Agarwood Oil



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

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

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

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Historical uses and importance of Agarwood oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Agarwood oil:

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Agarwood oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most significant Ayurvedic health benefits of Agarwood oil are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Elevates the emotional quotient:

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

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

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

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

3. Paves way for spiritual enlightenment:

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

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

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

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

4. Alleviates pain including rheumatic and arthritic conditions:

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

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

5. Spices up your sexual verve:

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

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

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

6. Supports the digestive functions:

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

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

7. Invigorates your skin health:

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

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

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

Other health benefits:

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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

Calamus Oil



Calamus-bannerOften acclaimed as an ideal herb for meditation and introspection, Calamus is recommended by saints, yogis and Ayurvedic philosophers for enhancing the functions of the brain, improving memory power, increasing intellectual capacity and for stimulating proper circulation to the brain.

The essential oil of Calamus is extracted from the root of the Calamus plant, scientifically known as Acorus Calamus or Sweet flag by steam distillation method.

The Sanskrit name of Calamus is Vacha, which means ‘speech’ and the primordial sages and religious Gurus have believed Calamus to facilitate human beings to articulate from their highest inner consciousness.

Ayurveda recommends Calamus herb for its power to fortify the adrenal gland and for its effectiveness in treating neuralgia, dysmennorhea or painful periods, memory loss, epilepsy, gingivitis, lack of stamina, lymphatic drainage, asthma, hysteria, deafness, sinusitis, lack of consciousness and trauma.

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Historical uses and importance of Calamus root and its essential oil:

Calamus is native to Asia and Europe and has been found growing across Australia, South Africa, North America, New Guinea and Reunion. It has its name mentioned in the Old Testament and was talked about in Exodus as an element of the sacred anointing oil of the Bible.

It was also denoted in the Chester Beatty papyrus VI, which approximately dates back to 1300 BC and Papyrus used Calamus with various other ingredients in preparing a bandage to appease stomach ailments.

Calamus has been a vital part of the traditional healing system of various countries for more than thousands of years in the treatment of numerous medical conditions.

The primeval Egyptians trusted Calamus root as a potent aphrodisiac for its effectiveness in augmenting the health of the reproductive system. Calamus was added to wine in Europe and it also forms a part of absinthe.

The Penobscot people believed that Calamus root helped in healing prolonged sickness that was plaguing the people for a long time. They also steamed all through the homes to ward off illnesses and the dried roots were strung together for preservation.

The people of the Potawatomi community used the dried Calamus root powder for treating catarrh. Indonesians use this aromatic root as a flavoring agent in the preparation of meat, sea foods and other vegetarian cuisines.

The warriors of Teton-Dakota applied the root paste on their faces for alleviating fear in the warfront. Calamus essential oil is also used in making perfumes mainly because of its therapeutic properties.

The traditional Turks used this herb for all kinds of infections and it is used in preparing cough drops. It is also been used in the Traditional Chinese medicine, Siddha and Ayurvedic healing systems for its carminative, laxative, sedative and diuretic properties.

Chemical constituents and healing properties of Calamus essential oil:

The primary chemical components of this oil are beta asarone, eugenol, calamusenone, corenone, alpha aselinene, camphone, alpha calacorene, shyobunone, beta gurjunene, calamendiol and iso shyobunine.

The therapeutic properties of Calamus oil are rejuvenative, circulatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-arthritic, cephalic, nervine, tranquilizing, stimulant, decongestant, anti-rheumatic, emetic, anti-periodic, memory boosting, carminative, stomachic, bactericidal and expectorant properties.

Calamus in Ayurvedic Preparations:

Numerous research reports have proved that Calamus is one the most commonly employed ingredient in plenty of Ayurvedic preparations, mainly because of the presence of essential oils in its rhizomes. Ayurvedic medications like kashayam, choornam, ghritham and tailam contain Calamus and are prepared by following the preparation methods mentioned in Sahasrayoga.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Calamus essential oil:

Calamus essential oil is habitually called as a tonic for the brain in Ayurveda. It has been mentioned in Vedas, the holy books as one of the exceptional medicines and Ayurvedic philosophers explored numerous healing benefits of Calamus apart from supporting the functions of the nervous system and brain, for which Calamus still exists as a vital part of various Ayurvedic medicines since 4,000 years.

