Litsea Cubeba Oil


Litsea--cubebabannerLitsea cubeba is a Chinese wonder herb conferred to the medicinal world. Used as a promising anti-depressant for more than thousands of years in the Asian subcontinent, Litsea cubeba is remembered to treat anxiety, fear, fatigue, excessive perspiration, pain and stress.

This is mainly due to the uplifting, regenerating, energizing and refreshing aroma of its lemony essential oil extracted from the pepper-like berries of this evergreen shrub. Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine embraces a long history of Litsea cubeba where this mesmerizing herb has been used for treating asthma, acne, eczema, dermatitis, indigestion and microbial infections.

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Historical importance of Litsea cubeba:

Botanically known as Litsea cubeba, this herb is popularly known as May Chang. It also called by other names like Mountain pepper, Chinese pepper, mountain spice tree, tropical verbena and exotic verbena. Native to China, Indonesia and Japan, Litsea cubeba is also grown widely in India, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java.

Lovingly called as maqaw by the Atayal aborigines in Taiwan, May Chang has been used as a renowned spice by the aborigines of Taiwan. The pepper-shaped fruits of this tree were used as hot flavoring spice for meat dish known as sambal. May Chang flowers were also used in preparing medicinal tea.

The ancient Chinese used this herb for treating digestive ailments, chills, back pain, muscular aches and asthma. Traditionally this herb was used as a natural anti-spasmodic agent that helped in clearing spasms especially in the bronchia, thus assisting in the treatment of asthmatic attacks.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Litsea cubeba oil:

Citral is the major component of Litsea cubeba essential oil with more than 70 to 85% of the oil where geraniol is the a-citral and neral is the b-citral. This constituent contributes primarily to the healing properties of this oil such as antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, tonic, insecticide, deodorant, calming, stimulant, antispasmodic, anti-infectious, sedative, carminative, vulnerary, antidepressant and stomachic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Litsea cubeba oil:

Ayurveda is a treasure to mankind. You don’t need to be a healthcare practitioner to understand Ayurvedic philosophies as the wisdom of this noble science lies in its simplicity. Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita explain the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental factors affecting a human’s life, ways to lead a healthy life, natural remedies for diseases and guide towards a disciplined life and longevity.

’Everything in this world is vested with nature’ is the strong belief of Ayurvedic healing. It considers human beings as a part of nature and illness according to Ayurveda denotes a person’s imbalance with nature. Ayurvedic treatments involve the use of natural remedies to strike balance between nature and an individual’s state of health.

Ayurveda states that every individual is unique with an exclusive constitution that is built up of three biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Each of these doshas governs a set of functions in the body.

Predominance of any one of these doshas determines the character and physical attributes of a person. Imbalance of all or any of these doshas causes sickness. Herbs, essential oils, a disciplined life style, meditation, physical exercises and yoga are the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for dealing with dosha imbalances.

Litsea cubeba essential oil is said to pacify excess kapha energy and aggravate deficit vata and pitta doshas.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Litsea cubeba oil are listed below for your reference:

Litsea-broucher1. Cures problems with digestion:

With the strong citrus aroma and warming stomachic properties, Litsea essential oil increases pitta energy, which governs the process of digestion, thinking and body temperature. This herb and its essential oil augment the digestive fire and enhance the appetite, treat indigestion and flatulence.

It prevents the formation of gas in the stomach and intestines. To support the process of digestion, blend 3 drops of Litsea cubeba oil with 15 drops of sesame oil and massage your abdomen or add 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water.

2. Pampers your skin health:

‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ and when it comes to the beauty of human beings, skin plays the prime role in determining one’s external beauty. Litsea cubeba oil has everything that is essential to maintain a healthy looking skin from within. Maharishi Ayurveda denotes that Litsea cubeba essential oil is an excellent vata and pitta balancing formula to treat normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin.

Massaging your skin with 2 drops of Litsea cubeba oil mixed with10 to 15 drops of coconut oil can work wonders on your greasy, oily and infection prone skin. This massage enhances blood circulation and controls the secretion of sebum.

The astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of this oil help you to keep away from acne, blemishes, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, psoriasis and cellulites. The ability to cleanse the skin, balance the flow of sebum and shrink open pores, aids in treating and preventing acne flare-ups.

A recent study on ‘Screening of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers. from north-east India – chemical composition and antimicrobial activity’ proved that Litsea cubeba oil has potent “antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.” This oil is also effective in treating wounds, ringworms, cuts and insect bites.

