Fir Needle Oil

 

Fir needle oil is indeed a sacred oil and is known as the forest healer for its immaculate medicinal uses that sanctify one with an array of health benefits and heartiness. Used as a primordial remedy for treating cold, cough, joint pains and muscular cramps, this highly spirited oil purifies the air and gifts us with a heavenly and infection-free atmosphere.

Fir Needle oil is extracted from the needle like leaves of Silver fir tree, scientifically known as Abies Alba. It has also been said that Fir needle oil is also extracted from the needles of the Balsam fir tree botanically called as Abies Balsamea and these trees belong to the pine family Pinaceae.

Ayurveda prescribes the use of Fir Needle oil in Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massaging and other remedial practices for treating rheumatism, joint pain, sinusitis, muscular cramps, skin problems and other problems associated with the lymphatic system and the respiratory system.

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Historical uses of Fir needle and its essential oil: Fir needle tree and its various extracts have a long history for its enormous remedial values. The fresh balsamic scent of this tree makes you feel like walking in a forest and reminds of the captivating Christmas Eve.

Fir needles have the real power to purify the air and the soul with its disinfecting and calming properties. And it is for these great reasons; fir needles were burnt in the past after childbirth, to impart good health for the mother and the newborn. The pitch of the tree was used to treat womanly problems like menstrual irregularities. Various parts of the fir trees when mixed with other medicinal herbs were used to treat cancer, tuberculosis and rheumatism.

Poultices made with Fir needles were used in folklore medicine for relieving arthritis, rheumatism and muscular pain. The gums of fir trees were used to prepare ointments to treat itches, sores, wounds, insect bites, boils and infections. The decoction extracted with the bark was used for curing kidney problems and the roots were used in the treatment of heart diseases and rheumatism.

Native Americans widely used fir needles for padding the pillows for peaceful sleep and they also used it as a sudatory for women after childbirth. Fir Needle essential oil is utilized in the manufacture of cosmetic products, perfumes, bath oils, air fresheners, aerosol inhalants and incense. Ancient Egyptians used Fir needle oil to prepare hair growth formula that would elevate and energize the root of the hair when massaged onto the scalp.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Fir Needle essential oil: Fir needle essential oil has numerous effective chemical compounds and the majority of which is monoterpenes. The other constituents include sesquiterpenes, beta-pinene, delta-3-carene, alpha-pinene and terpene ester bornyl acetate, where beta-pinene and delta-3-carene have effective anti-bacterial properties.

The therapeutic properties of Fir needle essential oil are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral, invigorating, stimulating, analgesic, anti-tussive, diuretic, antioxidant, astringent, energizer, aromatic, expectorant, deodorant, stimulant and tonic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Fir Needle essential Oil: Ayurveda is a common sense science that has a strong reason for everything that pertains to human health. It simply preaches that health is the outcome of one’s harmony with nature and illness occurs when things does not act in sync with nature. This 5,000 years old ancient science aims at striking balance between human health and nature with the use of natural remedies including essential oils, herbs, yoga, Ayurvedic routine, simple physical exercises, meditation and prayers.

Ayurveda is adorably called as the mother of all healing sciences for its brilliance in treating the root cause of an illness rather than just treating its symptoms. By this way, it helps in curing the sickness initially and prevent it in future as well. Charaka Samhita, one among the greatest Ayurvedic encyclopedia states “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.

Ayurvedic treatments are not the same for every person as Ayurveda strongly believes that every individual is distinctive with a unique individual constitution just like our thumb impression. So it says that illnesses of individuals should also be treated in a unique manner.

This constitution comprises of three biological energies known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a combination of five elements of nature, which are fire, water, air, earth and space. Just like nature, our body also has all the five elements. Where vata represents air and space and is responsible for movement. Pitta stands for fire and water and is accountable for transformation of energies. Kapha symbolizes earth and water and is in charge of structure and fluids in the body.

Perfect health is determined with the balance of all these three doshas and imbalance causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are involved in the act of correcting the imbalances of doshas. Fir needle oil is said to lessen kapha, pitta and vata aggravation. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Fir needle oil are:

1. Relieves cough, cold and other respiratory illnesses: According to Ayurveda, respiratory illnesses occur mainly due to aggravated kapha energy, which causes water retention and excess phlegm and mucous deposits. Along with this, increased vata dosha is responsible for sinusitis, asthma and breathing problems. Fir needle oil is said to lessen both aggravated kapha and vata and for which it has been used for centuries in the treatment of cold, cough, fever, flu and other respiratory illnesses. Natural Fir needle oil inhalers are used in Ayurvedic healing for treating cold and breathing problems.

The exquisite antiseptic property of this oil helps in maintaining the sanitation of the surrounding by preventing the spread of harmful microorganisms, which are among the primary reasons for respiratory infections.

Fir Needle oil has antitussive properties that acts as an effective cough suppressant. As a refreshing expectorant, this oil loosens the mucous and the phlegm deposits in the lungs and respiratory tract, thus cleansing the respiratory passages and speeding up the recovery process.

Adding 2 drops of Fir needle oil in steam inhalation and inhaling the pine-forest aroma assists in clearing blocked nasal passages, preventing the inflammation of the respiratory organs, alleviating breathing difficulties, treating bronchitis and it helps in maintaining clear sinuses.

Mix 2 drops of Fir needle oil with 1 ml coconut oil and rub it gently on your chest, back and throat for helping with nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, cough and flu. Add 3 to 4 drops of Fir needle oil in warm bathing water for feeling light and re-energized as respiratory infections generally make the body feel heavier and drowsy.

2. Alleviates rheumatic and muscular pain: Fir needle oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and diuretic properties that soothes and eases pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscular tension. Also known as Silver Fir, the essential oil of Fir is extremely soothing to joints and muscles and acts as an effective aid in lessening pain and inflammation.

With its kapha reducing properties, massaging 3 drops of Fir needle oil mixed with 1.5ml of sesame oil on the painful areas aids in treating water retention, discharging detrimental toxins, salt and other micro-organisms in the body through urine and sweat, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain with its powerful analgesic values. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of Fir needle oil in hot compress or in warm foot bath for decreasing pain and promoting relaxation.

3. Valued in skin care treatments: Fir needle oil has been in use since the primordial times to protect the skin and retain its natural glow. The astringent properties of this oil is effective in treating acne, injuries, infections, sores, wounds, cuts, mild allergies, insect bites etc.

The anti oxidant properties of Fir needle oil fights against the free radicals and prevents premature aging. Mix 2 drops of Fir needle oil with 1 ml jojoba oil or to your regular skin care cream and apply it on the affected areas in circular movements. This stimulating application to the skin results in mild coagulation of the skin proteins, thus elevating it natural beauty and retaining its youthfulness.

Fir Needle oil is often recommended by dermatologists and Alternative medicine experts in the treatment of psoriasis, itching, pimples, eczema, skin diseases, poor skin, scabies and sores. This is mainly due to the presence of antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties of this oil.

A 2006 study on ‘Composition and antibacterial activity of Abies balsamea essential oil’ published in PubMed states that the three constituents in Fir needle oil namely alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene were effective against the gram negative and gram positive bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, where Staphylococcus aureus is mainly responsible for wounds and other skin infections to turn septic and worsen.

4. Emulsifies your emotional strength: Your success depends upon your mental strength and amidst the stress and tension of this contemporary world, nothing better than the natural remedies like essential oils can grant us the real peace and serenity.

Fir needle oil is a boon to mankind with its rich invigorating, stimulating and energizing properties contributing to a potential uplift of the emotional strength. 2 to 3 drops of Fir oil added to your diffuser or burner can act as a mood elevator that aids in revitalizing your mind, refreshing your soul, weakening the element of depression, lack of self-confidence, agony, fear and emotional stress.

5. Discards toxins and improves metabolism: Being a diuretic, Fir Needle Oil is helps in eliminating the toxic remains, uric acid, fat deposits and salts in the body through urine by stimulating the frequency and quantity of urine.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Fir needle oil mixed with 10ml of coconut oil can improve the health of the kidneys, treat kidney stones or renal calculi, urinary infections, food poisoning by enhancing the functions of the excretory system and boosting the metabolic functions naturally.

Other health benefits of fir Needle Oil: Fir needle oil is also used in manufacturing soaps, perfumes, air fresheners, hair oils, body lotions etc. It can also be used on pet animals as it is a non-toxic repellent of fleas. Certain research studies have also proved the antitumor activity of Fir needle oil by the production of reactive oxygen species induced by alpha-humulene as possible mechanism of action.

Disclaimer: This is only for the purpose of information and is not meant for diagnosis or as a replacement for prescribed drugs or professional medical advice. Never use essential oils internally and topical use should always be in a diluted manner as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated extracts and can cause harm if used directly on the skin. It is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before making the right choice of essential oils for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Nature’s music is never over; her silences are pauses, not conclusions.                  -Mary Webb

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. Healing Power Beyond Medicine by Carol A. Wilson
  3. The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines by Matthew Wood
  4. Aromatherapy for the Soul: Healing the Spirit with Fragrance and Essential Oils by Valerie Ann Worwood
  5. Genetics and breeding of the Silver Fir (Abies alba Mill.) =: Genetika i oplemenjivanje obicne jele (Abies alba Mill.) (Anali za sumarstvo) by Stefan Korpel

Reference Links:

  1. Abies Alba by Wikipedia
  2. Abies Balsamea by The University of Michigan
  3. Composition and antibacterial activity of Abies Balsamea essential oil by Pichette A, Larouche PL, Lebrun M, Legault J. Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada, published in PubMed
  4. Balsam Fir by herbs2000.com

Geranium Oil

 

Euphoric is the feeling that you will be left behind with the inspiring and heartening floral aroma of Geranium essential oil that has been used for uplifting the spirit, alleviating nervous tension, relieving off-putting memories and negative emotions. Extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and leaves of Pelargonium graveolens plant, Geranium essential oil is celebrated as an exceptional healing agent that helps in quickly repairing wounds, cuts and injuries including bone fractures.

Geranium is immune-system stimulating, firms and tightens tissue and is mood elevating”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Often used in improving the body’s ability to fight against illnesses, Geranium essential oil is used in Ayurvedic healing for stimulating the lymphatic system, assisting in menopausal and menstrual problems, relieving stress and for treating skin problems.

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Historical uses of Geranium essential oil: Geranium is native to Egypt and is also believed to have been originated in the Reunion Island of the Indian Ocean. It slowly spread to Madagascar, South Africa, the Congo, Morocco, Central America, England, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, France and India. The best quality Geranium essential oil is said to be from the Reunion Island, which was previously called as Ile de Bourbon and so the finest essential oil from this island is known as Gernanium Bourbon-La-Reunion.

Geranium and its essential oil have been used in numerous Alternative medicinal practices for healing wounds and fractures. It is said that the ancient Greeks used Geranium for treating skin problems. Egyptians used Geranium oil for enhancing the beauty and radiance of their skin.

This plant was grown around homes in the ancient times to keep away from evil spirits. The traditional Africans used Geranium oil in the treatment of cholera and tumors. The Indian tribes in North America used Geranium tea prepared with its root powder to enhance the body’s immune power and treat ulcers and dysentery.

The essential oil of Geranium is said to have first distilled from its leaves by the popular French chemist Recluz in the 17th century. His discovery was then supported by numerous research studies by many botanists and chemists, insisting the therapeutic use of Geranium essential oil. The leaves and flowers of this plant have also been used as a flavoring agent in teas, ice creams, cakes, jellies, sorbets, jams and salads. It has also been used in making perfumes and beauty products.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Geranium essential oil: According to a recent analysis Geranium oil has more than 50 compounds and the most important among them are nerol, citronellol, geraniol, limonene, myrcene, a-pinene, linalool, β-citronellol, geranyl butyrate, menthone and geranyl acetate. The remedial properties of this oil are antiseptic, anti-infectious, antibacterial, astringent, antimicrobial, cicatrisant, haemostatic, vulnerary, deodorant, cytophylactic, tonic, styptic, vermifuge, diuretic and immune-stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Geranium essential oil: Ayurveda means the ‘knowledge of life’ and is a science of Mother Nature, which strongly states that Nature has all the cure in itself and illnesses occur where there is a lack of rhythm with nature. Health is a three-fold structure in Ayurveda, which states that perfect health is not just the nonexistence of diseases but the absolute balance of the mind, body and spirit.