Perfect health according to Ayurveda is a triangular structure with body, mind and soul as its edges. It is the oldest of all healing systems on earth and is the pioneer to other traditional and modern medicinal methodologies like Homeopathy, Siddha, Traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, Acupressure and Chiropractic.

The greatest thing about this ancient medicinal science is that its healing techniques are documented systematically since its first recordings in Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or the major sacred books of the Hindu mythology.

This ancient citation was followed by Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, known as Ayurvedic encyclopedias written by the most respected Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta respectively.

“The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides”, says Charaka Samhita. Ayurveda rightly means ‘the knowledge of life’ and this time-honored remedial method assists in providing the consciousness about life and health in every individual.

Ayurveda states that nature is made up of five fundamental elements namely water, earth, fire, air and space and it is also said that everything in nature is also built up with these five energies. When a person’s health is in balance with nature, absolute health prevails and imbalance with nature owing to food, climatic conditions and lifestyle changes causes illnesses.

Being a holistic curative system, where every person is regarded as a special part of nature with a unique individual constitution just like the fingerprints and it consists of three imperative dynamic energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha and are nothing but a representation of any two elements of nature.

Vata dosha is a combination of air and space, and is responsible for respiration, circulation and for the functions of the nervous system. Kapha signifies earth and water, and is in charge for sustenance, physical structure, movement of fluids in the system and the reproductive health.

Pitta symbolizes fire and water and is accountable for body temperature and metabolic functions like digestion, absorption and excretion. Stability between these three doshas signifies perfect health and inequality causes sickness.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, yoga, prayers, meditation, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma (Ayurvedic techniques for detoxification) and Ayurvedic massaging with natural essential oils.

These remedies are prescribed in such a way to correct the unevenness between the doshas. Calamus essential oil is known to aggravate pitta and pacify kapha and vata dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Calamus oil are:

Calamus-broucher1. Triggers the mind and promotes positive thoughts:

Calamus herb and its essential oil have been witnessed by numerous herbalists and Ayurvedic physicians as an endlessly safe and useful natural remedy for activating the mind and improving the power of thinking.

It is popularly known as a boosting herb for meditating Yogis and Saints, where Calamus is said to help them stay focused and concentrated in their long lasting meditation known as yagna.

Calamus was used in the preparation of tea in the ancient period and was also used in neti pot as a powerful remedy for treating brain conditions. Adding 1 to 2 drops of Calamus essential oil in diffuser, vaporizer, burner or a tissue paper and inhaling the uplifting aroma of this oil can aid in opening the mind, promoting clarity, enhancing the concentration power, mental stability, attention, and the power of positive thinking along with organization of speech.

Learned Ayurvedic research scientist Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa says, “The yogic name, Vacha, means “speech” and refers to its action on the fifth chakra and its propensity to help you speak from your highest consciousness. The complementary energetics makes the combination suitable for a wide variety of people.”

Swami Thirtha calls Calamus as “one of the best mind herbs”, mainly for its effectiveness in fostering sadhaka pitta through which it fortifies the mind’s ability to obtain information and evoke from the memory. The essential oil of Calamus has an invigorating effect on the brain with its warm, woody and medicinal aroma with increasingly sweet after-tones.

Inhaling the therapeutic fragrance of this oil helps in activating the neural pathways and has also been proved powerful in treating neurotic problems. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water for refreshing your mind. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend Vacha oil to persuade positive thoughts.

2. Stimulates the nervous system:

Calamus falls under the ‘sattvic herb’ category in the Ayurvedic medicinal system. All the sattvic varieties are known to enhance and empower the ‘kundalini’ energy or the ‘vital life force’. By this way, Calamus and its essential oil acts as a revitalizing nerve tonic that augments the functioning of the brain.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Calamus oil mixed with 2 drops of Lavender oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil, 2 drops of Yarrow oil, 2 drops of Cinnamon oil and 2 drops of Patchouli oil along with 10 ml of Virgin Olive oil can aid in rejuvenating your brain and the entire nervous system. This assists in stimulating the cerebral functions, support self-expression and overall nervous health. This massage also assists in promoting peaceful sleep and treating insomnia.

