How to Make Ginger Ale (Ginger Beer) to Reduce Pain and Inflammation

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How to Make Ginger Ale to Reduce Pain and Inflammation
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Ginger is extremely popular and versatile and has been used for its taste and health potential for thousands of years. It is rich in essential minerals and vitamins and is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief (analgesic) properties (and you can read more about it in my post how to use ginger as a medicine).

Ginger has made its way into many products. Ginger beer, for example, is a beverage of choice for many. But why buy commercial soda full of unhealthy ingredients if you can make your own brew at home? Read on to learn about homemade ginger ale (also once called ginger beer) and its health benefits.

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As I mentioned earlier, ginger is rich in essential minerals and vitamins. It contains potassium and manganese, which makes it so good for the heart and disease prevention. Vitamins A, C, E and the B complex are all found in this great spice.

Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, so it’s often used to treat inflammation and help with pain. It is particularly effective with muscle and back pain, and also eases period pain. In this post I am going to explain in great detail how to make an anti inflammatory ginger ale but you can also use ginger to make an anti inflammatory tea when mixed with turmeric – get the full instructions in my post on how to make anti-inflammatory and pain relief turmeric ginger tea.

The Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has a wide range of health benefits such as:

  • It helps with digestive health.
  • It relieves nausea.
  • It lowers bad cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • It can be used for respiratory conditions and cough.
  • It reduces fever.
  • It stimulates blood circulation.
  • It helps to reduce pain

Ginger is also one of the spices covered in my e-Book The Herbal Remedies Guide which will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.

How To Make Ginger Ale (Ginger Beer) At Home

If you make ginger ale at home, you can opt for a super healthy fermented alternative or stick to a simpler (and faster) version. I suggest going for the first. Fermentation goes hand in hand with health.

The benefits of consuming fermented foods are manifold and include digestive rebalancing and supporting the immune system.

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Eating fermented foods regularly is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Ginger ale recipe – fermented

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced (you can use more or less depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup ginger bug (this is what causes the drink to ferment – it’s a culture of beneficial bacteria, similar in its workings to a kombucha scoby or a sourdough starter for bread. See the recipe at the end).

Preparation:

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  1. Put 3 cups of water, minced ginger, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer for about 5 minutes. The sugar needs to melt.
  3. Add the rest of the water and wait until the mixture cools to room temperature.
  4. Add lemon juice and 1/2 cup ginger bug.
  5. Transfer to a glass jar, stir well and cover with an air-tight lid.
  6. Leave out for 2 to 3 days, so it gets carbonated and fizzy (if you leave it out for longer, the drink will start becoming alcoholic).
  7. Strain and transfer into bottles that you keep in the fridge.

Note: It’s hard to exactly predict how long the fermentation process will take. It depends on the temperature, the sugar used, and the strength of the culture. The final drink should smell of ginger and also have the specific fermentation/yeast aroma. Be careful not to leave the brew out for too long as it can over-ferment – if the pressure builds up, this can even lead to a mini explosion.

The brewing process is very much about trial and error. If you are not completely satisfied with the end result the first time, just learn from it and apply the changes the second time round.

The ginger ale does not have any alcoholic content, and as long as you put it in the fridge (when it carbonated) the alcoholic content should not increase.

How to make homemade ginger bug for your ale

This is the timely part of the process, but it’s also very rewarding.

First, you need to mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated ginger with equal amount of white sugar.

Then, add 2 cups of filtered water. Stir well and leave the mixture in a glass jar that is lightly covered (it doesn’t need to be in a dark place).

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For the next five days (it might take up to 8 days if the room conditions are not optimal), you stir the mixture daily and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the mix each time you do this.

The mixture is ready when bubbles are forming around the top, it’s cloudy and opaque-looking, and has a sweet and slightly yeasty smell.

Once you make it, the bug can be kept indefinitely as long as you feed it regularly. You can store it in the fridge, where it will become dormant, and you just feed it a tablespoon of ginger and a tablespoon of sugar weekly. Or, you can keep it growing by leaving it out and adding a tablespoon each of minced ginger and sugar daily.

Now, simply add the ginger bug as an active ingredient to your homemade drink. You can make ginger ale, root beer and other homemade fermented drinks. Just use ¼ cup of ginger bug starter and add it to a quart (4 cups) of a sweetened herbal or fruity mixture you are using. At this point you can also add ¼ cup of water to the ginger bug just to keep enough fluid in the bug.

Note: If you notice mold forming on your ginger bug, scrape it off carefully. If it reappears, you’ll have to throw the mix away and start anew. Also, if the mixture isn’t ready after 8 days, you need to start all over again.

If you’re making other fermented foods, such as kombucha or sauerkraut, keep the cultures separate to prevent cross culture.

Ginger ale (ginger beer) recipe – simple

If you feel that the above procedure is too complex and lengthy, there is a shortcut. You can create a tasty ginger ale at home in a much shorter time, but it won’t be as powerful and soothing as its fermented counterpart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • Sparkling water
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • Honey, preferably raw, organic (you can also use stevia)

Preparation:

  1. Bring water to a boil. Add ginger, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and pour it through a strainer, so you get ginger syrup.
  3. Mix one part ginger syrup with 3 parts sparkling water.
  4. Add some fresh lemon juice and sweeten with honey.
  5. Serve with ice.

If you are interested to make a natural delicious anti inflammatory smoothie you can read my article about the Ultimate Anti-inflammatory Smoothie

Resources:
http://wellnessmama.com/8945/ginger-ale/
http://wellnessmama.com/8942/ginger-bug/
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16 Responses to How to Make Ginger Ale (Ginger Beer) to Reduce Pain and Inflammation

  1. catalina Chavez says:

    It is ok for diabetes

    • Jenny says:

      While one of the ingredients is sugar, a lot of it is consumed by the culture during the fermentation process, so the amount of sugar in the final product is reduced (the longer you ferment it, the less amount of sugar it will have). However since I’m not a doctor, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor about the right amount for you.

  2. raylene openshaw says:

    Need to know what I can use for
    Polycystic kidneys.already have cronic renal failure and unable to go for dyalisis.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Raylene, unfortunately I don’t have knowledge about this condition (I’m not a doctor). This is a special condition that requires and in-depth knowledge of a medical specialist.

  3. Ingrid says:

    How often does one drink of this mixture and what quantity?
    Thank you.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Ingrid, there is no official recommended dosage for ginger ale. Because it has some sugar content (although a lot of it is consumed by the culture during the fermentation process) I would limit it to 1 glass a day (8 oz or 230 ml).

  4. Bethanne Doud says:

    so what exactly do you mean by lightly covering the jar?

  5. Kimberly says:

    can you use this in club soda or a sparlkling water

  6. Folake says:

    Hello Jenny,

    Thanks for this post and I’m very excited to make my own ginger bug. I have a question about the sugar, however. Is it possible to use cane sugar which is slightly brown and not white?

    Thank you.

  7. Amar says:

    i am diabetic and wondering if i can add artificial sweetener?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Amar, I don’t recommend using artificial sweeteners (see my article Here Is How Artificial Sweeteners Can Make You Sick and Diabetic). For the last recipe at the bottom of the article you can use stevia which is a natural sweetener which is suitable for diabetics (see more about stevia here). For the other recipes that involve fermentation, sugar is required (the sugar serves to feed the bacteria so the sugar content is reduced during the fermentation process).

  8. Carolyn says:

    Can you substitute honey for the sugar?

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