There are numerous benefits of ginger and it’s used in a variety of ways! Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. A rhizome is the horizontal stem of a plant usually found underground. Roots and shoots grow out from its nodes. Other names for rhizome are rootstalks or creeping rootstalks. Hence, you may have heard the common name of Lavender Oil referred to as root ginger or ginger root.
Ginger is a perennial, reed like, plant growing three to four feet tall. It produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers. Because of its appealing beauty and attraction to warm climates, it’s used as landscaping for many subtropical homes.
Ginger has a sweet and spicy aroma. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy, fleshy and have a very mild taste. It’s picked and used as an ingredient in cooking dishes or steeped in boiling water for ginger tea. Powdered dry ginger is often used as a flavoring for snacks: candy, bread, cookies, crackers, cakes and more. Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from these roots is extremely potent. It’s used as a spice or flavoring for Chinese, Japanese or many South Asian cuisines.
Ginger was originally cultivated in South Asia. Top producers are now found in the countries of: India, China, Indonesia, Napal, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Japan, Thailand, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Historically, the medicinal term for ginger was Jamaican ginger. It’s now cultivated in Jamaica and comes into this country dried and preserved. Ginger from the West Indies is considered to be the best.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER:
Ginger contains essential oils, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, inositol, manganese, panthotenic acid, silicon and a small amount of vitamin B3.
Relieves or reduces: nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, motion sickness, the pain and inflammation of arthritis, anxiety, depression, upset stomach, colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, flu, sore muscles, headaches, menstrual cramps and more.
It stimulates poor circulation and appetite. Some studies report it may help prevent heart disease with its, possible, blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties. It has antioxidants benefits with more than twelve types of antioxidants! Blue ginger, from Madagascar, has a particularly potent antioxidant! CAUTION! Although ginger is recognized as safe, it may cause allergic reactions such as: bloating, gas, heartburn, belching and more.
SKIN CARE AND GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL:
Ginger essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the rhizome root and yields about 3% oil. It has a pale yellow to dark amber color with a strong, or sharp, spicy-warm aroma. It has invigorating, energizing, stimulating, anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties. Ginger essential oil is not recommended to use internally.
Helps: clear bruises, carbuncles, sores on the skin, arthritis, rheumatism, muscle aches and pains, relieve acne, lighten age spots, fight skin damaging free radicals, reduce cellulite, promote smoothness and evenness of skin tone, decrease inflammation, increase radiance to skin, provide aromatherapy benefits and more!
This oil is used in many commercial and homemade skin care products: soaps, shampoos, balms, body scrubs, creams, lotions, bath oils, massage oils and more. Ginger oil blends well with: bergamot, frankincense, neroli, rose, sandalwood, yiang-yiang, patchouli, rosewood, cedarwood, coriander, lime, grapefruit, geranium, spearmint, lavender, orange, vetiver and other spice or citrus oils. It’s a non-toxic and, mostly, non-irritating substance, except when used in higher concentrations.
CAUTION! Ginger oil can irritate skin and cause photosensitivity, (sensitivity to sunlight). It can cause allergic skin reactions such as rashes, hives, redness or other skin irritations. Those with sensitive skin should either avoid using ginger oil or use with extreme caution. Stop using any products containing ginger oil, immediately, upon signs of skin irritation. If symptoms persist, seek advice from your medical health provider.
MAKING HOMEMADE SOAP:
Some just love that distinctive scent of ginger in their soaps! Ginger is used for making soap but it should be used with extreme caution. If you are just learning how to make soap, do not use ginger or ginger oil without the guidance of a master soap maker. As mentioned previously, ginger can be very irritating for some. Understand all about ginger before using it, in anyway. Use this soap making oil with other citrus or spice type of oils to have a complimentary, blended, aroma.