Ayurvedic healing does not practice the ‘one size fits all’ methodology as it trusts that every individual is a unique part of nature with a distinctive combination of the five elements of nature, namely fire, water, earth, air and space, where earth is the physical body (muscles and bones), water is the blood, air is what we breathe, fire is the heat generated in our body for metabolism, absorption and body temperature and space is the spirit that dwells in.

Every human being is created with a unique individual constitution comprising of three biological energies known as doshas, which are nothing but a combination of the five elements of nature. Vata dosha is a combination of air and space and is accountable for movements, nervous functions and respiration. Pitta is a combination of fire and water and is in charge of digestion, absorption, excretion and body temperature. Kapha dosha is an arrangement of water and earth and is responsible for structure of the body, cellular nourishment and lubrication of all the parts of body.

Ayurvedic texts state that every individual has a predominance of anyone of these doshas that determines their character and personality. It also says that illnesses occur when there is a lack of balance between these three doshas. When it comes to treatment, Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, physical exercises, healthy lifestyle, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, prayers and meditation, according to the unique individual constitution of a person in such a way that it corrects the doshic imbalances.

Geranium oil has the power to pacify aggravated vata, pitta and kapha doshas. Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Geranium essential oil:

1. Excellent benefits to the skin: Geranium essential oil is a historic remedy for treating numerous skin problems ranging from pimples to scars. It works wonders on the skin mainly because of the fact that it exceptionally suits all types of skin.

The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of Geranium oil heal and act as a shield to the skin mainly from the hazardous effects of acne. Using 2 drops of this oil in your face wash, skin cream, lotion or in face packs can assist in cleansing the skin thoroughly, regularizing the secretion of sebum and retains the natural oil and moisture content of the skin. By this way, it prevents the formation of pimples, black heads and boils. Geranium oil is also effective in treating cellulite, eczema, dandruff and fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm.

The major cause for those ugly scars on your facial skin or on any part of the body is due to lack of blood circulation leading to stagnation of toxic substances and dead skin cells that block the even circulation of melanin causing scars and marks to stay on the skin forever.

Geranium essential oil has cicatrisant and cytophylactic properties that promote blood circulation, assist proper distribution of melanin pigments, support the regeneration of dead skin cells and speeding up the growth of new skin cells. Massaging the affected areas with 2 drops of Geranium oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil or in your regular skin care cream can be of great help in fading away your scars and bringing out the natural glow like never before.

2. Addresses feminine problems including menstruation and menopause: Traditionally known as ‘women’s oil’, Geranium essential oil helps in treating feminine problems like excessive menstrual flow, vaginal infections and discharges during menopause. Massaging your lower abdomen and back with 4 drops of Geranium essential oil mixed with 2 ml sesame oil helps in treating painful menstruation, excessive bleeding, mood fluctuations, fatigue and anxiety during menses and menopause.

Geranium oil has haemostatic properties that speed up the process of blood clotting and helps in controlling excess bleeding. It’s calming, soothing, tonic and stimulant properties relieves pain, stress and mood fluctuations during these ‘M&M’ times.

3. Soothes the mind: Many recent studies have proved that Geranium essential oil stimulates the adrenal cortex, which helps in balancing the mind and grants the endurance to handle stress. The invigorating floral fragrance along with a touch of refreshing mint aroma makes Geranium as an incomparable essential oil for alleviating stress, anxiety, fear, feelings of desertion, negative emotions, tension and agitation.

Add 5 drops of Geranium oil to warm bathing water, followed by 2 drops added to your diffuser can help in relaxing your mind, soothing your nerves and reviving your senses. This also helps in promoting peaceful sleep at night. With its assenting effects on the mind, Geranium is also recommended as a suitable oil to be used during meditation as it is trusted to guide one’s mind in the right path without confusions.

4. Heals wounds and injuries speedily: Geranium essential oil is one among the classic natural remedies for healing wounds and injuries including fractures. It is also effective in treating hemorrhoids and is used as an important ingredient in herbal formulations for hemorrhoids treatment.

Applying 2 drops of Geranium essential oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut on the affected area aids in cleaning the wounds with its antiseptic and disinfectant properties, arrest the growth of infectious microbes and bacteria that may cause the wound to turn septic, speeds up the process of healing with its vulnerary properties, stimulates quick coagulation and blood clotting with its haemostatic properties.

A 2012 study on ‘Antibacterial activity and composition of essential oils from Pelargonium graveolens L’Her and Vitex agnus-castus L’ by the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences have stated that the essential oil of Pelargonium graveolens is active against all of the studied bacteria and the presence of β-citronellol in this volatile oil along with its possible synergistic effect with other constituents are accountable for its antibacterial effects.

5. Eliminates toxins effectively: Accumulation of toxic substances, which are the remains of indigestion and improper metabolic functions, is the root cause lying behind numerous illnesses. These harmful remains are known as ‘ama’ in Ayurveda and numerous Ayurvedic texts state that the amassing of ama in human body can even lead to chronic illnesses.

Geranium essential oil is a natural diuretic agent that promotes the flow of urine and increases the frequency of urination, through which the toxic substances, excess salts and water in the body are eliminated easily. This aids in stabilizing blood pressure, improving the proper functioning of the system, relieving swollen ankles, reducing inflammation, lessening rheumatic and arthritic pain due to toxic buildup and gradually treating obesity due to fluid retention. Mix 5 drops of Geranium oil in 2.5 ml of almond oil and massage it gently for discharging the harmful substances in the system.

6. Boosts the immune system: The essential oil of Geranium has enormous tonic properties that strengthens the system, enhances the immune power and stimulates the proper functioning of all the parts of the body. Using Geranium essential oil in bathing water or steam inhalation or massage or in diffuser has positive effects on the digestive system, nervous system, endocrine system, respiratory system and circulatory system.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Geranium oil blended with 5 ml jojoba oil or adding 5 drops of this oil to warm bathing water can assist in stimulating the adrenal glands, lymphatic system, upholding the natural balance of hormones, increasing the immunity and augmenting the body’s natural resistance to fight against illnesses.

Other health benefits: Geranium oil is an excellent natural deodorant with its antibacterial properties that combat body odor and its floral fragrance that keeps one fresh all day long. 2 to 4 drops of this oil added to your diffuser can disinfect impure air, repel mosquitoes and other insects. 2 drops of Geranium oil added to steam inhalation can help relieve nasal congestion, tonsillitis and sore throat.

Disclaimer: This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to heal or substitute any professional medical advice or prescribed medication. Never use essential oils internally and always consider to use essential oils topically in a diluted form as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause harmful effects if used straight on the skin. Geranium oil is non-sensitizing, non-toxic and non-irritant but it is good to be avoided during pregnancy. Consult your Ayurvedic physician before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health.

Thought for the day:

The course of Nature is the art of God.  -Edward Young

Suggested Reading:

  1. How to Use Geranium Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  2. Growing Pelargoniums and Geraniums: A Complete Guide by Beryl Stockton, Geoff Stockton, John Mason
  3. Geraniums: The Complete Encyclopedia by Faye Brawner
  4. Geranium and Pelargonium: History of Nomenclature, Usage and Cultivation (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Pelargonium graveolens by Wikipedia
  2. The Emotional, physical and health benefits of Geranium Essential Oil by HubPages
  3. Antibacterial activity and composition of essential oils from Pelargonium graveolens L’Her and Vitex agnus-castus L. by Ghannadi A, Bagherinejad M, Abedi D, Jalali M, Absalan B, Sadeghi N, published in PubMed
  4. Geranium by Daniele Ryman for the Aromatherapy Bible
  5. What are the benefits of Geranium oil in Aromatherapy by Yogawiz.com

Gingergrass Oil

 

Ensconced with enormously sensual, spicy, warming, lemony and peppery aroma, Gingergrass essential oil is extracted from the aromatic and herbaceous grasses of Cymbopogon martini var. sofia, the most loved sibling of Palmarosa known as Cymbopogon martini var. motia. It is also beckoned as the most popular botanical cousin of Lemongrass. Gingergrass oil has excellent properties for nurturing healthy skin and it is for this reason, it has been used for centuries together in making Indian soaps for treating acne, wrinkles, scars and marks.

Indigenous to India, Gingergrass and its extracts, including its essential oil is a time-honored ingredient of numerous Ayurvedic formulations prescribed for the treatment of inflammation, sinusitis, allergies, joint pain, muscular aches, sore throat, depression, loss of libido, dermatitis, acne, cough, common cold and certain other health disorders. Gingergrass is called as Sofiya in Sanskrit.

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History of Gingergrass: Gingergrass (Cymbopogon martini var. sofia) is a thickly growing perennial grass variety that reaches up to a height of 2m and is found growing in the wild, especially in lower altitudes. Gingergrass essential oil is steam distilled from its aromatic grass in India since the 18th century. The herbaceous, sharp and woody aroma have paved ways for its use in making perfumes, colognes, soaps, herbal medicines, ointments, toiletries and skin care ranges.

A multilingual multi-script plant name database sorting Cymbopogon names quotes, “Two kinds of oil can be obtained from Cymbopogon martinii; Palmarosa oil from the variety known as “Motia” and Ginger-grass oil from “Sofia.”  It has also been mentioned that these two types are differentiable both aromatically and morphologically, where Motia variety is diploid and Sofia is tetraploid.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Gingergrass essential oil: The major therapeutic properties of Gingergrass essential oil are analgesic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, uplifting, bactericidal, anti-depressant, revitalizing, decongestant, anthelmintic and insect repellant. The chemical constituents contributing to its healing powers are geraniol, trans-p-menthene-8-diol-1,2, cis- and trans-dihydrocarvone, cis- and trans-carveol, menthadienols limonene oxide and piperitenone. The grassy notes of this oil are due to the presence of Perilla alcohol, meaning dihydro cuminyl alcohol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Gingergrass Essential Oil: Ayurveda is a holistic healing methodology that considers and treats an individual as a whole person instead of treating any specific diseases or parts of the body. Legendary Ayurvedic Physician Mr. Vasant Lad rightly quotes in the Textbook of Ayurveda as, “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.

This ancient healing system means ‘knowledge of life’ and aims at treating an illness after analyzing the root cause lying behind so as to help humanity to prevent such illnesses in the future. Health in Ayurveda means the wellness of the mind, body and spirit as it trusts that a healthy mind can survive only in a healthy body supported by a hale and hearty spirit.

The aim of Ayurvedic treatment according to National Institutes of Health is, “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.

The modesty of Ayurveda vests in its way of treating every individual in a unique manner even if it is for the same illness. According to Ayurvedic texts, every human on earth is unique with a distinct individual constitution and similarly the way of treating human beings should also be unique according to his constitution, which is made up of three biological energies known as doshas. Everything on earth (including human beings) is made up of five vital elements namely air, water, fire, earth and space. Doshas are nothing but a combination of these vital elements.

Vata is a combination of space and air and governs the functions of the respiratory system and nervous system; Pitta represents fire and water and takes care of digestion, absorption and cognitive functions; Kapha stands for water and earth and is responsible for structure, movement of fluids in the body and sustenance. Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determine their personality and traits. Balance between these doshas denotes health and imbalance due to change in lifestyle and food habits cause sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, physical exercises, prayers, meditation and Ayurvedic routine are prescribed according to the individual constitution in such a way to treat doshic imbalances. Gingergrass essential oil is said to lessen vata, pitta and kapha energy. Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Gingergrass essential oil:

1. Pacifies the hassled mind: Gingergrass essential oil has a sensual and warming aroma that calms the stressed, tensed and confused mind. Most often used for alleviating anxiety and depression, the citrusy, peppery and spicy fragrance of this oil assists in revitalizing your nerves and uplifting your senses. Massaging your body with 5 drops of Gingergrass oil mixed with 2.5 ml of almond oil can be of great assistance in lessening fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression.

The greatest news is that Gingergrass oil can implant complete freshness, happiness and a clean feeling even on a damp and drenched rainy day. All you need to do is to add 2 drops of Gingergrass essential oil to your room freshener and spray it to recharge your mood with absolute newness on a dull soggy day.

