Celery Seed Oil

‘Quick acting’ is the meaning of the word Celeri, the Latin origin of the name Celery. Well identified as one of the prime ingredient of the Holy Trinity of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine, Celery is a renowned herb known to the Chinese as early as the 5th century and was used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine earlier than that.

Celery-seed-oil-bannerBelonging to the Umbelliferae plant family, it is botanically called as Apium graveolens. Celery seed oil is obtained from the dried Celery seeds by the steam distillation method.

Called as Ajamoda in Ayurveda, Celery seed have been used for thousands of years in treating neurological afflictions, poor digestion, influenza, water retention, high blood pressure, insomnia, arthritis, rheumatism, cold, flu, bronchitis, hepatitis, gout, stone formation in gall bladder or kidneys, asthma, arthritis, dizziness and other ailments related to spleen and liver.

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Historical uses and importance of Celery Seed and its essential oil:

Well known to the contemporary world as a vegetable, Celery owes its nativity to the lowland of Italy and it gradually spread to other parts of the world like Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and India. It is often referred to its use in the New Kingdom of Egypt around 1000 B.C.

Celery was held high as a sacred herb during the Greek era and was used in crowns by the athletes. Few sources state that Celery leaves were found in the garland of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun who died in 1323 BC. It is also mentioned in numerous classical works, one being Homer’s Iliad where the horses of the Myrmidons were said to graze on the wild Celery in Troy.

Aulus Cornelius Celsus, the eminent Roman encyclopaedist well known for his invaluable work in the field of medicine has mentioned about the use of Celery seeds in pills for relieving pain, in his work De Medicina, which is the only existing section of the whole of encyclopedia. Celery seeds were used as a traditional remedy by Hippocrates and was globally used as an effective diuretic in treating cold, arthritis, flu and digestive disorders.

The German Commission E prescribes Celery for treating gout, gastrointestinal problems, loss of appetite, exhaustion, weight loss from malnutrition and rheumatism and it was used in Britain in the 19th century for treating rheumatic conditions.

The juices extracted from the petioles were used in the treatment of edema, rheumatic tendencies, gout, flatulence, overweight due to water retention and lack of appetite. Moreover the petiole which is crisp is also used as a vegetable worldwide.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Celery Seed oil:

With limonene as the major chemical component Celery seed oil consist of a-p-dimethyl styrene, N-pertyl benzene , caryophyllene, a-selinene, N-butyl phthalide, sedanenolide, sabinene, b-elemne, trans-1 2-epoxy limonene, linalool, isovalaric acid, cis-dihydrocarvone, trans-dihydrocarvone, trepinene-4-ol, 1-cis –p-menth-2,8-diene-1-ol, trans-p-menth-2, 8-diene-1-ol, alpha-terpineol, luteolin, carvone, trans-8-diene 1-ol,perialdehyde, apiin and thymol.

It also serves as an eminent nutritional supplement rich in Vitamin A, B, C & E, carbohydrate, protein, iron, potassium, water, fat, fiber, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium with traces of niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

The therapeutic properties of Celery seed oil are aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, cardiac-stimulant, antiseptic, anti-emetic, diaphoretic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, mosquitocidal, nematicidal, anti-bacterial, stomachic, nervine and tonic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Celery seed oil:

Illness, aging and death are the three major problems of mankind and have been drawing the interests of medical experts, researchers, and philosophers from the entire universe for innumerable years. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth exists for more than 5,000 years and it uses natural remedies for attaining longevity through prevention of diseases and a disciplined lifestyle.

Ayurvedic healing practices were recorded in the Vedic literature and Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Charaka, known as the father of medicine has mentioned in his book Charaka Samhita that “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” This traditional remedial science robustly states that perfect health is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

The science of Ayurveda considers human body as a temple and associates the divinity with the soul that dwells within the body. According to this ancient system, everything in the universe is a part of nature and is made up of the five elemental forces of nature, namely fire, water, air, earth and space.

Every individual is a unique creation with a unique individual constitution that holds three vital biological energies known as doshas. These energies are just a consequential depiction of the elements of nature.

Vata energy is an arrangement of air and space and is accountable for circulation, respiration and movement and vitiation of vata dosha causes breathing difficulties, neurological problems, nervous disorders, and menstrual discomforts.

Fire and water come together to embody Pitta dosha, which is in charge of metabolism and body temperature. Excess or deficit of pitta dosha might end up in constipation, fever, ulcer, indigestion, heartburn and other digestive disorders.

Kapha energy stands for earth and water and is responsible for the physical structure, movement of fluids and sustenance of the body. Surplus or deficiency of kapha dosha leads to sluggishness, obesity, respiratory problems, rheumatism and inflammatory conditions.

Ayurvedic philosophy states that the balance between these three doshas according to their natural composition contributes to well-being and imbalance of any one or all the three doshas causes sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies focus on treating the doshic imbalances with the help of essential oils, yoga, herbs, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, Ayurvedic massaging or Abhyanga, prayers, Panchakarma or detoxification techniques and simple physical exercises. These remedies differ from individual to individual on the basis of their unique individual constitution and medical conditions.

