What Are Ginger Shots? Everything You Need to Know
Ginger shots, which are drinks made from concentrated amounts of ginger root (Zingiber officinale), are claimed to help ward off illness and boost your immune system.
Although ginger shots have only recently become popular in the wellness community, ginger elixirs have been used since ancient times to treat a variety of ailments (1).
While ginger offers impressive health attributes, you may wonder whether taking ginger shots is truly beneficial.
This article reviews ginger shots, including their potential benefits, downsides, and ingredients.
What Are Ginger Shots?
Ginger shots are concentrated beverages made with fresh ginger. The ingredients vary depending on the recipe.
Some shots contain only fresh ginger juice, while others include lemon juice, orange juice, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and/or manuka honey.
They're made by juicing fresh ginger root or combining fresh, grated ginger with other juices, such as lemon or orange.
Ginger shots are available pre-made or made to order at juiceries or specialty health food stores.
You can also whip them up at home by using a juicer, adding freshly grated ginger to citrus juice, or mixing a knob of ginger with other ingredients in a high-powered blender.
Due to their high concentration of this powerful root, ginger shots can be spicy and unpleasant to drink. Thus, they're made in small quantities and typically consumed in one or two swigs.
Ginger shots are compact drinks made from juiced or grated ginger root. They're sometimes combined with various other ingredients like lemon juice or manuka honey.
Potential Health Benefits of Ginger Shots
Ginger may boost your health in many ways.
Although robust evidence supports its benefits, research on the shots themselves is limited.
As most of the following research is based on high-dose ginger supplements, it's unclear whether ginger shots have the same effects.
Powerful Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties
Ginger boasts many potent anti-inflammatory compounds, including a variety of antioxidants, which are substances that protect your body from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Numerous test-tube and animal studies show that ginger extract reduces inflammation in those with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory gut disease, asthma, and certain cancers (4, 5, 6, 7).
Human studies reveal similar results.
A 2-month study in 64 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 2 grams of ginger powder daily significantly reduced levels of inflammatory proteins like tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (CRP), compared to taking a placebo (8).
In another study, male athletes who received 1.5 grams of ginger powder daily for 6 weeks had significant reductions in levels of inflammatory markers, such as TNF-alpha, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1-beta), compared to athletes who received a placebo (9).
May Soothe Nausea and Digestive Issues
Ginger is a common natural treatment for stomach issues, such as bloating and indigestion.
Ginger is also used to help treat nausea and often taken by pregnant women seeking a natural and effective nausea remedy that is safe for both them and their baby.
A study in 120 pregnant women showed that those who took 750 mg of ginger daily for 4 days experienced significant reductions in nausea and vomiting compared to a control group. No adverse side effects were reported (13).
May Benefit Immune Health
Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, ginger may boost immune health.
Although acute inflammation is an important part of normal immune response, chronic inflammation can harm your immune system, potentially increasing your chances of illness (18).
Upping your intake of antioxidant-rich foods and beverages like ginger shots may combat inflammation and keep your immune system healthy.
One test-tube study found that fresh ginger had antiviral effects against human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), which causes respiratory infections, and helped boost immune response against HRSV (21).
Plus, many common ginger shot ingredients, such as honey and lemon juice, may also improve immune health. For example, both honey and lemon have been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral effects (22, 23).
Aside from the above benefits, ginger shots may:
- Benefit blood sugar control. Several studies note that ginger supplements can reduce blood sugar levels and improve hemoglobin A1c, a marker of long-term blood sugar control (25).
- Boost weight loss. Ginger has been shown to significantly reduce body weight, decrease hunger, and increase the thermic effect of food, or the calories you burn during digestion (26, 27).
- Exhibit anticancer properties. Research indicates that ginger may help protect against certain types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, possibly due to its antioxidant content (28, 29).
Depending on additional ingredients, such as spinach and apple, ginger shots may offer other health benefits, too.
Ginger and other ingredients added to ginger shots may help reduce inflammation, decrease digestive issues, and enhance immune function, alongside other benefits.
Ginger Shot Downsides
While downing a ginger shot is generally considered safe for most people, there are some potential side effects worth noting.
Ginger, especially when consumed in large amounts, might have blood-thinning effects. However, research in this area is mixed, as some studies find that ginger has no effect on blood thinning (30).
