Ginger tea

Ginger tea is a herbal beverage that is made from ginger root. It has a long history as a traditional herbal medicine in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia.[1]

Ginger tea
TypeHerbal tea

Other names
  • Saenggang-cha
  • salabat
  • shōga-yu
  • teh halia
  • teh jahe

Quick descriptionTea made from ginger

Temperature100 °C (212 °F)
Regional names
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese薑母茶
Simplified Chinese姜母茶
Literal meaningginger mother (mature ginger) tea
Korean name
Literal meaningginger tea
Japanese name
Malay name
Malayteh halia
Indonesian name
Indonesianteh jahe
Filipino name

Regional variations and customs

Ginger tea can be drunk by itself, or served alongside traditional accompaniments, such as milk, orange slices, or lemon.[2][3]


In the Tang dynasty, tea was flavoured to counteract the bitter taste. Ginger was favoured among tea drinkers, in addition to onion, orange peel, cloves and peppermint.[4]


In Japan, it is called shōgayu (生姜湯).[5]


In Korea, ginger tea is called saenggang-cha (생강차; 生薑茶, [sɛ̝ŋ.ɡaŋ.tɕʰa]). It can be made either by boiling fresh ginger slices in water or mixing ginger juice with hot water.[6] Sliced ginger preserved in honey, called saenggang-cheong, can also be mixed with hot water to make ginger tea.[7] Nowadays, powdered instant versions are also widely available.[8] When served, the tea is often served garnished with jujubes and pine nuts.[9] When using fresh ginger, the tea can be sweetened with honey, sugar, or other sweetener according to taste.[6] Garlic, jujubes, and pear are sometimes boiled along with ginger.[6]

Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore

In Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore cuisines, ginger tea is usually called teh halia.[10] It is not a pure ginger tea, as it is brewed of strong sweetened black tea, ginger rhizome, sugar with milk or condensed milk.


In Indonesia, it is called teh jahe. In Java, a local version of ginger tea enriched with palm sugar and spices called wedang jahe is more popular.[11]

Wedang Jahe is a type of Indonesian ginger tea.[11] Wedang in Javanese means "hot beverage" while jahe means "ginger". Although devoid of any caffeine content, it is often served and enjoyed as an invigorating tea. It is made from ginger rhizome, usually fresh and cut in thin slices, and palm sugar or granulated cane sugar, frequently with the addition of fragrant pandan leaves. Palm sugar can be substituted with brown sugar or honey. Traditionally people might add spices such as lemongrass, cloves, and cinnamon stick.[11]

Milk, either fresh or condensed, might be added.[12]


In the Philippines, it is called salabat and is traditionally made simply with peeled and thinly-sliced or crushed raw ginger boiled for a few minutes in water. Sugar, honey, and calamansi are added to taste, along with other flavoring ingredients as desired.[13][14][15] Modern versions can also use ground ginger powder (often called "instant salabat") added to hot boiling water.[16] Native ginger varieties (which are small and fibrous) are preferred, as they are regarded as being more pungent than imported varieties.[17]

Salabat is usually served in the relatively cold month of December.[18] Along with tsokolate (traditional hot chocolate), it is usually paired with various native rice cakes (kakanin) like bibingka or puto bumbong. Salabat is traditionally sold by early morning street vendors during the Simbang Gabi (dawn mass) of the Christmas season.[19][20][21]

Salabat is also widely consumed as a throat-soothing remedy for cough, sore throat, and common colds.[22] Drinking salabat is widely believed to improve a person's singing voice.[23][14][15][24]

A variant of salabat that exclusively or partially use turmeric is known as dulaw, duwaw, or duyaw in the Visayas and Mindanao islands; and tsaang dilaw (literally "yellow tea") in Filipino.[25]


In India, ginger tea is known as Adrak ki chai and is a widely consumed beverage. It is made by grating ginger into brewed black tea along with milk and sugar. Another commonly used version is ginger lemon tea which is prepared by adding ginger root to lukewarm lemon juice.[26]

See also


  1. "Ginger (Overview)". University of Maryland Medical Center. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  2. "Ginger Tea with Orange Slices". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 29 October 1971. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  3. "Lemon Ginger Tea". The Evening News. 18 May 1988. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  4. Heiss, Mary; Heiss, Robert (2011). The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide. A Brief History of Tea: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1-60774-172-5. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  5. Martha Stone (23 February 2015). Japanese Cookbook: The Traditional and Simple Japanese Cuisine. Martha Stone. pp. 1–. GGKEY:H99J4YXSAAL.
  6. "Saenggang-cha" 생강차. Doopedia (in Korean). Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  7. Agbor, Nnehkai (16 March 2017). "8 Healthy Korean Teas To Enjoy Throughout The Year". 10 Magazine. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  8. The Korea Foundation, ed. (2004). Korean Food Guide in English. Seoul: Cookand / Best Home Inc. ISBN 89-89782-10-4. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  9. Parker, Ann (23 August 2016). "Sushi San, Restaurant Review: New sushi spot transforms former Felton home of Mama Mia's". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  10. "Plen-tea-ful uses". Daily Express. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  11. Pepy Nasution (12 February 2010). "Wedang Jahe (Indonesian Ginger Tea)". Indonesia Eats.
  12. Anita (5 August 2013). "Wedang Teh Susu Jahe – Ginger Milk Tea". Daily Cooking Quest.
  13. Garcia, Miki (2012). Filipino Cookbook: 85 Homestyle Recipes to Delight Your Family and Friends. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462905287.
  14. Besa-Quirino, Betty. "Ginger Tea- Filipino Salabat with Lemon Honey". Asian in America. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  15. Baker, Liren. "Homemade Fresh Ginger Tea". Kitchen Confidante. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  16. Padilla, L.D.E. (2012). "Instant salabat [ginger brew] made easier and tastier". BAR Chronicle. 13 (8): 16–17.
  17. Ginger value chain study in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines (GCP/RAS/296/JPN). Bangkok: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2019. p. 6. ISBN 9789251317518.
  18. Caroline Joan Picart (January 2004). Inside Notes from the Outside. Lexington Books. pp. 48–. ISBN 978-0-7391-0763-8.
  19. Walker, Harlan (1992). Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1991: Public Eating : Proceedings. Oxford Symposium. p. 99. ISBN 9780907325475.
  20. Long, Lucy M. (2015). Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 503. ISBN 9781442227316.
  21. Conopio, Camille (4 December 2013). "Christmas special: Top 10 traditional Filipino food". Asian Journal. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  22. "Fresh Ginger Tea with Honey (Salabat) to help cure Cold, Cough and Flu". Manila Spoon. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  23. "Can Salabat Make You A Singing Prodigy?". OneMusicPH. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  24. Tek-Ing, Jessa. "Guide to Tea in the Philippines: Local Flavors, Farm Tours, Tea Brands". Guide to the Philippines. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  25. Edgie Polistico (2016). Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. Anvil Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9786214200870.
  26. "Is Ginger High In Potassium - Dietaketocustomplan". Retrieved 21 November 2021.
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