Fresh out of a deep tissue massage, you sit in the spa’s lounge. Maybe you're struggling a little to pull yourself back to reality after an hour of the soothing treatment. An attendant hands you a cup of tea. Its zippy, gingery goodness surprises you—this is no zen, sleepy-time, herbal tisane. But the ginger tea helps shake off the brain fog your massage has given you and gets you ready to face the world again.
You can easily get the delicious spa-feeling of ginger water at home by making this drink for yourself. This simple tea concoction also has several health benefits including helping deal with something everyone faces at one time or another—an upset stomach.
Benefits of ginger water and ginger tea
Spas all over the world, such as the destination spa in Panama City’s The Santa Maria Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort, serve ginger root water or tea. This highly-flavored drink is helpful in reinvigorating clients after their bliss-bringing treatments, but also has health benefits. The pale beige ginger root has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries.
The root, or rhizome, of the ginger plant is full of nutrients including magnesium, zinc, folate, riboflavin, potassium, iron, niacin, vitamins B3, B6, and C, and antioxidants. Several studies have found positive health benefits from ginger, though many more claims are unsubstantiated.
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Ginger’s benefits in fighting nausea and motion sickness have been well researched. If you’re pregnant with morning sickness, on a boat in rough seas, or just want relief from having eaten too much at dinner, a cup of ginger water could bring relief.
In addition to helping digestion and easing bloating, ginger’s other health claims include inhibiting the growth of microbes and fungus, reducing inflammation and muscle aches, improving blood circulation, reducing bad cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.
How to turn ginger into a drink
It’s so easy to make, it’s not really fair to call it a ginger water recipe. The ingredients and the method are simple. Exact measurements aren’t critical, and it’s easy to increase or decrease the amount you make. Proportions-wise, you need about 1 Tbsp of ginger root per cup of water, but feel free to add more if you like a stronger taste.
Fresh ginger is better than powdered ginger or other processed forms of the plant.
Fresh ginger root
- Peel the thin skin from the ginger. A potato peeler works better than a knife.
- Rinse the ginger with water.
- Cut slices of ginger about 1/4 inches thick.
- Place the ginger slices into a pot of water and bring to a boil on the stove.
- Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve hot or cold, adding a spoonful of honey and squeeze of lemon to taste.
If you don't have fresh ginger, substitute 1/8 tsp ground ginger for 1 Tbsp fresh ginger. To make more ginger water right away, you can reuse the sliced ginger a couple times with fresh water. Prepared ginger water will keep in the fridge for a few days.
With this easy method, turn your home into a mini spa by serving your own ginger tea. If only getting the full spa treatment at home was this simple.
Johanna Read is a Canadian freelance writer and photographer, as well as a management consultant specializing in workplace wellness. She writes freelance for publications like USA Today, Fodor’s, Montecristo and Canadian Traveller. Follow her on social media (Instagram @TravelEaterJohanna, Twitter @TravelEater, and Facebook at TravelEaterJohanna). Links to all her travel stories are at www.TravelEater.net.