3. Stimulates your mind:

Litsea cubeba essential oil has an exuberant aroma that is flowery and lemony in nature. It is for this purpose Litsea cubeba herb and its oil has been used in making perfumes, soaps and other cosmetic products.

Inhaling the magical aroma of this oil uplifts your mood, augments mental alertness, refreshes your mind, influences new ideas for life, pacifies your depressed mind and grants you a sense of freedom and confidence. Kurt Schnaubelt says that Litsea cubeba oil is used for calming the mind and senses.  Adding 2 drops of this oil to vaporizer, diffuser or burner aids in treating your mental worries and give a new lease of life to your world around.

4. Treats pain and inflammation:

The vata and pitta enhancing properties of Litsea cubeba oil assists in increasing blood circulation, reducing inflammation and strengthening the muscles. By reducing kapha energy, this oil aids in eliminating the excess fluid deposits and toxic substances in the body and tones your tissues.

The book on ‘Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art’ states that massaging with May Chang oil helps alleviate allergies, open up the bronchial passages in case of asthma, bronchitis and other chest infections.

Massaging the affected area with 2 to 3 drops of Litsea cubeba oil blended with 20 drops of coconut oil helps relieve pain, headache, muscular tension, respiratory ailments, arthritis and rheumatism. You can also use this oil in hot or cold compress for assisting inflammation and pain.

5. Kills insects and keeps your home fresh and clean:

Litsea cubeba oil is the ideal fragrant way to keep away from insects and stay refreshed and ready to be picked up all through the day. You can add 2 drops of this oil in your regular insect repellant preparations or outdoor candles to keep your family protected from bugs, flies, mosquitoes and other insects and to give a clean n fresh feeling to your home. You can also add few drops of this oil in your shampoo, bathing water, body wash or skin care cream to stay protected in an insect-free environment.

Other uses:

With a much similar aroma to Lemongrass and lemon verbena, Litsea cubeba oil is preferred by numerous aromatherapists and perfume author Mandy Aftel prefers this oil to other citrus oils for its versatile aroma. This herb and its oil has also been used and proved effective in the treatment of arrhythmia, nervous disorders, high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases and cancer cells death in case of lung cancer. The bark of this tree is also used in making handicrafts and furniture.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not intended to diagnose or replace any professional advice or prescribed medication. Never use essential oils internally. Always use essential oils in a diluted form as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your health condition and unique constitution.

Thought for the day:

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.  – Diane Ackerman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume by Mandy Aftel
  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. Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils by Kurt Schnaubelt
  4. Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre

Reference Links:

  1. Litsea Cubeba by Wikipedia
  2. What is Litsea Cubeba? By WiseGEEK
  3. Uses of May Chang Essential Oil by Livestrong.Com
  4. Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Profile Aromatherapy Lifestyle by Quinessence
  5. Screening of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers. from north-east India – chemical composition and antimicrobial activity published in the Journal of essential oil research by Taylor Francis Online

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.

Purchase Agarwood Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

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

Bay Oil


The energy of being able to feel the new fragrance of the dewfall from a rose petal is the symbol of being hale and hearty. Bay leaf and its essential oil is another gift of nature that can help one in attaining this absolute state of health and heartiness.

Bay-oil-bnrBeing a stimulant of the digestive system, respiratory passages, circulatory system and the lymphatic functions, Bay leaf has been a trusted traditional remedy for keeping numerous health conditions at bay.

Celebrated as an aromatic culinary spice all over the world, Bay leaf is one among the most important ingredient of the garam masala and the authentic Biriyani, the much relished dish of the world from the Mughal Empire.

Botanically called as Laurus nobilis (Mediterranean Bay leaf), Bay leaf is known as Tejpatta (Indian Bay leaf or Cinnamomum tamala) in Ayurveda, and it has been used in the treatment of scalp dryness, migraine, amenorrhea, neuralgia, headache, asthma, poor memory, kidney infections, joint pain, uterus infection, arthritis, high blood sugar, menstrual difficulties, flatulence, stress, indigestion, diabetes and certain respiratory problems.

Purchase Bay Essential Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Historical uses and importance of Bay leaf and its essential oil:

Bay leaves generally refer to various aromatic leaves of several plants used for culinary purposes. These names are given based on their nativity and few notable Bay leaf varieties are Bay laurel or Laurus nobilis, which is of Mediterranean origin; the next is the Indian Bay leaf or Cinnamomum tamala; West Indian Bay leaf or Pimenta racemosa; Indonesia Bay leaf or Syzygium polyanthum; Mexican Bay leaf or Litsea glaucescens; and the California Bay leaf or Umbellularia californica.

Every variety of Bay leaf has its own fragrance and numerous uses in cooking and in remedial practices for more than thousands of years across the globe. Whole leaves and powdered leaves are often used in adding that unique flavor in food preparation, where as the infusion or decoction of these leaves and its essential oil play a vital role in the Traditional and Alternative healing methodology.

Held high as the Sun God in Astrology, Bay laurel tree and its leaves have been related to wisdom, protection and peace since the primeval times, where the wise King was honored with the garland made of Bay leaves. This is mainly due to the positive emotional benefits of Bay leaves that aid in treating anxiety, stress and insomnia.

The powdered Bay leaves were mixed with milk for treating urinary infections, fever and dyspepsia. It was also recommended for normalizing blood circulation and reducing bad cholesterol in the system. The fresh and dried Bay leaves were used in the preparation of an herbal infusion, which was used as a promising diuretic for promoting frequent urination; eliminate excess water from the body and toxic remains in the system causing rheumatic conditions, indigestion, obesity and even heart problems.

Bay leaves were a trusted remedy in the Indian folklore medicine for treating vomiting, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, rheumatism, obesity and colic. These magical leaves were also used as an aid for preventing cancer and oral problems. It is also used in the preparation of soups, stews, curries, liqueurs, anti-dandruff shampoos and cologne.

Bay leaf essential oil has been recommended in treating dandruff, rheumatism, migraine pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, congestion and earache. The astringent and anti-bacterial properties of this leaf supports its use as a salve for wounds and was used in the traditional medicine for treating skin rashes due to stinging nettle, poison ivy etc.,

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Bay leaf essential oil:

The most notable therapeutic values of Bay leaf essential oil are anti-bacterial, antifungal, diuretic, stomachic, emmenagogue, tonic, febrifuge, diaphoretic, sedative, astringent, appetite stimulant, anti-neuralgic, expectorant, insecticide, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, antibiotic, aperitif and sudorific.

These remedial properties are due to the presence of effective chemical constituents in Bay essential oil including eucalyptol or cineole, linalool, limonene, eugenol, a-terpineol, geraniol, phellandrene, myrcene, a-pinene, b-pinene, neral, chavicol, and geranyl acetate.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Bay essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest medicinal science known to the world with more than 5,000 years of successful healing. It is a vital part of the ancient Indian Hindu mythology, which contains a compilation of 4 major Holy books called as Vedas.

They are Rig, Sama, Atharvaveda and Yajur Vedas. Between them, Ayurveda is a component of the Atharvaveda, in which 114 verses indicate the all-embracing Ayurvedic philosophy and natural remedies to guide a healthy and hearty living.

The world of Ayurveda attained its wholesomeness with the writings of the Ayurvedic physicians like Charaka (regarded as the ‘Father of medicine’) and Sushruta (known to the world as the ‘Father of surgery’). Acharya Charaka composed Charaka Samhita and Sushruta wrote Sushruta Samhita respectively, which was later combined together and gifted to the world of medicine in the name of Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita.

Ayurvedic healing insists on the importance of leading a healthy life with absolute physical, mental, social and spiritual balance. For attaining this, Ayurveda advises on leading a healthy lifestyle and balanced food habits along with other routine tasks like simple physical exercises, meditation, yoga, prayers and natural remedies like herbs and Ayurvedic essential oils.

As a holistic healing methodology, Ayurveda has everything including disciplinary values for increased life span and attaining bliss while on earth itself. With these respectable principles, Ayurveda aims at preventing illnesses rather than just healing. It believes that the adherence to Ayurvedic lifestyle and healthy habits can aid in preventing lifestyle disorders like high blood pressure, fatty liver conditions, high cholesterol, heart diseases, obesity, kidney degeneration and diabetes etc.

Ayurveda strongly believes that everything on earth including mankind is made up of the five basic elements of nature. They are earth, fire, space, air and water. It further states that every individual is a unique creation with a unique individual constitution, which is made of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha.

Vata dosha is a combination of air and space and is responsible for the circulatory and nervous functions of the system. Pitta is made up of fire and water and is in charge for the metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha is a mix of water and earth and is accountable for the functions of the reproductive system, sustenance and physique.

