Ginger, whose scientific name is Zingiber officinale, is a tropical flowering plant which originates from Southeast Asia. The plant can grow to about three feet and is characterized by narrow leaves and pale yellow and purple flowers. The uses of ginger are many, from adding it to food in our kitchens or using it for healing purposes – and all its uses come from the root of the ginger plant, or the rhizome.
Ginger is used as a fragrant spice, adding flavor and nutrition to food. It can be used fresh or dried and grated. Other than adding flavor, ginger root is used as medicine as well, especially for treating cold and flu symptoms, menstrual cramps, or stomach issues such as nausea and diarrhea.
However, ginger also has a number of benefits in the beauty department as well, more specifically in hair and skin care. When it comes to beauty, ginger can be used both topically or ingested.
Uses of ginger for skin care
Ginger is anti-oxidant (it actually has about 40 antioxidant compounds) which help protect our skin from signs of aging. It works by increasing circulation to the skin, which in turn boosts the delivery of nutrients, making your skin better nourished and healthy. It also increases skin elasticity, evens the tone, and protects it from free radicals which all contribute to making your skin appear more youthful and rejuvenated.
You can both ingest it or use it topically, by making a homemade mask. Just mix powdered ginger with honey and lemon (lemon’s acidity and Vitamin C also help reduce wrinkles) in equal parts and apply evenly to the skin, leaving it on for 30-40 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
Acne and blemish treatment
Ginger’s antiseptic and cleansing properties help keep the skin smooth and reduce blemishes. On top of increasing blood circulation, it also reduces the bacteria which contribute to acne. The ginger, honey, and lemon face mask also works for acne, since lemon helps in reducing the redness and inflammation from acne as well as excess sebum, while honey’s humectant properties give your skin moisture. Besides this one treatment, there are also other homemade face masks that fight off acne.
Ginger’s toning, aphrodisiac, and antioxidant properties can work wonders when it comes to giving you a more even tone. Again, just apply it as a mask (with lemon and honey), leave it on for about 30 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Treatment of hypopigmentation (white scars)
The antioxidant and skin toning properties of ginger significantly help to reduce the appearance of hypopigmented skin, which results when a part of the skin loses its pigmentation or appears whiter than the rest. All you have to do is cut a slice of fresh ginger and apply the juices to the skin, keeping it until it dries. Repeat this every day and in a couple of weeks, and you should already start to see improvement.
The gritty nature of grated ginger makes for a great exfoliator, as its texture works in scraping off excess sebum, dead skin cells, as well as any impurities in your pores. Mix one teaspoon of ginger with one tablespoon of honey (and optionally, one teaspoon of any essential oil) and rub it on your face. Leave it for about 10 minutes and rinse it with cool water.
Uses of ginger for hair
Hair growth and hair loss
Since ginger increases circulation of blood to the skin, applying it on your scalp can help promote hair growth as it stimulates the hair follicles. The combination of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals in ginger also help with thin hair and hair loss.
One method is to apply it to your hair is by mixing one tablespoon of grated ginger with one tablespoon of argan, coconut, or jojoba oil. Then massage it well into the scalp and leave it for about thirty minutes before rinsing it out and shampooing your hair as you usually would.
Dry and brittle hair
You can use the same mask if you have dry and brittle hair as the zinc and phosphorus, in addition to all the other vitamins and minerals, give you healthier, shinier hair.
Sometimes because of everyday wear and tear, or environmental or genetic factors, our hair becomes susceptible to breakage and when the hair follicles get damaged, split ends are formed. Ginger extract can treat damaged hair follicles. Mix ginger in equal parts with oil like almond, argan, and coconut oil and apply it to the hair and scalp. Leave it on for about an hour, and rinse with warm water and shampoo.
Ginger’s antiseptic properties may also help to reduce dandruff, which is one of the most common scalp conditions. You can either use ginger oil or make a mask out of two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and three tablespoons of either tea tree oil or coconut oil, which are both effective dandruff remedies of their own. Massage it into the scalp and rinse it after about 30 minutes. Repeat it about three times a week for effectiveness.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.