Mentha Piperita Essential Oil

Mentha-pepperita-bannerThe 3 greatest chronicles of my visit to India are the monumental Taj Mahal (one that you can see on my Facebook profile pic) that enthralled my sight, the deep-rooted cultural differences within a single country that moved my heart and finally the lip-smacking Samosas (the most popular Indian snack) pairing its pride with the mouthwatering mint chutney that are still deeply vested within my taste buds.

Power-packed with immeasurable health benefits, mint leaves botanically known as Mentha arvensis has a distinct aroma that’ll uplift you instantly. Mentha oil or Mentha Piperita oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant by steam distillation.

Known as Pudina or Podina, the fresh and dried leaves along with its essential oil have been in use in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences for more than thousands of years. The most popular Ayurvedic uses of this herb are for treating digestive disorders, respiratory problems, menstrual discomforts and skin problems like acne, itching and rashes.

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Historical importance and uses of Mentha piperita:

The history of Mentha piperita dates back to 3,000 years and is still trusted to be cultivated first in the temperate climate of Europe, after which it was slowly spread to Asian countries like India, Japan and China along with certain other countries in Africa and North America. Currently India is the largest producer and exporter of Mentha oil contributing to 80% of the world’s total production.

Among many other members of the mint family Lamiaceae, Mentha arvensis is the only member that thrives well in subtropical areas. It is also known to the world with other names like Japanese mint, Corn mint, Wild mint, Field mint and Pudina.

This herb was used by the Aztecs to promote perspiration, treat stomach pain, flatulence and colic. Mentha oil was also used in treating pain, headache and oral problems. The herbal infusion prepared with these leaves was really effective in treating insomnia and sleeping disorders.

Mentha Arvensis was also used by the Native Americans for treating pain, inflammation and stomach ache. The traditional Europeans used mint as a remedy for cough, gastrointestinal disorders, flatulence and gall bladder problems. There are numerous home remedies using fresh mint leaves.

The Ojibwa community uses this plant in sweat-bath, whereas it is a part of the Sun Dance ceremony of the Northern Cheyenne Indians of Montana. This medicinal plant is also a part of Ayurveda, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and various other contemporary healing methodologies.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components of Mentha piperita essential oil:

This oil consists of about 95% menthol and other active ingredients are isomenthone, methyl acetate, menthone, alpha-pinene, camphene, beta-pinene, piperitone, flavonoids, limonene, beta-caryopyllene, neomenthol and tannins.

The healing properties are carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antimicrobial, cholagogue, anti-fungal, expectorant, stimulant, tonic, antiphlogistic, antidepressant and nervine.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha piperita essential oil:

Pudina is an incredible kitchen herb in India and many other Asian countries for its tempting and refreshing aroma along with its excellent medicinal values. Ayurveda aged for about 5000 years is a holistic medicinal practice that considers every human being as a part of nature.

Ill-health and good health according to Ayurvedic texts depend upon nature and natural remedies are the best way to treat it. Based upon this principle, Ayurvedic remedies encompass nature’s gifts like herbs and essential oils along with a balanced lifestyle, yoga, meditation and simple physical exercises that can assist in preventing diseases and pave way for longevity.

Every human being is considered as a unique creation and just like Hippocrates words ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison’, Ayurvedic treatments differ from individual to individual even for the same disease. This uniqueness is identified by one’s individual constitution that is made up of three bio-energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta doshas.

Perfect balance between all the three doshas with the predominance of any one of the dosha determines a human’s health, attributes along with his physical and mental set up. Imbalance of doshas end up in illness and Ayurvedic treatments often prescribe remedies that can stabilize dosha disparities. Mentha and its essential oil are said to pacify pitta and kapha doshas and aggravate vata dosha with its easy, clear, dry and light properties.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha piperita essential oil are:

Mentha-pepperita-broucher1. Soothes the digestive system:

Mentha arvensis is a natural carminative that speeds up sluggish digestion, treats indigestion, motion sickness, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, food poisoning, nausea, intestinal peristalsis and gas.  The active ingredients present in Menthol essential oil pacifies the inner lining of the stomach and intestines and its cooling property aids in treating ulcers as well.

The stomachic and digestion promoting properties of mint has made it a vital ingredient in many lamb and other meat dishes in the Middle East, America, Great Britain, Asia and Africa. Ancient people also used mint for preventing coagulation of milk.

