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Essential oils & the usage of ginger oil

By 1:28 AM ,

You might not normally think about this, but if you drink a ginger ale when you have an upset stomach you use ginger for its health benefits. While you can easily think of ginger as a spice to use in cookies or various other food products, it has a long history of medicinal use. Ginger comes in many forms including as an essential oil.



Characteristics
Steam distilling dried ground ginger root produces a pale yellow essential oil with a fresh, spicy aroma. Aromatherapist Patricia Davis writes in her book, "Aromatherapy: An A-Z" that the scent matches that of fresh root ginger. Ginger essential oil blends well with other essential oils including most citrus oils, rose and coriander.

Components
Ginger essential oil contains a number of different chemical components. In her text, "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils" clinical aromatherapist and author Julie Lawless writes that ginger essential oil's main chemical components include: gingerin, ginenol, gingerone and linalool.

Properties
Ginger's properties cover a wide range. It works as an antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral. An expectorant, it helps clear mucus out from your respiratory system. Ginger also has a number to properties related to the digestive system. Davis identifies ginger essential oil as an antispasmodic and carminative, something that settles your stomach.

Uses
Common ginger oil uses include helping to treat upset stomach, nausea and vomiting. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center's research review, some studies support using ginger to lessen pregnancy related nausea and vomiting; nausea related to chemotherapy treatments and also general motion sickness. Medline Plus, a National Institutes of Health publication, also concludes that initial research support ginger's effectiveness in reducing pregnancy related vomiting and nausea but says that more research still needs to occur to determine safe dosages.
Aromatherapists also use ginger for its infections fighting properties to help fight off respiratory aliments and other sicknesses. According to Davis, ginger can help treat colds and the flu, while Lawless says you can also use it for sore throat and sinus troubles.


Cautions
You can employ ginger oil to help treat certain maladies. However, you should consult a doctor or trained aromatherapist before treating yourself. You must also understand ginger's potential side effects. Slightly photo-toxic, ginger applied to the skin increases your skin's sun sensitivity and can lead to sun burns. In high concentration it can irritate your skin. The University of Maryland also warns that ginger may interact with other drugs and medications, such as blood-thinners which is why it's best to seek expert advice prior to use.

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