Ayurvedic healing system describes this oil as a nervine tonic and a psychotropic remedy, mainly for its positive effects on learning, boosting memory, recovering from shock and treating depression and anxiety. Calamus herb and its essential oil are recommended by Ayurvedic physicians for confiscating the negative effects and toxic residues of drugs (including the heavy use of marijuana) from the fatty tissues left within brain, liver and the nervous system.

By strengthening the nervous system, this oil is also used in recovering from trauma, post-surgery effects, hysteric attacks, epileptics and certain other nervous problems. Due to its potential to contract the blood vessels and decrease pressure on the Ninth cranial nerve, Calamus oil is used in treating neuralgia.

3. Treats memory loss and augments the intellect:

For its memory-enhancing properties, Ayurveda prescribes Calamus oil as an effective psycho-pharmacological agent and the as one of the best natural remedies for treating epilepsy, mental retardation, syncope and stupor, while augmenting memory power and for retrieving people from traumatic problems.

Calamus is used in Ayurveda to counteract the side effects of hallucinogens. This essential oil has been proved to enhance blood circulation, stimulate neurons and nerves, aiding the body to attain steadiness and attentiveness.

4. Alleviates arthritic and rheumatic pain: According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, excess of kapha dosha is responsible for stagnation of toxic substances known as ama, water deposits, salt, uric acid and other fluids in the body, especially in the joints causing pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism. Calamus essential oil is a known Ayurvedic remedy for reducing excess kapha dosha and helps in lessening pain, inflammation and redness by eliminating stagnated fluids and toxic remains through urine and sweat.

Mix 2 drops of Calamus oil with 2 drops of Ginger oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil along with 3 ml of coconut oil and massaging it gently on the painful area helps in promoting blood circulation, alleviating pain, strengthening the muscles, stimulating the nerves and reducing swelling and other symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.

Few other notable health benefits:

With its pungent and bitter taste, Calamus oil is said to have excellent benefits to the respiratory system, nervous system and the digestive system. This oil strengthens the digestive system and treats intestinal worms, abdominal pain, flatulence, loss of appetite, chronic gas trouble and loss of taste. Vacha is used in many Indian homes to treat colic in newborn babies since the primeval times. Calamus essential oil effectively treats sinusitis, cold and bronchitis.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition. It is not directed as a substitute for any prescribed medication or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this data is shared only for the purpose of throwing light on the ancient healing wisdom or the knowledge of life known as Ayurveda.

Never use essential oils internally and ensure that you use them in a diluted form for external use, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and it is always recommended to do a small patch test on your skin with the diluted essential oil. Speak with your healthcare expert or your Ayurvedic physician before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution or prakriti and health condition.

Calamus Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

The essential oil of Calamus should be strictly avoided during pregnancy as it has the potent to stimulate contractions in the uterine cavity and induce menstruation, being an emmenagogue and might lead to miscarriage or abortion. It is also advisable to restrict the use of Calamus oil during breastfeeding.

Many studies suggest that Calamus oil may have carcinogenic or cancer causing effects and might be toxic when used in excess. The prime chemical constituents responsible for its adverse effects are β-asarone (about 78.4%), α-asarone (about 6.8%) and methyleugenol (about 2%) in Acorus Calamus oil, which is of Indian origin. Various in vivo and in vitro studies have witnessed the negative potent of β-asarone in inducing the growth of malignant tumors.

The European Council files β-asarone as “substances which are suspected to be genotoxic carcinogens and therefore no MDI can be set”. According to the 1988 European Community Council, both the European Union and the United Kingdom ‘Standard Permitted Proportion’ of beta-asarone in food flavorings must be 0.1mg/kg.

IFRA (International Fragrance Association) suggests that beta-asarone and alpha-asarone should not be used as fragrance ingredients and the safe level of use of Calamus oil in consumer products should not exceed 0.01%. It also recommends that the highest concentration of methyleugenol in leave-on products like body lotion should not exceed 0.00004%.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and must be used in a diluted condition with safe carrier oils like coconut oil. It is meant only for topical application and it is not recommended to take essential oils internally.