Celery seed oil with its hot, easy, light, pungent and dry properties is known for increasing pitta and vata dosha and for pacifying kapha types.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Celery seed essential oil are:

celery-broucher21. Flushes out toxic substances and cleanses the system:

Surplus of kapha energy is responsible for water retention, stagnation of fluids, salt, toxins, uric acid, bad cholesterol and fat in the body. Celery seed oil is a promising Ayurvedic remedy for pacifying kapha dosha and thus it helps in eliminating toxins and other excess fluid deposits stagnated in the body through urine and sweat.

Along with this, the presence of Phthalides such as 3-n-Butylpthalide makes Celery seed oil as a potent diuretic that aids in flushing out toxins and fluid retention from the system and alleviates the symptoms of bloating.

As a natural stimulant, it stimulates the kidney to function actively in discharging excess water along with uric acid, fatty acids and other harmful substances that pave way to the formation of kidney stones, gravel and bladder stones.

Dirt or toxic deposits even in a smaller proportion in the system can result in malfunctioning of both the internal and the external organs. Liver plays a major role in eliminating the toxins from the body and is often prone to get affected seriously if the level of toxins is high. Celery seed oil is liver friendly and protects it against the harmful effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol) found in pain relievers, which are extremely poisonous when present in large amount and other hazardous particles.

Rheumatism is often a kapha imbalance caused due to the amassing of toxins, excess fluid, uric acid, salt and fatty acids especially in the joints. Massaging the affected parts or your entire body with 20 drops of Celery seed oil blended with 10 ml of coconut oil can assist in decreasing water retention, uric acid, toxins and other harmful particles in the system, thus helpful in the treatment of inflammation, overweight, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney infections, liver disorders and hypertension.

2. Acts as an excellent mosquito repellent:

Mosquitoes often act as vectors for numerous infectious viruses and parasites. With its mosquitocidal, nematicidal and antifungal compounds such as sedanolide, senkyunolide-N and senkyunolide-J, Celery seed oil acts as a tremendous mosquito repellent.

Many studies have revealed that Celery seed essential oil emitted strong repellency activity against wide range of mosquitoes belonging to various genera some of which are Aedes gardnerii, Aedes lineatopennis, Armigeres subalbatus, Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Cx. vishnui group, Cx. Quinquefasciatus, Mansonia uniformis and Aedes aegypti – the vector of yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.

Celery seed oil exhibits larvicidal and adulticidal repellent activities against Aedes aegypti which was identified by the toxic effect of this oil in the nervous system of the mosquito producing an abnormal movement in the larvae. This attribute makes this oil to be the safe and natural mosquito repellent than most other commercial repellents in the market.

Applying 2 drops of Celery seed oil blended with 1 ml of jojoba oil or your skin care cream or lotion on your skin can act as a protective shield against mosquitoes and guard you from mosquito-borne pathogens such as dengue, malaria, filariasis and tularemia. It is proven to be safe on human beings with no dermatological side effect during the course of research on the human volunteers.

3. Protects you against inflammation:

Celery seed oil is a natural remedy for inflammation associated with pain and discomfort, be it an acute or a chronic one. With apiin as one of its major component, it possesses anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and kapha pacifying properties in-charge for inflamed conditions. Apiin has the potential of inhibiting the production of nitric oxide that acts as one of the inflammatory mediators.

Chemical components such as luteolin, limonene, apigenin, phthalides and coumarin possess very strong anti-inflammatory properties that help in fighting against inflammation in any part of the body and assist in reducing the risk of ailments such as heart diseases and cancer.

This attribute along with the diuretic property of Celery seed oil helps in recovering from the symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis as mentioned by Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their book “The Encyclopedia of Healing foods”.

Celery Seed oil proves beneficial in dealing with the discomfort and degeneration the body joints due to aging. Gentle massage with 5 drops of Celery seed oil mixed with 2.5 ml of olive oil is recommended to ease the pain in joints due to arthritis and this also aids in retaining healthy joints.

Adding 3 drops of Celery seed oil in warm bathing water or in foot bath also helps in reducing the inflammation in the urinary tract and as a natural anti-fungal agent it destroys and inhibits the growth of Candida albicans that cause oral and genital infection in humans, for which this is used as an active ingredient in many urinary antiseptic products.

4. Relieves hypertension:

Celery seed oil serves as a natural vasorelaxant and anti-hypertensive agent that protects one from the risk of developing some fatal diseases associated with hypertension. Few among them are diabetes, endothelial dysfunction, renal dysfunction, congestive heart failure, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease and stroke.

The presence of chemical components such as apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol, caffeic acid, ferulic acid and coumaric acid instill a relaxant effect in the central nervous system and helps in lowering hypertension.

Owing to its nervine qualities, Celery seed oil is vastly employed in treating nervousness, depression, anxiety and tension. It also serves as a wonderful antidote for alcoholism. With limonene acting as a mild tranquilizer, Celery seed oil works wonders with insomnia and addiction to alcohol or drug usage. Massage your system with 10 drops of this oil blended in 5 ml of almond oil, followed by a warm bath diluted with 3 drops of Celery oil and 2 drops added to diffuser to relieve hypertension and grant absolute relaxation.

