Health Benefits and Uses of Gingergrass

Health & Wellness

Gingergrass (Cymbopogon martini var sophia) | Health Benefits of Gingergrass / Psychological Benefits: / Respiratory Health: (Nasal and Chest Congestion) / Relieves Pain and Cramps: (Muscle and Joint Pain, Muscle Tension) / Eliminates Insects and Pests: / Skin Care: / Sexual Health: | Benefits of Gingergrass Essential Oil | Therapeutic Benefits of Gingergrass | Uses of Gingergrass (Traditional Uses of Gingergrass, Other Uses of Gingergrass, Uses of Gingergrass for Skin) | Properties of Gingergrass Essential Oil

Gingergrass (Cymbopogon martini var. sofia) is a thickly growing perennial grass variety that reaches up to a height of 2m and is found growing in the wild, especially in lower altitudes. Gingergrass essential oil is steam distilled from its aromatic grass in India since the 18th century. The herbaceous, sharp and woody aroma have paved ways for its use in making perfumes, colognes, soaps, herbal medicines, ointments, toiletries and skin care ranges.

A multilingual multi-script plant name database sorting Cymbopogon names quotes, “Two kinds of oil can be obtained from Cymbopogon martinii; Palmarosa oil from the variety known as Motia and Gingergrass oil from Sofia”.  It has also been mentioned that these two types are differentiable both aromatically and morphologically, where Motia variety is diploid and Sofia is tetraploid.

Gingergrass is one of the most highly valued spices in the world. Gingergrass is an herbaceous plant, which has long, elegant stems. The grass source of the essential oil and is very fragrant that is closely related to lemongrass. Gingergrass essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the unpeeled or dried, ground-up root (rhizome) of the plant with a spicy and sweet aroma.

Sometimes referred to as the “natural wonder oil of the earth”. Gingergrass oil offers a variety of benefits, from seasoning food to healing the mind, body, and spirit. Gingergrass is in the same family as Lemongrass and has a similar grassy, citrus, woodsy scent that blends well with a variety of aromatherapy oils.

In its essential oil form, Gingergrass is much more than a tasty herb. This essential oil benefits the body from head to toe by healing skin, reducing joint pain, alleviating congestion, soothing the stomach, improving mood, relaxing muscles, and reducing stress. Gingergrass may not be the world’s most popular or most-used essential oil, but it’s a hidden gem worth learning about.

Originated in India, China and Java but is also native to Africa and the West Indies, Gingergrass has numerous health benefits.

Gingergrass essential oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine dating back to the 18th century. It is a cousin to lemongrass. Gingergrass is a refreshingly unique oil to incorporate into soaps, colognes, perfumes, or diffusers, as its scent is sharp and fresh. The oil has strong antiseptic properties which make it useful for treating numerous skin ailments such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, oily skin, and other inflammations of the skin. It is also an effective remedy for sinus congestion and assuaging a clouded mind. The oil improves circulation and reduces pain due to ankylosis or other muscle soreness. It also wards off bacteria and viruses. Gingergrass oil is used in the treatment of fractures, rheumatism, arthritis, bruising, carbuncles, diarrhea, colic, cramps, nausea, hangovers, travel and sea sickness, colds and flu, sores on the skin, sore throat,catarrh, congestion, coughs, sinusitis, chills and fever. Gingergrass is an excellent natural remedy for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and general stomach upset due to its carminative effect that helps break up and expel intestinal gas.

Psychological Benefits:

Gingergrass essential oil, with its calming, sensual and citrusy fragrance, is able to uplift your spirits and soothes your tense nerves after a long, tired and stressful day and has a sensual and warming aroma that calms the stressed, tensed and confused mind. It can instil feelings of tranquility and relaxation, as it wards away anxiety and depression. This will put you in a better mood as it promotes revitalization and rejuvenation of the mind and soul. Gingergrass essential oil is integral in healing the entire body, which includes the mind. The oil can be used in stress relief aromatherapy to uplift mood.

There are many essential oils that can be used alongside Gingergrass to promote a good mood and relaxed spirit. Gingergrass, specifically, boasts both soothing and uplifting properties. This means the oil can calm anxiety while increasing energy and focus. Try incorporating gingergrass into aromatherapy during working hours or use it before bed for restful sleep.

The oil is commonplace in massage therapy and is easily used in the bath or shower by placing a few drops in the bottom of the tub. Simply mix 5 drops of Gingergrass essential oil with 2.5ml of Almond oil and massage onto your temples and wrists to fight off fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression and a clean feeling even on a damp and drenched rainy day. Also, if you are looking for something to freshen up your dull, dreary room, you can always add 2 drops of the oil to your room freshener and spray it to recharge your mood with absolute newness on a dull soggy day.

Respiratory Health:

Gingergrass oil also contains expectorant and decongestant constituents. This means that it is an excellent medicinal agent to clear your respiratory passageways from any phlegm and prevent mucus buildup that can possibly obstruct airflow. The oil can help to expel out any excess phlegm and mucus, thus preventing infection and complications.

