What Is Plai?

Learn about this potent cousin of ginger and turmeric that has eased soreness and restored the senses for centuries.
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A Southeast Asian Staple

Plai is a Rhizome in the ginger family. It is a relative of ginger, turmeric, and galanga. Like turmeric, it is bright yellow and edible. This class of rhizomes is well-known for its beneficial properties. Ginger and turmeric are featured in anti-inflammatory supplements.

Fresh ginger and turmeric tea is commonplace in Asia. Plai is a staple of Southeast Asia, and it is particularly well-known in Thailand, where Thai massage tradition features Plai and other beneficial herbs.

woman cooking plai
plai poultice

A Soothing Treatment for Centuries

Herbs, rhizomes and plant material are contained in a muslin poultice, which is steamed and rubbed into the body after a deep tissue massage. This tradition dates back over 1000 years.

In the 14th century, the Thai developed this form of herbal relief combined with massage to help their soldiers recover after battle. Massage with Thai herbs and rhizomes, like plai, was used to treat inflammation, sprains, infections, contusions and other injuries. A poultice was used to treat infection and topical wounds while the massage itself increased blood flow and encouraged the essential oils to penetrate affected areas.

Today, plai is used in the same way in the form of a balm, oil or cream.

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Applai Relief

Now, you can take advantage of this centuries-long tradition in natural relief. Calm inflammation, relax and restore your senses with Applai balms, roll-on oils and massage oils.

Whether you choose the refreshing Modern blend, soothing Traditional formula or need the extra heating and cooling power of Applai Extra, each of our formulas contains the powerful comforting power of plai that has soothed for centuries.

applai traditional plai oil