Ginger works as a popular condiment, tea, and earth’s natural tummy tamer. This glorious root is also the next big thing in the beauty world, and will be even more ubiquitous in the culinary realm this year as well. What makes this root—a relative of both turmeric and cardamom—so fantastic? Read on to find out how to maximize the effects of ginger and put this twisted root to work in both your kitchen and your beauty routine.

The Basics

When it comes to the kitchen, ginger can be used in countless ways to add a touch of heat, spice, and flavor to dishes— from teas, juices, and smoothies to soups and entrees. Adding a thumb-sized slice to your daily smoothie does a body good.

Why?

Ginger reduces pain and inflammation, aids digestion, and helps fight bacterial infections.  Using ginger essential oil or adding ground ginger to a glass of water or cup of tea will kick start your day and boost your immune system—essential during cold and flu season.

Ginger also helps ease nausea, morning sickness, and constipation. Sipping ginger tea with a dash of brown sugar can also help alleviate menstrual cramps.

A ginger supplement taken a few times a week can help reduce muscle pain after working out.

Give ginger a try in these souptea, and juice recipes.

Save Face & More

You have the rundown on how ginger does a body good. Did you know that it can help with your hair and skin too? From fading scars to fighting dandruff, there are many ways to include ginger in your beauty routine.

To fade hypopigmented scars (the light white ones), take a thin slice of ginger and dabbing the juice on the scar twice a day. Let the ginger dry. After a few weeks of this treatment, the scar will fade.

Add rejuvenation to the list of ginger’s kick-butt qualities. Mix equal parts honey, lemon juice, and grated or powdered ginger and apply to your face for thirty minutes once a week to fight free radicals, freshen the complexion, and fight the signs of aging.

Take freshly grated ginger or ginger oil and combine with sesame or olive oil and massage into your scalp. Leave for about 30 minutes. Wash away with warm water and soap for a scalp that is dandruff free. Do this up to two times a week.