Ingestion of Calamus oil may end up in creating hallucinations, convulsions and potent toxicity. Acorus Calamus is one among the 30 unsafe herbs listed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

According to the studies conducted in 1976 and 1977, Calamus oil is non-phototoxic and non-sensitizing when tested (patch testing with 2% Calamus oil) on 200 consecutive patients with dermatitis.

This warning is relevant to leave-on skin care products like creams, body lotions, massage oils and balms and not for wash-off items like shampoos and soaps.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Calamus Oil:

  1. Acorus Calamus: Scientific Validation of Ayurvedic Tradition from Natural Resources Pulok Kumar Mukherjee, Venkatesan Kumar, Mainak Mal & Peter J. Houghton, published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology
  2. MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF ACORUS CALAMUS Kumar Amit, Vandana, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, published in the Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics
  3. Acorus Calamus by Examine.com
  4. Effects of asarone and β-asarone on conditioned responses, fighting behaviour and convulsions by P. C. Dandiya and M. K. Menon, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy
  5. Calamus by Drugs.com
  6. Toxicity of Acorus calamus rhizome powder from Eastern Nepal to Sitophilus granarius (L.) and Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) by R.B. Paneru , G.N.J. le Patourel , S.H. Kennedy published in Science Direct
  7. Acorus Calamus: An overview R. Balakumbahan*, K. Rajamani and K. Kumanan, Horticultural Research Station, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Pechiparai, TN,  India, published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
  8. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

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. Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization by Dr. David Frawley
  2. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc.-Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution by Gazmend Skenderi
  3. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications
    by Christian Ratsch, Albert Hofmann
  4. The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World’s Oldest Healing System by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Michael Tierra
  5. New Choices in Natural Healing: Over 1,800 of the Best Self-Help Remedies from the World of Alternative Medicine by Doug Dollemore

Reference Links:

  1. Acorus Calamus by Wikipedia
  2. Detection of Acorus Calamus in Ayurvedic preparations by Europe PubMed Central
  3. Vacha: Brain Tonic by Dr. R. Vatsyayan, Ayurvedacharya
  4. Clarify Your Communication with Calamus by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa published in 3HO
  5. Herb of the season, Vacha (Calamus, Acorus calamus) by Sai Ayurvedic College
  6. Vacha (Acorus Calamus Linn.): A Valuable Medicinal Plant, published in the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research

Brahmi Oil



Fêted as the ‘herb of grace’ and ‘the thinking person’s herb, Brahmi oil gifts you mental clarity by alleviating all kinds of mental ailments with its neuro-pharmacological effects.

Brahmi-bannerBeing the second highest ranked herb in Ayurveda, Brahmi oil is the main component of numerous traditional and folklore medicines in dealing with Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), weak memory, stress, anxiety, fear, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Commonly called as ‘Brahmi’ in Ayurveda, “it is known as the rejuvenator for all systems in the body and is one of the most commonly used medicated oils”, quotes the book on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. As a cognitive enhancer, stress buster and neurological tonic, Ayurveda widely uses Brahmi oil for its nootropic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, antipyretic, cardio-tonic and analgesic attributes.

The oblong juicy leaves of this herb, when put under steam distillation yields Brahmi Oil, which is known for its stimulating properties used for enhancing the efficiency of the brain in terms of accuracy, intelligence and attention and mostly prescribed for children to make them more studious, active and attentive.

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Historical uses and importance of Brahmi and its essential oil:

Bearing India as its origin, Bacopa monnieri has numerous vernacular names, the most common of which is ‘Brahmi’ as it is called in Ayurveda which is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Brahma’, the creator of the Universe as per the Hindu mythology. This creeping herb is botanically named as ‘Bacopa monnieri and it commonly grows in countries like Southern India, Europe, Australia and North and South America.

With extensive utilization in Ayurveda, proof of the existence of Bacopa monnieri in literature dates back to the 6th Century A.D where it is mentioned in the Vedas or the sacred books of the Hindu religion and in Charaka Samhita as well as Sushruta Samhita, the Ayurvedic Encyclopedias.

