The Benefits and Use of Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger, the plant, is one of the age-old natural remedies for everything from upset stomach and inflammation – among many other ailments. The use of ginger essential oil can offer many of the same benefits and is derived from the rhizome of the plant.

5 General Benefits of Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is highly potent and also very versatile. You can use this oil topically, as a form of steam, and even in a diffuser. Further in this article, we’ll be outlining how to use this essential oil and also scientific studies backing the oil’s ability to treat a variety of conditions.

A few of the key benefits of ginger essential oils are:

  1. A powerful antioxidant known for aiding in skin health
  2. Works extremely well to alleviate nausea and vomiting
  3. Can be used to relieve inflammation
  4. Works well to relieve joint inflammation from arthritis
  5. Aids digestion

You'll also find people use ginger for inhalation when they have a cold or congestion to help ease their symptoms.

How to Use Ginger Essential Oil

the benefits and use of ginger essential oil ginger root and essential oil in clear glass jar with cork sitting on wooden table

Essential oils are different from using ginger root or drinking ginger tea because it is far more potent. Safe usage can come in many forms, and the most common ways that you can start using your ginger essential oils are:

Diffuser Method

A diffuser is a great way to use essential oils because it can fill a room with the oil’s scents. Your diffuser should have instructions on how to use various oils and may require you to dilute the oil first. Follow the instructions for your specific model for the best results.

Steam Method

Inhalation methods are common if you want to reduce inflammation from a sore throat or for other uses. You'll need to have a few things to get started: bowl, water, ginger oil, and a towel. The next steps are easy:

  • Heat the water and remove when it’s steaming
  • Place the water in a bowl
  • Add in one to two drops of ginger and mix
  • Place your head over the steam, making sure that it’s not too hot, and drape the towel over your head
  • Keep eyes closed and inhale deeply

It's best to not start with a large amount of ginger and to only use two drops until you’re used to it. Once you’re accustomed to steaming, you can add more drops as necessary.

Topical Form

Ginger essential oils, as with any essential oil, is a great option for topical applications. You'll want to dilute the oil first using a carrier oil, such as avocado or coconut oil – among many others. The general rule of thumb is that the oil should not be more than 5% of the total mixture.

Anyone with severe allergies or that has concerns about using ginger oil will want to perform a spot test first to see how their body reacts to the oil. Ginger oil is highly concentrated, and while some essential oils can be applied directly to the skin, this is one oil that should be diluted first.

You’ll also find that some people make a ginger spray that they’ll spray around their home. In terms of health benefits, there’s little information on whether the spray itself will provide any real benefit. The spray will leave a nice aroma around the room and will need to be diluted in water.

Scientific Studies Backing Several Benefits of Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger, rather than its essential oil counterpart, has been the center of numerous scientific studies. The key studies of note involve:

Reduction in Pain and Inflammation

Pain and inflammation go hand in hand. When you experience pain, the body is often causing inflammation, too. One study from 2015 measured people’s pain levels after they exercised. The study found that ginger was able to significantly reduce pain after exercise when it was taken prior to exercise. Taking ginger after exercise didn’t have the same effect.

Multiple studies on inflammation have been conducted that do not involve exercise. The additional studies include:

  • 2018 study that shows ginger oil was able to help treat rats that had toxin cadmium and reduce inflammation of their kidneys. The rats exhibited lower inflammation markers and molecules.
  • 2016 study on rats that had rheumatoid arthritis. The study injected the oil into the mice, but they did not have acute joint swelling reduction as was expected. Instead, the mice had a reduction in chronic joint swelling.
  • 2019 study on mice that showed high levels of ginger extract was able to prevent obese mice from gaining weight and significantly decreased inflammation markers.

Relieves Nausea

the benefits and use of ginger essential oil pregnant woman sitting on the edge of her bed with white sheets with hand over mouth nauseous due to pregnancy

Reducing nausea is one of the key benefits of ginger essential oils. A 2018 review in women, all of which were pregnant, wanted to determine if ginger was able to reduce pregnancy-related nausea.

It's important to note that if you are pregnant, you will want to consult with your physician before using any alternative form of treatment.

The meta-analysis evaluated a total of ten studies and found that ginger was a very effective option for reducing pregnancy nausea. Non-pregnant women and men also experience nausea relief when taking ginger. 

Additional studies on the actual ginger oil itself and its ability to reduce nausea have also been conducted. One study from 2017 is of particular importance because it examined the oil’s ability to reduce postoperative nausea.

Participants in this study were all required to inhale ginger oil as a form of aromatherapy. The control group did not inhale ginger oil. The group that inhaled ginger oil reported lower levels of nausea and vomiting.

In fact, one of the main reasons people buy ginger teas, essential oils, and the root itself is because it has long been used by people that have upset stomachs.

Antiaging Activity

Ginger oil is also known for having high levels of antioxidants, which was the focus of a 2015 study. The study looked at the ability of Thai aromatic plant extracts found in antiwrinkle body creams.

The study examined participants for a period of four weeks and found that there was a significant reduction in skin roughness.

When blended together as a cream, ginger oil was found to have very high antioxidant levels that promoted healthy skin and worked as an antiwrinkle option. The study shows a lot of promise for antiaging and skin health, but a larger study with more participants is required to understand how ginger may help with skin health.

Arthritis Relief

An interesting study on rats was conducted to determine the benefits of ginger essential oil on rats with arthritis. The study looked at the ability of numerous essential oils to help relieve arthritis pain.

Since the study was done on rats, you’ll need to try this out for yourself with different dosing options.

All of the rats had ginger essential oil applied topically and were found to have both lower levels of inflammation and lower arthritis severity. The application should be done on the joints where inflammation hurts the most.

Some preformulated pain relief creams, gels, and sprays have ginger as well as other pain and inflammation-reducing essential oils. 

Once you know how to use ginger essential oil properly, you can reap all of the benefits of this key essential oil. Not only is it highly effective, but the side effects are minimal, and you can use it topically with the right carrier oil.

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