The Healing Power of Natural Ingredients – Sweeteners Part 1: Brown Sugar

To respect each ingredient in the food is how we show our appreciation and gratitude to mother earth.

We picked three kinds of sweeteners: brown sugar, rock sugar, and honey. One of their main uses is to add sweetness to food, but they have different looks, tastes, and functions according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Brown Sugar

Whether it is brown sugar or white sugar, and rock sugar, they are all made from sugar cane (mostly). The difference is the degree of purification.

Compared to white sugar, brown sugar features a characteristic caramel-like flavor due to the presence of molasses. It has more nutrients than refined sugar, such as vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates and microelements like iron, zinc, manganese, and chromium.

In TCM, brown sugar is a “warm” food that activates blood circulation and prevents blood stagnation. Combined with other food ingredients, brown sugar is recommended for women before and during the menstrual cycle to relieve cramps as well as for those in the postpartum period. It also helps the uterus contract and promotes milk production. It is also given to children with appetite loss and to elders as a tonic element.

Believe it or not, brown sugar can also improve signs of aging and improve skin tones.

But no matter how wonderful it is, brown sugar is not for everyone. Those who have pathogenic heat problems, such as ulcers and constipation, should avoid brown sugar and use rock sugar instead.

Ginger Tea with Brown Sugar

Ginger Tea with Brown Sugar and Lemon

The last time I travelled to Yun Nan, a province located in the far southwest of China, I found that almost every restaurant there offers ginger tea with brown sugar. It tastes like hot cola with a strong ginger flavor. When served hot, it can promote blood circulation, facilitate sweating, and dispel cold, therefore effective in relieving common cold symptoms such as sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, muscle aches, shivering, and coughing. Ginger is also a common natural remedy to relieve nausea, reduce dizziness, and help digestive processes. Ginger tea is recommended for helping morning sickness as well as upset stomach problems.

Ingredients of Ginger Tea with Brown Sugar and Lemon

Ingredients (serves 2):
4 cups water, boiled
3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, washed and shredded
1 tbsp brown sugar, or to taste
4 slices of lemon (optional)

Drinking ginger tea may cause restlessness and sleeplessness for some. Avoid drinking this tea before bed. Have it in the morning and/or early afternoon is recommended.

Ginger Tea with Brown Sugar and Lemon in the pot

Simply put the finely shredded ginger and brown sugar into a teapot and add the boiled water. Cover the pot with a lid for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea and serve hot!

You can add a slice of lemon for taste. Lemon is a good resource for vitamin C, which can boost the immune system and shorten the length of a cold. It may be the most delicious remedy for cold, I can have it every day even I feel perfectly fine.

Ginger Tea with Brown Sugar and Lemon


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  1. Thanks for letting me know you liked it. You made my day:) Will have more posts on this topic.


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