Basil Oil Indian


basil oil indianBasil is a blessing in disguise for the rest of the world but for most of the traditional Indian families, every day begins with the blessing of Lord Krishna through Basil leaves. This holy plant is being worshipped by the Hindus in India since thousands of years and is a familiar thing to find a Basil or Tulsi plant in every home. It is known to the world of medicine as a digestive tonic, respiratory aid, anti-depressant, pain reliever, skin care agent, immune stimulant and as a symbol of divinity.

Valued as an emblem of sacredness, purification, love, protection, eternity, respect and good luck, Basil is used in Ayurvedic preparations for more than 5,000 years. It is lovingly called as Tulsi in Hindi and Surasa in Sanskrit and has been a vital part of Ayurvedic healing of a plethora of illnesses.

The most notable among them are nervous tension, constipation, rheumatism, whooping cough, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, stress, bruises, diabetes, fever, poor memory, poisonous bites and stings, acne and kidney disorders.

Historical uses and importance of Basil leaves and its essential oil:

Popularly known as the ‘Queen of herbs’ in Ayurveda, Basil is botanically called as Ocimum sanctum. It is grown throughout the world for its spiritual and medicinal uses. Highly regarded as a symbol of ‘Good luck charm’, Basil plant has myriad references in the history of world medicine.

Basil plant has been talked about in the ancient sacred books like Rig Veda and in the Ayurvedic texts including Charaka Samhita. Respected as an elixir of life in Ayurveda, this plant is said to pave way to absolute balance and longevity for its enormous medicinal values.

The oldest historical mention of Basil leaves is in the ancient Hindu mythology, where Basil or Tulsi plant is said to symbolize Vishnupriya, the wife of Lord Vishnu and the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. God Vishnu is honored with the garland made with Basil leaves.

Few other sources state that Tulsi is trusted as a form of Goddess Tulsi and this plant is considered as a symbol of blessedness because it is believed to have grown from the ashes of Goddess Tulsi. Basil plant is worshipped by the married Hindu women in India for being blessed with the faithfulness of Goddess Tulsi.

Known as Bacia-nicola (meaning kiss me Nicholas) in Italy, Basil is regarded as a representation of love and luck and is said to attract man to his lady love. It was used in the ancient Greece in the crowning ceremonies of Kings for purification.

Besides its medicinal values, Basil leaves are also used for culinary purposes for its strong aroma and astringent flavor, especially in Asian cooking. The seeds and leaves of this plant are used in the preparation of an herbal tea, which is said to gift good health and fortune.

The native populace of the Indian subcontinent including the Himalayan areas generally grind the leaves and seeds of Basil plant and blend this with Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), Katuka (Picrorhiza kurroa), Bel Fruit (Aegle marmelos), Sugandi root (Hemidesmus indicus), and Blue Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). This herbal mixture is then smoked for persuading the vision and dreams.

The tribal population in Australia has reported the use of Basil leaves in the preparation of an herbal tea for supporting the system as a tonic for treating fever, respiratory problems and few other illnesses. The essential oil extracted from Basil leaves also finds its use in the field of herbal cosmetics and in the treatment of skin disorders and numerous other illnesses.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

The remedial values of Basil oil are cephalic, antifungal, diaphoretic, anti-asthmatic, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-cancer, antidote, anti-oxidant, diuretic, anti-fertility, expectorant, anti-diabetic, anti-malarial, hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory.

The primary chemical components of Basil oil are eugenol, ursolic acid, b-caryophyllene, linalool, oleanolic acid, carvacrol, germacrone D, b-elemene and linolenic acid. Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium are few among its nutritional constituents.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil Indian essential oil:

Adorably called as Tulsi in India, Basil is the most respected and often talked about herb in the history of Ayurveda. With its divine aroma and holiness, Tulsi is esteemed high for its healing values. These holy leaves are chewed daily in the morning after performing the ritual prayers for cleansing the system, stimulating metabolic functions, supporting the respiratory functions and strengthening the immune system.

Ayurveda is by far the pioneer of the medicinal world with more than 5,000 years of promising existence. It has its roots vested with the ancient India, where its origin has been referred to Atharvaveda, one among the four sacred books of the Indian mythology.  With the literal meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda means more than a method of treating illnesses.

Holding all these prominent reasons, Ayurveda is known as a common sense science. It leads mankind towards a holistic life with the gifts of absolute health, harmony and longevity. The medications prescribed in Ayurveda simply rely on Mother Nature as it trusts that everything on this globe is a vital part of Nature.

With this philosophy, Ayurvedic texts denote that all things on earth including human beings are built up with the same 5 vital building blocks of nature. They are fire, air, water, earth and space. Earth stands for the bones and muscles in the body and represents braveness, stability and vitality. Air is responsible for the functions of the lungs, heart, intestines and joints.

