Pine Essential Oil

 

Pine oil has such a great honor as it can garland anybody with the bliss and blessedness of the Christmas occasion at any given time. Apart from its use in Christmas decoration, Pine tree and the essential oil extracted from its needles through steam distillation method has many uses in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine and in household cleaning. There are many species of Pine trees and the common ones used for essential oil extraction are Pinus sylvestris, Pinus alba, Pinus pinea and Pinus pinaster.

The book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes Pine oil as “The world’s largest production of any one essential oil is Pine.  It is known to be a stimulant, helping people to be comfortable with any situation”. With similar properties like Eucalyptus oil, Pine oil was used as a strong medicinal aid in many traditional healing practices including Ayurveda for treating chronic respiratory problems like pneumonia and bronchitis.

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Historical importance of Pine tree and its essential oil: Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine used Pine in the treatment of pulmonary conditions and established its healing effects on the respiratory system. Pine oil was recommended by the ancient physician Pliny for treating respiratory and lung problems. The Native Americans chewed the needles of the Pine tree to defend against scurvy. They also used the clean-scented Pine needles on their bed to ward off fleas, lice and bed bugs. The highly ornamental timber of Pinus pinaster also known as Maritime pine was used in making furniture, building frames, panels, internal flooring, veneers, particle board etc. The pinecones are also used as Christmas decorations.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components of Pine essential oil: The major chemical constituents of Maritime pine essential oil are α-pinene (24.7–40.4%), monoterpenes, turpentine, β-pinene (21.7–29.2%) and high ester content that contributes to the analgesic properties of this oil. The therapeutic values of Pine pinaster oil are anti-inflammatory, expectorant, restorative, stimulant, antiviral, antibacterial, circulatory, decongestant, disinfectant, analgesic and deodorant. The bark of this tree contains Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes (OPC’s) that makes it’s an effective antioxidant that can fight against free radicals responsible for cancerous diseases.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Pine essential oil: Ayurveda is a common sense science that considers illness as an opportunity to trace what is out of balance and what is the actual root cause for an illness. Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the individual as a whole and the root cause of the disease instead of the disease alone. This helps in preventing illnesses in the future and paves way for healthy aging and longevity.

According to this traditional methodology, same medicine is not given to two individuals even if they have the same health problem because Ayurveda trusts that every individual is unique with a special combination of energy elements known as vata, pitta and kapha doshas and every person needs a unique treatment based on their individual constitution.

Every human being will have a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines his/her personality. Dosha imbalance is the major reason for all kinds of sickness. Among the three doshas, Pine essential oil has the power to reduce surplus of vata and kapha and treat pitta deficiency. The major Ayurvedic health benefits of using Pine essential oil are:

1. Soothes respiratory problems: 5 drops of Pine essential oil added to steam inhalation helps you in treating sinusitis, cough and cold. The decongestant and expectorant properties of this oil aids in breaking up the mucus deposits and expelling it from the lungs. Painful cough, congestion, flu, bronchitis, blocked nose, chest congestion, asthma and sinus infections can be treated with this natural aid. You can also mix 2 drops of Pine oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil in a base of coconut oil for using it as a rub or in warm bath for lessening the effects of such respiratory infections.

2. Alleviates stress:  The sweet, slightly balsamic, evergreen, woody and fresh aroma of Pine essential oil instills a warm feeling of newness on the mind.  The aromatic molecules in the essential oil that pass through the nasal passages reach the limbic system of the human brain, where emotions, feelings and responses are controlled. This aids in transforming the relaxing, calming, invigorating, balancing, detoxifying, uplifting, strengthening and energizing effects of Pine essential oil on the mind and body.

This makes Pine essential oil as an excellent mood enhancer and makes it a powerful remedy in alleviating mental strain, stiffness, stress, fatigue, nervous tension and fear. Pine oil is known to help people remember the ways to get along with the flow of life; just like the Pine tree does by the ebb of the sea.  It is for this reason Pine essential oil is a proven remedy in treating memory loss and lack of concentration power. Inhaling the aroma of the divine Pine oil by adding 3 to 4 drops in your diffuser, potpourri, pillows or to a napkin aids in granting emotional stability and the power to go on and on.

3. Reduces pain and boosts metabolism: Pine essential oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that aids in treating rheumatic pain, muscular aches, stiff joints and arthritis. Massaging the affected area with 5 to 6 drops of Pine oil added to soothing carrier oils like sesame oil or coconut oil followed by a hot bath blended with 3 drops of Pine oil can grant you relief from all kinds of pain. This massaging also helps in boosting your metabolism and stimulates the process of digestion. Pine essential oil is also used as a diuretic for eliminating water retention and toxins from your body.

4. Fights against bacteria and other harmful organisms:  A 2001 study on ‘Chemical and Antimicrobial Properties of Essential Oils of Five Moroccan Pinaceae’ suggested that the examination of the antibacterial activity witnessed that the essential oils of Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea demonstrated a definite activity against all types of organisms tested and also possess a remarkable antiseptic activity.

5 drops of Pine essential oil blended with carrier oils like almond oil can be used in massaging, in bath or as a topical application for inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, virus and certain other harmful organisms. This aids in protecting one from skin infections, urinary tract infections, bacterial infections and viral infections like flu and cold.

5. Protects the skin: As a natural antiseptic, astringent, circulatory, antiviral, restorative and antibacterial oil, Pine essential oil is known for treating an extensive range of skin problems like acne, burns, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, dry scaly skin, boils, itching, eczema and wounds. You can add 4 drops of Pine essential oil to your antiseptic cream or skin care lotion and apply it on the affected part for quicker healing.

Tremendous health benefits of the bark extract of Pinus pinaster: Apart from the essential oil, the extracts from the bark of the Pinus pinaster tree has gained great recognition for its effectiveness in treating a wide range of illnesses. A recent research on ‘Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical effects of Pinus pinaster bark extract’ proved that “P. pinaster bark extract (PBE) contains polyphenolic compounds (these compounds consist of catechin, taxifolin, procyanidins of various chain lengths formed by catechin and epicatechin units, and phenolic acids) capable of producing diverse potentially protective effects against chronic and degenerative diseases.”

This extract was also evidenced with anti-inflammatory effects, cholesterol-lowering effects, antimicrobial and antiviral effects, benefits for cardiovascular system, venous disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergy and asthma, menstrual disorders, pregnancy associated pain and endometriosis.

Disclaimer: Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes when used undiluted. It should always be used after diluting in carrier oils. Do not take essential oils internally as it may be harmful for your system. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using essential oils for your unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
-Rabindranath Tagore

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Practice of Aromatherapy by Dr. Jean Valnet
  2. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  3. The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being (Herbal Body) by Victoria H. Edwards

Reference Links:

  1. Maritime Pine by Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries
  2. Chemical and Antimicrobial Properties of Essential Oils of Five Moroccan Pinaceae published in The Journal of Essential Oil Research
  3. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical effects of Pinus pinaster bark extract published in PubMed

Rose Geranium Essential Oil

 

With a much similar aroma of rich roses, Rose Geranium essential oil is known as the poor people’s Rose oil as it is less expensive than the original Rose essential oil.  Botanically known as Pelargonium roseum, this plant belongs to the Geraniaceae plant family and is indigenous to Cape Province, South Africa. Often used as a substitute for Rose essential oil, Rose Geranium oil is extracted from the soft rosy flowers with the touch of deep fuchsia of this perennial shrub. With a smooth, rosy, fresh, warming, herbaceous, purifying and sensual aroma, Rose Geranium oil is known for regenerating female energies and for treating an extensive array of skin problems in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing practices.

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Historical uses of Rose Geranium Essential Oil: Rose Geranium is said to have originated in South Africa along with Egypt, Morocco, Reunion and Madagascar. It was then introduced to the European countries like France, Italy and Spain in the early 17th century. The herb and the essential oil of Rose Geranium has been used in the pre-historic period as a powerful injury healer including cuts, abrasions, burns, skin ulcers and infections. This is attributed to the antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The sweet citrus-floral fragrance of this oil made its use prominent in the fragrance industry since the ancient times.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties: A 2009 study on ‘Volatile Components of Pelargonium roseum’ proved that Rose Geranium essential oil contains thirty-two compounds and the major ones among them are citronellol (27.3%), citronellyl formate (17.2%), β-caryophllene (10.3%), limonene, a-pinene, terpenes, myrcene, menthone, geraniol, cetones, ϒ-muurolene, geranyl butyrate, linalool, aldehydes and geranyl acetate. The most significant healing properties are antiseptic, vulnerary, antidepressant, cicatrisant, vermifuge, astringent, styptic, diuretic, deodorant, cytophylactic, haemostatic and tonic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Rose Geranium essential oil: Ayurveda is a traditional Indian healing methodology that means science of life. It is more than just a system of dealing or diagnosing illnesses, it is a common sense science that guides humanity on leading a holistic life preventing illnesses for an enduring bliss. Ayurvedic approaches rely on nature for their treatment and trust that nothing else other than essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, balanced living and spiritual oneness can grant optimal wellness to a human’s life.

Ayurveda classifies individuals based on their unique constitution that is composed of three basic energy elements namely vata, pitta and kapha doshas. Imbalances of any one of these doshas open door to diseases and interrupts a human’s body’s balance with nature.

