Ginger is a plant that comes from Southeast Asia, and is now also cultivated in Jamaica and other tropical areas. The ginger herb root is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Ginger is a natural spice and is known worldwide for its smell and pungent taste. Ginger has been used by Chinese herbalists for more than 2,500 years as flavoring in food and also as a medicine. Ginger is a flowering plant that hails from China. It is a part of the Zingiberaceae family and is a close relative to cardamom, turmeric, and galangal.
The underground part of the stem, known as the rhizome, is the part that is most commonly used as a spice, it is often referred to as ginger root. Ginger is no stranger to the homeopathic and traditional medicine scene. For centuries, its healing powers have been embraced by countless cultures. This root packs a powerful nutritional punch and is loaded with minerals including potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium. It is also high in vitamins C, A and E. Ginger has long been used to help remedy an upset stomach and keep nausea at bay. In addition, it has been used to combat pain, fire up metabolism, reduce inflammation, boost brain power, improve cognitive function and strengthen the immune system.
Many people are drawn to ginger not only for its pungent flavor but also for its health benefits. Historically, ginger has been used for various ailments, especially gastrointestinal issues. Here’s more information on specific health benefits and medicinal uses of ginger:
- Ginger as Alternative Medicine
- Ginger for Nausea
- How Ginger Benefits Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- How Ginger Benefits Arthritis
- Ginger for Morning Sickness
Here is how to make your own ginger ale at home. You will need these ingredients and tools:
1c sugar (or less)
small piece of ginger root
a grater or food processor/chopper
an empty 2L plastic (important) bottle
around 2L of fresh water
Peel and finely grate a small piece of ginger. How much is up to you; it depends on how strong you want the final ginger ale to be. Try for 1T or so in the beginning, and if you want it stronger, add another half tablespoon. Squeeze the lemon juice in. To the empty 2L bottle, add:
1c sugar. You may wish to add more or less depending on your personal taste. Add a full cup the first time you make it, and go from there.
1/4 tsp yeast
Fill your 2L bottle with fresh water. Screw the cap on tightly, and shake until everything is dispersed. Be certain to flush the sugar from the nooks at the bottom of the bottle. Once you’re finished, place the bottle in a warm place and let it steep. Check on it every few hours by squeezing the bottle. When you can no longer push in on the bottle (i.e., it’s become pressurized), take the bottle and put it in the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation and keep things from exploding.
So there you go. Homemade delicious ginger ale.