The staggering benefits of the house plant, explained.
Tired of taking two bottles into the shower? Simply snip off the club-shaped flower head of the shampoo ginger lily plant – you can’t miss it; it’s the one that looks like an embarrassed pinecone – and squeeze the spongy structure onto your scalp. The clear, fragrant liquid that is released, acts as both shampoo and conditioner, bringing a silky vibrancy to your hair that you never knew you were missing.
‘So, where do I find this organic, plastic-free marvel?’ I hear you ask. ‘The tropical parts of Asia and Australasia,’ I tell you. ‘That’s too far,’ you say. ‘Cool your jets,’ I reply, ‘you can also grow it as a houseplant.’
Shampoo ginger lily, also known as pinecone ginger, is an aromatic, clump-forming, perennial plant, that likes bright light and moist soil. Leaves fall and stems shrivel in the autumn, leaving behind creeping underground stems, known as rhizomes, which give rise to new shoots in the spring.
The plant has other uses too. For example, the aromatic leaves can be used to add flavour to meat dishes, à la bay leaf, while the rhizomes can be dried, pulverised, and used as a seasoning or as a perfume.
It might just help you to feel good too. Scientists have shown that a bioactive compound, isolated from the rhizome, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.