candied ginger, fresh ginger, digestive distress, crystallized ginger, ginger ale

Even a spring cold can sometimes produce a troublesome cough. Nobody wants to be wakened in the middle of the night with a cough. It isn’t pleasant, either, to be coughing through a concert or church service. Can you calm a cough with a piece of crystallized ginger?

Quiet a Cough with Crystallized Ginger:

Q. I was very excited to read about using crystallized ginger as a cough remedy. I had a sore throat and ate a piece of the candied ginger. Not only did my sore throat go away, the relief lasted for almost four hours. It also worked well for the cough that came later on in the cold, quieting it for more than three hours.

I now keep some candied ginger in my purse and next to my bed. No more sugary cough drops for me!

Why Ginger Works:

A. Ginger, known scientifically as Zingiber officinale, has been used for centuries to calm coughs as well as to settle digestive distress. Ginger tea and crystallized ginger are both effective.

Scientists recently worked out which water-soluble compounds are responsible for fighting coughs (Bera et al, Phytotherapy Research, Jan., 2016). The relevant compound is a branched glucan that worked well to reduce experimentally-induced coughs in guinea pigs. The investigators concluded that this water-soluble agent can control coughing without the risk of addiction.

While crystallized ginger may be more appealing than sugary cough drops, it also contains a fair amount of sugar. The guinea pigs in the study cited above were given 25 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg. This works out to approximately 1.5 to 3.25 grams of candied ginger for a person who weighs around 140 pounds.

Learn More:

If you find spices and their healing powers as fascinating as we do, you might want to read our book, Spice Up Your Health: How Everyday Herbs & Spices Can Lengthen & Strengthen Your Life. It’s chock-full of practical recommendations as well as scientific citations about how herbs and spices bolster health.

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  1. nadia
    south coast margate kzn south fricllla. i

    Hi all, last year winter, my husband and I only had ginger tea throughout the winter and we didn’t get the cold and flu we had ginger tea 3times a day. Here is my recepie for ginger tea:

    Wash a piece of ginger. Crush it with the skin. Add 2 cups full water in a pot boil for 5minutes add 2tea bags sugar milk and drink it hot.

  2. Marie

    I have been carrying horehound drops in my purse, but they are not always easy to find in stores. When those run out, I’ll pack ginger. Thanks for the info.

  3. Dorothy
    New Orleans

    I have eaten 2-3 pieces of ginger every day to help with my digestive tract!

  4. harry
    Lewisville NC

    I wonder if Blenheim ginger ale has enough ginger to do the trick? It sure is hot as well as tasty! I buy the sugar free, so the sugar isn’t an issue, but the aspartame may not be good for you.

  5. Kat
    Central Florida

    I’ve been using crystallized ginger for years for digestive upset, but haven’t tried it for a cough. I’ll be sure to try next time it’s needed since I always have it on hand. I love the common sense information from The People’s Pharmacy. Many of the homeopathic options and suggestions have helped both my husband and me, much to the interest of our friends and physicians.

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