Nevertheless, those taking blood thinners like Warfarin may want to avoid ginger shots and moderate their ginger consumption.
As ginger may decrease blood sugar levels, people with diabetes on certain blood sugar medications should be mindful about consuming large doses of ginger.
That said, this blood-sugar-lowering effect is only associated with concentrated ginger supplements, not necessarily ginger shots (25).
Added sugar is also a concern. Some recipes call for sweeteners, such as honey or agave nectar, and use fruit juices like orange juice to blunt the spicy taste of ginger.
Ginger shots are generally safe. Still, concentrated ginger products may thin blood and reduce blood sugar levels. Be mindful of added sugar in ginger shots as well.
How to Make Ginger Shots at Home
Juice bars regularly make various types of ginger shots, including some with unique ingredients like spirulina or cayenne pepper.
Pre-made ginger shots can also be purchased at specialty grocery and health food stores, as well as online.
However, it's quite easy to make your own ginger shots in the comfort of your kitchen. If you don't have a juicer, you can use a blender instead.
- Combine 1/4 cup (24 grams) of peeled, fresh ginger root with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Blend on high speed until cloudy.
- Pour the mixture through a fine strainer and reserve the juice.
Enjoy 1 ounce (30 ml) of this ginger mixture daily and store the rest in your refrigerator in an airtight bottle.
If you want to get creative, try adding other ingredients like a dash of cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Many possible flavor combinations and recipes are available online.
If using sweet ingredients, such as apple juice, orange juice, or honey, start with only a small amount to limit your sugar intake.
You can easily make ginger shots at home or order pre-made ones online. Depending on your tastes, mix up your shots with added ingredients like spirulina or honey.
The Bottom Line
Ginger shots are a popular wellness beverage that may provide health benefits.
Ginger and other shot ingredients like lemon juice may help reduce inflammation, soothe digestive issues, and enhance immune function.
That said, it's best to watch out for added sugar in pre- or homemade shots.
Try making your own ginger shots for a tasty, powerful health boost.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zahida Sherman
Cooking has always intimidated me. As a child, I would anxiously peer into the kitchen as my mother prepared Christmas dinner for our family.
Falling in Love With Food All Over Again<p>Slowly, through my most intimate relationships with friends and partners, I began to see the beauty — and rewards — of cooking.</p><p>I got tired of giving in to defeat and always bringing chips or paper products to social gatherings. I started asking my mom to send me her Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes. I even volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my place.</p><p>Each time I heard my loved ones sing the praises of the foods I prepared for them, I felt a tinge more confident that I could carry out our traditions my way.</p><p>In reaching out to other relatives for their favorite recipes, I learned that they had a little help of their own. They didn't rely solely on their ancestral cooking instincts. They turned to Black chefs for guidance.</p><p>These 7 cookbooks by Black chefs have inspired my family and fed us in nutrients, joy, and spiritual sustenance. They're also helping me overcome my personal fears of cooking.</p>
Get CookingWhether you're in recovery from cooking fears like me, or are just looking to expand your culinary confidence with dishes honoring Black heritage, these Black chefs are here to support you on your journey.Turn on some music, give yourself permission to make mistakes, and throw down for yourself or your loved ones. Glorious flavors await you.
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By Tara Lohan
The conclusion to decades of work to remove a dam on the Middle Fork Nooksack River east of Bellingham, Washington began with a bang yesterday as crews breached the dam with a carefully planned detonation. This explosive denouement is also a beginning.
