Gingergrass Oil

Gingergrass-bannerEnsconced with enormously sensual, spicy, warming, lemony and peppery aroma, Gingergrass essential oil is extracted from the aromatic and herbaceous grasses of Cymbopogon martini var. sofia, the most loved sibling of Palmarosa known as Cymbopogon martini var. motia.

It is also beckoned as the most popular botanical cousin of Lemongrass. Gingergrass oil has excellent properties for nurturing healthy skin and it is for this reason, it has been used for centuries together in making Indian soaps for treating acne, wrinkles, scars and marks.

Indigenous to India, Gingergrass and its extracts, including its essential oil is a time-honored ingredient of numerous Ayurvedic formulations prescribed for the treatment of inflammation, sinusitis, allergies, joint pain, muscular aches, sore throat, depression, loss of libido, dermatitis, acne, cough, common cold and certain other health disorders. Gingergrass is called as Sofiya in Sanskrit.

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Historical uses and importance of Gingergrass:

Gingergrass (Cymbopogon martini var. sofia) is a thickly growing perennial grass variety that reaches up to a height of 2m and is found growing in the wild, especially in lower altitudes. Gingergrass essential oil is steam distilled from its aromatic grass in India since the 18th century. The herbaceous, sharp and woody aroma have paved ways for its use in making perfumes, colognes, soaps, herbal medicines, ointments, toiletries and skin care ranges.

A multilingual multi-script plant name database sorting Cymbopogon names quotes, “Two kinds of oil can be obtained from Cymbopogon martinii; Palmarosa oil from the variety known as “Motia” and Ginger-grass oil from “Sofia.”  It has also been mentioned that these two types are differentiable both aromatically and morphologically, where Motia variety is diploid and Sofia is tetraploid.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Gingergrass essential oil:

The major therapeutic properties of Gingergrass essential oil are analgesic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, uplifting, bactericidal, anti-depressant, revitalizing, decongestant, anthelmintic and insect repellant.

The chemical constituents contributing to its healing powers are geraniol, trans-p-menthene-8-diol-1,2, cis- and trans-dihydrocarvone, cis- and trans-carveol, menthadienols limonene oxide and piperitenone. The grassy notes of this oil are due to the presence of Perilla alcohol, meaning dihydro cuminyl alcohol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Gingergrass Essential Oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing methodology that considers and treats an individual as a whole person instead of treating any specific diseases or parts of the body. Legendary Ayurvedic Physician Mr. Vasant Lad rightly quotes in the Textbook of Ayurveda as, “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.

This ancient healing system means ‘knowledge of life’ and aims at treating an illness after analyzing the root cause lying behind so as to help humanity to prevent such illnesses in the future. Health in Ayurveda means the wellness of the mind, body and spirit as it trusts that a healthy mind can survive only in a healthy body supported by a hale and hearty spirit.

The aim of Ayurvedic treatment according to National Institutes of Health is, “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.

The modesty of Ayurveda vests in its way of treating every individual in a unique manner even if it is for the same illness. According to Ayurvedic texts, every human on earth is unique with a distinct individual constitution and similarly the way of treating human beings should also be unique according to his constitution, which is made up of three biological energies known as doshas. Everything on earth (including human beings) is made up of five vital elements namely air, water, fire, earth and space. Doshas are nothing but a combination of these vital elements.

Vata is a combination of space and air and governs the functions of the respiratory system and nervous system; Pitta represents fire and water and takes care of digestion, absorption and cognitive functions; Kapha stands for water and earth and is responsible for structure, movement of fluids in the body and sustenance.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determine their personality and traits. Balance between these doshas denotes health and imbalance due to change in lifestyle and food habits cause sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, physical exercises, prayers, meditation and Ayurvedic routine are prescribed according to the individual constitution in such a way to treat doshic imbalances. Gingergrass essential oil is said to lessen vata, pitta and kapha energy.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Gingergrass essential oil:

Ginger-grass-boucher1. Pacifies the hassled mind:

Gingergrass essential oil has a sensual and warming aroma that calms the stressed, tensed and confused mind. Most often used for alleviating anxiety and depression, the citrusy, peppery and spicy fragrance of this oil assists in revitalizing your nerves and uplifting your senses. Massaging your body with 5 drops of Gingergrass oil mixed with 2.5 ml of almond oil can be of great assistance in lessening fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression.

