Here are several great reasons to add Ginger essential oil to your collection, along with some ideas as to how to use it! Scientific research has validated several important healthful actions of ginger essential oil and CO2 extracts, which includes the inflammation-reducing, pain-reducing, and cancer-preventative properties of these oils.
Ginger is often included in massage formulas, particularly those for arthritic conditions. In such a formula, the oil passes directly through the skin and into the area its needed to help manage inflammation. While the research we’re presenting here was performed using the steam distilled essential oil, Ginger CO2 extract oil is becoming popular in nutritional supplements.
As a component of therapeutic massage blends, you might try both oils to see which you prefer. Both oils can be ingested – though if one were wishing to do so for regular therapeutic use, we HIGHLY recommend the CO2 oil. It is the more complex of the two oils, containing fatty acids and sterols from the root, in addition to ‘strictly’ the essential oil – which are known to positively support one’s health as well.
The 1st study below notes the many pathways through which Ginger essential oil reduces pain and inflammation, and acts as a potent antioxidant. The study was published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacol, in the first quarter’s volume of 2013. The research appears to validate 1000′s of years of Ginger’s use in traditional medicinal systems such as Ayurveda.
Title: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from ginger. Abstract: Chemical compositions of ginger oil as well as its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive potential were evaluated in the present study. Ginger oil scavenged superoxide, DPPH, hydroxyl radicals and inhibited tissue lipid peroxidation in vitro (Ed. note: this means Ginger essential oil was active against several types of oxidative radicals).
Ginger oil was found to inhibit phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate induced superoxide radicals elicited by macrophages (Ed. note: Ginger essential oil actually inhibited the production of free radicals, not simply quenched them). Oral administration of ginger oil for one month, significantly increased superoxide dismutase, glutathione and glutathione reductase enzymes level in blood of mice and glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase enzymes in liver (Ed. note: the oil increased the production of the body’s own important antioxidants).
Ginger oil produced significant reduction in acute inflammation and formalin induced chronic inflammation. The present report revealed that ginger oil possesses antioxidant activity as well as significant anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive (Ed. note: the perception of pain) property.
This second study makes a strong case for Ginger essential oil’s ability to prevent genetic mutations which could lead to cancer, when organisms are exposed to carcinogens.
Published in the September 10th issue of Phytotherapy Research is a study titled: Antimutagenic Potential and Modulation of Carcinogen-Metabolizing Enzymes by Ginger Essential Oil. This is a summary of the abstract:
Essential oil extracted from ginger (GEO) was evaluated for its antimutagenic potential against direct acting mutagens such as sodium azide, 4-nitro-o-phenylenediamine, N-methyl-N’-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, tobacco extract, and 2-acetamidoflourene. GEO significantly inhibited the mutagenicity induced by these agents in a concentration-dependent manner. GEO also significantly increased the levels of carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes in vivo indicating the use of GEO as an antimutagen and as a potential chemopreventive agent.
Using These Properties of Ginger Essential Oil
So, how can one use Ginger essential oil to gain these benefits? When steam distilled Ginger essential oil, or the CO2-extracted oil, are added to a carrier oil to make a massage formula, the oil will rapidly penetrate the skin. Massage formulas are made with essential oil concentrations of 3% or less.
A ‘plain’ ginger oil massage formula we’d recommend for support of arthritic conditions would be simply 1/2ml to 1ml of Ginger per each ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. (If the blend is too warm, use LESS essential oil in it!) Evening Primrose and Borage oils as carriers are considered anti-inflammatory themselves, and may make a good choice.
For a more complex formula, blend 1/3rd ml (about 12 drops) each of Frankincense (your preference as to which one), 1/3rd ml Helichrysum OR Sweet Marjoram, and 1/3rd ml Ginger. Again, you may wish to experiment with the type of Ginger essential oil which works best for you.
Ginger CO2 may be supplemented daily for its health benefits. This is done simply by putting 4 drops (about 100mg) in an empty capsule, and taking with a meal each day.
Ginger is a wonderful gift from the plant kingdom – we hope you enjoy it!