This helps to provide relief from any difficulty breathing and allows for a faster recovery time. Coupled with its anti-inflammatory nature, this oil helps to combat bacteria which prevents a deterioration of the ailment.

You can add 2 drops of the oil in steam inhalation to clear blocked nasal passages, sinus congestion and coughs. Alternatively, you can add 1 drop of Gingergrass essential oil into your vapor rub and gently rub it over your chest, throat and back to get rid of such respiratory ailments.

Nasal and Chest Congestion:

Cold, cough, allergies and sinus congestion can rule your routine tasks, as you might find it difficult to concentrate on your work with such respiratory problems. The best thing that you need to do is to use a safe decongestant and expectorant that assists in discharging the mucous and phlegm deposits that lead to cough, cold, congestion and breathing difficulties. Increased kapha dosha is responsible for respiratory problems, stagnation of water, phlegm and mucous deposits. Gingergrass essential oil is said to lessen kapha dosha and is a good expectorant, decongestant, bactericidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can help you in relieving from blocked nasal passages, sinus congestion, headache and congestion. You can also add 1 drop of Gingergrass oil to your vapor rub and gently massage your chest, throat and back to get rid of throat allergies, dry cough, stuffy nose and watery eyes. Gingergrass essential oil aids in arresting the growth of microbes causing respiratory infections.

Relieves Pain and Cramps:

Gingergrass has anti-inflammatory properties which make this oil ideal for soothing aching joints and muscles. The oil works when applied topically by increasing circulation and stimulating blood flow to affected areas. Gingergrass promotes relaxation so muscles can rest and heal. Try gingergrass diluted in a carrier oil to treat pain from arthritis, tendonitis, muscle fatigue, joint stiffness, or exhaustion.

In addition to soothing sore muscles, gingergrass can combat the aches and pains of congestion, sinus infections, and the common cold. When used in a diffuser or humidifier, the oil acts as a decongestant to loosen mucus and an expectorant to remove it from the body. Additionally, the antibacterial nature of gingergrass can speed up recovery time and might prevent future illness.

Muscle and Joint Pain:

Most of us complain about back pain, headache, muscular pain or joint pain at the end of the day, after struggling for a full day with our official and household chores. Human body is the most delicate and sensitive set up. Often, we forget to give the priority that our body requires and our mind looks up to. Sore, stiff muscles are almost commonplace to everybody as we are bound to experience them at one point in our lives. Everyone is no stranger to sore and inflamed muscles and they can give us much pain and discomfort. Gingergrass essential oil is able to provide us with a natural pain relief remedy to help soothe our aching muscles and joints.

With its anti-inflammatory properties, this oil is especially useful as a natural relaxant to your aching muscles and joints. It helps to stimulate blood circulation to these affected places and reduces pain and inflammation. As such, this oil is able to provide much pain relief and promotes relaxation after a long, tiring and exhausting day. Also, it helps to remove any toxic substances from your muscles and joints, hence eliminating the causes for such pain in the first place.

Mix 5 drops of Gingergrass essential oil with 2.5 ml of Olive oil and gently massage your body and leave it for 15 minutes, followed by a warm bath (add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil in bathing water as well) before going to bed. This will create a great difference in the quality of your sleep and the kind of relaxation your body can get after a tiring day. This massage and warming bath helps in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic substances in the body causing pain and inflammation and supporting muscular relaxation.

Muscle Tension:

Gingergrass essential oil is an excellent addition to massage therapy. When diluted in massage oil and applied topically, gingergrass can help improve circulation to relieve muscle tension. Ultimately, it can lead to a deeper, more satisfying massage.

Eliminates Insects and Pests:

There are two main reasons to use gingergrass instead of store-bought insect repellants. First, you avoid using harmful chemical compounds like Deet that can lead to negative side-effects after prolonged use. Gingergrass is safe for long-term use and is effective for longer stretches of time, meaning fewer applications. Additionally, gingergrass has a much more pleasant scent than commercial insect repellants. The light, grassy, aroma of gingergrass is the perfect compliment to outdoor activities. Gingergrass and its extracts have been used as a powerful insect repellent and as the most effective natural aid against mosquitoes since the ancient times.

A 1994 study was conducted on the "Repellent action of Cymbopogon martinii martinii Stapf var. sofia oil against mosquitoes" by the Malaria Research Center, India to assess the repellent action of Gingergrass essential oil against mosquitoes under field conditions. The results of this study depicted that Gingergrass oil has strong repellent power and it granted complete protection for 12 hours, against Anopheles culicifacies mosquitoes, which is the primary vector of malaria in India. It also said that this oil showed about 96.3% protection for 12 hours against a pest mosquito type.