Sushruta, the father of surgery calls Brahmi by the name samjna sthapana which means ‘ that which brings back consciousness’ and medhya rasayana, meaning its application to make one intellectual with less mental deficits. Allegedly used by the primitive Vedic scholars in aiding them to memorize the sacred hymns and scriptures, Brahmi oil played a major role in treating neural disorders in Indian as well as Japanese traditional medicine.

Being in use for almost 3000 golden years in the Ayurvedic healing system, Brahmi oil is a traditional cure for all kinds of nervous disorders, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, hair loss, premature aging and skin diseases. With natural phyto-chemicals that rejuvenate the brain and the nerves, Brahmi oil plays the role of a healthy tonic stimulating and strengthening the nerves and the cardiac system.

Along with the other renowned Ayurvedic herbs such as Jatamansi and Ashwagandha, Brahmi essential oil is taken along with ghee which itself has numerous medicinal benefits, to treat cough, circulatory disorders and even function as a laxative.

Traditionally administered to children for active functioning and improved intelligence, Brahmi oil is paired along with Centella Asiatica and given to pregnant women along with milk to facilitate childbirth. It was also used as a laxative to treat constipation, flatulence and to treat tumors, inflammations and even as an antidote to snake bites.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Brahmi Oil:

Widely recognized as a neural tonic, Brahmi oil owes its tribute to the presence of saponins in particular bacoside A and B. The other chemical components include alkaloids and sterols such as bacopasides, brahmine, herpestine, d-mannitol, hersaponin, monnierin, betulic acid, beta sitosterol, bacosine, luteolin, quercetin, apigenin and nicotine.

The therapeutic properties of Brahmi oil are cardio-tonic, nootropic, antipyretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, expectorant, sedative, stomachic, antiepileptic, carminative, astringent and cognitive.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Brahmi oil:

Ayurveda is a 5,000 years old traditional healing methodology that has its roots deeply vested with the Indian mythology, the country with the world’s oldest history. Ayurvedic writings were first said to have been a part of Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or the sacred books of Hinduism.

Furthermore numerous other diseases and their Ayurvedic remedies were written by the greatest Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta in the books Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Ayurvedic healing recommends natural remedies for treating humanity since it trusts that the whole thing on earth is a part of nature and Nature by itself has inherent medicines for healing various health conditions.

As per this ancient science, a person is said to be healthy when his/her body, mind and soul are in absolute balance with nature.  Sickness or disease as per the Ayurvedic philosophy is a fruitful opportunity to find, treat and reinstate perfect health and to help in being in harmony with nature.

Mother Nature is made up of five vital elements. They are water, fire, earth, space and air. Being a part of nature, human body is also made up of these five elements represented in the system in the form of three dynamic energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha, and pitta doshas.

These 3 doshas join together to form the unique individual constitution or prakriti of a person and the order of these biological energies are determined by nature itself.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas and it has an upper hand in determining the character, personality and other behavioral attributes of a human being. Perfect balance between these doshas indicates robustness and imbalance leads to illnesses.

Every Ayurvedic treatment begins with the effort to identify the unique individual constitution of a person. This assists in finding the mental and physical attributes along with the part of doshas present in an individual.

Ayurveda prescribes unique remedies for every individual as per their individual constitution, even if it is for the same disease.

The Ayurvedic healing system aids in preventing illnesses in the future and lead to longevity through healthy aging, mainly by treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms alone. The chief Ayurvedic remedies are essential oils, herbs, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, Pranayama, prayers, Ayurvedic massaging, Ayurvedic routine, and Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detox techniques.

Brahmi essential oil is said to pacify vata, pitta and kapha imbalances.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Brahmi essential oil are:

Brahmi--broucher--info1. Alleviates the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:

As a divine blessing to numerous diseases related to the brain and nerves, Brahmi essential oil is indeed one of the most effective natural cure for Alzheimer’s disease and is often portrayed by neuropsychiatric and behavioral changes where a person suffers from memory loss along with losing the ability to think and speak, completely reliable on caregivers in the most advanced stage. With no accurate cure, the symptoms worsen with the progress of the disease and it eventually leads to the death of a person.

With natural sulfhydryl and polyphenols, Brahmi oil possesses endogenous antioxidant and anti-cholinesterase attributes with the help of which it inhibits the acetyl cholinesterase enzyme and reverses the symptoms of amnesia, enhances cognition and acts as a neuroprotectant against Alzheimer’s disease.

