Before we talk about ginger let’s talk about zingiber. It is the plant from which we extract the oil. Zingiber is an Aesculapian plant which has several benefits. Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, is a flowering plant, which belongs to the plant family Zingiberaceae, which is same as turmeric and cardamom.
It is a popular spice and is widely used in cooking; also, the plant has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries, especially for its benefits pertaining to gastrointestinal issues. Ginger is native to Southeast Asia, but due to its many benefits is now widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
The aroma as well as flavor of Ginger is pungent and spicy. The aroma of the spice results from its bioactive compounds including gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone. These compounds are responsible for the many health benefits associated with ginger and these compounds have been researched a lot.
Some of the benefits including its ability to reduce inflammation, stop nausea and vomiting, and improve digestion are widely used in day to day lives. Ginger has been used in Ayurveda, to deal with a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, migraines, and menstrual cramps. It also has antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
In addition to its culinary (the root and not the oil) and medicinal uses, ginger is also commonly used in cosmetics (as an ingredient in skincare products) due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The Zingiber officinale plant is versatile and highly plant, prized for its flavor and health benefits.
Ginger Essential Oil Uses and Benefits
The essential oil of ginger has the health benefits as the plant from which it is extracted. The essential oil is considered to be more potent because the higher concentration of Gingerol content in it. Some of the other active ingredients in the oil are – alpha-Pinene, B-Phellandrene, beta-Bisabolene, Camphene, Curcumene and Zingiberene. The health benefits of ginger oil when used in aromatherapy is through these compounds.
A study published in the Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants on 2018 investigated the properties of ginger essential oil and reported that the oil had several high therapeutic values. Ginger oil is extracted from the rhizome part of the plant. It belongs to the same plant family that includes turmeric and cardamom. It thus shares most of its benefits and uses with turmeric and cardamom essential oils (1).
Ginger essential oil is extracted from the roots of the Zingiber officinale plant through the process of steam distillation. The oil is known for its distinct aroma, which is spicy, and has an invigorating effect on the senses. Its benefits are both physical and emotional as it has several benefits for physical and mental health.
Here, we will delve into some of the most well-known benefits of ginger essential oil and how it can be used to improve health and wellness.
Benefits of Ginger Essential Oil
1. Pain relief
Ginger essential oil is known for its analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory properties, thereby making it an effective natural remedy for pain relief. It can be used to alleviate pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, muscle soreness, and even menstrual cramps. The properties of ginger oil provides pain relief and treats muscle aches by reducing inflammation in healthy areas of the body and healthy body tissues.
A study published in Pharmacology in 2008 analyzed the effect of eugenol and ginger oil on arthritis. The study concluded that ginger oil has anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic properties. Thus, ginger essential oil serves as a soothing agent for people with arthritis and rheumatism (2).
2. Digestive Support
Ginger root or its essential oil has been used to take care of digestion and relieve symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and indigestion for a very long time. What it does is it stimulates the production of digestive juices, which can improve the absorption of nutrients and promote overall digestive process.
3. Respiratory Support
Ginger essential oil and its constituents have expectorant properties. Hence, it is an effective natural remedy for respiratory conditions including coughs, colds, and bronchitis. In severe cases of respiratory ailments, ginger oil acts as a supplementary remedy. The oil can help break up mucus and phlegm, thus making it easier to expel from the body.
4. Stress and Anxiety Relief
Ginger essential oil has a warm and comforting aroma that can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. Although some people may be averse to the pungent aroma of ginger, it does have a comforting effect on the mind. It can help promote relaxation and improve mood when inhaled in aromatherapy. Thus, ginger essential oil is a great natural remedy for stress relief. The oil is mostly used in blends of more popular essential oils to mask its pungent aroma.
A study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine on 2011 investigated the effect of aromatherapy massage on anxiety. It showed that the oil was effective in reducing stress and nausea. It reduced anxiety and menstrual pain (3).
5. Skin Health
Ginger essential oil due to its ingredients has antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is hence an effective natural remedy for skin conditions including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It can help soothe inflammation, reduce redness, and promote overall skin health when applied topically on a regular basis.
6. Promotes Hair Health
Ginger essential oil has hydrating and nourishing properties that can be beneficial for hair health. It can help stimulate hair growth, improve scalp health, lower irritations and reduce dandruff. It can also help strengthen hair and prevent breakage or split ends. The oil should be used regularly for positive results.
7. Infection and Healing
The oil of ginger has antiseptic properties that prevents any wound or cut from getting infected by bacteria. This property is also useful in preventing bacterial dysentery. Applying the oil on the abdomen not only improves digestion, but it can also prevent minor cases of food poisoning. It also has analgesic properties which helps the body heal faster. Research has also shown that the oil is effective against the E. coli bacteria. It is also known to inhibit the growth of certain fungus.
Uses of Ginger Oil
1. For Pain Relief
To use ginger essential oil for pain relief, it can be applied topically to the affected area. But first the ginger oil must be being diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil, or any creams or ointments. It can be added to a warm bath to help ease sore muscles and joints. This is a technique preferred by athletes or those suffering from joint issues. The warmness and the essential oil are an ideal combination for soothing and pain relief.
