We all know about the rock stars of immune support – elderberry syrup and fire cider – but have you ever heard of their less famous band mate, ginger syrup?
This member of the Zingiberaceae family (to which turmeric also belongs) has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to soothe tummy complaints such as nausea, morning sickness, gas, motion sickness, and indigestion.
But that’s not all it’s used for. In fact, the Ayurvedic herbal tradition “reveres ginger so highly it is referred to as ‘the universal medicine.” (1) Here’s why:
- Ginger supports immune function, which is why it’s one of the primary ingredients in fire cider.
- It’s also known to ease discomfort associated with headaches and painful menstrual periods. (2)
- The warm zing of ginger supports the body in clearing the sinuses when needed, making it a go-to when people are feeling stuffy
- Also, it contains a proteolytic enzyme that supports the repair of joints and cartilage, which is probably why it’s a favorite with people who experience joint discomfort. (3)
- It supports circulation, too. (4)
While historically it was very expensive – one pound cost as much as a whole sheep in the Middle Ages – these days it’s widely cultivated and very affordable. (source) I like to keep it on hand during the cold winter months along with other syrups, tinctures and teas that support the immune system.
Delicious Ways To Use Ginger Syrup
This warming ginger syrup is incredibly versatile – if you’d like to give it a try but are not quite sure what to do with it, here are some ideas:
- Mix it with homemade water kefir or sparkling water and a spritz of lime to make homemade ginger ale
- For a drink that will wake you – and your sinuses – up, add it to a cup of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon and a pinch of cayenne
- Stir it into tea
- Take it straight off the spoon (Taste a small amount first – spiciness varies from batch to batch depending on the intensity of the root)
- Drizzle it over stir fry
- Stir it into oatmeal
While technically this is a tutorial for making elderberry syrup, the process is exactly the same. Just substitute ginger for elderberries and you’re good to go!
Ginger Syrup Recipe
- ½ cup dried whole ginger root (or 1 cup fresh ginger – peeled and chopped)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- Add water, ginger and cinnamon stick (if you’re using it) to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This should take around 45 minutes.
- Remove the ginger by pouring the liquid through a strainer into a bowl. Allow it liquid to cool to room temperature, then stir in honey.
- Pour your ginger syrup in an airtight container such as a swing-top bottle or jar and store in the fridge.
More Ginger Recipes You’ll Love
Honey Candied Ginger – Sweet and spicy, candied ginger is often used to support digestion after a meal.
Lemon Ginger Tea – This immune support tea is made with three essentials, plus 1-5 optional ingredients based on what you have on hand. It’s easy to make, too.
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1. Foret, Rosalee de la. (2017) Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal
2. Swift, Katja and Midura, Ryn (2018) Herbal Medicine for Beginners
3. Gladstar, Rosemary (2012) Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow and Use
4. Hoffman, David (2003) Medical Herbalism
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Could you use ginger root powder or crystallized ginger?
This looks great. Could you used with vinegar to make a vinaigrette?
Also, how long does it stay good in the fridge? Thanks!
it says at the end:
According to Rosemary Gladstar, the syrup should stay good from several weeks to months. If you are concerned that you might not be able to use it all in time, you may want to cut the recipe in half or freeze some in an ice cube tray for later.
i read past things too at times 🙂
and i am sure you can mix it with vinegar, i do not see a problem there
Do you use dried and fresh ginger or just one or the other?
Just one or the other 🙂
Pam the Goatherd
I make a ginger-lime syrup for hubby and I all summer long. We drink it mixed with spring water instead of lemonade. Very refreshing on a hot summer day. I was just thinking that the batch I made this week would be the last one ’til next summer. But if it’s good for fighting colds and flu I might just keep making it through winter, too.
I grind my ginger in the food processor rather than trying to cut it up. I’ve found that I can re-use the ginger pulp after straining either for another batch of syrup or for cooking asian food that calls for ginger. I put it in a jar and pour dry sherry over it just to cover and store in the fridge. The sherry keeps it from spoiling or molding for a long time.
That’s a wonderful tip on getting the nostalgic ginger. Thank you for that. I’ll have to try it.
The sherry over the remainder is a tincture. If the alcohol content is high enough it will keep indefinitely. Gives me an idea……
What’s the idea?!
Pouring the sherry or any alcohol like vodka over the ginger pulp after making the syrup makes it a ginger tincture and it will keep indefinitely.
I always wondered if I could use the ginger, after strained, again and make more. I know the elderberry syrup recipe reads not to use them again.
I think I’ll use the ginger twice.
I’m very excited about this recipe. This is the time of year that I start making elderberry syrup and straining fire cider. Having some extra ginger to use up, I just made a batch of ginger syrup. To get the most out of the ginger and cinnamon stick, I just reused the ginger and cinnamon to start a double batch of elderberry syrup.
What about using Ginger EO’s instead of dry or fresh ginger?
Do not use essential oils in place of whole foods. They are not meant to be taken internally, especially in large proportion.
Here is an idea…. rather than making a syrup right off why not make a GINGER TINCTURE. Do the same with some cinnamon. The tinctures will last indefinitely. Then, when you want some syrup portion out the tincture and add honey to taste.
i like your idea!
have you tried it?
Hi, I saw your earlier comment in response to the sherry. Does it have to be sherry? Or could it be any wine? or a red wine? Thank you for sharing.
