Peppermint Essential Oil


Peppermint-bannerAs nature’s immaculate coolant, the world celebrates Peppermint as the most distinguished member of the mint family, Labiatae along with Spearmint, Pennyroyal, Corsican mint, Lemon mint, Watermint, Lavender, Field mint, Apple mint or Chocolate mint, Patchouli, Thyme and Silver mint. Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE), the Roman natural philosopher, scientist and naturalist rightly said “The smell of mint stirs up the mind and appetite to a greedy desire of food.”

Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the aromatic leaves of this plant and is known since ages as an excellent digestive aid with a bundle of other health benefits as well. The encyclopedia of Ayurveda talks about the notable use of Peppermint essential oil as a cooling carminative that enhances digestion and elimination by eradicating blockages and facilitating the flow of energy from within.

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Historical importance of Peppermint and its oil:

Peppermint dates back to 1000 BC when the dried leaves are said to be found in Pyramids. Indigenous to Europe, this herb was first used by the primeval Egyptians as a natural digestive support. Few mythological studies say that the word Peppermint has its origin from Greek myths in the outline of a love triangle involving Hades, his wife Persephone and the nymph Minthe (who was later turned into Peppermint).

Interestingly, Peppermint is a natural hybrid of Spearmint and Watermint. The ancient Romans loved growing Peppermint in their gardens and in the pathways of stepping stones for greeting their guests with its wonderful aroma and for its innumerable medicinal benefits.

It was also used as a form of currency for the kind of esteem and admiration it had in Egypt. Peppermint was used as a tooth polisher by the ancient monks.

The Biblical importance of Peppermint has added even more to its value. Jesus Christ says to the Pharisees,But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” It was also used as a culinary herb in the folklore cooking for seasoning meat and assisting in quicker digestion.

Listed as a natural remedy for treating all kinds of illnesses from venereal disease, cold, sores, headache and digestive problems, Peppermint emerged as a distinguished species in the London Pharmacopoeia in the 16th century.  It was also mentioned in the Icelandic Pharmacopoeias as a much valued herbal remedy in 1240 AD. Peppermint was used as a prized herb by the Native Americans and now the United States is the world’s largest producer of Peppermint essential oil contributing to more than 75% of the total production.

Chemical constituents Gas Chromatography Report of Peppermint essential oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Peppermint oil constitutes of 10 major chemical components that contribute to its distinctive fragrance, remedial properties and quality, among which, menthol has an upper hand with about 38.6 percent.

Just click on:

For learning more about the exclusive information of these key constituents of Peppermint oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the principal chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic properties and other attributes to Peppermint oil.

Pepper-mint-oilTherapeutic properties of Peppermint essential oil:

The therapeutic actions of Peppermint essential oil are carminative, decongestant, immune stimulant, anti-infectious, febrifuge, cardio tonic, nervine, hypertensive, antipruritic, antifungal, sedative, expectorant, antibacterial, mucolytic and anti-carcinogenic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Peppermint essential oil:

Known as Pudina in Sanskrit, Peppermint is a popular culinary herb used for its minty, fresh and enriching aroma for enhancing taste and adding extra flavor to the lip-smacking dishes. Ayurvedic remedies wholly depend on Mother Nature trusting that every single thing on the earth is an incredible part of nature including human beings.

The strong principles of Ayurveda establish that every individual is made up of three vital energy elements known as doshas (vata-air, pitta-fire and kapha-water), which determine the personality, character, behavior and health conditions of a person. A person is said to be healthy when there is perfect balance between all the three doshas and dosha imbalances cause illness. Peppermint and its essential oil in Ayurveda is said to calm all the three doshas.

Peppermint according to Ayurveda has cooling and heating energy (virya), sweet and pungent taste (rasa), dry, penetrating and light quality (guna), benefits the nerve, blood and plasma tissues (dhatu), with a post-digestive effect (vipaka), Peppermint stimulates the circulatory, nervous, digestive and respiratory channels (srotas).

Let’s have a look at the major Ayurvedic health benefits of Peppermint essential oil:Pepermint-broucher1. Keeps away from harmful bacteria and fungi:

Peppermint is a powerful antibacterial oil mainly because of the presence of menthol that aids in fighting against harmful bacteria like salmonella, e.coli and staph.

A 2010 study on ‘Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials’ proved that Peppermint oil has effective antimicrobial and antioxidant effect that fights against harmful microbes and supplemented for nutritional benefits and food preservation. Bacterial infections are responsible for wounds becoming septic and other skin problems like acne.

The Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran proved that the menthol component in Peppermint oil is defiant to fungus including candida. The State University of Brazil also established that Peppermint essential oil varieties have anti-candida effects. For all these reasons Peppermint oil acts as a natural remedy for treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch and other yeast infections.

Applying 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil blended with gentle carrier oils like coconut oil aids in treating bacterial and fungal infections. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in warm foot bath or in bathing water for fighting against such detrimental microbes.

2. Enlivens the mind:

The invigorating, refreshing, cooling and reassuring aroma of Peppermint essential oil boosts mental power.  Inhaling the aroma of this oil grants a complete stream of freshness to fight the challenges of a rising day.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of drops of Peppermint oil in your air freshener, diffuser or in your handkerchief can grant you immense energy and confidence throughout the day. This therapy employed in your study room can help improve your memory skills and concentration power.

3 to 4 drops of Peppermint oil blended with Sesame oil can act as an efficacious massage oil and as a bathing oil for enhancing your mental strength, treating stress, reducing fatigue and anxiety. It also helps in treating anger, mental strain, confusion, nervousness, palpitations, vertigo and depression.

3. Alleviates tension headache better than the other alternative therapies:

Peppermint essential oil is also an effectual natural remedy for treating tension headache. A clinical trial on ‘Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type’ witnessed “Peppermint oil thus proves to be a well-tolerated and cost-effective alternative to usual therapies for alleviating tension-type headache.” This study also proved that there was not much significant difference in efficacy between acetaminophen and Peppermint oil and there are no reported adverse effects as well.

4. Clears all kinds of stagnation:

Peppermint essential oil is a proven stimulant and tonic especially to the brain, pancreas and heart. It is known for clearing away all kinds of stagnations including physical and mental. Peppermint oil clears stagnation in the blood, lymph, stomach and gallbladder. It also breaks emotional blockages.

The expectorant and decongestant properties of this oil help in open the blocked sinus passages and aid in clearing mucus deposits from the respiratory tract by adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation.

The diaphoretic quality of Peppermint oil aids in reducing the body temperature in the early stages of fever by releasing the heat of the body through sweat. Applying two drops of Peppermint oil blended with coconut oil on your foot helps in quicker recovery from fever. This blend can also be rubbed on the chest, back and neck for treating congestion, cough and blocked nose.

5. Stimulates the digestive system:

The essential oil of Peppermint and the herb itself are known to the world as a promising digestive remedy. Numerous research studies have proved that Peppermint oil is effective in relaxing gastrointestinal smooth muscle, more or less due the antagonistic effect on calcium channels in the gut.

The American Family Physician Forum states that Peppermint oil is effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, non-ulcer dyspepsia, tension headache and lessening spasm at the time of gastrointestinal procedures.

Peppermint oil along with the combination of caraway oil has been proved in reducing the symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia like bloating, fullness and gastro-intestinal spasm. Gently rub 3 drops of Peppermint essential oil with Sesame oil on the stomach and abdomen to help relieve indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, constipation and pain.

6. Absolute care for hair and skin:

The skin-friendly attributes of Peppermint oil aids in treating eczema, lesions, acne, insect bites, rashes, allergies, irritation and itchiness. Gently massaging your skin with 2 drops of Peppermint oil blended with sweet almond oil helps in nourishing and hydrating dry, dull and lifeless skin. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of oil in your daily lotions and creams and apply it on the affected area.

Dandruff, dry itchy scalp and lice are the major problems associated with hair. Peppermint oil has stimulating and cooling effects. When added to sesame oil and massaged on the scalp helps improve blood circulation, enrich the scalp, conditions your hair and improves hair growth. Adding 3 to 4 drops of Peppermint oil to your shampoo or hair conditioner can add shine to your hair and make it look smooth and silky.

Other health benefits:

Few believe that adding 1 drop of Peppermint oil besides your pillow can bring dreams that reflect your future. Peppermint essential oil when used in massage, added to diffuser or diluted in bath can help relieve menstrual cramps, muscular pain, urinary infections, belching, nerve pain, uterine spasms and much more. The presence of menthol makes Peppermint, a much valued oil in making toothpastes, mouthwashes, cough syrups, ointments, shampoos and soaps, vaporizing rubs etc.

Disclaimer: Never use essential oils internally or apply directly on skin as essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Always remember using essential oils blended with carrier oils or diluted in bath or in diffusers. Speak with your Ayurvedic Practitioner before using essential oils for your specific body type and your unique state of health.

The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) of Peppermint oil is readily available for your enhanced safety and better usage.

Gas Chromatography Report of Peppermint essential oil.