2. Relieves nasal and chest congestion: Cold, cough, allergies and sinus congestion can rule your routine tasks, as you might find it difficult to concentrate on your work with such respiratory problems. The best thing that you need to do is to use a safe decongestant and expectorant that assists in discharging the mucous and phlegm deposits that lead to cough, cold, congestion and breathing difficulties. Increased kapha dosha is responsible for respiratory problems, stagnation of water, phlegm and mucous deposits.

Gingergrass essential oil is said to lessen kapha dosha and is a good expectorant, decongestant, bactericidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can help you in relieving from blocked nasal passages, sinus congestion, headache and congestion. You can also add 1 drop of Gingergrass oil to your vapor rub and gently massage your chest, throat and back to get rid of throat allergies, dry cough, stuffy nose and watery eyes. With its antiseptic and bactericidal properties, Gingergrass essential oil aids in arresting the growth of microbes causing respiratory infections.

3. Alleviates muscular and joint pain: Most of us complain about back pain, headache, muscular pain or joint pain at the end of the day, after struggling for a full day with our official and household chores. Human body is the most delicate and sensitive set up. Often, we forget to give the priority that our body requires and our mind looks up to.

Mix 5 drops of Gingergrass essential oil with 2.5 ml of olive oil and gently massage your body and leave it for 15 minutes, followed by a warm bath (add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil in bathing water as well) before going to bed. Trust me; this will create a great difference in the quality of your sleep and the kind of relaxation your body can get after a tiring day. This massage and warming bath helps in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic substances in the body causing pain and inflammation and supporting muscular relaxation.

4. Repels mosquitoes and other insects: Gingergrass and its extracts have been used as a powerful insect repellent and as the most effective natural aid against mosquitoes since the ancient times. A 1994 study was conducted on the ‘Repellent action of Cymbopogon martinii martinii Stapf var. sofia oil against mosquitoes’ by the Malaria Research Center, India to assess the repellent action of Gingergrass essential oil against mosquitoes under field conditions.

The results of this study depicted that Gingergrass oil has strong repellent power and it granted complete protection for 12 hours, against Anopheles culicifacies mosquitoes, which is the primary vector of malaria in India. It also said that this oil showed about 96.3% protection for 12 hours against a pest mosquito type. The best way to keep away from mosquitoes and other insects like bugs is to add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil to your diffuser or burner.

Another study on ‘Evaluation of repellent action of Cymbopogan martinii martinii Stapf var sofia oil against Anopheles sundaicus in tribal villages of Car Nicobar Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India.’ Concluded that “Cymbopogan martinii martinii Stapf var sofia oil is an indigenous product, its application is safe and can be widely used for protection from malaria.”

5. Nurtures skin health: How can something with the touch citrus be less benefiting to the skin? Absolutely not, Gingergrass essential oil has a lemony aroma and the citrusy touch in its therapeutic properties has excellent benefits for the skin. With its antiseptic, anti-fungal and bactericidal properties, Gingergrass oil is effective in treating pimples, black heads, boils, cuts, dermatitis, burns, ringworm, athlete’s foot, wounds and other skin infections.

Just like Palmarosa essential oil, Gingergrass oil is also said to be effective in treating marks, scars and wrinkles. Mix 2 drops of Gingergrass oil in your skin care cream or lotion and apply it the affected parts for effective results. You can also add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil with 1 ml of olive oil and massage it gently on your skin and leave it over for 30 minutes, followed by a refreshing bath can help in improving your skin tone, reducing marks and scars, augmenting the circulation and regenerating the formation of new skin cells.

Other health benefits: Gingergrass essential oil also has aphrodisiac properties that assist in treating loss of libido, impotence and loss of sexual interest along with clearing cluttered thoughts in the mind that weaken the intimacy with your partner. This oil is also used in making perfumes, soaps, colognes and other skin care products.

Disclaimer: This article is only for the purpose of education and is not meant to diagnose or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Always use essential oils in a diluted manner and never use it internally as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated solutions and can cause harm if not used properly. Gingergrass essential oil has slight phototoxic effect like the citrus oils, so do not go out in sun immediately after using it topically, to avoid the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. Consult your Ayurvedic expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.   -Wendell Berry

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Traditional Systems of Medicine by M. Z. Abdin
  3. Get Healthy for Good: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Mind and Body Well-being (52 Brilliant Ideas): 52 Brilliant Ideas for Mind and Body Well-being (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Kate Cook
  4. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia (Volume 2 of 2): A Concise Guide to Over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller

Reference Links:

  1. Sorting Cymbopogon names by University of Melbourne
  2. Essential Oils and Their Constituents: XXVII. Composition of Oil of Gingergrass by M. C. Nigam, Ishwar C. Nigam, Leo Levi published by NRC Research Press in The Canadian Journal of Chemistry
  3. Repellent action of Cymbopogon martinii martinii Stapf var. Sofia oil against mosquitoes’ by Ansari MA, Razdan RK, the Malaria Research Center, India published in PubMed
  4. Cymbopogon martinii by Wikipedia

Ginger Oil

 

Ginger oil is known as the “Oil of Empowerment” and is called in Ayurveda as Mahaushadha, meaning “universal medicine”, predominantly for its ability to heal the mind, body and soul, which are the three vital pillars of perfect health in Ayurveda.  Along with turmeric, galangal and cardamom, Ginger is yet another potent limb of the Zingiberaceae plant family. As a common culinary spice, Ginger is found in countless kitchens across the world and takes the pride of being used as a natural home remedy for addressing digestive and respiratory disorders.

Botanically named as Zingiber officinale, this powerful herb is called as Singara, Katubhadra and Srngaveram in Sanskrit. Ginger in any form, say fresh ginger, dried ginger or ginger extracts like juice, essential oil or powder has a bunch of absolute healing wisdom.

Ayurveda, the oldest healing system on earth prescribes Ginger as a remedy for indigestion, flatulence, nausea, loss of appetite, morning sickness, bronchitis, menstrual cramps, respiratory infections, arthritis, cancer and for enhancing the immune power. It is also recommended for treating fear, hopelessness, instability and for rekindling the inner fire for ultimatum.

Purchase Ginger Oil – Retail – 1 oz – CLICK HERE

Purchase Ginger Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Purchase Ginger Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Ginger: Ginger is one among the oldest spice used for more than 4400 years across different cultures universally. With more than 1,200 species, Ginger has been proved scientifically for treating numerous health disorders. Its name is extracted from a Sanskrit word ‘srngaveram’, which means ‘horn root’.

According to the report by the University of Maryland Medical Center, “It has a long history of being used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions.” It has also been said that Ginger has been used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating toothache, nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea and certain other digestive disorders.

Ginger and its other extracts have been a vital part of the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for obesity, poor metabolism, abdominal pain, motion sickness, impotence, weak memory, arthritis, flu, menstrual pain and as a heart tonic. It has its name etched in the most respected epic of India, Mahabharata.

This aromatic spice was recommended by King Henry VIII of England in the 16th century for fighting against the great plague. Greeks used Ginger as to combat the harmful effects of poison. It is said that the West African women in Senegal knit belts of Ginger to restore their partner’s reproductive potency. Even today, Ginger is used in various dishes across the world for granting the finesse flavor and taste of this miraculous spice with mammoth health benefits.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Ginger essential oil: The major chemical components of Ginger essential oil are camphene, a-pinene, b-pinene, zingiberene, geraniol, borneol, neral, geranyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, citral, b-bisabolene, linalool, nerol, geranial and y-terpineol. These components contribute to its healing properties like carminative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, analgesic, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, stimulant, antiseptic and emmenagogue.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil: Nothing is as astonishing as Mother Nature and the best wonder in the world is the human body that works like a magic to keep one going on and on. Ayurveda states that human beings are a part of nature and their illness and health depends upon their harmony with nature.

It further lights up this thought by stating that nature is made up of five vital elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and space and to our wonder, it’s also been said that a human being also has all these five elements. Where earth is the muscles and bones, water is the blood, fire is the energy for various vital functions, air is our breath and space is the soul that co-ordinates all other functions and keeps us living.

The concept of healing in Ayurveda solely depends upon nature as it says that all the other things on earth are made for making mankind happy and healthy. For example, earth has 92 elements like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron etc, and the human body also has all these 92 elements. When a person lacks magnesium or calcium energy, he/she can take Ginger, which is rich in magnesium and calcium, whereas Ginger grows by absorbing the magnesium and calcium element from earth. How interesting it is, right?

Ayurveda regards every individual as a unique part of nature and suggests that the treatment should also be unique depending upon their individual constitution that is made up of three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Vata is a representation of air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha symbolizes earth and water. Vata controls respiratory and nervous functions, pitta takes care of metabolism and body temperature and kapha governs the structure, sustenance and movement of fluids in the body.

Balance between these three doshas indicates health, and imbalance due to unhealthy food habits and change in lifestyle symbolizes illness. Ayurvedic remedies aim at correcting these dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, yoga, meditation, physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, balanced diet and prayer.

Ginger essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata dosha and aggravate pitta dosha with its warming, spicy, rich, woody and drying energy and aroma. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil are:

1. Benefits to the digestive system: Ginger is popularly known as Adrak in India and is a quick natural remedy for relieving indigestion, bloating, flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting, spasms, nausea, loss of appetite, piles and colic. Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee, a renowned Ayurvedic Consultant says, “Ginger has many useful minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and few others. It is a wonderful carminative, anti-flatulent and stimulant.”

Ginger essential oil has the potential to increase pitta energy that is responsible for the digestive fire. Add 2 drops of Ginger essential oil to your diffuser or air freshener before meals and let it stay there till you complete your food. Inhaling the warming aroma of this oil enhances the appetite and improves the process of digestion, supports absorption of essential nutrients by the body and aids in alleviating the toxic substances with its hot potency, but for which the toxins or ama may otherwise cause serious illnesses.

You can also add 2 drops of Ginger oil to warm bathing water before going to bed or before starting a hectic day. This refreshing bath aids in promoting peaceful sleep, free from bloating, indigestion, gastric pain and other digestive disorders. If it is for the morning, Ginger has a handful of bright benefits like stimulating your nerves, rejuvenating your cells, improving your appetite and augmenting your mental power for facing your day to day challenges.

Ginger and its essential oil have been proven best for treating motion sickness even in children. Numerous studies have witnessed the effectiveness of Ginger is better than the effects of dimenhydrate, which is the most important ingredient in over-the-counter motion sickness and seasickness remedies like Dramamine.

It works by stimulating the flow of saliva and other digestive juices, pacifies the stomach, relieves pain due to gas and diarrhea, controls vomiting and supports easy discharge of stools. Mix 1 drop of Ginger essential oil with 10 drops of sesame oil and massage it gently on your stomach and abdomen for treating constipation and motion sickness.

2. Benefits to the mind: Ginger essential oil is an effective natural remedy for treating emotional problems like fear, abandonment, and lack of self-confidence and of motivation. Using 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in diffuser, aromatic candles or in bath can help in improving memory power, treat mood swings, tendency to procrastinate, disconnectiveness, hopelessness, stress, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness and depression.

Ginger oil is an excellent stimulant to the mind, body and soul. The encouraging aroma of this oil rekindles the inner fire and grants the power and confidence to step ahead and lead with courage and confidence. Massaging your upper and lower abdomen (the root, sacral and solar plexus chakra) with 2 drops of Ginger oil with 1 ml of coconut oil aids in eliminating fear and mental blocks, enhancing the sense of trust, mental strength and enlightening the divine power rested within.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system: Ginger is simply hot to support your intimacy with your partner as it has enormous aphrodisiac properties that have been assisting in the treatment of impotency, loss of libido, loss of sexual interest and premature ejaculation.

Gill Farrer-Halls in his book ‘The Aromatherapy Bible’ states that Ginger oil is an effective aphrodisiac and acts as a mild stimulant also. 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil and 1 drop of Rose oil added to your diffuser can drive in the positive energy required both physically and mentally for a complete “we time” together, by toning up the sexual organs and pacifying your mood.

Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil can be of great help in treating the problems of the female reproductive system by regularizing blocked or irregular menstruation, relieving menstrual pain and treating other problems associated with menstruation like nausea, dizziness, fatigue and mood fluctuations. Inhaling the reviving aroma of Ginger oil can aid in treating nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.

4. Benefits to the respiratory system: Ginger essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha. According to Ayurveda, excess of kapha energy is the main reason for respiratory problems like bronchitis, cold, sinusitis, asthma and congestion. Ginger oil also has expectorant properties that aids in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits and with its antiseptic properties, it assists in curbing the growth of microbes that spread respiratory infections.