The History<p>The Middle Fork Nooksack drains glacier-fed headwater streams that run off the icy summit of 10,778-foot Mt. Baker. The Middle Fork joins the North Fork and then the mainstem of the Nooksack River, which travels to Bellingham Bay and Puget Sound. The entire Nooksack watershed stretches 830 square miles across Washington and into British Columbia.</p>
A Plan Comes Together<p>The Middle Fork dam is not a pool dam built for water storage. Much of the time, water flows over the top until dam operators drop a floodgate to divert water to new locations. That water travels about 14 miles through tunnel and pipeline to Mirror Lake, then Anderson Creek, and to Lake Whatcom before finally being delivered to residents' taps.</p><p>Before removing the dam, engineers had to move the water intake 700 feet upstream and situate it at an elevation that still enabled city water withdrawals throughout the year, regardless of flow conditions.</p><p>They also needed to make sure that the rushing water didn't sweep up fish and accidentally send them through the water-supply system.</p><p>"The solution required a fairly complex design in the intake structure, including a fish exit pipe out of that structure to put fish back into the river in a way that meets current environmental permit standards," explains LaCroix.</p>
Project layout for the removal of the Middle Fork Nooksack diversion dam and rebuilding of water intake. City of Bellingham<p>Despite the cost and the work, she says, being able to continue to meet their municipal water obligations while opening up habitat for threatened species has been a win-win.</p><p>"I think there's a lot of benefits to having a dam removal versus fish passage — the main one being that you get a free-flowing river that can be a dynamic ecosystem and change over time," she says. "A static fish ladder just can't provide that same level of ecosystem benefit."</p>
Restoration Success<p>Despite local authorities' championing dam removal on the Middle Fork, the project has largely flown under the radar, overshadowed in the Pacific Northwest by heated discussions about a much larger potential project — removing <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/feds-reject-removal-of-4-snake-river-dams-in-key-report/" target="_blank">four federal hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River</a>, a major tributary of the Columbia River.</p><p>Proponents of dam removal there see it as the best chance for recovering threatened salmon populations, including Chinook, which could help starving Southern Resident killer whales. Those dams also provide irrigation water, barge navigation and hydropower, so there's been more pushback against removal efforts.</p><p>Previous dam removals around the country, however, have proved successful at aiding fish recovery and river restoration.</p><p>Most notably the 1999 demolition of <a href="https://therevelator.org/edwards-dam-removal/" target="_blank">Edwards Dam on Maine's Kennebec River</a> restored the annual run of alewives, a type of herring essential to the food web. The fish run has gone from zero to 5 million in the two decades since dam removal. Blueback herring, striped bass, sturgeon and shad have also extended their reach. And the resurgence has brought back osprey, bald eagles and other wildlife, too.</p><p>The overwhelming success of river restoration on the Kennebec helped to spur a nationwide dam removal movement that's now seen 1,200 dams come down since 1999. Last year a record <a href="https://www.americanrivers.org/conservation-resource/a-record-26-states-removed-dams-in-2019/" target="_blank">90 dams</a> were removed in 26 states, including <a href="https://therevelator.org/cleveland-forest-dam-removal/" target="_blank">20 dams in California's Cleveland National Forest</a>.</p>
Spider excavators remove on dam on San Juan Creek in California's Cleveland National Forest. Julie Donnell, USFS<p>The results have been seen in the Pacific Northwest, as well, which boasts the largest dam removal thus far in the country. In 2011 and 2014, the demolition of <a href="https://therevelator.org/elwha-dam-removal/" target="_blank">two dams</a> on Elwha River, which runs through Washington's Olympic National Park, opened up 70 miles of habitat that had been blocked for a century. Scientists have started seeing all five species of salmon native to the river coming back, particularly Chinook and coho. Bull trout, they've observed, have increased in size since the dams were removal.</p>
Benefits on the Middle Fork Nooksack<p>McEwan hopes to see a similar outcome on the Middle Fork.</p><p>Like the Elwha the Middle Fork Nooksack is a relatively pristine river with little development, and dam removal is expected to provide a big boost to fish. The additional miles of spawning habitat are important, but so is the temperature of that water.</p><p>The dam removal will open access to cold upstream waters, which are ideal for salmon and getting harder to come by as climate change warms waters and reduces mountain runoff.</p><p>"This is really great for the climate change resiliency for these species," says McEwan.</p><p>Steelhead will get back 45% of their historic habitat in the river, and scientists expect Chinook populations to increase in abundance by 31%.</p><p>That <em>could</em> help Southern Resident killer whales.</p><p>"When you get to the ocean, it's a little bit of a black box in terms of what you can model and say definitively is going to help, but more fish is better for orcas," McEwan says.</p><p>Upstream habitat will see benefits, too.</p><p>Oceangoing fish like salmon enrich their bodies with carbon and nitrogen while at sea. When they return to their natal rivers to spawn and die, the marine-derived nutrients they carry back upriver become important food and fertilizer for both riverine and terrestrial ecosystems — aiding everything from trees to birds to bears.</p><p>"Once the fish start making their way back, it will start changing the whole ecological system," says Delgado.</p><p><span></span>But any ecological benefit from salmon restoration, either in the ocean or the upper watershed, won't be immediate.<br></p><p>"The population of salmon on the Middle Fork is so low that we expect it's going to take quite a while to rebound," she says. "But the big picture is that what's good for salmon is good for the region — our history and our destiny are intricately intertwined."</p><p>After decades of work, that process of restoration has finally begun.</p>
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A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Created by the Johns Hopkins' Alliance for a Healthier World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Dashboard compiles food systems data from over 35 sources and offers it as a public good.