According to Ayurveda, every person has a predominance of one of these doshas and it decides the personality, behavior and character of an individual. Balance between these doshas as per the law of nature indicates perfect health and doshic disparities due to change in food habits, lifestyle and climatic conditions leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies and Ayurvedic techniques like Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the detox techniques, Pranayama or balanced breathing etc., for correcting the imbalance of doshas.

With its drying and warming energies along with its fresh, long lasting, sweet-balsamic and spicy aroma, Bay leaf essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata dosha and aggravate pitta dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Bay leaf essential oil:

Bay-oil1. Promising remedy for diabetes and other lifestyle disorders:

Bay leaf essential oil has numerous remedial properties that help in the treatment of diabetes and other lifestyle health problems like fatty liver conditions, high blood pressure, obesity and kidney degeneration.

A 2009 study on ‘Bay leaves Improve Glucose and Lipid Profile of People with Type 2 Diabetes’ by the Department of Human Nutrition, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan published in the “Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition” analyzed the effects of blood sugar on human beings with Type 2 diabetes.

Among the participants who were given about 1 to 3 grams of ground Bay leaf per day in this program for 30 days, reflected a significant fall in the level of blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol. This research concluded that “Bay leaves reduced serum glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and increased HDL cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.”

The antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties of Bay leaf promotes the system in the progression of insulin effectively. The most amazing result of this study was that it also helped in reducing the level of cholesterol and triglycerides, which also assists in reducing the menace of cardiovascular disorders due to enhanced insulin function.

Another study in 2011 on “The effects of Bay leaves on the patients with Diabetes Mellitus” by Abdulrahim Aljamal conducted on 65 patients with Type2 diabetes witnessed that “this study group using Bay leaf supplementation for 4 weeks decreases the risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases by reducing blood glucose and lipids levels.”

It was also explained that diabetes mellitus is one among the major risk factors for cardiovascular problems, where the occurrence of such disorders are increased 2 to 4 times in people with diabetes. He also says “Diabetes is a chronic disorder of glucose metabolism resulting from dysfunction of pancreatic beta cells and insulin resistance.”

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and it transmits the remedial values of Ayurvedic essential oils quickly into the bloodstream, thus speeding up the healing process. You can either use Bay leaf oil in a massaging blend or your bath for treating diabetes.

Make your home the heaven of Ayurvedic spa in the weekend by massaging your system with 5 drops of Bay leaf oil, 5 drops of Clove oil, 5 drops of Cinnamon oil and 5 drops of Rosemary oil along with 10 ml of Olive oil, followed by a refreshing bath diluted with 1 drop of Bay leaf oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil. This can absolutely help in augmenting your insulin function and support in reducing your blood glucose, lipids and cholesterol levels.

2. Helps in healing wounds quickly:

Bay leaf is nature’s blissful gift for healing wounds and skin infections at ease. With its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, the fresh and dried leaves along with the essential oil have been in use in healing wounds, scars, bruises, cuts, insect bites and minor skin allergies. Bay leaves were used in folklore medicine as a remedy for venomous snake bites, poisonous stings and bites.

Open wounds are always viable for catching up with bacteria, virus and fungus, which ends up in septic of wounds and serious infections, leading to sharp pain, convulsions, cramps and  hydrophobia.  The poultice made using Bay leaves were used by various herbalists for disinfecting and healing wounds.

A 2011 study published in the Natural product research journal proved that Bay leaves contain antimicrobial activity that combats the growth of bacteria and general pathogens like Aspergillus fumigatus, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Streptococcus pyogenes. Among these, Staphylococcus aureus is considered to be the most harmful bacteria responsible for wounds becoming septic.

Bay leaf is rich vitamin A & C, which are extremely good for healthy skin. It enhances the healthiness of the skin from within by helping in retaining its natural beauty. Gently massaging your skin with 2 drops of Bay leaf oil with 2 drops of Petitgrain oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil along with 3 ml of jojoba oil can give that charisma for your skin by reducing wrinkles, cleansing the pores deeply, treating acne, stretch marks, scars, eczema and covering up the other skin outbreaks.

2 drops of Bay leaf oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be applied on wounds and other skin infections for promoting quicker healing and arresting the growth of hazardous microbial infections.

