Plai essential oil (Zingiber cassumunar or Zingiber montanum) has limited availability in the West, but massage therapists in Thailand have long used the oil, primarily for joint and muscle complaints. Plai is closely related to ginger and sometimes called Thai ginger.
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Production: Steam distilled from the rhizomes (roots).
Aroma: Spicy, fresh, woody, slightly green.
Perfume/Aromatic note: Top to middle.
Is plai safe to use during pregnancy? Yes, according to Plant Therapy. Consult a professional for details.
Is plai safe for children? Yes, according to Plant Therapy.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Plai may help relieve arthritis, muscle and joint pain, muscle injury, muscle spasm, torn ligaments, tendonitis, swelling, menstrual cramps, and abdominal spasm.
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Uses of plai essential oil in skin care include acne, cuts, stretch marks, scars, and wounds. Use the oil for all types of muscle and joint aches and pains caused by inflammation. The essential oil may help relieve digestive cramps, constipation, flatulence, indigestion, heartburn, menstrual cramps, chronic colds, congestion, fever, flu, anxiety, nervous tension, and stress. The oil stimulates the immune system and boosts vitality.
Several sub-species and chemotypes of plai are available, depending on the plant's growing location. The most common oil is from northwest Thailand and contains as much terpinen-4-ol as tea tree oil.
The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness: Use plai in massage blends to relieve aches and pains. This cooling oil may help relieve respiratory problems and digestive complaints. Use the oil to help relieve menstrual cramps, lift spirits, and calm nerves.The oil stimulates the immune system and acts as a general tonic to support the body — diffuse plai during cold and flu season.
Plant Therapy: Plai help ease discomfort and support clear airways. The essential oil can be stimulating and energizing while also helping balance emotions.
AromaWeb: Emotionally, plai energizes and is especially useful when feeling lethargic or sluggish.
Aromatherapeutic Blending: The indications for plai:
Suggested blends with plai essential oil:
To improve circulation in your arms and legs, massage them twice a day with this blend:
Source: 150 Ways to Use Essential Oils
Arthritis Pain Relief Blend
Cautions: For adult use only. Do not use during pregnancy or with individuals with known bleeding disorders or who are sensitive to salicylate.
Combine the ingredients in a 1-ounce glass bottle. Close bottle. Shake well. Apply a small amount of the blend to the affected muscles/ joints every two hours or as needed for pain.
Source: Anna Doxie, RA. "Using Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy to Support Lyme Disease." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Spring 2017.1 , p. 47
Sports Massage Blend
To a 2-ounce squeeze bottle, add:
Then fill bottle with jojoba (or other carrier) oil. Close bottle and then shake well. Massage into sore muscles.
Insect Bite Aid
To a 1-ounce squeeze bottle, add:
Shake before use. Apply 2 to 3 times a day or as needed to help relieve insect bites.
Source: Eden's Garden