5. Lowers blood pressure:

Celery seed oil contains apigenin and isoquerticin that aid in lowering the blood pressure by stimulating the expansion of blood vessels. The combination of several active components such as flavonoids, volatile oil, coumarins and linoleic acid contributes to the anti-oxidant property of Celery seed oil.

This helps in protecting the cells from being damaged and purifies the blood resulting in lowering the blood pressure and controlling the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Adding 3 drops of Celery seed oil in warm bathing water and inhaling the tranquilizing aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your burner, vaporizer or diffuser can serve as a potent aid for lowering blood pressure.

6. Helps in alleviating gastric ulcer and other digestive problems:

The essential oil of Celery seed has excellent pitta increasing properties that stimulate Agni or the digestive fire responsible for trouble-free metabolic functions. This contributes to the stomachic and anti-ulcerogenic attributes of Celery seed oil, which imparts a soothing effect on the digestive system and assists in alleviating flatulence, indigestion, heartburn and poor appetite.

As a natural source of organic sodium, Celery seed oil is much protective in forming a defensive shield for the lining of the stomach and intestines. A 2010 research on the gastric anti-ulcer activity of Celery seed in rats states that the Celery extracts rich in flavonoids and alkaloids protected the stomach by protecting the gastric mucosa and suppressing the basal gastric secretion.

Moreover Celery essential oil is an antimicrobial agent that possess strong inhibition against bacteria such as Escherichia coli and fungus such as Candida albicans thus protecting the intestines from the infectious microbes and parasites.

Massaging your abdomen with 3 drops of Celery seed oil with 1.5 ml coconut oil can help in improving metabolism. 2 drops of this oil added to diffuser or burner can help in enhancing the appetite and 2 drops added to 1 cup of warm water can be used as a gargle for curbing oral infections and killing parasites and microbes in the stomach and intestines.

7. Eases feminine health mayhem:

Celery seed oil is in rich vitamins and minerals that help in regulating the flow of blood all over the body and assists in strengthening the muscles of the uterus. It helps in stimulating uterine contraction and induces menstruation, while reducing the pain and discomforts associated with it. This oil also regularizes the monthly menstrual cycle.

Being a rich source of calcium, Celery seed oil helps in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth and aids in proper muscular contractions and alleviates the adverse impacts of osteoporosis after menopause. 5 drops of Celery oil mixed with 2.5 ml sesame oil can be massaged gently on your lower abdomen, genital parts and thighs for promoting delayed or blocked menstruation, reducing pain, treating menopausal problems and lessening fatigue and mood swings associated with menopause and menstruation.

Few studies also state that Celery seed oil may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer with its antioxidant properties. It helps in balancing the acid/ alkaline system in the body and aids in preventing cancer by reversing the effect of free radicals and inducing apoptosis in case of gastric, liver, colon, cervical and prostate cancer cells of human beings.

Other health benefits of Celery seed oil:

Celery seed oil acts as an aphrodisiac in stimulating the secretion of sexual hormones. Due to its sweet and earthy aroma it is often used in salads, soups and sauces. It is also employed in skin care to treat acne, scars and boils and in treating acute headaches, cold, flu, pyorrhea, anemia, mental stress, sleeplessness etc.

Due to its antibacterial, antifungal and mosquito repellent properties, this oil is used in the manufacturing of disinfectants, antiseptic creams and lotions, mosquito repellent creams, soaps and perfumes.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not proposed to treat, prevent or make a diagnosis of any ailment or medical condition. Nor is it meant to substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is only for the purpose of enlightening the readers with the ancient wisdom or knowledge of life known as Ayurveda.

Do not take essential oils internally and always use them in a diluted manner for topical use, as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Keep out of reach of children and it is always good to do a small patch test on your skin with the diluted essential oil. Pregnant women are not advised to use this oil as it stimulates and contracts the uterus and may result in miscarriage. Consult your healthcare expert or your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your medical condition and prakriti or unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.   -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Healing Remedies Sourcebook: Over 1000 Natural Remedies to Prevent and Cure Common Ailments by C. Norman Shealy
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D.
  4. ISO 3760:2002, Oil of celery seed (Apium graveolens L.) by ISO/TC 54

Reference Links:

  1. Celery by Wikipedia
  2. The pharmacognostical ad pharmacological characterization of Apium Graveolens by Syed Sufiyan Fazal and Rajeev K Singla published in the 2012 Indo Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  3. The Mosquito repellency of the seeds of Celery (Apium graveolens L.) published in PubMed
  4. The extract of Apium graveolens: structure of the major constituent, apiin, and its anti-inflammatory properties published in PubMed

Caraway Oil

Caraway-bannerWhich Ayurvedic oil ‘warms the kidneys’ and ‘moves the liver’? Ah! Wait! Wait! Don’t panic, it is Caraway essential oil that has the potent to cleanse the liver, detoxify the system and discharge toxins, salt, uric acid and excess fluid deposits in the system through urine.