Ether is found all over the body, where the presence of emptiness and cavity exist. Few parts among them are blood vessels, nostrils, bladder and heart. Fire controls the body temperature, metabolic functions and intellectual power. Water is in charge of the fluid functions of the body, including saliva, blood, plasma and mucus.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is a unique entity with a unique individual constitution or Prakriti, which is an arrangement of the 3 biological energies known as doshas. Ayurvedic principles revolve around the pillars of these dynamic forces, which are a combination of the vital elements of nature. They are vata, pitta and kapha doshas.

Every person has a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines the character, personality, health conditions and behavioral attributes of a person. An individual is claimed to be healthy when there is absolute balance between all the three doshas and imbalances between these doshas end up in illnesses.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, prayers, Ayurvedic routine along with Ayurvedic healing techniques like Panchakarma (the Ayurvedic detox techniques), Pranayama (art of balanced breathing), Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging) etc. These remedies aim at correcting the imbalances of doshas, prevent illnesses and sustain a healthy life even in the late 60s and 70s.

Basil essential oil has heating and neutral energies (virya) and sharp and bitter taste (rasa). It is known for reducing excess of vata and kapha doshas and aggravates pitta dosha. Basil is said to have amazing beneficial effects on the respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive organs and the digestive system.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil are as follows:

Basil-oil-bro1. Alleviates depression, stress and disorders of the autonomic nervous system: Visceral or the autonomic nervous system supports the generation of hormones and its resultant responses in the human system.  It controls the vital functions of the system including breathing, salivation, digestion, heart rate, urination, perspiration, respiratory rate, breathing and sexual feelings.

Problems in the functioning of this involuntary nervous system can result in indigestion, breathing problems, heart disorders, improper blood circulation, depression, nervousness, anxiety, headache, sexual problems and kidney disorders.

Basil essential oil has a balancing effect on the nervous system. This aids in treating anxiety, stress, depression, nervousness, loss of interest and negative emotions. When inhaled by adding 1 drop of Basil oil, 1 drop of Rose Geranium oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil in diffuser or air freshener, can aid in alleviating stress, inspiring positive feelings, elevating the spirits, augmenting memory power and grant the strength to face challenges.

According to the Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Tulsi “opens the heart and the mind and distributes the energy of love and devotion.  Basil is sacred to Vishnu and Krishna and strengthens faith, compassion, and clarity.

Tulsi stalks are worn as garlands and strengthen the energy of attachment. Basil imparts divine protection by purifying the aura and invigorating the immune system. It contains natural mercury that, as the seed of Shiva, imparts the germinative power of pure consciousness.”

According to a 2010 study on “Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview by Priyabrata Pattanayak,Pritishova Behera, Debajyoti Das and Sangram K. Panda, published in PubMed says, “Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress.

Adding 2 drops of Basil oil in bathing water every morning and night helps in bringing in abundant of constructive thoughts, progressive ideas, encouraging feelings and new-fangled energy to face your new day and relax for a peaceful night. 2 drops of Basil oil added to your air freshener in the night can aid in granting absolute solace and calmness.

Basil has strong effects on the emotions, and can be very strengthening when we are suffering fear or sadness”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.

2. Enormous benefits to the skin:

Tulsi is a darling remedy when it comes to the protection of skin from various infections and disorders. With its antioxidant and detoxifying properties, Tulsi acts as an excellent skin cleansing and nourishing agent that gifts your skin with a flawless beauty and younger look.

The antifungal and anti-microbial properties of this oil acts as a shield against microbes and aids in the treatment of acne, eczema, scabies, itches, ringworm, athlete’s foot and infectious wounds. The rich presence of Vitamins A and C nourish the skin from within and help in exploring and retaining its natural glow.

The book ‘Ocimum sanctum: The Indian Home Remedy In Current Medical Scene’ have talked about various studies, where the essential oil of Basil “has been found to inhibit in-vitro growth of E. coli, B. anthracis and P. aeruginosa proving its anti-bacterial activity.” It is also said that this oil contains anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Massaging your skin with 2 drops of Basil oil blended with 1 drop of Lemon oil, 1 drop of Bergamot oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil along with 2.5 ml of olive oil helps in removing the dead skin cells, reducing pimples, black heads and fading away marks left behind by wounds and acne. You can also apply this blend on wounds, eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, scabies, wounds and itches for quicker healing.

3. Nurtures the growth of healthy hair:

Basil has been an important ingredient in numerous Ayurvedic and other herbal preparations for hair care. Take 5 drops of Basil oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lime oil along with 10 ml of Almond oil and heat this mixture slightly.

Massaging your scalp with this herbal blend helps in promoting the growth of hair by strengthening the hair follicles, reducing dandruff, moisturizing dry scalp and rough hair, controlling itching and enriching the scalp.

4. Alleviates fever and respiratory illnesses:

The anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-malarial properties of Basil essential oil aids in reducing fever. Numerous research studies have reported that Basil oil contains 100 percent insecticidal and larvicidal activities especially against Culex mosquitoes.

Massage your foot soles with 2 drops of Basil oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 2 ml of coconut oil for reducing fever. Adding 2 drops of Basil oil in your air-freshener or diffuser can be of great assistance in keeping away from insects with its insect-repellant properties.