All you need to do to treat your digestive chaos is to add 3 to 4 drops of Mentha piperita oil in warm bathing water and let that warmth and refreshing energy of the medicated bathing water treat your digestive difficulties. You can also gently massage your abdomen and tummy with 2 drops of this oil blended with sesame oil for assisting your digestive problems.

The simplest way to treat nausea (especially while traveling), morning sickness and loss of appetite is to add 1 drop of Mentha oil to your hanky or tissue and inhale its invigorating aroma that can put an end to your giddiness and nostalgic feeling just like that.

A 2010 study on ‘Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials’ state “The essential oil of mint may be exploited as a natural source of bioactive phytochemicals bearing antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials that could be supplemented for both nutritional purposes and preservation of foods.”

2. Emancipates all forms of stagnation:

Mentha piperita essential oil is known to clear all forms of stagnation in the body causing sickness and affecting the body’s normal functioning. It alleviates excess kapha energy that is responsible for stagnation of excess fluids in the body leading to obesity, rheumatism, respiratory problems etc.,

(i)Treats respiratory problems:

Inhaling the healing aroma of Mentha oil by adding 2 drops to steam inhalation assists in treating respiratory problems like cold, asthma, bronchitis, sinus congestion, blocked nasal passages and congestion of lungs and bronchi.

Adding 2 drops of this oil to your cold rub and gently rubbing it on your chest, throat, back and forehead can aid in relieving headache, sore throat, chest congestion and runny nose. This speedy action is due to the presence of menthol, which is a primary ingredient in all the popular vaporub and balms in the market.

(ii) Alleviates fever and neuralgia:

The febrifuge and diaphoretic properties of Mentha essential oil helps in reducing fever by releasing the heat of the body through sweat. The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of this oil assist in curbing the growth of harmful microbes causing fever and other respiratory infections.

2 drops of Mentha oil can be added with coconut oil and applied on the soles of your feet to reduce your body temperature and treat neuralgia as the vital points of all the parts of your body are connected to the soles.

(iii) Regularizes menstruation:

The power to emancipate all types of stagnations in the body makes Mentha essential oil as a promising remedy for treating menstrual pain and blocked menstruation. Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 to 3 drops of Mentha oil along with sesame oil helps in regularizing your menstrual cycle, treat dysmennorhea, nausea and other painful symptoms of menstruation by balancing the level of estrogen.

3. Nurtures the skin:

Undoubtedly, Mentha essential oil is a natural antiseptic that aids in healing wounds and treating numerous skin problems. It acts as a protective shield on the skin and guards against the infections of micro organisms like bacteria, fungi and other microbes.

A 2008 study on ‘Enhancement of the Antibiotic activity against a Multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha Arvensis L. and Chlorpromazine’ has proved that the extracts of Mentha Arvensis can be used as natural weapon for bacterial resistance.

This oil has excellent skin cleansing properties. Adding 2 drops of Mentha oil to your skin care cream or lotion supports in treating pimples, blackheads, blemishes and dark circles. This oil also has anti-pruritic effect that can be effective in treating itching, rashes and insect bites.

4. Relieves pain and inflammation:

The rich menthol content in Mentha piperita oil helps in relaxing the muscles, treat muscular spasms, reduce pain, alleviate inflammation and promote blood circulation. Massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Mentha oil blended with coconut oil can aid in relieving pain, rheumatism, arthritis, numbness, soreness and irritation.

5. Grants absolute tranquility:

No one can deny the fact that mint has an enlivening aroma that can drive us straight to a whole new world of freshness and fragrance. Inhaling the aroma of Mentha oil by adding 2 drops to your aromatic lamp or diffuser or air freshener can trim down your fatigue, stress, depression, nervous tension and anxiety after a long tiring day.

The aromatic molecules of this tranquilizing oil travel through your nasal passages and reach the limbic system of the brain, which is the body’s control hub of feelings and emotions. By this way Mentha oil motivates, pacifies, rejuvenates and replenishes your senses and augments your mental power by boosting your confidence.

Other health benefits:

Mentha piperita essential oil is also used in lotions, toothpastes, gargles, cough drops, analgesic balms, perfumery, pharmaceuticals, mouth fresheners, shampoos, tobacco products and as a flavoring agent in numerous other products. You can also use this oil as a natural oral cleanser by adding 1 drop of Mentha oil to a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle in the morning and at night. This assists in killing germs, restricting bacterial growth, refreshing your breath, strengthening your gums and whitening your teeth.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not meant to treat or diagnose any health condition or to substitute any prescribed medications or expert professional advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this information is shared with the idea of spreading the significance of Ayurveda, the oldest holistic healing system on earth.

