“I am powered by ginger. If I’m traveling and I can’t have ginger, I’ll feel sick,” Anna Kendrick told Shape Magazine in 2020.
“There was a time when I was in Germany for three months and I couldn’t find a crushed juice place,” she added. “So I bought a juicer and a bunch of ginger to make it myself because I was positive it was the only thing keeping me alive.”
The actor isn’t alone. Eva Longoria and Selena Gomez are two more of ginger’s most famous fans. But are ginger shots really that good for you? And, if so, how do you follow Kendrick’s example and make them from home?
Are ginger shots good for you?
For thousands of years, ginger, a flowering plant native to Asia, has been used as not just a culinary ingredient, but also a medicinal one.
In Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, ginger is renowned for its strong digestive benefits, for example. It’s also thought of as detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginger is also valued for many qualities, again, including its ability to promote good digestion and relieve nausea.
In recent years, Western society has also started to catch on to the potential health benefits of ginger. While it’s a common ingredient in cookies, cakes, and lattes, one of the most popular ways to consume ginger for its alleged medicinal benefits is in concentrated shot form. In these shots, ginger is often mixed with ingredients like lemon juice, orange juice, and spices, like turmeric and cayenne pepper.
Modern research also supports the benefits of consuming ginger, although Healthline notes that the specific benefits of shots aren’t widely researched. The plant is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, and research has even shown that it may be able to reduce inflammation for people suffering from conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Research also supports claims that ginger may benefit immune health, help protect against some forms of cancer, and relieve nausea. For example, one study followed 120 pregnant women, some of whom took 750 milligrams of ginger for four days, and found that ginger helped to reduce nausea and vomiting significantly.
The downside to ginger shots
Healthline warns that those taking blood-thinning medication should be wary of ginger. Shots can also be loaded with sugar, so it’s important to be mindful of your intake if you’re taking them daily.
But one major downside of ginger shots is the fact that they are usually packaged in plastic bottles. The functional shot market, which includes ginger shots, is growing. And by 2027, Grand View Research predicts that it could reach a value of $1 billion. That’s a heck of a lot of plastic, most of which will end up in the landfill. Every day in the US, already more than 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away.
Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid plastic use. But in the case of ginger shots, there is a way you can reap the potential health benefits without causing extra harm to the planet: make your own.
How to make your own vegan ginger shots
It’s easy and quick to make vegan ginger shots from home (and it’s cheaper, too!). All you need is a blender or a juicer (a Vitamix is a great option!), and a handful of ingredients. You can also invest in a set of reusable clear glass bottles if you want to take your ginger shot with you on the go or make a batch for the week ahead. Below are three of our favorite ginger shot recipes. And for different ways to use ginger in vegan cooking, you can also find alternative recipes for desserts, soups, and more, here.
One Great Vegan
1 Spicy ginger shots
Those who love a hint of spice will enjoy this vegan ginger shot recipe, which combines fresh ginger with red bell peppers, fresh oranges, lemons, mango, and ground cayenne pepper. The result is a vibrant, flavor-packed shot that has just the right amount of tang and heat.
Get the recipe
2 Ginger turmeric shot
Just like ginger, turmeric is also packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Combine the two powerhouse ingredients in this easy-to-make delicious shot, which also features agave syrup, tangerines, apple, and a pinch of black pepper.
Get the recipe
3 Orange ginger wellness shot
This recipe also adds carrots into the mix. The bright orange vegetable is packed with beta carotene—a carotenoid that is converted to vitamin A in the body and helps to reduce harmful free radical damage—making it a great addition to any ginger shot recipe.
Get the recipe