I love Ginger essential oil and use it almost daily in late fall and winter.  So let’s take a look…

Essential Oil:  Ginger

Botanical Name:  Zingiber officinale

Botanical Family:  Zingiberaceae

Ginger is a perennial herb originally from India but is cultivated in tropical climates all over the world.   Ginger for essential oil production mostly comes from China and Southeast Asia but you will also find Ginger E.O. from Africa and even Australia.

Ginger is known and used for it’s rhizome, the thick tuberous root like part of the plant.  The essential oil is most commonly distilled from the dried rhizome although distillations from the fresh rhizomes are available.   The fresh distillation is reminiscent of biting into a piece of sliced ginger, while E.O. from the dried rhizome has an earthy bitter scent.  Essential oil from the dried rhizome is usually about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of fresh.  In both forms ginger is still in the low to middle price range for essential oils.

Ginger is a medicinal herb that is used extensively in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and is also one of the worlds most common culinary herbs.  In Aromatherapy ginger is used to aid digestion, boost immunity, stimulate energy, warm the body, and for pain relief.  Ginger is helpful for muscle stiffness caused by a  lack of movement making it a beneficial addition to blends for arthritis or rheumatism.  Ginger is quite versatile and is a definite must for your collection of essential oils.

Ginger blends well with a wide variety of essential oils but has an intensity of scent that can easily overpower other oils.  If you want to blend something with ginger, use a light touch.  Ginger is often a component in spicy and Oriental type perfume formulas.  Cocktail Splash Ginger by Marc Jacobs, and BLU by Bulgari are two perfumes that incorporate the scent of Ginger.

Esoterically, ginger is used to enhance physical energy and sexuality, as well as for promoting courage and confidence.  According to Mojay, ginger is the essential oil for those who need help with initiative, self confidence and will.  Ginger is therefore a great essential oil for those with their sights on a long term goal like graduating college, starting a business, or getting in shape.

Use the recipe below (or your own variation) a few times a week during the winter to keep your energy up, your body warm, and to help fight winter blues and dry skin.

Winter Body Oil 

2 oz. Jojoba  – or carrier of your choice

6 drops Fresh Ginger E.O.   –  energizing, warming, protective
8 drops Grapefruit E.O.  –   cleansing, joyful, and bright like sunshine
6 drops Palmarosa  E.O.  –  for it’s skin care benefits, and also blends well with the other oils

For best results use at least 3 times a week as your post-shower/bath body moisturizer.  This blend is warming, stimulating and uplifting so I think morning is the ideal time to use it, but you should do what works for your lifestyle.

Ginger is a warm, spicy oil which means it can be irritating to skin.  Be sure to dilute properly before applying Ginger E.O. to skin.  If irritation occurs increase the amount of carrier in your blend before reapplying.  Enjoy using Ginger!

Resources

Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit  by Gabriel Mojay
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia

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