Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger essential oil is derived from the spicy root of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale).9 Grown in Indonesia, China, and many other countries, this herb grows for 6-12 months and is harvested once the leaves grow to be 1 meter tall.9
Once the ginger roots are harvested, the tangy and aromatic oil can be extracted to make ginger essential oil through a process of steam distillation.9
Traditionally, ginger has been used in Indian, Chinese, and Native American medicine to treat many ailments, including nausea and headaches.9,15
In recent years, ginger essential oil has been sought as a more potent and concentrated form known for its energizing, anti-nausea and pain-relieving properties.9
Ginger Essential Oil Uses
As an ancient therapeutic herb, ginger essential oil can easily be incorporated into your everyday routine. Below, we discuss the top methods for harnessing its revitalizing effects.
Ginger essential is ideal for an aromatic massage.1 To use ginger essential oil for a massage at home, dilute a 1-3 drops of essential oil in a carrier oil like almond, coconut, or jojoba. Apply the blend directly to your skin for a fragrant and relaxing massage.
For natural pain relief at home combine 1 drop each of ginger essential oil and orange essential oil with a carrier oil and massage over achy joints or sore muscles.
Aromatherapy is a simple and traditional way to enjoy the benefits of ginger essential oil. Simply add 2-5 drops of the essential oil to a diffuser, or put several drops oil in a cup of steaming hot water and inhale the scent.
Ginger essential oil can be added to a bath for an enhanced soothing sensation. For an aromatic soak, add 2-4 drops of essential oil to your bath as it fills.
Relieve Stomach Cramping
To help sooth a cramping stomach, dilute 1 drop of ginger essential oil into a carrier oil and rub in a circular motion over the abdomen.
Benefits of Ginger Essential Oil
From everyday aches and pains to relieving nausea, ginger essential oil has been observed to be an effective, natural solution for a variety of conditions.
A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that ginger essential oil may be an effective, short-term aid for moderate to severe knee pain in senior citizens.
Results indicate that patients who were massaged using a combination of ginger and orange essential oil experienced significant changes in stiffness levels, pain intensity and improved knee function, compared to placebo and control groups.1
In a 2014 study, ginger essential oil was added to a massage treatment program for patients with chronic lower back pain. Patients were massaged twice a week, for five weeks and either received a Swedish massage with ginger essential oil, or a traditional Thai massage.2
After five weeks, the ginger test group experienced more significant improvements in pain relief and mobility than the group who received Thai massages.2
Ginger essential oil may also help reduce fatigue. A 2005 study found that when animal subjects inhaled ginger oil, it had a stimulative effect and increased mobility during a physical activity test by at least 5%.11
A 2009 study investigated the effects of ginger, lavender and chamomile essential oils on 41 test subjects with osteoarthritis. Over the course of two weeks, all subjects took part in a daily massage; but only one group used the essential oils.12
At the end of the study, the experimental group saw significant improvements in fatigue, reported pain and improved daily living compared to those in the control group.12
Ginger essential oil is an effective and natural way to deal with a queasy stomach.13 In a 2012 meta-study, inhaling ginger and peppermint essential oils were shown to decrease the severity of nausea, the frequency of nausea episodes, and reduce the need for patients to take anti-nausea drugs.13
Menstrual Pain Relief
One study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine examined the pain-relieving effects of abdominal massage enhanced with ginger essential oil. 63 nurses participated in this study, and were divided into groups that either received no treatment, regular self-massage, or a self-massage with ginger oil.7 All those involved rated their pain as greater than five on a ten-point scale.7
The results suggest that participants who massaged their abdomens with ginger essential oil had significantly less pain and levels of anxiety than both control groups.7
Promote Liver Health
In a recent clinical study, researchers tested ginger essential oil’s effect on liver disease caused by alcohol. The animal model found that after subjects were orally administered the essential oil, biomarkers for alcoholic fatty liver disease decreased.5
In a separate animal study, the preventative effects of ginger essential oil were tested against liver disease caused by a high-fat diet.6 The study found that animals who were exposed to a high-fat diet and received ginger oil, displayed markers indicating a healthier liver, than those who received no ginger oil.6
Note: Essential oils should not be ingested unless under the direct supervision of a health care professional. Essential oils can be harmful and potentially toxic.
Ginger essential oil may be used as an alternative to traditional chemical pesticides.8 One study tested ginger essential oil’s ability to repel whiteflies from tomato seedlings.8 It found that applying a mix containing 25% ginger oil to tomato leaves reduced the whitefly eggs laid by 37%.8 Applying the ginger oil also lowered the number of flies that landed and settled by 35-42%.8 Based on that information, ginger oil could be an effective natural pesticide.