Never use essential oils internally. Ensure that you dilute them in appropriate carrier oils before using it for external purposes as pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and undiluted use on the skin might cause allergic reactions. It is highly recommended to speak with your Ayurvedic expert/ healthcare professional prior to choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health.

Thought for the day:

Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.  -Thomas B. Macaulay

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mint: The Genus Mentha (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Cultivation of Mentha arvensis and production of menthol in India by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (India)
  3. ISO 9776:1999, Oil of Mentha arvensis, partially dementholized (Mentha arvensis L. var. piperascens Malinv. and var. glabrata Holmes) by ISO TC 54
  4. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Mentha Arvensis Piperascens by Boston University School of Medicine
  2. Enhancement of the Antibiotic activity against a Multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha Arvensis L. and Chlorpromazine University of the Region of Cariri, Crato and Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil
  3. Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials published in PubMed

Moranga Essential Oil

Loved as  ‘Mother’s Best Friend’ in East Africa and as ‘Never Die’ and ‘Miracle Tree’ all over the world, Moranga is one of the most useful trees in the Cosmos, as every part of this tree including the leaves, stems, seeds, pods, fruits, root and bark has enormous medicinal values. Moranga is known as the best natural hub of antioxidants with 46 antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds making it rich and wholesome for mankind.

Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences have listed about 300 diseases that can be cured with this wonder herb known as Shigru, Sahijna, Munaga, Shobanjana and Sainjna in the Ayurvedic community. Moranga is scientifically called as Moringa pterygosperma gaertn., or Moringa oleifera, Lam. The name Moringa is extracted from the Tamil name murunga and pterygosperma for its winged seeds or oleifera for its non-drying stable oil with a long shelf life.

Purchase Moranga Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Moranga and its essential oil: Well-known to the world populace as Drumstick tree, clarifier tree and horseradish tree, Moranga is extremely nutritious and considered as a treasure of India and a fortune to the entire universe. Indians call it a pretty tree with a graceful appearance complimenting its surrounding with natural beauty and freshness. This immortal tree has an exceptionally long traditional usage. The most important among them are listed for your information.

Historical transcripts reveal that drumstick and its leaves were used by the primordial Indian kings and queens in their daily diet to gain enormous energy, retain their good health and treat inflamed joints. The young leaves of this tree are used in folklore medicine for treating common cold, dog bites and scurvy. Fresh Moranga leaves were rubbed against the temples for relieving severe headaches. These leaves are also used in treating fever, inflammation of the mucus membrane, bronchitis, cold, infections of the ear and eye.

Tea prepared with Moranga leaves were used in treating diarrhea, gastric ulcers and stomach pain. Moringa leaves and food products are considered as the best food for people suffering from malnutrition as it is rich in fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. It is used in Senegal and India for treating sleeplessness, anxiety, asthma, dysentery, rashes, sores, colitis and added to children’s food to fight malnutrition.

The leaves and twigs are used as a nutritious fodder for farm animals, goats, sheep, camels and other domestic animals. The juice extracted from Moringa flowers is used for treating urinary problems, cold and to enhance the flow and quality of milk in breastfeeding mothers with its tonic, diuretic and cholagogue properties. Moringa flowers are regarded as a good source of pollen for honey bees. The high iron content in Moringa leaves are used to treat anemia in Philippines. Moringa gum is used to treat asthma, tooth decay and rheumatism.

Moringa oil has been used in treating syphilitic wounds, scurvy, hysteria, bladder problems, prostate problems, fungal infections and certain skin complaints.  The villagers in Oman use this oil as a perfume and for treating hair problems and stomachic disorders.  Arabians in the desert used this oil on their face to treat the harmful effects of wind and sun. It was buried in the tombs of Egyptians whereas the Romans used this oil as a basis for perfumery.

Therapeutic properties of Moranga essential oil: The major remedial properties of Moringa essential oil are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antispasmodic, anti-choleric, antifungal, anti-hypertensive, anti-tumor, anticancer, antiulcer, immune stimulant, aphrodisiac, antidiabetic, tonic, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, cholesterol lowering and antioxidant. A study on the ‘Medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera: An overview of promising healer’ have analyzed on numerous therapeutic properties of Moringa oleifera.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Moranga essential oil: Ayurveda, the ancient healing science aged more than 5,000 years has India as its birthplace. This holistic healing methodology have used the most useful tree on earth, Moringa aged more than 4,000 years and has its origin in India. Ayurvedic texts list more than 300 diseases that can be cured with the immaculate healing powers of Moranga tree and its extracts like the essential oil.

The power of Ayurvedic healing deeply vests in its trust on natural remedies. Ayurvedic philosophies state that every living thing on earth is unique in its own way and united in the fact that it is a part of nature. This promising science is optimistic and the simple proof is that it considers illness as an opportunity to find what is wrong in the system.

Ayurvedic treatments do not treat just the disease instead it treats the whole individual. By this way it aims at treating and preventing the illness and not just curing the disease alone. Ayurveda identifies the major root cause responsible for sickness.

Ayurvedic texts strongly state that every individual has his or her own constitution which is made up of three energy elements known as doshas namely pitta, vata and kapha. Balance between these three doshas indicates that the system is hale and healthy and imbalance of any one or all the three doshas is responsible for sickness. Moringa and its essential oil is said to reduce excess kapha and vata and improve deficiency of pitta.

Ayurvedic remedies using Moringa products are used in the treatment of liver problems, urinary infections, dysmennorhea, aid during labor or childbirth, improving the secretion of milk in breastfeeding mothers, anemia, sexual dysfunctions, nervous debility, skin problems and infections caused due to pathogenic organisms. The major health benefits of the essential oil extracted by steam distillation method from the leaves of Moringa tree are:

Enormous benefits for the skin: Moringa essential oil has exceptional benefits for the skin and is mainly due to the presence of rich nutrients and antioxidants in the leaves that support healthy skin. Moringa leaves are known as the powerhouse of nutrition with more than 7 times the vitamin C in oranges, more than 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, more than four times the calcium in milk, more than 3 times the potassium in bananas and more than twice the proteins in milk in each gram.

Moringa essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-aging properties that aids in combating numerous skin problems. The effects of aging like wrinkles, dull and lifeless skin are mainly due to the activity of free radicals on the skin. The rich content of about 46 antioxidants in Moringa aids in fighting against all the negative effects of aging on skin.

Moringa oil cleanses, nourishes and nurtures your skin naturally. Blending 3 drops of this oil with little coconut oil and applying this mixture on acne, cuts, scrapes, blackheads, scars, burns, rashes and insect bites will help in quicker healing with its antiseptic and antimicrobial values. Gently massaging your skin with 2 to 3 drops of Moringa oil mixed with olive oil helps augment the elasticity of the skin by nourishing the skin cells, removing dirt gently, killing microbes causing infections, avoiding excessive drying, and moisturizing the skin.

A 2007 study on ‘Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera Lam.’, by the Institute of Bioagricultural Sciences, Taiwan have stated that the “essential oil extracted from the leaves of Moringa showed a total of 44 compounds. Isolated extracts could be of use for the future development of anti-skin disease agents.”

Due to these reasons Moringa oil is used as an important ingredient in soaps, facial creams, body wash, facial massage oils and anti-aging creams. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of Moringa oil to your mild skin care cream or lotion for alleviating such skin problems.

More than just a complete food for your system on your shelf: Moringa leaves have Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, C, D, E, K and certain other amino acids like leucine, methionine, lysine, isoleucine, threonine, valine, tryptophan and phenylalaine along with a bunch of non-essential amino acids, making it a complete food for the mind, body and soul.

Adding 2 drops of Moringa oil to warm bathing water can help in relieving stress, cleansing your body, granting mental peace and removing fatigue. Massaging your body with 4 drops of Moringa oil blended with almond oil can aid in alleviating rheumatic pain, reduce inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties, eliminate the excess fluids in your body through urine, boost the immune system and protect your body from harmful infections.

Moringa essential oil is light and it easily spreads and deeply penetrates into the skin. By this way it transforms its vital nutrients into the body, mind and spirit. This oil has also been used as a natural cleanser to remove excess oil and dirt from hair. Massaging your hair and scalp with 3 drops of Moringa oil blended with coconut oil can assist in cleansing your hair, nourishing your scalp, treating dandruff and grant a natural shine to your lustrous locks.