The therapeutic properties of Basil oil including its anti-microbial and anti-viral attributes helps in arresting the growth of bacteria, virus and other micro-organisms that worsen cold, cough and other respiratory infections. Mucus and phlegm deposits in the system are again a result of excess kapha dosha.

Basil oil is an effective Ayurvedic remedy for lowering excess of kapha dosha that aids in loosening the phlegm and mucus accumulation in the body. 2 drops of Basil oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation can grant you instant relief from cold, cough, stiff nose, congestion, sinusitis, whooping cough and blocked nasal passages.

You can also massage your chest, back and throat with 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment for supporting quicker relief. This oil also helps in strengthening the immune system and helps in fighting against infectious and communicable diseases.

5. Helps control diabetes and the risk of cardiac disorders:

The essential oil of Basil has anti-diabetic properties that aids in the treatment of diabetes by controlling the level of blood sugar. With its diuretic properties, Tulsi promotes frequent urination through which the toxic elements in the system are flushed out and helps to stay energized.

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Indian Physiology and Pharmacology says “eugenol in Basil oil have been found to reduce raised blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels and activities of LDH, GPT, GOT and alkaline phosphatase in blood serum explaining the therapeutic potentials of Ocimum sanctum as antidiabetic, cardio-protective, hypolipidaemic and hepatoprotective agent.”

The decoction extracted from the whole plant has been recommended in Ayurveda for lowering the level of blood glucose in case of diabetes mellitus. The presence of eugenol and other therapeutic constituents in this oil are also effective in reducing blood cholesterol and blood pressure. With its antioxidant properties, Basil oil is also known for protecting the heart from the effects of harmful free radicals.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Basil oil, 5 drops of Juniper oil, 5 drops of Myrtle oil and 2 drops of Clove oil along with 20 ml of coconut oil, once in a week can help in controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. You can also add 2 drops of Basil oil in your diffuser every day and inhale this magical aroma for enhancing your heart health.

6. Relieves pain and inflammation:

The pain relieving quality of Basil oil is attributed to the presence of eugenol. This contributes to the analgesic, relaxant, nervine and anti-inflammatory qualities of this oil.

Tulsi oil reduces inflammation and swelling with its kapha reducing attribute. Kapha dosha represents the water element in the body and excess of which leads to the amassing of water deposits, built up of toxic substances, uric acid and salts in the system.

Gently massaging the painful and affected parts with 3 drops of Basil oil, 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 3 drops of Camphor oil with 5 ml of coconut oil aids in treating pain, rheumatic conditions, arthritis, headache, stiff joints and back pain.

This works by spreading heat in the painful areas with its heating energy, induce frequent urination where the excess water deposits and toxic remains in the system are eliminated.

7. Promotes digestion:

Basil oil has the power to increase ‘Agni’ or the digestive fire in the system with its pitta-enhancing attribute. Pitta dosha symbolizes fire and is responsible for metabolic functions, including digestion, absorption and excretion.

Adding 5 drops of Basil oil in warm compress or massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Basil oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 drops of Bergamot oil with 4 ml of sesame oil can aid in promoting the secretion of bile, digestive juices and gastric acids.

This assists in treating indigestion, formation of gas in the stomach and intestines, vomiting, motion sickness, colic, sluggish digestion and intestinal spasms. The anti-microbial property of this oil helps in killing germs and harmful micro-organisms in the stomach and intestines.

Also useful in:

Basil essential oil is also helpful in the treatment of eye problems, oral infections, migraine pain, kidney stones, mouth ulcers, cancerous tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, labour pain and certain other medical conditions.

Disclaimer:

This post is only for the use of education and information. It is not intended for diagnosing, treating or preventing illnesses or substituting expert medical advice or prescribed medicines. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only for spreading the glory of Ayurvedic remedies, the mother of all healing systems on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and always dilute essential oils before using it for topical applications. This is due to the fact that 100% pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances.

Avoid using Basil oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mother as it has anti-fertility and anti-estrogenic effects that may cause harm. Speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare professional before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.  -Samuel Johnson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Tulsi Holy Basil: The “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda, TCM and Homeopathy (Learning Medicinal Herbs within India’s Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine Book 2) by Ryder Management Inc.
  2. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. Ayurveda: The A-Z Guide To Healing Techniques From Ancient India by Dr. Helen Mary Thomas
  4. Basil Recipes: Cooking with the King of Herbs (Quick and Easy Series) by Dogwood Apps
  5. The Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner

Reference Links:

  1. Ocimum tenuiflorum by Wikipedia
  2. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review by Prakash. P and Gupta. N published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
  3. Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview by Priyabrata Pattanayak,Pritishova Behera, Debajyoti Das and Sangram K. Panda, published in Pharmacognosy review (PubMed)
  4. Health Benefits of Basil or Tulsi Value Food Info
  5. Basil by Bryan Miller and Light Miller published in the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide To Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing

Benzoin Resin Oil


Fixing up your skin setbacks, respiratory ailments and mental mayhems is just a few steps away, until you reach the sacred aroma of Benzoin essential oil. Blessed with a divine fragrance and handful of healing values, Benzoin has been in use since thousands of years as a holy aromatic agent in temples and other religious ceremonies.

