Camphor Oil



camphor-banner“Camphor increases prana, opens up senses and brings clarity to the mind, eases headache and awakens perception. It is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain”, says Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Botanically known as Cinnamomum camphora, Camphor is a member of the Lauraceae plant family and is extracted from the wood and bark of this evergreen tree.

Prevalently called as Karpura in Ayurveda, this sacred and aromatic herb is used in Ayurvedic healing for more than thousands of years in the treatment of bronchitis, insomnia, asthma, hysteria, whooping cough, epilepsy, dysmennorhea, sinus headaches, nasal and pulmonary congestion, delirium and gout.

No sacred or religious ritual in India gets fulfilled without Camphor and is also known in Ayurveda with other names like Chandra, Himavaluka, Ghanasara and Chandra Prabha.

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Historical uses and importance of Camphor and its essential oil:

Popularly called as ‘the tree that does not sleep’, Camphor has been an important natural remedy especially in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of various illnesses including nervous afflictions and other psychosomatic problems.

Indigenous to Formosa, Japan and China, this tree can grow up to a maximum height of 100 feet and the traditional Chinese used Camphor for its remedial uses and its wood was used in building temples and ships mainly due to its exuberant aroma and robustness. During the Tang dynasty (C.E. 618-907), Camphor was used in flavoring confectionery items like ice cream in China.

Camphor is an important part of Indian prayers, especially the religious ceremonies of the Hindu community since the traditional times. Burning camphor in the Pooja plate for deities is a part of every prayer in temples as well as homes and this sacred flame is calmly touched and its warmth feeling is passed on to the eyes. It is a part of the biggest spiritual celebration of the Hindus known as Mahashivratri dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans used Camphor as a fragrant wood, incense resin, flavoring agent and as fumigants for embalming. It was given as prestigious gifts by the Chinese emperors for other kingdoms including the Arabian treaties. Camphor was also used as a traditional remedy for plague in Iran and Persia.

The strong aroma of Camphor makes it an excellent agent for protecting against snakes and other poisonous reptiles. It was also used as an insect repellant as it is trusted to be toxic to insects. Camphor was also used in tool chests to guard tools against rusting.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report (GC) of Camphor oil:

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Camphor oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its unique aroma, therapeutic values and consistency of this oil. Among which, 1,8-Cineole is the key component with about 35.9% of Camphor oil.

Just click on:

I believe that this information would certainly help you in having a clear picture about the primary chemical constituents of Camphor oil.

The table crafted below explains the unique nature and therapeutic qualities of these biochemical constituents to the curative values of Camphor essential oil.

camphor-table

Therapeutic properties of Camphor essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are stimulant, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, decongestant, nervine, anti-phlogistic, analgesic, anti-arthritic and bronchodilator.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science known to the world for more than 5,000 years. The most prominent 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 system 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 state 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 ration 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 the 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 doshas.

Camphor essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil are:

Camphor-broucher1. Relieves severe pain, spasms and inflammation:

Camphor essential oil has antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that render itself as a promising pain reliever. The stimulating and counter-irritant effects of this oil relieve even severe muscular and joint pains.

With its anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic attributes, Camphor essential oil assists in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic deposits in the joints and the entire system through urine and sweat and supporting the functions of the circulatory system. Ayurveda states that rheumatic problems mainly occur due to excess of kapha dosha leading to surplus deposits of water, toxins, salt and uric acid in the system, especially in the joints.

Camphor essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha and help in discharging ama or toxins in the system along with excess water content in the body. This oil works by anesthetizing the sensory nerves of peripheral nervous system, thus reducing inflammation.

Massaging the affected or painful parts with 2 drops of Camphor oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 4 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing inflammation, swelling, painful muscles, redness and stiffness associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

This massaging can also help in relieving cramps, abdominal spasms and stiff joints. Adding 2 drops of Camphor essential oil to bathing water can bring in a feeling of newness, coolness and tranquility, especially during the summer season and can also help in alleviating pain and inducing peaceful sleep at night by relaxing the muscles, calming the nerves and cooling the senses.

2. Combats microbes and skin infections:

The essential oil of Camphor oil has been a prominent ingredient in numerous ointments and medications for treating skin infections caused by bacteria, fungi and other microbes. This is attributed to the germicide, disinfectant, anti-microbial and insecticide properties of Camphor oil. 2 drops of Camphor oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil can be applied on minor burns, itches, wounds, rashes, insect bites, nail fungus, cold sores, eczema, acne, chapped lips, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Camphor is an excellent cleanser that helps in disinfecting the system when added to the bath tub (about 2 to 3 drops). 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil added to your shampoo can help in treating dandruff and lice. This also helps in granting a cooling effect on the scalp and prevent unnecessary hair fall due to dandruff and lice.