Researchers of the Columbia University have proved that the components in Ginger root have properties that help asthma patients to breathe easily. The post-doctoral research fellow in the Columbia University Department of Anesthesiology, Elizabeth Townsend says, “In our study, we demonstrated that purified components of ginger can work synergistically with β-agonists to relax ASM.”

Adding 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in steam inhalation can assist in reducing cough, clear chest and nasal congestion, relieving sinusitis and helping in treating cold and flu symptoms. You can also rub your chest, back and throat with your regular Vapor rub mixed with 1 drop of Ginger oil for quick relief. Even today Ginger tea is a delicious and healthy way to keep away from cold, cough and flu in the Indian kitchens.

5. Benefits to the muscular system: Muscular pain is a common illness that most of us experience in our day to day lives. Headache, back pain, knee pain and pain all over the body after a strenuous work are not a surprise to many of us. What we all do is, rush to the pharmacy and grab pain relieving creams and sprays that grant relief. Most of us fail to realize that these over-the-counter remedies give temporary relief only and force us to use them again when the pain peeps out even worse the next time.

Ginger essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and analgesic properties that make it an exuberant natural aid for treating muscular pain, migraine pain, rheumatic pain, back pain, headache, joint pain, arthritis and weakness. Excess of vata and kapha energy in the body lead to swelling, water stagnation, accumulation of toxic substances, inflammation, sore muscles, weakened nerves and muscular tension.

With its potent to reduce vata and kapha dosha and increase pitta or the fire energy, 3 drops of Ginger essential oil blended with 1 teaspoon of almond oil massaged gently on the painful area, spreads warmth in the body, reduces swelling and inflammation by eliminating toxic substances and water deposits from the body through urine and sweat and relieves pain by causing numbness in the painful parts.

6. Benefits to the entire system: Ginger and its essential oil also act as a heart tonic and helps in improved circulation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, few studies have proved that ginger has the potential to prevent blood clotting, lower cholesterol, prevent blood vessels from getting blocked, which may otherwise lead to stroke or heart attack.

Ginger essential oil has antioxidant properties that have been proved efficacious in the prevention and treatment of cancerous cells.  A 2011 study on ‘Antioxidant activity of the volatile oils of Zingiber officinale (ginger)’ published in Spatula-DD, A peer reviewed journal on complementary medicine and drug discovery says “Ginger extracts have reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids levels, as well as cellular cholesterol accumulation, reduce DPPH absorption, scavenge free radicals and it has potential to improve the histopathological lesion occurring in different layers of the arterial tissue. In other word it is effective in attenuating of atherosclerosis development.”

This dominant herb has also been witnessed effective in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A 2006 study by the University Of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center presented in the annual meeting of the American association for Cancer Research stated that using Ginger solution (made with Ginger powder and water) on ovarian cancer cells ended up in their death. These cancerous cells died either due to autophagy (attacked/digested themselves) or due to apoptosis (committed suicide).

The book “A Complete Guide To Understanding and Using Aromatherapy For Vibrant Health and Beauty,” says that Ginger essential oil is effective in treating varicose veins and cellulites. With rich vitamin C, Ginger oil can also help in treating scurvy. Mix 1 drop of Ginger oil with 10 drops of jojoba oil and apply it on the affected area for enhancing the skin health and reducing the symptoms of aging with its antioxidant properties.

Other health benefits: Ginger essential oil can also assist in treating rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, loss of libido, problems of the lymphatic system, sore throat, chills, disconnectiveness, improper blood circulation, increased blood sugar levels, back pain and mood swings.

Disclaimer: This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant for treating or replacing any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution. Never use essential oils internally and always use essential oils in a diluted manner as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Care should be taken, if you are a pregnant or nursing woman.

Thought for the day:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.
-Theodore Roethke

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug by Paul Schulick
  2. A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens by Nina Simonds
  3. The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook: Forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health by David Simon M.D., Deepak Chopra M.D.
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  5. Ginger Recipes: 33 Mouth-Watering Recipes Using Natures Super Spice for Weight Loss, Health, and Beauty. (The Simple Recipe Series) by Ready Recipe Books

Reference Links:

  1. Ginger by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Ginger Beats Drugs in Defeating Cancer, Motion Sickness and Inflammation by Health Impact News Daily
  3. Ginger is a powerful aphrodisiac and increases sexual prowess by Namini Wijedasa published in infolanka.com
  4. What are the benefits of Ginger? By Medical News Today
  5. Ginger – Ayurveda’s Root To Good Health by Ayurveda Acharya

Grapefruit Oil

 

Are you on diet? Then Grapefruit can be your best pal as it is called as ‘Dieter’s best friend‘, for its ability to assist dissolving fat and stays strong to be a vital part of your fitness regimen. Give that perfect lift to your self-esteem and self-worth with Grapefruit oil, as it works like a magic by cleansing the aura and flushing out depression, lack of self-confidence, mental chaos and other negative feelings at ease.

Adorably called as Madhukarktikum and Kadaaram in Sanskrit, Grapefruit is yet another powerful Ayurvedic remedy for dealing with digestive disorders by stimulating the gall bladder and assisting the secretion of bile and other digestive juices. The essential oil of Grapefruit is cold pressed from the external rind of this fruit and is recommended for treating weight loss, acne, cellulite, edema, PMS, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Purchase Grapefruit Oil – Retail – 1 oz – CLICK HERE

Purchase Grapefruit Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

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Historical importance of Grapefruit: Grapefruit is trusted to be a hybrid variety found in the 18th century by Captain Shaddock in Jamaica; hence it was called as ‘Shaddock’ or ‘Shattuck’ initially. Later it was named as ‘Grapefruit’ mainly because of its manifestation like clusters of grapes on the trees. Grapefruit was once celebrated as one of the ‘Seven wonders of Barbados’.

Grapefruit is indigenous to the tropical parts of Asia and was originally brought to Europe by the medieval Arabian traders and it slowly spread to other parts of the world. Currently, United States is the world’s leading producer of Grapefruit, followed by People’s Republic of China and South Africa. As it is an excellent source of various nutrients and phytochemicals, it was used ever since the ancient times as a part of a healthy diet. Whereas Grapefruit essential oil was used in baths for preventing the skin from harmful microbes, supporting healthy skin, enhancing the shine and growth of hair and as a cleansing agent in homes.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Grapefruit essential oil: Just like other citrus oils, Grapefruit essential oil has myrcene, linalool, limonene, sabinene, geraniol, neryl acetate, a-pinene, terpineol, citronellal and decyl acetate. The remedial values of this oil are antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-tumoral, antioxidant, lymphatic, stimulant, tonic, diuretic, disinfectant, aperitif and fat dissolving.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Grapefruit essential oil: Health is a three-tier foundation according to Ayurveda, where these three layers are mind, body and soul. It is rightly mentioned in Charaka Samhita, one of the most famous Ayurvedic encyclopedias as “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

Ayurveda means ‘the knowledge of life’ and this traditional healing methodology aids in granting that awareness in every human being. Understanding the physical and mental health of oneself helps in leading a blissful life paving way towards longevity. It has been said that nature is made up of five vital elements namely fire, water, earth, air and space and Ayurvedic texts strongly state that everything that is a part of nature is also made up of these five elements.

The science of Ayurveda follows a holistic healing system, where every individual is considered as a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution just like our fingerprints. This constitution comprises of three vital biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha doshas, where each dosha represent a combination of two vital elements.

Kapha represents earth and water, and is responsible for structure of the body, sustenance and the movement of fluids in the system. Pitta represents fire and water and is in charge of digestion, absorption, excretion and certain other metabolic functions. Vata stands for air and ether, and is accountable for circulation, respiration and nervous functions of the body. When an individual’s health is on par with nature, there is perfect health and harmony and when there is imbalance due to food, lifestyle and certain other factors, illnesses occur.

Balance between these three doshas indicates complete health and imbalance causes diseases. Ayurvedic remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic routine and simple physical exercises focus on striking balance between these doshas. Grapefruit essential oil is said to pacify vata and kapha dosha and aggravate pitta dosha. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Grapefruit oil are:

1. Fights the symptoms of aging naturally: Aging can be the worst enemy for all those beauty conscious kings and queens out there, especially in the late 30s when everyone’s dreams are on the route of reaching their destination. When thousands of chemical-based products flood the market with the claim of ‘guaranteed younger look’, how will you feel if I say that the simple, natural and glorious fruit like Grapefruit can fight against all the symptoms of aging, just like that? Feeling awesome right!

FRTA or the Free radical theory of aging can assist you in understanding the real causes of aging. This theory states that “organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time.” These free radicals cause oxidative damage in the cells, which pave way for aging and other age-related disorders like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Numerous studies have proven that antioxidants are the best remedy for arresting the oxidative damage of cells by passivating the cellular structure from the damage caused by free radicals.

To your wonder, Grapefruit and its essential oil have the most powerful antioxidant lycopene, which is responsible for its attractive pink or red color. It has been established that antioxidants like lycopene assists in fighting aging of cells and fight against malignant tumors caused due to the harmful effects of free radicals.

According to a study by the Brigham Young University, “Small concentrations of grapefruit essential oil showed an 80.5% cell inhibition value for skin cancer cells.” The presence of limonene in Grapefruit oil supports about 80% of carcinomas in breast cancer to degenerate with comparatively lesser toxicity, says the reports on Grapefruit essential oil by the Purdue University.

In addition to this, Grapefruit essential oil has adequate amount of spermidine, which is a polyamine compound playing significant roles in the survival of cells. Every cell has spermidine like compounds and cellular aging happens when the growth of spermidine falls.

Using 2 drops of Grapefruit essential oil blended with 1ml of Jojoba oil or along with a mild skin care lotion or cream as a massaging blend can promote the secretion of spermidine compounds that support the growth of healthy cells, helping you look younger and youthful. This massaging can also help in fighting against the free radicals that cause aging and other chronic illnesses. Adding Grapefruit to your daily diet is also a great idea to retain your beauty and nurture your skin health.

2. Protects the skin from microbial infections: Grapefruit essential oil has antiseptic and disinfectant properties that wrestle against harmful organisms like bacteria and virus. The antiviral and antibacterial effects of this oil make it one among the best essential oils for treating wounds, cuts, bruises, acne and other microbial infections. It kills the existing microbes in the body that cause infections and prevents the entry of new microbes.

Using 2 drops of Grapefruit essential oil in warm bathing water in the morning or before going to bed can help in combating the growth of microbes and protect the body microbial infections all day long. You can also add 1 drop of Grapefruit oil to your daily lotion or skin cream for pampering your skin. Along with this, the fresh and refreshing citrus aroma of Grapefruit oil keeps your skin fresh, regenerated and absolutely clean.

3. Boosts positive energy and adds up to your mental strength: Grapefruit essential oil has an immaculate aroma that is neat as a new pin and has excellent aromatic effect on the mind.  The anti-depressant properties of this oil flushes out the negative thoughts, depressive feelings and emotions that demotivate the mind and stop you from moving ahead.

The uplifting aroma of Grapefruit essential oil reaches the limbic system, the control center of the human brain through the nasal passages and passes the therapeutic properties of this oil in the form of commands to other parts of the body. Add 2 drops of Grapefruit oil to your diffuser, burner or vaporizer during the night or at the time of prayer or meditation. This oil is said to calm the mind and nerves and grant peaceful sleep at night.

Inhaling the sacred aroma of Grapefruit oil is said to broaden the heart chakra, which is responsible for love and affection along with the solar plexus chakra, which is accountable for self-esteem, confidence and discipline and the third eye chakra meant for intelligence, creativity, spiritualism, consciousness and inner awakening. By this way, Grapefruit essential oil cleanses the aura, mind and the life force of the human body, which helps in restoring the power and spiritual realm.

4. Burns excess fat and backs up your diet regimen: Obesity has become a common phenomenon in people of all ages mainly due to unhealthy food habits, lifestyle changes, fast food mania and the lack of physical exercises. Most of these factors seem unavoidable in this contemporary world, where there’s no time to spare for our health and happiness. According to a popular Complementary and Alternative medicine expert, “taking medicines or drugs for reducing weight or dissolving fat is a hazardous practice and a life-threatening system as well.