The greatest news is that Gingergrass oil can implant complete freshness, happiness and a clean feeling even on a damp and drenched rainy day. All you need to do is to add 2 drops of Gingergrass essential oil to your room freshener and spray it to recharge your mood with absolute newness on a dull soggy day.

2. Relieves nasal and chest congestion:

Cold, cough, allergies and sinus congestion can rule your routine tasks, as you might find it difficult to concentrate on your work with such respiratory problems. The best thing that you need to do is to use a safe decongestant and expectorant that assists in discharging the mucous and phlegm deposits that lead to cough, cold, congestion and breathing difficulties. Increased kapha dosha is responsible for respiratory problems, stagnation of water, phlegm and mucous deposits.

Gingergrass essential oil is said to lessen kapha dosha and is a good expectorant, decongestant, bactericidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can help you in relieving from blocked nasal passages, sinus congestion, headache and congestion.

You can also add 1 drop of Gingergrass oil to your vapor rub and gently massage your chest, throat and back to get rid of throat allergies, dry cough, stuffy nose and watery eyes. With its antiseptic and bactericidal properties, Gingergrass essential oil aids in arresting the growth of microbes causing respiratory infections.

3. Alleviates muscular and joint pain:

Most of us complain about back pain, headache, muscular pain or joint pain at the end of the day, after struggling for a full day with our official and household chores. Human body is the most delicate and sensitive set up. Often, we forget to give the priority that our body requires and our mind looks up to.

Mix 5 drops of Gingergrass essential oil with 2.5 ml of olive oil and gently massage your body and leave it for 15 minutes, followed by a warm bath (add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil in bathing water as well) before going to bed. Trust me; this will create a great difference in the quality of your sleep and the kind of relaxation your body can get after a tiring day. This massage and warming bath helps in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic substances in the body causing pain and inflammation and supporting muscular relaxation.

4. Repels mosquitoes and other insects:

Gingergrass and its extracts have been used as a powerful insect repellent and as the most effective natural aid against mosquitoes since the ancient times. A 1994 study was conducted on the ‘Repellent action of Cymbopogon martinii martinii Stapf var. sofia oil against mosquitoes’ by the Malaria Research Center, India to assess the repellent action of Gingergrass essential oil against mosquitoes under field conditions.

The results of this study depicted that Gingergrass oil has strong repellent power and it granted complete protection for 12 hours, against Anopheles culicifacies mosquitoes, which is the primary vector of malaria in India. It also said that this oil showed about 96.3% protection for 12 hours against a pest mosquito type. The best way to keep away from mosquitoes and other insects like bugs is to add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil to your diffuser or burner.

Another study on ‘Evaluation of repellent action of Cymbopogan martinii martinii Stapf var sofia oil against Anopheles sundaicus in tribal villages of Car Nicobar Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India.’ Concluded that “Cymbopogan martinii martinii Stapf var sofia oil is an indigenous product, its application is safe and can be widely used for protection from malaria.”

5. Nurtures skin health:

How can something with the touch citrus be less benefiting to the skin? Absolutely not, Gingergrass essential oil has a lemony aroma and the citrusy touch in its therapeutic properties has excellent benefits for the skin. With its antiseptic, anti-fungal and bactericidal properties, Gingergrass oil is effective in treating pimples, black heads, boils, cuts, dermatitis, burns, ringworm, athlete’s foot, wounds and other skin infections.

Just like Palmarosa essential oil, Gingergrass oil is also said to be effective in treating marks, scars and wrinkles. Mix 2 drops of Gingergrass oil in your skin care cream or lotion and apply it the affected parts for effective results.

You can also add 2 drops of Gingergrass oil with 1 ml of olive oil and massage it gently on your skin and leave it over for 30 minutes, followed by a refreshing bath can help in improving your skin tone, reducing marks and scars, augmenting the circulation and regenerating the formation of new skin cells.

Other health benefits:

Gingergrass essential oil also has aphrodisiac properties that assist in treating loss of libido, impotence and loss of sexual interest along with clearing cluttered thoughts in the mind that weaken the intimacy with your partner. This oil is also used in making perfumes, soaps, colognes and other skin care products.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not meant to diagnose or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Always use essential oils in a diluted manner and never use it internally as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated solutions and can cause harm if not used properly.

