Ginger is one of the most powerful home remedies for pain relief and motion sickness thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It’s not surprising that the oil extracted from fresh ginger root possesses the same health benefits, and more.
What Is Ginger Oil?
Ginger oil is a spicy and energizing oil which comes from the pungent, peculiar-looking ginger root. This herb has white or yellow flowers, narrow spear-shaped leaves, and reaches up to 3-4 feet height. Its rhizomes are small and tuberous with a thin or thick brown skin.
Depending on the variety, its flesh can be white, yellow, or red. This herb has been long praised for its culinary and medicinal properties, especially in ancient India, China, and Greece. It is considered as a staple in the Ayurvedic medicine.
Ginger was widely traded in Europe after being exported to the Roman Empire. Along with black pepper, it became widely traded spice by the 13th to 14th century. Some say a pound of this spice was traded for a sheep.
You can consume it fresh, dried, grated into your veggie juice, steeped as a tea, etc. Dried ginger root is used for preparation of supplements and tinctures, but also for ginger oil which has numerous uses.
This oil is yellow in color, with a thin consistency, and pleasantly pungent aroma. Depending on the quality of the used ginger and the distillation process, ginger oil has a varying scent. Nevertheless, the best ginger oil is considered to be the one obtained by distillation of fresh ginger root.
Uses of Ginger Oil
The pain-relieving properties of fresh ginger are well known today, but ginger oil can be equally beneficial. You can use this oil topically to relieve pains and aches, and promote proper blood circulation.
The soothing and warming qualities of ginger oil treat problems with digestion, such as indigestion, nausea, morning sickness, gas, diarrhea, and any other kind of digestive upset.
Ginger oil can be used for many purposes, including the following:
- Put 2-3 drops of ginger oil in a diffuser, or pour it on your handkerchief or a cotton ball, and inhale. This will have vigorous effect on your mind, body, and soul.
- Make a massage oil by mixing 2-3 drops of ginger oil in an ounce of a carrier oil. The oil is great for relieving arthritis, backaches, fractures, rheumatism, muscle pain, and for stimulating the circulation, thus revitalizing your libido.
- Another way to use it is to put several drops to your hot bath, or on a cold or hot compress and then apply it to the aching areas.
- Use it to relieve sore throat, sinusitis, and runny nose by inhaling it using a diffuser or vaporizer. Ginger oil can also act as a decongestant.
- Relieve gas and diarrhea by massaging a drop of ginger oil into your abdomen.
Composition of Ginger Oil
Most benefits of ginger oil come from its geranial, neral, zingiberene, 1,8-cineole, B-esquiphellandrene, B-bisabolene, and other powerful mono- and sesqui-terpenoids. Moreover, it contains camphene, a-pinene, linalool, B-pinene, y-terpineol, borneol, geranyl acetate, geraniol, and nerol.
Ginger Oil Benefits
This oil is helpful in relieving many health conditions, due to its digestive, carminative, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, and stimulating properties. Some of them are:
- Problems related to bowel and stomach. It promotes proper digestion, and treats dyspepsia, indigestion, spasms, and flatulence. Ginger oil increases the appetite, so it’s great if you like to add some pounds.
- Food poisoning. Thanks to its carminative and antiseptic properties, ginger oil treats food poisoning, bacterial dysentery, and intestinal infections.
- Malaria and yellow fever. This oil has been proven to repel the main carrier of malaria in India – Anopheles culicifacies mosquitoes.
- Respiratory problems. It’s great for treating and relieving flu, cold, coughs, breathlessness, asthma, and bronchitis. You can also use fresh ginger to remove mucus from lungs and throat by adding it in your tea.
- Pain. Ginger oil and fresh ginger relieve pain by reducing the compounds linked to pain – prostaglandins.
- Heart ailments. If you use this oil on a regular basis, you will actually lower your risk of arteriosclerosis and blood clots, which in turn will reduce your bad cholesterol levels. According to studies, adults who consume ginger every day have reduced risk of coronary heart disease by 13%.
- High blood pressure. Daily consumption of ginger reduces the risk of high blood pressure in adults by 8%. According to a 2005 study, ginger is able to blocks voltage-dependent calcium channels, thus reducing the blood pressure.
- Chronic disease. Chronic Disease. The journal Nutrition has published a research according to which consuming 2-4 grams of ginger a day can prevent chronic diseases.
How to Make Ginger Oil?
Traditionally, this oil requires steam distillation for the production of ginger essential oil. However, you can also prepare a homemade ginger oil infusion by following the instructions given below.
What you need:
- Oven-safe bowl
- Cheese grater
- A cup of fresh ginger
- 1 ½ cups of olive oil
Wash the fresh unpeeled ginger, and allow it to dry for couple of hours. Chop it and shred with a clean cheese grater. Put the olive oil in the bowl, and then add the shredded ginger. Mix well, and put this mixture in the oven to 150 F. Let it simmer for at least 2 hours.
Filter the mixture using an unbleached cheese cloth, and at the end squeeze out any remaining oil from the cloth. Store the oil into clean bottles or vials, and keep in a cool dry place. This oil remains fresh for up to 6 months.
How Does Ginger Oil Work?
90% of ginger oil is composed of sesquiterpenes, which give this oil its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and the rest of its healing properties. It has a warming and energizing effect when inhaled or applied topically. When it comes to ingesting it, it’s recommended you do this under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
Is It Safe?
Ginger oil is non-irritating and non-toxic, so it’s generally safe except when used in very strong concentrations. People with sensitive skin should check to see if they have any allergic reactions to it by doing a skin patch test before using this or any other essential oil.
Another option is to dilute it in a carrier oil like coconut oil olive oil. Other essential oils that blend well with ginger oil are: frankincense, ylang-ylang, neroli, sandalwood, rose, and bergamot.
Avoid applying ginger oil on skin areas that will be exposed to sun within 24 hours after application as this oil could be phototoxic. Even though it’s useful for morning sickness, nursing moms and pregnant women should use it with caution. It’s best to consult a doctor before use. Also, avoid administering it to infants.
Side Effects of Ginger Oil
Don’t use this oil if you have any sensitivity to ginger root, and consult a doctor if you’re taking any medication. Some potential side effects of this oil are: skin rashes, nausea, mouth sores, and heartburn.