How much do you have a day? How about your kids? Do you have it only when you are ill?
Because ginger syrup is considered a food rather than a medicine it doesn’t really have a dosage. I just work it in when it makes sense, which typically means that if I have a batch made up we drink it in our daily tea. 🙂
In the Ginger Syrup Recipe, I’m unclear as to how much ginger to use. Is it 1/2 c. of dried ginger or 1 c. Fresh ginger? Or, do you add both?
It’s either 1/2 cup dried or 1 cup fresh 🙂
Just wondering why my questions were deleted yesterday…
Hi Debbie, your question was actually just waiting in moderation. I have to approve each comment by hand because I receive an overwhelming number of spam comments, and since I am on vacation with my family right now it’s taking longer than usual for me to review and approve. Thanks for your patience! It’s published now. 🙂
I made this in August for the first time. I placed the leftover pulp (after straining) in a storage bag and froze it to use in stir-fries and smoothies.
I accidentally over-reduced my syrup so there’s only about 2/3 cups of liquid left. Do you think it would be better to water it down or just leave it? Thank you!
I must share this with my son in law he loves ginger and is a vegan and loves home made remedies, I want to try and make this for my self. Thank You
If he’s vegan you shouldn’t use honey. There is a honey substitute from apples that could be used and its amazing. It’s called BeeFree Honee
Or real maple syrup!
Can essential oil of ginger be used in place of real ginger ?
How many times a day should you use cold syrup? And for how many days?
I love this post! Thank you!
I juice my ginger in a juicer then keep it in a jar in the refrigerator. I pour whatever amount I would like in tea, hot water, or cold water. I also save the pulp for cooking with. I save that in the freezer. By juicing I don’t need to peel first, just give it a wash first.
I made the Ginger Syrup and love the taste. My daughter suffers with migraines and the ginger syrup has really made a difference and she also loves the flavor. I use it for sinus issues and couldn’t imagine a day with out this. Thank you so much for the post. I also look forward to making your coconut oils soap.
Does it need to stay in the fridge? I live overseas in the jungle doing bible translation, and we don’t have refrigeration.
Yup, it needs to be refrigerated unless you’re going to use in within a few weeks. One of my sons had his go bad (still tasted fine) when kept in his pantry for a couple months….he and a friend had cramps and sweating–not pleasant. A good measure for preservation is equal amounts honey to brewed liquid.
As an aside, we thrive on both elderberry syrup (with chai spices per Rosalee de la Foret) and ginger syrup-lemon tea. It has kept us bug free for over a year since we became diligent so will continue. I’m also packing some for vacation to Punta Cana in a few weeks. 😉
Is there another sweetener that I could use instead of honey? Maple syrup?
Honey is traditionally used because it is thought to extend the shelf life. I don’t think I would use maple syrup unless I was planning on using it all in a few days.
My son is allergic to bees and I haven’t tried to give him honey since he was stung…would you have any other recommendations for an alternative?
Hi! A great alternative for your son would be to use beefree honee. I’m vegan, so this is what I use. It’s made from apples.
Hope that helps.
I’ve noticed the cinnamon stick in the photos is from a variety that could give liver problems in the long run. Here’s the link to the place where I first started reading about this: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/will-the-real-cinnamon-please-stand-up.html
Thanks for the recipe! =)
SO you don’t drink this straight? You add some(?) per your taste to some tea or hot water??
Could I substitute the honey for granulated sugar? I’d love to flavour my ginger beer plant with this. I’m new to fermenting but have read that honey may hinder the bacteria in the ginger beer plant. Thank you x
For the dried ginger-do you mean like dried pieces (where do you find that) or the powder form? TIA!
Hi Karen, that’s a great question. Yes, I mean dried pieces instead of the powder because it’s easier to strain out. You can powdered ginger but it will change the texture of the syrup. I’ve updated the recipe with a link to the kind I use. 🙂
Awesome-thanks so much!
According to Healthline, a single tablespoon of honey typically has 64 calories and 17 grams of carbs. In your nutritional analysis at the end of this recipe, you list 0 carbs. As a Keto practioner, I look for carbs in everything and was surprised there were none in your syrup. I use Monk fruit as a sweetener and wonder if it would work in this recipe.
Hi Judy, sometimes the software that calculates nutrition data generates an error, which seems to have happened here. I have re-run the calculation so that the values are accurate.
Regarding a replacement, honey is traditionally used in this recipe because it extends the shelf life significantly. If you want to replace the honey, glycerin has the same shelf-life extending effect and is thought to have a lower impact on blood sugar. However, for some individuals it does still seem to have and effect, so I suggest testing to be sure.
We all know the benefits of ginger…Thanks for this special recipe.
thank you so much love your site
With the ginger syrup you don’t state when you add the honey?
It’s added in step 3 🙂
Linda Cuccia Levy
I love ginger tea mixed with other chai type teas. I’m allergic to honey so I’m unable to have in any form. My allergies get in the way of what I eat drink inhale just aggravating. Can I use organic maple syrup in place of honey? Thanks so much you have helped me live a healthy life for years. Amazing what you’ve taught me in turn passing it on to my children and grandchildren.
Just read article about rosehips I add it to elderberry syrup and ginger syrup. Is it beneficial or am I wasting it? Also how much do I use to be beneficial? Thank you!!