Easing Aches and Pains Using Ginger


How to prepare and use ginger as a healing soak or compress. 
How to make ginger oil to ease muscle pain.  

The following are excerpts from Ginger: Out of the Kitchen, Into the Medicine Cabinet by Thomas E. Duckworth, copyright 1998, Natural Life Therapy Health Information.  

The following basic ginger recipe is used as a soak or as a compress. It assists the body in healing by increasing blood circulation directly to the affected area. It also causes heat to penetrate deep into muscle, where it then radiates back out. Since surface heat alone may cause muscles to contract, this deeper penetration is preferable. This treatment is accumulative in its effect and must be continued twice a day for the entire time prescribed.  


1 quart boiling water
3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (or 6 tablespoons ginger powder)
2 washcloths
cheesecloth (if using fresh grated ginger)
dry towel

As the water comes to a boil, add the ginger and reduce the heat so that it is only simmering. If using grated ginger, place inside the cheesecloth forming a small pouch, tie the top of the pouch with thread and place in the boiling water. Simmer about 20 minutes, or until the water becomes a yellowish color. If using powdered ginger, make sure all the lumps which form are smoothed out and the ginger is thoroughly blended in the water. Simmer until water is a deep yellow color.

Ginger compress: for muscles of the extremities and areas of the trunk, such as the abdomen, low back, shoulders, neck and chest.

After ginger solution is cooked, alternately use the wash cloths as a compress by immersing in the hot solution (as hot as you can stand – but don't burn yourself!), slightly wring out and place directly on affected area. As soon as it begins to cool down, replace with a fresh hot cloth. Continue until the skin becomes nicely warm, with a rosy, pink color; usually about 15 minutes. The stronger a person's constitution, the quicker the skin will redden. Thus, people with weaker constitutions will need longer soaks. This application is very useful for muscular problems and large areas, such as the abdomen.


Ginger Oil

Ginger oil is created by mixing ginger juice and sesame (or olive) oil. The strongest decoction is a mixture of one part oil and one part ginger juice (1:1). Weaker mixtures would be 2:1 or 3:1.  

Ginger juice is made with a vegetable juicer or by grating fresh ginger with a fine grater and expressing the shavings through a cheese cloth.  

An alternate method for making ginger oil is to chop the ginger root as fine as possible with a food processor or blender, cover the ginger with oil and soak for 2-3 days, shaking the container several times a day. Covering the ginger with oil produces about a 1:1 mixture; twice the amount of oil is 2:1, etc.  

Ginger oil is useful for muscle pain. Used as a massage oil, it deeply penetrates tissue and affects in the same manner as the ginger compress.  

Source material: Dr. Thomas E. Duckworth - 27 years clinical practice and studies with M. Masahilo Nakazono, O'Sensei; The Herb Book (John Lust © '74); New York Times News Service; Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Balch & Balch © '97); Healing Ourselves (Muramoto © '73)