As herbalists, we get common questions, especially about how to use natural ingredients for cooking and drinking.
One common question we receive is how to use ginger root in tea.
Now ginger is a versatile root that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
And even though ginger root is most well-known for its use in cooking, it is widely used as a tea additive.
In fact, it’s my favourite type of tea!
Using ginger in tea is very popular in some cultures.
For example, in the Indian sub-continent, ginger is readily added to tea to increase the flavour and help in colder seasons to ward off colds, etc.
It is soaked in honey in eastern Asia and then mixed with hot water to make a popular beverage.
Then there are also the places like the Philippines, Thailand, etc., where each region has its unique way of using it in tea and other hot drinks.
So, before we jump into how to use ginger root in tea, let’s look at a few health benefits of this beautiful beverage.
But what is ginger root, and what are its benefits?
Ok, ginger root and ginger are the same things, and thus it is the rhizome of the ginger flowering plant.
So, what is the rhizome? The rhizome is the actual underpart piece of the stem, which remains underground until puled out.
Ok, so what about the benefits?
Now ginger has many benefits; we won’t go into all of them here because we have a separate article for that.
However, briefly, we shall list a few:
Benefits of ginger root tea according to herbalists from around the world:
Many cultures use ginger tea not just as a beverage but also as a health tonic.
Below is a list of everyday benefits that different cultures believe ginger tea gives you:
- Ginger root tea is said to help soothe upset stomachs and aid digestion.
- Helps with morning sickness and nausea
- Help relieve pain
- Help with inflammation
- Help with digestion
- Good for sore thoughts
- Ward off colds and flues etc
Recent research has also claimed benefits for more severe conditions and ailments:
- Cancer-fighting properties (Ginger Tea Benefits: Nausea, Pain Relief, and Blood Sugar (healthline.com))
- Help with blood sugar levels.
- It could be used with a weight control plan.
- Improve blood circulation (Ginger Tea Benefits: 8 Incredible Health Benefits of Ginger Tea (Adrak Ki Chai) | Why You Should Drink Ginger Tea | Ginger Tea Nutritional Benefits (indiatimes.com)
- Help with respiratory issues.
- And many more.
For more information, please see our Benefits of Ginger article.
For now, let’s jump into how to use ginger root in tea.
How to make ginger root tea
To make this flavourful drink, you only need a small piece of ginger root, some hot water, and a teacup.
There will be a few extra ingredients but only in some cases.
Different ways to enjoy ginger root tea.
Adding ginger to tea is pretty straightforward.
Let’s go through a few simple recipes.
Ginger tea in the Philippines
Ginger tea in the Philippines is called Salabat, a well-known and popular drink.
3 cups of water
A few ginger pieces or one piece about 2/2.5 inches long.
1/4 cup honey
Add sliced ginger to a pan of boiling water.
Add honey to it.
Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer.
The length of simmering depends on how strong you want it, and 10-15 minutes is fine for a normal-strength ginger tea.
Simmering longer than this will give you a more potent tea.
Remember to strain the tea when pouring it, and serve with a slice of lemon.
Korea Ginger tea
Korean ginger tea is a spicier version than the others on our list. It’s a delicious beverage to consume in the winter months.
Around 1 piece of ginger, around 1/1.5 inches in size
A handful of cinnamon pieces, about 2/3 teaspoons
3 Cups of water
1 pine nut
1 teaspoon honey
For this recipe, you must skin and wash the ginger well, and the cinnamon must be rinsed with cold water.
Add the sliced ginger pieces and the cinnamon together into a pan of water.
For the next 15/20 minutes, boil the mixture on medium heat.
Strain the tea when pouring it.
Add this point; you can add the honey and the pine nuts!
Just to keep in mind, if you are making more than 1 cup, you would need more honey and pine nuts too.
Things to keep in mind
Once again, the longer you boil it, the stronger the beverage.
Also, the longer the cinnamon is boiled, the spicier the drink.
