Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
Ginger tea has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Ginger tea has been shown to help diabetes patients, but there are certain dangers associated with its use that should be considered before trying it on your own. Read more below to learn about ginger tea and how it affects diabetes.
7 Benefits of drinking ginger tea if you have diabetes
#1. Ginger tea helps to regulate blood sugar levels
One of the main benefits of drinking ginger tea if you have diabetes is that it helps to regulate fasting blood sugar levels. This is because ginger contains a compound known as gingerols, which helps to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent spikes in blood glucose levels.
Gingerols, the active ingredient in ginger, are more effective at regulating blood sugar levels than diabetes medications like Metformin. It can promote glucose uptake and increase insulin levels, which can help to improve glycemic control and prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
#2. Ginger tea aids in weight loss
Ginger tea is a great addition to your weight loss diet, and it doesn’t negatively impact your blood sugar levels like many other beverages. It can also help suppress the appetite, making consuming fewer calories easier.
A 2010 study found that ginger tea can help to reduce weight and body mass index (BMI) among overweight or obese individuals. This is because ginger has a thermogenic effect, boosting your metabolism and increasing fat burning.
Additionally, researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that men who drank ginger tea burned more calories than men who drank water, than the placebo group.
Since obesity and metabolic syndrome can increase the risk of developing diabetes, drinking ginger tea can be part of a weight loss program to prevent or reverse prediabetes.
#3. Drinking ginger tea helps with nausea
Ginger has been used for many centuries as a home remedy for nausea. According to experts, the anti-nausea properties of ginger are most likely due to its ability to stimulate the production of stomach acid, which is often reduced when you experience feelings of nausea.
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Just like it can treat symptoms of nausea, ginger tea has also been found to be effective in treating the symptoms associated with morning sickness and may even be more effective than prescribed medications.
In a 2005 study, pregnant women were given either 4 grams of ginger powder or a placebo for four days. Those who received the ginger had less morning sickness, and their nausea was relieved more quickly.
According to the University of Michigan Health System research, ginger tea is also commonly used as a natural remedy for motion sickness.
#4. Ginger tea is a natural remedy for flatulence and upset stomach
Ginger contains high amounts of antioxidants known as gingerols, responsible for its many health benefits. According to various participants involved in a 2010 study, ginger tea is an effective natural remedy for flatulence and bloating.
It can reduce the amount of gas produced by the intestines, which can help to improve your quality of life if you experience these issues regularly.
Indigestion and an upset stomach are also common problems that can be alleviated by drinking ginger tea. Gingerols help soothe the digestive tract and inhibit the secretion of digestive enzymes, which can help to relieve discomfort.
#5. Drinking ginger tea can help with controlling high blood pressure
Ginger has been found to lower blood pressure, and improve heart health, in both human trials.
In a study involving 5688 human subjects with hypertension, participants who consumed ginger powder over four weeks experienced reduced blood pressure than the control group.
According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, individuals with high blood pressure are more sensitive to ginger’s effects than healthy individuals. This means that if you have normal blood pressure, you don’t need as much ginger tea to lower your blood pressure.
Heart problems are the leading cause of death worldwide, and controlling high blood pressure is one way to reduce your risk of developing them.
#6. Ginger tea can help with arthritis and joint pain
It is believed that ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. A study published in 2009 found that ginger was just as effective as ibuprofen at reducing pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis.
According to another study published in 2021, drinking ginger tea twice a day can lead to significant improvement in the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Ginger is an effective anti-inflammatory compound that is most likely responsible for treating both arthritis and joint pain.
#7. Drinking ginger tea may help to prevent cancer
A 2006 study found that gingerols, the active compound in ginger, may effectively prevent cancer. While more research is needed in this area, early studies suggest that ginger may help protect cells from becoming cancerous and stop the growth of existing cancer cells.
5 Risks of drinking ginger tea if you have diabetes
#1. Ginger tea can lower blood sugar levels to unsafe levels
Suppose you are taking diabetes medication to control your high blood sugar levels. In that case, it is important to consult with your doctor before drinking ginger tea as it may lower your blood sugar levels to unsafe levels.