Gingergrass essential oil has slight phototoxic effect like the citrus oils, so do not go out in sun immediately after using it topically, to avoid the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. Consult your Ayurvedic expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.   -Wendell Berry

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Traditional Systems of Medicine by M. Z. Abdin
  3. Get Healthy for Good: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Mind and Body Well-being (52 Brilliant Ideas): 52 Brilliant Ideas for Mind and Body Well-being (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Kate Cook
  4. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia (Volume 2 of 2): A Concise Guide to Over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller

Reference Links:

  1. Sorting Cymbopogon names by University of Melbourne
  2. Essential Oils and Their Constituents: XXVII. Composition of Oil of Gingergrass by M. C. Nigam, Ishwar C. Nigam, Leo Levi published by NRC Research Press in The Canadian Journal of Chemistry
  3. Repellent action of Cymbopogon martinii martinii Stapf var. Sofia oil against mosquitoes’ by Ansari MA, Razdan RK, the Malaria Research Center, India published in PubMed
  4. Cymbopogon martinii by Wikipedia

Ginger Oil

Ginger-oil-bannerGinger oil is known as the “Oil of Empowerment” and is called in Ayurveda as Mahaushadha, meaning “universal medicine”, predominantly for its ability to heal the mind, body and soul, which are the three vital pillars of perfect health in Ayurveda.

Along with turmeric, galangal and cardamom, Ginger is yet another potent limb of the Zingiberaceae plant family. As a common culinary spice, Ginger is found in countless kitchens across the world and takes the pride of being used as a natural home remedy for addressing digestive and respiratory disorders.

Botanically named as Zingiber officinale, this powerful herb is called as Singara, Katubhadra and Srngaveram in Sanskrit. Ginger in any form, say fresh ginger, dried ginger or ginger extracts like juice, essential oil or powder has a bunch of absolute healing wisdom.

Ayurveda, the oldest healing system on earth prescribes Ginger as a remedy for indigestion, flatulence, nausea, loss of appetite, morning sickness, bronchitis, menstrual cramps, respiratory infections, arthritis, cancer and for enhancing the immune power. It is also recommended for treating fear, hopelessness, instability and for rekindling the inner fire for ultimatum.

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Historical importance of Ginger:

Ginger is one among the oldest of spices used for more than 4400 years across different cultures universally. With more than 1,200 species, Ginger has been proved scientifically for treating numerous health disorders. Its name is extracted from a Sanskrit word ‘srngaveram’, which means ‘horn root’.

According to the report by the University of Maryland Medical Center, “It has a long history of being used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions.” It has also been said that Ginger has been used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating toothache, nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea and certain other digestive disorders.

Ginger and its other extracts have been a vital part of the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for obesity, poor metabolism, abdominal pain, motion sickness, impotence, weak memory, arthritis, flu, menstrual pain and as a heart tonic. It has its name etched in the most respected epic of India, Mahabharata.

This aromatic spice was recommended by King Henry VIII of England in the 16th century for fighting against the great plague. Greeks used Ginger as to combat the harmful effects of poison.

It is said that the West African women in Senegal knit belts of Ginger to restore their partner’s reproductive potency. Even today, Ginger is used in various dishes across the world for granting the finesse flavor and taste of this miraculous spice with mammoth health benefits.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Ginger essential oil:

The major chemical components of Ginger essential oil are camphene, a-pinene, b-pinene, zingiberene, geraniol, borneol, neral, geranyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, citral, b-bisabolene, linalool, nerol, geranial and y-terpineol.

These components contribute to its healing properties like carminative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, analgesic, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, stimulant, antiseptic and emmenagogue.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil:

Nothing is as astonishing as Mother Nature and the best wonder in the world is the human body that works like a magic to keep one going on and on. Ayurveda states that human beings are a part of nature and their illness and health depends upon their harmony with nature.

It further lights up this thought by stating that nature is made up of five vital elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and space and to our wonder, it’s also been said that a human being also has all these five elements.

Where earth is the muscles and bones, water is the blood, fire is the energy for various vital functions, air is our breath and space is the soul that co-ordinates all other functions and keeps us living.

The concept of healing in Ayurveda solely depends upon nature as it says that all the other things on earth are made for making mankind happy and healthy. For example, earth has 92 elements like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron etc, and the human body also has all these 92 elements.

When a person lacks magnesium or calcium energy, he/she can take Ginger, which is rich in magnesium and calcium, whereas Ginger grows by absorbing the magnesium and calcium element from earth. How interesting it is, right?

