Ginger Hydrosol is one of the newer hydrosols that have made their way to market. Most of my usual references books don’t cover it. So I turned to those selling it. By adding the information I was able to glean from a number of different website I was able to put together all the information I usually like to share in the Hydrosol Profile.
Plant Description: Ginger is a perennial root which creeps and increases underground, in tuberous joints. In the spring it sends up from its roots a green reed, like a stalk, 2 feet high. This has narrow lanceolate leaves that die down annually. The flowering stalk rises directly from the root, ending in an oblong scallop spike. It is from each spike that the bloom grows.
History/Folklore: Ginger has been used as a spice and medicinal remedy for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it both in cooking and as a medicine. As did the Romans, Arabians and Chinese. In addition to cooking with ginger and using it as a medicinal aid, Hawaiians also used it to scent their clothing. They also made shampoos and massage oils from the secretions of ginger flowers.
In her book, Cursing the Basil and other Folklore of the Garden, Vivian A. Rich, tells us that in the Middle Ages spices were very valuable and were often used to pay some taxes. While it is difficult to translate their value then into today’s monetary system, knowing that in 14th century England, one pound of saffron was roughly equivalent to one horse, one pound of ginger equalled one sheep and two pounds of mace could buy one cow, gives us a rough idea of their value in that economy.
Aroma and Taste: Lemony, spicy, sweet, warm, zesty aroma. Depending on where it has been distilled, and who is selling it, I have seen it described as having a spicy sweet taste, to having a great taste of ginger without the spicy edge of the fresh rhizome.
Stability and Shelf Life: Stable Around 1.5 years.
pH: 4.5 – 5
Ginger Hydrosol has analgesic, anti-catarrhal, antiseptic, detoxifying, digestive, expectorant, stomachic, uplifting and warming properties. Len and Shirley Price in their book Understanding Hydrolats also tell us that the distilled water of ginger was, in the past, regarded as one of the best remedies for cataract of the eye. (Valnet 1980)
Use it in digestive tonics and for dealing with travel sickness, nausea and vomiting. It can also be helpful for stomach aches. It’s warming properties can help to relax tight, cold areas. This helps to increase the blood circulation where ever it is applied. Ginger hydrosol is an effective analgesic, and when applied to the skin creates a numbing and warming effect. This helps to provide relief for headaches, arthritic pain and muscle strains. The fact that it has antiseptic properties, can also make it useful when dealing with infections. The anti-catarrhal and expectorant properties found in ginger hydrosol make it something to consider using when dealing with chronic bronchitis, as well as other respiratory disorders.
Ginger hydrosol is also grounding and balancing. On an energetic and emotional level, it can bring comfort, especially when one is dealing with anxiety or depression.
Use Ginger hydrosol instead of water for creams, lotions, spritzers and body sprays to add another dimension to your product.
In Dr. Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, the basic theme of ginger revolves around resignation after a long struggle to maintain control. There can be profound detachment. The ginger individual exhausted by the effort required to control the nasty and brutish aspects of life takes comfort in the thought that a better life awaits them after death.
You can view other posts written on individual hydrosols here.
Another general article on Floral Waters/Hydrosols/Hydrolats.
Reference Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004 Vivian A. Rich, Cursing the Basil and other Folklore of the Garden, Horsdal & Schubart, 1998 Aliksir.com Aromatics.com