Thought for the day:

The world is like a little marsh filled with mint and white hawthorn.
-Mary MacLane

Suggested Reading:

  1. HEALING POWERS OF PEPPERMINT OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  2. How to Use Peppermint Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  3. Digestive Wellness: Strengthen the Immune System and Prevent Disease Through Healthy Digestion, Fourth Edition by Elizabeth Lipski
  4. Integrative Gastroenterology (Weil Integrative Medicine Library) by Gerard Mullin

Reference Links:

  1. Peppermint History by Indepthinfo on Peppermint
  2. Peppermint Oil by American Family Physician
  3. Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials by Shahed University, Tehran published in PubMed
  4. Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type, published in PubMed

Grapeseed Oil


Grape-seed-oil--bannerWitnessed as one among the potential chemopreventive agent, Grape seed and its extracts are effective natural medications to support cancer treatment in all the three stages of carcinogenesis, including initiation, promotion and progression.

As the most trusted carrier oil in aromatherapy, Grapeseed oil is often preferred as excellent massage oil for its light consistency and easy absorbent efficiency. It is often recommended for treating wrinkles, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancer, hemorrhoids, stretch marks and high blood pressure.

Ayurveda honors Grapes as Drakshaa Phalottamaa,’ which means that Grapes is the best among all other fruits. Numerous Ayurvedic medications contain Grape and its other extracts in the treatment of urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, bloating, diarrhea, hypertension, obesity, gastritis, jaundice, depression, fatigue, anorexia, infertility, memory loss and indigestion.

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Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Grapeseed oil:

The major chemical constituents of Grape seed oil are alpha-linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, linoleic acid, phenols (tocopherols), steroids including stigmasterol, campesterol, beta-sitosterol, flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs – source of rich antioxidants).

The promising therapeutic properties of Grape seed oil are antioxidant, moisturizing, emollient, anticancer, cicatrisant, diuretic, cardio-tonic, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, anti-allergic, anti-histamine, anti-dandruff, immune stimulant, antimicrobial and anti-aging. It also contains Vitamin E, which is extremely beneficial for skin and hair.

Historical uses and importance of Grape seed and its oil:

Vitis vinifera is the scientific name of grapes. The Greeks were the first among the world populace to consume grapes for its varied health benefits. Grapes were found to relish the universe for more than 6,000 years.

The juice extracted from Grapes has been mentioned in the Bible and the Old Testament denotes that Prophet Daniel promoted the uses of Grape seed oil by using it in a culinary variety called as Pulse.

Indigenous to Asia, Grapes were later taken to Europe and North America. Many Greek philosophers wrote about various health benefits of Grapes in their medical writings.

The traditional European medical practitioners used sap of grapevines in making an ointment for treating eye problems and skin disorders.

Dried grapes or raisins are one among those best natural medications for treating constipation, liver problems and excessive thirst.

Ayurveda and certain other Complementary and alternative medicinal practices recommend grapes and its extracts in the treatment of cholera, cancer, sore throat, nausea, infections of the eye, small pox, heart conditions and skin problems.

The Ayurvedic text ‘Dhanvantari Nighantu’ indicates grapes as one among the Swadu Triphala along with dates and Kashmari fruit and with dates and pomegranate. Grapes are also classified as highly nutritious food, Santarpana foods.

Grapes and its various other natural extracts, including grape seed and its oil has been under the limelight of scientific research later, where various therapeutic values including the antioxidant and chemopreventive effects of Grape seed extracts have been proved with corresponding evidence.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Grape seed oil:

Grapes can never be neglected in any of our fruit list or nutritious diet curriculum. With all the other gifts of Mother Nature, Grapes are indeed a blessing on mankind with a bunch of remedial properties, just like the bunch of grapes on the grapevine.

‘The Fox and the Grapes’ story is still fresh in my mind and I remember the sight of grapes would influence our taste buds just like that in a jiffy.

Ayurveda beckons grapes with various Sanskrit names and the most interesting names are here for your reference. For its extremely appealing looks, it is called as Charuphala and Priyala; Nutritious values –Bruhmani; Aphrodisiac properties – Vrushya.

Acharya Charaka, the most renowned Ayurvedic philosopher and the creator of Charaka Samhita, the ground-breaking Ayurvedic encyclopedia has classified grapes as Kanthya, meaning herbs that help in soothing throat and enhancing voice; Shramahara, which means herbs that alleviate fatigue and drowsiness; Kashara, meaning cough suppressant herbs.

The 6,000 years history of Grapes is richer than the 5,000 years old Ayurvedic healing, which is more than a valid proof for the presence of Grapes and its various extracts in Ayurvedic medications.