Also known as Persian cumin, Meridian fennel and Shahi jeera, Caraway is one among the 3000 species of plants of the Umbelliferae family dispersed throughout the world. The essential oil is extracted from the dried seeds through steam distillation method.

The Sanskrit name of Caraway is karavi and it is one among the oldest culinary herb used in Ayurvedic healing since the Stone Age. Caraway and its essential oil is being used in Ayurveda for treating diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, morning sickness, colic, dyspeptic headache, bloating, cold, cough, rheumatism, inflammation, delayed menstruation, genitourinary problems, anemia, obesity and hormonal imbalances.

Purchase Caraway Essential Oil – 4oz – CLICK HERE 

Historical uses of Caraway and its essential oil:

Indigenous to Western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa, Caraway is botanically called as Carum carvi. The roots of the Caraway herb were mixed with milk and used in the preparation of Chara – the bread that was taken by Julius Caesar and his soldiers of Valerius.

Caraway has been carved in the ancient scriptures and gained esteem during the middle ages. The recent research from Arabic regional studies recommend “Carum carvi use as an endocrine function support agent, specifically related to thyroid disorders and auto immune disease.”

Parkinson mentions its healing attributes in one of his works which quotes Caraway ‘is much used to be put among baked fruit, or into bread, cakes, etc., to give them a relish. It is also made into comfits and taken for cold or wind in the body, which also are served to the table with fruit.’

It was a tradition to serve a saucer full of Caraway with roasted apple and is still kept in Trinity College, London. Caraway seeds were used as the best condiment in Greece, Rome, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Caraway essential oil is used as an active ingredient in the preparation of alcoholic liquors. It is also used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating hiccups, hernia, lower back pain, lack of appetite and nausea.

The Ebers Papyrus of the African medicine, dated 1500 B.C. prescribe Caraway for treating gastrointestinal problems. People in the primeval period believed that the presence of Caraway in any object will be protected from theft. It was also used in love potions to keep the lovers away from wandering and was given to pigeons and other fowls to keep them away from straying.

Alleged to be first used by the ancient Arabs, Caraway seeds are used in Arabic medicine as a carminative for children and to treat psychological conditions such as hysteria. It is used as a diuretic to treat hypertension and diabetes in Moroccan traditional medicine. Caraway water is used as a medium for pediatric medicines and vapors obtained from Caraway seeds is trusted to alleviate rheumatism and lumbago.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Caraway essential oil:

Owing major similarities to the other members of the Apiaceae (also known as Umbelliferae) family, Caraway essential oil have carvone and limonene as its major components and the other constituents are carvacrol, α-pinene, γ-terpinene, linalool, furfurol, thujone, carvenone, and p-cymene.

Caraway also serves as a rich source of fatty acids, lignin, vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, triacylglycerols and numerous minerals such as copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, selenium, zinc and iron.

Caraway essential oil has been in use since antiquity for its countless therapeutic properties like carminative, astringent, antispasmodic, eupeptic, antihistaminic, antiseptic, aperitif, antimicrobial, disinfectant, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, digestive, insecticide, diuretic, galactogogue, cardiac, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-stress and vermifuge.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Caraway essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest healing sciences known to the world and is said to have been in practice for more than 5,000 years. The most notable thing about Ayurveda is that its healing practices are recorded systematically in the form of literature.

Among the 4 major sacred books of the Indian Mythology, Atharvana Veda records the Ayurvedic therapies and about 114 verses of this sacred book shares the symptoms and diagnostic techniques of numerous health disorders.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing methodolgy that treats the individual instead of the symptoms and traces the root cause of an illness. By this way, this ancient common sense science focuses on prevention of illnesses leading through healthy aging process to longevity.

Based on the Vedic references of Ayurveda, two ancient Ayurvedic texts were written by the legendary Ayurvedic physicians known as Charaka and Sushruta, who wrote Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

These Ayurvedic encyclopedias states that everything is a part of nature and the human body is a combination of the five elements known as Panchamaha Bhoothas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space.

Every person is made up of a unique individual constitution that consists of three dynamic energies known as doshas (vata -air & space, pitta – fire & water and kapha -water & earth), which are a combination of the elemental forces of nature.

For a person to be hale and healthy, these doshas should always remain in a specific ratio as set by nature and any change in the functioning or the balance between these doshas cause illnesses. Imbalance of these biological energies mainly occurs due to food habits (mainly depending on the quality of the food taken), change in weather conditions and lifestyle changes.

Ayurvedic remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, prayers, Abhyanga or art of Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the detox technique and Ayurvedic routine are recommended based on the Prakriti or the unique individual constitution of a person and for correcting the imbalances of dosha.

Caraway essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha, making its use inevitable in the treatment of respiratory problems, skin disorders, spasms, cramps, bloating and other digestive disorders.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Caraway essential oil are:caraway-broucher-info1. Combats the growth of free radicals:

Caraway essential oil serves as an effective antioxidant with its rich content of monoterpene alcohols, linalool, flavonoids and other polyphenolic compounds. This helps in destroying and inhibiting the growth of free radicals, which are responsible for cellular oxidation.

