Ginger is a spicy, pungent herb that’s used for cooking and, sometimes, in healing. One medicinal use of ginger, supported by both scientific studies and tradition, is for the treatment of sore throat and voice problems. Ginger may help sore throats in several ways. For example, it may provide some pain relief as an anti-inflammatory. It also boosts immunity to help fight infections that cause sore throat.
Ginger contains bioactive compounds. Bioactive compounds are phytonutrients found in certain foods that have beneficial effects on your health. The most notable bioactive compounds in ginger are gingerols and shogaols.
Studies show these compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage or reduce your risk for many conditions, including sore throat. Ginger is also believed to have antimicrobial properties that may help fight infections (bacterial or viral), including those that cause sore throat.
Ginger has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants may provide protective and healing benefits against disease. In one study, fresh ginger was found to provide more antioxidative benefits than dried ginger
The anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can help soothe a sore throat by relieving inflammation. Research suggests that ginger may do this by blocking pro-inflammatory proteins in the body. These proteins cause inflammatory pain and itchiness
Lastly, Ginger has antimicrobial properties. It may help inhibit pathogens that cause sore throats, and may be an alternative to antibiotics for treating some bacterial infections.
So how can I use Ginger in my daily life?
Raw Ginger Root
Raw ginger root can be found in the produce section at some grocery stores. It looks like a pale brown root, and can be purchased in various sizes. To use, start by removing the exterior, bark-like surface. You can do this by gently rubbing a spoon along the surface of the root. Then,slice off a 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh raw ginger root, and chew on it.It’s okay to swallow the root as it turns to pulp, or you can spit it out if the pulp irritates you. Chew on a piece of ginger root two to three times per day for relief. This is the most intense way to take ginger due to the herb’s spicy heat. It may not be for everyone.
Ginger Candy, Chew, or Lozenge
A less intense way to consume ginger is to suck on a ginger lozenge. You can purchase these from your local grocery store or pharmacy.They’re also available online from Amazon. Common brand names are Ginn Ginns.
Sipping hot ginger tea is a popular and effective sore throat home remedy. The warm liquid may be soothing to an inflamed throat, and the tea is an easy way to consume ginger and allow it to come into contact with your throat. Ginger tea is easy to make. A common recipe is available by Dr. Celmer. You can also purchase prepackaged ginger tea bags.
Ginger Powder or Seasoning
You can use powdered ginger to season your meals. Powdered ginger is available from the spice section at many grocery stores.
A Common Ginger Tea Recipe
The ingredients were chosen for their medicinal properties. Generally, the tea is made with a base of Ginger, water, honey, and lemon. Cinnamon and pepper can be added if tolerated.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and it also improves the absorption of nutrients.
Lemon is a rich source of Vitamin C, it helps flush toxins out of your body, it has powerful natural antibiotic properties, it’s good for your liver and skin, it helps reduce pain and inflammation in joints.
Cinnamon has been thought to help with blood sugar control,it has natural antimicrobial properties, it is rich in manganese, iron, calcium and fiber, it’s a powerful antioxidant.
Honey is antibacterial and anti-fungal, it’s probiotic, it’s good for you skin, and it helps with sore throats and coughs.
Cayenne Pepper is a good source of essential minerals and vitamins C and A, it’s beneficial to the circulatory system.
1 large fresh ginger root (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks(enough to have 8 to 10 1-inch chunks))
5 cups water
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
CinnamonCayenne pepper (powder)
In a saucepan, simmer the ginger chunks in the water,for a minimum of 20 minutes, but the longer the better. We like to let ours simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Divide the tea between 2 large mugs, or 4 smaller mugs,making sure not to serve the chunks of ginger!
Now it’s time to dress the tea. This part is very individual-taste dependent! We like our tea very strong, so here’s what we add to our tea! For each mug add:
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Generous dash of cayenne pepper
Dr. Andrew Celmer is a board certified Otolaryngologist who has a special emphasis on voice and swallowing disorders and care of the professional voice. Dr. Celmer graduated magna cum laude from Butler University before attending Indiana University School of Medicine to obtain his medical degree. He completed his internship and Residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center, finishing up with his Fellowship at Los Angeles Medical Center at the University of California.