Scientific evidences: The long time Ayurvedic health benefits of Moringa and its essential oil have been proved scientifically through numerous studies. A 2003 study on ‘Hepatoprotective activity of Moringa oleifera on antitubercular drug-induced liver damage in rats’ have proved that treatment with M.oleifera leaves seems to improve the recovery from hepatic damage caused by antitubercular drugs.

Another study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Noel Vietmeyer published in PubMed witnessed “The results indicate that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic activities and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”

The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan studied the effectiveness of Moringa oleifera based upon its detailed phytochemical composition, pharmacological properties and medicinal uses of various parts of this multipurpose treesuch as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine, particularly in South Asia.”

Few other studies also proved the antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, antifungal and antibacterial effects of Moringa tree and its essential oil.

Other health benefits: Apart from these major health benefits, the different parts of Moringa tree and the essential oil extracted from the leaves and seed pods are used to strengthen the immune system with vitamin C, lessen the risk of health disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and cataract with the presence of vitamin B3, stimulates the process of digestion with the presence of fibre, supports blood circulation, functioning of the brain and treat anemia with its rich iron content and improve eyesight with vitamin A. Besides these, there are a handful of home remedies that are a part of the traditional healing system and grandmother’s remedy.

Disclaimer: Never take essential oils internally. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and always remember to use them in a diluted form. This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to diagnose or replace prescribed drugs or professional advice. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the right essential oil for your specific health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.   -William Hazlitt

Suggested Reading:

  1. Miracle Tree by Monica G. Marcu
  2. Bible Miracle Tree: healing with Moringa by Miracle Bible
  3. Moringa Oleifera: Magic, Myth or Miracle by Howard W. Fisher
  4. Moringa Oleifera benefits: enrich your life with the Miracle Tree for well-being, happiness, weight loss. More than a super-food, nutritional supplement, food supplement by Frank Moringa Oleifera

Reference Links:

  1. Moringa oleifera by Life in Health
  2. Śigru or drumstick (Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertn., M. oleifera, Lam.) by Dr. K.H. Krishnamurthy published in NAMAH
  3. Moringa, the Miracle Tree by Moringa Rubicon Health.Org
  4. The Benefits of Anti-Aging Moringa Oil on the Skin by Ayurveda Guru
  5. Medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera: An overview of promising healer by Fozia Farooq, Meenu Rai, Avinash Tiwari, Abdul Arif Khan, and Shaila Farooq

Mustard Essential Oil

‘Sarson ka tel’ or Mustard essential oil is a vital part of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian therapy where it is used for cleansing, stimulating and revitalizing the body. Besides all the controversies across the world, Mustard oil is popular and extensively used in India, Bangladesh and few other Western countries.

Though extracted from the same Mustard seeds, Mustard edible oil is totally different from Mustard essential oil by the method of extraction where the vegetable oil is extracted by cold compressing the seeds and the essential oil of Mustard is extracted by steam distillation of seeds that are soaked in water.

Mustard oil is to Asian countries just like Olive oil is to Mediterranean countries. Besides the myth of being banned in certain countries for internal use, Mustard is a legendary oil used for more than thousands of years in the world’s oldest mythologies like India, Rome and Greece.

Historical importance of Mustard and its oil:

Used as a spice, condiment, herb, cooking oil and medicinal agent, Mustard and its oil are said to have been found since the Stone Age settlements. Among the 40 species of Mustard plants, the most popular and the ones used for extracting essential and edible oils are Brassica nigra (Black mustard), Brassica hirta (White mustard) and Brassica juncea (Brown mustard).

It is still trusted that Mustard was grown in the Indian subcontinent around 3000 B.C.E. Hippocrates used mustard seeds in the preparation of many poultices and medicines. The ancient Romans mixed ground mustard seeds to wine for its unique flavor and remedial values.  It was also used as a natural remedy to treat scorpion stings in the 6th century B.C. by Pythagoras, the renowned Greek scientist.

Mustard was used as a condiment in Greece and Rome for fermenting fish sauce known as garum. The love for mustard made Pope John XXII of Avignon create the post of ‘Grand Moutardier du Pape’ (Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope). Mustard oil has been a part of North Indian cooking for more than 4000 years and this oil has been the secret behind healthy and lustrous hair growth of Indian women.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Mustard essential oil:

The essential oil of Mustard has Allyl isothiocyanate, oleic acid, omega-6 linoleic acid, omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and erucic acid. These constituents contribute to the remedial properties including cordial, tonic, anti-rheumatic, stimulant, appetizer, antifungal, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, hair vitalizer, insect repellant and irritant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mustard essential oil: Mustard oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing as a promising body massage oil for improving blood circulation, enhancing the texture of the skin, muscular development and to lessen the dryness of skin. Ayurveda meaning the knowledge of life skillfully explains the vibrant relationship between one’s mind, body and spirit and the way it relates to the world around.

