Wedang Jahe (Zingiber officinale)
Wedang Jahe is Indonesian for ginger tea. Although devoid of any caffeine content, it's often served and enjoyed like tea. It is made from ginger and palm sugar/rock sugar. Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called jahe, as a common ingredient in local recipes.
Wedang jahe (bahasa Indonesia: "Teh jahe") adalah hidangan minuman teh jahe tradisional dari daerah Jawa Tengah dan Timur, Indonesia yang umumnya dihidangkan panas. "Wedang" sendiri adalah bahasa Jawa yang berarti "minuman panas", namun dalam hal ini berarti "teh". Walaupun tanpa kandungan kafein, minuman ini sering kali disajikan dan dinikmati seperti teh. Minuman ini dibuat dari gula jahe dan kelapa / gula batu. Masyarakat Indonesia juga menggunakan jahe bubuk sebagai bahan umum di resep tradisional mereka.
Ginger tea is a beverage in many countries, made from ginger root. In China, the tea is made by boiling peeled and sliced ginger to which brown sugar is often added. Sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added to give a flavour. In Korean cuisine, ginger tea is called saenggang cha (생강차). It can be made either by boiling the ginger or by mixing hot water and preserved sweetened ginger. For the latter, sliced ginger root is stored with honey for a few weeks like jam. In Japanese cuisine it is called shōgayu (生姜湯). In Philippine cuisine it is called salabat and served in the relatively cold month of December. From its main ingredient ginger tea derives a flavor that is spicy and stimulating.
Ginger tea is usually used to prevent colds and to aid digestion, and also as a home remedy for nausea and sore throats. It also has a remedial effect on diarrhea and stomach ache due to low body temperature. It is purported to aid blood circulation. Scientific studies investigating these effects have been inconclusive. 
Scientific studies have shown ginger provides short-term relief of pregnancy related nausea and vomiting. Studies are inconclusive at to its use for other forms of nausea or in treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle pain. Side effects, most associated with powdered ginger, are gas, bloating, heartburn, and nausea. 
Ginger TeaGinger tea is not only a refreshing beverage, but is also full of health benefits. Here is an account of the ginger root’s health benefits along with a few ginger tea recipes.
On a cold, wintry day there is nothing like a steaming, aroma-filled cup of ginger tea to warm you up and awaken your senses. Prized for its healing properties and for adding flavor to dishes, this ordinary looking brown spice has been used since ages in eastern cultures. If you should sink your teeth into a fresh piece of ginger root, you will feel the sun’s fire coursing through you, as some anonymous person so eloquently said.
It’s this very fiery characteristic of the ginger root that gives it much of its medicinal properties, both in its dried as well as raw form. The dried ginger root is a thermogenic, expectorant, laxative, appetizer, stimulant, as well as an effective cure for stomach disorders. Hence, the dried ginger root is ground and used to cure a whole range of ailments like coughs, colds, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammations of the joints, flatulence, motion sickness, colic, cholera, asthma, headaches, and even anorexia. Raw ginger is also a thermogenic, and is also an anti-flatulent, digestive, appetizer, and a laxative.
Ginger is also used extensively in aromatherapy. An essential oil is extracted from steam distilling the unpeeled, dried and ground ginger root. Ginger oil is used by combining it with the oils of cedar wood, sandalwood, and patchouli, which renders a spicy and woody scent to the mix.
The active ingredients in ginger oil are oleoresin and terpenes, which are responsible for its lymph cleansing, antiseptic, mild constipation relief, and circulation-stimulating qualities. According to research, it has been shown that ginger reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the liver and blood, thereby lowering blood cholesterol. It has also been found that ginger blocks the effects of prostaglandin, which is a substance that is responsible for the inflammation of the blood vessels inside the brain, which is what causes migraine.
Ginger’s property of being a digestive aid is largely due to the shogoals and gingerols that it contains. These help to neutralize the acids in the stomach, stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, and tone the digestive tract’s muscles.
Ginger tea has been used as a remedy against flu and colds for centuries, both in India and China, as well as other countries in the east. According to Chinese culture, its powerful yang energy is what warms the lungs and stomach. Ginger tea has been used in China for 2,500 years to treat sore throat, nasal congestion, and sinus pain.
Here are a few refreshing ginger tea recipes that you can brew and sip to enjoy the unique flavor and aroma of this wonderful herb:
By Rita Putatunda