Moreover, researches have proved the efficiency of Brahmi oil in reducing the beta-amyloid deposits found in the brain of rats with Alzheimer’s disease induced by anti-cholinergic drugs. The presence of saponins helps in increasing the level of serotonin while decreasing that of dopamine widely aiding in memory retention.

With its anti-oxidant properties, Brahmi oil reduces the reactive oxygen scavengers, divalent metals, suppresses the lipoxygenase activity and decreases the formation of lipid peroxides thus greatly helping in alleviating various hazardous symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the long run.

Meditating by focusing the mind on Agna or the point below the center of the forehead, appropriately in between the eyebrows, is the best way to improve concentration, activate the brain cells, enhance memory power, grant increased sense of awareness, provide absolute control over senses, and promotes the power of concentration.

This point is connected to the pituitary gland and is associated with the life-force. Adding 2 drops of Brahmi oil in diffuser or vaporizer during Agna meditation helps in treating Alzheimer’s disease and is a boon to people suffering from all kinds of brain disorders.

2. Enhances the memory power:

Brahmi oil is Mother Nature’s gift for supporting cognitive enhancement and neuro-protective attributes. This is attributed to the rich content of saponins such as Bacoside A and B. It actively influences in regulating the levels of dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters released by the nerve cells that pass on signals to other nerve cells that help in motor control, secretion of hormones and is the contributor of feeling of well being and happiness that makes you feel secure and complete.

With its antioxidant properties, it induces cell transport, metabolism of 5-HT and Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2) resulting in providing a protective environment for the cells and promoting the neuron communication. It helps in increasing the branching points in the neurons and the dendritic intersections that results in the neuronal growth in hippocampus, the area in brain associated with enhancing memory retention and improvement in the learning performance.

This also results in increasing the encoding of information in the brain with increased retention speeds, improving delayed recall and verbal learning. All these aspects of Brahmi essential oil make it an excellent aid when administered along with Ashwagandha, Centella Asiatica and Melissa Officinalis for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is for this reason, Brahmi oil has been in existence since primordial times in the field of holistic healing as a powerful memory enhancer to increase the speed of processing information and cognition and decrease the performance time, reaction time and error incidence for people of all ages especially children for good progress in the field of academic learning.

Adding 2 drops of Brahmi oil to a cotton ball and keeping it besides you during the study time or during your classes can aid in improving your memory power, enhancing concentration and helping you focus on things that you work upon without any deviation.

3. Alleviates epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease:

Often characterized by undetectable periods of vigorous shaking, epilepsy is a group of long-term neurological disorders. With Bacoside –A as the major component, Brahmi essential oil is often paired with Ghee in Ayurveda to treat epilepsy by reducing the occurrence of convulsion.

It induces changes in specific parts of the brain such as striatum and the hippocampus to mediate the reducing activity of the epileptic seizures. Brahmi oil greatly influences the expression of mGluR8 receptors which possess protective mechanism against excito toxicity and hyper excitation.

Additionally, Brahmi oil prevents the depletion of dopamine and serotonin and greatly reduces the death of cells in the midbrain that generate dopamine, which remains as one of the causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Numerous researches carried out in this regard confirmed the positive reduction of the depletion of serotonin and dopamine in rats subjected to chronic stress and supplemented with Bacopa monnieri. It has also been proved that the presence of Brahmi oil prevented the depletion of dopamine even in cases of neurotoxicity induced with rotenone and caffeine.

4. Relieves you from stress and its adverse effects:

Stress simply leads to mental and physical exhaustion, while it drains out all our energy and confidence. Having all the beneficial saponins and phyto chemicals in possession, Brahmi oil acts as a natural adaptogen actively preventing the biochemical effects of stress and blocking the stress response in the body.

It effectively reduces the expression of HSP70, a biomarker of stress in almost all the regions of the brain in particular the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Brahmi oil also increases the anti-oxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxide in the brain protecting it from oxidative damage and other stress related factors.

It aids in overcoming acute and chronic stress. In addition to that this oil for the mind helps one in overcoming addiction to ill habits such as drug dependence, smoking, alcoholism etc. Furthermore, Brahmi oil assists in reducing the inflammation in the nerves and possesses neurological anti-aging effect.

