Ginger essential oil: The essential oil collection

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Our sense of smell is strongly connected to our emotions and memories as our scent receptors are located next to the emotional centres in our brain, the amygdala and hippocampus. That is one of the reasons why aromatherapy is so powerful – using oils can trigger the body’s own healing process to begin, as well as soothe and calm your mind to actually allow the process to take place.  Essential oils can also interact with certain hormones, neurotransmitters, or enzymes, resulting in a specific change to our bodies’ chemistry. Oils are powerful, and they have little or no side effects.

Ginger. Some people love it, some people hate it. I used to be the latter, but now I am the former – used to hate the taste, even the smell of ginger, and now I cannot get enough of it. I don’t know what changed, but taste and preference evolves so must be that. We use ginger a lot when cooking, even making tea from it, and lately also as part of our natural medicinal kit.

The Stomach oil

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Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an herbaceous perennial from the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes turmeric and cardamom. It grows stems about a meter tall with narrow, green leaves and yellow flowers. It is indigenous to south China but have since spread to the Spice Islands, parts of Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean. India produces over 33% of the ginger globally, followed by China, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand and Indonesia. The part of the plant that we are interested in is the root, which can be used fresh, dried, pickled, in powder form, or as an oil which is either CO2 extracted or steam distilled. It has a sweet yet spicy, woodsy and warm scent and taste. Ginger is widely used in food, and forms an integral part of the Asian cuisine. It can also be used as a preservative, tenderiser and flavouring agent. Its ability to aid digestion is well documented.

As an essential oil, ginger’s health benefits are more potent than when compared to the medicinal benefits of fresh ginger as the oil has higher levels of gingerol. The oil can be taken orally or used topically to treat ailments such as nausea, digestive issues, menstrual disorders, inflammation, and respiratory conditions. It is a warming essential oil that works as an antiseptic, laxative, and stimulant. In aromatherapy it is known as the oil of empowerment.

There are 115 different chemical components found in ginger root, some being Zingiberene, ar-Curcumene, B-Sesquiphellandrene, B-Bisabolene, Camphene, B-Phellandrene, Borneol, 1,8-Cineole , a-Pinene , and B-Elemene,  but the medicinal benefits come from gingerols. This oily resin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. The oil also has about 90% sesquiterpenes, which have antibacterial and also anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerol has been thoroughly tested and evaluated, and research has found that gingerols has the ability to cure an assortment of conditions.

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Some of the oil’s health benefits:

Treats upset stomach and supports digestion

Ginger oil helps promote proper digestion, and can be a great remedy for spasms, dyspepsia, indigestion, and flatulence. It can also increase your appetite, which is great for people who are trying to gain weight.

A scientific review published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated the efficacy of essential oils in reducing stress and nausea after surgical procedures. When ginger essential oil was inhaled, it was effective in reducing nausea and the requirement for nausea-reducing medications after surgery. Ginger essential oil also demonstrated analgesic activity for a limited time — it helped to relieve pain immediately after surgery.

 

Heals infections

Ginger essential oil works as an antiseptic agent that kills infections caused by microorganisms and bacteria. This includes intestinal infections, bacterial dysentery and food poisoning. It has also proven in lab studies to have antifungal properties, is effective against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. Ginger oil is also able to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans.

 

Aids respiratory problems

Ginger essential oil is an expectorant, so it removes mucus from the throat and lungs, making it a natural remedy for colds, the flu, coughs, asthma, bronchitis and also loss of breath. Because it’s an expectorant, ginger essential oil signals the body to increase the amount of secretions in the respiratory tract, which lubricates the irritated area. Because of ginger essential oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces swelling in the lungs and helps open airways.

 

Reduces inflammation

A component of ginger essential oil, called zingibain, is responsible for the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties. This important component provides pain relief and treats muscle aches, arthritis, migraines and works as a headache remedy. Ginger essential oil is believed to reduce the amount of prostaglandins in the body, which are compounds associated with pain.

 

Strengthens heart health

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a few preliminary studies suggest that ginger may lower cholesterol and help prevent blood from clotting, which can help treat heart disease and help reduce your risk of arteriosclerosis, as well as help decrease your bad cholesterol levels. Along with reducing cholesterol levels, ginger oil also appears to improve lipid metabolism, helping decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

High levels of antioxidants

Ginger root contains a very high level of total antioxidants meaning ginger essential oil helps fight free radical damage. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation; oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions like heart disease, cancer and dementia. Ginger essential oil has also been reported to inhibit tumor promotion in mouse skin, especially when gingerol is used in treatments, so it may work as a natural cancer treatment.