Certain scientific studies conclude that the dietary supplementation of Caraway to rats induced with colon cancer suppressed the crypt foci development and decreased the level of fecal bile acids and alkaline phosphatase which affects the epithelial cells of the colon and the rectum if not kept under control. The presence of carvone and limonene helps in reducing the lipid peroxidation products of the intestines and the colon.

Moreover the chemical compounds such as anethofuran, carvone and limonene are potential cancer chemo-preventive agents that build a protective shield against various mutagens such as dimethylnitrosamine, nitrosodimethlyamine, methylazoxymethanol acetate and inhibit the development of stomach cancers in mice induced by diethylsitosamine.

The antioxidant property of Caraway essential oil also makes it an efficient anti-carcinogenic, apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-mutagenic agent. As an apoptotic, Caraway essential oil proves fruitful against human leukemia cells and it also anti-proliferates the tumor cells.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Caraway oil blended with 5 ml of Coconut oil can help in controlling the growth of free radicals and enhance the immune power of the system to shield against the harmful effects of the cancerous cells.

2. Makes you free from toxins:

Caraway essential oil serves as an excellent detoxifier, which assists in promoting active metabolism and excretion of harmful toxins or ama in the body. A 2007 research on the diuretic effect of Caraway essential oil on normal rats states that it increased the frequency and quantity of urine in a 24 hour period. It increased the level of sodium and potassium in the urine while that of the plasma remained unchanged.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Caraway oil in warm bathing water or in a massage blend with 10 drops of this oil mixed with 5 ml of olive oil helps in excreting the toxins, fats, uric acid, salt and excess fluid deposits with ease. By this way, Caraway oil aids in alleviating hypertension, promoting weight loss and treating inflammation caused due to water retention.

Ayurvedic texts adore Caraway seed oil as a liver-friendly oil that support in protecting the liver from the encountering of highly toxic substances. In addition to this, its antimicrobial attribute clears out urinary tract infections. Caraway essential oil is a great source of dietary fiber.

3. Aids in proper digestion:

Caraway essential oil has been in use since the prehistoric period for its pitta-enhancing properties that stimulates the Agni or digestive fire, secretion of gastric and digestive juices. This attribute is responsible for the carminative, digestive and stomachic properties of Caraway oil. Its flavonoids, fatty acids and triacylglycerols help in reducing inflammation in the intestines and relieving smooth muscle contractions induced by spasmogens.

With flavonoids and monoterpene alcohols acting as natural stimulants, Caraway essential oil regulates the secretion of the digestive enzymes and its rich mineral content aid in complete absorption of the dietary nutrients. It raises the temperature of the body and speed up the process of metabolism thus preventing constipation and it helps in regulating the bowel movements.

A 2011 study on the various healing attributes of Caraway essential oil proves the antibacterial activity of this oil against gram negative bacteria such as helicobacter pylori which is identified as the primary etiological factor associated with the onset of various gastrointestinal ailments such as gastric carcinoma, gastritis and peptic ulcer. It blends well with Peppermint oil in treating non-ulcer dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Inhaling the refreshing aroma of Caraway oil by adding 2 drops of this oil in diffuser or burner along with massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Caraway oil blended with 2.5 ml of sesame oil can effectively treat diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, morning sickness, dyspepsia, heartburn due to indigestion, gastrointestinal disorders, stomachic ulcers, intestinal worms and parasites and colic.

Carvone which owes the credit of the anti-inflammatory attribute of Caraway essential oil actively reduces the production of prostaglandin and increases the production of leukotriene thus helping in alleviating colic for which reason Caraway seeds boiled in hot water was used in treating infants with colic. As an effective antimicrobial agent, Caraway oil destroys the harmful microbes in the stomach and inhibits the growth of intestinal pathogens.

4. Alleviates menstrual discomforts and other womanly problems: 

Caraway essential oil has reproductive and estrogenic parameters due to the presence of flavonoids and apigenin. It increases and regulates the secretion of estrogen. Moreover it’s rich iron, calcium and vitamin content stimulates the secretion of hemoglobin and regulates  blood flow to the uterus.

Massaging your lower abdomen, genital area and thighs with 5 drops of Caraway oil blended with 2.5 ml of Almond oil aids in opening up blocked menstruation and alleviates menstrual irregularities, dysmennorhea, menstrual cramps and associated mood swings. It relaxes the uterus and helps in its contraction facilitating the process of child birth before delivery.

Furthermore this oil possesses galactogogue properties, where the mammary glands are induced and the secretion of milk in lactating mothers is increased. Nursing mothers who use Caraway essential oil benefits their baby as well from colic and other stomachic discomforts.

5. Relieves common cold and other respiratory infections:

Common cold and certain other respiratory problems are often known as the most annoying ailments of mankind of all ages.

According to Ayurveda, excess of Kapha element in the body cause water retention, formation of mucus and phlegm deposits in the body. As a natural kapha reducing agent, Caraway essential oil can help in clearing off the phlegm and mucus secretion that often obstruct the nasal passages and block the respiratory tract.

