Cinnamon Oil


Cinnomon-banner“Cinnamon is empowering to the will and is one of the best oils for circulation especially during menopause”, says Light Miller in her book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. This oil also enhances blood circulation, supports the functions of the heart, augments sexual function, improves digestion, boosts sexual desire and controls diabetes.

The essential oil of Cinnamon is obtained from the dried inner bark of the Cinnamon tree, scientifically known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum (now called as Cinnamomum verum) by steam distillation method.

Cinnamon is a symbol of sovereignty and respect and was a prestigious gift to Gods and Monarchs in the history. Called as Darusita or Tvak in Ayurveda, Cinnamon has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine for treating malaria, diabetes, menopausal problems, headache, bad breath, digestive disorders, impotence, anemia, sinus congestion, dyspepsia, blood circulation, scabies, intestinal infections and gynecological problems (used even as a natural birth-control aid).

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Historical uses and importance of Cinnamon herb and its essential oil:

Cinnamon is a small bushy evergreen tree that is indigenous to South Asia, especially to Sri Lanka and India. It is credited as one of the three oldest herb known to the ancient world along with Myrrh and Frankincense. The oldest historical reference of Cinnamon is its description found in the ancient Jewish religious text Torah.

Biblical texts talk about Cinnamon and its esteemed uses in various places and the most noted among them is the command to Moses to make use of cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil.

Solomon describes the charm of his love by saying that her garments scented with cinnamon are like the smell of Lebanon. In various proverbs it’s been mentioned that the bed of the lovers is adorned with the aroma of cinnamon, aloes and myrrh.

The primordial Indians used Cinnamon as a condiment and in Ayurvedic healing before 8th century and the traditional Chinese physicians used Cinnamon as early as 2700 B.C.

It was also imported to Egypt in 2000 B.C. Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides, Galen and many other renowned herbalists have documented the therapeutic uses of Cinnamon.

Cinnamon was held high in the ancient period and was valued more than 15 times of silver (about 350 grams of Cinnamon was equivalent to that of 5 kgs of Silver in the 1st Century). The traditional Egyptians used Cinnamon and its essential oil in embalming dead bodies and in preserving meat. Ayurvedic system used Cinnamon for controlling the blood sugar level and for assisting digestive disorders. Its essential oil was used in pacifying the nerves and muscles.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine used this herb as an aid in treating painful and delayed menstruation, diarrhea, cold, cough and other respiratory problems.

Cinnamon was burnt as an offering in religious ceremonies and also for sanctifying the atmosphere. It was used by the primeval Romans attaining the healing powers for spiritual wellness.

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

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Cinnamon oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its distinct aroma, remedial values, consistency and superiority of this splendid oil. Among which, (E)-Cinnamaldehyde has the highest area with a proportion of about 76.8% of Cinnamon oil components.

Just click on:

(E)-Cinnamaldehyde

Eugenol

Cinnamyl acetate

Alpha-pinene

Linalool

Alfa-copaene

Beta-caryophyllene

I certainly trust that this information would help in having a clear picture about the major chemical constituents of Cinnamon oil.

The table crafted below elucidates the unique nature and therapeutic attributes of these biochemical constituents to the medicinal magnificence of Cinnamon essential oil.

cinnamon-tableTherapeutic properties of Cinnamon essential oil:

The remedial properties of Cinnamon essential oil are antioxidant, astringent, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-clotting, anti-fungal, cardiac, emmenagogue, stimulant, analgesic, antibiotic, vermifuge, tonic, aphrodisiac, stomachic, diaphoretic, diuretic, anti-parasitic, alterative, expectorant, antispasmodic and carminative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cinnamon essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest healing systems on earth that focuses on a holistic approach for healing, preventing and ensuring longevity for humanity. By the word holistic, Ayurvedic remedies aim at granting complete health including the physical, mental and spiritual health.

This is because, this traditional Indian methodology strongly believes that these three aspects of health are inter-related and the weakness of any of these aspects will directly or indirectly affect the other two.

This is explained in the Sutrasthana of Charaka Samhita, the oldest Ayurvedic encyclopedia as The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda is an absolute common sense science that stimulates proper functioning of the system, peaceful sleep, emotional tranquility, spiritual oneness and takes you a brand new world of energy and enrichment.

The exclusivity of Ayurveda lies in its individual attention for every person even if a group of 10 people are affected by the same illness.

The typical ‘one size fits all’ principle of the modern medical system never holds good for a natural healing technique like Ayurveda. Here every individual is considered as a unique part of nature, made up with the five elemental forces of nature. They are fire, earth, water, space and air.

These five elements represent themselves in the form of three biological energies known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. These 3 doshas join together to form an individual constitution, which makes every person unique with a specified set of physical, mental and spiritual attributes.

Vata is a combination of air and space and is in charge of respiratory functions, nervous system and the process of circulation. Pitta stands for fire and water and is responsible for body temperature and the process of metabolism. Earth and water put together forms kapha dosha and is accountable for structure of the body, functions of the fluids in the system and sustenance.

Every individual has a unique combination of these doshas. Balance between these doshas indicates healthiness and imbalance due to lifestyle, food habits and other environmental factors lead to doshic imbalances causing illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends the use of natural remedies like herbs, yoga, essential oils, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and other Ayurvedic therapies according to the individual constitution of a person, so as to correct the imperfect balance of doshas.