With the presence of bacopaside I, bacopaside II and bacopasaponsin C, Brahmi oil naturally alleviates depression and anxiety. Just a gentle massage with Brahmi oil effectively relieves you from tension and fear and provides you a peaceful sleep. It lifts up your spirits and soothes your mind by calming down the nerves with a promise to provide you an eternal elevation.

The best way to alleviate stress is to blend 5 drops of Brahmi oil with 5 drops of Sandalwood oil, 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil with 10 ml of Virgin olive oil and massage your system followed by a warm bath diluted with 3 drops of Brahmi oil especially before going to bed can help you in relaxing your nerves, soothing your muscles, alleviating fatigue mentally and physically and grant you the determination to fight stress and its ill effects.

5. Effective in hair care and skin care:

Healthy hair and skin are indeed the lustrous assets of every human being. With natural antioxidants, Brahmi oil rejuvenates the hair follicles and strengthens the hair from the roots. It acts as a cure to numerous problems related to hair and scalp such as dandruff, split ends, itchiness in the scalp and formation of flakes.

Brahmi is excellent for hair growth and the prevention of baldness”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. With its nourishing properties, Brahmi oil aids in lessening hair fall and promotes hair growth aiding in the treatment of Alopecia Areata. In combination with Amla, it promotes the blood circulation in the scalp; it aids in restoring the natural color of the hair and prevents premature graying.

Massaging your scalp and hair with 2 drops of Brahmi oil along with 2 drops of Jatamansi oil, 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 drops of Tea tree oil with 5 ml of Almond oil followed by regular shampooing with 1 drop of Brahmi oil to your mild shampoo, can assist in controlling hair loss, clear dandruff, nourish the scalp, strengthen your hair from the roots and gift you with long, lustrous and shiny locks.

The antioxidant attribute of Brahmi oil mainly due to the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins also contribute to the utilization of this essential oil in the field of skin care as a revitalizing agent. It helps in tightening the pores and keeps the cells in tact by preventing the formation of wrinkles and treats numerous skin problems such as boils, psoriasis, abscess, eczema and pimples.

Mix 1 drop of Brahmi oil with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil, 1drop of Rose oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil with 2 ml of coconut oil and massage it on your facial skin in gentle circular movements for visible results. It also promotes the growth of nails.

Other health benefits of Brahmi oil:

Brahmi oil possesses stomachic properties that assist in protecting against ulcers by repairing and preventing the lining of the stomach from the advent of acids and enzymes.

It aids in protecting against the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases by helping in oxidizing the fats in the body. Brahmi oil also acts a diuretic and helps in removing excess toxins from the body in the form of urine and sweat. It acts as a cardio-tonic, nerve tonic and as an analgesic helping you to relieve from pain.

Disclaimer:

This article is just for educational uses and is not destined to check, treat or diagnose any medical condition or replace with any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this data is shared only with the idea of throwing light on the significance of Ayurveda, the time-honored wisdom of holistic healing.

Internal use of essential oils is strictly restricted except under medical supervision. Make certain that you dilute essential oils before using it topically because pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and direct application on the skin may cause allergic reactions. It is always recommended to speak with your Ayurvedic expert/ healthcare professional before choosing the suitable essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and your medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Suggested Reading:

  1. Brahmi – the brain tonic by Brijesh Regal
  2. Nutrient Management in Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri L.) by Vineeta Rathore, Kuldeep Singh, Vandana Rathore
  3. Ashwagandha & Brahmi – Withania somnifera and bacopa monnieri – The most powerful brain-boosting herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine by James Lee
  4. Ayurveda and the Mind: The Healing of Consciousness by Dr. David Frawley
  5. Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease by Robert Rodgers

Reference Links:

  1. Bacopa monnieri by Wikipedia
  2. A research article on ‘Bacopa monniera -a Future Perspective’ by the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research
  3. Enhanced dendritic arborization of hippocampal CA3 neurons by Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats published in PubMed
  4. Bacopa monniera on stress induced changes in plasma corticosterone and brain monoamines in rats published in PubMed