Ginger is one of the home medicines that are very powerful for relieving pain and motion sickness due to the anti-inflammatory properties that are very potent. It’s not surprising that the oil that is extracted from ginger root that is fresh possesses the same benefits for the health, and even more.
Ginger Oil – What is it?
Ginger oil is an oil that is energizing and spicy and is extracted from the pungent ginger root which looks peculiar. The herb has yellow or white flowers and spear-shaped and narrow leaves. It can reach a height of 3-4 feet. The rhizomes are tuberous and small and with a thick or thin skin with brown color.
The flesh of rhizomes can be colored white, red or yellow. That depends on herb’s variety. Ginger has been praised since long time ago due to the medicinal and culinary properties, particularly in ancient India, Greece and China. It is considered as a staple in the Ayurvedic medicine.
The Europeans traded ginger widely after its export 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.
It can be consumed dried, fresh, grated in veggie juice, steeped as a tea, etc. The ginger root that is dried is used in the preparation of tinctures and supplements. However, it is used for the preparation of ginger oil as well which has various uses.
The oil has yellow color, its consistency is thin, and has aroma that is pleasantly pungent. The scent of ginger oil is varying and depends on the used ginger’s quality as well as the distillation process. Nevertheless, it is considered that the ginger oil with best quality is the one that is obtained the distilling ginger root which is fresh.
Uses of Ginger Oil
The properties of fresh ginger for relieving the pain well familiar. However, ginger oil can be almost the same beneficial. The oil can be used topically for relieving aches and pains, and promoting the circulation of the blood.
The warming and soothing qualities of ginger oil are helpful for treating problems with digestion, like nausea, indigestion, gas, morning sickness, diarrhea, as well as 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 an oil for massage by making a mixture of ginger oil (2-3 drops) in an ounce of a carrier oil. The oil is powerful and can relieve arthritis, backaches, fractures, rheumatism, muscle pain, and can stimulate the circulation, thus it revitalizes your libido.
- Another way in which the oil can be used is to drop few drops to a hot bath, or drop on a hot or cold compress and immediately apply the compress on the area that is aching.
- Use it for sinusitis, to relieve sore throat, and runny nose by inhalation by using a vaporizer or diffuser. Ginger oil can also act as a decongestant.
- Relieve diarrhea and gas by massaging with ginger oil (a drop) on your abdomen.
Composition of Ginger Oil
The numerous ginger oil’s benefits are due to neral, geranial, zingiberene, 1,8-cineole, B-esquiphellandrene, B-bisabolene, and other powerful mono- and sesqui-terpenoids. It also contains a-pinene, camphene, B-pinene, linalool, y-terpineol, geranyl acetate, borneol, nerol and geraniol.
Benefits of Ginger Oil
This oil can help to relieve lots of health problems, due to the carminative, digestive, expectorant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and stimulating characteristics. Some of them are:
- Conditions related to stomach and bowel. It is helpful for promoting the digestion properly, and treating spasms, dyspepsia, flatulence and indigestion. Ginger oil is helpful for increasing the appetite. Therefore, it is wonderful if you want to increase your weight.
- Poisoning with Food. Due to its antiseptic and carminative characteristics, ginger oil can be used to treat 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 is very powerful for relieving and treating flu, coughs, cold, asthma, breathlessness, and bronchitis. Fresh ginger can be also used for removing mucus from throat and lungs by its addition in the tea.
- Pain. Ginger oil and ginger which is fresh relieve pain because they reduce the compounds that are connected to pain – prostaglandins.
- Heart ailments. If you use this oil regularly, the risk of blood clots and arteriosclerosis can be lowered, which on the other hand can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. Some studies show that at adults that have ginger on their daily menu the risk having problems with coronary heart disease is reduced by 13%.
- Increased blood pressure. The consumption of the root of ginger on a daily basis is helpful for reducing the risk of having problems with high blood pressure in adults by 8%. One study from 2005 shows that ginger can block voltage-dependent calcium channels, and therefore it reduces the blood pressure.
- 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 can You Prepare Ginger Oil?
Traditionally, ginger oil is requiring distillation with steam to produce of ginger essential oil. But infusion of ginger oil can be prepared at home if you follow the instructions below.
What you need:
- Oven-safe bowl
- Cheese grater
- A cup of fresh ginger
- 1 ½ cups of olive oil
Wash the unpeeled fresh ginger, and let it dry for few hours. Chop it and shred with a clean cheese grater. Put the olive oil in the bowl. After that put the ginger which is shredded. Mix it, and put this mixture in the oven to 150 F. Leave it to simmer for not less than 2 hours.
The mixture should be filtered with a cheese unbleached cloth, and the oil that remained should be squeezed out. The oil should be stored in clean vials or bottles, and kept in a dry and cool place. This oil remains fresh for up to 6 months.
How Does It Work?
90% of ginger oil belong to sesquiterpenes, which are responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and as well as other healing characteristics. It owns an energizing and warming and effect when it is topically applied or inhaled. When it comes to ingesting it, it’s recommended you do this under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
Is It Safe?
It is not toxic or irritating, so generally it is safe except in cases when high concentrations are used. 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 to apply ginger oil on areas of the skin that you will expose to sun in a period of time of 24 hours after it is applied because it can 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 your doctor before use. Also, avoid administering it to infants.
Ginger oil should be used if sensitivity to ginger root appears, and a doctor should be consulted if any kind medication is being taken. Some unwanted effects of the oil that can potentially appear are: nausea, skin rashes, heartburn and mouth sores.