Ginger (Zingiber officianale)
Fun fact: To rev up their husbands' libidos, the women of Senegal weave ginger root into their belts.
Though ugly in its natural appearance, ginger is one of the most highly valued spices in the world. Not only does it give food a unique spicy, peppery flavor, it's also renowned for its healing properties. For centuries, different cultures worldwide have embraced it and sung its praises. Traditional Chinese medicine employed the use of fresh ginger for a variety of health issues, from respiratory challenges to toothaches. The Greeks used it to counteract the effects of poison. King Henry VIII of England recommended the use of ginger to combat the the great plague of the 16th century. These days, aromatherapists use its warming and soothing qualities to combat digestive and joint complaints, mood swings, and to help increase libido.
Mixes well with: Allspice, Atlas cedarwood, cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lemon, lime, myrrh, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, spearmint, tangerine, tea tree, and ylang ylang.
Parts used: Unpeeled, dried, ground root.
Extraction method: Steam distillation
Safety Information: Although it is frequently administered to pregnant women to help alleviate morning sickness, it is best to avoid the use of ginger during pregnancy in aromatherapy practices. For people with extremely sensitive skin, dilute oil carefully before using in massage or bath.