Who remembers having a “tummy ache” as a child and Mom offering a refreshing Ginger Ale as the cure-all? It seemed to be a miracle elixir that could combat anything from nausea to constipation and gas and bloating. To me it was a pretty exciting trade-off for feeling ill; I got to enjoy a sweet, tickly “pop” as the remedy for my discomfort. Sugar and CO2 aside, Mom had good reason for prescribing ginger soda.
For centuries throughout the world, ginger root has been used as a traditional remedy for digestive health. In recent years, medical research has studied the effects of ginger in both animal and human testing to further document its therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown a variety of health benefits from consuming ginger:
- Treat all forms of nausea, such as morning or motion sickness
- Soothe the intestinal tract to alleviate cramping or spasms
- Increases digestion and absorption by improving the cellular structure of intestinal villus (the finger-like structures lining the intestinal wall)
- Protects the mucous lining of the gut
- Reduces gas, bloat and flatulence
- Reduces hunger sensations or “air-belly” feeling
- Speeds up digestion, by stimulating the emptying of the stomach
- Regulates high blood sugars
- Lowers levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers risk of heart diseases
- Fights inflammation and cancer with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds (6-gingerol, 6-shogaol, 6-parasol)
For persons suffering from various chronic digestive disorders, such as food intolerances, parasites, Crohn’s disease, IBS, IBD, GERD, and the like, the function of the digestive system will be seriously compromised. To maximize the benefits of ginger in your diet, these bioactive compounds can be made more bio-available (easier for the body to process) through drying and fermenting. These processes convert and in essence concentrate the different compounds to make the ginger more effective for healing the gut.
Making your own Ginger Kombucha is a very easy and inexpensive home remedy for digestive support and general health maintenance! Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Start with a batch of brewed (plain) Kombucha
Step 2: Two Options
- Option A – Add 1 teaspoon of powdered, dry ginger and 1tsp raw cane sugar per 1L of plain kombucha
- Option B – Grate or finely mince a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger per 1L of plain kombucha
Step 3: Stir to incorporate and transfer to flip top bottle(s)
Step 4: Let sit at room temp an additional 3-7 days for the ginger to ferment and build carbonation.
NOTE: The bioactive compounds will be different, whether you choose to use dried or fresh ginger, with the more concentrated version being the dried.
However, if you prefer a clear beverage with “no floaties” (as pictured), fresh ginger can be filtered out when serving, simply by pouring through a sieve, whereas using the powdered will create a more cloudy looking beverage.
Do you have a favourite home remedy for when you’re under the weather?
Let us know and we would love to feature your recipe!