Ginger essential oil, which has a spicy, woodsy scent, has been used for centuries in China and India, primarily because of the numerous benefits it provides for the digestive and respiratory systems. In fact, Confucius, along with several other philosophers, wrote extensively about ginger oil’s effectiveness, which results from its unique combination of over 400 constituents. The particular benefits of ginger essential oil’s most active ingredient, zingiberene, is discussed below.
Ginger essential oil has long been used for its ability to a variety of stomach ailments, including bloating, aches and pain, indigestion, diarrhea, excess flatulence, and nausea. Studies have found that zingiberene plays a prominent role in this due to its anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties, as well as its ability to enhance antioxidant production in the body . A 2010 study additionally found that zingiberene, in conjunction with other constituents, works to improve the production of two growth factors in the gastric mucosa, while inhibiting the production of chemokines in ulcerated tissues of the gastric system . As a result, it can help alleviate and repair gastric mucosa damage caused by stomach ulcers and promote ulcer healing.
A 2015 study investigated the possible link between zingiberene and ginger’s other constituents in the treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, with very promising results . (GI cancer includes everything from the esophagus and liver to the colon and rectum.) The study found that ginger oil induces the death of gastric cancer cells, while also acting an antioxidant to prevent gastric mucosal damage and providing chemosensitizing effects in certain cancer cells. The same study determined that ginger oil significantly reduces inflammation in the liver induced by formalin and dextran. This indicates that it plays a role in the prevention of liver cancer .