Ginger, scientific name Zingiber officinale, is a very appreciated officinal plant thanks to its rhizome, scented and rich in active substances. The rhizome can be grated fresh on vegetables, salads, fruit and fish or it can be used to prepare healthy herbal teas.
Moreover, from its distillation an essential oil is obtained while by maceration in honey you can get a very useful product to boost the immune system. But that's not all, in fact, with ginger you can also prepare a powerful beneficial infused oil in case of joint and muscle pain. But let's see better in detail.
Ginger infused oil, analgesic and anti-inflammatory
Ginger oil is a very interesting product. In fact, it helps to stimulate blood flow, warms the part where it is applied, fights inflammation, removes muscle tension, is pain reliever, therefore useful in case of muscle pain after intense physical activity or in case of muscle strains, joint pain, back pain, headache and cervical pain (Funk et al, PharmaNutrition, 2017 - Mashhadi et al, Int J Prev Med, 2013). A scientific study has reported the benefits of a self-massage performed twice a week with ginger oil in case of knee pain as a consequence of osteoarthritis. After five weeks of treatment the pain was significantly attenuated (Tosun et al, Res Theory Nurs Pract, 2017). Another study showed the effectiveness of massages with ginger oil to counteract chronic low back pain in adults and it is interesting to note that these benefits have been recorded since the first treatment (Sritoomma et al, Complement The Med, 2014).
Ginger infused oil and cosmetic properties, beware of false beliefs
A separate discussion must be made about the cosmetic properties of ginger oil. In fact, it is a common belief that ginger oil can help hair growth. This has been disproven by a scientific study published a few years ago in the journal PLoS One (Miao et al, 2013). In particular, scientists have observed that 6-gingerol, the main active substance of ginger, instead of stimulating hair follicle activity inhibits hair growth by prolonging the telogen phase, that is the final phase of the hair's life cycle where all the vital activities have completely stopped.
Ginger infused oil, preparation
Chop 10 cm of fresh and peeled ginger root, pour it into a glass jar and cover with a cup of vegetable oil, you can use rice oil, sunflower oil or sweet almond oil, the latter perfect for massages. Cover the jar with a gauze and close with a rubber band, heat in a double boiler for 2-3 hours, then filter, leave to cool, close and store in a cool, dry place. Before applying with a massage on large parts of the body it is good to do a test on a small area and see if the oil causes irritations.