Dried Ginger powder (or sonth) is a popular ingredient in the Indian Kitchen. It is loaded with benefits for the hair and body. Read on to know more.
The ginger story can be traced to ancient China. You would be amazed to learn that the shipping of dried ginger (which has a higher shelf life and is commonly known as sonth in India) is also a centuries-old practice. In Ayurveda, ginger has been used to reduce joint pain and improve digestion.
Dry ginger powder is used in cooking – it adds flavour and aroma. The powder is off-white or slightly brownish and carries a strong aroma and pungent flavour. Ginger powder has a shelf life of about a year and can be stored easily.
Ginger Powder Benefits
Most herbal medicines in the market carry a tinge of ginger powder, due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Let’s look at some ginger powder health benefits.
- Relieves cold and congestion
The most common traditional application of ginger has been in treating cold and cough. Ginger powder has gingerols and shaogals that relieve the common cold. You can mix ginger powder and honey for immediate relief during cold. You can also relieve congestion by taking the benefits of ginger powder tea.
- Improves metabolism
Consumption of ginger powder can aid in improving the metabolism and help you in burning excess fat. If you are looking to lose weight, you can add ginger powder for weight loss to your diet.
- Helps during upset stomach
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help during an upset stomach by stimulating food digestion and absorption and helping in the exit of excess gas.
- Ginger powder benefits for skin
Ginger powder has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and has been found effective in treating acne and acne scars. It removes toxins from the skin and provides a healthy glow. You can mix milk with ginger powder and make a paste. Apply this on the face for around 15 – 20 minutes. You can even make a toner with ginger powder. In four cups of water, mix two teaspoons of ginger powder and boil the solution, add essential oils as per your choice. The toner can be stored and refrigerated.
- Curing morning sickness
Ginger powder can be used to cure morning sickness among pregnant women. You can mix the ginger powder with water and use it to prevent nausea.
- Ginger benefits for hair
Ginger strengthens the hair follicles. It is also useful in the treatment of dandruff and split ends.
How to Make Ginger Powder?
Making ginger powder at home is very easy. Dry ginger powder benefits the skin and hair. There are two methods discussed here:
- Using fresh ginger
- Peel and cut into thin slices. Make sure you have slices as thin as possible.
On a baking tray, lay out the pieces. After this, we dry the ginger.
- Dehydrate these pieces at 40 degrees Celsius for 4-5 hours. This method is better than using an oven.
- If using an oven, dry at 80 degrees Celsius for around 2.5 hours. If the oven does not have options for temperatures this low, you can open the oven door slightly and select the lowest temperature setting. Check after every 20 minutes to make sure that the slices don't start to brown.
- If you live in a dry climate, you can place the pieces in a sunny place for 3- 4 days. This method works best.
- Using ginger pulp
- You can use the pulp left over after making ginger juice.
- Air dry by placing in a sunny area for 3-4 days. If you live in a humid region, use the dehydrator or oven as described above.
- Grinding the dried ginger
- Grind the dried pieces in a mixer/grinder.
- You can sieve the ground mixture to remove big pieces and grind them in the mixer again.
How to Use Ginger Powder for Hair?
You can make a simple hair mask using ginger powder as below
- Mix equal amounts of ginger powder and olive oil
- Mix into a fine paste
- Apply this paste on the hair and scalp evenly, apply more on the area where the growth is affected (mostly the crown area or where you see bald patches)
- Massage softly and leave for half an hour to improve circulation
- Wash off with a normal mild shampoo
Apply this mask to see hair growth benefits.
Potential Ginger Benefits for Hair?
Ginger finds ample application in traditional medicine in promoting hair growth.
- Ginger for improving hair growth
Ginger improves hair growth by increasing the circulation of blood in the scalp. The nutrients help in strengthening hair strands and making the hair thicker.
- Fighting Dandruff
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help in fighting dandruff and promote better scalp health.
- Hair conditioning
Ginger provides natural conditioning to the hair and enhances the hair volume and look.
- Preventing split ends
Ginger-infused hair oils are beneficial in treating split ends and reducing hair breakage. You can either use fresh ginger juice and spray on the hair before a wash or add some ginger juice to your leave-in conditioner
Research has not found dependable evidence supporting the claims of ginger juice helping hair growth. The conclusion sides more towards calming scalp inflammation, which may be considered the cause of improved hair growth.
Side-effects of Using Ginger Powder
- When taken orally: In small doses, the side effects of ginger are limited. It can cause mild side effects such as diarrhoea, heartburn, and stomach discomfort
- When applied to the skin: ginger powder may cause rashes and skin irritation in some people.
- Bleeding disorders - ginger might aggravate the risk of bleeding.
- Heart ailments - higher doses may worsen some heart conditions.
- Post-surgery - do not use ginger for at least 2 weeks after surgery as it slows blood clotting.
Powdered ginger benefits are not merely widespread in the culinary sciences but also finds find overwhelming medicinal applications. Ginger powder uses have a variety of benefits for the body and hair. In the truest sense, it is the miracle food. We highly recommend you include ginger in your diet as well as in your hair care regimen.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.