Another study on "Evaluation of repellent action of Cymbopogan martinii martinii Stapf var sofia oil against Anopheles sundaicus in tribal villages of Car Nicobar Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India" concluded that “Cymbopogan martinii Stapf var sofia oil is an indigenous product, its application is safe and can be widely used for protection from malaria”.

As such, you no longer need to spend a lot of money on buying chemical and synthetic insect repellents when you can use gingergrass essential oil instead! Furthermore, because it is all-natural, you do not need to worry about any side-effects from harmful chemical compounds! As such, this oil is a worthy investment.

The best way to keep away from mosquitoes and other insects like bugs is to add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil to your diffuser or burner. Using Gingergrass essential oil as an insect repellant is easy. Simply mix with a carrier oil and apply to exposed skin, or use the oil in a nearby diffuser. When spending time or traveling outdoors, gingergrass can be mixed with other repellants like citronella for maximum efficacy.

Skin Care:

Gingergrass essential oil is a bactericide. This means that it contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which are all beneficial in treating pimples, blackheads and boils. It soothes the inflamed skin and kills off bacteria on your skin, thus preventing these skin conditions from worsening. Furthermore, it also contains anti-fungal constituents which means that it can treat ringworms, athlete’s foot and other fungal skin infections.

With its antiseptic attributes, it is also a perfect agent to treat wounds and cuts by cleaning them and making sure they are free from infection-causing bacteria. Gingergrass essential oil is also helpful in reducing the appearance of subsequent marks, scars, spots and wrinkles caused by these various skin conditions. It greatly helps in the circulation and regeneration of new tissue and skin cells underneath your skin.

Just like Palmarosa essential oil, Gingergrass oil is also said to be effective in treating marks, scars and wrinkles. Mix 2 drops of Gingergrass oil in your skin care cream or lotion and apply it the affected parts for effective results.

When mixed with a carrier oil or lotion, Gingergrass is effective in the treatment of acne, including blackheads, whiteheads, boils, and painful cystic zits. Putting a couple drops of Gingergrass oil in your usual daily moisturizer or skin cream can do the trick. Gingergrass can even be made into a face mask by mixing a few drops with cold-pressed Olive oil. Apply to the face, let sit for 30 minutes, and wash with warm water for best results.

You can also add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil with 1 ml of olive oil and massage it gently on your skin and followed by a refreshing bath can help in improving your skin tone, reducing marks and scars, augmenting the circulation and regenerating the formation of new skin cells.

Sexual Health:

Gingergrass essential oil also has aphrodisiac properties that assist in treating loss of libido, impotence and loss of sexual interest along with clearing cluttered thoughts in the mind that weaken the intimacy with your partner. 

Gingergrass essential oil though a close relative of Palmarosa has a unique chemistry and subsequently unmatched aroma. The oily grassy notes are due to the interesting Perilla alcohol that also adds a fatty-herbal kick. A synonym for Perilla alcohol is dihydro cuminyl alcohol. Fresh rosy notes with a slight woodiness are perhaps the reason Indian soap makers have used this oil extensively for decades.

The aim of Ayurvedic treatment according to National Institutes of Health is, “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness”. The modesty of Ayurveda vests in its way of treating every individual in a unique manner even if it is for the same illness. According to Ayurvedic texts, every human on earth is unique with a distinct individual constitution and similarly the way of treating human beings should also be unique according to his constitution, which is made up of three biological energies known as doshas. Everything on earth (including human beings) is made up of five vital elements namely air, water, fire, earth and space.

Ayurvedic remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, physical exercises, prayers, meditation and Ayurvedic routine are prescribed according to the individual constitution in such a way to treat doshic imbalances. Gingergrass essential oil is said to lessen vata, pitta and kapha energy.

  • As a part of a cream or lotion, Gingergrass can be used for arthritis, muscle aches, rheumatism, and to help with poor circulation.
  • A drop of Gingergrass oil to a handkerchief can be inhaled and use for nausea, morning sickness, indigestion, colds and flu and travel sickness.
  • Rub 1 drop in a counter-clockwise position over the entire abdomen. You can also take a drop internally in a capsule or by other means to treat diarrhea.
  • Gingergrass oil also stimulates the immune system, treats impotence, tonsillitis, and alcoholism and increases the appetite too.
  • Add 1 drop to a glass of water and sip slowly to alleviate vomiting.
  • Massage over the lower abdomen, or try adding a drop to water, meals, or even smoothies for daily support to cure gas within the body.
  • Gingergrass oil relieves depression, mental stress, exhaustion, dizziness, restlessness and anxiety.
  • To stimulate the circulatory system, use 2-3 drops of gingergrass oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage into body.
  • Adding 2 drops of gingergrass oil in steam inhalation can help in relieving blocked nasal passages, sinus congestion and headache.
  • With its antiseptic, anti-fungal and bactericidal properties, ginger grass oil is effective in treating pimples, black heads, boils, cuts, dermatitis, burns, ringworm, athlete’s foot, wounds and other skin infections.

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