Being a pacifying agent, Benzoin and its essential oil is said to have been used for soothing depression and treat skin disorders. Scientifically known as Styrax benzoin, it is also called as gum Benjamin or gum benzoin.

Used as a natural aid to heighten spiritual oneness and divinity, Benzoin resin was burnt by the ancient saints, Hindu priests and Buddhist monks during prayers and holy congregations.

It was used in various Complementary and Alternative Medicinal systems including Ayurveda, in the treatment of depression, wrinkles, congestion, sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis, cough, flatulence, urinary tract infections, premenstrual syndrome, inflamed skin and impotence.

Historical uses and importance of Benzoin resin: Benzoin resin is extracted from the bark of numerous trees of different species in the Styrax genus. Indigenous to the Sumatra and Java islands in Indonesia, Benzoin gets its name from the Arabic word ‘Luban Jawi’, which means Frankincense from Java. The Benzoin tree grows up to a height of 12 meters and is also grown as an ornamental tree in Western Africa.

The crude Balsamic resin is extracted by tapping method, which is nothing but the process of cutting the bark of the tree for obtaining the resin, generally from a seven years old tree. The extracted resin is then left out for 3 to 4 months for drying and hardening. Benzoin resin essential oil is extracted from this resin through a solvent.

It was said that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese imported Benzoin resin via the Red Sea. As an excellent fixative that has the power to embrace the fragrance of many aromatic oils and perfumery ingredients, Benzoin essential oil is a common element in the perfume and incense-making industry.

Benzoin was used in the traditional Malayan civilization as a fumigation and incense, to keep away from evil spirits as well as for ritual uses. Predominantly used as incense for more than 3000 years, Benzoin resin has been powdered and blended with other aromatic items like cypress, pine, labdanum, juniper and galbanum. This blend is then made as cones and kept on the heads of the dancers of Egypt, says Papyrus records.

Queen Elizabeth I used the dry perfumes made with Benzoin and the first use of this enchanting fragrance factor in England is traced between the 15th and 16th centuries. The resin is popular as an incense in Western Catholic Churches and certain Orthodox Christian associations all over the world.

Benzoin resin is also used in the manufacturing of scented wooden chips known as Bakhoor in Arabic. It is also used as mixed resins along with other resins in Horn of Africa and other Arabian provinces. This sweet-smelling resin is burned on charcoal as incense especially during spiritual occasions in India and the Arabian countries of the Persian Gulf.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Benzoin resin oil: The key chemical components of Benzoin resin essential oil are benzoic acid, coniferyl benzoate, phenylpropylic alcohol, benzaldehyde, cinnamic acid, benzyl benzoate, vanillin and phenylethylene.

The most significant remedial attributes of this oil are antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, astringent, expectorant, disinfectant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, cordial, vulnerary, carminative, sedative, relaxant and deodorant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Benzoin resin oil: Ayurveda embraces nature wholly and it is reflected in every single remedy it prescribes to mankind. This is the most valued attribute that has helped Ayurvedic healing survive and stay in the hearts of many across the globe.

With the immaculate meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayur+Veda is the only healing system on earth that insists on self-awareness about one’s own health condition and individual constitution. This traditional wisdom of healing brings in that wakefulness,  where an individual understands that every human being is being created with all kinds of mental and physical abilities in a clear order.

Ayurveda helps in appreciating this uniqueness and leading a hale and hearty life in sync with nature, which is built with five fundamental elements. They are earth, water, air, space and fire. Everything on earth including the human body is made with these five elements, where the earth takes the form of muscles and bones, water represents blood, fire helps in the biological functions including metabolism, space is the soul that keeps us alive and air assists in breathing.

According to Ayurveda, every human being is a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution. This constitution is known as Prakriti and is a combination of three biological elements called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every person has a predominance of any one of these doshas and it determines the traits, character and behavioral attributes of a person.

Ayurvedic remedies are based on the predominance of the doshas and the balance between them. Absolute health in Ayurveda is a sign of perfect balance between these doshas and illness indicates doshic imbalances. Ayurvedic healing techniques and medications aim at correcting the disparities between the doshas.

The major natural remedies prescribed in Ayurveda are herbs, plant essential oils, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and few other Ayurvedic techniques like Panchakarma or Ayurvedic detox, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage and Pranayama or Ayurvedic art of balanced breathing.

