Think back to when you were feeling a little under the weather as a kid. If an upset stomach was your complaint, Mom’s go-to remedy might have been a carbonated can of ginger ale. While you may have fond memories of swigging the spice-flavored soda for the good of your gut, Mom’s old school method might not actually have been as helpful as you think.

Ginger ale has long been used as a treatment for soothing minor stomach-related issues. But research has shown that it isn’t the queasy cure-all we once thought. While it does make for a delicious drink, Canada Dry and many other name brand ginger beverages are made purely of sugar and water—there’s very little, if any, actual ginger. (Ginger beer though actually has quite a bit! Permission to drink?)

Try this anti-inflammatory celery, apple, kale, ginger juice.

The problem with that is that sugar can actually make your upset stomach worse, so it’s better to stick with a beverage, something else entirely, that contains a good amount of ginger—or chew directly on a piece of ginger root.

But what about the tagline, “Made with REAL Ginger”? The phrase printed once printed on Canada Dry cans and cases certainly caused confusion. After a federal lawsuit for false advertising, the company ended up refunding customers up to $40 (with receipt).

But don’t worry. Just because you shouldn’t drink it while you’re sick doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy it other times! Just know, you’re not really drinking anything resembling ginger.

So what does treat upset stomaches?

Anything with actual ginger does, in fact, help calm an upset digestive system—yes, even those ginger chew candies can help. Gingerroot has been used as a popular herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, and is proven to help with nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, indigestion, and more.

So how should you eat ginger?

There is no one right way, but here’s one delicious, calming recipe we can personally recommend: Take some fresh ginger, slice it up, and throw it into a warm cup of tea. It’s stomach soothing and tastes great, too!

Also see, Watermelon, orange, carrot, ginger juice.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.