Being a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, Caraway essential oil destroys all the harmful microbes that cling onto the respiratory tract resulting in infections and huge deposits of mucus and phlegm. Carvone, limonene and linalool play a major role in destroying the infectious microbes and hold antihistamine properties that calm down the muscles causing coughing spasms.

2 to 3 drops of Caraway oil added to steam inhalation along with the gentle massaging of your chest, throat and back with 2 drops of this oil mixed in your regular decongesting ointment or rub can help in loosening the deposits of mucus and phlegm, aid in its excretion and reduce the symptoms of bronchitis, laryngitis and sore throat.

6. Alleviates skin disorders:

Caraway essential oil is a powerful antiseptic that helps in treating acne, boils, scabies and itches. It is used in cleansing the wounds as it destroys the presence of micro-organisms and prevents it from spreading and becoming septic, thus protecting one from the onset of tetanus with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Carvone and limonene components present in Caraway oil have enormous anti-oxidant properties that strengthen the connective tissues and confer potent effects on aging symptoms and clears out wrinkles, lessens the sagging of skin and aids in tissue regeneration. This oil is also used in the manufacturing of skin care lotions, creams and ointments for reducing wrinkles and acne.

Rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc, Caraway essential oil helps in regulating the growth and development of cells and aids in improved natural complexion of the skin. Mix 2 drops of Caraway oil with 1 ml of Coconut oil or your mild skin care cream or lotion and gently massage on your skin in circular movements for visible results.

7. Instills tranquility:

Caraway essential oil serves as a boon to mankind with its pleasing aroma and its therapeutic compounds that have a soothing effect on the mind and instills feelings of trust and harmony. It acts as a tonic for the nerves and encourages positive thoughts in a person and eases the mental strain while making one to feel full of life and energy.

The best way to use Caraway essential oil for emotional benefits is to add 2 drops of this oil in burner, vaporizer, diffuser, aromatic candles or your pillow cover for boosting up your system and revitalizing you from within.

Other health benefits of Caraway oil:

Caraway essential oil is also used in treating rheumatism, toothaches, eye infections and inflammations. It is used as a flavoring agent in mouth-wash, gargle preparations, toothpastes, soaps, lotions, perfumes and incense sticks. It also serves as an insecticide and a potential natural fumigant for stored products. With its strong yet pleasing aroma it refreshes your breath and hence used in the manufacturing of mouth fresheners, toothpastes and other oral care products.

Disclaimer:

This is only for educational use and is not meant to prevent or diagnose any health condition or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. This information is shared only with the concern of highlighting the importance of Ayurvedic healing, the traditional wisdom of holistic remedy and we are not medical professionals. Do not use essential oils internally.

Ensure that you dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it externally on the skin as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. It is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic professional/ healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift. -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. Caraway: The Genus Carum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Aromatherapy for the Soul: Healing the Spirit with Fragrance and Essential Oils by Valerie Ann Worwood
  3. The Nursing Mother’s Herbal (The Human Body Library) by Sheila Humphrey

Reference Links:

  1. Caraway by Wikipedia
  2. Essential oil content in Caraway species (Carum carvi) by J.Sedlakovai, B. Kicourkova, L. Lojkovai and V.Kubani of the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Czech Republic
  3. Cuminum Cyminum and Carum carvi by R.K. Johri published in PubMed
  4. The effects of Carum carvi L. (Caraway) extract and essential oil on TNBS-induced colitis in rats published in PubMed

Juniper Leaf Oil

Juniper-leaf-banner

Juniper is not ‘just another’ plant in the Jungle; more than that, it owns myriad health benefits and the most astonishing remedial use is its power to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in breast cancer cells. It is also celebrated as the most common therapeutic plants used by the native North Americans.

Beckoned as Hapusha in Sanskrit, Juniperus communis or the Common Juniper is also called as Aaraar in Hindi, Havusha in Bengali, Gin plant, Alpine Juniper, Horse savin and Fairy circle in English. Juniper has been a part of the Ayurvedic remedy of leucorrhoea, asthma, urino-genital infections, dropsy, gout, bronchitis, bladder and kidney stones, sluggish digestion, rhinitis, rheumatism and certain other water-retention disorders.

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History and importance of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

Juniperus communis is an evergreen coniferous shrub in the Juniperus genus and belongs to the Cypress family, Cupressaceae. There are about 67 Juniper species spread across the world. Juniper has scale-like or needle-shaped leaves. The most soaring Juniper forest is located at an altitude of 4,900 meters in the Northern Himalayas and the South-eastern Tibet and is one of the tallest tree-lines on this planet.

Nicholas Culpeper, the most renowned herbalist and physician of the 17th century prescribed the use of Juniper berries for treating sciatica, asthma and for speeding up childbirth. Juniper was used in folklore medicine for curing snakebites and poisonous stings.

The Seminole Indians in Florida used Juniper for treating headache, swollen joints, diarrhea, stiff neck and common cold. Native Americans also used the berries as a female contraceptive agent.