3. Supports digestive functions:

Being a carminative, Camphor oil works wonders in relieving gas and flatulence. Gas in the intestines and stomach, when left unnoticed raises above slowly and causes sharp and severe pain in the chest, which may even lead to difficulty in breathing. Using Camphor oil assists in relieving gas and prevents the formation of gas.

Along with this, the diaphoretic effects of this oil aids in normalizing metabolic functions, enhancing circulation, improving sluggish digestion and controls the appetite. Mix 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Juniper oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on your abdomen for expelling gas and supporting the functions of the digestive system.

4. Pacifies the nervous system:

Camphor oil treats nervous afflictions and pain in the nervous system by causing numbness. This is attributed to its anesthetic effects. It is a proven remedy for treating neuralgia, which is a relentlessly painful condition caused due to the force on the Ninth Cranial nerve created by the swollen blood vessels surrounding it.

Gently massaging the system with 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil and 2 drops of Wintergreen oil blended with 5 ml of almond oil can help in reducing inflammation and lessen the pressure on the Ninth Cranial nerve, thus treating neuralgia. This can also assist in lessening the negative effects of epileptic attacks, nervous convulsions, chronic anxiety and nervousness.

5. Alleviates cold and other respiratory problems:

Camphor essential oil has a sharp, strong and medicinal aroma that makes its presence vital in numerous decongestant ointments and vaporubs. Vicks vaporub, the most popular decongestant has Camphor as one among its therapeutic formula. Camphor oil has been in use since the traditional times mainly for its effectiveness in treating respiratory ailments.

Excess kapha is the major reason behind the built up of mucus and phlegm deposits causing congestion and other respiratory problems. Camphor oil lessens kapha dosha and discharges mucus and phlegm in the respiratory and nasal passages.

Massaging your chest, throat and back with 1 drop of Camphor oil mixed with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 ml of olive oil along with 2 drops of Camphor oil added to steam inhalation assists in relieving congestion in the respiratory tract, nasal passages, bronchial tract, pharynx and larynx.

Adding to 1 to 2 drops of Camphor oil to warm bathing water can also help in loosening the mucus and phlegm and clear the respiratory system. It is being used as an excellent cough suppressant since the primordial period. The powerful decongestant and bronchodilator properties of Camphor oil makes it an excellent remedy for treating asthma, sinusitis, pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, whooping cough, common cold, chest congestion and cough.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace any prescribed medication or professional medical advice or to cure, treat or prevent any illnesses. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the idea of enlightening the mass with the traditional healing values of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old medical system.

Do not use essential oils internally unless it is prescribed by your medical professional. Dilute essential oils before using it for topical purposes as organic and pure essential oils are very concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before picking up the perfect essential oils for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Ensure that you use very less amount of Camphor oil as prescribed by your medical expert, as excess use of Camphor can act as a narcotic poison.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Camphor oil

Camphor Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

camphor-new

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

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

Camphor oil has been acclaimed as lethal and highly toxic in various studies, when used in excess of the prescribed quantity. According to the safety report, the acute toxicity of Camphor oil is said to be exhibited by contact with the skin, eyes, inhaling and ingesting, however ingestion of Camphor oil should be avoided strictly mainly due to its chronic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic – toxic to the liver).

The major chemical constituents in Camphor oil, responsible for its skin sensitization, allergic reactions, irritation and autoxidation are camphene, 1,8-cineole (abnormal respiration and CNS depression, epigastric pain and cold sweats), limonene and a-pinene. Oils with limonene and a-pinene are responsible for oxidation and oxidized oils cause sensitization and irritation of the skin.

Using Camphor oil topically might also cause skin sensitization, irritation, skin allergies like hives, itching, rashes, swelling of the face and lip dryness. Camphor oil used as direct contact with the skin without any dilution in appropriate carrier oils is considered as a dangerous skin irritant. Never use Camphor oil on cuts, broken or peeled skin.

It is highly recommended to avoid Camphor oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it gets quickly absorbed by the placenta and may cause physical and neurological damage to the developing fetus and in nursing mothers there are possibilities of Camphor being absorbed through skin cracks and pass on to infants through milk (might cause damage to the infants’ liver and central nervous system).

Do not use Camphor oil on patients with bronchitis, asthma, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, as it can cause convulsions, increase spasms, seizures (by accounting to chemical disparity in the brain) and worsen the situation. It is also not recommended for high blood pressure patients as it is frequently used in the treatment of low blood pressure.

The safe level of use of Camphor is up to 3% dilution in case of liniments. As per the Dutch Information Medicamentorum, the safe usage level of Camphor is 20 to 100 mg/g for chest rubs, 0.15 mg/ml for nasal sprays, 20 to 50 mg/g for nose ointments, 1 to 70 mg/g for pruritus lotion and 40 to 250 mg/g in oils for muscular pain.  However 11% is regarded as the maximum level of safe usage in all kinds of dermal applications.