The philosophy of Ayurveda believes that everything on earth along with human beings is made up of the five fundamental elements called as Devanagari or Panchamaha boothas.

These five elements, namely fire (metabolism, intellect, vision and body temperature), water (blood, salivary glands and digestive juices), air (respiration, cardiac, muscular and nervous functions), earth (bones, muscles, hair, skin and nails) and space (lungs, abdomen, thorax and mouth) join together to form the unique individual constitution or Prakriti of a person, which is a combination of 3 biological energies called as doshas.

Doshas are a combination of five vital elements, kapha (earth + water), vata (space + air) and pitta (fire + water).

The physique, emotional traits, spiritual connectedness and behavioral attributes of a person is based upon the predominant dosha. Absolute balance between doshas according to nature’s law indicates perfect health and unevenness leads to diseases.

Ayurvedic treatment starts with the individual as a whole and not just as an attempt to treat their health conditions. Swasthya is the aim of Ayurvedic healing, which means a healthy state of the body, mind and spirit.

For attaining longevity through hale and hearty lifestyle practices, impediment of diseases and understanding self, Ayurveda recommends herbal medicines, Ayurvedic essential oils, Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine, yoga, simple physical exercises, Pranayama or mindful breathing, Panchakarma or cleansing technique, prayers, and meditation.

Grape seed oil has been recommended in Ayurveda for pacifying kapha and vata and for enhancing pitta dosha.

According to Annaswaroopa Vijnaneeya Adhyaya, the sixth chapter of Astanga Hridaya, one among the three Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Grapes is quoted as “Draksa is best among fruits, is aphrodisiac, good for the eyes, helps elimination of urine and faeces, sweet in taste and the end of digestion, unctuous, slightly astringent, cold potency, hard to digest, cures diseases of vata, pitta and rakta; better taste in the mouth, intoxication, thirst, cough, fever, respiratory conditions, hoarseness, injury to the lungs and chronic respiratory diseases.”

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Grape seed oil are:Grape-seed -broucher1. Excellent benefits for skin and hair:

Grape seed oil is a light and easily absorbing oil with many benefits for the skin and hair with the presence of linoleic acid, the most banked upon essential fatty acid for boosting the health of skin cells (Twachya) and hair follicles (Keshya).

With its mild astringent, antioxidant and anti-aging qualities, Grape seed oil supports in fighting against free radicals that contribute to aging symptoms like wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and saggy skin. It protects the skin from sun damages.

Massaging your skin with 5 drops of Grape seed oil blended with 1 drop of Bergamot oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil can help in toning and tightening the skin cells. Being emollient and regenerative oil, it assists in moisturizing the skin surface and nourishing the skin cells from within.

A 2002 study on “Dermal wound healing properties of redox-active grape seed proanthocyanidins” by The Ohio State University Medical Center and Creighton University Medical Center witnessed the effectiveness of Grapeseed extracts in healing dermal wounds quickly.

This study quotes, “GSPE treatment was associated with a more well-defined hyper proliferative epithelial region, higher cell density, enhanced deposition of connective tissue, and improved histological architecture.”

It concludes stating, “Topical application of Grape Seed Proanthocyanidins Extracts represents a feasible and productive approach to support dermal wound healing.” This contributes to the cicatrisant or wound healing properties of Grape seed oil.

The presence of Vitamin E makes it a vital ingredient in moisturizing creams, lip balms, sunscreen lotions, shampoos, conditioners and few other ranges of cosmetics. The most interesting fact is that Grapeseed oil has double the times of vitamin E in Olive oil.

Gently massaging your scalp with 10 drops of Grape seed oil with 2 drops of Lime oil can help in treating dry scalp conditions, itchy and flaky scalp, dandruff, hair loss and frizzy hair. This oil spreads evenly and dampens the dry conditions of your hair, leaving it soft, smooth and silky.

2. Promising chemopreventive agent for combating cancer:

Grape seed is a potent antioxidant with the presence of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), which can prevent cellular tissue damage by the invasion of free radicals and resveratrol, a natural phenol that protects the cells from the attack of pathogens.

A 2009 study on ‘Anticancer and Cancer Chemopreventive Potential of Grape Seed Extract and Other Grape-Based Products, published in the Journal of Nutrition and in PubMed,’ proves the efficacy and mechanisms of action on various epithelial cancer models.

This includes the potential chemopreventive effects of Grape seed extracts on skin cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The findings of various studies listed in this analysis firmly suggest that “grapes and grape-based products are the sources of many potential anticancer and cancer chemopreventive agents.”

Melanoma or skin cancer is often caused by the adverse effects of ultra violet radiation on human skin. The presence of proanthocyanidins in Grape seed is an excellent source for preventing and fighting against the development of skin cancer.