The indigenous Europeans burned the berries during the last three days of April as a ceremony for cleaning and guarding against sorcery. Juniper leaves were hung near the main door for preventing the entry of witches. Juniper was trusted to bring in good luck in love life and was burnt as incense for keeping away from insects, ghosts and evil spirits.

Juniper is quoted in the Bible as the tree where Prophet Elijah hid. The leaves and berries of this plant have been used by the Tibetans for medicinal and spiritual uses. They believed that the burning of Juniper helped in breaking spiritual barriers, curses, hexes and protect from snakes and other venomous bites. It was used in Tibet for both religious and medicinal purposes.

Herbal tea prepared with Juniper berry and leaves is been taken especially after meals for helping with digestion and for preventing bladder problems. Herbalists recommend drinking this tea in alternative days or as a part of your daily routine as an aid in flushing out the toxic remains in the system, support normal metabolic functions and aid in your weight-loss regimen by discarding the fluid withholding in the system.

Chemical constituents and remedial attributes of Juniper leaf oil:

The essential oil of Juniper has rubefacient, astringent, antiseptic, carminative, analgesic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anti-rheumatic, diuretic, expectorant, anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic, neurotonic and sudorific properties.

The major chemical constituents contributing to its healing values are about 90 percent of various monoterpenes, where as Juniper berry essential oil contains only 50-60 percent of it. Juniper leaf oil also has esters, terpinene-4-ol, antiviral and anti-cancerous compound known as DTP- deoxypodophyllotoxin.

Ayurvedic uses of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

Ayurveda is a common sense science that simply goes with the saying “There is no smoke without fire”. In a much similar manner, Ayurveda states that every illness has a root cause behind. Identifying it and treating the root cause of a disease instead of its symptoms, is the secret behind the success of Ayurvedic healing in the treatment, prevention and voyage towards longevity.

None of us can deny being a part of nature and that is the mantra of Ayurveda. It firmly indicates that all things in the universe are a component of Nature and everything is made up of the five fundamental energies known as Panchamahabhutas. They are space, earth, water, fire and air.

Every person has a unique identity, which is an outcome of his/her unique individual constitution known as Prakriti. It is a combination of the three biological energies known as doshas (vata, kapha and pitta), which are an arrangement of Panchamahabhutas.

Pitta (fire + water = metabolism, body temperature, leadership traits); vata (air + space = circulation, respiration, creative abilities); kapha (earth + water = reproductive functions, physique, sustenance, trust and love).

Every individual has a distinct combination of these doshas with a predominance of any one dosha and it determines one’s physical set up, mental makeup, character, behavior/attitude and the depths of their spiritual being.

Leading a well-organized life helps in retaining absolute balance with nature, whereas irregular eating habits, junk and ready-to-eat food items, sedentary lifestyle, climatic conditions, change in sleeping patterns, lack of physical exercise, work pressure, stress and certain other factors can pave way for imbalance of your system with nature. This leads to imbalance between doshas and thus, sickness steps in.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice that prescribes natural remedies for striking balance with nature. It prescribes unique remedies for every person based upon their unique individual constitution, even for the same illness as it appreciates individual differences and trusts that every individual has a different mechanism that reacts to variations in their own way.

Ayurvedic medications for the mind, body and the soul include herbs, plant essential oils, yoga, Ayurvedic routine, meditation, Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detoxification technique, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and many other Ayurvedic therapies for complete cure and prevention of illnesses.

Juniper leaf essential oil is recommended for pacifying kapha and vata dosha and for enhancing pitta dosha for trouble-free metabolic functions.

Let’s take a look at the uses of Juniper leaf oil according to the methods of usage:

Juniper-leaf-broucher1. Juniper leaf oil in steam inhalation:

Steam inhalation is an ancient treatment for instant relief from blocked nasal passages, sinusitis pain, headache and for attracting hidden toxins and excess oil in the skin surface.

Steam inhalation with therapeutic herbs and medicated oils as per the medical condition and Prakriti of a person is one among the Ayurvedic detoxification technique known as Panchakarma. Swedhana or promoting sweat is the most suitable treatment for people with Kapha imbalances.

Fluid retention is one among the kapha vitiations, which paves way for the buildup of ama or toxic remains. This slows down the normal functioning of the body and gradually weakens the immune power. When your body’s immunity reduces, the entry of micro-organisms like bacteria, virus and fungi becomes much easier.

This paves way for cold, flu, chest and bronchial congestion and few other respiratory infections. 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 drop of Clove bud oil can help in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits, open up the blocked nasal passages, alleviate pain and lets out the toxic remains by promoting sweat with its sudorific and diaphoretic properties.

A refreshing steam inhalation blend for energizing the skin, especially the facial skin includes 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Rose Geranium oil, 1 drop of Palmarosa oil and 1 drop of Lime oil can work wonders on your skin.

The antiseptic properties of this blend can help in soothing wounds or infections caused by acne. This treatment also helps in opening the clogged pores, removing dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil in the sebaceous glands, controlling the secretion of sebum and enhancing the circulation of blood in the skin with its rubefacient properties, allowing the skin to look supple and healthy.