Camphor, according to the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety states that the major risks of ingestion of Camphor are renal damage, colic, anxiety, convulsions, nausea, delirium, gastric irritation, irritation of the mucous membrane, asystole, apnoea, chronic post-convulsive coma and difficulty in breathing occur after ingesting about 2 grams of Camphor (acute toxicity level) and 4 grams are possibly lethal for adults and 1 gram for children and may cause death.

This report also denotes that the major target organs for Camphor damage are the upper respiratory tract, liver, kidneys and the central nervous system. Certain studies witness the immediate collapse in infants soon after the application of Camphor to their nostrils.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Camphor Oil:

  1. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet of Camphor by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Toxicity Summary of Camphor by Toxnet, National Institutes of Health
  5. Camphor topical Side Effects in Detail by Drugs.com
  6. Camphor by the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety

Thought for the day:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Tree That Does Not Sleep:: Phytochemistry, Allelopathy and the Capability Attributes of Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.) by John Schenk
  2. Camphor; A Pharmaceutical and Pharmacognostical Study by U. S. Government
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  5. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Camphor by Wikipedia
  2. History of Camphor oil by eHow
  3. Health benefits of Camphor essential oil by Organic Facts
  4. Camphor by Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy
  5. Camphor benefits – A multipurpose plant by Greenchedy

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Apricot Kernel Oil



‘Bundan iyisi Şam’da kayısı’, Will you trust me if I say that I speak Turkish? I know that you will not. Ok, chill. This Turkish idiom literally means “the only thing better than this is an apricot in Damascus” and the most simple meaning is “it doesn’t get any better than this.” That is the excellence of Apricots.

apricot-kernel-bannerThe seed kernels are the source of its rich essential oil and are also called as apricot almonds or bitter almonds, attributed to its bitter taste but the sweetest healing benefits that would coerce you to love it forever.

Often associated witheducation and medicine’ by the Traditional Chinese, Apricot means ‘education circle’ in the Chinese dictionary. Held high as a phenomenal natural remedy for cancer, Apricot kernel is the most talked about subject matter in the world of medicinal research for its effectiveness in treating malignant growths in mankind.

Apricot kernel and its essential oil have been in various Complementary and Traditional Healing systems including Ayurveda for its enormous therapeutic benefits for treating dry skin, hair loss, wrinkles, blemishes, fine lines and other aging symptoms, rheumatic problems, cold, cough and constipation.

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Historical uses and importance of Apricot kernel oil:

Apricots are scientifically called as Prunus armeniaca. This drupe fruit is indigenous to Armenia, Himalayas, China and few other parts of Asia. Certain sources also state that Apricot was first cultivated before 3000 BC in India.

The Roman General Lucullus imported Apricot initially to Rome from Armenia. The historical hero Alexander the Great was the first king to bring in Apricots to Greece.

Chinese and Apricots have a historical bonding, where the renowned Chinese physician Dong Feng of the ‘Three Kingdoms Period’ just requested his patients to plant Apricot plants in his orchard on the recovery of their sickness as a token of gratitude for his medical services. This eventually ended up in the growth of numerous Apricot trees along with innumerable medicinal benefits in Dong Feng’s garden.

It is also said that Confucius, the Chinese philosopher taught his students in a place encircled with Apricot woods. Even today, the poetic indication to physicians in China goes like “The Expert of the Apricot Grove.” Wonderful to hear, isn’t it?!?!

The woods of the Apricot trees are also used in various wooden carvings in Armenia and the musical wind instrument named Duduk is known as the Apricot pipe.

Regarded as an aphrodisiac in Europe, Apricots have also been mentioned in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and as a stimulant of normal labour in “The Duchess of Malfi” by John Webster.

The traditional use of Apricot seeds include its effectiveness as a natural alternative for cancer cure and these seeds were used as early as 502 AD for fighting against tumors. In the 17th century the English used the seeds of Apricot fruits in the treatment of ulcers, tumors and swellings.

Apricot kernels were prescribed in Chinese medicine for treating emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. Throughout the history, these bundles of wonders have been in use for treating constipation, cough, expelling mucous and phlegm deposits and for enhancing the health of hair and skin.

Sir Robert McCarrison during his job with the Indian Medical Service in 1930s, explored the health and heartiness of a tribal populace known as Hunzas. Major Robert said that the people of this tribe lived for about 100 years of age mainly due to their nutritious diet with fresh grains, fruits and vegetables, raw milk along with their livelihood that involves lot of natural physical exercises. It was also written that there was no evidence of cancer, obesity, heart problems or diabetes.

The reason behind their cancer-free life was later found by Krebs research, which concluded that Apricot kernels were a vital part of the Hunzas diet regimen, contributing to the discovery of the amygdalin compound in Apricot kernels, the secret behind tumor suppression.

The seeds of Apricots and its essential oil have been used in the manufacturing of perfumes, moisturizing lotions, soaps, cosmetics and in confectioneries as a substitute for bitter almond oil in seasoning culinary varieties.

