Melissa Essential Oil


Mlissa-bannerMelissa………., the name that sounds sweet, smells great and means ‘honeybee’ in Greek is claimed as one of the rarest essential oils just because it requires about 12,000 pounds of Melissa leaves to obtain 1 pound of its essential oil.

Scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, this herb is also known to the world as Lemon balm, Life’s elixir, Cure-all, English balm, Sweet balm, Blue balm and Honey plant and is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae.

This herb is trusted to enhance cognitive performance, treat Alzheimer’s disease, venomous bites and fight against viral attacks like herpes in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing systems in the world. Melissa essential oil is also used in treating insomnia, depression, nervous headache and known to clear one’s mind for right decision-making.

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Historical uses and importance of Melissa and its essential oil:

Wow!!! Is all I have to say when I read about a handful of pages about the history of Melissa herb and the way its medicinal importance have travelled all around the universe. From America to Australia, from Arabia to India, Melissa has not left any part of this world unhealed.

Lemon balm has been in use for more than 2000 years and few sources state that its use was recorded in Theophrastus’ Historia Plantarum around 300 B.C. and was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. French Emperor King Charles V and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V are said to have taken Melissa beverages for augmenting their health.

Pliny The Elder, the renowned Roman naturalist have said that planting Lemon balm near bee hives will attract bees to return to their hives and “causeth the Bees to keep together and causeth others to come unto them” said English herbalist Gerard denoting that rubbing the leaves of Melissa on bee hives will encourage the bees to come back.

An Arabian proverb quotes Lemon balm as “Balm makes the heart merry and joyful” and the Arabian physician Avicenna (11th century) used Melissa in the treatment of melancholy and depression. Called as the ‘heart’s content’ in southern parts of Europe, Lemon balm tea was the most famous morning tea after it was taken along with honey after breakfast by the Princes of Sydenham and Glamorgan who lived 116 and 108 years respectively.

Paracelsus, the Swiss alchemist and physician called Melissa as “the elixir of life” for he trusted that this magical herb has the power to augment strength and pave way for longevity. Lemon balm was regarded as a sacred herb in the temple of Diana, the ancient Roman Goddess.

Greek physician Dioscorides used Lemon balm for treating toothaches, dog bites, scorpion stings, blocked menstruation, toothache and gout. Popular herbalist Nicholas Culpeper said that Melissa is effective in treating melancholy and boils and is good for the mind, spleen, heart and liver. Melissa has been associated with moon, water and feminine.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Melissa essential oil: The essential oil of Lemon balm has effective chemical constituents like geraniol, β-caryophyllene, citronellal, geranial, caryophyllene oxide, trans-ocimene, methyl heptenone, linalool, neral, 3-octanone, cis-ocimene, a-humulene, geranyl acetate and certain other components.

Antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, tonic, nervine, antidepressant, sedative, bactericidal, antiviral, stomachic, cordial, hypotensive, carminative and febrifuge are its therapeutic values.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil:

Lemon balm essential oil is regarded as one of the most potent remedial essential oils in all of the oils used in Complementary and Alternative medicine system, amongst which Ayurveda is the oldest healing science. Melissa herb and its essential oil has been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various illnesses associated with various tissues of the body like blood, spleen, nerve, organ tissue and lymphatic muscle.

The book on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Bryan Miller and Light Miller talks about certain important health indications where Lemon balm essential oil is used in Ayurveda as a natural remedy for treating menopause, fever, melancholy, depression, infant and child afflictions, cold and flu.

Ayurveda strongly believes that human beings are a significant part of nature. It phenomenally states that every individual is unique and their individual constitution is made up of three vital biological energies known as doshas.  They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every human being according to Ayurveda has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determines their physical, mental and spiritual set up.

Balance between these doshas indicates that the person is healthy and imbalance due to environmental factors, food habits, emotional factors and behavioral patterns cause illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies aim at bringing balance between the doshas with its natural healing methodologies.

Ayurveda turns towards nature for treating humanity and using essential oils is one of the most effective remedy that has been a part of this ancient wisdom. Ayurvedic texts claim that essential oils are the prana or life force of plants. Melissa essential oil is said to alleviate pitta and kapha while improving vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil.

Melissa-brouchre1. Treats bacterial, viral and certain other infectious disorders:

Lemon balm essential oil is an excellent natural aid for treating all kinds of infections and health disorders that are associated with the infestation of micro organisms like bacteria and viruses. Numerous scientific evidences have witnessed that the antibacterial effects of this oil is due to the presence of eugenol and its ability to fight against virus is mainly because of tannins present in it.  

Bacteria and virus cause cold, flu, fever, infections in the intestine, kidneys, urinary tract and colon, skin problems like acne, rashes, herpes, allergies, severe itching and certain other respiratory infections.

Lemon balm essential oil has febrifuge, sudorific and diaphoretic properties that fights against bacteria, virus and other harmful microbes causing fever. Gently massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Melissa oil with 20 drops of coconut oil will aid in reducing the temperature of your body by promoting sweat through which the destructive toxins are expelled.