A 2008 study on ‘Grape seed proanthocyanidins and skin cancer prevention: Inhibition of oxidative stress and protection of immune system’ concludes “Grape seed proanthocyanidins could be useful in the attenuation of the adverse UV-induced health effects in human skin.”

3. Relieves rheumatic conditions and assists in the treatment of varicose veins:

Grape seed oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, circulatory and diuretic properties that help in promoting normal blood circulation, arrest the growth of free radicals, reduce swelling or inflammation, soothe inflamed nerves and discard toxic remains and water retention in the system through urine, sweat and faeces (for which it is called as Mutrala and Malakrut in Ayurveda).

The presence of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), flavonoids and other vital nutrients in Grape seed oil does all these magic and makes it a promising natural aid in treating rheumatism, arthritis, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, edema and stiff muscles.

Massaging the affected parts with 10 drops of Grapeseed oil with 2 drops of Petitgrain oil can help in fortifying and repairing broken capillaries and blood vessels, enhancing blood circulation in case of spider veins, hemorrhoids and varicose veins, reducing swelling and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, supporting recovery from an injury and post-surgery conditions.

The University of Maryland Medical Center quotes studies where patients who used Grapeseed extract after breast cancer surgery and sports injury had less edema and swelling than others who used placebo.

4. Supports cognitive functions and enhances memory:

Strengthening cognitive power and the functions of the brain is another adorable attribute of Grape seed oil and is one among those brain tonic or Medhya herbs in Ayurveda.

A 2011 study on ‘Grape seed proanthocyanidin lowers brain oxidative stress in adult and middle-aged rats by the Bangalore University, published in PubMed concludes “Grape Seed proanthocyanidin extracts as a neuroprotectant in the hippocampus and in preventing cognitive loss with aging.”

“It lowered blood glucose, lipid peroxidation, hydrogen peroxide level, and increased protein sulphydryl (P-SH) content in the hippocampus and significantly improved cognitive performance,” witnesses this analysis.

Using 3 ounce of Grape seed oil with 7 drops of Rosemary oil and 3 drops of Ashwagandha oil in a massage blend, can support effectively in enhancing the functions of hippocampus, part of the brain and is the center of memory, emotions and the autonomic nervous system.

This is how Grape seed oil aids in improving cognitive abilities, elevating memory power and in treating Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

5. Controls high cholesterol and high pressure:

Grape seed oil acts like a cardiac tonic that reinforces the functions of the cardiovascular system by reducing the level of LDL (low density lipoproteins) or bad cholesterol and augmenting the level of HDL (high density lipoproteins) or good cholesterol.

As a natural aid with mild blood-thinning properties, Grape seed oil can be of great help in removing blocks or clots in the blood vessels and treating coronary diseases. It supports the functions of the heart and is called as Hrudaya in Ayurvedic healing.

Grape seeds can support in controlling high blood pressure and other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. A study with four weeks of Grape seed extracts proved it’s potent in reducing diastolic as well as systolic blood pressure.

The rich presence of gamma-linoleic acid in Grape seed helps significantly in lowering cholesterol levels in the system. A study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition witnesses’ insulin resistance in obese or overweight females.

Other health benefits:

Grapeseed oil and other extracts assist in the treatment of tooth decay, low night vision, diabetic retinopathy and diabetes.

  • Stick to a healthy and wholesome diet.
  • Simple physical exercises every day might sound simple but has immense benefits on your health regimen.
  • Connecting with the Divine Force either through prayer or meditation for about 10 – 15 minutes a day can help in self-realization and immense self-belief.
  • Chuck out about 70 per cent of toxins in your system daily by extended exhalation during Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing.
  • Think positive and accomplish your duties for eternal satisfaction.
  • Enrich your body with the habit of drinking ample water.

Hmmm…. I’m done for the day and it’s your turn now…..

Disclaimer:

Use essential oils only for topical application as 100 per cent organic and pure oils are highly concentrated liquids and might cause allergic reactions, if taken internally. Do a patch test with Grape seed oil before using it on your skin.

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not meant to diagnose, substitute any prescription medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional. We are not medical experts and this info is shared only on the basis of enlightening Ayurvedic healing, the pioneer of all medical sciences on earth.

Consult your Ayurvedic expert or medical professional before choosing the appropriate oils for your unique individual constitution or Prakriti and state of health or Vikruti. Take special care before using Grapeseed oil on pregnant women or nursing mother or on children.

Thought for the day:

If you truly love Nature, you’ll find beauty everywhere.

