Sunday, 19 June 2011

Reducing inflammation from Osteoarthritis with Ginger

In China the first recorded use of Ginger was by Confucius (circa 500BC) who claimed never to be without ginger when he ate.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine ginger is used for colds and chills to promote sweating, expel mucous and stimulate the appetite.  The dried ginger has been used to treat stomach ache, dihorrea, nausea, cholera and bleeding (Leung A, Foster S Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in foods, drugs and cosmetics).

As regards the essential oil it is steam distilled from the dried rhizomes.  The scientific approach is that if you understand the main components of the oil then you will know the general effects.  However particular uses of essential oils depend on components which may be present in very tiny quantities.  The main components of the essential oil are sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (50-66%), oxygenated sesquiterpenes. If three isoprene units join they make a longer and heavier chain molecule known as a sesquiterpene (15 carbon atoms).  Sesquiterpenes are slightly antiseptic, bactericicidal, calming and anti-inflammatory.  (Price, Aromatherapy Workbook).  

The essential oil does not contain the pungent and warming components found in the dried herb. The oil is used in Aromatherapy as a circulatory stimulant, for cold hands and feet and cardiac fatigue.  Blended with roman chamomile and sweet orange it has relieved morning sickness.  Sufferers of arthritis have found a compress of ginger oil helpful.  Inhaling ginger oil has been found useful for coughs and sore throats.  (Mojay, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit). Ginger with peppermint and caraway is recommended as a blend for upset stomaches and travel sickness either mixed with a vegetable oil 2% essential oil 98% carrier oil and rubbed on the stomach or placed on a tissue and inhaled.  (Shirley Price, Aromatherapy Workbook) 

Essential oil should always be used in tiny quantities and never be taken internally but applied externally in diluted form or inhaled.


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