By Manuela Callari
It can grow to a maximum of six inches (16 centimeters), change color depending on mood and habitat, and, like all seahorses, the White's seahorse male gestates its young. But this tiny snouted fish is under threat.
Building an Ocean Seahorse Destination<p>Seahorses are found in tropical and temperate coastal water worldwide, but are most abundant around Australia, China and the Philippines. </p><p>Trade in the tiny creatures is strictly regulated because of their use in traditional medicine, aquariums and their sale as dried curios. But because they are poor swimmers and cannot easily move elsewhere, habitat loss is a particular threat for these curious animals. </p><p>Seahorses wrap their tails around seagrass and corals to avoid being carried away on currents. They use the habitat to spawn and hide from predators such as crabs, while also feeding on riches of plankton and small crustaceans living in the reef.</p><p><span></span>Where corals aren't available, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aqc.1217" target="_blank">scientists</a> found seahorses taking up residence in fishing nets and old crab traps abandoned at the bottom of the ocean. </p>
Mixing With the Locals<p>Baby seahorse mortality is high in the wild because they are easily caught, so those bred in the protected environment of the aquarium weren't ready to be released into the wild until early May.</p><p>The team released 90 new arrivals into Sydney Harbor, placing some directly into the purpose-built hotels, and others onto a net that wild seahorses had already settled on.</p><p>Before setting them free, the researchers marked each young seahorse with a fluorescent tag with unique IDs inserted just beneath the skin to track how they get on in the different environments. </p><p>"The most exciting part was being able to put these animals into the wild and then go back a month later and still see them surviving and growing," said McCracken. </p><p>The seahorses will be old enough to mate and reproduce around October or November 2020. And researchers hope that by then, they will be able to breed with the wild population. </p>
Building a Global Seahorse Hotel Chain<p>With seahorses everywhere facing the loss of their coral reef homes, similar projects have sprung up in places like Greece and South Africa, home to the world's most endangered seahorse, the Knysna seahorse. </p><p>"The endangered South African seahorse is benefiting from something quite similar, even though it wasn't intentional," said Peter Teske, professor at the Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg.</p><p>In the South African <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322649251_An_endangered_seahorse_selectively_chooses_an_artificial_structure" target="_blank">case</a>, seahorses have bedded down in "Reno mattresses" — wire cages filled with rocks — that were used to build a new marina. Researchers from NGO Knysna Basin Project found the structures acted as a refuge for the animals.<span></span></p><p><span></span>While Teske describes the seahorse hotels as "a positive news story" and a great way to create public awareness of conservation, he added that establishing artificial habitats in some areas will only prevent the extinction of local populations.</p><p>"For a complete recovery, it is necessary to give the natural habitat a chance to regenerate," said the seahorse expert. </p>
Underwater Mascot<p>In Australia, the researchers hope the project could provide an opportunity to raise awareness not only of the plight of the Sydney seahorses but the other animals with which it shares its ocean habitat.</p><p>The waters around Sydney and the east coast are rich in biodiversity and include several threatened species like the weedy seadragon — a relative of the seahorse — and the grey nurse shark. Like the seahorse, they're also under pressure from pollution, ocean traffic and habitat loss through storms and coastal construction. </p><p>"It's a good thing to get people's support and interest. The seahorses are a useful vehicle to get people concerned if the harbor is in trouble," said David Booth, professor of marine ecology at the University of Technology Sydney who is also working on the project. </p><p>The hotels have become an attraction for divers hoping to catch a glimpse of these small but near mythical creatures. </p><p>"Everyone loves seahorses," added Booth, "they are so popular." </p>
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