Vata is the lightest of these 3 doshas and imbalance of vata ends up in insomnia, constipation, PMS, stress, nervousness and fatigue. Pitta being the hottest energy element and when out of balance it causes digestive disorders, anger, emotional distress, high blood pressure and lack of interest. Kapha is the heaviest dosha and its disparity leads to sluggishness, blockage, depression, improper blood circulation, high cholesterol, weak metabolism, depressive thoughts and fluid retention. Ayurvedic texts classify Rose Geranium essential oil as an ideal healing force for pacifying and controlling the imbalances of all the three doshas with its balancing effects. The most important Ayurvedic health benefits of Rose Geranium essential oil are:

1. Lessens stress, depression and treats autonomic nervous system imbalances:  A German based research has clinically proven that the presence of the Geraniol component in Rose Geranium essential oil is very effective in treating autonomic nervous system imbalances known as Vegetative dystony. A balanced autonomic nervous system is highly essential for the normal functioning of the body, mind and its emotions as it influences the production of hormones and the corresponding responses in the system. Imbalance of which can cause nervousness, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, headache and irregular heartbeat.

The essential oil of Rose Geranium has a perfect harmonizing effect on the central nervous system, making it idyllic in uplifting the spirits and handling stress. Using 2 drops of this oil in your potpourri or diffuser, in bath or as a massage oil blended with carrier oils like coconut oil transforms positive energy in your body and your atmosphere. This helps greatly in alleviating stress, depression and anxiety at it best. The convincing aromatic molecules present in Rose Geranium oil reach the limbic system through the nasal passages and inculcates a stimulating force in the adrenal cortex.

Renowned author K.G. Stiles says that Rose Geranium oil is “Definitely a first-aid oil everyone should consider having on hand Rose Geranium oil’s tonic action helps relieve nervous emotional conditions like anxiety, confusion, depression, lethargy, energy swings and tearfulness.”

2. Athlete’s companion: Rose Geranium oil is used in many popular health supplements for body building, athletic performance and weight loss for a fit physique. This is mainly due to the stimulant property of this oil where certain supplement manufacturers claim that the presence of the stimulant component dimethylamylamine in Rose Geranium oil makes it powerful naturally.

The University of Wisconsin Steven Point suggests an effectual massage oil blend that contains few drops of Rose Geranium oil with few drops of Lavender essential oil with the base of Almond and Vitamin E oil for relieving muscular tension and grant a relaxing effect on the mind and body. This is what an athlete would essentially require to trigger his/her efforts and chase their passion without any blocks.

Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt quotes Rose Geranium oil as, “The tonifying effect of the terpene alcohol combined with the soothing influence of the esters are responsible for the fact that geranium is perceived differently for each individual. One person will perceive it as antiseptic, another as calmative, and a third as stimulant…because of this versatile character, geranium is an excellent foundation for massage and body oils.”

3. Women’s friend: The regenerative and haemostatic properties of this oil enhances circulation, has positive effects on the functions of liver and spleen, stop hemorrhages and helps in treating blocked menstruation, PMS, hot flashes and mood swings in menopausal women. Using 2 to 3 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil with Sesame oil for massaging your abdomen or added to your warm bathing water helps in regulating the lymphatic system, promoting the release of toxic substances in the body while checking heavy periods and vaginal secretion. This oil is also known to ease labor pain and childbirth.

4. Benefits for the skin: The great news is that Rose Geranium oil benefits all types of skin including dry, oily, sensitive and normal skin. 2 drops of Rose Geranium oil blended with 2 drops of Lavender oil along with soothing carrier oil like jojoba oil applied on the affected area aids in reducing dryness, sting, itching and peeling of skin due to severe sunburns.

Adding few drops of Rose Geranium oil in your skin care cream or lotion helps in controlling the excess secretion of sebum responsible for acne and dull oily skin. It balances the skin naturally, treats congestion, sluggishness and leaves your skin supple and healthy. Topical application of Rose Geranium essential oil is known for treating cellulite by fighting against fat metabolism, varicose veins, breast soreness, eczema, psoriasis, broken capillaries, premature symptoms of aging and dermatitis. The anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties of this oil makes it effective against acne, ringworm, burns, cuts, wounds and other skin problems.

5. Other health benefits: Rose Geranium oil is also used as a diuretic for eliminating toxins through urine in case of fluid retention. It also assists in the treatment of nerve pain, inflammation, shingles, dry cough, nose bleeding, head lice and as an effective insect repellent.

Disclaimer: Do not use essential oils directly on your skin as pure essential oils are highly concentrated and might be harmful. Never take essential oils internally without the guidance of your Ayurvedic practitioner. Keep it away from children and avoid using if you are pregnant.

Thought for the day:

Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.                                                                          Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. HEALING POWERS OF ROSE GERANIUM OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  2. Natural solutions: Women’s health conditions by Ann Lisette Wesso
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Volatile Components of Pelargonium roseum R. Br. Published in Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants
  2. Rose Geranium Essential Oil by The Ananda Apothecary
  3. Rose Geranium Essential Oil Uses by Livestrong.Com

Rose Essential Oil

 

King of flowers, Queen of essential oils and Gift of Angels, can you guess? Cherished, loved and held high for its intrinsic beauty, mesmerizing aroma and stupendous health benefits Rose and its essential oil can simply make anyone addicted to the flawless elegance of Mother Nature. This mind-blowing flower is often connected with love, romance and forgiveness that it can soften even the hardest of hearts.

Held as Lord Krishna’s favorite flower, Rose is more than 70 million years old and its role in Ayurveda is predominant than most other flowers. Ayurvedic texts explain that the adoring qualities of Rose and the essential oil extracted from it is due to the strong reasons that it balances Sadhaka pitta that controls feelings and its effects on the heart and Prana vata that governs the mind, sensory perception, head, chest and respiration.

Known as Satapatri in Sanskrit, meaning ‘one hundred petals’ and Gulab-ka-phool in Hindi, Ayurvedic philosophers have documented the use of rose petals, rose essential oil, rose vinegar, rose water and Gulkand in the treatment of mental problems, gynecological disorders and as a promising aphrodisiac for enhancing reproductive health.

Pure Rose essential oil is very expensive because certain reports state that it takes about 2,000 pounds of Rose petals for extracting 1 pound of Rose essential oil, means 1 drop of Rose oil is extracted from about 500 rose petals. There are many species of Rose flowers and the most prevalently used in extracting essential oils are Rosa damascena, cultivated in Turkey, India, Pakistan, Russia, China, Bulgaria and Iran and Rosa centifolia, widely grown in France, Egypt and Morocco.

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Historical importance of Rose and its essential oil: Among all the flowers in the world, Rose has the oldest history with fossil remains at the Florissant Fossil Beds, Colorado confirming it to be more than 40 million years of age and the fossil deposits at Montana and Oregon date back for about 35 million years.  This flower of love has its origin in the Central parts of Asia before 70 million years.

Rose was an incredible part of almost all the ancient cultures in the world like the Romans, the Greeks, the Chinese, the Indians, the Egyptians, the English, the Arabians, the French and the Phoenicians. All of them sang the glory of roses and cultivated it widely in their provinces. Rose is used in perfuming and enlightening weddings amongst all the cultures on earth. It is said that the extraction of Rose oil was discovered in India when a celebrated King of India held his daughter’s grand wedding ceremony. As a part of the wedding decoration, the moat surrounding the castle was filled with petals of rose and after a long time people noticed that the water smelled sweet and tasted great, paving way for the extraction of Rose essential oil.

According to Greek mythology it was Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love and beauty who gave the name ‘Rose’ to this lovely flower. Theophrastus, the Greek scientist was known as the first to give a comprehensive botanical report about Rose around 300 B.C. Greeks considered roses as a sign of the future for their culture (defined the term ‘sub rosa’). They used rose flowers to adorn the ceilings of their conference rooms during secret meetings signifying that everything conferred there was highly confidential.

The Han dynasty of China from 207 B.C. to 220 A.D. was popular for cultivating rose flowers in their gardens and the growth of roses in the Imperial Gardens of China was noted by Confucius in 500 B.C. and he also mentioned that the Emperor’s library had hundreds of books on roses. Avicenna, the Arabian physician wrote the healing benefits of Rose water prepared using rose petals in pure water under sunlight. Rose oil is used in preparing the high quality perfumes in the Middle East known as ‘Attars’.

King Alexander the Great was inspired by the rose gardens during his visit to India and is known for introducing the cultivation of roses in Europe. Roman Emperors used rose petals to perfume their baths, in celebrations, in the preparation of scents, for decorating banquet halls and for medicinal purposes. Queen Cleopatra used rose petals in her bath, on her bed, for inviting guests and for alluring her lover Antony.

English used roses for symbolizing the two houses of the War of Roses during the fifteenth century. Red rose was used to represent the House of Lancaster and white rose stood for the House of York. The entire cosmos commemorated rose as an emblem of passionate love, affection, joy, peace and as a saga of absolute romance.

Therapeutic properties and active components of Rose essential oil: The steam distilled essential oil extracted from rose petals have enormous healing values and the most notable among them are aphrodisiac, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, cholagogue, depurative, bactericidal, haemostatic, cicatrisant, uterine, nervine, emmenagogue, hepatic, laxative and stomachic. The α-pinene, α-terpinene, Nerol, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, β-pinene, p-cymene, β-caryophyllene, Citral, Phenyl Acetaldehyde, Carvone, Camphene, Farnesol, Citronellyl Acetate, Methyl Eugenol, Ethanol, Phenyl Geraniol, Limonene, Stearpoten, Phenylmenthyl Acetate and Nonanol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Rose essential oil: More than just a healing methodology, Ayurveda is a guiding principle throwing light on leading a balanced and health lifestyle that would prevent illnesses and promote healthy aging. This ancient healing system identifies human beings based on their individual constitution composed of three vital energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), where vata signifies air, pitta is fire and kapha stands for water. The predominance of any of these doshas determines an individual’s personality and imbalance of any of these doshas is the cause of a disease or sickness in general. The vividness of Ayurvedic healing lies in its holistic approach by treating the five senses namely the sense of vision, smell, taste, touch and sound.