Benzoin resin oil has moisturizing and warming energies, which helps in tranquilizing the mind and enriching the skin. This oil has the power to pacify vata, pitta and kapha dosha with its sweet-balsamic, pleasant and vanillin based aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Benzoin resin essential oil are:

Benzoin-Res-Broucher1. Alleviates rheumatic conditions: Rheumatism generally occurs due to the stagnation of excess water deposits in the system. This leads to improper blood circulation, inflammation, swelling, redness, pain, soreness and difficulty in the normal functioning of the body. Excess of water and fluids in the human body is mainly caused due to the imbalance of kapha dosha, which is responsible for similar diseases like obesity, respiratory illnesses etc.,

Benzoin essential oil has anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties that help in promoting proper blood circulation, reducing pain, lessening inflammation, controlling soreness and swelling, and eliminating the surplus water deposits and toxic elements in the system by promoting frequent urination. This function also assists in treating obesity, controlling blood pressure, supporting the functions of the circulatory system and enhancing metabolism.

To get rid of rheumatic and arthritic problems, Ayurveda suggests a healthy diet that naturally controls kapha vitiation along with yogasanas that treat rheumatism and arthritis and the use of Ayurvedic essential oils like Benzoin resin oil.

The Arthritis Foundation reported that a research by the John Hopkins University has concluded that yoga is extremely beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis after publishing its research analysis stating that “who participated in eight weeks of yoga classes had significantly fewer tender and swollen joints than they did before starting class.”

Steffany Haaz, the grant recipient of the Arthritis Foundation also says, “We have previously reported that yoga helps people to feel better, and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t harmful to arthritic joints. So, we were glad to find that there actually seems to be improvement in joint symptoms for RA patients.”

Along with this, massage the painful parts with 3 drops of Benzoin resin oil mixed with 1 drop of Ginger oil, 1 drop of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Black pepper oil, 1 drop of Juniper berry oil with 4 ml of coconut oil. You can also add 2 drops of Benzoin resin oil and 2 drops of Marjoram oil in warm bathing water or in hot compress for improved results. This formula works quickly as the benzyl components in the Benzoin oil are easily absorbed by the pores of the skin.

2. Relieves congestion and other respiratory problems: Breathing is the natural action that sustains life. Trouble-free breathing brings in enormous health and happiness by permitting the flow of prana or vital life force in the system.

Any interruption or blockage in the breathing mechanism due to improper food habits, environmental factors, stagnation of water deposits and toxic substances in the system leading to built up of mucus and phlegm deposits (this is a kapha imbalance) cause respiratory problems.

Benzoin resin essential oil has the power to reduce excess kapha dosha, with its expectorant properties. 1 drop of Benzoin oil with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 drop of Niaouli oil in steam inhalation aids in loosening the accumulated phlegm and mucus, relieving congestion and cleansing the breathing passages.

Gently massaging your chest, throat and back with your vaporizing ointment mixed with 2 drops of Benzoin oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil, following the steam inhalation can aid in relieving cough, cold, congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis, blocked nose, asthma and other respiratory allergies. You can practice breathing exercises like Pranayama and yoga asanas for respiratory illnesses.

3. Drives away depressive feelings: Benzoin resin oil has a gentle, sweet and soothing aroma that tranquilizes the mind with its relaxant, sedative and anti-depressant properties. When inhaled, these remedial properties in the aromatic molecules of this oil pass on to the brain through the nasal passages. This has a positive effect on the limbic system, which is the control center of the brain.

Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ say, “Benzoin resin oil is beneficial to an irritated nervous system and can be useful in depression, PMS and stress.”

2 drops of Benzoin resin oil along with 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Orange oil added to your vaporizer, burner or diffuser can assist in stimulating the central nervous system, pacifying the mind, granting mental clarity, controlling anger, treating anxiety, improving blood circulation and instilling the power to control depressive feelings.

According to Ayurveda, among the 7 chakras, Benzoin resin oil affects the root chakra and the solar plexus chakra. Root chakra or sacral chakra is responsible for survival factors like security issues, financial independence and the ability to stand up high. Imbalance of this chakra leads to depression and various other nervous problems.

Solar plexus chakra deals with self-confidence, self-esteem, self-control, self-worth and other personal powers. The failure of the functions of this chakra leads to nervousness, lower self-confidence, inferiority complex, poor memory and digestive disorders.

Benzoin resin oil, with its power to treat the imbalances of the root chakra and solar plexus chakra, brings in self-confidence, trust and the ability to stand tall to beat depression and other negative feelings.

While talking on the relaxing effects of Benzoin resin oil on the emotional aspects of the system, Madame Maury says, ‘this essence creates a kind of euphoria; it interposes a padded zone between us and events’. You can also work out these Yoga asanas for depression and practice meditation.

4. Keeps skin problems at bay: The essential oil of Benzoin has amazing healing for nourishing your skin and helps you look younger and charming. The book on ‘Aromatherapy: Essential oil for vibrant health and beauty’ by Roberta Wilson quotes, “Benzoin was often added to cosmetics to keep skin clear and youthful. People in many different cultures have appreciated its ability to soothe and stimulate the skin.”

Benzoin resin oil has everything in its kitty for dealing with various skin problems ranging from wounds to treatment of scars. The healing properties are mainly due its chemical components including benzyl benzoate, benzoic acid and benzaldehyde.