#2. Ginger tea can interact with other medications
Gingerols, the active compound in ginger, can interact with various medications, including blood thinners and medicines for hypertension. For this reason, it is important to discuss the use of ginger tea with your doctor if you are currently taking any other type of medication.
#3. Ginger tea can cause heartburn
There is evidence that ginger causes heartburn and may even aggravate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For this reason, it is important to drink ginger tea in moderation or not at all if you are suffering from heartburn.
#4. Ginger tea may increase bleeding
Some medications that reduce blood clotting may increase the risk of bleeding. According to a 2010 study, ginger tea may also increase the risk of bleeding and should be avoided if you are taking blood-thinning medications.
#5. Drinking too much ginger tea can cause nausea
As mentioned earlier, ginger has a strong anti-nausea effect. However, drinking too much can lead to nausea and other unpleasant symptoms. For this reason, children should not be given more than two cups of ginger tea per day. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any other underlying health conditions, check with your doctor.
Does ginger tea really work?
The answer is yes; ginger tea has many benefits for people with diabetes and other conditions. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks of drinking ginger tea. Always consult your doctor before starting any new herbal remedies.
How much ginger tea should I take per day, and how often?
The amount of ginger tea you should drink depends on why you drink it.
Ideally, you should drink ginger tea at least twice a day. However, consult your doctor before drinking more than two cups per day if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you take ginger for nausea or heartburn, your doctor will likely recommend that you drink only one cup per day. However, if you use it to treat type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe a specific number of cups per day based on your circumstances.
Does ginger tea reduce blood sugar?
According to recent studies, gingerols, the primary active component of the ginger rhizome, increase glucose uptake into muscle cells without insulin. The tea aids in re-balancing blood sugar levels and the improved absorption of carbohydrates, making it a potential diabetes treatment.
Additionally, ginger tea has been shown to improve lipid profiles and reduce inflammation, risk factors for diabetes. Researchers believe that ginger tea may help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at risk for the disease.
While more research is needed, early studies suggest that ginger tea may be a safe and effective way to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
The diabetes complications, including persistently high blood glucose levels, can be managed through ginger tea, allowing people to maintain their physical activity levels despite diabetes.
How to include Ginger in Your Diabetes Meal Plan
Ginger can be incorporated into your diabetes meal plan in these ways:
#1. With tea or coffee – Add a slice of fresh ginger root to your cup of hot tea or coffee for an aromatic, spicy flavor that also has anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties. If you are looking for an extra boost, try adding stevia leaves to the brew; cinnamon sticks work well, too, for a less spicy flavor.
#2. With meat dishes – For an extra kick, try adding ginger to marinades for meats like chicken or lamb.
#3. With vegetables – If you are planning on making a stew or soup, consider sautéing the vegetables in ghee butter with some fresh ginger before adding them to your broth or stock for added flavor and nutrients.
#4. With desserts – Add some minced ginger root to your baking recipe for a subtle spiciness that works well with sweet and savory dishes.
#5. In smoothies or juices – For a warming drink, add some minced ginger to your favorite smoothie during the winter months. As a bonus, ginger is great for the digestive system, so it is sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
As with any medicinal herb, be sure to check with your doctor before adding ginger tea or other forms of ginger into your diabetes meal plan. You might find that this classic flavor has additional health benefits that will help you control your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling great!
Frequently Asked Questions about Ginger Tea and Diabetes
Is it safe to take ginger supplements every day?
Answer: Ginger is a spice used in many dishes across the world. It has many health benefits and can be found in dietary supplements or taken as tea.
It’s safe to take ginger supplements every day if you do not have any known allergies to them.
So, there you have it: seven benefits of drinking ginger tea and five risks to be aware of if you have diabetes. As with any new herbal remedy, it is important to consult your doctor before drinking ginger tea. Thanks for reading!