Ayurveda regards every individual as a unique part of nature and suggests that the treatment should also be unique depending upon their individual constitution that is made up of three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Vata is a representation of air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha symbolizes earth and water. Vata controls respiratory and nervous functions, pitta takes care of metabolism and body temperature and kapha governs the structure, sustenance and movement of fluids in the body.

Balance between these three doshas indicates health, and imbalance due to unhealthy food habits and change in lifestyle symbolizes illness. Ayurvedic remedies aim at correcting these dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, yoga, meditation, physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, balanced diet and prayer.

Ginger essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata dosha and aggravate pitta dosha with its warming, spicy, rich, woody and drying energy and aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil are:

Ginger-oil-broucher1. Benefits to the digestive system:

Ginger is popularly known as Adrak in India and is a quick natural remedy for relieving indigestion, bloating, flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting, spasms, nausea, loss of appetite, piles and colic.

Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee, a renowned Ayurvedic Consultant says, “Ginger has many useful minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and few others. It is a wonderful carminative, anti-flatulent and stimulant.”

Ginger essential oil has the potential to increase pitta energy that is responsible for the digestive fire. Add 2 drops of Ginger essential oil to your diffuser or air freshener before meals and let it stay there till you complete your food.

Inhaling the warming aroma of this oil enhances the appetite and improves the process of digestion, supports absorption of essential nutrients by the body and aids in alleviating the toxic substances with its hot potency, but for which the toxins or ama may otherwise cause serious illnesses.

You can also add 2 drops of Ginger oil to warm bathing water before going to bed or before starting a hectic day. This refreshing bath aids in promoting peaceful sleep, free from bloating, indigestion, gastric pain and other digestive disorders. If it is for the morning, Ginger has a handful of bright benefits like stimulating your nerves, rejuvenating your cells, improving your appetite and augmenting your mental power for facing your day to day challenges.

Ginger and its essential oil have been proven best for treating motion sickness even in children. Numerous studies have witnessed the effectiveness of Ginger is better than the effects of dimenhydrate, which is the most important ingredient in over-the-counter motion sickness and seasickness remedies like Dramamine.

It works by stimulating the flow of saliva and other digestive juices, pacifies the stomach, relieves pain due to gas and diarrhea, controls vomiting and supports easy discharge of stools. Mix 1 drop of Ginger essential oil with 10 drops of sesame oil and massage it gently on your stomach and abdomen for treating constipation and motion sickness.

2. Benefits to the mind:

Ginger essential oil is an effective natural remedy for treating emotional problems like fear, abandonment, and lack of self-confidence and of motivation. Using 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in diffuser, aromatic candles or in bath can help in improving memory power, treat mood swings, tendency to procrastinate, disconnectiveness, hopelessness, stress, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness and depression.

Ginger oil is an excellent stimulant to the mind, body and soul. The encouraging aroma of this oil rekindles the inner fire and grants the power and confidence to step ahead and lead with courage and confidence.

Massaging your upper and lower abdomen (the root, sacral and solar plexus chakra) with 2 drops of Ginger oil with 1 ml of coconut oil aids in eliminating fear and mental blocks, enhancing the sense of trust, mental strength and enlightening the divine power rested within.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system:

Ginger is simply hot to support your intimacy with your partner as it has enormous aphrodisiac properties that have been assisting in the treatment of impotency, loss of libido, loss of sexual interest and premature ejaculation.

Gill Farrer-Halls in his book ‘The Aromatherapy Bible’ states that Ginger oil is an effective aphrodisiac and acts as a mild stimulant also. 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil and 1 drop of Rose oil added to your diffuser can drive in the positive energy required both physically and mentally for a complete “we time” together, by toning up the sexual organs and pacifying your mood.

Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil can be of great help in treating the problems of the female reproductive system by regularizing blocked or irregular menstruation, relieving menstrual pain and treating other problems associated with menstruation like nausea, dizziness, fatigue and mood fluctuations. Inhaling the reviving aroma of Ginger oil can aid in treating nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.

4. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Ginger essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha. According to Ayurveda, excess of kapha energy is the main reason for respiratory problems like bronchitis, cold, sinusitis, asthma and congestion.

Ginger oil also has expectorant properties that aids in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits and with its antiseptic properties, it assists in curbing the growth of microbes that spread respiratory infections.

Researchers of the Columbia University have proved that the components in Ginger root have properties that help asthma patients to breathe easily. The post-doctoral research fellow in the Columbia University Department of Anesthesiology, Elizabeth Townsend says, “In our study, we demonstrated that purified components of ginger can work synergistically with β-agonists to relax ASM.”