Remedial properties and chemical constituents of Apricot kernel oil:

Antioxidant, expectorant, laxative, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-asthmatic, revitalizing and anti-tussive are the prominent healing values of Apricot kernel oil.

The chemical constituents of this oil are oleic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid and arachidonic acid in the order of its major presence. It also contains amygdalin or laetrile, the crystalline compound claimed to be responsible for its cancer fighting attributes.

Apricot kernels are indeed a nutrient hub with the presence of Vitamins A, C, E, K, B17, phosphorous, niacin, magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Apricot kernel oil:

Being the oldest remedial system (about 5,000 years old), Ayurveda is adorably called as the Mother of all healing sciences on earth. As a sacred child of India, Ayurveda is believed as a gift to Acharya Dhanvantari, the Lord of Medicine by Lord Brahma, the God of Creation.

The aim of Ayurveda is to gift mankind with absolute health, harmony, prevention of illnesses, healthy aging and longevity with the use of natural remedies including Ayurvedic therapies and a disciplined living.

It’s an ancient adage that the solutions for all the problems are deeply vested within the problem itself. With this principle in mind, Ayurveda states that illness is being in disharmony with nature and the remedies for diseases are enormously present in nature by itself.

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

Ayurvedic encyclopedias, namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita by the Ayurvedic philosophers and physicians Charaka and Sushruta talk about all kinds of medical conditions, their symptoms, root cause and remedies.

They never stopped with fever, cold, indigestion, headache and joint pain; instead they were the pioneers of plastic surgery and C-section delivery before thousands of years that lacked both the contemporary techniques and modern medical equipment.

Ayurveda defines that all things on earth including human beings are a vital part of nature and are built up with the five fundamental elements of nature. They are earth, water, space, air and fire.

Human body represents these elements where bones and muscles are the components of earth, blood and other fluids – water, heat and the essential energy – fire, breathing mechanism – air and the spirit is the element of space.

Each and every individual is a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution called as Prakriti, which is a combination of 3 doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Perfect balance between the doshas indicate health and imbalance due to irregular food habits, sedentary life style, improper code of conduct, climatic changes etc, lead to illnesses.

Ayurvedic remedies including herbs, essential oils, meditation, Pranayama (balanced breathing), Panchakarma (detox technique), Ayurvedic routine, prayers, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage and other natural techniques are prescribed for striking balance between doshas thus paving way for harmony with nature.

Apricot kernel oil has the power to pacify kapha and vata doshas and aggravate pitta dosha. The natural health benefits of Apricot kernel oil are:

apricot-kernel-broucher1. Potent cancer warrior:

The article on ‘Apricot seeds kill cancer cells without side effects’ posted in Natural news talks about the effectiveness of the amygdalin compound in Apricot kernels for fighting against free radicals and combating the growth of cancerous cells.

An intense research study by Dr. Ernst Krebb, led to the discovery of Amygdalin or the B17 compound found in Apricot kernels and in about 1200 edible plant varieties throughout nature.

Dr. Krebb also recorded in his study that amygdalin is a nitrioloside that bear a resemblance to the B complex structures. It is because of this reason; Amygdalin compound was named as B17.

The antioxidant property of Apricot kernel oil is due to the presence of B17 and laetrile (the resultant of amygdalin when purified and put in a concentrated form). Dr. Krebb tested the positive effects of laetrile on himself and concluded that laetrile extracted from amygdalin is extremely powerful in fighting against cancerous cells and preventing further cellular damage.

This research is still under various controversies due to the fact that benzaldehyde and cyanide. Numerous foods like spinach, millet, bitter almonds, lima beans, bamboo shoots contain cyanide and are still safe for consumption. This is due to the fact that cyanide molecule in these items remain ‘locked’ and are not harmful for the system when they meet up with other molecular substances.

Unlike normal cells, the cancerous cells contain beta-glucosidase, which is the ‘unlocking enzyme’ for benzaldehyde and cyanide in amygdalin compounds of Apricot kernel oil. This reacts and destroys the cancerous cells and the presence of rhodanese enzymes in the normal cells prevent other normal cells from being affected by the otherwise reaction of cyanide and benzaldehyde.

The best possible means to use Apricot kernel oil for fighting cancerous growths is to use it in a promising massage blend. Mix 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil with 5 drops of Clove oil bud oil, 5 drops of Garlic oil and 5 drops of Juniper berry oil and massage it gently on your system, once in a week.

Garlic, Clove, and Juniper berry oil along with Apricot kernel oil have rich antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties that can help in arresting free radicals, support in apoptosis (death of cancerous cells) and prevent cellular damage.

You can also add 1 drop of each of these oils in diffuser during Pranayama (breathing exercise) where most of the toxic remains in the system can be eliminated through exhalation along with the positive therapeutic properties of this oil blend.

2. Pampers your skin:

The oil of Apricot kernel is light, gentle and non-sticky, with these attributes, it has established a prominent throne in the empire of skin care products. This oil helps in moisturizing the skin in case of dry, rough and scaly conditions (emollient properties); heal cuts, wounds, sunburn, psoriasis, eczema and razor burns (antiseptic properties); protect the wounds from getting infectious (antibacterial properties); fight against fine lines, wrinkles and other symptoms of aging (antioxidant and anti-aging properties).

For locking in extra moisture in your skin surface and for treating acne, blend 2 drops of Rosemary oil with 2 drops of Tea tree oil and 2 ounce of Apricot kernel oil and gently work on your skin.

Apricot kernel oil has a rich content of vitamin E, A and C, which are extremely beneficial for treating dry, mature, scaly and sensitive skin. Apricot oil has the potent to penetrate deeply into the skin and repair the damaged skin cells from within.

Regular massaging with this nourishing blend supports in retaining the clarity, elasticity, suppleness and all other signs of a healthy skin.

3. Prevents loss of hair and treats dandruff:

Dandruff, dry hair, excessive hair loss and itchy scalp are the most sickening hair problems. These conditions are caused by lack of nutrition, unhealthful lifestyle practices, damage due to external factors and excessive use of chemical hair care products with concentration of sulphate and paraben.

Apricot kernel oil comes to your rescue with a high content of vitamin E and other fatty acids in treating all types of hair problems with its potent to lock moisture in your scalp and hair.

Massage your hair and scalp with 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil with 5 drops of Curry leaf oil and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil for combating dandruff, dry and itchy scalp, split-ends, premature graying and promote hair growth by deeply penetrating the scalp and nourishing the hair follicles.

You can also add 5 drops of Apricot oil and 2 drops of Curry leaf oil in your mild shampoo and conditioner for adding that extra shine and bounce to your lustrous locks.

4. Powerful laxative that helps with constipation:

Apricot kernel oil is a part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine for inducing diarrhea, especially for discarding toxic remains in the body through metabolic wastes. This oil has exceptional laxative properties that help in treating constipation, where passing hard and bleeding stools ends up in excruciating pain.

Gently massage your abdomen with 6 drops of Apricot oil and 2 drops of Peppermint oil for encouraging regular bowel movements, secretion of bile and other digestive enzymes for trouble-free digestion and excretion.

5. Promotes blood circulation and relieves pain and inflammation:

The oil extracted from Apricot kernels has proven anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that aid in relieving pain and inflammation, especially in the joints.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil and 2 drops of St. John’s Wort oil, 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 6 drops of Ajowan oil can assist in alleviating stress and pain, strengthening the system, promoting blood circulation and eliminating toxic deposits through urine and sweat.

You can also follow this massage with heat pack for allowing deeper penetration into the skin cells. This aids in opening and enhancing the flow of prana or vital energy, harmonizing the nervous functions and for granting a sense of complete relief.

Ayurveda states that cold, congestion, arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions are a result of amassing of toxins, salt, uric acid and fat deposits in the system. In general, fluid retention disorders are caused due to kapha vitiation and with its power to pacify excess kapha; Apricot kernel oil helps in treating such inflammatory health conditions.

6. Purges phlegm and mucous deposits:

These heart-shaped tiny little seeds are used in various traditional medicines including the Chinese medicine for treating respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema, cold and bronchitis.

With its antitussive (cough suppressant), expectorant and anti-asthmatic properties, Apricot kernel oil can help in eliminating phlegm and mucous in the lungs and respiratory passages, alleviate cold, cough and congestion and support in problem-free breathing by lessening strain on the lungs, when 4 drops of Apricot kernel oil with 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Black pepper oil is added to steam inhalation and a gentle massage on your back, temples, chest and throat with your vaporizing ointment mixed with this blend is given.

Other health benefits:

Apricot kernel oil is also used in the treatment of anemia, fever, lowering cholesterol for heart health, osteoporosis and earaches.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not for treatment of any health conditions or for substituting any prescription medicines or the advice of your medical professional. We are not healthcare experts and this piece of information is shared only in public concern for passing on the traditional healing wisdom of Ayurveda.

Never take essential oils internally and it is recommended only for topical application. This is because 100 percent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic or harmful reactions, if ingested or used on the skin directly.

Always speak with your Ayurvedic professional or healthcare practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Extra care should be taken in using essential oils if it is for children, nursing and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. No one can count the apples in a seed.” -Author Unknown.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Apricot Power: How Laetrile Cured My Cancer by Helen M. Curran
  2. Apricot Greats: Delicious Apricot Recipes, The Top 100 Apricot Recipes
    by Jo Franks
  3. The Way of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra
  4. Healing Skin Disorders: Natural Treatments for Dermatological Conditions by Andrew Gaeddert
  5. Carrier Oils: For Aromatherapy and Massage by Len Price, Shirley Price

Reference Links:

  1. Apricot by Wikipedia
  2. Prunus armeniaca by Wikipedia
  3. Apricot seed by Encyclopedia.com
  4. Apricot kernels for cancer: The real story by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, published in ‘The Truth About Cancer.com’
  5. Apricot Seeds Kill Cancer Cells without Side Effects by Paul Fassa for Natural News

Brahmi Oil



Fêted as the ‘herb of grace’ and ‘the thinking person’s herb, Brahmi oil gifts you mental clarity by alleviating all kinds of mental ailments with its neuro-pharmacological effects.

Brahmi-bannerBeing the second highest ranked herb in Ayurveda, Brahmi oil is the main component of numerous traditional and folklore medicines in dealing with Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), weak memory, stress, anxiety, fear, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Commonly called as ‘Brahmi’ in Ayurveda, “it is known as the rejuvenator for all systems in the body and is one of the most commonly used medicated oils”, quotes the book on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. As a cognitive enhancer, stress buster and neurological tonic, Ayurveda widely uses Brahmi oil for its nootropic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, antipyretic, cardio-tonic and analgesic attributes.

The oblong juicy leaves of this herb, when put under steam distillation yields Brahmi Oil, which is known for its stimulating properties used for enhancing the efficiency of the brain in terms of accuracy, intelligence and attention and mostly prescribed for children to make them more studious, active and attentive.

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Historical uses and importance of Brahmi and its essential oil:

Bearing India as its origin, Bacopa monnieri has numerous vernacular names, the most common of which is ‘Brahmi’ as it is called in Ayurveda which is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Brahma’, the creator of the Universe as per the Hindu mythology. This creeping herb is botanically named as ‘Bacopa monnieri and it commonly grows in countries like Southern India, Europe, Australia and North and South America.

With extensive utilization in Ayurveda, proof of the existence of Bacopa monnieri in literature dates back to the 6th Century A.D where it is mentioned in the Vedas or the sacred books of the Hindu religion and in Charaka Samhita as well as Sushruta Samhita, the Ayurvedic Encyclopedias.

Sushruta, the father of surgery calls Brahmi by the name samjna sthapana which means ‘ that which brings back consciousness’ and medhya rasayana, meaning its application to make one intellectual with less mental deficits. Allegedly used by the primitive Vedic scholars in aiding them to memorize the sacred hymns and scriptures, Brahmi oil played a major role in treating neural disorders in Indian as well as Japanese traditional medicine.

Being in use for almost 3000 golden years in the Ayurvedic healing system, Brahmi oil is a traditional cure for all kinds of nervous disorders, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, hair loss, premature aging and skin diseases. With natural phyto-chemicals that rejuvenate the brain and the nerves, Brahmi oil plays the role of a healthy tonic stimulating and strengthening the nerves and the cardiac system.

Along with the other renowned Ayurvedic herbs such as Jatamansi and Ashwagandha, Brahmi essential oil is taken along with ghee which itself has numerous medicinal benefits, to treat cough, circulatory disorders and even function as a laxative.

Traditionally administered to children for active functioning and improved intelligence, Brahmi oil is paired along with Centella Asiatica and given to pregnant women along with milk to facilitate childbirth. It was also used as a laxative to treat constipation, flatulence and to treat tumors, inflammations and even as an antidote to snake bites.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Brahmi Oil:

Widely recognized as a neural tonic, Brahmi oil owes its tribute to the presence of saponins in particular bacoside A and B. The other chemical components include alkaloids and sterols such as bacopasides, brahmine, herpestine, d-mannitol, hersaponin, monnierin, betulic acid, beta sitosterol, bacosine, luteolin, quercetin, apigenin and nicotine.

The therapeutic properties of Brahmi oil are cardio-tonic, nootropic, antipyretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, expectorant, sedative, stomachic, antiepileptic, carminative, astringent and cognitive.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Brahmi oil:

Ayurveda is a 5,000 years old traditional healing methodology that has its roots deeply vested with the Indian mythology, the country with the world’s oldest history. Ayurvedic writings were first said to have been a part of Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or the sacred books of Hinduism.

Furthermore numerous other diseases and their Ayurvedic remedies were written by the greatest Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta in the books Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Ayurvedic healing recommends natural remedies for treating humanity since it trusts that the whole thing on earth is a part of nature and Nature by itself has inherent medicines for healing various health conditions.

As per this ancient science, a person is said to be healthy when his/her body, mind and soul are in absolute balance with nature.  Sickness or disease as per the Ayurvedic philosophy is a fruitful opportunity to find, treat and reinstate perfect health and to help in being in harmony with nature.

Mother Nature is made up of five vital elements. They are water, fire, earth, space and air. Being a part of nature, human body is also made up of these five elements represented in the system in the form of three dynamic energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha, and pitta doshas.

These 3 doshas join together to form the unique individual constitution or prakriti of a person and the order of these biological energies are determined by nature itself.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas and it has an upper hand in determining the character, personality and other behavioral attributes of a human being. Perfect balance between these doshas indicates robustness and imbalance leads to illnesses.