So what to do and what is the natural way to burn away those excess fat and calories that rule your health and harmony? Here you go, Grapefruit and its essential oil have been an effective natural remedy for treating obesity and supporting weight-loss.  This is attributed to its diuretic, lymphatic and aperitif properties. Grapefruit oil works by improving the metabolism process, lowering the cholesterol content, reducing insulin levels and supporting loss of fat positively.

Ayurvedic texts state that the bitter and sour tastes of Grapefruit reside as the predominant reason for enhancing the flow of bile and other digestive juices and it helps in putting an end to food cravings, liver congestion and amassing up of excess fat, cholesterol and other toxic substances. Mix 5 drops of Grapefruit essential oil with 2.5ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on your stomach and abdomen to stimulate the secretion of saliva, bile and other gastric juices.

Ama or the toxins in the body are mainly due to improper digestion. As Grapefruit essential increases pitta energy, which is responsible for digestive fire, the chances of indigestion, constipation and other digestive disorders are very less. Excess of kapha energy is one major cause for obesity according to Ayurveda. Grapefruit oil is a boon to mankind as it pacifies kapha and increases pitta force, through which it eliminates the excess deposits of water, fat, toxic substances and cholesterol through urine and sweat.

Including Grapefruit in your diet or inhaling the aroma of Grapefruit essential oil before eating (by adding 1 drop of Grapefruit oil to your diffuser in your dining hall) can grant a feeling of fullness and put an end to unhealthy food cravings. “Consumption of Grapefruit can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides”, says The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Consult your Ayurvedic Practitioner and know the right exercises, yoga and meditation for your unique constitution. This can speed up your fat-dissolving resolution at absolute ease.

Other health benefits: Apart from this, Grapefruit essential oil is an excellent pain reliever that can help you in treating headache, back pain and migraine pain quickly, when 2 drops of this oil is mixed with 1ml of coconut oil and applied on the affected area. Grapefruit essential oil has tonic properties that increase the immune power, stimulate hair growth, cleanse the scalp, boosts the functions of the nervous system and strengthen the muscles and nerves. This oil also helps in relieving mental and physical fatigue, menstrual discomforts, rheumatism, muscular stiffness, cellulite, nervousness, delayed menstruation and nervous exhaustion.

Disclaimer: This article is only for the purpose of education and is not directed to diagnose or replace any Professional medical advice or prescribed medication. Never use essential oils internally and always use them in a diluted form, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and can cause harm if used directly on skin. As other citrus oils, Grapefruit essential oil also has phototoxic effect that can cause damages to the skin when exposed to sunlight immediately after use, due to the hazardous effects of ultra violet rays. Always consult your Ayurvedic expert before using the right essential oils for your unique constitution and health condition.

Thought for the day:

You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Grapefruit Solution: Lower Your Cholesterol, Lose Weight and Achieve Optimal Health with Nature’s Wonder Fruit by Daryl L. Thompson, M. Joseph Ahrens
  2. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  3. The Complete Master Cleanse: A Step-by-Step Guide to Maximizing the Benefits of the Lemonade Diet by Tom Woloshyn
  4. The Grapefruit Diet Plan by M Marose
  5. Daily Aromatherapy: Transforming the Seasons of Your Life with Essential Oils by Joni Keim, Ruah Bull

Reference Links:

  1. Free-radical theory of aging by Wikipedia
  2. Grapefruit by Wikipedia
  3. Health Benefits of Grapefruit by Ayurvedaservices.Net
  4. Health Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  5. The Amazing Benefits of Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil by Natural News.Com

Gurjun Oil

 

Ashwakarna is the Sanskrit name of the Common Gurjun tree and the trusted Ayurvedic remedy for relieving respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and chronic cough, for its ability to eliminate excess mucous deposits in the system. Gurjun essential oil is extracted from the woods and the oleo-resin (well-known globally as East Indian copaiba balsam), extracted from the woods of the Gurjun tree by steam distillation method.

Known as Dipterocarpus turbinatus botanically, Gurjun is indigenous to the Andaman Islands and the eastern parts of India. Gurjun is also called as Gurjun Balsam and referred as Chhaagakarna and Ajakarna in Ayurveda and used in the treatment of rheumatic conditions, urinary tract infections, skin problems like eczema and psoriasis and chronic respiratory problems.

Purchase Gurjun Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses of Gurjun: Celebrated often as a key commercial timber species, the woods of this tree is considered vital in making of plywood. These notable reddish brown woods have been used in various countries including China, Cambodia, India and Yunnan. The resin extracted from the woods is used in making torches in Cambodia and the wood is employed in tea cabinet work, wood work and for sawing.

Gurjun tree is cultivated in India and China as a perfume as well as therapeutic plant. It is also used as a substitute for crude paint material. The leaves, wood and the resin of this tree have been in use in various Complementary and Alternative Medical systems for treating psoriasis, gonorrhea, bronchitis, leprosy, asthma and certain other skin disorders.

Chemical components and therapeutic properties of Gurjun oil: The essential oil extracted from the oleo-resin of the Gurjun trees contains beta-caryophyllene, bicyclic sesquiterpene hydrocarbon, humulene and sesquiterpene alcohol. The remedial properties of this oil are diuretic, antifungal, antimicrobial, spasmolytic, anti-ulcer, stimulant, anti-rheumatic and decongestant. 

Ayurvedic health benefits of Gurjun essential oil: Cherished as the mother of all healing sciences, Ayurveda is the oldest of all healing systems on earth, trusted to have its roots deeply vested in the ancient history of the Indian mythology. The magnificence of Ayurvedic healing lies in its holistic healing approach that revolves around the principle ofThe three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.

Health is not just a physical attribute according to Ayurveda and it depends upon the emotional, spiritual and environmental factors that affect an individual’s life. The ancient Ayurvedic texts state that the world is made up of five elements namely water, air, fire, earth and space and every individual on earth is also made up of these vital elements. This paves way for the unique individual constitution that comprises of three biological energies known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Every human being has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determines his physical attributes, character, mental makeup and his behavior. Balance between these doshas is a symbol of perfect health and imbalance causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, meditation and a healthy lifestyle aim at striking absolute balance between these doshas.

Gurjun essential oil is said to lessen aggravated kapha, pitta and treat vata deficit. The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Gurjun oil are:

1. Relieves rheumatic problems: Rheumatism is known as ‘Amavata’ in Ayurveda and is recognized by severe pain and inflammation of the joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Ayurvedic healing begins with the analysis of the root cause of an illness and aims at treating it instead of treating the illness alone.

The major underlying causes of rheumatic disorders according to Ayurveda are amassing of toxins or ama in the joints and the system, where these toxic substances are formed mainly due to poor metabolism, improper digestion and excretion; over exposure to cold weather conditions and infections in the gall bladder, teeth and tonsils.

Gurjun essential oil is regarded as one among the best Ayurvedic remedies for its potential to eliminate the toxic deposits in the joints and the entire system through urine, with its diuretic properties. This oil also has the power to reduce kapha dosha, which is responsible for excess water deposits, inflammation and swelling.

Blend 2 drops of Gurjun oil with 1 ml of coconut oil and massage it gently on the affected parts for guaranteed relief. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of this oil in hot compress for relieving pain and redness of the inflamed areas. The decoction prepared with the bark of this tree is prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for treating rheumatism.

You can assist this natural remedy along with a healthy nutritious diet, Ayurvedic routine and yogasanas like Dhanur Asana and Hala Asana for complete relief from rheumatic conditions.

2. Alleviates respiratory disorders: Respiratory system is known as Pranavaha Srotas in Ayurveda and it includes the nose, trachea and lungs, and the illnesses in this system are known as ‘Swasa Roga’. Vitiation of the respiratory system causes disorders that affect its normal functioning, which cause breathing difficulties and chronic conditions. Imbalance of vata, pitta and kapha doshas cause different problems in the respiratory system, where excessive mucous deposits, obstruction and blockage in the nasal and respiratory passages are caused by excess of kapha dosha.

Ayurvedic medications that lessen kapha dosha are proven effective in the treatment of respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, chronic cough, chest congestion and mucous deposits in the nasal and bronchial passages. Gurjun essential oil reduces aggravated kapha dosha that assists in discarding excess mucous and phlegm deposits that obstructs normal breathing and relieves nasal and chest congestion.

The ideal way to use essential oils for treating respiratory problems is in steam inhalation. Add 2 drops of Gurjun oil in steam inhalation for relieving from problems associated with the respiratory system. You can also add 1 drop of this oil to vaporub or medicated ointments and rub it gently on the chest, back and throat for relief.

3. Supports skin health: Gurjun Balsam oil is a popular ingredient in many Ayurvedic skin care formulations used in the treatment of wounds, bedsores, ringworm, cuts, boils, diaper rashes and psoriasis. Gurjun oil has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that curb the growth of harmful organisms like bacteria and fungi.

It speeds up the healing of wounds and prevents wounds from getting septic by fighting against the growth of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, which make the wounds to turn septic. Mix 2 drops of this oil in your regular skin care cream or lotion or with 1ml coconut oil and apply it on the infected parts for quicker healing. It works by combating micro organisms and retaining the natural moisture in the skin.

Other health benefits: Few other documented use of Gurjun oil is its ability to increase blood pressure, stimulate the functions of the heart and treat ulcer. The fresh nutty, woody and balsamic fragrance of this oil has made its use vital in the perfume industry and in flavoring tobacco products.

Disclaimer: This article is only for the purpose of information and is not intended to treat or replace any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Never use essential oils internally and always use it in a diluted form as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Always seek professional advice from your Ayurvedic expert for choosing the appropriate essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
-Walt Whitman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Gurjun, Apitong, Keruing, Kapurand Allied Timbers by S H. Clarke
  2. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller, David Schiller
  3. Analysis of Resins, Balsams and Gum-Resins: The Chemistry and Pharmacognosis by Karl Dieterich

Reference Links:

  1. Dipterocarpus turbinatus by Wikipedia
  2. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary by C.P. Khare
  3. Respiratory Disease Management by Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla, MD, Ayurveda
  4. Gurjun Balsam Oil by Venkatramna Perfumers

Gultharia Oil

 

Gultharia or the Indian Wintergreen is aboriginal to India and have amazing therapeutic properties in its kitty just like it’s sibling, the American Wintergreen also known as Gaultheria procumbens. Scientifically called as Gaultheria fragrantissim, Gultharia is an aromatic Indian shrub that has been in use for thousands of years in the treatment of chronic rheumatism and joint aches.

Celebrated as Gandapura in Ayurveda, Gultharia has been an important Ayurvedic remedy for relieving joint pain, muscular spasms, sprains, rheumatism, inflammation and for healing wounds. It is for all these healing values, Gultharia and its essential oil, steam distilled from its leaves are used as an important ingredient in the popular Ayurvedic preparations like Rumalaya liniment, Rumalaya Gel and other herbal pain balms.

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Historical importance of Gultharia: Indian Wintergreen has a unique healing aroma for which it is also known as Fragrant Wintergreen, is found growing in the sacred lands of the holy Himalayas from Uttarakhand to Myanmar and South Eastern Tibet. It is a member of the Rhododendron plant family, Ericaceae. Gultharia grows at an altitude of 1500 to 2700 m and bears dark-violet blue berries that attract the attention of birds and numerous insects towards it.

It is a known fact that the Indians of America were the first to identify the medicinal powers of Wintergreen in America and this was mainly due to the use of the Indian Wintergreen, which has been in use in the world’s oldest healing system on earth, Ayurveda before 5,000 years in India. The ancient Indians used the leaves of Gultharia herb in brewing tea for fighting against rheumatism, joint pain, toothache and other painful conditions.

These remedial leaves were also ground and used in poultices for relieving muscular aches, stiff joints and headache. It was later traced in 1800s that the pain-relieving qualities of Wintergreen plant was mainly due to the aspirin-like qualities present in these aromatic leaves helping in relieving pain in a jiffy, naturally.

Wintergreen leaves were used in making tea by the French explorers for assisting pain and this usage lead to the popular term ‘The du Canada’ means the ‘The tea of Canada’. The leaves of Gultharia plants were chewed by the traditional Indians as an aid for breathing during strenuous work, alleviating oral problems, freshening the breath and for treating back pain and joint aches.

