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Oil Summary: Ginger has been grown for millennia, prized for its aromatic qualities, its flavor, its medicinal value and its versatility in all kinds of cuisine. As an essential oil, it is one of the most therapeutic, and has been a staple in Chinese medicine for well over three thousand years. Ginger essential oil is extracted from the roots of the plant (rhizomes, actually), a knotty-looking tuber that varies in color, depending on the soil and climate it is grown in. Though the flowers and the stalks are also highly aromatic, it is only the rhizomes that are used for essential oil production. Steam distilled from the whole, unpeeled rhizomes, it can be made from a fresh, dried or ground-up source. Each source has slightly different aromatics, the dried roots being more earthy, while the fresh ground root is more spicy. It presents as a clear, medium-yellow colored thin liquid. Its scent is spicy, peppery, warm, earthy, camphorous and woody with a middle fragrance note. There is over 1200 different species of ginger, but the strain used for essential oil production is Zingiber officinale. Its chemical components include camphene, nerol, linalool, a-pinene, geraniol, b-pinene, 1,8-cineole, zingiberene, y-terpineol, borneol, geranyl acetate, and b-bisabolene.

Odor and Appearance: A light yellow to yellow liquid having the aromatic, characteristic odor of ginger.

Country of origin: China

Botanical name: Zingiber officinale

Contraindication: Though complications from using ginger essential oil are rare, taken in high doses it can cause heartburn and mild irritation of the mouth and esophagus. It is a ‘hot’ oil, and should not be used undiluted on the skin. Heed all recommended dilution ratios and test on a small area of skin until you know your tolerance. Limit use if you are pregnant or nursing. As ginger has a blood thinning action, it can increase the risk of bleeding and prevent blood clotting. If you are having surgery or major dental work, discontinue use for two weeks before and after your procedure. Ginger is known to lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Use with caution if you are diabetic or if you are taking medication for hypertension. Ginger essential oil should not be administered to children unless they are under the direct supervision of a practitioner qualified in aromatherapy. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes, and be aware that ginger essential oil may be photo toxic. Do not expose your skin to direct sunlight following topical application.

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