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How to use ginger?

For centuries, certain plants have been recognized for their culinary and therapeutic properties. Ginger is among them. This spice, native to Southeast Asia, is used as a food, a medicine, and a cosmetic. Discover all the uses of ginger in this article.

Summary
Published January 26, 2024, updated on January 29, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Ginger, in a nutshell.

Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, is a perennial herbaceous plant. Its roots, commonly referred to as rhizomes, are traditionally used as a condiment or spice in the culinary field. In addition to this usage, ginger is also used in phytotherapy to alleviate nausea and digestive disorders.

Beyond these applications, ginger also finds its place in theworld of cosmetics. Indeed, it is possible to extract from the rhizomes of this plant an oil with skin and hair benefits, giving ginger a wide range of beneficial applications for the health of the skin and hair.

Topical application of ginger.

If ginger is so widely used in cosmetics, it's because it possesses antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. Indeed, it contains several beneficial active ingredients, notably gingerol and shogaol, which are effective in protecting cells from free radicals and, by extension, in delaying skin aging. These compounds also work to reduce inflammation and soothe irritation and itching.

Furthermore, several studies have shown that ginger has a protective effect on collagen and elastin by reducing the synthesis of enzymes responsible for their degradation. In doing so, this ingredient promotes epithelialization and tissue regeneration. Given all these properties, the topical use of ginger proves relevant for skin lacking radiance, exposed to oxidative stress and prone to imperfections or skin sagging.

How to apply ginger as a skincare treatment?

  • Hot Compress: mix hot water and ginger extract, then soak a clean cloth in it. Apply the compress to the area of your choice for about 15 minutes.

  • Massage Oil: mix ginger extract with a vegetable oil (sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil) and gently massage to allow the oil to penetrate.

If you are using ginger essential oil, the recommended dilution in a carrier oil is 1 to 2%, as a higher concentration may irritate the skin.

Ginger for hair care.

Ginger also finds its place in hair care cosmetics. Antiseptic, it helps control the bacterial populations of the scalp. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties make it a good ally to alleviate scalp tightness and itching. Finally, ginger has a protective effect on the hair. Indeed, its antioxidant virtues preserve hair fibers from oxidative stress, which can weaken the hair bulb and accelerate the appearance of split ends.

How to use ginger for hair application?

  • Hair mask: mix ginger extract with a vegetable oil and apply it from mid-lengths to ends. Let it act for about half an hour before rinsing with warm water.

  • Hot Compress/Massage Oil: Similar to skin, it is possible to mix ginger extract with a vegetable oil or hot water before applying it to the scalp. This technique is primarily used to soothe itching and reduce irritation.

Oral intake of ginger.

Finally, ginger finds its place in the culinary field and has several benefits for the body and health. It can particularly strengthen the immune system, promote digestion, and combat nausea.

How to use ginger for oral intake?

  • To season dishes.

    You can enjoy the various benefits of ginger by incorporating it into your dishes, which will also enhance their flavor. Whether fresh, powdered, grated, or pickled, there are countless ways to use ginger in cooking. It is particularly appreciated in stir-fried vegetable dishes and salads. You can also steep ginger in hot water to make a revitalizing tea.

  • As a dietary supplement.

    Ginger capsules also exist, intended for individuals suffering from motion sickness or morning sickness. These capsules are typically dosed at 250 mg and should be taken between 2 and 4 times a day. It's important to note that it's always preferable to seek advice from your doctor before starting a dietary supplement regimen.

Sources

  • KORLAKUNTA J. N. & al. Comparative antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-gingerol, [8]-gingerol, [10]-gingerol and [6]-shogaol. Journal of ethnopharmarcology (2010).

  • BALIGA M. S. & al. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) the Dietary Agent in Skin Care: A Review. Bioactive Dietary Factors and Plants Extracts in Dermatology (2012).

  • DUFFY N. & al. Complementary and alternative medicine for psoriasis: what the dermatologist needs to know. American journal of clinical dermatology (2015).

  • ZAAKU J. S. & al. Medicinal Properties of Ginger and Garlic: A Review. Current trends in biomedical engineering & biosciences (2019).

  • ZAFRILLA P. & al. Effect of Ginger on Inflammatory Diseases. Molecules (2022).

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