Ginger is a such a glorious root which offers so many favorable properties. Ginger rhizome is related to curcuma or turmeric and originated in South East Asia. Ginger can be found in fresh or dried form, with each form being slightly different both in flavor and potency level. Rich in Vitamin C & Magnesium, ginger imparts a wonderful flavor in cooked foods and in beverages. I make lots of Asian fusion dishes keeping true to my heritage and as such fresh ginger is a staple ingredient in my pantry and I have both fresh and dried forms on hand. My rule of thumb with regard to the use of ginger would be that dried powdered ginger is good for baking and making desserts and fresh ginger is preferable for savory cooking. However, there are are several wonderful spice blends which use dried ginger powder like Chinese five spice, ras-el-hanout and pumpkin pie spice to name a few and these can be used for both savory and sweet preparations. I love using natural herbs and spices as alternative medicines and sources of wellness. Teas are the perfect way to drink healthy beverages filled with antioxidants which promote all round wellbeing and are not calorific. Ginger teas and chai teas are delicious examples where both types of ginger can be used.
Ginger is a beautiful flowering plant and familiar in many tropical gardens. The ginger root and has many powerful benefits which are well loved and appreciated for its hot, pungent and fragrant flavors. Among the benefits of consuming ginger are its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is known to help with the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. Sipping Ginger tea is a wonderful remedy for those with a cold or respiratory difficulties. Ginger is also said to help lower cholesterol levels and due to its high antioxidant levels may help to improve memory and fight infections. Ginger is also wonderful for dealing with nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.
To enhance my homemade tea from a simple ginger tea, I added some aromatics. Each element contributes its own special flavor as well as additional health benefits. The spices I used are as follows:
Green Cardamom seeds are antioxidants and are purported to have cancer fighting properties. Not only do the seeds provide a lovely flavor but they also have a breath freshening quality and apparently help in supporting good dental hygiene. Green cardamom also is a great detoxifier, helps in weight loss and regulates gastrointestinal disorders.
Cinnamon is a very popular spice and is mostly associated with desserts or sweets. However, many Asian and Middle eastern cuisines use cinnamon in savory foods. Cinnamon bark or ground cinnamon are a must have in any kitchen. Among the properties of this spice are that it helps to lower blood sugar and is a memory booster. Cinnamon has strong antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral capacities. It is said to help build strong bones, maintains blood pressure and improves digestion.
Cloves are little aromatic flower buds which are dried and used in many cuisines to enhance flavor. They are common in Asian, Middle Eastern and African cuisines in both sweet and savory preparations. Cloves are used in Ayurvedic medicine and are valued for their warming effects. Among its qualities are the positive effects on the stomach and liver functioning, as well as aiding in the digestive process. Cloves are high in antioxidants and are thought to be beneficial to people with diabetes who need to regulate their blood sugar. They are also valued for their effect in aiding with respiratory infections, sinusitis, osteoporosis and blood circulation and have bacteria fighting properties.
Star Anise is a beautiful flower shaped spice. It has a licorice flavor and is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins A & C. It is used whole or ground and is good for treating colds and coughs..
This simple tea recipe can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It is a homemade remedy, and a beverage for all round wellness. It has warming and beneficial effects and is absolutely delicious with the added spices. Please note that this is a spicy tea as the freshly grated ginger is quite potent. I love mine sweetened with a bit of honey. It’s a wonderful for all that ails you or just as a good caffeine- free digestive tea with many health benefits. I hope that you enjoy it.
Ginger Tea with Aromatic Spices
2 tbsps fresh ginger, finely grated
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamoms,
1 star anise
5 cups water
Sugar or honey to taste
Clean ginger and remove skin, then grate into a fine blend. Crush the cardamom pods slightly to release seeds.
In a medium pot, place water and spices and bring to boil for about 12-15 minutes.
Strain and sweeten as per your taste. If the tea is too spicy you may add water. If you want a more intense tea reduce the water to 4 cups.
Note that fresh ginger and dried ginger have 2 different potencies and the flavors are slightly different. Dried ginger is around 6 times stronger than fresh ginger, so DO NOT substitute this quantity. I prefer fresh ginger for this tea as the flavor is pleasing.
To your good health and well being my friends!