3. Improves digestion and other metabolic functions:

The aromatic leaves and its essential oil of Bay are famous as a digestive aid, especially in the Asian, Middle East and Mediterranean countries. Ayurveda states that Bay leaf has heating energies that aids in augmenting Agni or the digestive fire, which is responsible for trouble-free metabolic functions.

Bay leaf is called as a pitta aggravating spice and herb, where pitta dosha deals with metabolism. Digestive disorder or problems due to pitta deficiency are balanced with the help of Bay leaves and its various extracts.

With its carminative, anti-flatulent, stomachic and cholagogue properties, Bay leaf oil helps in expelling the excess gas in the stomach and intestines. The stimulating effect of this oil boosts the metabolic functions and helps relieve digestive problems like colic, flatulence, diarrhea, bloating, intestinal spasms and ulcers.

Massaging your stomach with 2 drops of Bay oil blended with 2 drops of Geranium oil and 2 drops of Lemon oil along with 3 ml of Sesame oil can assist in promoting the secretion of gastric acids, digestive juices, enzymes and bile, which aids in neutralizing surplus acids in the lining of the stomach and intestines, thus preventing ulcers.

Along with this massaging, inhaling the encouraging aroma of Bay oil in a diffuser by adding 2 drops of this oil can strengthen your digestive system and support hassle-free metabolism.

4. Alleviates respiratory illnesses:

Bay leaf oil has excellent warming energy that assists in relieving from illnesses caused due to excess water deposits, which otherwise leads to the amassing of mucus and phlegm in the system. Generally respiratory illnesses are caused mainly due to the imbalance of kapha dosha and vata dosha in cases of breathing difficulties faced in asthmatic attacks.

Bay oil has been trusted as a natural source of reducing excess of kapha and vata dosha. This helps in the treatment of congestion, buildup of phlegm in the lungs and nasal passages, bronchitis, whooping cough and cold.

In their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, Bryan Miller and Light Miller say “Bay can be useful for the respiratory tract, also easing congestion or colds, especially in combination with Eucalyptus and Rosemary.”

2 drops of Bay oil and 2 drops of Tulsi oil added to steam inhalation is a great assistance for loosening stiff phlegm and mucus deposits in the breathing passages, asthma, nasal congestion, stiff nose, watery eyes, cough, common cold, headache and other respiratory allergies.

Mixing 2 drops of Bay oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Rosemary oil in your vaporizing ointment and gently massaging it on your chest, throat and back is a brilliant way to treat your respiratory infections including asthmatic attacks at ease.

This is attributed mainly by the expectorant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, immune stimulant and tonic properties of these essential oils that strengthen the immune system and help it fight against respiratory disorders.

5. Supports healthy hair and scalp:

The most interesting healing attribute of Bay leaf oil is that it assists in controlling hair fall and promotes hair growth. In the traditional Ayurvedic medicine, a herbal rinse prepared by infusing Bay leaves was used in the treatment of dandruff and dry scalp.

Bryan Miller in the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy reveals Light Miller’s preferred hair treatment with Bay oil. He says “Light’s favorite use of Bay oil is to add it to hot oil treatment for the hair. To two ounces of Jojoba oil, add 4 drops of Bay, 3 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Lemon, 3 drops of Rosemary, 3 drops of Rosewood oil and a tablespoon of Sesame oil.”

He further adds “Heat the mixture and apply to the hair while warm, wrap your head in a towel and sit for fifteen minutes to half an hour. Shampoo clean. Bay is also very effective for dry scalp and hair; you may add it to shampoo and cream rinses.”

2 drops of Bay oil with 2 drops of Bhringraj oil, 2 drops of Amla oil and 2 drops of Neem oil added to 5 ml of Sweet almond oil can be massaged on the hair roots, for stimulating the growth of lustrous, black, healthy and strong hair and getting rid of dandruff and head lice.

6. Relieves rheumatic and arthritic conditions:

Bay leaves have anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which aid in treating rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Rheumatism is again a kapha disorder, where excess of water deposits get stagnated in the system, especially in the joints. This causes pain, swelling, inflammation, redness, lack of energy, and buildup of toxic substances and free radicals.

Bay leaf oil has warming and drying energies that helps in reducing pain by generating heat in the affected parts and eliminating the toxic remains and surplus water content in the system through urine. The diuretic and sudorific properties in this oil promotes sweating and urination and is a natural remedy for discarding free radicals, ama or toxic substances, uric acid, salt and other excess water deposits.

