You may have heard that ginger, specifically ginger essential oil, is great for an upset stomach. That’s true. In fact, it’s one of the primary uses for ginger and its byproducts. However, ginger essential oil offers other health benefits. The book Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects devotes a whole chapter to ginger. They herald it as “the amazing and mighty ginger.” We couldn’t agree more! (1)
When it comes to healing, ginger could be regarded as a panacea, a cure-all. Zestful, spicy and fresh, ginger essential oil is sure to offer you a unique therapeutic experience. And, indeed, this essential oil just might offer you some much-needed relief from whatever ails you.
Check out these 10 ginger essential oil benefits:
1. Treats Upset Stomach and Supports Digestion
Ginger oil is a fantastic remedy for various stomach problems. For example, it can treat colic, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach spasms and stomach aches. Furthermore, ginger oil is effective against nausea and vomiting and may help to treat gastric ulcers. (2)
A 2014 review evaluated the efficacy of essential oils to reduce stress and nausea after surgical procedures. When subjects inhaled ginger essential oil, it was effective in reducing nausea. Furthermore, it reduced the necessity for nausea-reducing medications after surgery. It also helped to relieve pain immediately after surgery, acting as a temporary anesthetic. (3)
Are you expecting? If the hormones are causing you to not feel so well, you should know that many pregnant women find ginger helps decrease morning sickness. However, before using ginger essential oil while pregnant, be sure to consult your doctor. You can always just nibble on ginger root itself, in small quantities.
To treat vomiting or nausea, put one drop of ginger oil to a glass of water or cup of tea. Drink slowly.
2. Heals Infections
Ginger oil is a natural antibiotic. That means it has the ability to rid of infections caused by microorganisms and bacteria. For example, ginger oil may be effective against malaria, a severe mosquito-borne infectious disease. (4) To help your body fight infections, try adding a drop of ginger essential oil to your water or tea. Drink daily.
3. Aids Respiratory Problems
Ginger oil helps clear airways, relieving congestion from the throat and lungs. Furthermore, it’s an effective asthma treatment. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger oil reduces swelling in the lungs and helps open airways. (5)
To relieve respiratory conditions, drink ginger tea or add one drop of ginger oil to green tea. Drink twice daily. You may also consider diffusing the oil in your home to help improve obstructed breathing.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation may very well be the cause of many diseases. (6) The good news is there are many natural foods that can help fight inflammation. Ginger is one of them. It contains a component that fights inflammation by nature.
A 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that ginger essential oil possesses antioxidant activity. Furthermore, researchers found it has significant anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. Enzyme levels increased in the blood of mice after receiving ginger essential oil treatment for one month. Additionally, the dose produced a noteworthy reduction in acute inflammation. (7)
5. Improves Heart Health
Ginger oil has the ability to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots. This in turn can help treat heart disease. Additionally, ginger oil appears to improve lipid metabolism, which helps lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (8)
For heart health, rub one to two drops of ginger oil over the heart twice daily.
6. High Levels of Antioxidants
Ginger root is high in antioxidants and helps fight free radical damage. Research shows ginger essential oil is able to decrease age-related oxidative stress markers. It also reduces oxidative damage. When treated with ginger extracts, there was a decrease in lipid peroxidation, which is when free radicals “steal” electrons from the lipids and cause damage. (9)
7. Natural Aphrodisiac
Ginger oil increases sexual desire; it addresses issues such as impotence and loss of libido. (10)
Because of its warming and stimulating properties, this ginger oil serves as an effective and natural aphrodisiac, as well as a natural remedy for impotence. It’s also been proven to increase sperm count and motility. (11)
8. Relieves Anxiety
Ginger oil is great for aromatherapy. For example, you can use it to help relieve anxiety, depression and exhaustion.
Additionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, ginger oil is used to treat various emotional problems. These include fear, abandonment, and lack of self-confidence or motivation. (12)
Use 1 to 2 drops in a bath. Alternatively, diffuse the oil in your home. For anxiety relief you can access all day, use ginger essential oil in an essential oil necklace.
9. Alleviates Muscle and Menstrual Pain
Zingibain is one of the components of ginger essential oil. And it can help relieve inflammation-induced pain. For example, it can help lessen menstrual cramps, headaches, backaches and general soreness.
In fact, The University of Maryland Medical Center conducted a study. When 261 people with osteoarthritis of the knee took a ginger extract twice daily, they experienced less pain and needed fewer pain-killing medications. This was in comparison to those who received placebo. (13)
10. Improves Liver Function
A 2013 study measured ginger’s effectiveness in treating alcoholic fatty liver disease. (This condition is significantly associated with hepatic cirrhosis and liver cancer.)
In the treatment, ginger oil was administered to mice with alcoholic fatty liver disease every day for four weeks. Results suggested that ginger has the ability to protect the liver from damage. (14)
A Word of Caution
Generally speaking, ginger essential oil is safe when taken internally. However, some people may experience a variety of side effects when using ginger essential oil in this fashion. These side effects includes nausea, heartburn, diarrhea and other symptoms of digestive distress. Additionally, some women have reported extra menstrual bleeding with internal use of ginger essential oil.
Short-term external use of ginger essential oil is also considered generally safe. It’s best, however, to use topically with some sort of carrier oil. If any allergic or otherwise adverse reactions occur, discontinue use. Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should consult a doctor prior to using this or any essential oil.