Note: One limitation of this study was that it didn’t test the safety of eating tomatoes after they had been treated with ginger oil.8 Always use caution and consult a professional before ingesting essential oils.
Side Effects of Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger essential oil is generally considered safe for inhalation and topical use when properly diluted. Always make sure to read and follow the directions.
We do not recommend ingesting ginger essential oil unless you are under the direct supervision of a health care professional.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before using ginger essential oil. Ginger essential oil should not be used on small children as its effects remain unknown.14
Where to buy Ginger Essential Oil
Previously, high quality essential oils could only be bought at specialty health stores, or through expensive multi-level marketing companies. Now, due to advancements in technology, extremely high grade essential oils can be purchased over the internet at very reasonable prices.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Yip, Y. B., & Tam, A. C. (2008). An experimental study on the effectiveness of massage with aromatic ginger and orange essential oil for moderate-to-severe knee pain among the elderly in Hong Kong [Abstract]. Complementary Therapies in Medicine,16(3), 131-138. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2007.12.003
- Sritoomma, N., Moyle, W., Cooke, M., & O’Dwyer, S. (2014). The effectiveness of Swedish massage with aromatic ginger oil in treating chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled trial [Abstract]. Complementary Therapies in Medicine,22(1), 26-33. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2013.11.002
- Lua, P. L., Salihah, N., & Mazlan, N. (2015). Effects of inhaled ginger aromatherapy on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and health-related quality of life in women with breast cancer [Abstract]. Complementary Therapies in Medicine,23(3), 396-404. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2015.03.009
- Salihah, N., Mazlan, N., & Lua, P. L. (2016). The effectiveness of inhaled ginger essential oil in improving dietary intake in breast-cancer patients experiencing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting [Abstract]. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies,21(1), 8-16. doi:10.1111/fct.12236
- Liu, C., Raghu, R., Lin, S., Wang, S., Kuo, C., Tseng, Y. J., & Sheen, L. (2013). Metabolomics of Ginger Essential Oil against Alcoholic Fatty Liver in Mice [Abstract]. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,61(46), 11231-11240. doi:10.1021/jf403523g
- Lai, Y., Lee, W., Lin, Y., Ho, C., Lu, K., Lin, S., & Sheen, L. (2016). Ginger Essential Oil Ameliorates Hepatic Injury and Lipid Accumulation in High Fat Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease [Abstract]. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,64(10), 2062-2071. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b06159
- Kim, Y., Lee, M. S., Yang, Y. S., & Hur, M. (2011). Self-aromatherapy massage of the abdomen for the reduction of menstrual pain and anxiety during menstruation in nurses: A placebo-controlled clinical trial [Abstract]. European Journal of Integrative Medicine,3(3), 165-168. doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2011.08.007
- Zhang, W., Mcauslane, H. J., & Schuster, D. J. (2004). Repellency of Ginger Oil to Bemisia argentifolii(Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on Tomato [Abstract]. Journal of Economic Entomology,97(4), 1310-1318. doi:10.1603/0022-0493-97.4.1310
- Plotto, A. (n.d.). GINGER – Post-harvest Operations. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from http://www.fao.org/3/a-av003e.pdf
- Diego, M. A., Jones, N. A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., & Galamaga, R. (1998). Aromatherapy Positively Affects Mood, Eeg Patterns of Alertness and Math Computations [Abstract]. International Journal of Neuroscience,96(3-4), 217-224. doi:10.3109/00207459808986469
- Lim, W. C., Seo, J. M., Lee, C. I., Pyo, H. B., & Lee, B. C. (2005). Stimulative and sedative effects of essential oils upon inhalation in mice. Archives of Pharmacal Research,28(7), 770-774. doi:10.1007/bf02977341
- Kim, I., & Kim, E. (2009). Effects of Aroma Massage on Pain, Activities of Daily Living and Fatigue in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis [Abstract]. Journal of Muscle and Joint Health,16(2), 145-153. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/ArticleFullRecord.jsp?cn=DGGJBW_2009_v16n2_145
- Lua, P. L., & Zakaria, N. S. (2012). A Brief Review of Current Scientific Evidence Involving Aromatherapy Use for Nausea and Vomiting [Abstract]. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,18(6), 534-540. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0862
- Ehrlich, S. (2015, June 22). Ginger. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/ginger – View reference
- Prasad, S., & Tyagi, A. K. (2015). Ginger and Its Constituents: Role in Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer. Gastroenterology Research and Practice,2015, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2015/142979