With the courage encapsulated in ginger’s fragrant breath, we can utter that one crucial word, or think that one crucial thought, that changes our direction and starts the walk along a new and brighter road.
Valerie Ann Worwood
Aroma: Rich warm and spicy. The CO2 distilled oil smells more like the ginger root than the steam distilled.
Colour: Clear yellow to orangey yellow with a hint of green
Plant: Reed like erect leafy perennial growing up to one metre with a branched thick, pungent tuberous rhizome (root) growing horizontally near the surface. Flowers are small, yellow-green with purple lips.
Main Growing Areas: Jamaica, China, India, Africa, Australia
Major Constituents: camphene, beta-sesquiphellandrene, zingiberene, curcumene, gingerin, gingenol, gingerone. There can be a significant variation in the main constituents depending on where the ginger is grown and distilled. This may affect the aroma and could possibly influence the therapeutic actions.
Interesting snippets: Ginger’s use predates written records. It was and still is used as a spice.
In India, it is said that ginger awakens “agni”, the inner fire of divinity and creativity.
In the Middle Ages ginger was used to counter the Black Death.
Part of Plant used /Extraction: Root / Steam distilled from the dried, ground, unpeeled rhizome. It takes between 20 and 30 rhizomes to produce 1 kilo of essential oil.
Therapeutic actions: Nausea, travel and morning sickness. Poor circulation, cold hands and feet, muscular aches and pains. Eases menstrual cramps. Coughs, colds and sore throats. Poor appetite.
Ginger Infusion/Tea: Cut very thin slivers from the ginger root, and simmer them for 10 minutes using about 6 thin slivers from a root of average thickness, to each cupful of water. Add a little honey to make a drink to quell travel and morning sickness, stomach cramps and for colds and flu. (Recipe from Patricia Davis)
Emotional and Spiritual: Activates willpower, stimulates initiative, restores determination. In those with poor vitality it can help to boost their confidence and morale. Helps when you are feeling emotionally cold and flat. Nervous and/or physical exhaustion.
Energizes the aura and encourages inspiration, enlightenment and the replacement of continued futile struggle with a knowing acceptance and transformation.
Gabriel Mojay writes that ginger is indicated for those who may have clear plans and good intentions, but who lack the personal drive and optimism to manifest initiative and take real or immediate action. They are frequently disconnected from their physical body, and may shy away from vigorous and sustained activity.
Aromatherapy Insight Card:
STAMINA / PROCRASTINATING
Ginger releases you from procrastinating so that you can just get on with what has to be done.
For the emotionally cold-hearted, warm yourself and draw on those hidden reserves of energy. Stop waiting for the right time to do things, as the right time never comes. Take the initiative and complete the hard tasks, and you will feel energized and free. Utilise Ginger to draw on those hidden reserves of energy and stamina, reviving yourself physically with Ginger’s warmth.
Fragrant Change: I have the strength and endurance to move forward and succeed.
Contemplations for the Soul Card:
Are you procrastinating, waiting for the right time or people before you begin a project?
Do you lack the courage and conviction to put your ideas out there and act on them?
Do you spend more time talking about what you will do rather than taking action?
Do you have good ideas, make plans but fail to put them into action due to self-doubt?
Make the decision to begin acting on your ideas.
Take one small action step today towards achieving your goal.
Continue each day to take another step until you have reached your goal.
Have the courage and confidence to do what’s right for you and put your plans into action.
Safety: Non toxic, non irritant but may cause sensitisation in some individuals.
Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Davis P, Aromatherapy An A-Z The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Kerr, J, Ginger Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.22 (2002)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)