According to the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Rose oil is such a unique essential oil that is good for all the three doshas and benefits the blood, nerve, plasma, liver, heart, stomach, reproductive system, marrow, skin and gastro-intestinal system. It transforms the moisturizing and cooling energy elements that controls negative feelings, strengthens the aura and stimulates the effective functioning of the body. It’s time to take a look at the brilliance of Rose essential oil in curing mankind through their senses.

1. Sense of vision: Among the five major therapies of Ayurvedic healing, the color therapy is appealing to the eyes and slowly transfers the absorbed energy of the color to the brain, mind, heart and the entire system. This is one great way of balancing the tri-doshas, the key to optimal health. As most of us knew, Rose is such a splendid flower that has more than hundreds of colors. The most notable ones are deep red, white, pink, bright yellow, orange, coral and lavender colors.

Eyes are the doors to your heart and the very sight of deep red roses will certainly bring in love, charm, affection and feelings of forgiving without any second thought as it calms kapha energy in charge for love and forgiveness. This is because the color red has an in-depth meaning in Ayurveda and using red color aids in resolving issues that are pending for a long time.

Pink or maroon colors are meant for bringing the thoughts of celebration and happiness. Bright yellow indicates a good start for achievements or academic pursuits as it pacifies pitta responsible for intelligence. White is absolutely a symbol of peace and using white roses in color therapy aids in abolishing abusive memories, pride, greed, covetousness and is the best way to trigger new friendship, creativity and augment understanding. White color aids in treating vata imbalances, which are responsible for innovation, emotions and friendship.

2. Sense of smell: Aromatherapy is the Ayurvedic way of using aromatic compounds in treating health conditions. The aromatic molecules present in essential oils enter the nasal passage and reach the limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for controlling emotions and other major functions of the body. Inhaling the aroma of Rose essential oil by using it in baths, vaporizers, diffusers, burners, tissues or handkerchiefs can help in treating a number of physical and psychological illnesses.

Adding 2 drops of rose essential oil in your air freshener, diffuser, vaporizer or burner can certainly aid in alleviating stress, depression, loneliness, tension headache, mental pressure and lack of confidence. The anti-depressant properties of this oil when inhaled, influences the central nervous system and boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, mental power, positive feelings, intelligence, hope and the power of fighting back. A popular 2004 study on ‘Anxiolytic-like effects of rose oil inhalation’ proved that inhaling Rose oil reduced anxiety in a group of rats.

Rose essential oil is undoubtedly a commendable aphrodisiac that has mesmerized everyone right from the Kings and Queens of the ancient period till the common populace of this contemporary world. There is no romance without rose in many parts of the cosmos. Inhaling the aroma of Rose oil by adding 2 drops of Rose essential oil to a sensual bath before bed or to your diffuser in your bed room or your pillows can recreate the magic of love by boosting sexual feelings in both the partners.

3. Sense of taste: Rose petals were a prominent ingredient in many Ayurvedic preparations for enhancing overall health.  Many tonics and natural drinks prepared with rose are said to increase the complexion, enhances the tissues of the body and bring in a natural glow from within. The most popular drinks prepared with Rose are Rose petal milk, Rose petal Lassi, Rose petal thirst quencher, Rose wine and Gulkand. Taking such rose drinks internally helps in reducing excess of pitta, the heat element in the body, purifying the blood, increasing the memory power, augmenting digestion, reviving the reproductive tissues, treating menstrual problems, promoting the process of cell-regeneration, checking constipation, treating sore throat, tiredness, acne, anemia, tonsillitis and certain other nervous disorders.

4. Sense of touch: Skin is the largest organ of the human body and acts as a protective shield for other parts of the system against microbes, aids in managing various climatic conditions. According to Ayurveda, skin aids in absorbing the vital nutrients in essential oils very quickly and transmit the energy through the bloodstream and the entire body. Ayurvedic treatment through the sense of touch includes Abhyanga, the traditional art of massaging, in baths, steam inhalation, in compresses and in topical application like creams and lotions.

Massaging your body with 2 to 3 drops of Rose essential oil blended with soothing carrier oils like Sweet almond oil aids in treating spasms, pain, inflammation, bloating, wrinkles, trauma, stress, nervous tension, sexual debilities, headache, infections and skin ulcers. It also helps in regulating the acid levels and bile secretion in the stomach and gall bladder, helping with acidity and other digestive problems. The laxative and depurative properties of this oil help in eliminating toxins from the blood and stimulate the anal and intestinal muscles for cleansing the bowel.

Massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Rose essential oil blended with Jojoba oil for promoting good sleep, treating nightmares, insomnia, sexual problems, depression, fear and fatigue. Massaging the soles of your feet grants instant relief because it is regarded as the most absorbent part of the body for absorbing the healing molecules present in essential oils by the bloodstream.

Rose essential is a gift to women as it is known to treat womanly problems like menstruation, menopause and frigidity. Mood fluctuations, abdominal pain, muscular cramps, vomiting, headache and other problems associated with PMS can be treated aromatically by gently massaging your abdomen with 3 drops of rose essential blended with coconut oil or by using 2 drops of rose oil either in cold or warm compress. This formula works like a magic as Rose essential oil has emmenagogue properties that help in regularizing menstruation, treating blocked periods and enhancing fertility by promoting the secretion of estrogen, the female reproductive hormones. A 2008 study on effects of essential oils massage on 52 women undergoing menopause, proved that weekly massages with essential oils like rose, lavender, jasmine and rose geranium showed positive effects on menopausal symptoms.

Inhaling the remedial aroma of Rose essential oil by adding 3 to 5 drops in steam bath will aid in treating migraine pain, asthma, liver congestion, cold, chest congestion, cough, nausea, hay fever and certain other respiratory infections. Adding few drops of Rose oil to your skin care cream or lotion will aid in treating pimples, oily skin, scars, wrinkles, eczema, dry and lifeless skin. It enhances blood circulation, moisturizes the skin, repairs and replenishes the dead cells and cleanses the pores deeply for granting spotless skin naturally.

The antibacterial and antiviral properties of Rose oil strengthens the immune system by fighting against the harmful bacteria and viruses causing illnesses like typhoid, cholera, diarrhea and other infections. Rose oil assists in strengthening the heart and nourishes the ‘heart-yin’, which helps in healing emotional illnesses.  A 2009 research on ‘Relaxing effect of Rose oil on humans’ demonstrated that the transdermal absorption of ‘Rose oil caused significant decreases of breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation and systolic blood pressure, which indicate a decrease of autonomic arousal’. The results of this research also proved the relaxing effect of Rose oil instilled great relief from stress and depression.

Rose essential oil has been in use for more than thousands of years for implanting spiritual feelings and augmenting mental clarity. It is for these strong reasons fresh Rose flowers and its essential oil are used in prayers, meditation and other spiritual ceremonies. Rose oil is known to benefit the heart chakra that is purely responsible for unconditional love and that is what Rose is known for all over the world.

Disclaimer: Do not ingest or apply essential oils directly on your skin without the advice of your healthcare professional as pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause harm. Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner before using essential oils for your specific constitution and health conditions.

Thought for the day:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”                                                                – Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet

Suggested Reading:

  1. How to Use Rose Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  2. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Ageless Woman: Natural Health and Beauty After Forty with Maharishi Ayurveda by Nancy Lonsdorf

Reference Links:

  1. The Great History of Roses by Rose Farm.com International
  2. Why the Rose balances the Heart? By Maharishi Ayurveda
  3. Health Benefits of Rose Essential oil by theResearchpedia
  4. Relaxing effect of Rose oil on humans published in PubMed

Rose Wood Essential Oil

 

The uplifting Rosewood essential oil is extracted from the heartwood of Rosewood tree through steam distillation. Light Miller in her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ says “Along with sandalwood, hina, myrrh and amber, rosewood is one of the five essential oils to put into your metaphysical first aid kit”. Rosewood also known as bois de rose is a mighty evergreen tree indigenous to Brazil and Peru. Aniba rosaeodora is a member of the Laurel family Lauraceae along with other aromatic trees like Camphor, Cassia, Bay and Cinnamon. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing systems have made significant use of this oil for opening the inner ear, rekindling spiritual feelings and for discharging offensive memories.

Purchase Rose Wood Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Rosewood: The valuable wood of this tree was traditionally used in cabinet-making, carving, building, essential oil extraction and for making chopsticks. Certain texts state that the ancient French community used Rosewood for flooring, oils, furniture and guitars. The alluring fragrance of Rosewood essential oil made its demand sky-rocketing especially during the eighteenth century in the field of perfume-making. To mark its significance, Rosewood oil was a prominent ingredient of the well-liked perfume Chanel. No. 5. Industrial exploitation for numerous decades has led to categorize this tree as an endangered species and the legislation has now come up with a resolution that requires the essential oil distilleries to plant a new tree for every tree they use for essential oil extraction.

Active components and therapeutic properties: Rosewood essential oil is regarded as a valuable oil mainly because of the rich presence of about 86% of linalool component, which can be modified into numerous derivatives of high value especially to the fragrance and flavoring industries. Other components of Rosewood oil are a-terpineol, a-pinene, neral, camphene, myrcene, geraniol, 1,8-cineole, geranial, benzaldehyde, limonene, and linalool oxides. These active components are responsible for the remedial properties of this oil such as aphrodisiac, anti-depressant, stimulant, anti-infectious, analgesic, antibacterial, tissue regenerator, deodorant, antiseptic, insecticide and cephalic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Rosewood essential oil: The essential oil of Rosewood is said to be stimulating and powerful in creating energy enrichment. Unlike other medical practices, Ayurveda considers every individual as a unique part of nature and treats every individual in a special manner as it trusts that each human being is made up of a specific set of energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha).