 

Natural aphrodisiac

Ginger essential oil increases sexual desire; it addresses issues such as impotence and loss of libido. Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, is the inability for a man to sustain an erection long enough for normal, satisfying sexual intercourse; the causes may be physiological or psychological.

 

Relieves anxiety

When used as aromatherapy, ginger essential oil is able to relieve feelings of anxiety, anxiousness, depression and exhaustion. According to a lab study conducted in Switzerland, ginger essential oil activated the human serotonin receptor, which may be able to help relieve anxiety.

 

Alleviates muscle and menstrual pain

Because of its pain-fighting components, like zingibain, ginger essential oil provides relief from menstrual cramps, headaches, backaches and soreness. Research suggests that consuming a drop or two of ginger essential oil daily is more effective in treating muscle and joint pain than the painkillers that are given by general practitioners — this is because of its ability to reduce inflammation and increase circulation. In a study done at the University of Georgia, a daily ginger supplement reduced exercise-induced muscle pain in 74 participants by 25%.

Ginger oil is also effective when taken by patients with pain associated with inflammation. A study conducted by researchers at Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Miami found that the patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who took a ginger extract twice daily experienced less pain and needed less pain medication than those who received a placebo. Ginger and ginger oil can help reduce prostaglandins, which are the compounds associated with pain.

 

Improves Liver Function

Because of ginger essential oil’s antioxidant potential and hepatoprotective activity, an animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry measured its effectiveness in treating alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is significantly associated with hepatic cirrhosis and liver cancer.

In the treatment group, ginger essential oil was administered orally to mice with alcoholic fatty liver disease every day for four weeks. The results found that the treatment has hepatoprotective activity. After alcohol administration, the number of metabolites increased and then the levels recovered in the treatment group.

 

Malaria and yellow fever

A study found that ginger oil can help repel Anopheles culicifacies mosquitoes, which is the primary carrier of malaria in India

 

Hypertension

Adults who consume ginger daily have an 8% lower risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). A 2005 study found ginger may lower blood pressure by blocking the voltage-dependent calcium channels.

 

How to Use Ginger Essential Oil

•    For muscle and joint pain, rub two to three drops of the oil on the needed area twice daily.

•    or nausea, diffuse two to three drops of ginger oil or apply one to two drops over the stomach.

•    For low libido, diffuse two to three drops of ginger oil or apply one to two drops to the feet or lower abdomen.

•    To aid digestion and get rid of toxins, add two to three drops of ginger oil to warm bath water.

•    To relieve respiratory conditions, drink ginger tea or add one drop of ginger essential oil to green tea twice daily.

•    To treat vomiting, add one drop of ginger oil to a glass of water or cup of tea and drink slowly.

•    For cooking, start with a small dose (one or two drops) and add it to any meal that calls for ginger.

 

When buying ginger oil, look for a product that’s CO2 extracted instead of steam distilled. Steam distillation requires heat that destroy beneficial compounds in the essential oil. CO2 extraction, on the other hand, requires as little heat as possible and doesn’t involve the use of chemicals, like hexane or ethanol, in the extraction process.

 

Possible Side Effects & Interactions of Ginger Essential Oil

It’s rare to have side effects of ginger essential oil. In high doses, ginger oil may cause mild heartburn, diarrhoea and irritation of the mouth.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctors before taking ginger essential oil; pregnant women should not take more than one gram per day. Children over 2 may take ginger to treat nausea, stomach cramping and headaches, but ask your doctor first.

If you’re taking a blood thinner medication, talk to your doctor before taking ginger essential oil because it can increase the risk of bleeding. Don’t use ginger essential oil if you are on medications for diabetes because it may lower your blood sugar level. If you are on high blood pressure medications, don’t take ginger essential oil because it will also lower your blood pressure, which can make it too low.es that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation; oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions like heart disease, cancer and dementia. Ginger essential oil has also been reported to inhibit tumor promotion in mouse skin, especially when gingerol is used in treatments, so it may work as a natural cancer treatment.

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