2. For Digestive Health
To use ginger essential oil for digestive support, dilute the oil with coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply it and massage it on the abdominal region. The oil can also be inhaled using a diffuser and the aromatic molecules will have a positive effect on the digestion. Use ginger oil (one to two drops) to take care of upset stomach. . Ginger essential oil is one of the best natural remedies for stomach issues. Ginger root has been used for centuries in treating stomach ailments caused by microorganisms and bacteria. It is also effective as a nausea eliminator.
3. For Fighting Respiratory Ailments
There are a few ways of using ginger essential oil for taking care of respiratory ailments. To use ginger essential oil for respiratory support, it can be added to a diffuser or humidifier and inhaled. It can also be added to boiling water and the steam can be inhaled. Alternatively, it can be added to a carrier oil and applied topically to the chest and throat.
4. For Stress Relief
Ginger essential oil for stress relief can be added to a diffuser or inhaled directly from the bottle. The aroma of ginger oil should be inhaled for about 10 to 15 minutes in a meditative pose for faster effect. Or it can be used the fun way. It can be added to a warm bath or used in a massage to help promote relaxation.
5. For Skin Care
Topical application of ginger oil has lots of benefits for the skin health. To use ginger essential oil for skincare, add it to a carrier oil (coconut oil or olive oil or other oils) and apply topically to the affected area. It can also be added to a steam for facial or used in a bath to promote overall skin health.
6. For Healthy Hair
To use ginger essential oil for hair health – Ginger essential oil can be added to a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil or sweet almond oil and massaged into the scalp. It can be applied from the scalp to the hair tips. A few drops of the oil can also be added to a shampoo or conditioner to help promote overall hair health.
7. For Preventing Infection
Ginger oil can be used as a remedy to stop wounds and burns from getting infected. The oil must be diluted first. In case of small wounds, a drop of ginger oil must be diluted with half or full tablespoon of carrier oil. Soak this blend in a cotton ball and gently apply or rub on or near the wounded part. Of course, getting a doctor’s opinion before applying essential oils on wounds is always encouraged.
DIY Recipes with Ginger Essential Oil
Recipe #1 – Ginger Oil Foot Bath Recipe
- 4 drops of ginger essential oil
- 4 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 6 drops of geranium essential oil
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
After rubbing the oil on the feet, make sure that you do not walk without proper support. This is a common mistake many people make after they feel relaxed after a foot massage.
Recipe #2 – Ginger Oil Massage for Aching Muscles
- 4 drops of ginger essential oil
- 3 drops of nutmeg essential oil
- 5 drops of bay laurel essential oil
- 2 drops of bergamot essential oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of jojoba oil
Mix all the ingredients and apply on the sore muscles. A good massage is needed till the oil is absorbed and the blood circulation improves.
Recipe #3 – A Unique Aroma for Your Personal Space
- 10 drops of ginger essential oil
- 4 drops of mandarin essential oil
- 5 drops of cubeba litsea essential oil
- 5 drops of petitgrain essential oil
This citrus based aroma is made unique by the pungent and spicy smell of ginger. This aromatic blend has a unique aroma that improves your personal space.
Recipe #4 – Ginger Oil Weather Proof Blend
- 5 drops of ginger essential oil
- 3 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 4 drops of frankincense essential oil
Changing climates can be hard to cope with for some people. Diffusing the blend keeps people grounded and protected.
Ginger essential oil has a variety of health benefits. It is useful for both physical and mental health. From pain relief to stress relief the oil works wonders when applied topically or when diffused. It is good for digestive support and respiratory support. Ginger essential oil can help improve overall wellness and also promote a sense of well-being. Ginger essential oil may have minor side effects, but these can be avoided with proper precautions. And as always, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional before using any essential oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use ginger oil essential oil?
There are different ways of using ginger essential oil.
It can be diffused in a room with an aroma diffuser.
The oil can be topically applied after diluting it with suitable carrier oil or lotion.
It can be added to bath water.
It can be used as a room freshener.
Can I put ginger oil directly on my skin?
Ginger essential oil must never be applied directly on the skin. Always dilute the oil with carrier or vegetable oil including coconut or jojoba oil. It can also be mixed with creams or lotions.
Can I use ginger oil everyday?
It is safe to use ginger oil everyday. However, aromatherapists recommend using essential oils twice or thrice a week for better results.
- Chemical Analysis and Therapeutic Uses of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Essential Oil: A Review https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0972060X.2018.1524794
- Suppressive Effects of Eugenol and Ginger Oil on Arthritic Rats https://karger.com/pha/article-abstract/49/5/314/270339/Suppressive-Effects-of-Eugenol-and-Ginger-Oil-on?redirectedFrom=fulltext
- Self-aromatherapy massage of the abdomen for the reduction of menstrual pain and anxiety during menstruation in nurses: A placebo-controlled clinical trial https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1876382011001363