The Ayurvedic approach of healing starts with an Ayurvedic consultation where your unique individual constitution, likes and dislikes, food habits and your medical history is thoroughly analyzed.

Your treatment starts with the tridosha concept as the guiding principle where Ayurveda believes that every individual is unique and is born with a unique fundamental constitution knows as prakriti. It is built up with 3 major biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

The dynamic balance between these three doshas determine one’s health and predominance of any one of these doshas is the deciding factor for one’s personality, behavior and attributes.

Ayurvedic remedies are always based on your individual constitution and to balance any one or all the three doshas that are out of rhythm. With its warming properties, Mustard essential oil is said to increase pitta dosha and pacify kapha and vata doshas. It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Mustard essential oil:

1. Benefits to the hair:

Ayurvedic Mustard oil is extremely good for hair. The essential fatty acids like linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and certain other components present in this oil makes it an effective natural remedy for treating hair loss, premature graying, dull and lifeless hair. Using Mustard essential oil on your scalp augments natural pigmentation and vitalizes your hair follicles by acting on the roots.

This way it prevents early graying and helps you in maintaining a natural dark hair even in your late 40s or early 50s. Indeed Ayurvedic Mustard oil is a long time secret of many grandmothers in India who still have healthy black hair.

Slightly heat 3 to 4 drops of Mustard essential oil blended with sesame oil and gently massage it on your scalp. Leave this blend for about an hour and wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo or shikakai for nourishing your scalp health, reducing hair fall, enhancing blood circulation, conditioning your hair, strengthening the roots, augmenting its natural shine and to lessen the more salt than pepper on your head.

2. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Mustard essential oil is generally used as a mucolytic in many parts of the world. Herbs and vegetables like wasabi, horseradish and nasturtium along with essential oils that are used as traditional mucolytics and are proved effective in breaking up mucous deposits and help sinus drainage in chronic sinusitis.

The antimicrobial property of Mustard essential oil assists in combating numerous pathogenic organisms and microbes that worsen sinusitis and certain other respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis.

A 2009 study on ‘Antimicrobial activity of Mustard essential oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi’ by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Korea states “Mustard essential oil affected the cell membrane of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi. It affected cell membrane integrity, resulting in a loss of cell homeostasis”.

On an Ayurvedic perspective respiratory problems like cold, cough, sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma are caused due to imbalance or increased kapha dosha responsible for fluid retention, congestion, phlegm and mucous deposits. Mustard essential oil is known to pacify and reduce kapha energy and it is used as an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for treating such respiratory problems.

Blend 2 drops of Mustard essential oil with little coconut oil and heat it. Massage this herbal blend on your chest, back and throat for loosening mucous deposits, removing phlegm from lungs and respiratory tract and to help trouble-free breathing. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Mustard essential oil in hot bathing water that can work wonders on respiratory ailments and certain other pulmonary problems.

3. Benefits to the skin:

Mustard essential oil is an effective antifungal, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, disinfecting and antimicrobial oil that protects the skin from infections, wounds from getting septic and heals minor skin problems like cuts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, insect bites, small lacerations, abrasions etc. Mustard essential oil has been in use for massaging for many centuries.

When gently massaged onto the skin after mixing 2 drops of Mustard essential oil with jojoba oil, it aids in increasing blood circulation with its warming properties, helps open the pores and supports in eliminating the toxins in the body through sweat. This essential oil has high level of vitamin E that promotes healthy skin, moisten the skin, protect the skin from harmful ultra-violet rays, and effectively treat blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines as well.

4. Benefits to the entire system:

The essential oil extracted from Mustard seeds is beneficial to the entire system with its tonic and stimulating properties that foster trouble-free functioning of the body. The pungent aroma of this oil increases hunger by stimulating the digestive juices and by increasing the appetite.

Massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Mustard oil mixed with sesame oil can help in burning the excess fat, promotes quicker digestion by encouraging the secretion of digestive juices and assists in treating constipation, flatulence and intestinal gas.

