Plai EO

Zingiber cassumunarRoxb. [synonym of Zingiber montanum (J.Koenig ex Retz.) Theilade]

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Move over Tea Tree – Plai essential oil is here! Boasting properties similar to that ubiquitous Melaleuca, this oil has an aroma that is earthy, cool and nutmeg-like with peppery-ginger nuances on top of notes reminiscent of Tea Tree. However, Plai is a more pleasant smelling alternative

Size

Selected size SKU:832-3 - Plai Sample (1 ml)

Sample 3 grams (0.10 oz)
$ 3.00
$3.00
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Product Overview

Move over Tea Tree – Plai essential oil is here! Boasting properties similar to that ubiquitous Melaleuca, this oil has an aroma that is earthy, cool and nutmeg-like with peppery-ginger nuances on top of notes reminiscent of Tea Tree. However, Plai is a more pleasant smelling alternative – a benefit that may help determine its use in formulations geared toward those with sensitive noses.

Related to both Ginger and Galangal, Zingiber cassumunar (common name Plai, aka Thai Ginger) is a wildly invasive rhizome that grows vigorously in the warm, humid climates of Thailand. Plai is thought to be native to India, but is cultivated widely in Southeast Asia, and was introduced into China, Europe, The Philippines and the Caribbean Islands, and North and Central America. Like the other plants in the Zingiber genus, the essential oil is distilled from the pale, carrot-colored rhizomes and has a spicy, earthy aroma one might expect from a close relative of Ginger.

One of two major constituents in Plai essential oil is sabinene, a commonly occurring monoterpene having a woody, peppery, pine-like and slightly camphoraceous aroma that is also found in Nutmeg essential oil; The other major constituent is terpinen-4-ol, the primary constituent in Tea Tree. What we know about these two molecules alone, along with a host of lesser and trace mono- and sesquiterpene constituents, indicates that the aroma of Plai is well suited for cooling muscle and joint massage blends, outdoor sprays, cleansing sprays, chest rubs, topical preparations and diffusers.

It may be time for a new botanical to take center stage and share the glory that has been so firmly, but validly, held by Tea Tree oil. The fact that this rhizome is an invasive species and is abundant on almost every continent provides the potential for Plai essential oil to be a sustainable choice for a multitude of aromatherapy applications far into the future.

1 Private communication.

2 Tisserand, Robert and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed., 2014, p. 400.

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