Why a Hot Ginger Bath Is the Perfect Detox Ritual for Winter

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For centuries, ritual bathing has been practiced in China for its soothing mind-body benefits. And come winter, any dip in the tub would be remiss not to include a zing of ginger, says Anna Lam, founder of natural skin-care brand GingerChi.

Ginger has been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes due to its anti-inflammatory, circulation-boosting, and digestion-aiding effects year-round. But, the fibrous root becomes that much more crucial during the colder months, thanks not just to its naturally warming properties, but its accordance with the traditional Chinese concept of chi, which is the energy force inherent in all living things. In order for chi to circulate, there must be balance—otherwise known as the ancient philosophy of yin and yang.

“The heat of a warm bath and the ‘yang’ energy of ginger is much needed for the ‘yin’ season of winter,” explains Lam. “Eating ginger, drinking ginger tea, and taking a ginger bath all help warm the meridians, opening the blockages to promote the flow of blood and the chi throughout the body. Bathing during the cooler months is essential as it helps bring the body back into balance, improves circulation, and fortifies the immune system.”

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