Ginger has a long-standing reputation as a healing plant. For centuries, it’s been a go-to home remedy for everything from an upset stomach to cold and flu symptoms. And it's incredibly easy to incorporate. Add a few slices of fresh ginger to your tea to soothe nausea, or crush it up and mix it with other natural ingredients if you're feeling the DIY itch. If you're more of a Chrissy Teigen-type and consider yourself a maestro in the kitchen, you know adding ginger to your favorite dish can add a kick—and amp up the health benefits. Suffice to say, it's the kind of spice that keeps on giving. But what if we told you it had a whole slew of beauty benefits as well? Yes, ginger can heal inflammation, but it can also give you healthier hair and better skin, and may even be able to tackle cellulite.
Because of its toning and antioxidant properties, ginger can reduce the appearance of hypopigmented scars—scars that are white or much lighter than your skin tone. Just dab a slice of fresh ginger onto the areas of your skin that are lacking color, and let the juice dry. Do this once or twice a day, every day, and you should start to see an improvement in couple of weeks. Within a few months, your scar will be nearly undetectable.
Both ingesting ginger and applying it topically have major anti-aging benefits. It contains around 40 antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage and protect against aging. It also evens skin tone and improves elasticity. Whip up a biweekly mask of equal parts grated or powdered ginger, honey, and fresh lemon juice. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes, and rinse to reveal radiant skin. You can also boil the same three ingredients to make yourself a stomach-healing tea.
Ginger, possibly surprisingly, increases circulation to your scalp, which is essential for stimulating hair growth. The plethora of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids inside ginger also strengthens strands and combat hair loss. Try making a hair mask of equal parts grated ginger and jojoba oil, and massage it into your hair, concentrating on the scalp. After 30 minutes, rinse and shampoo your hair as usual.
Ginger’s antiseptic properties make it an excellent remedy for dandruff. Massage ginger oil or a mixture of two parts freshly grated ginger and three parts olive or sesame oil onto your scalp, and let it set for 15 to 25 minutes. Do this on a twice-weekly basis, and you’ll find yourself dandruff-free (although how long it takes will depend on how bad your dandruff is).
In addition to its detoxifying and invigorating qualities, ginger is also known to reduce cellulite. Stimulate circulation and tone your skin with a cellulite-busting lemon-ginger body scrub. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger, and the zest of one lemon. You can store your leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.