If you prefer, you can simmer it for 10-15 minutes for a less potent version.
How to add Ginger to Indian tea:
This is for 1 cup of Indian tea known as desi tea ;
1 Piece of ginger around 1 inch long
Half to 1 cup of water
Carloman (ilaychi – Optional)
Add the water to the pan.
If you want to use the cardamom, then add it now.
Add half a cup or a bit more of milk if you prefer it milky
Add 1 tea bag or 1 tablespoon of loose tea.
If you are using sugar, you can add it or wait a short time.
Some people prefer honey, which you will add right at the end when you serve the tea.
Make sure to mix it well.
Once the tea bag and sugar have been added, add the ginger.
The ginger should be crushed like in the picture below, but keep the skin on.
Leave to boil for around ⅚ minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger it will be. You can also add more ginger to increase strength but be careful not to overdo it if you are concerned about the taste.
When serving, add the honey if you haven’t used sugar.
Things to keep in mind:
In Indian adrak (Ginger) chai, you still need to use ordinary tea bags, which is the authentic way of making it.
However, if you want, you can make it without tea and just use milk.
Chinese ginger tea with Red dates
A traditional Chinese tea with healing properties is called Red Dates with Ginger Dates.
This recipe has been passed through generations of Chinese families. It promotes good health by improving blood circulation, expelling dampness and warding off colds and flu.
Below is a quick and simple recipe to try for yourselves
2 cups water
2 Pieces of ginger (thinly sliced) (Again about 1.5 to 2 inches in total)
1 or 2 Chinese red dates
Chinese brown/black sugar or honey (to taste)
Wash both the dates and the ginger.
Cut the ginger into thin slices.
Cut the dates into three or four slices.
Add both the ginger and dates into a pan and bring to a boil. The water you use depends on how many cups you need, so around 1.5/2 cups of water for one cup.
Reduce the heat and bring it to simmer for a few minutes once it’s boiled. Now add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
If again you are using honey, add it just before you are about to dry, but make sure to mix it well.
Things to keep in mind:
Dates are very popular in the middle east. However, certain cultures in the far east also use them for speciality dishes.
The more dates you use, the sweeter the beverage.
Dates have many health benefits. For more information, check out date articles.
English Ginger tea
Here is an easy-to-follow recipe for making your own English ginger tea.
4–6 thin slices of peeled, raw ginger (for stronger ginger tea, add more pieces)
2 cups of water
Half a lemon or lime.
Directions to make it with water
Wash and peel the ginger thoroughly.
Add the slides to a pan with water and boil for around 10 minutes.
Let it simmer for a few minutes.
Once ready, serve with honey and add the juice from the lemon or lime. Mix thoroughly.
Directions to make it with milk
If you want to want to try any of the above beverages that do not include milk, then here is a quick of doing it:
Choose any of the above recipes.
After boiling the ginger in water for around 10 minutes, add the milk.
Let it simmer for a few more minutes.
Then follow the remainder of the recipe instructions.
When’s the best time to drink ginger tea?
Ginger tea can really be drunk any time of the day.
However, if you want to test its potency, morning time is the best on an empty stomach.
This is when it will give you a strong wake-up! And keep you going for a while.
You can also drink some in the afternoon when you feel tired and need to pull through the day.
Drinking at night gives you a comforting experience but be sure not to make it too strong. Otherwise, you might not get to sleep when intended.
Another time to drink this healthy beverage is when you feel like you are coming down with the cold or flu.
Just drink a cup a few times daily to feel the real benefits.
To wrap it up
So ginger tea is a popular beverage in many cultures and has a distinct taste. It is made by boiling ginger root in water, and then, by culture, a few extra things are added and not.
Ginger has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help with various ailments, including nausea, digestive issues, and pain relief.
More recent research has shown that ginger may also be effective in reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar control.
Despite its strong flavour, ginger tea is enjoyed by many people for its unique taste and health benefits.
If you want to try something new or improve your health, give one of the ginger tea recipes a try!