Sweet and Zingy Ginger Tea

Stimulate digestion and your taste buds with this classic infusion!
ginger tea, lemons, fresh ginger root
© Can Stock Photo / furofelix

There is likely no food that soothes queasy or upset tummies better than ginger tea! From an Ayurvedic medicine perspective, ginger tea’s wonderfully healing qualities make it useful for treating vata imbalances such as digestive disturbances, because it enhances all three phases of gastrointestinal function: digestion, absorption, and elimination.

From a Western physiology perspective, we know that peppery aromatics like ginger, as well as bitters (like dark leafy greens) and sours (like lemon), cause a reflex activation of our salivary glands and the consequence is a domino effect, stimulating digestive juices from the stomach and the other organs of digestion to get their messages: the gallbladder secretes bile and the pancreas releases its digestive enzymes to break down food.

Ginger intensifies agni (digestive fire) so someone with a kapha constitution (which tends to have a more sluggish system) will find drinking ginger tea—2 to 3 cups daily, especially before meals—useful to help stimulate digestion. This slightly sweet and zingy spice also aids in reinvigorating dulled taste buds.

In addition to its zesty ignition of “digestive fire”, this golden woody root has other nutritional benefits. One of ginger’s key constituents, gingerol, has been shown in research studies to have powerful anti-inflammatory actions. This supports its centuries-old inclusion in the herbal medicine chest of most healing traditions as a tea for treating colds and flus. Ginger is also effective at treating nausea, motion sickness, and it can be safely used during pregnancy. During cool weather it is especially warming and nourishing for anyone of any age or ailment to sip ginger tea throughout the day. Try adding fresh lemon juice to lend a bit of citrus zing or a dash of honey to sweeten and mellow this pungent spice.

Sweet and Zingy Ginger Tea


  1. Chop an unpeeled 2-inch knob of whole ginger into coarse pieces or slices and place in a medium-sized pot with 4 cups of water. 

  2. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, allowing the tea to simmer for about 15 - 30 minutes (longer for a stronger tea). 

  3. Strain the tea and store in a thermos bottle or glass jar.

For a flavour variation

  • squeeze a wedge of lemon for a citrus spike

  • add a dollop of honey to sweeten

  • add mint leaves to mellow out the pungence

  • use all of the above!