Blend 2 to 3 drops of Lemon balm oil with 15 to 20 drops of olive oil and apply topically on pimples, boils, cuts, herpes, cold sores, ringworms, athlete’s foot, wounds, allergies, black heads, rashes and itches for effective remedy. This application also aids in preventing the wounds from getting septic as it combats bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that are responsible for the wound becoming septic and defenseless.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that the topical application of ointments containing Lemon balm essential oil aids in healing cold sores caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). It witnesses this effect by quoting several studies and one among them is the vast study that involved 1 dermatology clinic and 3 German hospitals where Lemon balm was used in treating the primary infection of HSV I. The cream with Lemon balm formula was proved to lessen the healing time of oral as well as genital herpes.

Certain other studies proved the effectiveness of Lemon balm oil when applied to lip sores, herpes lesions and it also exhibited a concentration-dependent activity and improved effect against HIV infection. You can also add 2 drops of Melissa oil to steaming water and steam inhalation aids in treating cold, headache, sinus pain and flu by pushing out excessive fluids and toxic substances in the body through sweat.

2. Calms the digestive system:

Melissa essential oil has carminative and stomachic properties that assist in expelling gases in the stomach and intestines without any pain in the abdominal muscles and by promoting proper flow of bile and other digestive juices.

Applying 2 drops of this oil blended with 15 drops of sesame oil on your stomach and abdomen assists in treating flatulence, colic, dysentery, vomiting, intestinal spasms, dyspepsia, convulsions and also helps in strengthening the digestive system with its tonic and antispasmodic properties. You can also add 3 drops of Lemon balm oil to warm bathing water to stimulate your digestive process.

3. Pacifies your emotional instabilities:

Lemon balm and its essential oil has been held high as a perfect remedy for treating melancholy, mental disturbances, depression, hopelessness, negative emotions and lack of confidence. The uplifting, energizing, refreshing and revitalizing aroma of this oil helps in driving away mental agony, feelings of loneliness, fear, emotional shock, anxiety and anger.

The calming and encouraging touch along with the presence of terpenes in this essential oil is said to grant soothing effects on the mind and drive in understanding, self-confidence, hope and acceptance to proceed with life’s challenges. It helps in balancing your emotions and few popular studies have proved its effects in lessening agitation and have considerable quality-of-life effects.

It is because of these reassuring and comforting properties, Melissa essential oil is lovingly called as the ‘Nectar of life’ or ‘The elixir of life’. Dr. Hill recommends diffusing few drops of Lemon balm oil at night to treat depression, insomnia and restlessness. Add 2 to 3 drops of this oil your diffuser, burner or vaporizer to relieve from worries and treat emotional blocks.

You can also massage your body with 2 drops of Melissa oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil blended with a small cup of coconut oil to ease tension, stress and fatigue and for relaxing the nerves and muscles.

4. Boosts your brain power:

Lemon balm essential oil is known to enhance brain power and improve the cognitive performance. Certain studies witness that Lemon balm aids in enhancing cognitive function and reduce agitation in people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Lemon balm has been approved by the German Commission E for treating nervous disorders, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems. Diffusing 2 drops of Lemon balm oil and 1 drop of Rosemary oil during the day or at night can help in treating dementia, cognitive impairments and Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Helps mitigate womanly problems:

With its emmenagogue properties, massaging 2 drops of Melissa oil blended with 15 drops of sesame oil will promote blocked menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, nausea, irritability and mood fluctuations during menstruation. This herb was also used in the traditional medicine to treat depression during menopause, to grant strength during and after childbirth.

Other health benefits:

Melissa essential oil is also used to treat hair loss, baldness, nervous disorders, trauma, inflammation, high blood pressure, insect stings, hyperactive thyroid, phobias and palpitations. It is also used as a culinary herb and as a flavoring agent in various products.

Kurt Schnaubelt in his book Advanced Aromatherapy quotes Melissa oil as “The way in which Melissa oil combines an excellent antiviral component with a soothing but pervasive sedative power is difficult to imagine; it has to be experienced. In its complexity, power, and gentleness, Melissa oil perfectly illustrates how nature time after time works better than one-dimensional synthetic medicines.”

Disclaimer: Never use essential oils internally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and always remember to use it in a diluted form. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the right essential oil for your health condition and unique individual constitution. This article is meant only for informational purpose and is not meant to diagnose or replace any prescribed medications or expert advice.

Thought for the day:

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.  John Burroughs

Suggested Reading:

  1. Melissa Extract: The Natural Remedy for Herpes by Jan de Vries
  2. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  3. Effects of chronic administration of Melissa officinalis L. extract on anxiety-like reactivity and on circadian and exploratory activities in … Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology by Alvin Ibarra, Nicolas Feuillere, Marc Roller, Edith Lesburgere, Daniel Beracochea
  4. Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2.: An article from: Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology by A. Allahverdiyev, N. Duran, M. Ozguven, S. Koltas

Reference Links:

  1. Lemon Balm by University of Maryland Medical Center

  2. Melissa officinalis by Boston University School of Medicine

  3. Lemon Balm: An Herb Society of America Guide by Herb Society

  4. Melissa officinalis by Wikipedia

Cassia Oil


Cassia-banner“Cassia does everything Cinnamon does, but better!” say many Doctors. Cassia owns the glory of being born in the heart of China and has been in use for more than 4,000 years for culinary and medicinal purposes. This ancient herb has been trusted to enhance energy, life force, vitality and blood circulation.

