The ginger plant (Zingiber Officinale) thrives in warm, humid climates and belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. It has a stimulating and warming effect on the skin.
The ginger plant originated in India and is a distant relative of the banana, cultivated for its edible root. The plant grows up to three feet tall with stalk-less leaves, and produces highly aromatic yellow and green flowers. The root grows deep under the soil and is harvested to obtain the essential oil and absolute. The finest ginger is reputed to be grown in Jamaica, and dried ginger root is reputed to be hotter than the fresh root.
Ginger is astringent, antiseptic and warming, and has been used to relax tense muscles and to soothe aching joints. Its warming action helps stimulate circulation, making it an excellent remedy for cold extremities. The oil contains the aromatic substance zingiberene, which is antibacterial and is also thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
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