Cinnamon essential oil is a perfect Ayurvedic essential oil to treat the surplus of vata and kapha doshas and the deficit of pitta dosha.

This makes Cinnamon oil a prime choice in treating digestive problems as it’s known to enhance the ‘agni or fire’ in the system that is responsible for metabolic functions.

It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cinnamon essential oil.

Cinnoman-broucher1. Boon to diabetics:

In an Ayurvedic perspective, diabetes is a disarray of kapha unevenness occurred due to weakened digestive fire. Cinnamon is a nature’s wonder herb for treating increased kapha dosha and enhance the flow of pitta energy. This is mainly because of its warming properties that help in encouraging Agni or the digestive fire that supports the balanced functioning of the digestive system.

Cinnamon is habitually prescribed for people with kapha dosha predominance and these people generally hold a wet, cold, heavy and slow mechanism of the body.

By this way, using Cinnamon essential oil either in a massage blend or in inhalation along with an Ayurvedic diet and Ayurvedic routine that includes healthy lifestyle changes, meditation, prayers, yoga and other simple physical exercises for controlling the blood glucose levels of the system, thus having a check on diabetes.

Cinnamon has been recommended by the American Diabetes Association in 2006 for controlling diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman quotes few important research works on diabetes including the study on ‘Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes’ and states that “The bark of Cinnamomum trees contains phytochemicals that enhance insulin signaling and facilitate glucose uptake and storage by the body’s cells.”

A 2003 study on Cinnamon for diabetes established that taking Cinnamon supplements regularly for 40 days decreased blood sugar and level of cholesterol in type 2 diabetes patients.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Cinnamon essential oil blended with 5 to 7 ml sesame oil can help in regulating the blood sugar level with its pungent aroma and heating energy. The therapeutic properties of this oil enters the blood stream by penetrating through the skin cells and act directly on the cellular structure. It also aids in controlling the digestion of sugar and fatty substances, which helps in providing resistance of insulin in Type 2 diabetes.

A 2012 research on “Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model” by the Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka published in PubMed concluded that “Cinnamomum zeylanicum lowered blood glucose, reduced food intake, and reduced atherogenic LDL cholesterol.”

2. Nature’s most appealing aphrodisiac:

Cinnamon holds the honor of elating the senses of mankind for numerous centuries with its sweet, mesmerizing and rich aroma. In his book ‘Dangerous Tastes’, author Andrew Dalby quotes Cinnamon as “an aroma of divine worship and of sensual luxury.”

The warming, stimulating and aphrodisiac properties in Cinnamon help in increasing the body temperature and helps in arousing strong sexual desire in men and women.

Massaging your lower abdomen, genital parts and thighs with 5 drops of Cinnamon oil mixed with 2.5 ml virgin olive oil can help in improving sensual feelings, augmenting libido in both male and female, treat impotency and erectile dysfunction.

Inhaling the healing aroma of Cinnamon oil by adding 2 drops to your burner, vaporizer or diffuser along with this massaging can act as a great aid in strengthening the uterus muscles, relieving menstrual pain, regularizing blocked menstruation, washing out uterine congestion, and inducing labor pain.

This is due to the tendency of Cinnamon to stimulate the secretion of Oxytocin hormones responsible for increasing uterine contractions and enhancing the production of breast milk.

3. Aromatic treat to treat your digestive problems:

Cinnamon has an euphoric aroma that increases the secretion of digestive acids and gastric juices by enhancing agni or the digestive fire.

The slightly bitter and pungent taste of Cinnamon along with its hot potency aids in processing ama or the undigested toxic substances, reducing heaviness of the stomach, treating sluggish bowel movements and alleviating abdominal pain.

Inhaling the energizing aroma of Cinnamon oil by adding 2 to 3 drops of this oil in burner, vaporizer or your hanky along with a warming massage of your abdomen with 4 drops of Cinnamon oil blended with 2 ml of coconut oil can assist in treating colic, slow digestion, nausea, dyspepsia and diarrhea.

4. Relieves respiratory infections:

Ayurveda describes most of the respiratory disorders as kapha imbalance. This excess kapha stockpiles in the respiratory passages in the form of mucous and phlegm deposits and cause hindrance in the free movement of air to the lungs and nasal passages. This is why many or all of the respiratory illnesses are accompanied by breathing difficulties.

Cinnamon essential oil has kapha-reducing properties with its bitter, hot, pungent and penetrating qualities. The expectorant, decongestant and demulcent properties of this oil help in loosening the thick phlegm and mucous secretion in the nasal passages and the respiratory tract. The anti-tubercular activity of cinnamic acid present in Cinnamon oil also helps in treating tuberculosis, chronic cough and asthma.

Adding 3 drops of Cinnamon oil in steam inhalation can be extremely helpful in warming up the lungs, liquefying nasal and chest congestion and eliminating phlegm and mucous in the bronchial passages. 2 drops of this oil added to vaporub and massaged gently on the throat, chest and back can also assist in relieving stuffy nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion, headache and cough.