Ayurveda prescribes Cassia for the treatment of menstrual problems, nausea, respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal problems, depression, loss of libido, rheumatism, diabetes and indigestion. Cassia is botanically called as Cinnamomum cassia and is a member of the Lauraceae plant family.

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Historical uses and importance of Cassia oil:

Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon or Chinese cassia finds its origin in South China. This tree serves several purposes and is hence widely cultivated in India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With its celebrated use in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cassia is regarded as one among the 50 fundamental herbs of China.

Cassia finds its importance in the United States too, and is marketed under the name of “Cinnamon” for culinary purposes. The Indians take a liking to the buds on the tree as well and also use it in their food; this is an ancient ingredient for soul food used by the Romans as well.

This tree grows to a height of 10–15 m, which has a grayish bark with leaves that are hard and elongated and a warping of 10-15 cms in length with a pretty red color when young.

The bark of the tree finds its uses in the kitchen, while the leaves and the twigs of this tree are sometimes used in the production of Cassia oil. The oil extracted from the Cassia tree, finds immense importance in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine including Ayurveda.

It is useful as a medicine, for beauty care, for cooking, as a health tonic and also as a stimulant. Cassia oil is brownish to yellowish in color, and the refined oil is colorless with a pale yellow tint when held up to the sunlight.

The aromatic bark of Cassia has been in use as a medicinal spice in various traditions across the world.  In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon has been used for treating diarrhea, cold, nausea, painful menstruation and flatulence.

It was also used to boost immunity, treat fever, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney infections, candida, nail fungus, atherosclerosis, cataract and even cancer, with its natural antioxidant properties.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Cassia oil constitutes of 12 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this super aromatic oil. Of which, (E)-Cinnamaldehyde contributes to the highest proportion of Cassia oil constituents with about 81.3% of its total composition.

Just click on:

(E)-Cinnamaldehyde

o-Methoxy-Cinnamaldehyde

Cinnamyl acetate

I believe that this must surely help you in learning about the major chemical constituents of Cassia oil.

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these biochemical constituents to the healing brilliance of Cassia essential oil.

cassia-oil

Therapeutic properties of Cassia essential oil:

The remedial properties of Cassia oil are fungicidal, antimutagen, stimulant, anticoagulant, antiviral, antibacterial, circulatory, anti-diarrhea, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, carminative, anti-galactogogue, anti-rheumatic, emmenagogue, anti-depressant, febrifuge, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-emetic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia essential oil:

Ayurveda is a righteous remedial practice that indicates that everything on earth should follow a disciplined order of living for leading a healthy and progressive life.

Every human being is a part of nature according to Ayurveda and one’s illness and wellness depends upon an individual’s balance with nature. Ayurvedic healing trusts and depends upon Mother Nature and its natural remedies for treating humanity.

This 5,000 year oldest healing methodology is the pioneer for all other medicinal practices including Homeopathy, Siddha, Unani, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Allopathy, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and much more. The first Ayurvedic record refers to Atharvaveda, one of the 4 sacred books of the Indian mythology with 114 verses talking about numerous diseases and the corresponding traditional remedies of Ayurveda.

This was further enhanced by the 3 most important Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita (Charaka – the father of medicine), Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta – the father of surgery) and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita. These books have talked on all the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, various kinds of illnesses and their comprehensive medicinal practices. This includes Ayurvedic remedies for almost all kinds of diseases including the chronic cancer.

According to Ayurveda, health is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness and Charaka Samhita quotes this as, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

The distinctiveness of Ayurveda lies in its holistic approach that treats the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms. This paves way for treating the sickness as well as preventing it in future.

Instead of prescribing the same medicines for everyone, Ayurveda recommends unique remedies for every individual according to their unique individual constitution, even if it is for the same illness. This is because Ayurveda identifies every individual as a distinctive part of nature and considers that their illnesses should also be treated with accordance to it.

The unique individual constitution or prakriti is an arrangement of three biological energies called as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a combination of the five elements of nature including fire, earth, space, air and water.

Vata (air and space) controls the functions of the nervous system, circulatory system and the respiratory system. Pitta (fire and water) governs the metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha (earth and water) is in charge for the movement of fluids in the system and the functions of the reproductive system.

Every person has a dominance of any one these doshas and it determines the physical appearance, personality, behavioral patterns and mental makeup. Absolute balance between these doshic elements symbolizes healthiness and disparities of these biological factors lead to diseases.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and certain Ayurvedic techniques like Panchakarma or the detox therapy, Abhyanga or the skill of Ayurvedic massaging using Ayurvedic oils and much more.

With its warming and stimulating properties, Cassia essential oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing for increasing pitta dosha and decreasing kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia oil and its use in the treatment of various health conditions:

cassia-broucher-info1. Treats psychological problems:

Cassia oil has been used in the treatment of depression. This is mainly attributed to the presence of its constituent known as Cinnamaldehyde, which helps in uplifting the mood, inducing positive thoughts and combating depression. It helps in relieving one from negative feelings.

Ayurveda recommends Cassia oil especially during meditation, yoga and Pranayama for supporting the perfect harmony of the mind, body and the soul. Adding 2 drops of this oil in vaporizer, burner or diffuser particularly during prayers, meditation, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing and yoga practices can help in augmenting mental clarity, boost self-confidence, enhance memory skills and to face the challenges of life with original sense of improved independence.

A 2011 study proved that an isolated substance (CEppt) in the cinnamon plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. CEppt, an extract of the cinnamon bark, was used to resolve the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2013 study by Dr. Mercola on ‘Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s’ brings out the results of a study published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’, which states “Cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, two compounds found in cinnamon, have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of a particular protein called tau. Tau plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons. Both compounds were found to protect tau from oxidative damage that can lead to dysfunction.”

It is also said that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of brain diabetes and is also explored that there is a connection between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because “Insulin and insulin receptors in your brain are crucial for learning and memory, and it’s known that these components are lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease”, says Donald Graves, professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Cassia cinnamon proves effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease mainly with its potent to control blood glucose level in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

2. Checks diabetes:

Diabetes is one among the most common health condition that about 60% of the earth’s population battles everyday and it is often regarded as a bane to humanity.

Treatment of diabetes through Allopathic medicine has not gone a very long way. Studies show that Cassia oil can be used in the treatment of diabetes especially in type2 diabetes where patients suffer with malfunctioning of insulin in the body.

Cinnamon oil helps lower the level of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes; this is made possible through the abundant presence of a Polyphenol compound in Cinnamon that is soluble in water. A 2003 study published in the Diabetes Care journal states that Cassia Cinnamon helped in reducing blood glucose levels, a blood lipid known as triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

Relax your system by adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to warm bathing water in the morning and you can also add 1 drop of this oil to your handkerchief and stay refreshed throughout the day.

In addition to that you can invigorate yourself by an Ayurvedic massage in the weekend with 5 drops of Cassia oil blended with 5 drops of Nutmeg oil, 5 drops of Fennel oil and 10 ml of coconut oil, followed by a warm bath can aid in controlling your blood glucose levels and bad cholesterol levels by penetrating through the skin and passing commands to the bloodstream.

3. Boosts circulation and alleviates rheumatic problems:

Rheumatism is an auto-immune disorder that occurs mainly due to the buildup of toxins or ama in the body caused due to the inequality of digestive fire in the body.

Ayurveda states that ama or the toxic substances in the body has the hazardous power to obstruct the functions of the vital organs in the system. These substances reach the kapha subjugated parts of the body including joints, chest, stomach, fingers, brain and certain other parts.

The symptoms being improper blood circulation, swelling of joints, inflammation, loss of energy, fatigue, inflammation, insomnia, burning and itchy eyes, indigestion, redness, morning stiffness and much more.

Being a circulatory, anti-rheumatic, analgesic oil and controller of excess kapha dosha proves Cassia as an excellent natural remedy for treating rheumatism, arthritis and its associated symptoms.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Nutmeg oil and 3 ml of sesame oil can help in enhancing blood circulation, augmenting warmth feelings to the joints, alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, promoting frequent urination through which toxins are eliminated and relieving from other related symptoms as well.

Along with this, yoga and Pranayama can help in relieving rheumatism and arthritis quicker than you think. A research by the scientists of the Baltimore John Hopkins University published in the Arthritis Foundation website states that “yoga has absolutely been helpful for treating people with rheumatoid arthritis.”

4. Relieves digestive and respiratory disorders:

The carminative and stomachic properties of Cassia oil help in treating gastro-intestinal problems and other digestive problems including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and infections in the stomach and intestines. For treating digestive problems, you can massage your abdomen with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Nutmeg oil along with 2 ml of avocado oil.

Respiratory infections like cold, cough, influenza and congestion occur due to vitiated kapha dosha causing excess fluid deposits leading to accumulation of phlegm, mucus and other microbes in the nasal, respiratory and bronchial passages.

Cassia essential oil has anti-microbial, anti-viral and expectorant properties along with its potent to regularize the functions of kapha dosha. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil in steam inhalation along with a gentle massaging of your throat, chest and back with 1 drop of this oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment can grant quicker relief from all kinds of respiratory problems. You can also practice Pranayama (Ayurvedic breathing exercises) for relieving from chronic respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis etc.

5. Benefits to the female reproductive system:

Cassia oil is a proven natural medicine for treating menstrual pain, spasms, irregular periods, and blocked menstruation. This oil has emmenagogue properties that induce menses and is a boon to women suffering from blocked or irregular menstruation. The analgesic or pain-relieving properties of Cassia oil help in reducing menstrual pain or dysmennorhea.

Massaging your lower abdomen and thighs with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 1 ml of sesame oil can help in alleviating painful menstruation, delayed periods and menstrual spasms. Adding 2 drops of this oil in warm bathing water can help in reducing anxiety, fatigue, nausea, restlessness and loss of energy associated with menstruation.

Cassia and its oil have been used since the ancient Chinese tradition for preventing childbirth and for controlling milk in breastfeeding mothers with its anti-galactogogue properties.

6. Benefits to hair and skin:

Cassia oil finds its uses in cosmetic and hair care products as well. When used with Chamomile tea, Cassia oil can act as a hair dye, and when mixed with lemon juice in right proportions it gives a good strawberry blonde hue for your hair. Shampoos and conditioners that contain Cassia oil can help in the nourishment of your hair from within.

Cassia obovata when made into a mixture with hot water can be used as a hair mask. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to 10 ml of your mild shampoo can help in fostering hair growth, treating damaged hair, strengthening hair follicles and aid in retaining the natural moisture in the scalp.

When it comes to skin care, powdered Cassia and its essential oil are used since the primeval times for treating a wide range of skin problems including acne. This oil works well as an anti-viral and anti-fungal agent and highly helps in treating fungal and viral infections of the skin.

Mixing 2 drops of Cassia oil with 1 drop of Orange oil and 1.5 ml of olive oil and applying it gently on the affected parts can assist in treating pimples, blackheads, ringworm, athlete’s foot, itching, wounds and other skin infections. Massaging your facial skin with this blend can also help in eliminating dead skin cells and controlling excessive secretion of oil causing acne.

Other Uses:

Cassia also finds its use as anti-emetic oil by preventing nauseating sensations and also relieves one from vomiting. You can wear 1 drop of Cassia oil on your wrist or add it to your handkerchief or a tissue and inhale the medicated aroma to help you prevent from vomiting and enhance your appetite, especially during travelling. Cassia oil seems to speed up the functioning of the kidneys and is also known for affecting the libido due to its aphrodisiac qualities.

In food, Cassia oil is used for its wonderful aroma and its sweet flavor that gives the dish an additional taste. The delicate scent of Cassia essential oil plays a major role in reducing drowsiness, irritability, pain, frequency of headaches, and more. So adding 1 to 2 drops of this oil to your diffuser or air freshener and inhaling the light scent of this oil in your room can gift you an amusing atmosphere. Cassia oil also helps in relaxing tight muscles and spasms.

Disclaimer:

This article is completely for the purpose of information and education.  It is not meant to cure, diagnose or put a stop to any medical condition or substitute any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is published only with the concern of sharing the conventional principles and therapeutic uses of Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences in the universe.

Do not take essential oils internally and always keep in mind that you dilute essential oils before using it for topical application. This is because organic and pure essential oils are greatly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Make certain that you consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare practitioner prior to choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Avoid Cassia oil if you are pregnant or nursing your baby.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Cassia oil.

Cassia Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

The adverse skin reactions of Cassia or the Chinese Cinnamon oil are dermal irritation, mild to severe skin sensitization, irritation of the mucous membrane and dermatitis. Cassia oil is said to exhibit no phototoxic effects but is emmenagogue in nature and might cause contraction of the uterine muscles, which is hazardous to the wellness of the fetus and the pregnant women.

The key chemical constituents that are responsible for the possible skin and other undesirable health issues of Cassia oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. These components have been studied for causing acute and subchronic toxicity.

Studies state that Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions, irritation, sensitization and dermatitis when the skin is in contact with products like liniments, mouthwashes, toothpastes and creams.

It may provoke debility, itching, irritation, insomnia, and depression in some people. This mainly occurs when the use of Cinnamaldehyde exceeds the maximum safe level of usage. The highest recommended level by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) for Cinnamaldehyde is 0.05% for most of the products.

When used in vapor therapy and topical application beyond the recommended usage level, Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol are said to contribute to the irritation of mucous membrane and are accounted for hepatotoxicity (toxic, irritant and might cause damage to the liver), mutagenic (alteration in the structure of DNA), reproductive toxicity (research supporting significant fall in the number of nuclei and changes in the allotment of embryos in pregnant mice) and restrain platelet aggregation, a vital part of the blotting clotting process.

Undiluted or concentrated Cassia oil have been proved to cause severe irritation in rabbits in certain studies and few other studies involving consecutive patients with dermatitis, few people were sensitive to 2% Cassia oil on patch testing.

Always ensure to dilute Cassia oil in appropriate carrier oils before topical use and never ingest essential oil as they may be toxic to the system.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cassia Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  3. A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients by The RIFM expert panel, published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology
  4. Cassia bark oil: The Chinese Cinnamon oil by Mercola.com
  5. Fragrance material review on cinnamyl acetate by S.P. Bhatia, G.A. Wellington, J. Cocchiara, J. Lalko, C.S. Letizia, A.M. Api, Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc., Manheimer Fragrances, Teterboro NJ, USA, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology Review and Science Direct

Thought for the day:

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.  -Paracelsus

Suggested Reading:

  1. Cinnamon and Cassia: The Genus Cinnamomum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda B.A.M.S.
  3. The Complete Guide to Natural Cures: Effective Holistic Treatments for Everything from Allergies to Wrinkles (Lynn Sonberg Books) by Debora Yost
  4. The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices by Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling
  5. Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth by Sharol Marie Tilgner

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamomum cassia by Wikipedia
  2. Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s by Dr. Mercola
  3. Can Cinnamon help you control your diabetes by Amy Campbell published in Diabetes Self-Management.com
  4. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and Cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume by Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE published in PubMed


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Marjoram Oil


Marjoram-bannerOh! My! My! Marjoram is addressed as the herb of eternal love and joy of the mountain. As the most loved herb by Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty, the leaves of Marjoram were sanctified for surmounting marital bliss and everlasting love. The spicy, rich, sweet, soothing and tantalizing aroma of this oil will leave you relaxed, energized and absolutely rejuvenated.

Known to the world of Ayurveda as Maru, Marwa, Sinshi and Sathra, Marjoram has been recommended for treating muscular tension, cardiovascular problems, premenstrual problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, sinus congestion, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disorder, asthma, joint pain, flatulence, rheumatism, toothache, loss of libido and certain other health conditions.

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Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Marjoram oil: The major chemical constituents responsible for the therapeutic values of Marjoram oil are linalool, a-pinene, cineole and sabinene.

A 2012 study on “Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-cancer activity by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal concludes that “the cytotoxicity-guided study of the dichloromethane and ethanol extracts of Thymus mastichina L. using the HCT colon cancer cell line allowed the identification of nine compounds, sakuranetin (1), sterubin (2), oleanolic acid (3), ursolic acid (4), lutein (5), beta-sitosterol (6), rosmarinic acid (7), 6-hydroxyluteolin-7-O-beta-glucopyranoside (8), and 6-hydroxyapigenin-7-O-beta-glucopyranoside.”

The remedial properties of the oil of Marjoram are deodorant, antiseptic, analgesic, disinfectant, emmenagogue, sedative, antispasmodic, calming, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, antifungal, antioxidant, disinfectant, antibacterial, diaphoretic and expectorant.

Historical uses and significance of Marjoram oil:

Marjoram is an excellent culinary herb that has been used habitually in the flavoring of soups. There are many types of Marjoram and are called by different names like Sweet Marjoram, Mastic Marjoram, Wild Marjoram, Knotted Marjoram, Spanish Marjoram and Garden Marjoram.

As a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, Marjoram has various botanical names and the most common being Origanum marjorana (Sweet Marjoram), Thymus mastichina (Spanish Marjoram), Origanum onites (Pot Marjoram) and Origanum heracleoticum (Winter Marjoram) and few other names.

The oldest historical uses of Marjoram take us to the ancient Greek mythology, where it was used for treating muscular tension, poisonous stings and bites, discarding fluid retention and as a symbol of love and affection.

Indigenous to Southern Europe, Marjoram is used as a flavoring ingredient and as a condiment. It is used in various food varieties including salamis, stews, seasonings, marinades, dressings, salads, roasted meat, sausages and goes well with green and leafy vegetables.

Marjoram has been an interesting part of wedding rituals, where the Newly-wed couples wear Marjoram wreaths as a sign of beginning their magical love life. Marjoram teas and infusions are extremely famous for their power in relieving headache, sinusitis, flatulence, hay fever and menstrual discomforts.

It is an ancient belief that if a Marjoram plant grows on a grave, and then the deceased person has attained perpetual happiness in the world after. The aromatic leaves and flowers of this plant were strewn in homes for its antimicrobial, disinfectant and deodorant properties.

Traditional home remedies with Marjoram include poultices for healing boils, rashes, sprains and abrasions. Folklore beliefs also include the use of Marjoram as a rescuer from bad luck and curses.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Marjoram essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science that treats human beings as reverential individuals and not just as patients. This miraculous therapy respects the individual differences of every person and recommends remedies as per the unique individual constitution and not on the basis of diseases.

It is for this reason, the first Ayurvedic consultation always begins with personal discussion with the Ayurvedic professional for learning the medical history, family background, lifestyle, food habits, likes and dislikes, good and bad things that have happened in the life of the person, affecting and influencing his medical condition.

This is because human beings are valued as a special creation and they should not be treated as a “one size fits all” module. Dr. Vasant Lad, the renowned Ayurvedic Expert has denoted in the Textbook of Ayurveda as “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.”

Ayurveda strongly states that health is a tree-tier figure that encompasses physical, mental and spiritual well-being. “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” quotes the National Institute of Health.

Even today, the world of medicine looks up to Ayurvedic healing for its integral health-giving methodologies that strive to cast a person through all the facets of life together with the wellness of the mind, body and spirit.

By identifying the root cause of a disease, Ayurveda hits the nail on the head of the illness without missing its aim, as shooting the bird’s eye.

This ancient methodology states that the treatment of symptoms of an illness will grant only a temporary remedy, instead treating the underlying root cause will cure the illness, protect the system from its other side effects and also aid in preventing it in the future as well.

The most valued Ayurvedic encyclopedias including Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita say that everything in the universe are crafted with the five fundamental elements of nature i.e. water, fire, earth, air and space.

Every person is unique with a distinct Prakriti otherwise known as the individual constitution (combination of 3 doshas). These doshas are biological energies and are an array of the five vital forces of nature.

Vata is an arrangement of air and space and is responsible for the functions of the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems. Pitta dosha is a demonstration of fire and water and takes control of metabolism, body temperature and cognitive functions.

Kapha dosha symbolizes water and earth and it regulates the movement of fluids in the body, physique, reproductive functions and enhanced nourishment.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines their distinctiveness, personality and behavioral attributes.

Absolute balance between these doshas as per the law of nature depicts health and harmony, whereas imbalance due to irregular food habits, code of conduct, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical and psychological exercises and change in weather conditions leads to ill-health.

Ayurveda prescribes natural medications including herbal remedies, Ayurvedic essential oils, Dinacharya or the Ayurvedic routine, prayers and meditation for the spirit and soul, yoga, simple physical exercises, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, Panchakarma (treatment for cleansing toxic remains) and many more for the mind and body.

These remedies depend upon the Prakriti of an individual and are always person-specific and not disease-specific.

Marjoram and its essential oil are recommended for pacifying kapha and vata conditions, in surplus and to augment pitta dosha.

The Ayurvedic uses of Marjoram oil are:

1. Physical benefits:

  • Relieves pain and muscular tension:
  • Checks asthma, cold and other respiratory infections:
  • Encourages menstruation and relieves dysmennorhea:
  • Heals skin disorders:
  • Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

2. Psychological benefits and uses to the nervous system:

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram-broucher-new1. Physical benefits:

The essential oil of Marjoram has enormous benefits to the body ranging from its efficiency in lessening the risk of hypertension with its anti-depressant property, reducing blood pressure in case of high BP with its effect to check anxiety and stress, checking the amassing of cholesterol with its detoxifying attribute and enhanced blood circulation with its power to pacify vata dosha.

Relieves pain and muscular tension: Anyone can clearly pinpoint Marjoram essential oil for relaxing tensed muscles, especially after workouts or physical exertion. With its mild sedative, analgesic and antispasmodic properties, Marjoram essential oil relieves pain in the muscles and joints.

Research reports state that Marjoram has the potent to enhance bone mass building by supporting osteotrophic actions in the bones. This is mainly due to the fact that Marjoram is one among the richest source of vitamin K.

With its power to eliminate fluid retention, toxic substances, salts, fat deposits and uric acid in the system, Marjoram is a proven remedy for treating edema, rheumatic and arthritic conditions where inflammation, redness, pain, soreness and swelling of joints are witnessed.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Marjoram oil along with 3 drops of Cedarwood oil with 2 ounce of coconut oil can assist in relieving pain, swelling, muscular soreness, lumbago, joint aches and other associated discomforts by discarding excess toxins in the form of sweat and urine.

Checks asthma, cold and other respiratory infections: Asthma, cold, sinusitis, congestion and similar respiratory infections generally occur due to the invasion of bacteria, virus and other harmful micro-organisms.

As a potent expectorant, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial agent along with its power to pacify excess kapha energy responsible for the buildup of phlegm and mucous deposits in the nasal and respiratory passage, Marjoram essential oil is effective in treating various respiratory conditions.

3 drops of Marjoram oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation and in your vaporizing ointment, massaged gently on throat, back, chest and temples can help in loosening mucous and phlegm, relieve chest and nasal congestion, alleviate headache related to sinusitis and migraine, treat flu, sore throat and other respiratory problems.

Encourages menses and relieves dysmennorhea: Marjoram has circulatory, sedative, relaxant and emmenagogue properties that help in regulating the menstrual cycle in case of missed periods or delayed menstruation, reduce menstrual pain and fortify the pelvic muscles.

A 2015 study on “The effect of marjoram (Origanum majorana) tea on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised controlled pilot study by Haj-Husein, S. Tukan and F. Alkazaleh, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics”, concluded as “the beneficial effects of marjoram tea on the hormonal profile of PCOS women because it was found to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the levels of adrenal androgens.”

Massaging the lower abdomen, lower back and thighs with 5 drops of Marjoram oil, 5 drops of Thyme oil and 4 ounce of Sesame oil can aid in stimulating regular menstruation, lessen pain, fatigue and anxiety associated with periods and check polycystic ovarian syndrome with its power to reinstate hormonal balances and considerably decrease the level of adrenal androgens.

Heals skin disorders:

Marjoram essential oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and disinfectant properties that make it an effective oil in healing wounds, rashes, dermatitis, scalp infections, invasion of microbes causing skin infections and acne.

