I've always loved the flavor of ginger. Spicy and pungent, it is delicious in tea form and almost completely cuts the bitterness of vegetables in fresh juices and smoothies (adding ginger is basically the only way I can stomach beets in my juices). And while I've always known it's frequently used to aid digestion, I will humbly admit I had no idea the spice boasts such a sprawling list of medicinal benefits. The experts say ginger root is a stellar anti-inflammatory, improves heart health, eases nausea and motion sickness, helps expel free radicals from the body, and is even linked with lowering cholesterol.
If this spicy root has this much power, I just had to test it out. I decided to consume fresh ginger every day for seven days. While there are many ways to consume it, I opted to head straight to my juicer each morning for a ginger and lemon shot and continued my ritual with a cup of homemade ginger tea at night. Whipping up the tea is easy; you simply pour a cup of boiling water over a hunk of raw ginger and let it sit for a few minutes.
I almost immediately noticed its digestive powers.
I'll be totally candid here: when it comes to bathroom habits, I've never been regular. Switching to a healthier diet certainly helped (healthier meaning I will never give up cheese), but even my favorite cruciferous vegetables can be triggers for cases of all-day bloating. The effect of fresh ginger was quick — by the third day, I was going to the bathroom at the same time every morning like clockwork. I also noticed a significant reduction in after-dinner bloating when finishing my meal (broccoli and all!) with a cup of ginger tea.
It eased my muscle pain post-workout.
I'm a huge advocate of the benefits of weight training for women, and I tend to push myself pretty hard in the gym. By midweek, I noticed that my onset soreness, while still present, felt noticeably milder than usual. I'm a firm believer in utilizing all-natural remedies in lieu of medication whenever possible. I use peppermint oil for headaches and drink raw honey when I have a sore throat. But for my workouts, I typically take two anti-inflammatory pills each morning to help ease the pain, and I can totally get behind the idea of drinking ginger instead.
I craved my evening tea.
Even for someone who loves the flavor, my morning shot was a tad too pungent for my taste. My juicer recommended adding other spices like turmeric, and in the future, I would, but I wanted to give this an accurate evaluation. But my homemade tea? Now that was a little treat I looked forward to each evening. In fact, as an added benefit, it even helped cut any late-night snack cravings.
Will I keep going?
While I'm not sure I will continue taking it in pure shot form, I definitely plan on ending my days with the tea. I couldn't believe how simple (and, frankly, how cheap) it was to make each evening, considering the holistic benefits I felt almost immediately. As I mentioned, drinking it right before bed reduced my urge to reach for a midnight snack, and if the small but mighty root continues to help my digestion and reduce post-workout pain, count me in. It might be summertime, but I can't wait to enjoy the scratch-made ginger tea in the colder months (with a little honey. . . maybe even bourbon, too).