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As an Aromatherapist certified in Medicinal Aromatherapy, my invariable response to peoples’ complaints of various physical, emotional, and even spiritual woes is, “there’s a plant that can help you with that.”
If you suffer from arthritis, muscle spasms, or any kind of sprain or strain on you body, ginger root will work wonders**. This warming spice improves circulation, detoxifies the liver, and provides analgesic benefits**.
You can chew on candied ginger root, munch on a handful of pickled ginger slices (those strange-looking pink “petals” you see at sushi bars or in jars in most supermarkets’ Asian sections, or sip some ginger tea.
Even better, purchase some ginger essential oil. Many retail stores now essential oils, notably Whole Foods, Wegmans, Ulta, and Bath & Body Works. Some reputable brands include: Wyndmere, Aura Cacia, Tisserand, and Nature’s Alchemy. A few drops of ginger oil mixed with whatever body lotion or oil you have at home and rubbed on the soles of your feet or the affected areas will really soothe the soreness and reduce swelling.
Please keep in mind, Aromatherapy is an ancient, scientific, and natural form of medicine. The steam distillation of organic plant matter, and the highly-concentrated resulting essential oil, contains pharmacologically active substances that are efficient and powerful, but may prove toxic if used incorrectly. Just as you use common sense mindfulness when you step on your Arc Trainer or treadmill, follow directions when applying essential oils and do not use directly on your skin—always dilute.
Finally, be aware that the media has embraced the word “Aromatherapy,” and a plethora of personal care products now carry this moniker. Read labels carefully. Although these pleasant-smelling products may contain some essential oils and promote a sense of well-being, they do not contain any medically therapeutic effects.
If interest persists, I shall highlight other plant and tree essential oils that can benefit mind, body, and spirit.
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast
*Ginger can interact with blood thinners (such as coumadin). Also, ginger should not be used if you have gallstones. Other theories suggest there may be other potential drug interactions. Discuss ginger with your doctor before including it in your treatment regimen.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.