Zingiber officinale or Ginger is the Common Name and Latin Binomial known simply as Ginger or Ginger root. It is known worldwide as a culinary and medicinal spice. Both an essential oil and a CO2 extract are obtained.
GINGER EO & PLANT USES
By Jeanne Rose ~ 7-02-22
Zingiber officinale is known simply as Ginger or Ginger root. It is known worldwide as a culinary and medicinal spice. Spice is usually the dried hard parts of aromatic plants such as bark, root, or flower buds (Cloves), or berries (Pepper) as opposed to herbs which are the softer parts such as leaves. However, both can be defined as herbs (a plant or plant part used for food or medicine).
Family ~ Zingiberaceae which also includes Turmeric, Galangal, and the flowering ‘ginger’ Hedychium spp.
Countries of Origins ~ Native to Asia and is grown and processed in India, Nigeria, China, Nepal, and other countries.
Endangered or Not ~ The plant is more or less extinct in the wild and yet millions of tons are cultivated each year. Ginger is a flowering perennial that grows new stems from its rhizomes each spring. According to Wikipedia it probably originated in the tropical rainforest of the Indian subcontinent.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF GINGER’s HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ An erect perennial herb growing up to three or four feet. It has long, lance-shaped leaves, which extend from a central stalk, and atop which grow yellow flowers with purple claws. The stalk grows from a tuber, thick, spreading rhizome/root, which is very strongly fragrant and extends downwards.
PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS, AND YIELDS ~ The fresh or dried Ginger (“hands”) rhizome is steam distilled. Yield: 2-4%.
Ginger root CO2 Extract (Total) ~ (Zingiber officinale) This total extract is dark and potent as well and more like the root in nature. The essential oil of Ginger does not have the irritating bite as does the herb itself and can be taken — 1-2 drops in Ginger ale for nausea. It is a pleasant addition to a drink. However, the extract of Ginger does have a ‘bite’. The scent of both is a warm, spicy, green odor and is very good in all sorts of perfume combinations. Wonderful perfumery item. The extract is true to the warmth and spice of fresh ginger root.
ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF GINGER ROOT OIL FROM MADAGASCAR (2022)
Color – light yellow
Clarity – clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Taste – spicy, umami (and yes it tastes eponymously like Ginger root)
Intensity of Odor – 5
Tenacity – very tenacious in a blend, use by the drop in a perfume
ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT – the scent feels warm and is spicy, green, and fruity.
GENERAL PROPERTIES OF Ginger oil and plant
Ginger oil as well as the herb tea are a stimulant. The essential oil of Ginger (Zingiber officinale), when tasted, does not have the irritating bite as does the herb itself and can be used for nausea (1-2 drops in Ginger ale ). The scent is warm, spicy, green, and very good in all sorts of therapeutic and perfume combinations. It can also be used in skincare in cleansing creams and cleansing body and skin care products for a spicy scent and stimulating action.
Ginger root CO2 Extract (Total) ~ (Zingiber officinale) This total extract is dark and potent as well and more like the root in nature. The extract of Ginger has a ‘bite’ to it as does the herb. The essential oil of Ginger does not have an irritating bite and can be taken — 1-2 drops in Ginger ale for nausea. It is a pleasant addition to a drink. The extract is true to the warmth and spice of fresh ginger root. The scent of both is a warm, spicy, green odor and is very good in all sorts of perfume combinations. Wonderful perfumery items. Ginger oil and extract have many accommodating features for blends and are used in creams and lotions for massage for warm stimulation. Especially good if used in moderation.
PROPERTIES AND USES ~ By Ingestion, this is a powerful tonic for the entire digestive system. The herb tea is Indicated for appetite problems, gut spasms, abdominal distention, stomachache, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and anorexia. Ginger root and essential oil are widely used for flavoring. Add 1 drop of Ginger EO to Ginger Ale or carbonated water as an aperitive.
APPLICATION ~ Put a drop or two in your hands and rub them together and then apply to cold hands and feet, on the chest as a tonic for the heart, and on your limbs as a powerful rubefacient for rheumatic pain, arthritis, lower backache, muscle fatigue, chronic bronchitis, chest pains, colds and flu, fever, sore, throat, swollen glands, and numbness.
INHALATION ~ Zingiber cassumunar (Plai) is used for bronchitis and asthma. Zingiber officinale is used for jet lag, motion and travel sickness, seasickness, nausea, morning sickness, as a sexual tonic, heartwarming odor, and to ease confusion. Inhaling Ginger oil may improve circulation and reduce numbness.