This oil is a natural antiseptic with germicidal, disinfectant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and vulnerary properties that aid in healing wounds, cuts, sores, acne, chapped skin, eczema, scars, skin irritation, psoriasis and dermatitis.

Applying the mix of 2 drops of Benzoin resin oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Rose oil, 1 drop of Lemon oil, 1 drop of Bergamot oil, 1 drop of Frankincense oil and 4 ml of Sweet almond oil on pimples, wounds, cuts, sores, scars and other infectious skin problems can help in protecting the infected parts from germs and promote quicker healing.

Massaging this blend on your skin especially on dry, cracked, blistered or chapped skin helps repair and rejuvenate the skin cells especially on the elbows, knees and heels. It also helps in maintaining the skin suppleness and softness. Ayurveda recommends drinking ample water every day to retain healthy skin cells.

5. Benefits to the entire system: Apart from these magnificent benefits, the essential oil of Benzoin can bring in enormous other benefits to your complete system. They are the promising effects of this oil that can help in destroying germs in the mouth with its disinfectant properties and tightening the gums with its astringent properties. It also aids in treating digestive disorders with its anti-flatulent and carminative properties. It can serve as an excellent deodorant with its mesmerizing aroma, for your body as well as your home.

Other uses: Benzoin is known for its fixative and preservative values and is used in the perfume industry for these reasons, especially for reducing the dispersal of fragrance elements and essential oils in air. This oil is also utilized as a flavoring agent in baked goods, gelatins, candies, gums, puddings, frozen dairy and beverages including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Apart from this, its use in the manufacturing of scented candles, cosmetics and veterinary medications makes it a much prized natural alternative since ages.

Disclaimer: This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended for diagnosis or prevention of any illnesses. Do not substitute these remedies for any prescription drugs or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this article is shared with the interest of throwing light on the world’s oldest healing system, Ayurveda.

Never use essential oils for internal purposes and make certain that you dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it topically. This is mainly because pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions, when used on the skin directly.

Talk with your Ayurvedic professional prior to selecting the right essential oils for your Prakriti or unique individual constitution and state of health. Care should be taken before using essential oils, if you are pregnant or a nursing mom.

Thought for the day:

Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. -William Wordsworth

Suggested Reading:

  1. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the Wise (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick Series) by Scott Cunningham
  5. Making Your Own Incense: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-226 by Tina Sams, Maryanne Schwartz

Reference Links:

  1. Benzoin Resin by Wikipedia
  2. Benzoin from the book, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty by Roberta Wilson
  3. Benzoin from the book, Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Light Miller and Bryan Miller
  4. Health Benefits of Benzoin Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  5. Yoga – A Remedy To Respiratory Illnesses by Dr. Sripriya Krishnan, Department of Psychology, Dr. M.G.R Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women, Chennai

Birch Oil


Well identified as the ‘Shining Tree’, Birch tree sets a remarkable note in the field of ancient and modern medicine for its preventive and defensive actions against rheumatism, skin disorders, circulatory problems and dental mayhems.

Birch-new-2

Scientifically called as Betula Alba, Birch tree bears its origin to the Indian subcontinent, especially in the cold and temperate climates, in particular the northern part of India, which has been the safe haven for numerous saints, sages and Rishis since the pre-historic period for attaining divinity through meditation.

Birch tree is well known for its silvery white bark, from which the Birch essential oil is extracted by dry distillation method. It is called as ‘bhurja’ in Sanskrit, which means ‘a tree whose bark is used for writing upon’, and few sources also state that this name is extracted from the Sanskrit word ‘bhura’, which means ‘shining tree’.

Birch tree is highly rich in flavonoids and saponins. For its enormous medicinal and curative attributes, this tree and its essential oil are being used in Ayurveda for treating obesity, fluid retention, kidney stones, arthritis, colitis, indigestion, cholesterol and respiratory disorders.

Historical uses and importance of Birch and its essential oil:

Being a priceless tree of the ancestral origin, Birch and its essential oil were widely utilized since the primitive times, dating back to the Paleolithic and the Mesolithic era as an adhesive and for various other uses. Adhering to the meaning of its name (tree which is used for writing purposes), Birch has been extensively used for preparing manifold documents in olden days, which are now termed as Birch Bark Manuscripts.

Fulsome with spiritual and cultural importance, Birch tree is crowned as the National tree of Russia and Finland. The most special fact about Birch tree is that it resists all kinds of adverse soil and climatic conditions. The bark of this tree has been used for numerous purposes such as construction, writing and medicinal applications. This tree was also called as ‘Lady of the Woods’, for its elegance, charm, lightness and the mesmerizing aroma after rain.

The Native Americans used Birch in their folklore remedies, where it was taken along with beverages to deal with various health conditions associated with the stomach including dysentery, diarrhea and indigestion.

