Ginger: Ancient Uses in Modern Times

Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is one of our oldest natural medicines. For thousands of years, ginger has been a renowned folk medicine for digestion and immunity. In Ayurveda, it is known as a “universal medicine.” In Chinese Medicine, ginger is used to increase the body’s Qi and vitalise energy levels. Spicy and warming, ginger essential oil is a useful ally for damp and cold symptoms.

Uses & Benefits of Ginger Essential Oil

  • Arthritis

Ginger essential oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, fiery and warming, making it an excellent circulatory stimulant which may improve symptoms of stagnation, muscle spasms, nerve tension and arthritis (Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri et al., 2013).

Dilute up to 5 drops ginger essential oil in 30ml carrier oil to make an anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulating body oil. Either on its own, or synergise this blend in combination with turmeric essential oil and rosemary essential oil.

  • Nausea

Ginger has been used as a treatment for nausea in many traditional medicines. A 2016 study reveals that nausea and vomiting noticeably decreased for the group who inhaled ginger essential oil, showing promising results for the use of this rhizome to treat such symptoms.

To relieve nausea, simply inhale ginger essential oil directly from the bottle or insert 5 drops in a facial steam.

  • Colds

Being a warming stimulant, ginger is a complementary ally for treating symptoms of colds (Raal, Ain et al., 2013).

Ginger is antimicrobial and antiviral. By inhaling the essential oil, this can help stimulate local blood flow to warm up the body, relieve stagnation and congestion in the respiratory tract.

A wonderful way to use ginger essential oil for treating colds is in a facial steam. Combine ginger with lemon essential oil for an extra kick.

  • Digestive aid

A 2018 study shows potential results for ginger in treating gastrointestinal disorders. It is a renowned spice in Asia, China and the Far East, harnessed especially for treating digestive ailments. It may help relieve bloating, indigestion and stomach upsets.

Ginger can be a complementary medicine for treating these symptoms. Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil or a body balm, and massage the abdomen to stimulate the local area.

Alternatively, dilute 5 drops of the essential oil in a diffuser for a stimulating aromatherapy practice.

Recipes using Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger-Lemon Facial Steam

This facial steam is stimulating and penetrative. It can be used to help relieve symptoms of cold and nausea by warming the body and refreshing the senses.


  • a bowl of warm water
  • 3 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil

Take caution with the temperature of the water. It should be warm, but not too hot that it burns the skin.

Grab a towel, wrap it around your head and the bowl. Inhale the aromas deeply, steaming for 5-10 minutes.

Once you’ve finished, splash some cold water on the face and neck to help calm the heat.

Warming Ginger Bath

This ginger bath soak is a wonderful complimentary relief to symptoms of colds, digestive upsets, arthritis and muscle spasms.

In combination with rosemary and lemon, this bath can help stimulate the body to sweat out toxins, relieve muscle tension and energise the body to soothe colds and stagnation.


  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 tbsp carrier oil (ie. sweet almond, jojoba, olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup bicarbonate soda
  • 4 drops ginger essential oil
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • optional: a few slices of lemon

Mix ingredients in a warm bath and soak for as long as needed.

*Please do not disregard professional medical advise. This information is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical conditions. Always consult with a healthcare practitioner for appropriate treatment. Take caution if your are diabetic, epileptic, pregnant, breastfeeding or facing any serious health issues.