Every Ayurvedic treatment begins with the effort to identify the unique individual constitution of a person. This assists in finding the mental and physical attributes along with the part of doshas present in an individual.

Ayurveda prescribes unique remedies for every individual as per their individual constitution, even if it is for the same disease.

The Ayurvedic healing system aids in preventing illnesses in the future and lead to longevity through healthy aging, mainly by treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms alone. The chief Ayurvedic remedies are essential oils, herbs, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, Pranayama, prayers, Ayurvedic massaging, Ayurvedic routine, and Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detox techniques.

Brahmi essential oil is said to pacify vata, pitta and kapha imbalances.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Brahmi essential oil are:

Brahmi--broucher--info1. Alleviates the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:

As a divine blessing to numerous diseases related to the brain and nerves, Brahmi essential oil is indeed one of the most effective natural cure for Alzheimer’s disease and is often portrayed by neuropsychiatric and behavioral changes where a person suffers from memory loss along with losing the ability to think and speak, completely reliable on caregivers in the most advanced stage. With no accurate cure, the symptoms worsen with the progress of the disease and it eventually leads to the death of a person.

With natural sulfhydryl and polyphenols, Brahmi oil possesses endogenous antioxidant and anti-cholinesterase attributes with the help of which it inhibits the acetyl cholinesterase enzyme and reverses the symptoms of amnesia, enhances cognition and acts as a neuroprotectant against Alzheimer’s disease.

Moreover, researches have proved the efficiency of Brahmi oil in reducing the beta-amyloid deposits found in the brain of rats with Alzheimer’s disease induced by anti-cholinergic drugs. The presence of saponins helps in increasing the level of serotonin while decreasing that of dopamine widely aiding in memory retention.

With its anti-oxidant properties, Brahmi oil reduces the reactive oxygen scavengers, divalent metals, suppresses the lipoxygenase activity and decreases the formation of lipid peroxides thus greatly helping in alleviating various hazardous symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the long run.

Meditating by focusing the mind on Agna or the point below the center of the forehead, appropriately in between the eyebrows, is the best way to improve concentration, activate the brain cells, enhance memory power, grant increased sense of awareness, provide absolute control over senses, and promotes the power of concentration.

This point is connected to the pituitary gland and is associated with the life-force. Adding 2 drops of Brahmi oil in diffuser or vaporizer during Agna meditation helps in treating Alzheimer’s disease and is a boon to people suffering from all kinds of brain disorders.

2. Enhances the memory power:

Brahmi oil is Mother Nature’s gift for supporting cognitive enhancement and neuro-protective attributes. This is attributed to the rich content of saponins such as Bacoside A and B. It actively influences in regulating the levels of dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters released by the nerve cells that pass on signals to other nerve cells that help in motor control, secretion of hormones and is the contributor of feeling of well being and happiness that makes you feel secure and complete.

With its antioxidant properties, it induces cell transport, metabolism of 5-HT and Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2) resulting in providing a protective environment for the cells and promoting the neuron communication. It helps in increasing the branching points in the neurons and the dendritic intersections that results in the neuronal growth in hippocampus, the area in brain associated with enhancing memory retention and improvement in the learning performance.

This also results in increasing the encoding of information in the brain with increased retention speeds, improving delayed recall and verbal learning. All these aspects of Brahmi essential oil make it an excellent aid when administered along with Ashwagandha, Centella Asiatica and Melissa Officinalis for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is for this reason, Brahmi oil has been in existence since primordial times in the field of holistic healing as a powerful memory enhancer to increase the speed of processing information and cognition and decrease the performance time, reaction time and error incidence for people of all ages especially children for good progress in the field of academic learning.

Adding 2 drops of Brahmi oil to a cotton ball and keeping it besides you during the study time or during your classes can aid in improving your memory power, enhancing concentration and helping you focus on things that you work upon without any deviation.

3. Alleviates epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease:

Often characterized by undetectable periods of vigorous shaking, epilepsy is a group of long-term neurological disorders. With Bacoside –A as the major component, Brahmi essential oil is often paired with Ghee in Ayurveda to treat epilepsy by reducing the occurrence of convulsion.

It induces changes in specific parts of the brain such as striatum and the hippocampus to mediate the reducing activity of the epileptic seizures. Brahmi oil greatly influences the expression of mGluR8 receptors which possess protective mechanism against excito toxicity and hyper excitation.

Additionally, Brahmi oil prevents the depletion of dopamine and serotonin and greatly reduces the death of cells in the midbrain that generate dopamine, which remains as one of the causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Numerous researches carried out in this regard confirmed the positive reduction of the depletion of serotonin and dopamine in rats subjected to chronic stress and supplemented with Bacopa monnieri. It has also been proved that the presence of Brahmi oil prevented the depletion of dopamine even in cases of neurotoxicity induced with rotenone and caffeine.