This noble science regards illness as an opportunity to help the body regain its rhythm with nature and in this process of restoring good health, Ayurveda recommends the use of herbs, essential oils, a balanced regimen, meditation, yoga and other physical exercises. Essential oil according to Ayurvedic texts is the aura or life force of plants, have been used in various Ayurvedic treatments like Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, aromatic therapy and in Panchakarma, the technique of Ayurvedic cleansing.

Rosewood essential oil with its floral, warm, spicy, woody, fruity and enlivening aroma reduces excess of vata and pitta imbalances. Let’s have a look at the predominant Ayurvedic health benefits of Rosewood oil.

1. Guards your skin: Rosewood essential oil acts as a shield to your skin, defending against harmful bacteria, virus, fungi and other microbes. The natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties of this oil aid in treating wounds, cuts, burns and infections while preventing it from being septic. Excess of vata element in the body is characterized by wrinkling, dryness, thinness, flaking and dullness of skin. Rosewood is an effective vata reducing essential oil and gentle massaging of your skin with 5 to 6 drops of Rosewood essential oil with mild carrier oil like jojoba oil helps in dealing with such skin problems.

Oily skin is the basis of numerous skin disorders like pimples, acne, blackheads, sensitivity and skin irritations. Massaging your facial skin with 3 drops of Rosewood essential oil blended with 3 drops of Lavender essential oil along with Almond oil can assist in decreasing pitta and pave way for a healthy and spotless skin. You can also add 2 drops of Rosewood oil in steam therapy for promoting blood circulation, comforting irritated and stressed out skin.

The rejuvenating properties of this oil help in regenerating the skin cells and support the growth of new cells. Using it in your skin care lotion or cream will show visible results in reducing the symptoms of aging through tissue regeneration and absolute cleansing.

2. Pacifies your mind: Rosewood oil is an excellent pacifier that calms your mind and relaxes your senses. The anti-depressant, stimulating and uplifting properties of this oil instills confidence as it is known to bring fire and helps in regaining your energy naturally. Fearful, anxious, disheartened, nervous and hectic situations will take a back seat with the use of Rosewood essential oil in your burners, diffusers or vaporizers before going to bed or at the time of meditation. Miller’s Ayurveda and Aromatherapy book quotes Rosewood oil as “Rosewood helps to relieve tiredness, nervousness, stress, and it is very grounding, giving you a sense of protection”.

Being celebrated for numerous years as one of the best essential oils for meditative and spiritual purposes, Rosewood oil grants a balancing and energizing effect on the mind while influencing constructive feelings even after a long, backbreaking day. Add 5 drops of Rosewood essential oil to your warm bath for easing tension, muscular pain, mood swings, pre-menstrual syndrome, nausea, headaches due to stress and general discomforts of the mind and body.

Ayurveda manifests that there are seven vital centers of power in a human body known as Chakras, which affect the psychological and physical functions of the system. Among the seven Chakras, the heart chakra is responsible for love for others, creativity, compassion, love for self, emotions of sadness, loss and distress. The bracing aroma of Rosewood essential oil widens the heart chakra and assists in alleviating depressed feelings, egoism, negative memories and encourages one to spread love and compassion for others and self. Inhaling the aroma of this oil through diffusers or vaporizers or applying 1 to 2 drops on the chakra points will attend to your emotional needs tranquilly.

3. Instigates your love life: I am wondering whether Rosewood oil has aphrodisiac properties just because it has the romantic word ‘Rose’ in its name? Used in massaging, bath or vapor therapy, Rosewood essential oil has been in use for treating decrease in sexual interest, impotence, frigidity and loss of libido in both the sexes. The magical aroma of this oil strengthens the system, instills a sense of security and grants absolute relaxation for an idyllic mating.

Rosewood essential oil, “Opens the inner ear and Compassion” according to Deborah Eidson, the author of the book Vibrational healing. It is known to enhance your divine feelings and help in spiritual realization. The other documented benefits of Rosewood essential oil are its use as an analgesic for treating cold, toothache and joint pain. It is also used as an effective insecticide to keep away from insects like ants, mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs and lice.

Disclaimer: Never use essential oils directly on your skin as pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause harm. This article is for your information only. Consult your Ayurvedic Practitioner before using essential oils for your specific health conditions.

Thought for the day:

“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”   -Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. Scents Of Life: Use And Effect Of Essential Oils by H. M. Schemske
  4. Facelift at Your Fingertips: An Aromatherapy Massage Program for Healthy Skin and a Younger Face by Pierre Jean Cousin M.B.Ac.C

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Light Miller and Bryan Miller
  2. Health Benefits of Rosewood Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  3. Healing With Rosewood Essential Oil by Suite101

Rosemary Essential Oil

 

Rosemary is there for remembrance’ is a comforting note that encourages many master minds and for those to be. Fêted for its memory enhancing power and anti-depressant properties, Rosemary herb and its essential oil have been in use for more than thousands of years. The botanical name Rosmarinus Officinalis means ‘dew of the sea’ (ros-dew and marinus-sea). It has been a part of the Ayurvedic regimen and certain other Complementary medicinal practices for its incredible medicinal benefits and its culinary uses.Helps a weak memory and quickens the senses. The chymical [essential] oil drawn from the leaves and flowers, is a sovereign help…touch the temples and nostrils with two or three drops” said English Herbalist Nicholas Culpeper about Rosemary.

Purchase Rosemary Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE

Purchase Rosemary Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses of Rosemary herb and its essential oil: The healing values of Rosemary are evident through its use in various medicinal systems ranging from the Stone Age to this contemporary epoch. Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences makes use of Rosemary essential oil for improving memory power and thinking skills. Halitosis, stomach upset, headaches, insect bites and stings were also treated with this oil. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used Rosemary oil to treat baldness and headache.

Rosemary essential oil was used as a proven remedy for jaundice in the 13th century and was used in the preparation of Queen of Hungary water for healing the 72 years old Queen’s rheumatism and helped her regain her beauty. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of this oil made its use compelling in the ancient African medicinal system for handling skin problems like allergies, eczema, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Muscular pain, joint problems, spasms, convulsions, flatulence and bloating were also treated with Rosemary herb and its essential oil.

The Roman students wore Rosemary garlands while studying and at the time of their examinations to help them remember without any difficulties. The results of an ethno pharmacological study evidenced the traditional use of Rosemary in Morocco for dealing with diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and hypertension. The dried herb has been used in poultice as an effective post-circumcision remedy along with olive oil in Tunisia.

Relished as a natural flavoring agent in a variety of Mediterranean cuisines, the fresh and dried leaves of Rosemary herb is a known natural medicine in the European countries. These leaves have also been approved by Germany’s Commission E for treating dyspepsia and the essential oil extracted from this herb for handling poor blood circulation and joint problems.

The most popular use of Rosemary essential oil is its advent in the field of clinical aromatherapy,  as a part of the Western herbal medicine to address emotional conditions, improve attentiveness, reduce wrinkles naturally, promote skin health and support a healthy lifestyle.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Rosemary essential oil: Known as Rusmari, Ayurvedic medicine celebrates Rosemary essential oil as one of the standard inhalations for treating respiratory disorders, sinusitis and gall bladder problems. Rosemary is one among those few essential oils that must be in everyone’s medicine cabinet according to the trusted Ayurvedic book, Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.

Ayurveda adores nature’s innate beauty and trusts human beings to be a vital part of nature. The simplicity of this mythological science lies in its easily understandable classification of the 3 energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) that construct a human’s physical and mental set-up. The imbalance of any one of these doshas is said to cause illnesses indicating that the body is out of poise with nature. Ayurveda categorizes Rosemary essential oil as a rich herbaceous oil with drying and heating energies and can effectively reduce excess vata and kapha while treating pitta deficiency. The well-known Ayurvedic health benefits of Rosemary essential oil are:

1. Tonic for hair and skin: Rosemary essential oil is an excellent tonic, stimulant, calmative and relaxant. It is known to ease stress, enhance blood circulation, nourish and cleanse the scalp, stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth naturally. Regular massaging of the scalp with 2 to 3 drops of Rosemary essential oil blended with Almond oil can help in strengthening the roots, reduce premature graying, control loss of hair and lessen dandruff. Rosemary oil is also a trusted moisturizer that foster scalp health while treating flaky and dry scalp. When used in combination with Sage oil, this oil is said to control the build-up of excess oil. For all these special factors, Rosemary essential oil is used in plenty of shampoos, conditioners and other hair care formulas.

The essential of Rosemary is a brilliant energizer for treating skin problems and its brilliance lies in its effectiveness of controlling the excessive production of sebum, which is responsible for acne, pimples and black heads. 2 drops of Rosemary essential oil added with 3 drops of Orange essential oil have been proved effective in treating cellulite, the most annoying skin problem especially in post-pubertal females. This oil is known to relieve swelling, congestion and puffiness. Used as massage oil or bath oil, Rosemary essential oil can aid in the treatment of eczema, acne, stretch marks, skin eruptions, scars, wrinkles and dermatitis.

2. Augments memory and cognitive performance: Numerous studies have witnessed the efficacy of the influencing aroma of Rosemary herb and its essential oil in enhancing memory skills. This instinctive fragrance has been medicinally associated with memory and overall health since the primeval times. Dr. Mark Moss in one of his studies proved that “the presence of the chemical compound 1, 8-cineole boosts the chemical brain systems behind cognitive performance when absorbed into the bloodstream of healthy adults.” Northumbria University’s psychology researchers have demonstrated their findings stating that memory impairments that affect day to day living and acts as a cause of concern for prospective memory can be handled easily with Rosemary herb.