-Wan Cogh

Suggested Reading:

  1. Grapeseed oil: An alternative to conventional edible vegetable oils by Manuela Rubio García, José Emilio Pardo González, Manuel Alvarez-Ortí
  2. The Modern Ayurveda: Milestones Beyond the Classical Age from Brand: CRC Press
  3. The Comprehensive Guide to Skin Care: From Acne to Wrinkles, What to Do (And Not Do) to Stay Healthy and Look Your Best by Rebecca B. Campen M.D.
  4. The Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pain Management with CD-ROM, 1e (A Massage Therapist’s Guide To) by Sandy Fritz, Leon Chaitow

Reference Links:

  1. Grape seed by University Of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Grape seed oil by Wikipedia
  3. What is grape seed extract? What are the benefits of grape seed extract? By Medical News Today
  4. Anticancer and Cancer Chemopreventive Potential of Grape Seed Extract and Other Grape-Based Products by Manjinder Kaur, Chapla Agarwal, and Rajesh Agarwal, published in the Journal of Nutrition and in PubMed
  5. Grape seed proanthocyanidins and skin cancer prevention: Inhibition of oxidative stress and protection of immune system by Santosh K. Katiyar, University of Alabama, Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, published in PubMed

Civet Oil


“Civet oil strengthens the Head, Brain, Heart and Spirits wonderfully,” quotes the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis (the New London Dispensatory) by William Salmon in the year 1678. Besides the mesmerizing fragrance, Civet oil has been used throughout the history in the treatment of colic, hysteria, hearing difficulties, loss of libido, stress and in stimulating the power of creative thinking.

The oil of Civet is extracted from the musk or glandular secretion by the castoreum sacs (perineal glands near the testicles of the Civet cats) that enclose the awe-inspiring fragrance in them. From Chanel No. 5 to Amouage Gold Pour till Calvin Klein Obsession, you’ll certainly be amazed with the extensive range of perfumes and scents that Civet enchants with its magical aroma.

Purchase Civet Fragrance Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Purchase Civet Jasmine Fragrance Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Civet Yarn – The Tall Story of a Small Animal:

Civet cats are an endangered species (there are about 35species of Civets in 20 genera and 19 species of True Civets among which African Civet is the most popular one) and absolute Civet oil is hard to extract these days. There are many species of Civet cats and the most popular among them are the African Civets and the Indian Civets.

Generally, Civets are medium built-up carnivorous animals and are members of the Viverridae family along with mongooses, genets and linsangs. The oil of Civet is secreted by the African Civet, scientifically called as Civettictis civetta and by the Civets that are of Indian, Indonesian, Chinese and Malaysian origin, known as Viverricula indica and Viverra zibetha.

African Civets are held high mainly because of the fact that they secrete about 4 grams of Civet every week.

Ringed tail and dotted body is the trademark of this nocturnal creature that owns a rat-like face and a cat-like physique. It has partially or fully retractile claws with five webbed toes on each foot.

Just like cats, their ear flaps are found with bursae or pockets on the surface. Civets have about 38 to 40 teeth that are ready for an omnivorous meal. These striking animals have a normal life span of about 15 to 20 years.

The glandular secretion by the Civet cats is stored in a pouch near the testicles. It has a buttery consistency and is whitish yellow in color with a strong and unpleasant odor that turns sweet and exquisite on dilution by solvent extraction method.

The name ‘Civet’ has an Arabian origin and is obtained from the term ‘zabad or sinnawr al-zabad’.

Al-Masudi, the Arabian philosopher has pointed out Zabada (Civet) as a spice in his book Meadows of Gold (Murūdj al-dhahab). Wondering how Civet could be used as a spice? Here’s the scientific evidence for its health benefits for mankind.

A 1998 study on “Comparative study in chemical character and fatty acid compositions of masked civet’s fat and nutria’s oil” by Hong Meiling, Yang Chunhua, Wang Lijun and Zou Xinghuai, published in the Journal of Forestry Research concludes that Civet’s oil contains Eicosatetraenoic acid, which is extremely helpful in supporting nutrition and metabolism of human system.

Historical references denote that King Solomon imported Civet oil from Africa during 10th Century B.C, where the Queen of Sheba gifted Civet musk to Solomon. Civet cat farming is a primeval custom in Ethiopia and is found wild naturally.

Being one among the four vertebrate mammals that generate medicinal produce with rich aroma, Civet is grown and fed with a blend of vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs and maize in Civet rearing farms.

Rearing Civet cats is a lucrative business and is an important source of livelihood for the farmers in Ethiopia and is considered as an economically significant work. Civets also bank upon naturally on insects, small birds, invertebrates and rodents for their food in their habitats.

