Sometime ago I was watching "The Doctor Oz" show with Jeremy (I had taped it for some reason?) It was all about antioxidants and overall health (oh, that's why we taped it). There was one segment where he was talking about ginger tea being really great for you. Fresh ginger aids nausea, digestive problems, circulation and arthritis. It also has been known to calm an upset stomach as well as stomach cramps. It also supports a healthy cardiovascular system. However, I think Dr. Oz was focused on the antioxidants in ginger. It's a little known fact that spices such as ginger have far greater concentrations of antioxidants that any common fruit or vegetable source. Spices also contain an especially wide variety of antioxidants (did you know some antioxidants help protect the body from things like cancer, while others help more once it's already developed? That why its good to eat a wide variety of foods) making ginger one of the top antioxidants foods around. Sold!
Now, Jeremy and I regularly sit together after the kids are in bed and enjoy this tea. I had never thought about using the actual root to brew tea, but what the hay? I'm glad this is a thing for us now. Sometimes we peel the root and chop it up to add to our water. But most times we slice thin rounds (a serrated knife gets the cleanest and most precise cut) and leave the skin on. Sometimes the ginger sinks to the bottom of the cups and other times it floats. I don't really mind this, but if you do, I recommend the peel and chop method because it seems like peeled, chunkier pieces are more likely to sink. But sliced thinly is prettier so you decide. Sometimes we add mint (like in this recipe) but some of the time we like ours straight up. To make it that way, just omit the mint.
You only need about an inch of ginger root for each mug. If you know you have big coffee cups, use 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Let it brew in the hot water for a good 5 minutes before tasting. The tea will be light at first, and get stronger as you sip it. You will feel a good and spicy warm burn down your throat as the ginger gets stronger. We love this actually, and it's not uncomfortable at all just so long as you expect it. Ginger root varies in potency so play around with the measurements. If it was too light using 1 inch, add more the second time around, and so on.
If you have a cold, I image a squeeze of lemon and teaspoon of honey would be good editions.
Fresh Ginger-Mint Tea
adapted from The Doctor Oz Show
1-inch un-peeled thinly sliced ginger root (serrated knife works best) or peeled and chopped
5 fresh mint leaves
Place the ginger in the bottom of your mug. Add boiling water and mint and let sit for 5 minutes. Sip and enjoy.