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boost gut health with fresh + zingy ginger essential oil

Ethna Parker PhD 🌱 the essential researcher

· Essential Oils

Hot, spicy, earthy, and sweet, Ginger is the world’s most widely cultivated spice and people have been enjoying its many benefits for over 5,000 years. A relative of cardamom and turmeric, ginger is native to Asia, where it is used as digestive tonic and an integral ingredient in curries, soups, and stir fries. Traditional Chinese health practices suggests 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. In Europe, this idea evolved into grating the ginger rhizome into the bread dough and gingerbread was born. During the Middle Ages, gingerbread guilds controlled the production of this valuable sweet which was enjoyed for its flavor as well as its ability to support healthy digestion.

Ginger oil uses and benefits

  1. Ginger oil is a great aide in the prevention of motion sickness. Simply place a drop of diluted oil in the palm your hand and breathe deeply during a long car ride. You can also add 8-10 drops of Ginger oil to an aromatherapy inhaler (available at aromatools and amazon). Simply remove the lid from the inhaler and breathe deeply when you need relief. Replace the cap tightly and this will be good for up to six months.
  2. Dilute Ginger oil in your favourite carrier oil and roll over your lower abdomen to ease bloating, gas and occasional nausea.
  3. Create a warming, energizing, revitalizing atmosphere by diffusing Ginger by itself or with other essential oils such as Frankincense, Cinnamon or Grapefruit.
  4. Add one or two drops of Ginger oil to all your favourite Asian influenced dishes for an authentic flavour boost. Essential oils are best added close to the end of cooking time.
  5. Switch up your baking routine by adding Ginger oil to your usual baking recipes instead of dried ginger.
  6. Use Ginger essential oil to help reduce bloating or gas. Take a drop or two with water or in a veggie capsule for quick relief.
  7. Support healthy joint function by taking Ginger oil internally.
  8. Ramp up the antioxidant benefits of your green smoothies by adding a drop or two of Ginger oil.
  9. Increase the many benefits of a massage by adding warming Ginger oil to your favourite carrier oil.
  10. Diffuse Ginger and Wild Orange essential oils for an mid-afternoon energy boost.
  11. Diffuse Ginger oil to soothe and reduce feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, lethargy, agitation and fatigue.
  12. Add one or two drops of Ginger oil to your usual shampoo to nourish and soothe an itchy scalp.

Fun fact: The scientific name for ginger, 'Zingiber', is derived from the Greek zingiberis which comes from the Sanskrit sringabera, meaning 'horn shaped'.

Diffuser blends to try:

Autumn leaves

1 drop Cinnamon Bark

3 drops Ginger

6 drops Wild Orange

Spring blossoms

3 drops Wild Orange

2 drops Ginger

2 drops Ylang Ylang

Plant description

Ginger essential oil is taken from the rhizome, or underground stem, of the ginger plant. A highly aromatic plant, ginger has thick roots, long shoots with leaves, and pale flowers—though the rhizome or root of the ginger plant is most useful for flavoring and other applications. For centuries, the ginger root has been used in cooking practices to add flavor, or dried and powdered as a spice.

Chemistry of Ginger oil

The main chemical constituents of Ginger Oil are: Camphene, B-Phellandrene, α-Pinene, Geranial, Zingiberene, β-Bisabolene, β-Sesquiphellandrene and Curcumene. Sesquiterpenes, Zingiberene and Sesquiphellandrene contribute to digestive health when used internally. They also promote the grounding and balance of emotions when used aromatically. Alpha Zingiberene is what gives ginger its distinct taste.

Oils that blend well with Ginger essential oil

The spicy, earthy tones of Ginger oil blend well with other warm oils like Cinnamon and Cassia. Ginger oil also goes well with sweet citrus scents like Wild Orange and also Ylang Ylang.  

Cautions

Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

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