The leaves of Gultharia plant were used in folklore medicinal system for rheumatism, sore throat, colic, inflammation, tooth decay, skin disorders, cold and body pain. It is also used as a flavoring ingredient in toothpastes, chewing gums, herbal teas, candies and health beverages. These leaves have also been a part of pesticides and insect repellants.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Gultharia essential oil: Methyl salicylate is the major chemical constituent comprising of about 98% of its essential oil and the other components are gaultherilene, limonene, a-pinene, delta-cadinene, delta-3-carene and myrcene. These constituents contribute to its healing properties like anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic, antispasmodic, carminative, astringent, emmenagogue, diuretic and stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Gultharia essential oil: Healing according to Ayurveda is not an external force and real healing should always happen from within, for which every individual should have a thorough knowledge about their health condition and their entire system. You will know it appropriately when I say that the word ‘Ayurveda’ actually means ‘the knowledge of life’.

Ayurvedic healing aims at longevity through prevention of illnesses and healthy aging by following an Ayurvedic routine along with the use of herbs, essential oils and a balanced diet. The basic Ayurvedic principle revolves around the health of mind, body and soul. The ancient secrets of this herbal healing methodology were spread to the world by Charaka and Sushruta, the renowned Ayurvedic experts of the primordial times. Charaka Samhita reiterates the Ayurvedic principle by stating that “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.

Every human being is unique according to the Ayurvedic theory with a unique individual constitution comprised of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha dosha. Vata energy is responsible for respiration, movement and circulation of the body and controls the neurological imbalances and nervous impulses of the system. Pitta represents fire and is in charge of metabolic functions like digestion and absorption of essential nutrients by the body. Kapha dosha stands for water and is responsible for structure and sustenance of the body, imbalance of which can cause obesity and respiratory problems.

Gultharia essential oil reduces kapha dosha and increases pitta and vata doshas. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Gultharia or Indian Wintergreen essential oil are:

1. Alleviates pain and inflammation: Pain is the worst enemy of mankind, be it a joint pain or a headache, it has the power to destruct your work and drop down your day. Aspirin is one among the best over-the-counter remedies for treating pain and inflammation. You’ll be surprised to know that the remedial power of aspirin is due to the presence of methyl salicylate and with a high proportion of this constituent, generally many varieties of Wintergreen essential oil is used in various pain relievers in the market.

The pain-relieving quality of Gultharia essential oil is due its analgesic, anodyne and anti-inflammatory properties. Massage the painful area with 2 drops of Gultharia oil blended with 1 ml of coconut oil for relieving pain and reducing inflammation. This remedial massage relieves pain by causing numbness on the painful area, boosts blood circulation, hinders the secretion of prostaglandin compounds that sensitize the spinal neurons to pain and promote peaceful sleep. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Gultharia oil in hot or cold compress or in warm bathing water for reducing pain and inflammation.

2. Eases digestion: Improper digestion is the primary reason for all the major illnesses in Ayurveda. Pitta energy is responsible for the digestive fire known as agni, which supports metabolic functions like digestion of food, absorption of essential nutrients and excretion of waste materials from the body. Sluggish digestion occurs when there is an imbalance of pitta energy due to changes in the diet, lifestyle and emotional constitution of an individual.

Gultharia essential oil has the power to aggravate pitta dosha and acts as an excellent carminative, stimulant and diuretic. Massaging your stomach and abdomen with 2 drops of Gultharia oil mixed with 1 ml olive oil helps in eliminating the formation of gas, supports constipation, flatulence, promote the secretion of bile and other digestive juices and discharges excess salt, uric acid and toxic remains of undigested food through urine. Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 1 drop of Gultharia oil to your diffuser or vaporizer helps in stimulating the secretion of digestive juices assisting in regular digestion.

3. Eliminates detrimental toxins from the body: Gultharia essential oil has natural diuretic properties that promote sweating and frequent urination.  By this way, it helps in flushing out the harmful toxins like uric acid, excess salt, water and fat from the body. Massaging your body with 6 drops of Gultharia essential oil blended with 4 ml olive oil can assist in treating water logging, obesity, edema, kidney stones, urinary infections and hypertension caused due to the accumulation of fat, water, uric acid and other toxins left behind due to improper digestion. Adding 3 to 4 drops of Gultharia oil in bathing water is also a great idea for getting rid of such toxic substances.

4. Boon to arthritis and rheumatic patients: Rheumatism and arthritis mainly occur due to the accumulation of toxic substances in the body due to poor digestion and problems in the colon, that paves way for the toxins to reach the joints causing pain, lack of circulation, swelling and inflammation. According to Ravi Bhanot, a popular Ayurvedic Researcher at the Ayurveda Institute of Europe, the best way to treat gout and rheumatic problems is to use medicated oil for massage that is made up of Wintergreen essential oil and menthol.

Gently massaging the affected parts with 4 drops of Gultharia oil with 2ml of sesame oil aids in triggering digestion, promoting the flow of urine through which the toxic substances are eliminated, warms up the muscles, stimulate blood circulation, and reduces pain and inflammation. This way, the Indian Wintergreen essential oil acts as a boon to arthritis and rheumatic patients who suffer from pain, swollen muscles, inflamed joints and poor blood circulation.

5. Treats menstrual and menopausal problems: Gultharia essential oil is a proven emmenagogue that can be of great aid in assisting female problems like menstrual discomforts and menopausal symptoms. Massaging your lower abdomen with 3 drops of Gultharia oil blended with 1.5 ml of warm sesame oil can help in promoting delayed or blocked menstruation, lessen menstrual pain, reduce spasms, and treat nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, tension and urinary problems associated with menses.

It can also help in reducing hot flashes and mood fluctuations in menopausal women by stimulating blood circulation and strengthening the uterine walls. Adding 2 drops of Gultharia oil in warm bath before going to bed and 1 drop added to your room diffuser at night can calm the tensed muscles and promote peaceful sleep at night.

6. Supports respiratory health: Respiratory problems are mainly caused due to excess of kapha energy. With its power to lessen kapha dosha, Gultharia essential oil can effectively act upon reducing chest congestion, spasmodic coughs, breathing difficulties, asthma and nervous afflictions. Adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can help you in eliminating excess phlegm and mucous deposits through urine and excreta. With its anti-spasmodic properties, Gultharia essential oil is also effective in treating spasms in the intestine, muscles, nervous system, respiratory system and circulatory system.

Other health benefits: Gultharia essential oil is an efficacious natural remedy for healing wounds with its antiseptic properties. This oil is also known for its ability to enhance spiritual power, logical thinking, and reasoning skills and accentuate the harmony of the soul with the divine power. It is for this reason; the ancient saints used the leaves of the Indian Wintergreen plant during sacred ceremonies, special chants and meditations.

Disclaimer: This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to diagnose or substitute professional advice or prescribed medication. Gultharia essential oil has a high proportion of methyl salicylate, which is a main ingredient in aspirin and is considered toxic in excess for internal usage. Never use Gultharia essential oil internally and always ensure that you use this oil in a diluted form for topical application. Keep it away from children and please consult your Healthcare practitioner before using Gultharia essential oil if you are pregnant, nursing or allergic to aspirin. Always consult your Ayurvedic professional before using the right essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend.
-Mao Zedong

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family by Holly Bellebuono
  2. Ayurvedic Beauty Care: Ageless Techniques to Invoke Natural Beauty by Melanie Sachs
  3. American Indian Healing Arts: Herbs, Rituals, and Remedies for Every Season of Life by E. Barrie Kavasch, Karen Baar
  4. American Indian Medicine (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Virgil J. Vogel

Reference Links:

  1. About Wintergreen by eHow
  2. Wintergreen by the American Botanical Council
  3. Fragrant Wintergreen by Flowers of India
  4. Treatment of Gout – The Ayurvedic Way by Ravi Bhanot, Ayurvedic Researcher, The Ayurveda Institute of Europe

Harshiangar Oil

 

Night-flowering Jasmine, Parijat or Harshiangar, scientifically known as Nyctanthes arbor-tristis is known as the ‘Tree of sorrow’ and the word ‘Nyctanthes’ means ‘sad tree’. This is due its flowers that appear dull during the daytime and turn bright during the night. The entire tree including its leaves, flowers, bark, seeds and stem is known to have amazing medicinal properties for which the tree has been used in various traditional and alternative healing methodologies for more than thousands of years. Harshiangar essential oil is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation method. These curative leaves have been used in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating arthritis, sciatica, fever, pain, constipation, anxiety and rheumatism.

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Historical importance of Harshiangar: Harshiangar tree has a long history behind its name and its use in the traditional healing systems. The most fascinating myth behind this tree is a heartbreaking romance where an ancient princess named Parijataka fall in love with the Surya Dev, the Sun God captivated by his brilliance and masculinity.

The God of Sun was also impressed by her affection and devotion and favored her with his love as well, after which he started ignoring Parijataka due to his other interests. This despondency made Parijataka to kill herself and the Parijat tree is said to have started from the cremated ashes of this true to life princess. Due to this, Parijat tree is not able to put up with the sight of her love, Sun God during the day and blooms only during nightfall and sheds the fragrant flowers as tears before sunrise.

Harshiangar flower is the official flower of Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand and for West Bengal, India. The leaves have been used as an insecticide and the decoction extracted from the fresh leaves have been used in Ayurvedic healing in the treatment of malaria, bilious fevers, arthritis and sciatica. The traditional Indian medicinal system used these leaves as anti-allergic, ulcerogenic, purgative, anti-histaminic and antibacterial remedies.

The tribal Indians used all the parts of this tree to treat dysentery, sores, cough, venomous bites and dysentery. The powder extracted from the seeds was used in treating alopecia and scurvy. The infusion of Parijat flowers were used by the ancient Buddhist monks of Sri Lanka as an effective sedative.

People of Malaysia and Indonesia use the Parijat flowers to promote menstruation and treat dysmennorhea and blocked menstruation.  These leaves are also used as a natural diuretic, cholagogue and laxative. Harshiangar blossoms known as Shiuli in West Bengal, India signify the arrival of Goddess Durga, which is celebrated as Durga Pooja, the greatest religious ceremony of Bengal.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Harshiangar oil: The essential oil of Harshiangar consists of linalool, hexenyl benzoate, e-phytol, a-terpineol, methyl salicylate, geraniol, hexadecanoic acid, octadecanoic acid, eugenol and hexenol as its major chemical constituents. The therapeutic properties of this oil are anti-arthritic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-leishmanial, anti-pyretic, immunostimulant, antinociceptive, anti-allergy, anti-plasmodial, hepatoprotective and sedative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Harshiangar oil: Ayurveda is by far the oldest of all healing systems on earth and is known as the mother of all healing sciences including Unani, Homeopathy, Siddha, Chiropathy, Acupressure and Aromatherapy. The most significant aspect of Ayurveda is that it aims at prevention of diseases, healthy aging and longevity through the use of essential oils and herbs and by practicing simple physical exercises, yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic routine and a balanced diet.

Ayurveda considers every human being as a part of nature and states that the wellness and illness of an individual solely depends on his/her balance with nature. This theory believes that nature is made up of five vital elements namely fire, water, air, earth and space. Everything that is a part of nature is also made up of these elements. Human beings according to Ayurveda are a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution that comprises of three biological energies known as doshas, where each dosha represents a combination of the vital elements of nature.

Vata symbolizes air and space and it governs the blood circulation, movement and respiration. Pitta is a representation of fire and water and is responsible for digestion and other metabolic functions. Kapha stands for water and earth and is accountable for structure and sustenance of the system. Balance between these doshas symbolizes perfect health and doshic imbalances lead to illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies like herbs, yoga, meditation, essential oils, balanced diet, physical exercises and Ayurvedic routine are prescribed to strike balance between these doshas.

Harshiangar essential oil is said to lessen kapha and aggravate vata and pitta doshas. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Harshiangar essential oil are:

1. Relieves pain and inflammation: With its powerful anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, Harshiangar essential oil is a highly recommended Ayurvedic medicine for treating pain and inflammatory conditions. It is highly effective in relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism, sore muscles, stress and muscular tension.

‘Antiarthritic studies on Nyctanthes arbor-tristis and Maharasnadi ghan’ by VES College of Pharmacy and K.M. Kundnani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai, India studied the effectiveness of Harshiangar herb on arthritis, especially Gouty arthritis which is caused due to the deposits of urate crystals in the synovial cavity. This study concluded that the use of Parijat leaves helped in controlling irritation, pain and inflammation associated with Gouty arthritis.