Male Civet cats produce more Civet musk than the female cats and the traditional method of extracting Civet musk is through a spoon-like object made from cow’s horn. During dry season, musk is collected on every 10 days once and once in every 12 days during rainy season. On an average, one Civet cat can produce about 400gms of musk annually.

Civet was quoted as a “concreted Juice or Humor in a bladder between the Cods [testicles],” by William in the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis. It is said that John Hall, Shakespeare’s son-in-law used Civet in a Caranna plaster for treating hysteria.

Nicolas Lemery, a French Doctor of the 17th Century trusted that Civet was effective in treating disorders of the womb, brain, head and ears and was also prescribed in treating colic in children and hearing disorders.

Chemical constituents of Civet oil:

The exceptional fragrance of Civet oil is attributed to the presence of ketones known as civetone, (also called as zibethone) which is present in the concentration range of 2.5 to 3.4 percent. Cyclohexadecanone, 6-cis-cycloheptadecenone, cyclopentadecanone and cycloheptadecanone are certain other ketones in Civet oil.

Uses of Civet oil:

The primary use of Civet oil that strikes everyone’s mind is its attention-grabbing fragrance that can uplift the moods and elevate the energy levels of the one who is wearing it and of those who are around.

Can Civet oil and its paranormal fragrance boast itself for real health benefits for human beings? If that’s your real doubt, then you’ve come to the right place to resolve it.

The oil of Civet and its synthesized aroma in the recent times indeed have a remarkable impact on the emotions and behavior of mankind. This is not an irony and here are the substantiating factors for your contentment:

1. Civet and its positive effect on the Limbic system:

Civet is known for its remarkable fragrance that is said to instill potential differences in the behavioral and psychological patterns of humans. And the ‘Superhero’ cascading these benefits is the ‘Limbic system’ or the vital control center of the human brain and is the primary part to grow in a fetus.

“The limbic system is a complex set of brain structures located on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum. It includes the olfactory bulbs, hippocampus, hypothalamus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, fornix, columns of fornix, mammillary body, septum pellucidum, habenular commissure, cingulate gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, limbic cortex, and limbic midbrain areas”, quotes Wiki.

Limbic system is the residence for all the emotions and has a greater role to play with the creation and development of memories. It influences the process of learning, sleep patterns, dreams, memory, appetite, eating habits, motivation, sexual behavior, social cognition and the corresponding emotions.

Various parts of the Limbic system perform different functions each and the most predominant functionalities are emotional activities (amygdala), automatic actions and reactions (hypothalamus), fresh memories combination (hippocampus), happiness, compensation and obsession (nucleus accumbens), enjoyment region (septal nuclei) and decision making (orbitofrontal cortex).

Limbic system works by persuading the functions of the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system.

Ayurveda states that brain is the quintessential part of the system that is responsible for the entire health in terms of physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

The treatment using aroma is a branch of Ayurveda that heals hormonal imbalances and psychological health through the sense of smell, which was later called as Aromatherapy.

The fragrance-containing molecules in the aromatic oils pass through the nasal receptors while breathing and are converted to nerve impulses before reaching the olfactory bulb and other vital parts of the limbic system.

Civet oil contains aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenating, stimulating, calmative and tonic properties that pass on through the nasal passages in the form of aromatic molecules, reach the limbic system through the olfactory epithelium.

The hypothalamus along with other vital parts of the limbic system obtains the corresponding therapeutic properties as information in the form of nerve impulses. This info is then passed on to the body as instructions to tranquilize, enhance sexual interest, relax the stress hormones, treat hormonal imbalances and calm down the tensed muscles.

This way, the invigorating, encouraging and rich fragrance of Civet oil passes on its remedial benefits to the body through the limbic system.

Add 2 drops of Civet oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil and 1 drop of Patchouli oil for enhancing your cognitive abilities while instilling positive energy and enjoying the feel of breathing new life into.

2. Civet’s relationship with rest and stress:

“Worrying is the greatest waste of imagination,” says Daniel Ally, the most influential business speaker of the recent times. Rest is the most powerful weapon to recharge the stressed-out mind and spirit.

Successful people absolutely know the secret of fueling their fire of passion.  Stress is obviously the worst killer of all your strengths in a physical as well as an emotional background.

The hippocampus (part of the limbic system) of the human brain plays the key role in implementing the power of buoyancy and fighting spirit in times of impediments and failures.

This is also the vital zone that gets affected or blocked during times of stress, anxiety and depression. Kick starting the functions of hippocampus is the need of the hour in this competitive world.

