I had an upset stomach the other day and after taking a Pepcid which didn't fix the problem I thought what else do I have that would make my stomach feel better. Then I remembered Ginger Ale. Yeah, Ginger Ale, that always makes my stomach feel better and it's good too. Then I got to thinking why does ginger ale make me feel better. So after drinking most of the can, I went to the computer and looked up Ginger Ale on the Internet.
Here's what I found: Ginger Ale has been around since 1851 (about 35 years longer than Coca Cola) being first created in Ireland. Then in the 1890s a Canadian by the name of John McLaughlin, a Pharmacist, started a soda pop business in Toronto. There he mixed carbonated water with fruit juices and flavorings to create different types of soda pop which was sold at a soda fountain in the business. His version of ginger ale was called McLaughlin Belfast Style Ginger Ale. This Ginger Ale had a rather dark color and a strong flavor. By the early 1900s, after several refinements to the recipe, McLaughlin improved the Ginger Ale so that it was a much lighter in color and this caused a marked improvment in the extremely sharp taste.
This new and improved Ginger Ale was patented by John McLaughlin as Canada Dry Pale Dry Ginger Ale. Well, it seems there is a challenger for oldest variety of Ginger Ale. That would be a chap by the name of James Vernon, an American in Detroit, Michigan.
Mr. Vernon, who at the age of 15, began working in a drug store and apparently being very bright rose up the ranks, so to speak, eventually sitting for and passing the state's pharmacy boards to be come a pharmacist (I see a pattern here.) Along the way, Mr.
Vernon was also experimenting with the golden colored Ginger Ale which was being imported from Ireland and had become a very popular soft drink through the United States. He too, was experimenting with this dark colored ale to come up with a distinctive flavor of his own. While there were many others experimenting with Ginger Ale in the state during this time, the Vernon's brand of Ginger Ale while only sold in a limited area of the country seemed to be very popular. OK, so we know when it was created, but what is it exactly and why does it make my stomach feel better.
It is a blend of sugar, ginger root, lemon juice, yeast and water. Some recipes also include vanilla and an herb called stevia, which is native to Paraguay, is remarkably noncaloric and is extremely sweet. After a little more investigation I found that ginger root has been known for years to be a valuable drug for disorders of the digestive system (alright here we go.) It is extremely useful in dyspepsia (upset stomach), colic, vomiting, flatulence, and other pains affecting the stomach and bowels.
I even found a simple recipe for a home remedy which includes: 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger juice 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon of fresh mint juice 1 Tablespoon of honey Mix all the above together and take 1 tablespoon 3 times a day for dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting, indigestion caused by eating heavy non-vegetarian or fried fatty foods, morning sickness, or jaundice. Apparently, ginger is an excellent remedy for coughs and colds and when ginger juice is mixed with honey can be taken 3 to 4 times a day for coughs. It is also an excellent pain killer and ginger juice can be used in the ear to stop an earache or by rubbing dry ginger power with a little water to form a paste can be applied to the forehead to stop a headache or to the outside of the jaw to stop a toothache (I'm not sure I believe these last two.) Anyway, I'm getting away from my original topic. I do think that I have discovered some things about Ginger Ale and why it always makes my stomach feel better when I drink some.
By the way, I prefer Schwepps Ginger Ale which is also caffeine free (actually I think they all are). I have tried several types and brands of Ginger Ale and just prefer the Schwepps better. Besides, unlike some like Vernon's which is only available in certain areas of the country, Schwepps is available everywhere. So, the next time you have an upset stomach you might want to try my remedy -- drink a can of Ginger Ale.
Della Franklin is a business owner, successful IT Systems Manager & Internet Marketer. She counts 10 years experience as a teacher as well as being a Certified Network Engineer, cook, wife & mother. See more about her at http://www.foodielooksatfood.com or http://www.dogwoodsquare.com