Mix 4 to 5 drops of Harshiangar essential oil with 2ml of coconut oil and heat it slightly. Gently massage the painful and inflamed parts with this warm blend and follow it with a hot compress. This is a powerful medication for treating rheumatic pain, arthritis, joint pain, knee pain, headache, sciatica, muscular aches, menstrual pain, back pain and arthritic pain. Its efficiency to reduce kapha dosha helps in clearing the stagnation of excess fluids causing swelling and inflammation in case of rheumatism and other related problems.

A 1984 study on “Study of anti-inflammatory activity in the leaves of Nyctanthes arbor tristis Linn.–an Indian medicinal plant” proved that the use of Harshiangar leaves helped in reducing acute and chronic phases of formaldehyde induced arthritis. It was also said that these leaves were of great help in treating inflammatory conditions in Ayurveda.

2. Cures malaria and other bilious fevers: Parijat leaves are a proven natural remedy for treating malarial fever and other bilious fever that are accompanied by nausea, strong diarrhea and increasing internal temperature mainly due to bile disorders.

Dr. Ashok B Vaidya, Research Director of ICMR Advance Centre for Reverse Pharmacology in Traditional Medicine at Kasturba Health Society, Mumbai said “Parijat leaves’ extract was being used in anti-malarial activities in western India, especially Gujarat and Maharashtra. The Parijat leaf extract is effective against both types of known malarial parasite, but it is especially useful against even the resistant strain of Plasmodium Falciparum, and even the crude extracts of Parijat leaves kill the parasites of malaria.”

Add 2 drops of Harshiangar essential oil with 1ml Olive oil and gently massage the soles of your feet for reducing the body temperature during high fever and for arresting the growth of infectious organisms causing fever.

3. Fights against free radicals: Free radicals are nothing but atoms or molecules that cause cellular damage precisely known as oxidative damage leading to aging and other malignant disorders. Human body requires ample amount of antioxidants to guard it against the harmful effects of free radicals that affect healthy cells in the body.

A 2010 study on the Invitro antioxidant effects of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaves have proved this herb as a potential source of natural antioxidants that help in combating the detrimental effects of free radicals and prevent the early symptoms of aging and the development of cancerous cells.

A refreshing Ayurvedic massage with 3 drops of Harshiangar oil with 2 ml of Jojoba oil can help you in checking the effects of these hazardous free radicals and their subsequent effects.

4. Combats virus and other micro-organisms: Harshiangar essential oil is an effective natural remedy for fighting against harmful virus and other micro-organisms. A 2012 study on “The chemical composition and biological activities of essential oil from leaf and bark of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L.” by the University of Alabama, Huntsville and Tribhuvan University, Nepal screened the effectiveness of Parijat essential oil against Gram positive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Gram negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, Aspergillus niger and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, proved that Harshiangar essential oil is an established traditional remedy that has potent antimicrobial activity.

Certain other studies have witnessed the effectiveness of this oil in combating viruses like Semliki Forest Virus and encephalomyocarditis virus. Gently applying 2 drops of this oil mixed with 1 ml coconut oil acts as an effective remedy in protecting wounds and injuries from getting septic as it arrests the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, which is accountable for wounds becoming septic and vulnerable to other health complexities. This blend can also assist in treating pimples, blackheads and other skin disorders. With its anti-allergenic effect, this oil is also of great help in treating skin allergies and itches.

Other health benefits: Apart from these major health benefits, Harshiangar essential oil is helpful in stimulating the immune power, make the body resistant against diseases, prevent illnesses that affect the liver, calms the mind with its sedative effect, clears congestion, treats constipation, asthma, dyspepsia, bronchitis and many other health conditions.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purpose only and is not intended for treatment or for replacing any professional advice or prescribed medication. Never use essential oils internally. Ensure that you always use essential oils in a diluted manner before using it topically as organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and can harm the skin if used directly. Consult your Ayurvedic professional before choosing the right essential oils for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
-Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Suggested Reading:

  1. Tropical and Subtropical Trees: An Encyclopedia by Margaret Barwick
  2. Flowering Plants. Eudicots (The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants) from Springer
  3. The Modern Ayurveda: Milestones beyond the Classical Age from CRC Press
  4. The Materia Medica of the Hindus (Classic Reprint) by Udoy Chand Dutt

Reference Links:

  1. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis by Wikipedia
  2. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. (Night Jasmine): A sacred ornamental plant with immense medicinal potentials published in the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
  3. Antiarthritic studies on Nyctanthes arbor tristis and Maharasnadi ghan by Abhijeet R. Bhalerao, Sandhya K. Desai, Bhavin R. Serathia, Kaustubh M. Vartak, Gaurav M. Doshi published in the Scholars Research Library
  4. Study of anti-inflammatory activity in the leaves of Nyctanthes arbor tristis Linn.–an Indian medicinal plant by Saxena RS, Gupta B, Saxena KK, Singh RC, Prasad DN published in PubMed
  5. Chemical composition and biological activities of essential Oil from leaf and bark of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. from Nepal by Prabodh Satyal, Prajwal Paudel, Ambika Poudel and William N. Setzer published in the Open Access Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

Heeng Oil (Asafoetida)

 

Asafoetida is seen as an archaic remedy for flatulence, colic and other digestive disorders but the truth is that this ‘Food of Gods’ is still boasting its potent of treating various disorders from toothache to impotency for more than 5,000 years, where it’s use has been documented in Ashtanga Hridaya, which is one of the ancient text of the world’s oldest healing science known as Ayurveda.

Highly carped for its pungent aroma, Asafoetida has never failed in adding that extra spice to numerous traditional dishes in various countries including India, Europe, North Africa and the United States. Known as Rāmaha, Badhika and Sahasravedhi in Sanskrit, Heeng and its essential oil has been prescribed in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating flatulence, whooping cough, painful menstruation, premature ejaculation, impotency, diabetes, asthma, intestinal worms and toothache.

Purchase Heeng Oil (Asafoetida) – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Heeng (Asafoetida): Asafoetida is native to Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Botanically known as Ferula assa-foetida, it is a member of the Apiaceae plant family and the commercial part used is the oleo-gum resin extracted from the thickened roots and rhizomes. It is also known by other famous names like hing, narthex, heeng, food of Gods, devil’s dung, haltheeth, giant fennel, ting and stinking gum.

Ayurveda quotes “Asafoetida is a grounding herb that can therefore balance an overactive, over emotional, turbulent system“. It was one among the common herbs prescribed for the treatment of hysteria. It was used in 1918 to combat the Spanish influenza pandemic. It was also used as a topical remedy for relieving abdominal injuries.

Heeng is a popular spice all over the world and is used as a digestive aid, flavoring agent and as a condiment in food varieties and in pickles. It is used in daily food preparations in India especially by the followers of Vaishnavism, Jainism and by the merchant caste. Asafoetida was the most prevalent folk remedy for treating flatulence, colic and cold in children and as a contraceptive medicine.

The Arabian pharmacists and scientists like Avicenna, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi and Ibn al-Baitar have talked about the positive effects of Asafoetida on digestive system and the respiratory system. It is used in magic spells in the African-American Hoodoo tradition for its power to protect as well as to curse. Asafoetida is also used in the Jamaican culture for protecting babies from evil spirits. The Jewish literatures like Mishneh Torah and Mishnah have also talked about this spice.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Heeng oil: The remedial properties of Heeng essential oil are nervine, carminative, aphrodisiac, vermifuge, abortifacient, antispasmodic, stimulant, anti-flatulent, antimicrobial, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-epileptic, fertility enhancer, contraceptive, anthelmintic, expectorant, bronchodilator and emmenagogue. The major chemical constituents are phellandrenes, α-pinene, hendecyl-sulphonyl acetic acid, ferulic acid and ethers of sesquiterpenes with coumarines like farnesi feroles.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Heeng (Asafoetida) oil: Asafoetida is a promising Ayurvedic remedy for treating digestive and respiratory disorders for thousands of years. Known as the oldest of all the healing systems on earth, Ayurveda is the mother of all medicinal practices in the world having its roots deeply vested with India, the world’s oldest historical tradition.

Ayurveda is considered as the only healing methodology that considers human body as a temple where the real soul dwells in. It also states that Mother Nature is made up of five vital elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether. Being a part of Nature, human beings are also made up of these five fundamental elements that pair together and form the biological energies called as doshas.

Just like an individual’s fingerprints, each one of us on earth has a unique individual constitution that comprises of these three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Vata is a representation of air and space and is responsible for respiration, nervous functions, circulation, excretion and creativity. Pitta stands for fire and water and is accountable for digestion, absorption, metabolism and thinking capacity. Kapha represents water and earth and is in charge for structure, movement of fluids, sustenance and love.

Every individual has a dominance of any one of these doshas and it determines their characteristics, temperament and behavioral attributes. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in a such a manner to set right these doshic imbalances.

Heeng and its essential oil in Ayurveda is said to increase Pitta energy and balance vata and kapha dosha with its pungent taste and enormous healing properties. In the Ayurvedic text Ashtanga Hridaya Su Chapter l it is mentioned that “Asafoetida mitigates vata and kapha, relieves flatulence and colic pain. It is pungent taste and at the end of digestion. It aggravates pitta, enhances appetite, taste and digestion. It is easy to digest”.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Heeng oil are:

1. Benefits to the digestive system: Just by hearing the word ‘Asafoetida’ anyone in India would just say that it is the best natural remedy for treating flatulence, colic and indigestion in children as well as elderly people. With its anti-flatulent, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Heeng essential oil aids in relieving from abdominal gas, stomach pain, intestinal gas and bloating.

It cleanses the intestinal flora and augments the digestive fire. By this way it eliminates all kinds of stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract, relieves cramping and drives out intestinal gas. The strong herbaceous aroma of this oil assists in soothing the lining of the stomach and intestines, reducing distention, treating spasms and increasing the appetite.

Gently massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Asafoetida oil blended with 1 ml of sesame oil will be of great help in treating all types of stomachic and intestinal problems in a comforting manner. You can also add 1 drop of Heeng oil to warm bathing water or to diffuser in the dining hall to stimulate the process of metabolism and for enhancing the stamina, as this oil is known to nurture the earth element that is responsible for strength and vigor.

Asafoetida is used as a traditional medicine for treating constipation and flatulence in 60% people of Jammu and Kashmir, India and this wonder herbal medicine lessens the development of indigenous microflora in the gut, thus helping in reducing flatulence. It has also been used in western medicinal system as a topical remedy for treating abdominal injuries since the 18th century.

2. Benefits to the respiratory system: Heeng and its essential oil is an ancient folk remedy for treating cold especially in children. This is mainly due to its antimicrobial and expectorant properties along with its ability to reduce kapha dosha, which is responsible for excess phlegm and mucous deposits causing cold and other respiratory problems.

Add 2 drops of Heeng oil to steam inhalation or to vapor rub and massage it on your chest, neck and back for expelling mucous and phlegm deposits in the bronchial, nasal and respiratory passages. Asafoetida has antimicrobial values that arrest the growth of infectious organisms that worsen cold and cough and pave way for chronic respiratory conditions.

It has been proven effective in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, whooping cough and other respiratory problems. There are numerous home remedies with Asafoetida for treating respiratory disorders and various other health conditions. One popular home remedy with Heeng is mixing half teaspoon of asafoetida powder with fresh betel leaf juice and white onion juice along with honey every day for treating whooping cough, bronchitis and asthma.

A 2009 study on ‘Influenza A (H(1)N(1)) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida’ have proved the effectiveness of Asafoetida in combating the harmful effects of H1N1 virus with its antiviral and cytotoxic elements. This study concluded that Asafoetida exhibited greater potency against influenza A virus and against HepG2, Hep3B, and MCF-7 cancer cell lines, correspondingly.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system: Asafoetida addresses male and female reproductive problems in a natural way. It is known to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea in men by increasing the libido and it also acts as an effective aphrodisiac. Mix 2 drops of Heeng oil with 1 ml of olive oil and gently massage on your lower abdomen or add 1 drop of this oil to your bathing tub before going to bed. Regular use of this therapy can show effective results as the therapeutic molecules present in this oil penetrate deeply into the system through the skin and stimulate the male reproductive system.