The essential oil obtained from the bark of this tree has been used in hair care and skin care products to drive away dandruff, hair fall, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. The sap of the inner bark is a rich source of nutrients and was used in making cakes and is predominantly known to the world as a famine food for its ability to satiate hunger as a last choice if not anything is accessible.

Birch essential oil has been used as a disinfectant, powerful insect repellent, and also in the treatment of skin infections, fever, kidney stones, eczema and rheumatism. It is also a key ingredient in various perfumes including the most popular Russian Leather fragrance and Iceland Wintergreen.

In various folk medicines, Birch was used in transfer magic remedies for alleviating rheumatic pain and other associated symptoms. The aromatic leaves of this tree were also used in making Birch tea, which was used as an effective remedy for dissolving kidney stones, alleviating pain, gout, dropsy and rheumatism.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Birch Oil:

The remedial properties of Birch essential oil are anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, febrifuge, diuretic, astringent, detoxifying, analgesic, depurative, antiseptic, stimulant, germicide, tonic, insecticide, and anti-depressant. The major chemical constituents contributing to its therapeutic properties are betulene, methyl salicylate, betulenol, creosol, salicylic acid, and guaiacol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Birch essential oil:

The word ‘Ayurveda’ has become the most common terminology in this contemporary living as many are becoming conscious about their health. When absolute health is the need of the hour, then natural remedies and chemical-free medications come along without any say and this where Ayurveda comes into picture.

Besides being a natural healing methodology, Ayurveda is a holistic system that helps in leading a disciplined life, including guidelines for a balanced diet to a modest lifestyle.

Ayurveda is the oldest of all medicinal systems on earth and it completely trusts that Mother Nature has the cure for all ailments including physical disorders and mental mayhems.

It is also said that living in harmony with Nature gifts a disease-free, harmonious and healthy life. According to this philosophy everything on earth is a combination of the 5 fundamental elements of nature. They are fire, earth, water, space and air.

For a better understanding, it is clearly depicted that earth is the representation of the bones and muscles, fire is the heat energy generated in the body for many vital functions of the system like metabolism, water stands for blood and other fluids, we breathe air and space is the representation of our soul that harmonizes all the other functions of the human body and keeps us alive.

Ayurvedic healing relies upon nature and it strongly states that all the other things on this planet are being created just for the happiness of mankind. You can identify this with the following example; Mother earth has 92 elements, including magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium etc, and the human system also has all these 92 constituents.

When a person is ill due to the deficiency of any of these elements, say iron, he/she is advised to take dates, which is rich in iron and to our astonishment dates grow by engrossing iron content from the earth. Simply brilliant, isn’t it?

Every human being is regarded as a unique part of nature in Ayurveda and it is also recommended that the remedial measures should also be unique based upon their unique individual constitution, which comprises of three biological energies called as doshas (also known as Tridosha) namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Pitta represents fire and water, vata is a combination of air and ether, and kapha signifies earth and water. Pitta energy is responsible for body temperature and metabolism, kapha controls the physical appearance, movement of fluids in the system and sustenance and vata dosha regulates the functions of the nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems.

Your first Ayurvedic consultation will help you in identifying your unique individual constitution and your predominant dosha type, which has an upper hand in determining your physical and mental makeup. Perfect balance between these doshas signifies well-being and disparities due to unwholesome food habits, change in climatic conditions, lifestyle and immoral behaviors leads to sickness.

The most significant Ayurvedic remedies that focus on treating doshic imbalances are herbs, plant essential oils, meditation, simple physical exercises, yoga, Pranayama or balanced breathing practices, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and a balanced diet.

Birch essential oil is known to pacify vata and kapha dosha and intensifies pitta dosha. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Birch essential oil are:

Birch-broucher1. Nature’s gift for treating rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism is generally regarded as a medical condition caused due to excess deposits of fluids in the system along with the built up of toxic substances and improper blood circulation that lead to inflammation, pain, redness, stiffness and irritation.

According to Ayurveda, rheumatism is majorly a kapha imbalance disorder and can be treated with Ayurvedic remedies that reduce kapha vitiation. Birch oil has anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties that aids in alleviating these agonizing conditions and reduces excess kapha dosha.

Birch essential oil is known as an effective pain reliever with the presence of the salicylate component that is present in aspirin based medications. This compound helps in lessening pain, swelling and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other pain in the joints and muscles. It works by arresting the body’s production of prostaglandins hormones, which are responsible for pain, inflammation and other similar conditions.

Along with these attributes, the essential oil of Birch also has detoxifying, diuretic and depurative properties that assist in eliminating toxins from the body, discarding salt, uric acid and excess fluid deposits in the body by promoting sweat and frequent urination and by purifying the entire system. Being a circulatory agent, this oil also helps in promoting proper circulation of blood and lessens the severity of circulatory disorders like rheumatism and edema.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Birch oil, 2 drops of Ginger oil and 2 drops of Tea tree oil along with 3 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing pain, inflammation, redness and promote proper blood circulation that helps in treating rheumatic and arthritic conditions. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Birch oil in warm compress and in warm bathing water that can help in improving your medical conditions related to rheumatism and other muscular and circulatory problems.

