Hot, spicy, woody, and sweet, ginger is the world’s most widely cultivated spice. People have been enjoying its many health benefits for over 5,000 years. Of course, ginger is widely known for adding zing to many popular dishes, but it’s a potent essential oil that is packed with powers that reach far beyond the culinary realm.
I love it because of its soothing, fragrant aroma, which has earned it the nickname “the oil of empowerment.” Its warming properties make it perfect in a massage oil and for a long car ride you can place a few drops of ginger essential oil in your hand and simply inhale.
What is ginger essential oil?
Ginger essential oil is derived from the Zingiber officinale herb, which is named after the Greek word “zingiberis” meaning “horn shaped”. A relative of cardamom and turmeric, ginger is native to Asia and the essential oil is taken from the rhizome, or root, of the plant. Highly aromatic, ginger has thick roots, long shoots with leaves, and pale flowers—though the rhizome or root of the ginger plant is most useful for flavouring and other applications.
Ginger essential oil is made up of a chemical group called sesquiterpenes, which are commonly found in soothing essential oils, such as ylang ylang and myrrh oil. Ginger oil includes sesquiterpenes called zingiberene and sesquiphellandrene, which give it its soothing properties when diffused aromatically. Another chemical component is gingerol.
Where does it come from?
Ginger has been prized in folk medicine for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese health practices use ginger for its warming and stimulating effects, while Ayurvedic practices focus on ginger’s digestive benefits. In ancient Greece, people ate thin slices of ginger wrapped in bread to aid digestion and it was considered a priceless commodity by the Romans.
In Europe, people sought to harness the benefits of ginger by grating the ginger rhizome into bread dough, and gingerbread was born. During the Middle Ages, gingerbread guilds controlled the production of this valuable sweet, which was enjoyed for its flavour, as well as its ability to support healthy digestion.
Used topically, ginger essential oil soothes redness, eliminates bacteria, diminishes the signs of skin damage and ageing, and brightens a dull complexion.
What are the benefits of using ginger essential oil?
This warm, spicy oil is well-known for its ability to energise the mind, body and skin and is used to support feelings of confidence. When diffused, ginger essential oil creates stimulating and warming effects, which can enhance concentration, making it a great companion to a yoga or meditation practice.
With its analgesic properties, combining the earthy, spice undertones of ginger oil with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, make it an excellent massage oil. It is known to soothe aches and pains.
Remember it is a warming oil, so if you are going to apply it topically, dilute it first and be aware that it can cause heat in the skin.
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Consistent with Australian and New Zealand regulations, doTERRA nor Pete Evans recommend its essential oils for internal medicinal use. Although extremely rare, reactions to essential oils occasionally arise. If a reaction occurs, it is important that the individual discontinue use of essential oils and consult with a physician.
doTERRA’s rate of adverse reactions is approximately .01 percent and doTERRA labels its products to help customers avoid any potential issues, no matter how rare. There is also additional education and training provided on the doTERRA website, in printed materials, and through in-person events.