4. Relieves you from stress and its adverse effects:

Stress simply leads to mental and physical exhaustion, while it drains out all our energy and confidence. Having all the beneficial saponins and phyto chemicals in possession, Brahmi oil acts as a natural adaptogen actively preventing the biochemical effects of stress and blocking the stress response in the body.

It effectively reduces the expression of HSP70, a biomarker of stress in almost all the regions of the brain in particular the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Brahmi oil also increases the anti-oxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxide in the brain protecting it from oxidative damage and other stress related factors.

It aids in overcoming acute and chronic stress. In addition to that this oil for the mind helps one in overcoming addiction to ill habits such as drug dependence, smoking, alcoholism etc. Furthermore, Brahmi oil assists in reducing the inflammation in the nerves and possesses neurological anti-aging effect.

With the presence of bacopaside I, bacopaside II and bacopasaponsin C, Brahmi oil naturally alleviates depression and anxiety. Just a gentle massage with Brahmi oil effectively relieves you from tension and fear and provides you a peaceful sleep. It lifts up your spirits and soothes your mind by calming down the nerves with a promise to provide you an eternal elevation.

The best way to alleviate stress is to blend 5 drops of Brahmi oil with 5 drops of Sandalwood oil, 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil with 10 ml of Virgin olive oil and massage your system followed by a warm bath diluted with 3 drops of Brahmi oil especially before going to bed can help you in relaxing your nerves, soothing your muscles, alleviating fatigue mentally and physically and grant you the determination to fight stress and its ill effects.

5. Effective in hair care and skin care:

Healthy hair and skin are indeed the lustrous assets of every human being. With natural antioxidants, Brahmi oil rejuvenates the hair follicles and strengthens the hair from the roots. It acts as a cure to numerous problems related to hair and scalp such as dandruff, split ends, itchiness in the scalp and formation of flakes.

Brahmi is excellent for hair growth and the prevention of baldness”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. With its nourishing properties, Brahmi oil aids in lessening hair fall and promotes hair growth aiding in the treatment of Alopecia Areata. In combination with Amla, it promotes the blood circulation in the scalp; it aids in restoring the natural color of the hair and prevents premature graying.

Massaging your scalp and hair with 2 drops of Brahmi oil along with 2 drops of Jatamansi oil, 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 drops of Tea tree oil with 5 ml of Almond oil followed by regular shampooing with 1 drop of Brahmi oil to your mild shampoo, can assist in controlling hair loss, clear dandruff, nourish the scalp, strengthen your hair from the roots and gift you with long, lustrous and shiny locks.

The antioxidant attribute of Brahmi oil mainly due to the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins also contribute to the utilization of this essential oil in the field of skin care as a revitalizing agent. It helps in tightening the pores and keeps the cells in tact by preventing the formation of wrinkles and treats numerous skin problems such as boils, psoriasis, abscess, eczema and pimples.

Mix 1 drop of Brahmi oil with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil, 1drop of Rose oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil with 2 ml of coconut oil and massage it on your facial skin in gentle circular movements for visible results. It also promotes the growth of nails.

Other health benefits of Brahmi oil:

Brahmi oil possesses stomachic properties that assist in protecting against ulcers by repairing and preventing the lining of the stomach from the advent of acids and enzymes.

It aids in protecting against the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases by helping in oxidizing the fats in the body. Brahmi oil also acts a diuretic and helps in removing excess toxins from the body in the form of urine and sweat. It acts as a cardio-tonic, nerve tonic and as an analgesic helping you to relieve from pain.

Disclaimer:

This article is just for educational uses and is not destined to check, treat or diagnose any medical condition or replace with any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this data is shared only with the idea of throwing light on the significance of Ayurveda, the time-honored wisdom of holistic healing.

Internal use of essential oils is strictly restricted except under medical supervision. Make certain that you dilute essential oils before using it topically because pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and direct application on the skin may cause allergic reactions. It is always recommended to speak with your Ayurvedic expert/ healthcare professional before choosing the suitable essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and your medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Suggested Reading:

  1. Brahmi – the brain tonic by Brijesh Regal
  2. Nutrient Management in Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri L.) by Vineeta Rathore, Kuldeep Singh, Vandana Rathore
  3. Ashwagandha & Brahmi – Withania somnifera and bacopa monnieri – The most powerful brain-boosting herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine by James Lee
  4. Ayurveda and the Mind: The Healing of Consciousness by Dr. David Frawley
  5. Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease by Robert Rodgers

Reference Links:

  1. Bacopa monnieri by Wikipedia
  2. A research article on ‘Bacopa monniera -a Future Perspective’ by the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research
  3. Enhanced dendritic arborization of hippocampal CA3 neurons by Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats published in PubMed
  4. Bacopa monniera on stress induced changes in plasma corticosterone and brain monoamines in rats published in PubMed