2. Juniper leaf oil in massage blends, baths and compress:

Rheumatism, obesity, edema, gout, renal calculi, bladder stones, congestion, inflammation, swelling and respiratory infections are kapha imbalances.

Ayurveda recommends hot compress, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and warm bath diluted with therapeutic essential oils for treating water retention or kapha vitiations. Abhyanga is the primordial art of maneuvering the muscles, nerves and joints with the help of palms, foot, elbows and certain Ayurvedic techniques.

Using Ayurvedic essential oils in massage, compress and medicated baths is the easy way for passing on the therapeutic values of essential oils to the bloodstream.

Skin is by far the largest and prominent part of the human body just like the outer rind of bananas. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Juniper leaf oil, 5 drops of Ginger oil, 5 drops of Marjoram oil, 5 drops of Wormwood oil along with 3 ounce of sesame oil can work effectively in eliminating the surplus fluid deposits, toxic remains, salt, fat deposits and uric acid by influencing the frequency and mass of urine and sweat with its diuretic, sudorific, diaphoretic and detoxifying properties.

This assists in reducing swelling, inflammation, redness, soreness, pain and muscular tension associated with arthritis, rheumatism and edema. The tendency to pacify vata imbalance along with the circulatory or the rubefacient properties of Juniper leaf oil helps in treating cellulites, pain, swelling and muscular stiffness related to varicose veins.

It’s pitta augmenting properties help in stimulating the functions of liver and pancreas (normalizes the level of insulin) thus fostering secretion of bile, gastric juices and other digestive acids for relieving flatulence, colic pain and trouble-free digestion.

An invigorating bath with 5 drops of Juniper leaf oil, 2 drops of Geranium oil, 2 drops of Orange bitter oil and 2 drops of Petitgrain oil can help in controlling the free radicals, relaxing the nerves, soothing the muscles, tranquilizing the mind and stimulating positive effects on the brain.

This is an excellent remedy for treating cancer (especially in preventing the spread of free radicals, apoptosis or cellular death and cellular damage), alleviating stress, fatigue, anxiety and negative feelings. Taking this bath before bedtime can support you in sleeping tight and recharge your system for a new-fangled day ahead.

A 2015 study published in PubMed on ‘Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells’ by Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard AP, Colquhoun CD, Carroll M, Bos A, Gray CA, Robichaud GA, Universite de Moncton, Canada have concluded that they “identified the diterpene isocupressic acid and the aryltetralin lignan deoxypodophyllotoxin (DPT) as potent inducers of caspase-dependent programmed cell death (apoptosis) in malignant MB231 breast cancer cells.”

3. Juniper leaf oil in mild creams, lotions and topical applications:

Adding 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil and 1 drop of Jojoba oil in gentle skin care creams and lotions for topical use on athlete’s foot, pimples, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions can foster quicker healing with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

4. Juniper leaf oil in diffusers, burners and aromatic candles:

Juniper leaf oil has been used since the traditional times for spiritual and remedial uses. It’s restoring, supportive, fresh, sweet-woody and balsamic fragrance implants absolute peace and feelings of oneness with the universe and the divine.

Adding 3 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Clary Sage oil, 1 drop of Vetiver oil and 1 drop of Sandalwood oil in your diffuser, burner, aromatic candle or vaporizer during prayers, meditation and other sacred ceremonies can uplift your mind, nourish your spirit, open up the mind for newness, instill positive feelings and nurture the soul, helping it to identify its purpose on earth.

Disclaimer:

This is only for educational purposes and is not meant for diagnosing any medical condition or for substituting any prescription medicines or expert advice of a medical professional. We are not healthcare experts and this article is shared only with the idea of widening the knowledge of Ayurvedic healing, the pioneer of all medical systems.

Juniper leaf essential oil is non-irritant and non-toxic but is still recommended for topical use only. This is because pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Do not take essential oils internally.

The essential oil of Juniper leaf should not be used by people with chronic kidney disorders, pregnant and nursing women as it has the potent to cause uterine contractions, making it a traditional medicine for inducing labor. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.

Thought for the day:

A weed is a plant whose virtue is not yet known. –By Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Aromatherapy: A Practical Guide (The Healing series) by Marion Wayman
  2. Clinical Botanical Medicine by Eric Yarnell, Kathy Abascal, Carol G. Hooper
  3. Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus: 3rd Edition by Robert P. Adams
  4. Evidence-based Essential Oil Therapy: The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oils by Dr. Scott A Johnson
  5. Medicinal Plants of North America: A Field Guide (Falcon Guide)
    by Jim Meuninck

Reference Links:

  1. Juniper by Wikipedia
  2. Health benefits of Juniper essential oil by Organic Facts
  3. Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells by Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard AP, Colquhoun CD, Carroll M, Bos A, Gray CA, Robichaud GA, Universite de Moncton, Canada published in PubMed
  4. Ayurvedic drug plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman
  5. Junipers by Eat the Weeds