Massaging the painful area with 4 drops of Bay leaf oil with 3 drops of Lavender oil and 3 drops of Cinnamon oil along with 5 ml of Coconut oil can aid in alleviating pain and sprain, and in reducing inflammation, irritation, redness, painful joints and sore muscles.

7. Effective inhibitor of cancerous cells:

Many scientific studies have proved the effects of Bay leaf in treating various types of cancer with its chemo-protective properties, contributed by the presence of quercetin, catechins, quercetin and eugenol.

Various research reports have established that Bay leaves control the production of cervical cancer cells with the presence of a phytonutrient named parthenolide. Another study have explored that the chemical component lauroside B extracted from Laurus nobilis inhibits the generation of skin cancer or human melanoma cells.

Other benefits:

Bay oil can also be used as an effective repellent against cockroaches, moths, silverfish, mice etc., It is also helpful in treating dental infections and circulatory problems.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not meant for treatment, prevention or diagnosis of any health condition. It should not be used as a replacement for prescription drugs or any expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this piece of information is intended only for sharing the traditional richness of Ayurveda, the mother of all medicinal systems on earth.

Internal use of essential oils should be strictly avoided and make sure that you dilute essential oils before using it for topical application, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergies if used on the skin directly. Speak with your Ayurvedic physician or healthcare expert before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and your medical condition.

Bay oil is emmenagogue in nature and may induce menstruation so it is not advisable for use for pregnant women. Keep it out of reach of children.

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

Bay Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

Bay oil is said to exhibit irritation, sensitization, hepatoxicity and cytotoxicity. Topical application and inhalation of this oil might cause allergies, skin irritation, sensitization in pregnant women, children and nursing mothers, arrest blood clotting and irritate the mucous membranes. It is recommended to avoid Bay oil during pregnancy, even in a diluted form, as it may cause harm to the developing fetus.

The key chemical constituents responsible for the possible skin issues of Bay oil are eugenol and methyleugenol. Besides being an excellent decongestant and antiseptic, eugenol in undiluted Bay oil can cause rashes, itching, irritation of the skin and the mucous membranes, when applied as a decongesting ointment or during inhalation of the concentrated oil.

Remember to dilute Bay oil in suitable carrier oils and 10% is the recommended safe dilution level.  Always perform a patch test on your skin before using Bay oil for dermatological purposes.

Numerous studies state that Bay oil has Cytotoxic effects, which means the potent of being toxic or deadly to cells. For this effect, Bay oil is used therapeutically in Apoptosis or a genetic line up for controlled cell death, especially in the treatment of Cancer. Chemotherapy (treatment of cancer) solely depends upon the potential of cytotoxic remedies to destroy the existing cancerous cells and thwart the rapid reproducing ability of cancer cells (Antiproliferative ability).

According to the European Commission’s scientific committee opinion on Food on Methyleugenol, it displays genotoxic and carcinogenic effect and it does not hold good for topical or external use of Bay oil.

Bay leaf is often misconceived as toxic as it is confused with other members of the Laurel family like Mountain Laurel, Cherry Laurel, which are potential toxic agents.

This warning is applicable to direct skin applications like lotions, balms, massage oils and creams and not for bathing products like soaps and shampoos.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Bay oil:

  1. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  2. Bay oil by Mercola.com
  3. Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on Methyleugenol by the European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General
  4. Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche: Using Essential Oils for Physical and Emotional Well-Being by Peter Damian and Kate Damian
  5. Cytotoxic effect of Laurus nobilis extracts on different cancer cell lines by Zaynab Saad Abdel Gany, Iraqi Center for Cancer and Medical Genetics Researches

Thought for the day:

Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. God’s Healing Herbs by Dennis Ellingson
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. Functional Foods, Aging, and Degenerative Disease from CRC Press
  5. Therapeutic Blending With Essential Oil: Decoding the Healing Matrix of Aromatherapy by Rebecca Park Totilo

Reference Links:

  1. Bay Leaf by Wikipedia
  2. Bay Leaves Improve Glucose and Lipid Profile of People with Type 2 Diabetes by Alam Khan, Goher Zaman and Richard A. Anderson, published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition
  3. Effects of Bay leaves on the patients with Diabetes mellitus by Abdulrahim Aljamal, published in the Research Journal of Medicinal plant
  4. Scientifically proven health benefits of Bay leaf oil published in the Planet of health


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