Adding 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in steam inhalation can assist in reducing cough, clear chest and nasal congestion, relieving sinusitis and helping in treating cold and flu symptoms. You can also rub your chest, back and throat with your regular Vapor rub mixed with 1 drop of Ginger oil for quick relief. Even today Ginger tea is a delicious and healthy way to keep away from cold, cough and flu in the Indian kitchens.

5. Benefits to the muscular system:

Muscular pain is a common illness that most of us experience in our day to day lives. Headache, back pain, knee pain and pain all over the body after a strenuous work are not a surprise to many of us.

What we all do is, rush to the pharmacy and grab pain relieving creams and sprays that grant relief. Most of us fail to realize that these over-the-counter remedies give temporary relief only and force us to use them again when the pain peeps out even worse the next time.

Ginger essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and analgesic properties that make it an exuberant natural aid for treating muscular pain, migraine pain, rheumatic pain, back pain, headache, joint pain, arthritis and weakness.

Excess of vata and kapha energy in the body lead to swelling, water stagnation, accumulation of toxic substances, inflammation, sore muscles, weakened nerves and muscular tension.

With its potent to reduce vata and kapha dosha and increase pitta or the fire energy, 3 drops of Ginger essential oil blended with 1 teaspoon of almond oil massaged gently on the painful area, spreads warmth in the body, reduces swelling and inflammation by eliminating toxic substances and water deposits from the body through urine and sweat and relieves pain by causing numbness in the painful parts.

6. Benefits to the entire system:

Ginger and its essential oil also act as a heart tonic and helps in improved circulation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, few studies have proved that ginger has the potential to prevent blood clotting, lower cholesterol, prevent blood vessels from getting blocked, which may otherwise lead to stroke or heart attack.

Ginger essential oil has antioxidant properties that have been proved efficacious in the prevention and treatment of cancerous cells.  A 2011 study on ‘Antioxidant activity of the volatile oils of Zingiber officinale (ginger)’ published in Spatula-DD, A peer reviewed journal on complementary medicine and drug discovery says “Ginger extracts have reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids levels, as well as cellular cholesterol accumulation, reduce DPPH absorption, scavenge free radicals and it has potential to improve the histopathological lesion occurring in different layers of the arterial tissue. In other word it is effective in attenuating of atherosclerosis development.”

This dominant herb has also been witnessed effective in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A 2006 study by the University Of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center presented in the annual meeting of the American association for Cancer Research stated that using Ginger solution (made with Ginger powder and water) on ovarian cancer cells ended up in their death. These cancerous cells died either due to autophagy (attacked/digested themselves) or due to apoptosis (committed suicide).

The book “A Complete Guide To Understanding and Using Aromatherapy For Vibrant Health and Beauty,” says that Ginger essential oil is effective in treating varicose veins and cellulites.

With rich vitamin C, Ginger oil can also help in treating scurvy. Mix 1 drop of Ginger oil with 10 drops of jojoba oil and apply it on the affected area for enhancing the skin health and reducing the symptoms of aging with its antioxidant properties.

Other health benefits:

Ginger essential oil can also assist in treating rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, loss of libido, problems of the lymphatic system, sore throat, chills, disconnectiveness, improper blood circulation, increased blood sugar levels, back pain and mood swings.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant for treating or replacing any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Never use essential oils internally and always use essential oils in a diluted manner as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Care should be taken, if you are a pregnant or nursing woman.

Thought for the day:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.
-Theodore Roethke

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug by Paul Schulick
  2. A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens by Nina Simonds
  3. The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook: Forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health by David Simon M.D., Deepak Chopra M.D.
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  5. Ginger Recipes: 33 Mouth-Watering Recipes Using Natures Super Spice for Weight Loss, Health, and Beauty. (The Simple Recipe Series) by Ready Recipe Books

Reference Links:

  1. Ginger by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Ginger Beats Drugs in Defeating Cancer, Motion Sickness and Inflammation by Health Impact News Daily
  3. Ginger is a powerful aphrodisiac and increases sexual prowess by Namini Wijedasa published in infolanka.com
  4. What are the benefits of Ginger? By Medical News Today
  5. Ginger – Ayurveda’s Root To Good Health by Ayurveda Acharya

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:

bay-oil-logos

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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