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Ginger essential oil is taken from the Zingiber officinale plant, also known as the common ginger plant or Jamaica ginger, and turned into a thin oil used as a homeopathic remedy for digestive problems. It also creates a warming sensation when applied to the skin and is used as a massage oil. Ginger essential oil is also used for aromatherapy through breathing in the vapors or using a spray. Ginger was originally found in southern Asia and spread to surrounding areas later on. Ginger essential oil has a long history of its use as a natural remedy for pain and stomach upset.
The ginger plant is used for medicinal purposes, for seasoning meals, and for creating ginger essential oil. It grows vertically to a height of about three feet (1 m) with a sturdy, thick stem. This perennial plant has an overpowering scent and grows thick roots used for making the ginger essential oil. The roots are ground and steam-distilled during the creation process. The practice of using ginger oil for both medicine and aromatherapy remedies has long been practiced in many countries and possibly traces its first uses back to the ancient Greeks.
When distilled, the oil turns into a thin liquid with a yellow or amber-colored tint. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it as safe to use, though anyone taking the product should discuss it with a doctor if he or she is taking other medicines at the same time. In people with extremely sensitive skin, ginger essential oil may cause increased sensitivity to light, though this is uncommon. If problems develop, the person should stop taking it immediately and consult her doctor. She should only resume taking the oil again if the doctor approves and the symptoms do not return.
Common uses for ginger essential oil include reducing pain and calming an upset stomach. Nausea, due to circumstances ranging from illness to motion sickness, is treated using ginger oil, and certain women use it for morning sickness. Some doctors warn against the use of ginger oil in pregnant women, however, and a woman should talk to her doctor first or err on the side of caution and avoid ginger oil during pregnancy. Those who suffer from pain and aching in the joints or high blood pressure may consider ginger oil as a natural way to help these conditions. Sufferers should still see a doctor for advice and regular medication to keep further complications or problems from arising.