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Honey Crystal Tea

Ginger was originally from India, but it was taken by visitors to many other countries centuries ago and today is cultivated in all tropical regions. In China, this herb, used in cooking and medicine, was so highly regarded that preserved ginger was stored in highly decorated "ginger jars," which were given as precious gifts. Here is a famous painting of a black phoenix ginger jar by an unknown artist:

Black Phoenix Ginger Jar

According to Oriental Materia Medica, fresh ginger, the form used in making beverage teas (as opposed to dry ginger, which has slightly different properties) has the following characteristics:

Taste and Nature: pungent flavor, mild, warm property;

Actions: resolves the surface, warms the stomach and spleen, controls vomiting, removes toxin;

Applications: common cold due to wind-cold; nausea and vomiting; swelling and pain in the chest and abdomen; retention of phlegm; wheezing.

One group of active constituents of ginger is the essential oils, with borneol and related compounds plus sesquiterpenes (small aromatic compounds). One of the main sesquiterpenes in ginger is bisabolene. Bisabolene is similar to the key ingredient of chamomile (bisabolol), which, in turn, has similarity to chrysandiol in chrysanthemum. These compounds appear to promote digestion, alleviate nausea, reduce inflammation, and prevent mucus accumulation.

A unique component of ginger is its oleoresins-these have been identified as phenylalkylketones, including the group of gingerols, shogaols and zingerone. These compounds are thought to confer several of the health benefits of this herb, such as reducing gastro-intestinal inflammation. In addition, they may bind up irritating and toxic substances in the gastro-intestinal tract and render them relatively harmless. These actions account for the popularity of ginger in treating digestive system disturbances. Like green tea, this herb is also used for alleviating phlegm retention and promoting circulation. Following is a brief review of ginger's health benefits and uses as understood today:

  • Nausea - it is often used to ease nausea during traveling or early pregnancy as well as that due to other causes. The anti-nausea and anti-vomiting qualities of ginger appear to surpass that of drug therapies (e.g., Dramamine) used for the same purpose.
  • Digestion - it has the ability to calm the stomach, promote the flow of bile, and improve the appetite.
  • Abdominal Cramps caused by flatulence - it can relieve this symptom, often quicker than any other herbal medicine.
  • Circulation - it helps to support a healthy cardiovascular system by making platelets less sticky and therefore reducing the likelihood of aggregation (a major factor in atherosclerosis). Much recent work has focused on the use of ginger in circulatory disorders such as Raynaud's disease, which is characterized by very cold fingers and toes. Ginger appears to promote blood flow to these areas, which eases the problem.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - it has traditionally been used to help inflammatory joint diseases such as arthritis. It is also valued for its analgesic action, which may help arthritic conditions.
  • Cholesterol - studies have suggested that ginger may be useful in keeping cholesterol levels under control
  • Respiratory infections - it is well known for its warming expectorant action on the upper respiratory tract, and this is why Chinese herbalists have traditionally used ginger to treat colds and influenza.


The ginger extract that makes up 60% of the Golden Kili Instant Chrysanthemum beverage is dispersed on a base of pure honey crystals (40%), which provides a delicious sweetening and preserves the product. In the book Chinese Medicated Diet, the beneficial aspects of honey are presented:

Nature and Properties: sweet, neutral, enters the lung, spleen, and large intestine meridians.

Actions: strengthening the digestive system, moistening dryness, relieving spasm and clearing away toxic materials.

Applications: cough due to lung dryness, constipation due to intestine dryness, upper abdominal pain, sinus congestion with turbid discharge, mouth sores, etc.

A packet of Instant Ginger Drink granules contains ~8 grams (about two teaspoons) of dried honey, which is just 5 grams of sugary components.

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