The essential oil of ginger, Zingiber officinale, and anaesthesia

Geiger JL
International Journal of Aromatherapy, 2005


It is proposed that a 5% solution of essential oil of ginger, Zingiber officinale, is an effective post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) prevention when administered preoperatively, naso-cutaneously concurrently with conventional therapies to general anaesthesia patients at high risk for PONV. This is a summary of six months clinical experience and impressions of a single anaesthesia practitioner using best practice multimodal management plus 5% oil of ginger, Zingiber officinale, in the prevention of PONV in high risk group adult patients. The results of the clinical experience show improvement gained in patient response as measured by lower incidence of nausea and vomiting in the post-anaesthesia recovery unit (PACU). The group treated with the essential oil of ginger experienced approximately less than 20% nausea in the PACU. This low percentage of high risk PONV patients that experienced nausea in the ginger group mostly required only one single intravenous supplemental medication to control nausea. Approximately, 80% of high risk patients had no complaint of PONV and therefore did not require any further intravenous therapy during recovery from anaesthesia through discharge from PACU. The non-ginger oil treated patients in this clinical experience had a roughly 50/50 chance of PONV. A 5% solution of the essential oil of Zingiber officinale in grape seed carrier oil, when applied naso-cutaneously, can be administered safely for the effective prevention and therapeutic management of nausea in general anaesthesia patients at high risk for post-operative nausea and vomiting, with increased patient satisfaction and less expense to patients and hospital. Guidelines and regulations established for the safe use of integrative therapy with an essential oil are critical to observe.


Geiger JL. The essential oil of ginger, Zingiber officinale, and anaesthesia. International Journal of Aromatherapy. 2005;15(1):7-14.

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