The Ginger Elixir: Starts with Honesty
Visiting your local health food or grocery store lately - have you noticed the abundance of ginger drinks, and specifically ginger elixirs, ginger shots and/or ginger tonics? We know, it can be a bit overwhelming! Because we are passionate about our ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixirs, we want to provide you with some food for thought if you are looking for a way to determine what makes the best handcrafted ginger elixir.
One of our favorite Oscar Wilde quotes is “I can't stand people who do not take food seriously". Well, we don't either! This blog is not intended to be a "snob blog," but in the dedication of making our elixirs for ourselves, our friends, family and customers, it has motivated us to help others determine a way to check a product's integrity.
Corinna and I started ImmuneSchein with the dedication to stay true to the process that we started when opening our business with the creation of original offering of our ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixir Classic. This elixir was created by only using 3 whole food ingredients: organic lemon juice, fresh organic ginger root, and local wildflower honey. While we do have other elixir combinations in our portfolio now, we have grown our offering by only adding one more food ingredient to the three Classic Ginger Elixir ingredients.
With the growth of our business, we have been offered opportunities to make life easier in how the elixirs could be made, formulated and/or outsourced to a co-packer. But, this temptation has never taken us off course and away from our vision and standards we established and have maintained with our amazing team in the past years.
While the below is always up for discussion, please use it as a guide for filtering your thoughts through. It is intended to allow you to choose the best elixir for you:
The 8 Ways to Choose the Best Ginger Elixir or Ginger Shot?
- Only Contains Real/Whole Food Ingredients - The choice of ingredients used in crafting the best ginger drink is key to ensure that you body can absorb, utilize and enjoy the ingredients promised in the ginger elixir. For this part of the process, any type of elixir producer should be using whole food ingredients as they appear in the produce section of your grocery store. This can be the demand for any root, spice, herb, etc. We will talk about turmeric root vs. powder more in another point, and this is a simple ask from your ginger elixir producer. In the end, the response by the producer will provide you with some insight to their commitment to quality vs. profits.
- Uses Organic/Wild Ingredients, but Not Organic Honey - To choose a ginger elixir / ginger shot from a producer that utilizes organic and wild ingredients will ensure that you limit your exposure to fewer pesticides and herbicides. It ensures fresher ingredients, it's better for the environment, and another indication of the elixir producer's commitment quality vs. profits. There is an exception to this, and this is the use of organic honey. Please be aware of the reporting with this ingredient, and you can read more about the findings here: The Mystery behind Organic Honey.
- Not Diluted - A. PRICE: The dilution method in ginger elixirs and ginger shots is used in many producer's product as a recipe approach, but you should ensure that this is adjusted in the price of the elixir. Why pay $10+ for 8 oz. of elixir that is 75% water or tea/blend based? B. CHEMICALS: If the elixir is diluted with water, you should understand the source of the water used. See some of these "hidden dangers" of water here: 9 Hidden Dangers . Ask your producer where they obtain their water, and while some will say that they filter their water prior to using, this may not remove all the issues outlined in the article. C: FLEXIBILITY: Ginger drinks that are not diluted but 100% whole food ingredients can allow you the flexibility to become creative in the way that you are able to take the product and dilute it down with your own trusted ingredient sources. Here are some examples: Flexible Ginger Elixir Recipes
- No Additives/Preservatives/Artificial Sweeteners - The first call out here is if you can't pronounce it, spell it or verify that it is a food, be very careful placing this into your diet. This can be dangerous for exposing yourself to chemicals or dyes. See Dangers of Food Additives and Preservatives
- No Sugar as Ingredient - If there is sugar added to a ginger elixir, this is normally done as a preservative, and it should then be classified as a syrup. This is another dilution method, and while it is a preservative method, it can provide you with some unintended results. Honey and Maple Syrup are an ideal and preferred alternative in ginger elixirs, and you can always ask your producer where they procure their honey and maple syrup if there are any concerns.
- No Natural Flavors - Ginger elixirs with natural flavors are available! While it may not be listed in the form of natural/artificial flavor, it could be added to teas or tea blends that are being used as an ingredient in ginger elixirs. For natural flavors, the FDA says: “The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” It is intended to provide the market with a mass production supply, but not in our ginger elixir - no thank you! You can read more about natural flavors here: Beware of Natural Flavors
- No Powders - Some ginger elixirs will use different powders in their products as ingredients instead of whole foods to perhaps save costs or shorten production time, and while there are some great powders that we cook with daily, there is not a good reason for these to be in your ginger elixirs. A good example of what has been found in turmeric/curcumin can be found here: Turmeric Recall. Always make sure to ask your producer if they use powders or whole food. This should be an easy ask, and in the end the response by the producer will provide you with some insight into the producers commitment to quality vs. profits.
- No Proprietary/Engineered Ingredients (GMO) - If you see the ingredient listed with a number behind it, if you can't pronounce it, if it looks odd and/or is explained to you a priority ingredient, you can ask the producer to provide you with the testing results of this ingredient to ensure full transparency so you can make a conscious buying decision.
We hope that his has helped with your understanding of how to select the best ginger elixir for you.
We look forward to seeing you at future events, at our Tea Haus in Saugerties/Woodstock, New York and/or online.
We wish you the best in your journey, stay safe and stay well.