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Ginger Benefits And A Refreshing Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamakoudji)

Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice (Gnamacoudji)

Ginger has so many incredible health benefits that it’s widely acclaimed as “the Universal Medicine” in the traditional healing system of Ayurveda. Read about ginger benefits and try Gnamakoudji, a refreshing West African ginger citrus juice recipe that features lots of fresh ginger for your health.

When I started looking into natural remedies many decades ago, one of my first discoveries was that eating fresh ginger could eliminate nausea. I was so excited, because I can easily get carsick or seasick…. and taking medicine for it was just as nauseating!

So, with this natural remedy info, I learned to carry a bag of ginger candies with me whenever I traveled, and was happy to call ginger my newfound friend. Later, when I studied Ayurveda, I realized that ginger has so many additional benefits. I still love ginger! Ginger has remained one of my all time favorite remedies to have at hand for a variety of purposes. That’s why I was so interested to come upon Gnamakoudji, a refreshing West African ginger citrus juice recipe.

Note: If you’re just here for the amazing Gnamakoudji juice recipe, hit the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top under the featured image photo and you can skip all the info about ginger for health… but it’s great info to know, if you don’t already 😉

What is Ginger?

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a not actually a root, but rather, is a rhizome – a fleshy, bulbous growth that shoots off from the roots of the leafy vertical ginger plant. Ginger is from the same family as turmeric, galangal and cardamom, which, not surprisingly, are also renowned for their many curative properties.

Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamacoudji)

Ginger originated in Asia and then, due to its fantastic flavor and its healing constituents, made its way around the world… exported to the Pacific Islands, all the way to what is now known as Hawaii, over to India and from there, spread to Europe due to the spice trade.

Ginger has been used as a “folk” medicine and culinary delight around the world for over 5,000 years. Despite its prominence in history, modern medicine still struggles to give a definitive on the medicinal value of ginger, stating that most claims about ginger are merely anecdotal and experiential… as if thousands of years of corroborative experience is not reliable!

Well. I always say that thousands of years of history is worth more than a few hundred years of scientific experimentation… which is one reason why I rarely quote scientific studies in my articles. Also, at the Enchanted Spicebox, we don’t condone animal testing for any reason… especially when there is so much anecdotal evidence about the benefits of herbs like ginger!

So, I’ll go with ginger’s amazing history of healing that continues to be validated in people’s lives every day. It’s also not surprising that every culture throughout history that has encountered ginger has their own favorite recipes, formulas and uses for ginger. It is a prominent spice featured in Ayurveda, Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) just to name a few.

Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamacoudji)

Fresh Ginger Versus Dried Ginger

In Ayurveda, a distinction is made between the effects of fresh ginger and dried ginger, although both are beneficial to health, albeit in slightly different ways. Although both forms of ginger are considered warming to the body, dried ginger is more heating.

Through the drying process, ginger’s main volatile oil, gingerol, is transformed into another phytochemical (plant chemical) known as shogaol. The drying process renders dried ginger more spicy and saogaol is more potent for some health benefits.

Fresh ginger is moistening and warming, which in Ayurveda, means that it is most often prescribed for those with Vata constitution, or those who tend towards imbalances of lightness and dryness, such as dry skin, constipation and gas.

Dried ginger is drying and hotter, which means that it is better for regulating Kapha imbalances, that is, those imbalances that result in heaviness and excess moisture, such as slowness to lose excess weight and mucous/phlegm.

That said, with its many bioavailable natural phytochemicals, ginger has numerous health benefits (in addition to relieving travel nausea) such as:

  • Reduces nausea and vomiting from pregnancy and also from chemical therapies that are known to cause nausea, such as chemotherapy and HIV therapy
  • Helps digestion, aids nutrient assimilation, relieves bloating and gas
  • Aids weight loss
  • Boosts circulation, may lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots
  • Is Antiviral, helps to prevent and treat colds & flu and boosts immunity
  • Is anti-inflammatory, reducing heart inflammation and relieving body pain such as with arthritis, and also helps to dispel migraine pain
  • Promotes oral health
  • Clears the body of toxins and may suppress cancer cell growth

How To Use Ginger For Health

For medicinal purposes such as those mentioned above, there are numerous ways to add ginger to your diet and daily health care program. For helping digestion, Ayurveda recommends taking a little fresh ginger digestive shot before meals – it’s easy! You can get the recipe in this article I wrote about habits that can slow weight loss; it’s down in the bonus tips, if you want to scroll down to the recipe directly:

Adding some fresh ginger to your meals via cooking with fresh ginger is always an easy way to get some ginger benefits… many international recipes, especially those from a wide variety of Asian countries, call for fresh ginger. I cook a lot with ginger, so you can find fresh ginger, dried ginger, even candied ginger, in lots of my recipes, such as the these:

Delicious Bakery Style Candied Ginger Scones

Classic Indian Masala (Spiced) Chai

Veggied-Up Spicy Dragon Noodles

Quick And Easy Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

There are many more; to check them out, just put ginger in the seach bar at the top of any page and they’ll all come up… you’ll see… I love ginger in any form!

If you want to take ginger as a supplement, the most convenient way to take ginger for nausea, digestion and other health issues, is to take dried ginger capsules. They’re portable and easy to use. Paradise Herbs has a nice dried ginger capsule  ✓ with no additional additives! Their products are tested to be free of pesticides, and they always use wild crafted or organic material where available.