Emotional/Energetic Use ~ Use by application as a sexual tonic.
DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ When added to blends it is warming and invigorating and especially pleasant on cold winter days.
BLENDING AND PERFUMERY ~ Blends well with citrus, orange, spices, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, benzoin, cedar, sandalwood, and other woods.
A Ginger Perfume
- 3 mL (or 0.1 oz.) organic carrier oil.
- 4 drops organic fresh ginger essential oil.
- 4 drops organic mandarin essential oil.
- 6 drops organic lemon essential oil.
- 2 drops organic lime peel essential oil.
Mix the oils together and succuss. Add the carrier oil and succuss again.
Label. Let it age and meld for a few weeks before using.
HYDROSOL ~ Tracy Feldstein mentioned the uses of Ginger hydrosol in the FB group; “Strange things I have done with ginger Hydrosol: 1-used it as an ingredient in carrot soup. 2 – fogged the apartment of a woman who had mold Sensitivity from a previous apartment. (part of a Lyme disease problem) 3- added 3 cups to a hot tub. … (my husband loves doing this it feels really good. ) I have had no negative results from doing this and quite a bit of positive feedback.”
Martin Hardie says that “It grows wild in Timor. The people make a hydrosol with it and he has found it great for itchy scalp and pouring out into a hot bath makes a very relaxing bath that will often put him into a deep sleep.”
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.
HERBAL ~ Ginger root herb helps to stimulate digestion and ease flatulence. It has antiseptic qualities. Ginger root herb extracts have been studied for use in fighting bacteria and fungi, treating convulsions, pain, spasms, and allergic reactions. Animal experiments have shown that fresh ginger relieves pain and inflammation. A Ginger decoction can be used as a cleansing mouthwash; infused in yogurt and eaten helps to stimulate digestion and ease flatulence. It has antiseptic qualities.
Drinking the tea may help with circulation and improve your immune system.
What is an Herb? [to an herbalist]
Any plant or any plant part is valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities.
[tree, shrub, moss, mold, algae, any plant part]…
(Our use as well as the old Herbalists).
What is an Herb [to a botanist]?
Botanist: An annual or biannual plant that does not develop persistent woody tissue.
What is an Herb [to a cook]?
Culinary: The top of a plant as opposed to the bottom.
(Think of Celery: Celery root, Celery seed, Celery leaf, Celery herb.) What is Celery?
CULINARY Uses ~ Ginger is much used in many types of cuisines and in meats, seafood, and vegetarian styles of food. It is used as a spice in desserts, cookies, bread, preserves, in soft drinks and in tea. Whole pieces of Ginger flavors soups, condiments, stir-fries, rice, marinades and glazes, sauces, and salad dressings.
Ginger recipe that can be used with soda, or tea, to flavor or to ease digestion.
Use 1-2 tablespoons per drink.
Ginger Syrup is a decoction made from 1-cup thinly sliced Ginger root simmered in 1-cup water for 10 minutes, strained out, and then 1-cup sugar added and gently heated until the sugar is dissolved about another 10-minutes. The strained-out pieces can be added to flavor honey (to just cover) as the Ginger still has taste and aroma.
Ginger is also used to scent and flavor many foods during holidays, including the Gingerbread house.
CHEMICAL COMPONENTS ~ Alpha & Beta Zingiberene, ar-curcumene, Camphene, Neral, and B-bisabolene
HISTORICAL USES AND INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ Culinary & medicinal purposes, especially as a digestive stimulant, and as an aphrodisiac. One of the most important and oldest spices, ginger was one of the first spices to travel the “Spice Route” from Asia to Europe. “Long known as an aphrodisiac in China, India, and elsewhere. In Senegal, West Africa, the women make belts with the rhizome, in the hope of arousing their partner’s sexual interest” essential aromatherapy, p.136. When used in perfumery, it creates an oriental-type blend.
Key Use: Digestive problems, nausea, for flavoring, as a rubefacient, expectorant, and as an aphrodisiac.
This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.
WHAT TO KNOW
Safety Precautions for Ginger: None known. Non-toxic. The essential oil is Non-irritant.
Patch Test: If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose band-aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas.—The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
DISCLAIMER: This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press,
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann. essential aromatherapy, Novato, California: New World Library, 2003.