A 2003 research on ‘Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults’ published in PubMed proved that the olfactory properties of the essential oil of Rosemary created a notable improvement of performance for overall memory quality and other secondary factors of memory. This study also demonstrated that “these essential oils can produce objective effects on cognitive performance, as well as subjective effects on mood”.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Rosemary essential oil to burners, vaporizers, diffusers or to your handkerchief can aid in stimulating the functions of the brain, encouraging clarity of thought, enhancing memory power, granting mental awareness and strengthening the central nervous system. You can also go for a quick meditation of just 5 minutes every morning with the intense aroma of Rosemary essential oil around you to calm your mind, enliven your spiritual power and free your mind from all kinds of mental qualms.

Next time when you prepare for your examination, add 2 drops of Rosemary essential oil to any of the above mentioned things and 2 drops to your handkerchief on the day of your examination. It is said that the invigorating aroma of Rosemary essential oil helps in remembering all that you’ve studied with encompassing your atmosphere with the same fragrance.

3. For depression, fear and fatigue: Rosemary essential oil is not only known to boost the brain power but is also recognized for instilling positive feelings. The stimulating and anti-depressant properties of this oil checks stress related disorders, nervous exhaustion, depression, fear, fatigue and anxiety. When added to your warm bathing water, Rosemary oil acts as a classic relaxant and treats physical weariness, wards off lethargic attitude, backs up mood fluctuations and help increase productivity.

4. Must-have essential oil in the medicine cabinet: Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ say that Rosemary essential oil is a must-have essential oil in everyone’s medicine cabinet.  With remarkable therapeutic properties like analgesic, nervine, carminative, cephalic, cardiac, emmenagogue, diuretic, hypertensive, stimulant, tonic, rubefacient, astringent, cholagogue and antidepressant, Rosemary essential oil can heal a number of illnesses including dental problems, respiratory disorders, pain, inflammation, urinary problems, gastrointestinal troubles and weak immune system.

2 drops of Rosemary essential oil added to a warm cup of water as a gargle can help you keep away from bad breath, plaque, weak gums and other oral problems. This is due to the antimicrobial activity of this oil that fights against Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, fungi and other micro organisms. Adding 2 to 3 drops of this oil in vapor therapy or in warm bath can assist you in treating sinusitis, headaches, migraine pain, cough, bronchitis, mucus congestion and common cold.

Blending few drops of Rosemary essential oil with soothing carrier oils like Sesame oil or Coconut oil can support in dealing with rheumatic pain, arthritis, muscular spasms, menstrual cramps, back pain, constipation and stiff neck. Massaging with this reviving essential oil promotes blood circulation, treats blocked menstruation, boosts immune power and supports overall health condition.

Disclaimer: This information is only for your reference and is not meant to substitute any prescription drugs or consultation of your healthcare professional. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner for expert advice based on your specific health conditions and individual constitution. Avoid using essential oils directly on your skin and taking it internally. Keep away from children and is not suitable for pregnant women and people with high blood pressure and epilepsy.

Thought for the day:

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray, love, remember”    – An excerpt from Hamlet by Shakespeare.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Rosemary Oil – An In-Depth Look at its Potentially Amazing Benefits by Karen Jean Gaskell
  2. How to Use Rosemary Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  3. HEALING POWERS OF ROSEMARY OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  4. 30 Ways to Use Rosemary (X-Ways to) By Evelyn

Reference Links:

  1. Rosemary boosts brain power! By Robert Tisserand
  2. Rosemary Oil Health Benefit: Smell Boosts Prospective Memory by Medical Daily
  3. Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults published in PubMed
  4. Traditional Uses Of Rosemary by Natural Standard, The Authority on Integrative Medicine

Sandal Wood Essential Oil

 

Well begun is half done’ is a great saying that is often related to the use of the most mesmerizing and reviving Sandal wood essential oil for spiritual ceremonies, meditation and other Ayurvedic remedies for treating a wide range of health conditions. Extracted from the woods of the Santalum Album Linn trees that are 30 to 60 years old by steam distillation method, Sandal wood oil is celebrated as the priceless treasure of the Indian Subcontinent.

Popularly known as Chandana in Sanskrit, this oil has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for attaining enlightenment, awakening selfless love and for treating an array of physical and emotional health problems. Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore said “if to prove that love would conquer hate, the sandalwood perfumes the very axe that lays it low”.

Purchase Sandalwood Absolute – 5% Dilution in Pure Jojoba – CLICK HERE

Historical Importance of Sandal Wood: In my perspective, I’ve never seen such a fascinating history as that of Sandal wood. Indigenous to the Southern parts of India, Sandal wood is often a ‘Signature’ of the primordial Indian culture and is the traditional leader in the production of Sandal wood oil for pharmaceuticals and perfumery.

The oil of Sandal wood was used in ritual bathing of Gods of the Hindu religion. The Brahma Vaivarta Purana, one of the ancient mythological manuscripts mentions that the most powerful Goddess Lakshmi alleged to reside in the Sandal wood tree. Vamana Purana suggests the use of Sandal Wood for worshiping Lord Shiva, one among the 3 major Gods of the Hinduism. It is also used for decorating new born babies, brides and bridegrooms along with flowers and other aromatic substances.

Sandal wood oil is highly respected by numerous ethnicities of the world including Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. This oil is a vital ingredient in the manufacturing of attar since the medieval times. The primeval Egyptians used Sandal wood oil for embalming the deceased, for treating skin disorders and in spiritual flaming for honoring the Gods. Certain Hindu communities place a piece of Sandal wood in the funeral pyre.

Saints and priests of India use Sandal wood in homam and yagna yagam for glorifying and inviting Gods for getting their immaculate blessings. Even today, Sandal wood paste is applied on the forehead as a symbol of religious belief and for augmenting the concentration power when applied on the forehead. The heartwood of this tree is considered as a symbol of sacredness in the Vedic texts. It is named after Indra, the Lord of the paradise as Indra’s Sandal wood tress and is said to adore the entire paradise with its compelling aroma.

Therapeutic properties and components of Sandal wood oil: The major constituents of Sandal wood oil are Santyl acetate, Santalol and Santalenes. The remedial properties of this oil are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, anti-phlogistic, regenerating, cicatrisant, expectorant, sedative, emollient, hypotensive, tonic, diuretic, carminative, disinfectant and aphrodisiac.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sandal wood oil: Sandal wood is undoubtedly one of the strongest smelling plants in the world. It is a dignified natural medicine and the best among the sanctified herbs in the Ayurvedic world. Apart from the spiritual uses, Sandal wood oil is used as a distinguished remedy for numerous illnesses. Among the 3 energy elements (doshas) of the human body, Sandal wood and its oil treats vata (air) aggravation and is said to pacify and balance the fire energy pitta and the water energy kapha.

With its exceptional and uniform tenacity, exceptionally soft, magnificent, uplifting and sweet-woody aroma, Sandal wood oil has the potential to benefit the reproductive system, nervous system, marrows, plasma, muscular system and circulatory system. The predominant Ayurvedic health benefits of Sandal wood oil are:

1. Repairs, rejuvenates and nourishes the skin and hair: Sandal wood oil is an extremely skin-friendly oil that helps in treating vata based skin problems like flaking, dryness, wrinkling, cracking, roughness and coldness. Pitta imbalances cause acne, oily skin, black heads, blemishes, sensitivity and skin irritations. Using Sandal wood oil in your skin care cream or lotion aids in repairing the damaged cells, eliminating the toxin deposits in the skin, moisturizes and soothes the skin, enriches the skin cells, enhances the skin texture, keeps your skin fresh and helps you get a fair complexion.

The astringent, antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, cicatrisant and disinfectant properties of Sandal wood oil protect the skin from harmful bacteria, virus and other fungal infestations. A recent study have proved that the presence of α-santalol and β-santalol in Sandal wood oil fights effectively against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and another gram negative bacteria Helicobacter pylori while it also exhibited anti-influenza effect against virus activity.

When applied on the skin as an antiseptic, this oil aids in healing wounds, cuts, sores, scars, inflamed skin, pimples and burns very quickly while preventing it from turning septic. Sandal wood powder and oil along with the ‘Golden herb’ Turmeric is a traditional beauty secret of the Queens of the Indian kingdom and is now followed to enhance the beauty of the Brides before their marriage.

Apart from benefitting the skin, Sandal wood oil is extremely good for treating hair problems. In their book ‘Ayurveda and AromatherapyBryan Miller and Light Miller have wrote that Sandal wood oil is effective in treating split ends and dandruff due to vata imbalance. They also suggest a natural blend of medicated oils for massaging your hair for treating dandruff. This blend includes adding 10 drops of Sandal wood oil, 10 drops of lavender oil, 10 drops of cypress oil and 10 drops of yarrow oil with 4 ounce of Sesame oil.

2. Augments mind power: Sandalwood essential oil has a cooling effect on the brain and a calming effect on the mind. The sedative properties of this oil guard the nervous system and alleviate the off-putting effects of stress and other negative feelings. For this invigorating reaction, Sandal wood essential oil is celebrated as a perfect meditation tool for more than thousands of years. When used in the form of incense sticks, in diffusers, burners or vaporizers this oil stimulates sensuality, grants a sense of awareness, invokes tranquility, awakens the divine thoughts within and promotes profound relaxation.