The nurturing fragrance of Civet oil has the power to stimulate, refurbish and renovate the working of hippocampus that can help in passing appropriate commands to the system to relax, rest, revamp, recuperate and rejoice in your verves.

Blend 2 drops of Civet fragrance oil with 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil in your diffuser or air freshener, especially before going to bed. This can help one tremendously in tranquilizing the body, mind and the spirit.

You can also add 1 drop of this blend to a ball of cotton and keep aside your pillows for peaceful sleep and a fresh morning like never before.

Thus, Civet oil can assist in complete rest sans stress.

3. Civet – The prized gift for an enchanting relationship:

Ayurveda, more than just a traditional healing methodology, it is a divine science that insists on leading a disciplined life with responsibility and moral values.

Sex, according to Ayurveda never stops with physical pleasure or attraction. It is regarded as a basis for a deeper understanding and mutual love between the partners, defining the intimacy of their love life.

Ayurveda strictly condemns sex with many partners or sex without any bonding between the two. On a farther outlook, this is the reason behind burning social problems like sadism, rapes, lack of peace in the society, masochism, prostitution, pedophilia, necrophilia, AIDS, Syphilis and other STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).

The noble Ayurvedic philosophy states that genuine sex is a symbol of eternal joy and ultimate sharing between the couples or lawful partners and is mentioned in detail in the art of Kama.

With these ideologies, Ayurveda quotes Sex as “sex should only be shared by a loving couple as true satiation only arises from the union of emotions, body and soul.”

According to Ayurveda, every physical disorder has a deeper connection with an emotional instability behind.

On this basis, sexual mayhems like loss of sexual interest, lack of libido, premature ejaculation and relationship struggles are closely knitted with the emotional problems like stress, fatigue, work pressure, misled by the exaggerated depiction of sex by external forces like internet and media, lack of love leading to monotonous feeling of staying with the same partner and more.

Motivational Gurus simply quote, “Successful people have learned to organize the right relationships in their lives. This means that their closest people are nurturing them mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.”

The mesmerizing aroma of Civet oil has aphrodisiac, stimulating and tonic properties that inculcate the feeling of love and increased receptivity of being loved.

According to Ayurveda, this attention-grabbing aroma of Civet oil has a positive impact on the sacral chakra, which is associated with the endocrine glands including testicles and ovaries. It is physically connected to the genitals, womb, bladder and kidneys. It is responsible for sensuality, pleasure, intimacy, connection and feelings.

Adding 3 to 4 drops of Civet fragrance oil along with 1 drop of Frankincense oil and 1 drop of Cinnamon oil to bathing water before going to bed especially with your partner can help in portraying a new love life.

Other health benefits:

Besides these benefits, Civet oil has been used in controlling sweat and the bad odor associated with it, hearing disabilities, colic in children and certain skin disorders.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the purpose of information and is not intended to diagnose, treat any medical condition or act as a substitute for the advice of a medical expert or prescription drugs. None of us at Essential Depot are healthcare professionals and this information is shared based on published articles and research studies through reliable sources on the web.

Essential oils are recommended only for external use and should not be taken internally, as 100 per cent pure essential oils are extremely concentrated substances. Talk with your Ayurvedic professional or Doctor before selecting the suitable essential oils for your health condition and Prakriti (unique individual constitution).

Thought for the day:

It’s not the number of hours you put in, but what you put in the hours.

-Abraham Lincoln

Suggested Reading:

  1. Civet farming and the use of technology (Chinese Edition) by BIN DONG MEI ZHONG FU SHENG TANG CHENG HUA DENG XUE JIAN
  2. Civet cat with nine lives by PENG YI
  3. Civet cat domestication and utilization (Chinese Edition) by QU XIAO CHU
  4. A handbook to the carnivora : part 1 : cats, civets, and mongooses by Richard Lydekker
  5. The Natural History of South Africa; Including Civets, Genets, Mungooses, Meerkats Earth Wolves, Hyaenas, Jackals, Foxes Wild Dogs, Otters, Honey … Sea Lions. Mammals. In Four Volumes. Vol. II by F. W. Fitzsimons

Reference Links:

  1. Civet (Perfumery) by Wikipedia
  2. The African civet cat (Viverra civetta) and Its Life Supporting Role in the Livelihood of Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia, Takele Taye, Hawassa University, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Ethiopia, presented in the Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development.
  3. The Story of Civet by William Jackson, pharmacist and the president of the British Society of History of Pharmacy, published in the Pharmaceutical Journal
  4. The Scent of Love: Ancient Perfumes published in the online magazine Getty Iris
  5. The limbic system by V. Rajmohan and E. Mohandas, Elite Mission Hospital published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry