Agarwood Oil



‘Wood of God’ and Adam’s only permitted tree to be taken from the Garden of Eden is none other than Agarwood, where the resinous heartwood of this tree of epic charisma has been used across the globe for extracting its therapeutic essential oil and mesmerizing fragrance ranges.

Agarwood-banner‘Hitting the heaven’ is the kind of feeling one can get at breathing in the aromatic aura of Agarwood oil. Held high as the most captivating fragrance for progressing towards a divine journey, Agarwood and its sacred fragrance has been a part of various earliest cultures of the globe for attaining clarity of mind, enlightenment and inner peace, essential for realizing and reaching Divinity through meditation and other sacred rituals.

Called as Aguruh kul in Ayurveda with the Sanskrit meanings like Vruksha, Shreshta, Rajarha and Vishvaroopakam, Agarwood is popularly known as Agar has been an Ayurvedic medication for neuro-muscular conditions, pleurisy, anemia, halitosis, impotence, blood impurities, urinary infections, indigestion, skin problems, heart problems, pain and bed wetting.

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Historical uses and importance of Agarwood oil:

Agar is a limb of the Thymelaeaceae plant family and the most popular among the 15 species of this plant variety are Aquilaria agallocha, Aquilaria sinensis, Aquillaria crassna and Aquilaria malaccensis, based upon its origin and growth.

Popularly beckoned as Oudh, Oud, Gaharu, Agar, Eaglewood, Aloeswood and Agarwood, this tree has been claimed indigenous to various parts of the world, including India, Malaysia, Southern China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Cambodia.

The source of this tranquilizing fragrance of this oil is from its heartwood, which gets developed very slowly, may be hundreds of years after being infected by a parasite fungus, namely phialophora parasitica. Owing to this fungus attack, Agarwood tree starts producing an aromatic resin deep within the heartwood, naturally.

Agarwood has its mention in numerous rich Vedic and historic texts like Sahih Muslim, Charaka Samhita, Torah, Bhagavat Gita, Sushruta Samhita, Islamic scriptures and Gospel. Agarwood has been the favorite fragrance of Lord Krishna, held as the God of protection and the hero of the ancient Sanskrit text Bhagavat Gita.

Buddha has stated that the fragrance of burning Agarwood is the authentic “scent of Nirvana” (the state of attaining Divinity). The string of beads counting 108 in Buddhism is made up of Agarwood. Bible also mentions that Jesus Christ have been scented with Aloes (Oud).

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) performed the cultural tradition of fumigating with Agarwood and is followed even today among the Orthodox Islamic community.

He also states that Agarwood is a part of the Paradise and his quote, “The first group of people who will enter Paradise, will be glittering like the full moon and those who will follow them, will glitter like the most brilliant star in the sky. The aloes-wood will be used in their centers” proves it commendably.

It is also said that the valiant Samurai warriors used Agarwood smoke to perfume their armour as a lucky charm before going to the battle. The celebrated king of France, King Louis XIV had his garments washed in a blend of water boiled with Agarwood and rose for lasting fragrance and energy.

Agarwood has been a part of various Alternative medicinal practices including Ayurveda, Unani, the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sufi medicines, Tibetan, Arabic and certain other East Asian medicinal systems as a medication for psychological conditions, cirrhosis of the liver and for various skin problems.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Agarwood oil:

The most prominent chemical constituents of Agarwood oil are agarol (sesquiterpene), aquillochin (couinarinolignan), α- agarofurans, β- agarofurans, agarospirol, jinkohol, jinkohol-eremol, selinene, iso- dihydroagarofuran, kusenol, and dihydroagarofuran.

The therapeutic properties accounting to its enormous healing benefits are rejuvenative, tonic, anti-rheumatic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, anti-stress, antimicrobial, carminative, anti-convulsant, anti-asthmatic, anti-cancer, relaxant, analgesic, transformative, digestive, antioxidant, psychoactive, detoxifying, diaphoretic, anti-depressant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Agarwood oil:

Anyone in today’s contemporary and perfunctory world would simply opt for Ayurveda, if given a chance to relax, revitalize and charge up the entire system. This is no wonder because the world knows that Ayurveda is the oldest of all the healing methodologies in the Universe and its existence dates back to more than 5000 years.

Having its roots tied up with the ancient Indian mythology, Ayurveda is talked about in 114 verses in Atharvaveda, one among the four prized Vedas or Sacred books of the Hindu tradition.

Ayurveda is not just a system of healing with natural medicines and Ayurvedic essential oils, instead it’s a whole pack of holistic healing comprising of healthy lifestyle, natural and nutritious food, Karma or the dutiful life practices, maintaining absolute harmony with Nature, Dharma or the disciplined living, detoxification or the eliminating of toxic remains in the system, treating the root cause of the illnesses, unique healing practices like Abhyanga and Panchakarma, unity with the Divine force through prayer or meditation and staying fit by taking up yoga, Pranayama or the Ayurvedic breathing technique and simple physical exercises.

Ayurveda regards that every person is a unique individual with unique physical, psychological, social and emotional set up. As no two persons are the same, the treatment and medications should not be the same for two persons affected even with the disease.

Ayurvedic philosophy declares that every person is made up of the five elements of nature, namely fire, air, water, sky and earth. The combination of these five fundamental elements combine together to form the biological energies called as doshas. They are vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth).

Every person has a predominance of any one these doshic energies that determine his character, traits and personality. Balance between these doshas indicate that the human body is in harmony with Nature and imbalance of doshas result in diseases and are direct pointer that the system is out of balance with Nature.

Ayurveda studies this individual constitution of a person along with his medical history and traces out the root cause of a disease. It helps an individual to renew his balance with nature and prevent such illnesses in the future also.

Ayurvedic essential oils are the life essence of plants and are used in Ayurvedic medication for thousands of years in the treatment methods like Ayurvedic massaging or Abhyanga, Ayurvedic detoxification or Panchakarma, Pranayama or Yogic breathing, Aromatherapy and in meditation and prayers.

Agarwood has been an important part of the Ayurvedic regimen and has been talked about in Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Bhagavata Purana quotes, “The men and women of the city, arrayed in spotless raiment and anointed with fragrant sandalwood paste, wore precious necklaces, flower garlands and jeweled ornaments, and their opulent homes were filled with the aroma of aguru”, where Aguru is nothing but Agarwood. This proves the use of this spiritual fragrance even during the primordial times.

Agarwood essential oil is said to pacify vata and kapha doshas in excess and enhance pitta energy.

The most significant Ayurvedic health benefits of Agarwood oil are:

Agarwood-broucherApart from these promising health benefits, Agarwood and its essential oil has been a vital part of the perfume industry since ages together. It’s time to learn the medicinal uses in detail.

1. Illuminates the mind and fortifies the power of thinking:

Mind is a faculty of thought, consciousness, intellect and one’s ability to think, sense and reason. Your thoughts are the first move to your actions. The power of thinking would always be healthy and positive only when you have a clear mind sans negative ideas.

Known as the inner organ of awareness or consciousness in Ayurveda, Mind is often termed as electricity generated from the power station called as soul, which is the only reserve of intelligence and it glows with its own light. When you have clarity of mind, your mind never wanders around, it starts focusing only on the right with the kind of consciousness it has acquired from the soul.

The heartening fragrance of Agarwood oil has the power to fuel the mind with mental clarity and drives in inner consciousness. Inhaling 2 drops of Agarwood oil by adding it to diffuser can assist in driving away negative energies, alleviating anxiety, enhancing alertness, increasing the sense of strength, bringing in tranquility, augmenting cerebral functioning and strengthening the nervous system.

This can also support in enhancing your power of creative thinking. It is mainly because creative thoughts strike the mind when it is absolutely free from worries, anxiousness and negative feelings. This way Agarwood can help everyone in your family to think better, may be in performing your duties better in the office, to cook innovative food varieties, to learn and understand better and what not.

2. Elevates the emotional quotient:

Agarwood is often regarded as a glorious tree in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for its excellent medicinal and spiritual benefits. The Chinese usually call the captivating fragrance of Agarwood oil as “a sweet, deep but balanced fragrance”.

Agarwood oil is often regarded as a unique oil of rescue, especially from emotional trauma. It has been also said that the therapeutic properties of this oil is highly powerful in harmonizing the electrical frequencies of the brain.

Agarwood oil has been used by the Tibetan Monks for increasing the inner energy that could pass on absolute tranquility to the mind and the soul. It is for this reason; Agarwood oil has been a part of numerous traditions during spiritual ceremonies and esoteric gatherings. In Buddhism, Agarwood is used for clearing away lack of ignorance.

The famous Chinese tradition Feng Shui, which is an art of controlling the flow of energy in a particular spot, has associated Agarwood in helping with it as the sacred fragrance of Agarwood is said to penetrate through the senses and enrich the spirit.

3. Paves way for spiritual enlightenment:

Meditation, prayers and certain other divine gatherings aim at the realization and oneness with Divinity. This is the most complex chore, as it requires absolute concentration, mental stability and clarity of the mind to attain the heavenly powers.

The sacred fragrance of Agarwood and its oil is said to have psychoactive properties that aid in progressing towards a sanctifying spiritual journey by instilling deep inner peace, consciousness, emotional constancy, positive energy, increased awareness and enhanced psychological functioning.

Certain ancient texts quote that the incense of Agarwood transmits the prayer to the Almighty. Adding 2 drops of Agarwood oil with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil in diffuser or vaporizer during prayer, meditation, Pranayama or other sacred gatherings can help in feeling the connection with the transcendent, alleviating detrimental or negative thoughts that spoil concentration and supporting the insight of experiencing divinity from within.

Agarwood and its enthralling aroma has been said to stimulate Qi, which is the ‘vital force’ or ‘life energy’ and is the fundamental principle in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Martial Arts. Ayurvedic medication recommends Agarwood oil for augmenting mental clarity, opening Agna or the third eye and all of the chakras in the upper part of the body, which is often associated with divinity.

4. Alleviates pain including rheumatic and arthritic conditions:

Agarwood oil is an excellent kapha suppressant, which eliminates surplus water deposits and toxic remains in the body through sweat or urine. With its analgesic, anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory attributes, this oil supports in relieving pain quickly and reducing inflammation associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

Massaging the affected parts, especially the joints with 2 drops of Agarwood oil, 2 drops of Clove oil with 2 ml of coconut oil can help in clearing blood impurities, flushing out toxins, salt and uric acid in the system by promoting frequent urination, reducing pain and soreness and enhancing blood circulation. You can also use 2 drops of Agarwood oil in hot or cold compress for soothing muscular pain.

5. Spices up your sexual verve:

The oil of Agarwood often becomes an interesting remedy for reproductive problems with its stimulating aroma and spirited aphrodisiac properties. Since the primeval period, Agarwood and its enticing oil has been used for people undergoing sexual problems.

As it works as an excellent relaxant that promotes peaceful sleep, treats fatigue, alleviates stress and boosts mental health, Agarwood is often used as an “All in one remedy” for improving vigor and vitality.

Massaging your body with 5 drops of Agarwood oil, 5 drops of Ashwagandha oil, 2 drops of Sandalwood oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil with 10 ml of Olive oil can help in influencing good sleep, soothing the system, enhancing the libido, treating premature ejaculation, increasing sperm count and for curing erectile dysfunction. You can also add 2 drops of Agarwood oil in warm bathing water before going to bed.

6. Supports the digestive functions:

The digestive, carminative, anti-flatulent and stomachic properties of Agarwood oil supports in expelling gas in the intestines and stomach and it also prevents the digestive system from building up of gas.

Adding 1 drop of Agarwood oil along with 1 drop of Peppermint oil in a cup of warm water and gargling with this medicated solution can help in alleviating bad breath, tastelessness and nausea. Massaging your tummy with 3 drops of Agarwood oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil can help in supporting the secretion of gastric juices and digestive acids that treat indigestion, bloating, flatulence and intestinal infections.

7. Invigorates your skin health:

Agarwood oil is an excellent natural remedy for nourishing the skin from within. With its ability to scavenge free radicals in the system, Agarwood oil fight against the symptoms of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and marks.

Ayurveda beckons Agarwood as Kushtanut, means remedy for skin diseases. It is called as Dushta Vranashodhana for its power to clean wounds, Krumihara for treating infected wounds, and Kushtahara for relieving itching and soreness of skin. It is also known as Tvachya for it is extremely useful in detoxification of skin.

1 drop of Agarwood oil and 1 drop of Lemon oil added to your soap-free cleanser can help in clearing away marks, improving skin complexion, encouraging blemish-free glow and granting a younger and healthy looking skin. It is for these reason Agarwood has been a part of various celebrated skin care products including skin lightening creams and soaps.

Other health benefits:

Agarwood oil is also used in the treatment cirrhosis, epilepsy, hepatitis, fever, depression, gastric cancer, abdominal and lung tumors and nervous system disorders.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the use of education and is not meant for replacing any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice or for diagnosing any kind of health conditions. We are not healthcare professionals and we take up a collective interest to share and spread the awareness of Ayurveda, the holistic and oldest of all remedial practices in the world for which it is rightly called as the Mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and do remember to dilute them in appropriate carrier oils like Jojoba oil. This is due to the fact that organic and unadulterated essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and direct application of essential oils on the skin may lead to allergic reactions. Due care should be taken if you are a nursing mother or carrying. Keep out of reach of children.

Speak with your healthcare practitioner or Ayurvedic expert before taking your call on the suitable essential oils for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Beyond a pleasant smell, a drop of Agarwood essence will softly invade your lungs, your mind, your body and spirit”  – Trygve Harris, aromatherapy expert.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Natural Beauty: Radiant Skin Care Secrets & Homemade Beauty Recipes From the World’s Most Unforgettable Women (Essential Oil for Beginners Series) by Elizabeth Fellow
  2. The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices by Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling
  3. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  4. Healing Your Life: Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda by Marc Halpern
  5. The Incense Bible: Plant Scents That Transcend World Culture, Medicine, and Spirituality by Dennis J Mckenna, Kerry Hughes

Reference Links:

  1. Agarwood by Wikipedia
  2. Overview of the Agarwood oil industry by Dr. Pakamas Chetpattananondh, Department of Chemical engineering, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
  3. Agarwood, a closer look at the ‘Wood of God’ published in the Special Feng Shui Edition
  4. Medicinal and traditional uses of Agarwood by The Cropwatch files

Chamomile Oil German



Chamomile-oil-german-bannerLike a Chamomile bed, the more it is trodden, the more it will spread’, says Shakespeare. With its power to enhance the life force in the body, German Chamomile also known as Blue Chamomile alleviates all kinds of physical and emotional blues. Botanically known as Matricaria Chamomilla, the gentle and grassy aroma of this oil implants calmness in the mind and grants solace to the heart.

Held high across the world for its strongest anti-inflammatory compounds instilling a gentle effect on pain and inflammation, German Chamomile is remembered as one among the best and safest essential oil for people of all ages including children.

Called as Karpurapuspa in Sanskrit and Baboona or Babuna in Hindi, German Chamomile and its essential oil have been used in Ayurveda, the oldest healing methodology of the world as a remedy for itchy skin, dermatitis, menopausal problems, tension, eczema, migraine pain, burns, skin irritation, dysmennorhea, liver congestion, arthritis, PMS, skin inflammation, amenorrhea, anemia, toothache, colic, inflammatory bowel disorders and formation of leukocytes.

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Historical uses and importance of German Chamomile oil:

Chamomile is regarded as one of the oldest herbs used in the history for medicinal purposes. The German variety is indigenous to Nepal and is found all over the world including the temperate zones of Australia, Asia, Europe (Hungary and France) and North America.

This herb is a member of the sunflower or daisy family Asteraceae and is called by other names such as Hungary Chamomile, Blue Chamomile, Matricaria, Scented Mayweed or Wild Chamomile.

The name ‘Matricaria’ has its origin from the Latin name ‘Mater’ meaning ‘Mother’ and is extremely helpful in treating numerous womanly problems. It is regarded as one of the most distinguished herbal teas of the world and nearly one million cups of Chamomile tea are consumed every day.

The most interesting historical reference of this herb dates back to 78 A.D when Europe’s first medical reference book De Materia Medica was written by Dioscorides.

German Chamomile has its name listed in the potent herbs for treating many health conditions and is also listed as one of the most sacred herbs in Lacnunga, the antique manuscript. It is used in herbal medicine as a serene sleep aid, for treating sore stomach, bacterial infections, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and as a mild laxative.

German Chamomile has been used as a natural aid for assisting problems related to women especially with its emmenagogue properties that help in relieving from painful menses, delayed menstruation, menopausal problems and as a uterine tonic.

The herbal infusion, decoction or tea prepared from the flowers of German Chamomile was taken in folklore medicine for assisting in cases of motion sickness, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence and ulcerative colitis.

It has been used for numerous centuries in the traditional medicine for treating dermatitis, skin inflammation and gastrointestinal tract symptoms. Dried German Chamomile flowers were used in compress or infusion for alleviating pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism, arthritis and other inflamed conditions.

German Chamomile was prescribed by the Greek physicians for treating female disorders, fever, restlessness, neuralgia, stress and insomnia. It was used as a tenderizing agent for preserving meat in the ancient period.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of German Chamomile oil:

The major chemical components of German Chamomile oil are ‘terpenoids α-bisabolol and its oxide azulenes including chamazulene and acetylene derivatives’ (bisabolol oxide A, bisabolene oxide A, a-bisabolol and bisabolol oxide B) along with farnesol, thujanol, bisabolol, coumarin and farnasene.

The remedial properties of this oil are anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, immuno-stimulant, anti-anemic, stomachic, anti-allergenic, antiphlogistic, analgesic, bactericidal, anti-spasmodic, vasoconstrictor, antibiotic, carminative, digestive, cicatrisant, vulnerary, cholagogue, hepatic, vermifuge, and sedative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of German Chamomile essential oil:

Ayurveda is the ancient wisdom of healing and it fervently imparts that every human being should follow a disciplined life and must have ample knowledge about his/her health. It is a Vedic science rewarded by the Saints, Sages and Ancient Gods of Hinduism to humanity. Ayurveda simply means knowledge of life (Ayur – Life and Veda – knowledge).

The most predominant factor behind Ayurveda’s existence as a mother of all healing sciences including the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy, Acupressure, Naturopathy, Aromatherapy and Chiropractic.

The distinctiveness of Ayurveda is its adherence to Mother Nature, which insists to maintain balance with nature for a healthy and harmonious life. Ayurvedic principles state that living in harmony with nature is the absolute way to heartiness, prevention of illnesses, healthy aging and longevity.

As per the Ayurvedic philosophy, the whole thing on earth is a grouping of the five vital elements of nature namely water, fire, earth, space and air, where water stands for the blood in the body, fire represents the body temperature and metabolic functions, air assists in breathing, earth symbolizes muscles and bones, space or ether signifies the soul.

Every individual is considered as a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution (the physical, psychological and spiritual make up of a person) just like our fingerprints.

This constitution is an arrangement of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha dosha. Vata is a combination of air and space and is responsible for nervous functions and governs the working of the autonomous and central nervous system.

Kapha is a grouping of water and earth and is in charge for virility, stability, binding power and vigor of the body. Pitta dosha is a blend of fire and water and is accountable for metabolic functions, tissue building, endocrine functions and body temperature.

Every one of us has a predominance of any one of these doshas and this predominant dosha decides our unique persona, temperament and behavioral patterns. Absolute balance between these doshas is a sign of good health and imbalances of these dynamic energies due to food, weather conditions and other lifestyle changes cause illnesses.

Ayurvedic treatments vary from individual to individual even if it is for the same illness because this traditional system observes the individual constitution, medical history of the patient and the root cause of an illness before prescribing the appropriate medicines.

The most established Ayurvedic medications are plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging, Ayurvedic routine, simple physical exercises, prayer and meditation based on upon the distinctive individual constitution for correcting the imbalance of doshas.

German Chamomile oil has the potent to pacify aggravated pitta and kapha doshas and balance vata dosha. These amazing healing attributes make German Chamomile oil as an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for treating inflammation, skin irritation, lack of immune power, anemia, amenorrhea, menopause, anger, headache and other female reproductive problems.

Let’s have a look at the key Ayurvedic health benefits of German Chamomile essential oil:

Chamomile-germanbroucher1. Regulates all kinds of menstrual and menopausal mayhems:

German Chamomile essential oil has numerous beneficial effects on the reproductive tissue known as shukra dhatu in Ayurveda. Ancient Ayurvedic texts also say that this herb has therapeutic properties for regulating menstrual activities and is called as artavashamana.

Massaging your lower abdomen and thighs with 2 drops of German Chamomile oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil can be of great help in relieving menstrual pain or dysmennorhea, premenstrual fatigue and headache, promote menstruation in case of blocked or delayed menses and alleviate all kinds of menstrual discomforts. This massage also serves as a cooling natural remedy to treat the hot flashes, excessive discharge and mood fluctuations during menopause.

German Chamomile tea was prescribed in Ayurveda to lessen pain during childbirth and for easing nausea during pregnancy. Certain studies have proven that Chamomile douche may possibly get better the symptoms of vaginitis or vaginal inflammation in women.

Mostly women of all ages are affected by vaginal inflammation and vaginitis is coupled with pain during urination, itching and vaginal discharge. German Chamomile oil is also effective in treating Atrophic vaginitis also, which occurs due to low estrogen levels in postmenopausal and menopausal women.

2. Relieves skin irritation and supports other skin conditions:

The book on ‘Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects by Philip D. Shenefelt’ states “German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), a member of the daisy family, has been used for centuries, both internally and externally, for treating many conditions, especially gastrointestinal tract symptoms, oral or skin inflammation, as well as dermatitis.”

He also says “The anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and antimicrobial effects of German chamomile oil are attributed to an essential blue oil that contains sesquiterpene alcohol, α-bisabolol, chamazulene, and flavonoids.”

The relaxing, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and wound healing properties of this oil assists in relieving skin problems rapidly in case of varicose ulcers, wounds, burns, stings, allergies, cystitis, vaginitis, neuralgia and skin ulcers.

Many studies have proved that German Chamomile essential oil has witnessed slight superiority over ” 0.5% hydrocortisone cream in atopic eczema (Patzelt-Wenczler et al 1985), more beneficial than 1% hydrocortisone ointment in the management and healing of peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients.”

Adding 2 drops of German Chamomile oil along with 2 drops of Rose Geranium oil to bathing water can be helpful in killing germs, bacteria and fungi responsible for skin infections like athlete’s foot, candida, acne, cystitis, Urticaria and dandruff.

This bath also helps in combating the harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that causes wounds and other skin conditions to turn septic. It also helps in lessening one’s sensitivity to allergens like dust and pollen and aid in treating hay fever, sinusitis, chronic catarrh and eczema.

Massaging the affected areas with 3 drops of German Chamomile oil blended with 2 drops of Sandalwood oil and 3 ml of jojoba oil can help in healing wounds, eczema, psoriasis, varicose ulcers and burns. 2 drops of German Chamomile oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a gargle for treating gingivitis, plaque, sore throat, mouth ulcer and bad breath.

3. Augments immunity and boosts the vital life force:

German Chamomile oil controls the flow of Life Force, also known as Qi or Chi with its cooling and tranquilizing effect on the system. With its immune enhancing power, this oil assists in preventing infectious diseases by strengthening the disease resistance power of the system.

Since the traditional times, this oil acts as a promising natural remedy for treating almost all kinds of diseases. According to Ayurveda, German Chamomile oil has kasasvasahara or therapeutic properties for alleviating respiratory problems like cough, cold, breathing difficulties, tonsillitis, flu, broncho-constriction in asthma and sinusitis. This oil is also said to have fever lessening properties known as jwaraghna with its power to reduce excess of pitta energy responsible for body temperature.

German Chamomile oil also has other healing properties helpful in relieving gout, eye inflammation, arthritis, conjunctivitis, rheumatism, carpal tunnel syndrome, blepharitis, meibomian cysts, fibromyalgia, lumbago, hepatitis, gallbladder infections, anemia, teething pain, abscesses, viral colitis, Alzheimer’s disease, diaper rashes, nervous tension and certain other health conditions.

4. Controls anger and promotes peaceful sleep:

The essential oil of German Chamomile helps in calming and relaxing the mind and body with its naturally cooling effects. It regulates anger, rage, irritation and aversion caused due to the excess heat in our mechanism. The cooling properties of German Chamomile oil reduce pitta dosha especially sadhaka pitta (pitta in the mind and heart).

Excess of which is responsible for the generation of heat energy in the body. By this way, it pacifies the mind, cools the body and instills gentle and positive feelings from within.

Gently massaging your system with 5 drops of German Chamomile oil blended with 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Tea tree oil with 10 ml of coconut oil is an excellent way to keep you cool throughout the day. Adding 1 drop of German Chamomile oil in your handkerchief or a tissue paper and carrying it with you all through the day can help in releasing negative emotions soothingly and induce clarity, improve self-esteem and self-realization.

Adding 2 drops of German Chamomile oil and 2 drops of Rose oil in warm bathing water before going to bed can be of great help in relaxing the tensed nerves, aching muscles and in promoting peaceful sleep. You can also add 2 drops of German Chamomile oil in your diffuser or vaporizer in the bedroom for relieving anxiety and mental agonies.

German Chamomile oil has also been proven in several studies as an efficacious natural remedy for treating GAD or generalized anxiety disorder. Chamomile is widely accepted as gentle tranquilizer and sleep-inducer.

A 2010 study published in PubMed quotes “inhalation of the vapor of chamomile oil reduced a stress-induced increase in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels.” Inhaling the aroma of this oil influences sedative effect in the body by binding the GABA and BDZ receptors in the brain.

Inhaling the herbaceous, intensely sweet and fruity aroma of German Chamomile oil especially during Pranayama (balanced breathing exercise), meditation and prayer enhances our spiritual energy to the next level and augments our soul’s connectedness with the Divine Power.

5. Alleviates pain and inflammation:

German Chamomile essential oil is often trusted to lessen pain, reduce muscular spasms and alleviate gastrointestinal inflammatory problems and other inflammatory disorders. Certain studies reveal that Chamomile restrains Helicobacter pylori, which causes to stomach ulcers. The anti-inflammatory and antiphlogistic activities of German Chamomile are attributed to its chemical components like matricin, alpha-bisabolol oxides A and B, and alpha-bisabolol.

A research tested on human volunteers with Chamomile essential oil states “Chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers. This is important for their use as topical antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory) agents.”

This oil has excellent diuretic properties, known as mutrala in Ayurveda and helps in relieving urinary infections, inflammation in the bladder and other kidney infections along with eliminating the toxic deposits in the system.

Massage the painful or inflamed parts with 3 drops of German Chamomile oil blended with 3 drops of Yarrow oil also known as Yara Yara oil with 5 ml of coconut oil to alleviate pain, mitigate spasms, reduce inflammation, promote blood circulation and eliminate toxic substances in the system and lessen water retention, leading to obesity, rheumatism, arthritis etc.

6. Treats diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems:

Both German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile have been used as a traditional remedy for treating colic, especially in children, diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal disorders. German Chamomile oil is known as a digestive relaxant that helps in soothing the muscles, relaxing the stomach and leaves a gentle effect on the intestines, to help in pacifying stomach ulcers, flatulence, anorexia, diarrhea, bloating, intestinal gas and morning sickness.

Massaging your abdomen gently with 2 drops of German Chamomile oil and 2 drops of Peppermint oil along with 2 ml of almond oil can help in relaxing muscular contractions in the stomach and intestines along with reducing excess of digestive fire or pitta energy causing diarrhea and painful ulcers.

The gentle and cooling effect of German Chamomile oil along with the cool minty effect of Peppermint oil gradually reduces pain in the stomach and intestines and grants peaceful sleep especially in children who suffer from colic.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for educational purposes and is expressed wholly in the concern of spreading the cultural wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences. The remedies listed in this article are not intended to prevent, cure or diagnose any medical condition or as an alternate for any kind of prescription remedies or any medical advice of a healthcare professional.

Internal use of essential oils is strictly not recommended. Ensure that you dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before you use it on the skin topically, as high quality, unadulterated and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly.

Speak with your Ayurvedic professional/healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Avoid using German Chamomile oil if you are pregnant or nursing your baby, because this oil has high emmenagogue properties that may induce menstruation.

Thought for the day:

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

-Anne Frank

Suggested Reading:

  1. Chamomile: Medicinal, Biochemical, and Agricultural Aspects (Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern Times) by Moumita Das
  2. Chamomile: Industrial Profiles (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  3. Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: A definitive guide to essential oils that could save your life during a crisis by Dr. Scott A. Johnson
  4. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D.
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Matricaria chamomilla by Wikipedia
  2. German Chamomile by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future by Janmejai K Srivastava, Eswar Shankar,and Sanjay Gupta, Department of Urology & Nutrition, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio published in PubMed
  4. Chamomilla recutita – German Chamomile: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives from Positive Health Online
  5. Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders Philip D. Shenefelt published in PubMed

Juniper Leaf Oil



Juniper-leaf-banner

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

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

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History and importance of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemical constituents and remedial attributes of Juniper leaf oil:

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

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

Ayurvedic uses of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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