Inhaling the energizing aroma of this oil enhances memory power, unlocks the cellular memory of past experiences, clears confusions in the brain, augments spiritual bond and supports trouble-free concentration. Applying 1 drop of Sandal wood essential oil on the third eye (in between your eyebrows) is said to boost intelligence and lessen depressive feelings. This point is also known as the point of concentration.

3. Treats pain, inflammation, digestive and respiratory problems: The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil grants complete relief from various types of inflammation in the digestive system, excretory system, nervous system, brain and circulatory system as a result of fever, adverse effects of over-the-counter antibiotics, venomous bites, infections, wounds, fever, poisoning etc.,

Being a natural diuretic, Sandal wood essential oil pacifies the urinary system and helps discharge the toxins and infections in the body through urine. Used in vapor therapy, this oil is also known to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, chest infections, cough, cold and asthma. A 1999 study by the College of Pharmacy, Brookings proved that Sandalwood oil has the potential to prevent skin tumour development and is an effective chemo-preventive agent against chemically induced skin cancer.

4. Traditional aphrodisiac: Sandal wood paste and oil are a time-honored aphrodisiac that boost the libido in both men and women, treats impotence, increases the sexual desire, and promotes reproductive health. Sandal wood essential oil is extensively used in yoga therapy for crafting sexual energy in nature. Using perfumes with Sandal wood oil, adding 1 or 2 drops of this oil to your bath tub before bedtime, spreading the magic of love in your bedroom by adding 2 drops of Sandal wood oil to your diffuser or massaging your partner with 1 to 2 drops of this oil blended with soothing carrier oils like jojoba oil will bring in a natural feeling of togetherness.     

5. Classic relaxant:  Sandal wood oil is nature’s best relaxant. With its sedative properties and enriching fragrance, this oil soothes the nerves, calms your senses, and relaxes your tensed muscles and blood vessels. The encouraging aroma of this oil keeps away from anxiety, fear and restlessness. 2 drops of this oil added to your diffuser can act as a daily dose of relief for treating tension headache, tiredness, stress and for influencing positive feelings.

A 2006 study on ‘East Indian Sandal wood and alpha-santalol odor increase physiological and self-rated arousal in humans’ states that Sandal wood is an important medicine in Ayurvedic treatment for treating both mental and somatic problems. This research also proved that Sandal wood oil raised skin conductance level, pulse rate and systolic blood pressure. The regenerating odor of Sandal wood was proved to augment physiological and self-rated arousal in human beings.

The cooling and energizing attributes of this oil aids in quick relief at the time of panic attacks, bladder infections, irritability and nervous tension. It upholds tranquility and brings absolute harmony between the mind and the body. These health benefits can be attained either by diluting 2 to 3 drops of this oil in the bath or by using it as a blend with carrier oils in massaging. For all these compelling medicinal values, Sandal wood oil is used in various treatments of Ayurvedic healing like Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, meditation, aromatherapy, marma therapy and in numerous other medicinal practices.

Sandal wood is the beauty secret of Queens and ladies of the imperial families and is now a part of high quality perfumes, soaps, beauty creams, skin care products, incense sticks and many other products.

Disclaimer: Pure Sandal wood oil is highly concentrated and is not recommended to be applied directly on the skin. Always dilute it in mild carrier oils before using it for topical application. This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to replace any prescription medicines or professional advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. How to Use Sandalwood Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  2. Heal With Oil: How To Use The Essential Oils of Ancient Scripture by Rebecca Totilo
  3. Ayurvedic Healing by Frena Gray-Davidson

Reference Links:

  1. Sandalwood: history, uses, present status and the future by Geeta Joshi, Arun Kumar A.N. and Mohan Ram H.Y.
  2. East Indian Sandalwood and alpha-santalol odor increase physiological and self-rated arousal in humans published in PubMed
  3. Health Benefits of Sandal Wood Essential Oil by Organic Facts

Sesame Oil

 

From nasal drops to enema, from babies to elderly people, Sesame oil forms an incredible part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Experts say that about 90% of the herbal oils in Ayurvedic treatment are prepared with a base of Sesame oil. Celebrated for its rich presence of nutrients, this oil is used as a nourishing cooking oil in most parts of India, especially the southern parts of the nation where Ayurvedic system of healing has its roots deeply vested with.

Known as Tila in the Ayurvedic world, Sesame oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum (syn. Sesamum Orientale). Sesame oil has been used for its innumerable benefits to mankind and the most touching thing is that the seed hulls left after pressing the oil can be fed to livestock as a wholesome food.

Purchase Sesame Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Sesame Oil: This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years just like the ancient Ayurvedic system. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization, the oldest civilization of the world. Sesame was the first crop used for extracting oil. Before 600 BC, Sesame oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Sesame oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.

Most of the Ayurvedic therapies have registered the use of Sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Sesame seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.

Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, sesame oil is said to benefit the heart chakra responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world, root chakra responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world and the spleen chakra responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect.

Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil: Sesame oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants. All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame oil: Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have listed enormous health benefits of Sesame oil. Practicing Ayurveda is a sure shot remedy for self-improvement as it involves a systematic life-style along with essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, meditation and physical exercises that keep you fit and fine even in your late 60s.

Human body is made up of 3 energy elements known as doshas in Ayurveda. They are vata, pitta and kapha. The predominant energy element determines your personality, character and behavior. Sesame oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency. Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame seed oil in terms of various ways of administration.

1. Oil Pulling: This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity and is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit. It is nothing but swishing 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes in empty stomach in the morning and spitting out the toxins-filled remains. This process helps in protecting the dental health known as Dantya Swasthya in Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita (Charaka Samhita Ch V-78 to 80) quotes the act of oil pulling as “It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables” . The best oil recommended for oil pulling by Ayurvedic texts is organic cold pressed Sesame oil.

Sesame oil has sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin components along with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E that make this oil as a rich natural antioxidant. This property helps in preventing decay and degeneration of cells in the body and blocks the absorption of negative cholesterol in the liver. A popular study on “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis” by Dr. HV Amith proved that 45 days of methodical oil pulling showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of this oil help in treating halitosis or bad breath, plaque, gingivitis and dental cavities. One more study conducted in 2008 on “The Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria” proved the in-vitro antibacterial activity of Sesame oil against dental caries causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. This study also witnessed the considerable reduction of the total count of bacteria after oil-pulling.

Oil pulling with Sesame oil is also effective in treating cracked lips, eczema, sinusitis, heart disorders, psoriasis, obesity, dry skin, headache, kidney problems, rheumatic pain and inflammation, dry throat and tooth decay.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy: Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Sesame oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.

(i) Balya (benefits for children): Known as the King of Oils, Sesame oil is completely safe for the use of children and is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. It is because of this property, every Indian family massage their new born babies and toddlers with Sesame oil before bath and leave them under sunlight for few minutes allowing the body to absorb vitamin D and nourish the skin cells naturally.

(ii) Twachya (benefits for the skin): The presence of vitamin E and zinc in this oil helps in augmenting the elasticity of the skin; repairs damaged skin cells and promote the production of collagen. Massaging your skin with this nourishing natural emollient aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Sesame oil also protects your skin from dangerous ultra-violet rays.

(iii) Keshya (benefits for the hair): Massaging your head with warm Sesame oil stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue. It is a long time tradition of Indians to massage their head and body with Sesame oil once in a week and take bath with the herbal powder known Shikakai to reduce the body temperature and enliven the nerves and cells. This oil kills the dandruff causing bacteria and protects the skin and scalp from the harmful effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing: Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders.  This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet: When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and is said to grant Vranashodhana (healing and cleansing internal and external wounds), Agni janana (augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism) and Medha janana (enhancing intelligence).

Regular use of Sesame oil helps in fighting cancer with its antioxidant properties, guards the body from DNA damage due to radiation, treats rheumatism, improves digestive health, supports respiratory wellness, aids in preventing diabetes, lowers blood pressure and improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

Disclaimer: Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using Sesame oil for your individual constitution. This article is only for informational purpose and is not meant to replace your prescribed medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage by John Douillard
  2. Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Brannigan
  3. The Oral Health Bible by Michael Bonner, Earl L. Mindell
  4. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife

Reference Links:

  1. Sesame Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria by Durai Anand T, Gopinath RM, Pothiraj C and Kayalvizhi B of the PG Department of Microbiology, VHNSN College, India
  3. Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed by GreenMEDInfo
  4.  Sesame Oil For Bone Building in Ayurveda by Livestrong.com

Spearmint Essential Oil

 

A refreshing, tasty, enriching and minty Spearmint gum has the potential to turn over a new leaf on your dull depressing day. Just the aroma of Spearmint is not responsible for this revolution but this cool herb has enormous health benefits that energize your system and revitalize your brain functions. Scientifically known as Mentha spicata, this herb belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae.

Popularly known for its culinary and traditional medicinal uses, the essential oil extracted from the leaves of Spearmint plays a vital role in Ayurvedic medicine where this herb was locally known as Putiha and Pahari Putida. It has been in use for more than hundreds of years as a trusted carminative for treating digestive disorders, morning sickness in pregnant women and colic in infants.

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Historical uses of Spearmint: This herb and its essential oil has been used in almost all the oldest traditions of the world including Ayurvedic medicine, Biblical healing, Chinese medicine, Greek mythology and the European healing system.

The antique cities of historical importance like Greece, Rome and Egypt have recorded the use of Spearmint as a natural fragrance agent for the body, digestive aid for treating gastrointestinal disorders, natural remedy for sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, as a sedative for treating insomnia and other sleeping disorders, for treating bad breath and dandruff. The most popular use of Spearmint oil was that it was used in baths for its cooling and refreshing properties.

