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Gingembre antibactérien

The antibacterial action of ginger?

Used in cooking and traditional medicine, ginger has many properties that are beneficial for the body and skin. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant... Does it also have antibacterial activity? More information in this article.

Published January 23, 2024, updated on July 16, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 3 min read

Ginger: An Effective Antibacterial?

According to historical records, the use of ginger dates back more than 3,500 years, but it is likely even older. This plant, native to Southeast Asia, was introduced to Mediterranean Europe during antiquity through maritime trade before spreading to the rest of the continent. Initially used as an aromatic and medicinal plant, the ginger is now considered a staple in cosmetics.

Among its most appreciated properties is its antibacterial action. However, it should be noted that, to fully benefit from this property, it is strongly recommended to opt for a ginger essential oil, rich in bioactive terpenes. Indeed, this essential oil contains α-pinene, a molecule with bacteriostatic properties against Gram-positive bacteria. Rather than directly killing these bacterial populations, α-pinene is capable of inhibiting their multiplication.

Another intriguing terpene found in ginger essential oil is limonene. Known for its tangy scent, this molecule is also recognized for its antibacterial action. Indeed, limonene acts on certain Gram-positive bacteria such asEscherichia coli, a bacterium found in the human digestive tract, and prevents their proliferation. Specifically, limonene causes the rupture of the bacterial membrane, which compromises the cellular integrity of the bacterium.

What are the benefits of ginger as an antibacterial?

Antiseptic in nature, ginger extract is often used in the formulation of skincare products intended for skin prone to blemishes or acne. Indeed, the antibacterial properties of this ingredient are particularly suitable for combating acne, which can be caused by the proliferation of the Gram-positive bacteria Cutibacterium acnes.

To reduce blemishes, we recommend applying a few drops of ginger essential oil mixed with a non-comedogenic vegetable oil directly to the affected area. A dilution between 1 and 2% is recommended. You can also apply the mixture as a preventative measure to any area of your body that is prone to breakouts.

If you suffer from acne, ginger cannot replace the treatment prescribed by a dermatologist, it can simply accompany it.

Ginger can also be used to disinfect minor wounds. In addition to its antibacterial properties, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that allow it to soothe the skin, relieve pain, and promote healing. This ingredient can thus be considered a natural bandage, which can be used in cases of small cuts or sunburns for example.


  • MEDEIROS I. & others. Inhibitory effect of β-pinene, α-pinene and eugenol on the growth of potential infectious endocarditis causing Gram-positive bacteria. Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2007).

  • CATALAN C. A. N. & others. Chemistry, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies on essential oil and oleoresins of Zingiber officinale. Food and chemical toxicology (2008).


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