Ginger is a root widely used in gastronomy. Its spicy flavor makes it an ideal spice to give an extra flavor to all kinds of dishes. Loved by some, hated by others, ginger has a particular flavor that not everyone knows how to appreciate.
If you are one of the people who enjoy its characteristic flavor, continue reading because we are going to tell you how to make a perfect ginger infusion.
Health benefits of ginger
Natural medicine has used ginger since time immemorial to treat different digestive problems such as nausea, gas or loss of appetite. Even today, ginger tea is widely recommended for pregnant women during the first few months to combat morning sickness.
Different studies have verified its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial effects, which explain its use to counteract pain, swelling and flu.
It is even said that it would serve to prevent cardiovascular and brain problems, thanks to its antioxidant property, which fights free radicals that cause oxidative damage. Let us remember that oxidative stress affects the body’s cells and can trigger all kinds of degenerative diseases, including cancer.
How to make the perfect cup of ginger tea
Preparing ginger infusion is not difficult. However, it depends on your tastes, which is why it is not easy to give exact information on the amount of ginger to infuse.
In general, it is recommended to make the infusion with one centimeter of ginger per cup of water. If you like a stronger and more spicy infusion, use more ginger and if, on the contrary, you have felt your infusion too strong, reduce the amount.
- 1 inch of ginger
- 1 cup of water
- optional: honey
- Cut the piece of ginger to use and peel it. We recommend that you only peel the piece that you will use, since if you peel the entire rhizome, it will spoil faster.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Once it reaches the boiling point, add the ginger. You can add it in a single piece if it is for a cup of water. If you are preparing a larger amount of infusion, it is advisable to cut it into smaller pieces.
- Lower the heat to a minimum and let it cook for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and remove the pot.
- Let stand for five minutes.
- Strain and drink. You can add honey, if you wish.
This is the basic ginger tea recipe, but of course there are many other options. For example, you can prepare an infusion of ginger with lemon, a powerful antibacterial recommended by Ayurveda medicine.
It can also be combined with green tea and other spices, such as turmeric. On the other hand, ginger is an inseparable ingredient of chai tea.
The ginger plant
Its name refers to the Sanskrit srngaveram, a word meaning “body” and “horn”; that is, it is directly related to the characteristic shape of the root.
Scientifically, it is known as Zingiber officinale and belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, like turmeric and cardamom. It is a perennial herbaceous plant native to the Asian continent, specifically from the south of it. In countries like India and China, it has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy against a host of diseases.
The ginger plant grows well in humid and tropical areas. In general, it develops better in semi-shade, reaching up to a meter in height.
Similar in shape to cane, it has leafy stems with leaves that emerge in the form of a sheath and wrap around the stem. Each of them can measure up to 30 centimeters in length.
In spring, its flowers appear, which are small and greenish yellow and purple. They are grouped in spikes and powerfully attract attention due to their great beauty.
The rhizomes of this plant are warty and branched: the ginger we know. They are covered with a thin golden skin and have a light yellow interior. They are fragrant and pungent in taste.
How to grow ginger at home
The good news is that the ginger plant does not need too much space, so if you love ginger infusion, you can plant it in a 30 cm pot on your balcony and always count on this fresh root to prepare the best cups of infusion.
To plant ginger, you need a new cutting or rhizome without bumps, and pay special attention to the quality of the soil. It must be rich in nutrients and kept continuously moist, without becoming waterlogged.
Then, it only remains to plant the ginger during the winter or, at the latest, at the beginning of spring, and control the humidity, temperature and light. Remember that it grows better in partial shade than in full sun, just as it requires a humid and warm environment.
Dare to try the ginger infusion. Remember when preparing it to use the amount of ginger that best suits your tastes. A trick? If it is too concentrated, add more water, a little lemon and honey to counteract the spiciness.