Mustard essential oil penetrates deeply into the skin and is a powerful Ayurvedic remedy for treating excess vata based nervous problems and kapha based problems like inflammation and retention of fluids. Mix 2 drops of Mustard oil with coconut oil and gently massage in circular movements on the affected areas to treat rheumatism, lumbago, back pain, headaches and inflammation.  Adding 1 drop of this oil to a cup of warm water can serve as an exceptional gargle for protecting your teeth and gums from germs.

This is an excellent massaging oil especially during winter to keep the body warm, trigger the functioning of the muscles and to treat numbness with its irritant properties. This oil is also said to slow down the process of aging naturally and aids in preventing cancer.

Disclaimer:

Never take essential oils internally. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might cause adverse effects on the skin and system. Always remember to use it after diluting in baths or suitable carrier oils. Ensure that you do a patch test on the skin before using essential oils for massage. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner for choosing the right essential oil that is apposite for your individual constitution and health condition.

Mustard Essential Oil Possible Skin Issues:

mustard-new

Greener Life Diamond – Bio-Healthy Score => 3 Possible Skin Issues:

See => http://www.essentialdepot.com/GreenerLifeDiamond.html

Mustard oil is regarded as one of the most unsafe essential oils mainly due to the presence of Allyl isothiocyanate and erucic acid (a toxic monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid). According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubChem), Allyl isothiocyanate compound is poisonous by skin penetration and ingestion. It is also known to emit toxic fumes when exposed to high temperature.

The European Union has prohibited Mustard oil as a cosmetic ingredient and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has forbid the use of this oil in fragrances. Allyl isothiocyanate in Mustard oil is not recommended for therapeutic use, primarily due to its toxicity, irritating nature and rigorous lachrymatory effect (potent to produce tears) that draw a question mark on the safe use of this oil in the healthcare industry.

Generally, essential oils are listed with possible safe levels for therapeutic purposes but there is no viable information on the safe levels for the use of Mustard oil.

The immune system of mammals reacts excessively to allergens thus generating antibodies known as IgE (Immunoglobulin). Allergic reactions are further caused when these antibodies move to cells that discharge chemicals.

The most prominent adverse skin effects of Mustard oil are allergic reactions due to IgE, itchiness, redness, severe skin irritation, followed by blistering and irritation of the mucous membranes as well.

Prolonged use of Mustard oil on skin might interfere the function of the skin, thus augment the loss of water of epidermis and subsequently modifying the epidermal keratinocytes structure.

Few sources also state that inhaling of Mustard oil might end up in irritation of the eyes, nose, mucous membrane, respiratory system along with an obnoxious sensation in the head.

Certain studies state that the topical use of Mustard oil can cause irritant contact dermatitis and other allergic reactions. It is also evidenced that this oil is linked to the development of pityriasis rosea-like skin eruption (cutaneous lesions), which was proved by patch testing.

Tests on Chinese hamster cells proved the genotoxic effects of Allyl isothiocyanate and is also said to cause transitional cell papillomas and hyperplasia, when tested on male rats.

Mustard oil should be strictly avoided by pregnant women as it has the potent to induce uterine contractions and may lead to unusual bleeding and miscarriage and safety measures for using this oil during nursing is also not witnessed.

Mustard oil has the tendency to lower the levels of blood sugar and might interfere with your regular medications for diabetes and low blood sugar may obstruct surgical procedures, thus it is recommended to avoid Mustard oil for about 2 weeks before and after your scheduled surgery.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Mustard Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Pityriasis rosea-like eruptions due to mustard oil application by Zawar V, Nashik, India, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
  3. Dermatoses Due to Indian Cultural Practices by Divya Gupta and Devinder Mohan Thappa, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology and PubMed
  4. Black Mustard Side Effects and Safety by WebMD
  5. Allyl Isothiocyanate by U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubChem)
  6. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mustard Seeds: The Tiny Seed That May Save Your Life! (Plant & Seed Legacy Series) by Mary Jo Montanye
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar, Urmila Desai
  4. Traditional Systems of Medicine by M. Z. Abdin

Reference Links:

  1. The History of Mustard – From Prehistory to Modern Times by The Nibble.Com
  2. Mustard Oil by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of Mustard essential oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Korea published in Science Direct.com
  4. What are the benefits of Mustard oil for Sinusitis? By Livestrong.Com

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