Recent studies have established the high concentration of linalool component in Marjoram oil, which contributes to the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties, thus making it as a significant oil in various cosmetics and skin care products.

Blend 2 drops of Marjoram oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Orange oil and mix it with your mild skin care lotion or cream and lightly dab it on the affected areas for treating acne, dermatitis, sunburn, shaving irritation, wounds (for fighting against micro-organisms like Staphylococcus bacteria, which worsens infections in case of wounds or other skin problems) and wrinkles.

You can also mix this blend in your bath for treating inflamed scalp conditions and for refreshing your skin health.

Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

Ayurveda states that ama or toxic remains as a result of improper digestion is the root cause for many other health conditions including obesity, rheumatism, edema, kidney disorders,acne, heart diseases etc.,

Marjoram essential oil has carminative properties with its ability to enhance pitta dosha, which is responsible for digestive fire and metabolic functions. Massaging the abdomen with 3 drops of Marjoram oil, 3 drops of Nutmeg oil and 1 drop of Spearmint oil with 3 ounce of coconut oil can support in stimulating the salivary glands, augmenting the secretion of bile, digestive enzymes and other gastric juices.

This is turn aids in enhancing the appetite, treating flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal spasms, constipation and also in soothing the intestinal and lining of the stomach.

2. Psychological benefits and the uses to the nervous system:

Since the prehistoric times, Marjoram is trusted to be the herb of happiness and love. You will be amazed if I say that this ‘Joy of the mountain’ was adored for its ability to tone down distress and misery.

Everything from nervous tension, anxiety, depressed thoughts, negative feelings, loneliness, lack of concentration, stress, mood fluctuations and anger to inferiority complex, has a time to rest with the kind of emotional benefits owned by Marjoram oil.

Practicing Pranayama with 2 drops of Marjoram oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 drops of Tangerine oil in a diffuser, can help you significantly in relieving stress, anger, anxiety, hatred thoughts, vengeance, inferior feelings and lower self esteem.

Pranayama is the Ayurvedic art of balanced breath where the therapeutic properties of these essential oils reach the limbic system of the brain through the aromatic molecules during conscious inhalation of breath or the life force.

This renovates the mind and repairs toxicity of the mind and body. In a much similar way, the toxic remains and de-motivating feelings are discarded from the system during extended exhalation.

Following this balanced breathing technique daily with the use of Marjoram oil is an excellent way to inculcate optimistic feelings, self-love, self-acceptance, improved concentration, mental dynamism, enhanced memory power and assisting in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This is an effective remedy for protecting the brain from neuronal damages.

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram is a representation of tranquility, harmony, health and heartiness. It enlightens the soul by awakening the sense of self-consciousness, especially when using it during meditation.

The oil of Marjoram has a positive effect on the heart chakra and the solar plexus chakras, where chakras are the centers of energy in the subtle body. The heart chakra or Anagatha determines one’s ability to love and the emotional factors associated with it are self-love, love for others, inner peace and joy.

Solar plexus chakra or Manipuraga decides a person’s level of confidence and the potent to take control of one’s live. Emotional attributes related with this chakra are self-confidence and self-esteem.

Adding 2 drops of Marjoram oil and 2 drops of Vetiver oil added to your burner or diffuser at the time of meditation and prayers can open your eye of consciousness, empower your spirit, foster mental clarity, augment self-love paving way for higher self-esteem and improved self-confidence. What next? A peaceful life with joy and focused living is in store for you to enjoy and enrich.

Other health benefits:

Marjoram is also used in the treatment of impotence, loss of libido, bruises, cough, bloating and toothache.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not intended to treat any medical condition or to substitute any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare experts and this article aims only in sharing the healing wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Essential oils are not meant for ingestion. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may harm the skin if used directly without dilution. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before safe topical application.

Speak with your Ayurvedic expert or healthcare professional for deciding on the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution or state of health. Please avoid Marjoram oil if you are pregnant or nursing. Keep away from children.

Thought for the day:

Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind, body and soul.

Suggested Reading:

  1. SWEET MARJORAM ESSENTIAL OIL – THE #1 PAIN RELIEF OIL IN AROMATHERAPY: ANTISPASMODIC HEALER, RESTORATIVE PAIN RELIVER, PLUS+ HOW TO USE GUIDE & RECIPES! (Healing with Essential Oil) By KG Stiles
  2. Marjoram Greats: Delicious Marjoram Recipes, The Top 55 Marjoram Recipes by Jo Franks
  3. Marjoram, Mint and Marigold by Evans, Hazel (1996) Hardcover by Hazel Evans
  4. Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink

Reference Links:

  1. Marjoram by Spices Board of India
  2. Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-cancer activity by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal published in PubMed
  3. The effect of marjoram (Origanum majorana) tea on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised controlled pilot study by Haj-Husein, S. Tukan and F. Alkazaleh, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  4. Marjoram by Dr. Vikram Chauhan
  5. Marjoram, Herb of love published in doityourself