2. Alleviates congestion and other respiratory infections:

Birch essential oil is always one among those best natural remedies that assist in relieving severe congestion, long-term allergies and other respiratory infections. With its expectorant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, Birch essential oil supports the system in fighting against chest congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, pneumonia and bronchial congestion.

Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth elements and imbalance of kapha dosha leads to excess level of water deposits, amassing of mucus and phlegm deposits and building up of toxic substances worsening respiratory problems.

Birch essential oil is used in Ayurvedic healing for correcting kapha imbalance by generating heat in system and discarding mucus and phlegm deposits in the lungs and the respiratory passages.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Birch oil in steam inhalation can aid in loosening mucus accumulation, treating stuffed nose, nasal, chest and bronchial congestion and combats the effects of toxins and microbes in the body.

You can mix 2 drops of Birch oil, 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with your regular vaporizing ointment and massage in gentle movements on throat, chest and back for quick relief. A hot compress with 2 drops of Birch oil, following this massage on the back and chest can help improve respiratory conditions at ease.

3. Lessens pain and heal wounds rapidly:

Birch is such a magical oil that can relieve severe pain in a matter of minutes. With the presence of the salicylate component in aspirin and other pain-relieving pills, Birch oil aids in lessening pain by causing numbness on the painful area and uplifts the nerves and muscles.

Along with the Alternative and Complementary medicinal practices, the Allopathic doctors also recommend Birch oil for relieving severe pain, preventing the joints from swelling in cases of dislocation of joints or fractures.

Gently massaging the painful parts with 2 drops of Birch oil and 2 drops of Lemongrass oil along with 2 ml of olive oil can aid in easing muscular pain and stiffness. It also helps in alleviating muscular spasms and bout. 3 to 4 drops of Birch oil combined with 4 drops of Helichrysum oil and 4 ml of coconut oil massaged on the affected parts will work like a fascination especially on carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mix 2 drops of Birch oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil along with 3 ml of Sweet almond oil and apply it on wounds, cuts, skin rashes, cellulites, ringworm, eczema, itches and insect bites for quick relief. This formula works with the disinfectant, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and germicide properties of Birch oil that kills infectious micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi in skin infections and wounds and promotes quicker healing.

4. Cures oral problems:

There’s no wonder that an admirable essential oil like Birch has the therapeutic effects for treating oral problems with its anti-bacterial, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent and germicide properties. These remedial values help in treating oral problems like weak gums, cavities, bacteria, painful gums, plaque and halitosis or bad breath.

1 drop of Birch oil along with 1 drop of Spearmint oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a natural gargle formula for combating germs and bacterial growths in the mouth, strengthening the gums as an astringent, protecting the teeth and gums from infections as an antiseptic and also for keeping away from bad breath by refreshing the mouth throughout the day. This therapy can be followed twice a day in the morning and night.

5. Promotes hair growth and treats hair problems:

Birch is yet another nourishing oil for controlling loss of hair, maintaining those beautiful locks, preventing dandruff, enriching the scalp and promoting growth of hair naturally.  Just 1 drop of Birch oil in your regular shampooing can aid in healing your hair problems and deliver quick results in re-establishing your hair growth.

Massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Birch oil mixed with 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil, 3 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with 7 ml of Virgin olive oil can help in moisturizing the scalp, controlling dandruff with its anti-fungal properties, strengthening the hair follicles with its astringent properties, promotes hair growth and grants the natural lustrous, shiny and glossy look of your hair. Follow this massage with 2 drops of Birch oil added to your mild shampoo for promising results.

Other health benefits:

A 1994 study at the University of North Carolina concluded that “the chemicals found in white birch bark slowed the growth of HIV”. Various other studies conducted on the betulinic acid present in Birch essential oil have been proved to possess anti-tumor properties and kill cancerous cells. Birch essential oil is also used in the treatment of colitis, bladder stone, gout, headache, candida, multiple sclerosis, depression and urinary disorders.

Disclaimer:

This editorial is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not in anyways intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition or replace any prescribed medication or medical advice of a healthcare expert. We are medical professionals and this information is shared only with the concern of bringing out the importance of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing systems on earth.

Make sure that you speak with an Ayurvedic expert before using the perfect essential oil for your prakriti or individual constitution and state of health. Do not ingest essential oils or use it for internal purposes and ensure that you always employ essential oils in a diluted form, as 100% pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause allergic or hazardous reactions, if used directly for topical application. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.

Thought for the day:

All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God. -Thomas Browne

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann
  3. Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink
  4. The Healing Power of Essential Oils: The Original Liquid Copals by Bevonne Birch Crookston
  5. American Indian Medicine (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Virgil J. Vogel

Reference Links:

  1. Birch Tar by Wikipedia
  2. Health benefits of Birch essential oil by Organic Facts
  3. White Birch by the American Cancer Society
  4. Birch Tree: Natural Medicine in your Backyard by Mother Earth News