5. Helps release anger and dependence:

The sweet smelling oil of Cinnamon has been found to boost memory power and cognitive functioning abilities of the mind. Many Ayurvedic schools have recommended Cinnamon for enhancing memory skills.

Cinnamon essential oil empowers the willpower and purifies the spirit. This aids in treating mental fatigue, anger, tension, anxiety, depression and other negative feelings. This oil affects the Solar plexus chakra, which connects our personal fire with that of the world revolving around us.

Fears of criticism, rejection and lack of self-confidence affect the functioning of this chakra. Using 2 drops of Cinnamon oil in bath or in diffuser or vaporizer can help in increasing one’s feelings of independence and promotes one to take risks with confidence and power.

6. Clears blood impurities and promotes blood circulation:

Cinnamon essential oil has blood purifying properties that are attributed to its stimulant and cleansing remedial values. It helps in eliminating the toxic substances in the blood through urine and sweat.

2 drops of Cinnamon oil added to diffuser during Pranayama, the technique of balanced breathing followed by a meditation can help in discarding the toxins in the blood through exhalation, enhancing Ojas or the vital energy for longevity, stimulating the cardiac functions and granting mental peace and improved blood circulation especially to the six chakras in the body.

7. Checks the effects of fungal and bacterial infections:

The essential oil of Cinnamon is an effective immune system booster by nature. It also has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties that curb the growth of disastrous micro-organisms in the system. Mixing 2 drops of Cinnamon oil with 1 ml of almond oil and applying it on the affected parts can help in healing wounds, burns, cuts, candida, boils, itches, athlete’s foot, and ringworm and prevents the wound from turning septic.

According to a 2006 study by the Saurashtra University, India, Cinnamon essential oil extracted from the bark of the Cinnamon tree got attained 42.5 out of 50 for its anti-fungal activity, whereas Hexaconazole, a popular fungicide often used in agriculture scored only 22.5 for 50. This witnesses the effectiveness of Cinnamon oil in treating fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot etc.

Another study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology proved that Cinnamon oil killed about 92% of gram negative and gram positive bacteria out of the 25 tested bacterial strains. Another source states that Cinnamon used in a blend with Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Clove and Lemon has the potent to kill about 99% of airborne bacteria in just 12 minutes.

Also used in:

Apart from all these health benefits, Cinnamon oil is used as a flavor in baked products, candies, desserts, soups, pickles, stews, beverages, meat and poultry etc. It is also used in skin care creams and lotions for enhancing the skin complexion and removing impurities and skin blemishes.

Thought for the day:

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.  -Charles Lindbergh

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes and is written purely in the interest of sharing the traditional wisdom of the Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences. It is not meant to treat, prevent or diagnose any health conditions or replace any kind of prescribed medicines or expert advice or a medical professional.

Never use essential oils internally. Do remember to dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it on the skin externally as pure and organic essential oils are the life essence of plants and are highly concentrated substances. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique constitution and health condition. Keep away from children, pregnant women and nursing moms.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Cinnamon oil.

Cinnamon Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

Besides being an indispensable spice and herbal remedy, Cinnamon is reported for negative effects including possible skin issues like allergic reactions, irritation of the skin, stimulating menstruation, contracting the uterine muscles, skin sensitization, dermatitis and burning sensation.

It is highly advisable to avoid Cinnamon oil during pregnancy as it may shrivel the uterine muscles, cause indigestion, pain in the abdomen, contribute to premature labor and is completely unsafe for the development of the fetus.

The major chemical components that are in charge for the potential skin problems and other adverse health conditions of Cinnamon oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. It may cause a burning sensation or irritation on the engaged parts when used in the form of skin care, oral hygiene (toothpastes and mouthwashes) and pain relieving products including ointments and rubs.

Cinnamon oil, with the presence of these constituents is said to cause subchronic and severe toxicity, when used beyond the prescribed level of use. The maximum recommended usage level of Cinnamaldehyde by The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 0.05%.

Though Cinnamon has GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status, The Council of Europe has fixed an ADI of 1.25mg/kg for Cinnamaldehyde, which is the same as an adult dosage of 115 mg of Cinnamon bark oil.

According to the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP) the presence of Cinnamaldehyde in any ready to use products should not surpass 0.1%

Essential oils are recommended only for dermal application and never ingest Cinnamon oil as it may cause toxic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic), kidney (nephrotoxicity) and the entire system. Diluted Cinnamon oil in appropriate carrier oils is prescribed safe and concentrated use may cause chronic allergies, irritation, dermatitis and chronic sensitization.

Studies witness severe burns in people due to the skin contact of undiluted Cinnamon oil and is commonly related to burning sensation in the skin, mouth, mucous membrane stomach and chest , intermittent blistering, nausea, dizziness and sensitization accounted to the presence of Cinnamaldehyde. This also applies to the use of Cinnamon oil in vapor therapy and dermal application.

Cinnamon oil is said to have mild phototoxic effects, control platelet aggregation (Do not use Cinnamon oil if you are taking anticoagulant and anti-diabetic medications). It may cause reproductive toxicity (when tested on pregnant mice, it decreased the count of nuclei and modified the embryo distribution).

Always do a patch test before using Cinnamon oil on your skin.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cinnamon Oil:

  1. Cinnamon: An Imperative Spice For Human Comfort by Raaz K Maheshwari, AK Chauhan, Ayushi Gupta, Shobha Sharma published in The International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Bio-Science
  2. Cinnamon: Mystic Powers of a Minute Ingredient by Pallavi Kawatra and Rathai Rajagopalan, published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research
  3. Medicinal Properties of ‘True’ Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylancium): A Systematic Review by The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, published in Bio Med Central, Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  4. A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients by The RIFM expert panel, published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology
  5. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  6. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Cinnamon Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  2. Natural Cinnamon And Honey Cures: Cinnamon Health Benefits, Cures, Remedies, Treatments and Recipes. Boost Energy, Control Diabetes, Cure Arthritis, Prevent Alzheimer’s, Colds, even Weight Loss! by Patricia Gardner
  3. Cinnamon Oil Aromatherapy (Group 3 Card 9) by Alternative Therapies
  4. God’s Healing Herbs by Dennis Ellingson
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamon by Wikipedia
  2. Choosing the right Cinnamon by Dr. Fuhrman
  3. Cinnamon plant profile by Sacred Earth (Ethnobotany and Ecotravel)
  4. Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model by Priyanga Ranasinghe, Sanja Perera, Mangala Gunatilake,1 Eranga Abeywardene, Nuwan Gunapala, Sirimal Premakumara,Kamal Perera, Dilani Lokuhetty,and Prasad Katulanda, Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  5. Medicinal properties of ‘true’ cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review by Department of Pharmacology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


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Citriodora Oil


Citriodora-bnr.jpgCitriodora or Lemon eucalyptus is a jewel in the crown of the Eucalyptus family, Myrtaceae. With a revivifying and invigorating aroma of lemon and eucalyptus, this lemon-scented eucalyptus oil is used in fixing feelings of abandonment and mental agitation along with poor concentration and confusions. The essential oil of Citriodora is extracted from the elongated leaves of the Lemon-scented gum tree, botanically known as Eucalyptus citriodora by steam distillation.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is used in Ayurvedic treatment for asthma, cold, cough, arthritis, hypertension, shingles, migraine pain, rheumatism, wounds, inflammation, bacterial and fungal infections as well as a non-toxic insect repellent for keeping away from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

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Historical uses and importance of Citriodora and its essential oil:

Lemon eucalyptus or Citriodora is a type of Eucalyptus tree in the Eucalyptus genus. This tree is indigenous to north eastern and tropical parts of Australia but few sources state that it is native to Vietnam and Madagascar. Even today about 75% of the trees grown in Australia belongs to the Eucalyptus family.

Brazil and China are the largest producers of commercial Lemon eucalyptus essential oil and this tree is also grow in India, South Africa, Guatemala, Egypt, Colombia, Indonesia and Albania. Citriodora is also said to be a cross between lemon and eucalyptus varieties. This large handsome evergreen tree grows up to 50 m tall and the broad lanceolate leaves exhibit a strong lemon and eucalyptus aroma when crushed.

Citriodora has its remedial history of being used in the traditional as well as modern medicine in the east and west, mainly as an aid for respiratory infections and for keeping insects at bay. The infusion made from the leaves of this tree has been used in reducing fever, treating gastric conditions and fighting against microbes causing such infectious diseases in the Aboriginal tradition.

Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used the aromatic leaves of this plant in steam inhalation for clearing nasal congestion, easing cold, flu, asthma and sore throat. The paste of this leaves or the leaves poultice were also used in healing wounds, cuts, skin infections, sores, cuts, blisters, chicken pox, joint pain, rheumatic pain, fungal infections and other few other infections.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is a famous ingredient in soaps, aromatic candles, natural insect repellents, lotions, shampoo, toothpastes, deodorants, perfumes, detergents, insecticides, waxes and in the flavoring of few other products since the traditional times.

Remedial properties and chemical components of Citriodora essential oil:

The medicinal benefits of Lemon eucalyptus oil are often attributed to its high content of citronellal component (about 80%). The other chemical constituents include citronellol and other monoterpenes.

The citronellal constituent of the cultured oil is transformed into cis- and trans- isomers of p-menthane-3,8-diols (PMD), which is a natural process that  happens as the Eucalyptus leaves grow old. This oil is also called by other names like Para-menthane-3,8-diol, OLE,  PMD, P-menthane Diol,  Wild Eucalyptus Citriodora, P-menthane-3,8-Diol, Spotted Gum and Quwenling.

The therapeutic properties of this oil are calmative, insecticide, antibacterial, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic, fungicidal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-rheumatic, germicidal, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and antiseptic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Citriodora essential oil: Ayurveda is the ancient Indian healing methodology which exactly means ‘the knowledge of life (Ayur-life + Veda-knowledge)’. If you are completely new to this oldest healing science on earth, then join for a wonder ride where you can explore what Ayurveda has intact for you.

Ayurveda has thousands of dimensions and everything that is natural and organic falls into this bucket, as Ayurvedic principles abide by Mother Nature and strongly believe that everything in the universe is a part of nature and is built with the same five elements of nature, namely earth, fire, air, water and space.

The most imperative approaches of the Ayurvedic regime are holistic approach, which fervently states that health is a combination of the wellness of the body, psyche and the soul. This is clearly stated in Charaka Samhita, the most trusted Ayurvedic encyclopedia as “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda trusts that a healthy body is the absolute home for a healthy mind and a pure soul.

Spiritual aspects play a vital role in Ayurvedic healing. It has been said a small, sincere prayer can bring in enormous positive energy to deal with a difficult day. Spirituality simply means the trust and the natural bond with the Supreme Power that shells and leads the Cosmos. By inculcating this practice, every individual will understand his responsibilities and righteousness to lead a glorious life.

Ayurvedic philosophies bring in the other few vital practices of Ayurveda that includes prevention of illnesses by treating the root cause of a disease instead of the symptoms. Prescribing natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, prayer and a meaningful Ayurvedic routine is the key to this healing wisdom. By this way, it promotes a disease-free living and leads to healthy aging and longevity.

Every Ayurvedic treatment starts with the analysis of the dynamic biological energies that are a pictogram of the five natural elements. They are known as doshas, namely pitta (fire + water), vata (air + space) and kapha (earth + water). These three energies are there in every person in unique ratios to make up the individual constitution. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance leads to sickness.

Ayurvedic therapies are prescribed in such a way that they treat the doshic imbalances and help strike absolute balance according to the Prakriti (fundamental constitution or nature) of an individual. With its moisturizing and heating energy, Citriodora essential oil is known to lessen the excess of kapha and vata energy and increase pitta dosha when deficit.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Citriodora essential oil are:

Citriodora-broucher1. Alleviates rheumatic and arthritic pain:

Rheumatism and arthritis are mainly caused due to surplus deposits of toxic substances, salt, uric acid and excess water causing improper blood circulation especially in the joints. Water retention and stagnation of other fluids in the body are the symptoms of kapha intemperance.

Citriodora essential oil treats kapha surplus and regulates its flow in the system. Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Citriodora oil blended with 2.5 ml of coconut oil can help in eliminating the excess deposits and toxins through sweat and urine and enhances blood circulation. This massaging can also help in treating sore muscles, joint pain, and backache and can also serve as a vitalizing massage for people indulged in sports.

This oil relieves pain and reduces swelling with its heating effect along with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Adding 2 drops of Citriodora oil in warm bathing water or in hot or cold compress is also another alternative to treat arthritic and rheumatic pain. Performing Pranayama, the art of balanced breathing can help in discharging about 70% of the toxins in the body through exhalation.

2. Non-toxic insect repellent:

The essential oil of Eucalyptus citriodora is suggested by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, U.S) as a non-toxic alternate for DEET, which an element used in other repellants, making it unsafe. With a rosy-citronella fragrance and faint lemon undertones, Citriodora essential oil is an ultimate natural remedy for keeping away from harmful insects including mosquitoes, bugs, ticks and fleas.

All you need to do is to add 3 to 4 drops of Citriodora oil in lamp oils, diffuser, lotions, patio sprays, body mists and vaporizers for preventing your lovely family from the adverse effects of insects and pests, which may otherwise cause infectious diseases like malaria, dengue etc.,

3. Relieves respiratory infections:

Problems of the respiratory system become severe when the mucous and phlegm discharges thicken and block the bronchial and nasal passages. Deposits of mucous and phlegm is due to the vitiation of kapha dosha, which is responsible for problems caused due to stagnation of water and fluids in the body.

Citriodora essential oil has kapha-reducing properties along with the antiviral and antimicrobial properties that assist in destroying the harmful virus and microbes responsible for making respiratory infections vulnerable. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to hot water for steam inhalation helps in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits.

By this way it helps in relieving chest congestion, nasal congestion, cough, bronchitis, asthma, sore throat and cold. Adding 2 drops of Lemon eucalyptus oil to your decongesting ointment and gently rubbing on your chest, back and throat can fasten your healing process.

4. Grants mental clarity and improves concentration:

Pitta energy is responsible for body temperature, metabolic functions, decision-making potential and for instilling the feelings of perfection in your routine. Deficit of pitta energy or pitta imbalance along with other environmental and lifestyle factors can end up in chaos, poor concentration, sluggishness, lack of self-confidence, lonesomeness and distress.

Eucalyptus citriodora oil enhances pitta energy. It has a positive effect and supports in opening the heart chakra, which is responsible for forgiveness, compassion, love for self and others and the solar plexus chakra that is incharge for feelings of self-empowerment and self-esteem.

Adding 3 drops of Citriodora oil in your burner, vaporizer, diffuser or air freshener can help in improving your self-confidence, focus, shrewdness and clarity of thoughts with its fresh, citrusy, warming, camphoraceous and woody aroma.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Citriodora oil mixed with 5 ml of olive oil or adding 3 drops of this oil to your bath can help in rejuvenating the mind, body and the soul.

5. Benefits for skin and hair:

Since the traditional times, Citriodora leaves and its essential oil have been used in the treatment of various skin disorders like burns, scabies, wounds, dermatitis and erysipelas. Citriodora oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that help in combating the growth of hazardous micro-organisms causing skin disorders and making wounds, cuts and burns more infectious.

A 2002 study on ‘Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Belgium published that Eucalyptus citriodora is one among the most effective essential oils exhibiting the most active antibacterial effects and inhibited the growth of various bacteria.

Another research done in 2007 on ‘The antibacterial effect of Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil against a battery of clinically important bacterial strains’ at the Phytochemical Pharmacological and Microbiological Laboratory in India proved that “Citriodora oil is highly active against Alcaligenes fecalis and Proteus mirabilis, and active against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhimurium, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas testosterone, Bacillus cereus, Citrobacter freundii. Its healing efficiency was said to be equally comparable to the powerful Piperacillin and Amikacin antibiotics.”

As a potent antifungal oil, Citriodora has been proved effective in treating candida. When tested in a laboratory analysis in comparison with other essential oils possessing synthetic antibiotics against candida, Eucalyptus citriodora oil showed strongest anti-candidal properties.

5 drops of Citriodora oil blended with 3 ml of Almond oil and applied to infectious wounds, cuts, blisters, boils, ringworm, candida, athlete’s foot, rashes and redness due to insect stings and bites, acne and few other skin conditions with its eucalyptus and citrusy effects.

Eucalyptus citriodora oil is also a famous ingredient in shampoos, hair oils and few other hair care formulas. 10 drops of Citriodora oil added to 5 ml of coconut oil can serve as an assured remedy for alleviating dandruff, dry scalp, itching and lice, when massaged gently on the scalp followed by a hair wash with a mild shampoo (preferably 8 ml) mixed with 10 drops of Citriodora oil will leave you with a dandruff-free, lice-free, oil-free and clean smelling hair.

6. Disinfects and purifies the air:

Citriodora essential oil has a lemony, fresh, woody and energizing aroma that makes its use imperative in disinfecting, deodorizing and purifying the air. 5 to 10 drops of Citriodora essential oil can be added to your sprayer pump, diffuser, air freshener or vaporizer for killing the microbes in the atmosphere and spreading the magic of freshness around.

Disclaimer:

This article is for the purpose of education only and is not meant for curing, preventing or diagnosing any health condition or for substituting any prescribed medication or professional advice of your medical expert.

Do not use essential oils internally and always dilute essential oils before using it externally. Keep out of reach of children and avoid this oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mom. Ensure that you seek the advice of your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare expert before selecting the appropriate essential oil for your unique state of health and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Eucalyptus: The Genus Eucalyptus (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Eucalyptus Plantations: Research, Management and Development by Run-Peng Wei, Daping Xu
  3. Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs from Wiley-VCH
  4. Phytochemical and Antifungal analysis of E citriodora L. extracts: Phytochemical Constituents of Eucalyptus citriodora L. Responsible for Antifungal Activity against Pathogenic Organisms by Sehrish Iftikhar, Shabnam Javed
  5. Effect of NaCl on emergence and growth of a range of provenances of Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus populnea, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Acacia … article from: Forest Ecology and Management] by P.A. Madsen, D.R. Mulligan

Reference Links:

  1. Eucalyptus Citriodora by Globinmed
  2. Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus citriodora) by Sigma-Adrich
  3. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (PMD) by A Beyond Pesticides Fact Sheet
  4. Extraction of essential oil and oleoresin from Eucalyptus citriodora leaves using sub and supercritical CO2 Mirelle Dogenski*, Ana Carolina Velho, Débora Nascimento e Santos, Nilson Ferreira, Alessandra Lopes de Oliveira, University of São Paulo, Department of Food Engineering, São Paulo, Brazil
  5. Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ by Cimanga K, Kambu K, Tona L, Apers S, De Bruyne T, Hermans N, Totté J, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Belgium

Citronella Oil


Citronella-banner‘Citronella is there for insect bites and stings’ is an endemic statement and is a realistic one as well, as the essential oil of Citronella is an excellent air purifier and disinfectant that aids in warding off insects and treating stings and bites of venomous insects also. The lemony, warming and sweet smelling Citronella oil is extracted from its aromatic grassy leaves by steam distillation.

Scientifically known as Cymbopogon nardus, this aromatic herb is called as Pangiri in Ayurveda and have been used in this ancient healing system in the treatment of toothaches, redness, irritation and inflammation of the skin, infectious diseases, digestive problems, headache, rheumatism, fatigue and as an after childbirth wash.     

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Historical uses and importance of Citronella and its essential oil:

Native to Southeastern parts of Asia, especially Sri Lanka; Citronella is a member of the plant family Poaceae. It is also grown widely as a commercial crop in Java Islands, Indonesia, Burma, India, West Indies, Taiwan, Madagascar and Ceylon.

This perennial grass variety is loved all over the world for its enticing lemon aroma and its blue-green leaves that grow up to a height of 1.5 meters tall. The Ceylon variety is considered to be the best and is called as Maha pengeri in Ceylon.

Citronella and its essential oil have been in use for more than thousands of years and were used as one of the oldest effective insect repellent even before the manufacturing of insect repellents like DEET.

This essential oil is used in the manufacturing of soaps, perfumes, detergents, insecticides, soap flakes and household cleaners. It was used in traditional medicine for treating menstrual problems, increased perspiration, mental fatigue, depression and as a safe repellent for pets.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Citronella oil constitutes of 15 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this oil. Of which, Citronellal contributes to the highest proportion of Citronella oil constituents with about 51.5% of its total composition.

Just click on:

I trust that this must certainly help you in getting to know the exclusive information about the prime chemical constituents of Citronella oil.

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these bio-chemical constituents to the healing magnificence of Citronella essential oil.

citronella-gct

Therapeutic properties of Citronella essential oil:

These constituents contribute to its remedial properties like bactericidal, diaphoretic, insecticidal, antioxidant, antiseptic, deodorant, stimulant, antifungal, tonic, relaxant, parasitic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Citronella essential oil:

Ayurveda is a mighty ocean enclosing mammoth health benefits for humanity. More than anything else, an Ayurvedic system teaches you absolute discipline to lead a hale, hearty and disease-free life for attaining longevity through healthy aging.

Ayurveda simply means the ‘knowledge of life’ and the first thing that Ayurveda insists is to have a thorough knowledge about oneself. Health according to this noble science is a three-dimensional array that comprises of physical, mental and spiritual health.

Everything on earth including the living and non-living things are a part of nature and are made up of the same five elements that Mother Nature is created with. They are space, fire, water, earth and air.

The uniqueness in Ayurveda lies in its remedial methodology that treats individuals rather than their illnesses; it focuses on the root cause of an illness rather than its symptoms; it follows a unique treatment methodology for every person even with the same illness rather than following the ‘one-size fits all’ strategy.

Every individual is a unique representation of nature with a specific individual constitution, comprising of three vital biological energies called as doshas. Each of this energy is a combination of any two vital elements and these dynamic energies determine the personality, behavior, physical and mental makeup of a person.

Vata is a fundamental energy of air and space and is responsible for circulation and nervous functions of the body. Pitta is a basic force of fire and water and is accountable for body temperature and metabolic functions. Kapha is a dynamic force of earth and water and is in charge of the physical structure, movement of fluids and sustenance.

Ayurveda identifies this innate presence of doshas and prescribes natural remedies in such a way to treat doshic imbalances, which would otherwise lead to diseases. The most predominant natural Ayurvedic remedies are essential oils, herbs, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and prayers.

Essential oils are the life energy of plants and are a potential Ayurvedic remedy for treating mankind through the sense of smell and sense of touch.

Citronella essential oil is known for lessening excess of pitta and kapha dosha and has a neutral effect on vata energy.

The Ayurvedic uses of Citronella essential oil are:

Citronella-broucher1. Nature’s best insect repellent:

Citronella essential oil is the most popular natural remedy for treating insect stings and bites and is also a potent insect repellent to keep away insects like mosquitoes, flies, ants and ticks. It has been registered in the United States since 1948 for this purpose. Citronella oil has been regarded as biopesticide with a non-toxic action by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It is also considered as a natural alternative to chemical-based insect repellents like DEET.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Citronella oil in your air freshener, diffuser or vaporizer can assist in repelling insects. As it has been marked as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the United States Food and Drug Administration, Citronella oil can also be used to prevent flea infestations on your pets. Mixing 5 drops of Citronella oil to 10 ml of coconut oil and applying on your skin can guard you against mosquitoes and other insect stings and bites.

For pets, you can add 5 drops of Citronella oil to 8 ml of pet shampoo and make them feel fresh and flea-free for the entire day. “I use it when I shampoo my dog’s hair; 20 drops of Citronella added to 2 tablespoons of shampoo is very effective at killing fleas. He will be a happy dog with no fleas”, says Bryan Miller in the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.

Insect repelling cartridges, candles, tablets and pellets for using in outdoor household areas are also available in the market with Citronella oil formula. The University of Maryland Medical Center study on ‘Insect bites and stings’ talks about a study where “citronella candles reduced the number of female mosquitoes caught in traps by 35%; linalool candles reduced female mosquitoes by 65%; and geraniol candles reduced female mosquitoes by 82%”. Citronella essential oil has citronellal, linalool and geraniol content in it, thus making it the most effective insect repellent on earth.

A 2008 study on ‘Characterization and mosquito repellent activity of Citronella oil nanoemulsion’ by the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand published in PubMed suggested that Citronella oil showed a release rate that related well to the protection time, contributing to a prolonged mosquito protection time.

2. Wards off bacterial and fungal infections:

Citronella is a proven antibacterial oil with the presence of remedial constituents like methyl isoeugenol. It works by restricting the growth of existing bacteria causing infections and curtailing the spreading or growth of new bacteria. Massaging your system with 10 drops of Citronella oil blended with 10 ml of olive oil can be effective in treating bacterial infections in the stomach, kidneys, liver, intestines, prostate, bladder, colon and the urinary passages.

The antifungal property of Citronella oil makes it a trusted natural remedy in combating the fungal infections like athlete’s foot, candida, dandruff and ringworm. Adding 2 drops of Citronella oil in warm bathing water can be of great assistance in treating external fungus problems in fingers, skin, toes and scalp and also effective in treating internal fungus infections causing fungal dysentery, vaginal infections, lung growth caused by weakened resistance and certain other health conditions.

3. Clears away excess oil in the skin and hair:

The essential oil of Citronella is a skin-friendly and hair-friendly oil that is often overlooked mainly because of its growing importance as a natural insect repellent. 2 drops of Citronella oil added to 1 ml of jojoba oil or to your mild skin care cream or lotion can help in cleansing the skin, removing excess oil secretion, nourishing the skin cells from within, moisturizing the skin, tightening the pores, enhancing the skin complexion and leaving it soft and supple.

The acne-clearing and other skin complimenting benefits of Citronella oil makes it popular ingredient in many sunscreen lotions, fairness creams and moisturizing lotions. A 2006 study by Steve Ritter on ‘Citronella oil: Mixture of terpenes in plant oil provides a relatively safe way to stave off pesky flying insects’ says “Citronella oil, containing a mix of terpenes (geranial and citronellal), has been used in personal care products for more than 50 years and has very low human toxicity.”

The fresh, clean and lemony aroma of Citronella oil comes as an esteem to your shampoo, as it aids in controlling dandruff with its anti-fungal properties, kills lice with its insecticide properties and removes excess oil from your oily hair and leaves a touch of absolute moisture in case of dry hair. Mix 5 to 6 drops of Citronella oil in 8 to 10 ml of mild shampoo and apply it gently on your scalp and hair. Leave it for 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly for a never before shiny, clean and lustrous hair.

4. Emancipates toxic substances in the body:

The detoxifying and diuretic properties of Citronella essential oil acts as an excellent aid in eliminating toxic remains left behind due to indigestion, unclean environment and other unhealthy lifestyle practices. These toxic substances are called as ama in Ayurveda and are the major reason behind numerous health conditions like arthritis, rheumatic pain, sluggishness, nervous exhaustion, fatigue, urinary infections and even severe heart problems.

Massaging the painful, inflamed or affected parts of the body with 5 drops of Citronella oil blended with 3 ml of sesame oil can assist in reducing inflammation, discharging of toxic substances, uric acid, excess fat deposits and water stagnation in the body through sweat and urine. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of Citronella oil in hot or cold compress and massage the aching parts for quick relief.

Ayurvedic texts state that only 20 to 30% of toxic substances in the body get discharged through urine and sweat and about 70% of harmful toxins are released only through exhalation. So deep breathing with slow inhalation along with slow and steady exhalation can be a sure shot remedy in expelling detrimental toxins in the body and this breathing exercise in known as Pranayama.

5. Appeases the mind:

The fruity, woody and citrusy aroma of Citronella essential oil instills calmness and warmth on your mind, body and spirit. Conflict of thoughts and perceptions are often the reason of stress, frustration and depression. Inhaling Citronella oil added to a diffuser or vaporizer (3 drops) has the power to grant mental clarity by pacifying the mental and emotional bodies that aids in determining the inner reasons for conflict.

Spiritually, Citronella essential oil has a positive impact on the Solar plexus chakra known as ‘Manipura’ in Sanskrit. This chakra is responsible for courage, self respect, ambition, self esteem and self discipline. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Citronella oil mixed with 10 ml of virgin Olive oil can assist in releasing the energy of distrust responsible for aggravation, loneliness and disharmony between the self and society.

6. Kills worms and stimulates the digestive system:

Worms and parasites in the stomach and intestines hinder the normal metabolic functions and lead to delayed physical and mental activities of the body. 2 drops of Citronella oil added to diffuser or vaporizer along with massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of this oil mixed with 3 ml of sesame oil can assist in killing intestinal worms and parasites and stimulate the normal functioning of the digestive system and enhancing the process of absorption of essential nutrients in food, toning the lining muscles of stomach and intestines and supporting the process of excretion.

7. Alleviates pain and stimulates the system:

Citronella essential oil has tonic properties that support and strengthen the nervous system, digestive system, excretory system and the endocrine system. By this way, massaging your body with 10 drops of Citronella oil blended with 10 ml of coconut oil can help in enhancing the immune power, hormone secretion, brain functions and blood circulation. This also helps in relieving pain including arthritic pain, migraine, rheumatic pain, muscular and joint pain, dysmennorhea, back pain and headache.

Other uses:

Citronella essential oil is also used in spritzers, aroma lamps, aromatic candles and room fresheners along with Eucalyptus, Lemon and Lavender essential oil for disinfecting, purifying and deodorizing the surroundings, making it an insect-free environment.

Disclaimer:

This information is for educational purposes only. Details enclosed here are an endeavor to maintain traditional wisdom and understanding. Do not use this for diagnosing or replacing any professional medical advice or prescribed medication. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare expert before choosing the right essential oils according to your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Never use essential oils internally, including Citronella oil as it has aldehyde content. Always dilute it in appropriate carrier oils or other liquids before using it for topical applications, as organic and pure essential oils are the life forces of plants and are extremely concentrated substances. Care should be taken in using Citronella oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Citronella oil.

Thought for the day:

I’m thankful to be breathing, on this side of the grass. Whatever comes, comes. -Ron Perlman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Citronella by Eugene Raskin
  2. Citronella ; Cymbopogon Nardus – A Literature Survey From Information Services Centre, Industrial Technology Institute
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  5. The Naturally Clean Home: 100 Safe and Easy Herbal Formulas for Non-Toxic Cleansers by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Reference Links:

  1. Citronella Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Citronella Oil by Steve Ritter published in PUBS
  3. Health benefits of Citronella Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. A handbook on Lemongrass, Neem and Citronella by Janhit Foundation
  5. Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing by Marta Ferreira Maia and Sarah J Moore published in PubMed


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