If you are really into ginger and want to take it often, you can cook with dried ginger, too, as dried ginger features in numerous baked goods (especially around the holidays) or you can also used dried ginger to make ginger tea or as an ingredient in spiced tea or coffee. Although you can buy ginger tea bags, if you’re going to be using a lot of dried ginger, it’s most economical to buy it in bulk. We have used bulk spices from Frontier Co-op for years and are always impressed with the quality of their products.

You can buy Frontier 1 lb organic ginger powder ✓ through iHerb online at great prices, if you plan to use it a lot. They also sell it in smaller quantities, which you can find when you get to the product page.

Gnamakoudji – Fresh Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe From Ivory Coast

Not too long ago, I came across a wonderful local beverage of Western Africa called Gnamakoudji. It’s a particular favorite in Ivory Coast, where you can find fresh ginger juice stalls on the streets – that sounds amazing!

We’ve enjoyed fresh local juices in many locations around the world… it’s mind-expanding to try something new and do what the locals do, like drinking pure cane sugar juice (no processing, no chemicals… just actual sugar cane pressed into juice!) or drinking fresh coconut water right out of a green coconut.

Since we’re not planning a trip to Africa anytime soon, I decided to gather up the ingredients at the market and make my own Gnamakoudji.

There are lots of variations of this drink… the baseline is fresh ginger juice with optional sweetener (sugar, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup – your choice) and lemon or lime juice. Some recipes add pineapple and/or orange juice and sometimes vanilla or hibiscus, even!

Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamacoudji)

Other African countries have ginger drinks, like ginger milk chai, which is a hot drink made from milk, ginger and sugar; some add black tea leaves, others not. This most popular milk chai is known as Tangawizi in Kenya. Most of the recipes I’ve seen resemble Indian milk chai that I love, (linked above) but Tangawizi appears to be a bit milkier than Indian chai.

At any rate, all of these local African drinks include ginger and as such, they are often praised for their excellent health benefits. Gnamakoudji is known to treat colds, reduce body pain, ease heartburn after eating, and even help to stop hair loss!

Some people in Ivory Coast also drink Gnamakoudji to help with weight loss, because of ginger’s heating effects that increase metabolism and circulation, lowering blood pressure and helping to eliminate water retention.

The fact that Gnamakoudji is so popular in Ivory Coast is just another example of how people around the world know ginger for the amazing health remedy that it is!

Let’s Make Some Gnamakoudji Ginger Citrus Juice

I decided to go with the variety of Gnamakoudji that includes fresh ginger, pineapple, orange, lime and sugar. This recipe is so easy once you get the ingredients assembled. You can use a juicer and juice the ginger and the fruits, or, if you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender like I did.

Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamacoudji)

First step is to peel a nice big chunk of fresh ginger, which, you probably know, is most easily done by using the side of a spoon and gently scraping the skin off – easy peasy! I used a nice fleshy chunk of ginger that was about 5 inches long and sliced it into rounds to put into the blender. I blended the ginger first and then blended the pineapple separately, so I could be sure to strain them both well.

Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice Recipe (Gnamacoudji)

So, I added a bit of the water to the ginger, blended, strained and set aside. Next step was to cut the pineapple into chunks, removing the center stalk and discarding, along with the skin and any “eyes” that were in the flesh. Add some water and blend, then strain.

I juiced the citrus by hand but you can use a hand or electric citrus juicer if you have one.

Then all of that lovely juice gets stirred together with the sugar until the sugar melts and oh, my stars!! You get an amazingly gingery-zingy fruity beverage! I read one post that mentioned that if you have a hangover, this drink would probably snap you out of it and get you moving… can’t say that I’ve ever been hungover, but I can imgine this drink would definitely do the trick.

You can drink this juice without ice, although on a very hot day, I wouldn’t mind sipping this yummy juice over ice at all. For the record, we did try a bit of the juice with vanilla added, and I have to say, as much as I love vanilla, we both thought it was unnecessary in this drink. It softened the punch of the ginger a bit, but that ginger punch is the whole point of this drink, isn’t it? So… it was good with vanilla and you might like it… just enjoy experimenting!

If you love tropical fruit juices and want to get a good hit of natural gingerol phytonutrients for your health, Gnamakoudji is the drink for you! If you try one new superfood beverage this summer, please give this a go… I’m sure you will feel super refreshed and energized.

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Ginger Benefits And A Ginger Citrus Juice (Gnamacoudji)

Gnamakoudji: Refreshing Fresh Ginger Citrus Juice

Try some Gnamakoudji, a refreshing West African fruit juice recipe that features lots of fresh ginger for your health, plus pineapple, orange and lime.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Beverage
Cuisine African
Servings 2


  • 1 6 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & cut into slices
  • ½ large ripe pineapple, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 1 large orange
  • ½ lime
  • ¼ cup sugar, maple syrup or raw sugar other as per your preference
  • cups water

Optional ingredients:

  • fresh lemon juice to taste
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Peel the ginger with the side of a spoon, lightly scraping to remove skin and slice into round chunks/slices
  • Blend ginger with about ½-¾ cups water. Strain juice with a cheesecloth or fine strainer and set juice aside.
  • Peel pineapple and remove center core. Slice into chunks and blend with enough water to make juice. Strain the pineapple pulp with a cheesecloth or fine strainer and add to the ginger juice.
  • With a hand citrus juicer or electric citrus juicer, juice the orange and ½ lime and add to the ginger pineapple juice.
  • Add sugar according to your taste and the remaining water and stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Drink juice immediately, either straight or over ice. Juice may also be refrigerated but should be consumed within one day for freshest taste.


This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled for more servings.
Keyword fresh ginger and pineapple juice recipe, fresh ginger juice, healthy fruit juice recipe, Ivory Coast fruit juice recipe, summer beverages


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