Spearmint was used in the Ayurvedic healing system for treating fever, bronchitis, pain and other digestive ailments. The European medicinal practices made use of this herb for enhancing memory power and cognitive performance. Known as ‘Yerba Buena’ in the primordial Mexican culture, Spearmint was a natural remedy for handling menstrual cramps, vomiting, flatulence and indigestion. The milder effects of this herb made its use preferable for children than the Peppermint herb.

Biblical texts talk about the effectiveness of Spearmint for treating severe headaches. Spearmint is an important ingredient of the herbal tea known as ‘Zahraa’ according to the ancient Unani medicine. This tea is widely consumed in Syria and Damascus for its stimulating and uplifting values. A popular research by the Latin American medicine system proved that the Latino children had a stronger preference towards Spearmint than Peppermint and it was used as a natural expectorant for treating common cold and cough.

The modern Western medicine also used Spearmint essential oil as a flavoring agent in chewing gums, candies, toothpaste, mouthwash, soaps, teeth whiteners and certain other personal hygiene products. This herb is also used in treating common cold, nasal congestion, motion sickness, influenza, irritable bowel syndrome, colic and few other respiratory problems.

Therapeutic properties and pharmacological constituents of Spearmint essential oil: This oil has antispasmodic, carminative, stimulant, antiseptic, emmenagogue, restorative, cephalic, decongestant, insecticide, disinfectant, diuretic, sedative, anesthetic and expectorant properties. The important chemical constituents responsible for the therapeutic values of this oil are Menthol, Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, Cineole, Linalool, Myrcene, Caryophyllene and Carvone.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Spearmint essential oil: Ayurveda is celebrated all over the world for its simple and easy to tag on medicinal practices. This spiritual healing methodology trusts that human body is a temple where the eternal spirit lives within. It is because of this trust Ayurvedic healing encompasses physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellness when dealing with the health of humanity.

Every individual on this earth is unique according to Ayurveda and it strongly says that every one of us are made with a specific set of 3 vital energies known as doshas. The predominance of any one of these 3 doshas determines the physical balance, emotional stability and the behavioral traits of an individual. It is for this reason Ayurveda prescribes specific medications that is suitable for an individual and not for the illness as such.

With its cooling and stimulating properties, Spearmint essential oil benefits the Pitta and Kapha predominant individuals. Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic healing benefits of Spearmint essential oil according to their prescribed uses:

1. Vapor therapy: When compared to Peppermint oil, Spearmint oil has a lesser Menthol component and is considered safe for children as well. Using 2 drops of this oil in vapor therapy is said to grant considerable relief from headache, nausea, nervous conditions, flu, fever, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, congestion, cough, migraines and breathing problems. Inhaling the restorative aroma of this oil aids in opening the blocked nasal passages.

2. Bath oil: For immediate relief from fatigue, fever and muscular pain, add 2 to 3 drops of Spearmint oil to your bath tub. This warm and soothing bath encourages relaxation and reduces your body temperature. Abdominal pains, menstrual cramps and blocked menstruation can also be treated by adding few drops to your bath salts as the abortifacient and emmenagogue properties of Spearmint oil promotes the secretion of estrogen hormones and does the magic for you.

3. Massage oil: A natural massage oil by blending 4 drops of Spearmint essential oil to soothing carrier oils like Evening primrose oil or Almond oil can support in relaxing muscles after workout, treat digestive disorders, expel gas formed in the intestines and stomach, relieve from stress and fatigue, ease abdominal pain due to menstruation, improve concentration, relax contraction of muscles and nerves and enhance blood circulation.

The diuretic property of this oil aids in cleansing the system by sending the toxic substances of the body through urine. The study on ‘Effect of Spearmint oil on inflammation, oxidative alteration and Nrf2 expression in lung tissue of COPD rats’ published in PubMed proved that Spearmint oil augments pulmonary inflammation and has a protective effect on lung injury in rats affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4. Diffusers and burners: Whenever you feel like regaining your strength, enhancing your brain power and improving your memory skills, all you need to do is to add few drops of Spearmint essential oil to your diffusers or burners. The encouraging aroma of this oil uplifts your spirits, grants a cooling effect on your brain, boosts your immune power, normalizes the metabolic functions and promotes peaceful sleep.

5. Dermal application (as a cream or lotion): Adding few drops of Spearmint essential oil to your skin care cream or lotion will aid in treating scabies, itches, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, acne, syphilis, insect bites, wounds and skin ulcers. Diffused Spearmint oil can also be used in treating headache, spasms and as a rub in treating cold and cough.

The antiseptic, disinfectant and antispasmodic properties of this oil aids in quicker healing of wounds and inhibit the growth of harmful organisms that are responsible for most of the skin problems. A 2001 study by the Central Laboratory, Lotte Company Ltd, Urawa, Saitama, Japan proved the effectiveness of Spearmint essential oil in inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria with its potential antibacterial agents.

Disclaimer: Avoid using essential oils directly on your skin as pure essential oils are highly concentrated and may cause negative effects. Never ingest essential oils without the advice of your Ayurvedic physician. Keep out of reach of children. Since Spearmint essential oil is emmenagogue and abortifacient, it should be avoided by pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

Use plants to bring life.      –Douglas Wilson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. Aromatherapy for Everyone: Discover the Scents of Health and Happiness with Essential Oils by P. J. Pierson, Mary Shipley
  3. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar

Reference Links:

  1. Medicinal Uses of Spearmint by Natural Standard The Authority on Integrative Medicine
  2. Inhibition by the essential oils of peppermint and spearmint of the growth of pathogenic bacteria, published in PubMed
  3. Effect of Spearmint oil on inflammation, oxidative alteration and Nrf2 expression in lung tissue of COPD rats by Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

St John’s Wort Essential Oil

 

What comes to your mind when I say ‘Amber Touch-and-heal’? Sounds like a magical spell right? But won’t you be surprised and delighted if I say that it’s the other popular name of St. John’s Wort herb? Absolutely yes! The star-shaped bright yellow flowers are the most mesmerizing part of St. John’s Wort herb. Nature’s beauty meets healing quality through these flowers as the essential oil of St. John’s Wort is extracted by steam distillation from these flowers. St. John’s Wort herb is claimed as “one of the most commonly purchased herbal products in the United States”.

This herb is named after St. John, the Baptist mainly because the admirable flowers of this plant were said to bloom initially around 24th June when the birthday of St. John is celebrated. Scientifically known as Hypericum Perforatum L, this herb is a member of the Guttiferae plant family. Ayurvedic system of healing use this medicated oil as a traditional remedy for treating joint pains, skin problems, symptoms of aging, inflammation, trauma, cracking and irritation.

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Historical Uses of St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort herb and its essential oil have a long history and were used by Naturopaths and Physicians of all the predominant traditions in the world. This herb is indigenous to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa and is used for various therapeutic applications for more than 3,000 years. St. John’s Wort was popularly known as ‘Arnica of the nerves’ during the thirteenth century from the time it was used to treat psychiatric problems by the Swiss Physician Paracelsus.

The impeccable use of this herb starts from Greece, where the renowned Greek physicians like Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Theophrastus and Galen used this herb for treating numerous illnesses including neuralgic conditions, nervous disorders and wounds.

Native Americans used St. John’s Wort herb as a natural antiseptic and was also used for its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties for treating pain, inflammation, spinal irritation and certain other health conditions. This herb was also used as a traditional abortifacient agent. St. John’s Wort is also an important part of many well-liked dietary supplements in various forms like oil infusion, aqueous infusion, capsules, powders, alcoholic tinctures etc, in the United States.

The American Physicians of the nineteenth century prescribed St. John’s Wort herb to treat nervous afflictions with depression and hysteria. This herb was also trusted to ward off evil spirits and helps in getting the blessings of St. John, the Baptist for another year. The anti-depressant properties of this herb are attributed to the presence of the active components hyperforin and hypericin.  Studies prove that this healing quality has made this herb vital in treating depression and it is demonstrated to have lesser side effects than many other over-the-counter antidepressants.

With all these historical importance, St. John’s Wort is regarded as an official herb in the national pharmacopeias of Russia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, France and Poland. It is also approved as a standardized medicine by the Commission E monographs and is listed in the German Drug Codex.

Ayurvedic health benefits of St. John’s Wort Essential Oil: Ayurveda is a common sense science that aims at bringing perfect health and harmony through natural and practical methodologies. The ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita talk about all kinds of illnesses and the simple Ayurvedic approaches to treat those health conditions. In addition to this these Ayurvedic encyclopedias also insist on following an Ayurvedic routine that helps us to follow a systematic living for healthy aging and longevity.

According to Ayurveda human body is made up of a combination of 3 energy elements known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every individual has all the 3 doshas with the predominance of any 1 of these and this predominant Ayurvedic body type determines the characteristics and behavior of an individual. The imbalance of any one of these doshas causes illnesses indicating that the body is of out of balance with nature.

Before suggesting Ayurvedic remedies, every Ayurvedic physician will thoroughly examine your medical history, Ayurvedic body type, your preferences, dislikes and other factors affecting your physical, mental, social, environmental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Herbs, yoga, essential oils, meditation, physical exercises, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage therapy and a balanced lifestyle are all the major pillars of an Ayurvedic treatment. St. John’s Wort herb and its oil according to Ayurveda is good for reducing the excess of pitta and kapha doshas and aids in supporting vata deficiency (P K- and V+).

