies, however, found no adverse effects caused by ginger consumption in pregnant women.
Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or herbs during pregnancy. In some cases, diet and lifestyle changes may help reduce nausea in pregnancy:
- eat regular, small meals
- avoid greasy or spicy foods, since those may upset your stomach
- sleep at least seven hours each night
- stay hydrated
Can ginger water work as a detox?
Detox rituals aim to slowly rid your body of toxins over time. Some people use ginger water mixed with lemon juice as a detox. There is only anecdotal evidence to support this use.
Since ginger may fight germs, illness, inflammation, and cancer-causing molecules, taking a little bit every day can support your overall health. Ginger is a natural root, so drinking it will also give you added nutrients.
How to make ginger water
Fresh ginger is the best source for making your own ginger water. A lot of products contain ginger or artificial ginger flavor, but you’ll get the most benefits from ginger water you make yourself. Plus, it’s easy to prepare.
You can find fresh ginger in the produce section of the grocery store. It’s a beige-colored root, typically a few inches long.
To make ginger water, you’ll have to cook the ginger in water and make a tea. You can leave the skin on the ginger since you’re not going to eat it straight and many of the nutrients are right beneath the skin.
You can use more or less water or ginger depending on how strong you want the ginger water to be. The ratio of water to ginger below is equivalent to 1 gram ginger extract.
- Wash the part of the ginger root you’ll be using.
- Use a zester to grate 1/2 teaspoon of ginger.
- Boil 4 cups of water on the stove.
- Add the ginger once the water is boiling.
- Remove the ginger water from the heat and let the ginger steep in the water for 10 minutes.
- Strain the ginger pieces from the water and discard the ginger.
- Drink ginger water hot or cold.
Ginger water is delicious with a teaspoon or less of added honey or lemon juice, but don’t go overboard with added sweeteners. If you think you’d like to drink ginger water every day, you can make a bulk batch and keep it handy in the refrigerator.
Doctors recommend consuming a maximum of 3–4 grams of ginger extract per day. If you’re pregnant, don’t consume more than 1 gram of ginger extract per day. Ginger is not recommended for children under the age of 2.
The following are all equivalent to 1 gram of ginger:
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated raw ginger
- 4 cups water steeped with 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
Less raw ginger is needed when making tea because certain nutrients in ginger concentrate when heated.
Consuming ginger can support your health and may also help treat many health problems. Drinking ginger water is also a great way to stay hydrated, which is important for your overall health.
Talk with your doctor about any supplemental herbs you want to try. And if you are interested in ginger, start by making your own ginger water from fresh ginger root.