Heeng as a powerful herb and a strong essential oil has emmenagogue properties and has been in use as a natural contraceptive. It will be of great assistance in treating dysmennorhea or painful menstruation, excessive bleeding, irregular or delayed periods, leucorrhea, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and other symptoms associated with menses. The best way to use Heeng oil for menstrual discomforts is by massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of this oil mixed with 1 ml sesame oil or add it in a hot compress for improved results.

As a contraceptive or abortifacient, Heeng oil can be used in treating unplanned abortion, sterility in women and premature labor. It is also effective in improving the quality and quantity of breast milk in nursing women. Using Asafoetida in post-pregnancy period is recommended for relieving colic, indigestion and other digestive difficulties in both the mother and the baby.

4. Benefits to oral health: Human mouth has the highest possibilities of being affected by millions of micro-organisms that not only cause hazards to oral health but also to the entire body. Heeng essential oil has potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that aids in treating toothache, bleeding gums, bad breath or halitosis and harmful cavities. Add 1 drop of Heeng oil in a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle for getting rid of various oral problems. You can also add 1 drop of this oil to a piece of cotton and dab it on your aching tooth for immediate relief.

5. Benefits to the entire system: Asafoetida and its essential oil are beneficial to the entire system in a number of ways. It has been proven effective in stimulating the pancreatic cells to secrete more insulin as improved insulin levels are known to bring down the blood sugar levels to normal.

According to certain studies, the antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of Asafoetida curbs the growth of malignant cells causing cancerous tumors. Since the ancient times, this condiment has been used as a powerful antidote for opium as it is identified to counter the effect of the ingested drug.

Asafoetida is defined as ‘Tamasic’ in Ayurveda for its properties of resistance, dullness, inertia and darkness on the mind and it can balance the over emotional, hyperactive and chaotic system.

This condiment is also used as a pesticide and insecticide for protecting crops from pests and for repelling mosquitoes and certain other insects.

Disclaimer: This article is only for informational purpose and is not directed to diagnose or replace any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils internally and always dilute essential oils before using it topically. This is because organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and can cause allergic reactions if used in an undiluted manner. Remember to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the most suitable essential oil for your unique constitution and health condition. Avoid using Heeng oil if you are a pregnant woman as it has strong abortifacient properties.

Thought for the day:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. -Theodore Roethke

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Ayurvedic Healing Cuisine by Harish Johari
  3. Herbs: An Inside Look Into The World of Alfalfa, Basil, Asafoetida, Burdock, Catnip and More by Vanesa Payne
  4. The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by David Frawley, Vasant Lad
  5. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide by Burton Goldberg Group

Reference Links:

  1. Asafoetida by Wikipedia
  2. Asafoetida (Hing) Benefits by Speedy Remedies.com
  3. Asafoetida by The Spices Board India
  4. Asafoetida – A Grounding Herb by American Botanical Council
  5. Influenza A (H(1)N(1)) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida by Lee, CL; Chia-Lin Lee, Lien-Chai Chiang, Li-Hung Cheng, Chih-Chuang Liaw, Mohamed H. Abd El-Razek, Fang-Rong Chang, Yang-Chang Wu, College of Pharmacy, China published in PubMed

Helichrysum (Immortelle) Oil

 

Everlasting and Immortelle are the common names of Helichrysum that denote the eternal bliss and never ending health benefits of these sunshine flowers to mankind. Scientifically known as Helichrysum italicum, this plant is a limb of the sunflower family Asteraceae. The essential oil is extracted from the bright yellow flowers by steam distillation method.

As one of the most desired essential oil, Helichrysum is known to heal a wide range of illnesses in this civilized world and may seem to be a vital part of the modern Aromatherapy. But the miracle is that it has been traditionally used to heal various health disorders in Ayurveda before 5,000 years including bronchial irritation, scavenging of free radicals, sprains, inflammation, digestive problems, scars, sports injuries, skin problems and certain other serious injuries also.

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Historical uses of Helichrysum: The name Helichrysum is derived from the Greek words ‘Helios’ meaning Sun and ‘Chrysos’ meaning Gold. It is indigenous to South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Spain and Italy. There are about 250 species of Helichrysum plant that dwell in South Africa.

Helichrysum has been carved in the history as an excellent traditional medicine and as a culinary plant used in various cultures. Holmes says about Helichrysum as “the plant has been used in herbal medicine since ancient Greece”. He also says that the essential oil of Helichrysum has “a deeply-saturated sweet, green floral scent”.

Helichrysum is known as Geelsewejaartjie in Africa which means that these bright yellow flowers last for seven years when kept in the house. It is used as a potent traditional medicine in South Africa for treating rheumatism and is also used in potpourri for its lasting fragrance. The petals of Helichrysum flowers were used as a strewing herb in Europe during the medieval period.

This herb has been used as an effective remedy in folk medicine for healing scars and other major skin problems due to aging. With a curry-like quality, Helichrysum is used in Italy for flavoring sauces and in many other food items.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Helichrysum essential oil: The significant chemical components of Helichrysum essential oil are 1,4 and 1,8-cineole, camphene, terpinen-4-ol, caryophyllene, a-pinene, myrcene, linalool, nerol, limonene, eugenol, b-diketones, neryl acetate, b-pinene, geraniol, flavonol glycosides and b-bisabolene.

These constituents contribute to its remedial values like expectorant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-allergenic, nervine, cytophylactic, vulnerary, cholagogue, diuretic, antispasmodic, cell-regenerative, astringent and anti-haematomal.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Helichrysum essential oil: Ayurveda is nothing but nature’s own way to health and harmony. This ancient science or knowledge of life preaches the best practices to lead a healthy life for longevity, aging in the pink and the prevention of illnesses rather its treatment alone.

Ayurvedic texts recommend the use of herbs, essential oils, yoga, physical exercises, meditation and spiritual oneness for healing humanity. It strongly states that no two human beings are same and in the much similar way their illnesses should also be treated in a unique manner rather than prescribing the same medicines for two different people even for the same illness. For this identification, Ayurveda follows the principles of the three predominant biological energies known as doshas.

These bio-energies are found throughout the human mind and body and combine together to form the unique individual constitution. Every individual has a unique combination of these doshas with the predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines their personal traits, behavior, character and physical attributes. Ayurvedic theory revolves around the core concept that health is representation of perfect balance between these three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in such a way to intensify the deficit dosha or decrease the aggravated energy. Helichrysum essential oil is said to reduce pitta and kapha in excess and increase vata. It’s time to take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Helichrysum essential oil:

1. Excellent oil for athletes and sports injuries: Helichrysum essential oil is the most sought-after oil when it comes to sports injuries, sprains, blood clot, inflammation, bruises, micro tears, pain and muscular aches. Many a times these types of injuries cause swelling, leakage of blood from the injured capillaries, cellular damage, death of surrounding cells and damage to the connective tissues.

Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt in his book Advanced Aromatherapy says “The pain- reducing, analgesic, and regenerative effect of everlasting (Helichrysum) is unique: If applied in time, it prevents hemorrhaging. It is also very effective for joint pain. Generally, Helichrysum italicum works for all conditions in which inflamed tissue needs to be calmed down and regenerated.”

2 drops of Helichrysum essential oil blended with 1 ml of sesame oil acts as an excellent remedy for mending injuries like twists, bruises and blood clots. Massaging the affected parts with this healing blend assists in relieving pain, muscular tension, tears of muscles and ligaments. Applying it immediately after an injury aids in preventing from additional damages like hematoma and swelling. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in hot compress and rub down the painful areas.

2. Fights aging symptoms and clears acne and scars speedily: Helichrysum essential oil is said to work hundred times better than the best anti-aging creams in the market. Its ability to stimulate cellular regeneration and nurture the natural glow of the skin from within helps greatly in treating wrinkles, dark circles, uneven pigmentation and oxidative skin damages.

Aging slows the down the process of repair, cause wrinkles, encourage the growth of cutaneous problems and augment the risk of toxicological damages to the skin. Helichrysum checks aging and its adverse effects on the skin with its cytophylactic properties that assist in promoting the health of the cellular structure and encourage the production of new skin cells by supporting the recycling of dead cells.

Being a natural emollient, Helichrysum essential oil is said to retain the moisture of the skin and prevents the development of cracks and dehydration. Helichrysum essential oil is not restricted to people with aging symptoms and adverse skin conditions but it is also a proven natural remedy for fading away marks, scars and acne. This oil also heals raw chapped skin and burns. With its cicatrisant properties, Helichrysum oil speeds up the healing of wounds, cuts and other skin regularities while assisting in clearing up marks and scars including acne marks and stretch marks.

Add 2 to 3 drops of Helichrysum oil to your regular skin care cream that is mild and gentle. Massage it soothingly onto your skin and enjoy the difference of a smooth, refreshing, clean and youthful looking skin. This blend also has the power to lessen the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, tones and tightens the maturing skin that lack elasticity. Regular massaging of your skin with this medicated cream will be of great help in clearing your marks, scars and other blemishes and leave your skin glowing, supple and healthy.

3. Grants emotional support and absolute peace: The mild, invigorating and long lasting aroma of Helichrysum essential oil helps in lending an emotional support and complete peace to the mind and body. In the book ‘Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit’, Gabriel Mojay says “Those (emotions) that are most indicated…are enduring resentment, half-conscious anger, bitterness of spirit, and a stubbornly negative attitude.” 2 to 3 drops of Helichrysum essential oil added to burner, diffuser or aromatic lamps can work as an exceptional remedy for treating emotional and physical pain, agony, stress, fatigue and anxiety. Inhaling the sweet aroma of this oil paves way for tranquility and mental clarity.

It is considered as a sacred oil for its intense emotional and spiritual effects. Dr. Streicher says “emotionally it can help an individual get in touch with unresolved feelings, emotions that have been denied and/or buried. It is also helpful in restoring memories that have been buried deep in the past.” He also prescribes its use in psychotherapy to support a patient in dealing with emotional traumas and assists in releasing defense mechanisms.

4. Cures respiratory troubles: Helichrysum essential oil has natural expectorant, mucolytic and anti-tussive properties that witness its use as an effective natural remedy for treating cold, cough, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. Excess of kapha energy is responsible for cold and other respiratory problems. Helichrysum oil being a kapha suppressant aids in thinning and clearing excess mucous and phlegm deposits that block the nasal passages, bronchial passage and the respiratory tract.

Add 2 drops of Helichrysum essential oil to steam inhalation and inhale the medicated steam for instant relief from cough, blocked nose, congestion and breathing difficulties. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to your vaporub and apply it on your chest, back and throat for complete relief from respiratory problems.

5. Treats high blood pressure and heart palpitations: The essential oil of Helichrysum is said to control blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations and the risk of stroke with its anti-coagulant or blood thinning properties. A study by the University of Nigeria explored that the presence of caryophyllene and curcumene in Helichrysum essential oils assists in lowering blood pressure. Massage your body with 5 drops of Helichrysum oil blended with 2.5 ml coconut oil for regulating your blood pressure and for treating heart disorders due to increased blood pressure.

Other health benefits: Helichrysum essential oil is also effective in treating digestive problems like flatulence, ulcer, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches and allergic reactions in the stomach and intestines. It is also helpful in treating psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, allergies, urinary infections, wounds and fungal infections. Using this oil on a regular basis is known to stimulate digestion, support absorption, promote detoxification, lessen inflammation, enhance the immune system and strengthen the entire system from within.

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational reasons and is not recommended to diagnose or substitute professional medical advice or prescribed medicines. Never take essential oils internally. Always ensure to use essential oils in a diluted form as pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and can cause harm if used directly for topical application. Seek advice from your Ayurvedic professional before choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Please be cautious in using this oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

Thought for the day:

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. -Henry Ward Beecher

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt
  2. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood
  3. Natural Medicine First Aid Remedies: Self-Care Treatments for 100+ Common Conditions by Stephanie Marohn
  4. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Helichrysum italicum by Wikipedia
  2. Helichrysum italicum by The East-West School For Herbal & Aromatic Studies
  3. Helichrysum italicum by Dr. Christoph Streicher and Sheryll Ryan
  4. Use the healing properties of Helichrysum essential oil by Natural News.com
  5. How Helichrysum italicum Essential Oil Can Bring Healing to Your Life by ArticlesFactory.com