Claimed as ‘The long-time favorite herb of Herbalists’, St. John’s Wort essential oil is said to have numerous health benefits and the most predominant ones among them are:

1. Hemorrhoids: Adding few drops of St. John’s Wort essential oil to soothing carrier oils like jojoba oil aids in treating the painful symptoms of hemorrhoids. The flavonoids and hypericin compounds in this oil assists in reducing the burning and itching sensation while alleviating inflammation. You can also add few drops of this oil to any of your skin care creams or lotions and apply it directly on the affected area to treat both external and internal hemorrhoids. Few drops of this oil added to your warm bathing water can also grant relief from external hemorrhoids.

2. Rheumatism and arthritis: Swollen and inflamed joints along with excruciating pain are the predominant symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. Using St. John’s Wort essential oil for treating rheumatic conditions remains as a popular herbal remedy since the primordial times. Applying few drops of this essential oil blended with mild carrier oils like coconut oil can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with rheumatism.

Ayurvedic texts say that rheumatoid arthritis occur due to excess of pitta, the fire element and kapha, the water element along with the deficit of vata, the air element. As St. John’s Wort oil has the potential to control the excess of pitta and kapha and normalize vata shortfall, using this oil as therapeutic massage oil, bath oil or in vapor therapy can help control the symptoms of rheumatism.

3. Pain and inflammation: The anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties of St. John’s Wort essential oil makes it an ideal remedy for treating muscular pains, bruises, sores, sprains, tennis elbow, nervous afflictions, stiff achy joints, varicose veins and burns. You’ll be amazed to know that St. John’s Wort oil is prescribed to neuropathic patients and also for treating incision pain after surgery. Using this oil as massage oil or remedial oil for external application along with any of your skin creams and lotions can grant you relief and foster speedy recovery.

4. Wounds: St. John’s Wort essential oil has astringent and antibacterial properties that help in killing microbes and other harmful foreign bodies that worsen wounds and other skin infections. This oil can be used as a tincture and topical application of this oil on the affected areas augments the epithelialization of wounds. The presence of flavonoids and tannins supports the protein precipitating action for quicker healing.

5. Fibrositis, menopause and PMS: These 3 disorders looks like a chain of womanly problems that often cause sharp pain and interrupt the normal functioning of the body. Fibrositis or fibromyalgia means pain in the muscle and connective tissue. Numerous research studies have proved the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort essential oil in treating physical pain and emotional disturbances of premenstrual syndrome along with cramps, nausea, breast tenderness etc., anxiety and mood fluctuations during menopause and the muscular and tissue pains associated with fibromyalgia.

Massaging with few drops of St. John’s Wort oil added to soothing carrier oils like sesame oil can grant you complete relief. You can also use it as a bath oil by adding 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water for assisting your health in a refreshing manner.

6. Other health benefits: Kurt Schnaubelt rightly quoted the aroma of St. John’s Wort essential oil as “The penetrating smell can be felt as a warm pleasant relaxed feeling, travelling from the nose to the brain”. The cooling and moisturizing energies of this oil aids in treating anxiety, social phobia, Obsessive compulsive disorder, stomach inflammation, smoking cessation, nervous pain, insomnia, sciatica, dysentery, pulmonary complaints, elimination of toxins in the body, bed-wetting, peptic ulcers and many other health disorders. ‘The Aromatherapy Book’ by Jeanne Rose states the use of this oil in the treatment of AIDS.

Disclaimer: This is only for information purpose and is not recommended to replace any prescribed medicines or the consultation of your medical professional. Do not use essential oils directly on your skin or take it internally without the advice of your Ayurvedic Practitioner as it may cause negative effects.  Essential oils are highly concentrated so keep it away from children.

Thought for the day:

Earth laughs in flowers.    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. St. John’s Wort: The Herbal Way to Feeling Good by Norman Rosenthal
  2. St. John’s Wort: The Premier Herb for Relieving Depression, Healing Wounds and Easing Nerve Pain (Keats Good Herb Guide Series) by Roy Upton
  3. Natural Care Library St. John’s Wort: Safe and Effective Self-Care for Anxiety, Inflammation and Pain Relief by Stephanie Pedersen

Reference Links:

  1. St. John’s Wort by American Botanical Council
  2. St. John’s Wort by University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. St. John’s Wort by American Family Physician

Sugandha Bala Essential Oil

 

Flowering plants are always appealing and Sugandha Bala, scientifically known as Pavonia Odorata is even more interesting with its natural healing values. It is an offspring of the mallow family, Malvaceae. Known as Sugandha Bala in native Indian sub-tropical areas, the roots and shoots of this plant are extremely aromatic. Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences has recorded the use of Sugandha Bala herb and its essential oil as a natural cooling agent with stomachic properties. The most popular Ayurvedic fever drink known as Shadanga Paniya has a major composition of Sugandha Bala in it. It has been said that this powerful herb is often used in combination with other herbs to treat hemorrhage of the internal organs, inflammation, digestive disorders and fever.

Purchase Sugandha Bala Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Therapeutic properties: The antimicrobial properties of this essential oil has made its use inevitable in Ayurveda for treating dysentery, inflammation and certain other intestinal infections. Sugandha Bala essential oil has carminative, antimicrobial, demulcent, cooling, diuretic, antispasmodic, antiprotozoal, astringent and diaphoretic properties. This oil also has strong anthelmintic activity against roundworms and tapeworms.

Traditional home remedies suggest the use of 2 teaspoons of fresh juice of the leaves of this plant along with black pepper for treating dysentery of babies. These leaves also have emollient properties and the fresh juice extracted from the leaves of Sugandha Bala herb was used for soothing and softening the skin.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sugandha Bala essential oil: Sugandha Bala is an erect glandular-pubescent annual herb that grows up to 1m tall. This herb is indigenous to India (Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar), which is the birthplace of the ancient healing wisdom known as Ayurveda. The word ‘Ayurveda’ stands for knowledge of life. What makes Ayurveda the mother of all medical sciences is its simplicity and understanding about human beings and their entire constitution, which is nothing but the combination of physical, mental and emotional attributes of an individual. The main aim of Ayurveda is to grant holistic healing that not only stops with treating the illnesses but travels a step ahead in preventing it in the future also.

Ayurvedic system considers human beings as a part of nature and believes that they are made up of the five elements of nature namely fire, water, earth, air and ether. Every individual is considered unique and is believed that every one of us are made up of a specific set of energy elements or doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a combination of the five vital elements of nature. It is for this special reason Ayurveda grants specific treatment for each individual even if they have a common illness.

This environmental art trusts on natural remedies like herbs, essential oils extracted from plants, yoga, meditation, physical exercises, and a healthy lifestyle comprising an Ayurvedic routine for a hale and hearty life assuring longevity and healthy aging. Exploring the remedial values of herbs and essential oils highly help in perceiving their ability in treating several health conditions. The major health benefits of Sugandha Bala essential oil are:

Anti-microbial: Sugandha Bala essential oil has strong anti-microbial properties that are effective against harmful bacteria, fungi and certain other microbes. A 1992 research on ‘Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Pavonia Odorata Wild’ by Doctor Hari Singh Gour University, India proved the microbes fighting ability of this essential oil. This was substantiated after testing Sugandha Bala essential oil for antifungal and antibacterial activity against thirteen fungi and ten bacteria (4 gram positive bacteria and 6 gram negative bacteria) by means of paper disc agar diffusion technique.

The results of this research highly recommended the use of Sugandha Bala essential oil for inhibiting the growth of all the test fungi and bacteria while this oil was stated ‘excellent against Gram (+ve) bacterium Diplococcus pneumonia and Gram (-ve) bacterium E.coli’. This report disclosed that “The oil was also found to inhibit the growth of keratinophilic fungi Trichophyton mentagreophytes and Chrysosporium indicum along with Aspergillus sp., Botrydiplodia sp. Fusarium solani etc”.

It also depicted the effectiveness of this oil against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus which is responsible for wound and infections getting septic. This property makes Sugandha Bala essential oil as a promising antiseptic for treating cuts, sores, abrasions and certain other skin problems.

Other pharmacological actions: The intense study on the ‘Pharmacological screening of essential oil of Pavonia Odorata’ revealed that this essential oil contains a series of interesting pharmacological actions based on various parameters. When tested on a choice of living organisms, this oil caused relaxation in the rabbit’s intestine, created fall in blood pressure in anaesthetized dog, lessened the spasmogenic effect of acetylcholine and potassium and produced cardiac inhibition in the isolated heart of a frog.

Applications: With its excellent therapeutic properties, Sugandha Bala essential oil is used as an important ingredient in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, pomades, hair tonics, massage oils for rheumatism and much more. You can use this essential oil as a gentle massaging oil after blending it with mild carrier oils like olive oil for treating digestive disorders, pain, inflammation, infections, skin problems and rheumatism. Adding 2 to 3 drops of this oil to your bath tub can also grant you similar health benefits and alleviate pain. Using it in diffusers, air fresheners, burners and vaporizers can protect you from the invasion of harmful micro-organisms.

Disclaimer: This article is only for information purpose and do not use it as a substitute for prescribed medicines or Professional advice. Essential oils are highly concentrated and do not use them directly on your skin (use it after blending with carrier oils). Do not ingest essential oils and consult your Ayurvedic Practitioner before using essential oils for treating your health conditions.

Thought for the day:

God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animals, and thinks in man.    -Arthur Young

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann Worwood
  3. Major Herbs of Ayurveda, 1e by Elizabeth M. Williamson BSc (Pharm) PhD MRPharmS FLS

Reference Links:

  1. Antimicrobial Activity Of The Essential Oil Of Pavonia Odorata Wild by Seems Nakhare and S.C. Garg
  2. Pharmacological screening of the essential oil of Pavonia Odorata Wild, published in PubMed
  3. Essential Oils as Therapeutics by S.C. Garg