Ginger tea, a Chinese home remedy
by Stephanie Hannington-Suen·
Ginger plays an important role in Chinese home remedies, having been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Combined with dark sugar and steeped in hot water, it creates a tea with numerous healing benefits.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), ginger is commonly used to help treat digestive issues. It is considered an effective treatment for nausea, and is a popular natural remedy for ailments such as morning sickness. This is due to its warming properties, which soothe and stimulate the stomach and address Qi deficiency, or low energy. It is particularly helpful in Summer months when heat draws blood away from the gut to the skin to help the body cool down, leaving us susceptible to poor digestion.
Ginger is rarely used alone in TCM. Instead, it is often combined with other ingredients for balance and to increase its effectiveness. One common combination is ginger and brown sugar. Also categorised as a warm food, brown sugar is thought to promote blood flow and is traditionally used with ginger as an effective treatment for cold and flu symptoms, nausea and digestive problems and menstrual pains.
Here is our tried and tested recipe for ginger tea, handed down through the generations to sooth stomach complaints and treat colds. I have drunk this countless times as my mum’s go-to recipe for any stomach ailment.
- 8 slices fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 600ml water
- Rinse the ginger until clean, then finely slice
- Pour the water into a pan and bring to the boil
- Add the ginger slices and reduce the heat, let it simmer for at about ten minutes until the water has reduced
- Stir in the brown sugar and cover
- Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 20 minutes
- Pour into a cup and serve
- The amount of sugar can be adjusted to your liking
- Old ginger is stronger than young ginger, so use for more intense results