I like ginger a lot, so I recently started to experiment with natural ginger root. My first goal has been to make my own ginger tea. It's ridiculously easy. First, get yourself a ginger root. Amazingly, my local Albertson's stocks them, but you could also get them at a good organic market. I found that a medium-sized root makes about a dozen 8 oz. cups of tea, according the recipe below, but I like stronger tea in larger quantities, so I'm using a little more when I make it.
To Dry & Grind the Ginger Root:
Peel the thin, papery bark off the root with a sharp paring knife. This is easiest to do with fresh root that hasn't started to dry out. Slice the root into roughly 2 mm-thick slices. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet and place in a very slightly warmed oven (our gas oven is perfect for this because the pilot lights keep it warm in there all the time). Let the root dry out completely until the slices are brittle enough to snap with your fingers (6-8 hours). Grind the dried root with a mortar and pestle (I don't have a real set, so I use an old spice jar and a small stainless steel mixing bowl). The ground ginger will be fairly coarse, but that's okay.
To Make Ginger Tea:
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger root
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup hot water (just shy of boiling)
In the photo above, I've used 1 1/2 cups of water for a larger mug and 1 tsp. ginger. I usually let the tea steep for a good 10-15 minutes.
According to John Lust, The Herb Book, ginger tea is good for: cleansing of the system through perspiration (I have not found this to be the case), suppressing menstruation (I wouldn't know), flatulent colic (yow), and to ease the symptoms of the common cold. Supposedly, it's also a stimulant and it's supposed to make yer brain wurk bedder. It's also a digestive aid, and it tastes good.