Camphor Oil



camphor-banner“Camphor increases prana, opens up senses and brings clarity to the mind, eases headache and awakens perception. It is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain”, says Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Botanically known as Cinnamomum camphora, Camphor is a member of the Lauraceae plant family and is extracted from the wood and bark of this evergreen tree.

Prevalently called as Karpura in Ayurveda, this sacred and aromatic herb is used in Ayurvedic healing for more than thousands of years in the treatment of bronchitis, insomnia, asthma, hysteria, whooping cough, epilepsy, dysmennorhea, sinus headaches, nasal and pulmonary congestion, delirium and gout.

No sacred or religious ritual in India gets fulfilled without Camphor and is also known in Ayurveda with other names like Chandra, Himavaluka, Ghanasara and Chandra Prabha.

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Historical uses and importance of Camphor and its essential oil:

Popularly called as ‘the tree that does not sleep’, Camphor has been an important natural remedy especially in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of various illnesses including nervous afflictions and other psychosomatic problems.

Indigenous to Formosa, Japan and China, this tree can grow up to a maximum height of 100 feet and the traditional Chinese used Camphor for its remedial uses and its wood was used in building temples and ships mainly due to its exuberant aroma and robustness. During the Tang dynasty (C.E. 618-907), Camphor was used in flavoring confectionery items like ice cream in China.

Camphor is an important part of Indian prayers, especially the religious ceremonies of the Hindu community since the traditional times. Burning camphor in the Pooja plate for deities is a part of every prayer in temples as well as homes and this sacred flame is calmly touched and its warmth feeling is passed on to the eyes. It is a part of the biggest spiritual celebration of the Hindus known as Mahashivratri dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans used Camphor as a fragrant wood, incense resin, flavoring agent and as fumigants for embalming. It was given as prestigious gifts by the Chinese emperors for other kingdoms including the Arabian treaties. Camphor was also used as a traditional remedy for plague in Iran and Persia.

The strong aroma of Camphor makes it an excellent agent for protecting against snakes and other poisonous reptiles. It was also used as an insect repellant as it is trusted to be toxic to insects. Camphor was also used in tool chests to guard tools against rusting.

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

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Camphor oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its unique aroma, therapeutic values and consistency of this oil. Among which, 1,8-Cineole is the key component with about 35.9% of Camphor oil.

Just click on:

I believe that this information would certainly help you in having a clear picture about the primary chemical constituents of Camphor oil.

The table crafted below explains the unique nature and therapeutic qualities of these biochemical constituents to the curative values of Camphor essential oil.

camphor-table

Therapeutic properties of Camphor essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are stimulant, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, decongestant, nervine, anti-phlogistic, analgesic, anti-arthritic and bronchodilator.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science known to the world for more than 5,000 years. The most prominent thing about Ayurveda is that its healing practices are recorded systematically in the form of literature.

Among the 4 major sacred books of the Indian Mythology, Atharvana Veda records the Ayurvedic therapies and about 114 verses of this sacred book shares the symptoms and diagnostic techniques of numerous health disorders.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system that treats the individual instead of the symptoms and traces the root cause of an illness. By this way, this ancient common sense science focuses on prevention of illnesses leading through healthy aging process to longevity.

Based on the Vedic references of Ayurveda, two ancient Ayurvedic texts were written by the legendary Ayurvedic physicians known as Charaka and Sushruta, who wrote Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

These Ayurvedic encyclopedias state that everything is a part of nature and the human body is a combination of the five elements known as Panchamaha Bhoothas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space.

Every person is made up of a unique individual constitution that consists of three dynamic energies known as doshas (vata-air & space, pitta- fire & water and kapha- water & earth), which are a combination of the elemental forces of nature.

For a person to be hale and healthy, these doshas should always remain in a specific ration as set by nature and any change in the functioning or the balance between these doshas cause illnesses. Imbalance of these biological energies mainly occurs due to food habits (mainly depending on the quality of the food taken), change in weather conditions and lifestyle changes.

Ayurvedic remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, prayers, Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the detox technique and Ayurvedic routine are recommended based on the Prakriti or the unique individual constitution of a person and for correcting the imbalances of doshas.

Camphor essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil are:

Camphor-broucher1. Relieves severe pain, spasms and inflammation:

Camphor essential oil has antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that render itself as a promising pain reliever. The stimulating and counter-irritant effects of this oil relieve even severe muscular and joint pains.

With its anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic attributes, Camphor essential oil assists in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic deposits in the joints and the entire system through urine and sweat and supporting the functions of the circulatory system. Ayurveda states that rheumatic problems mainly occur due to excess of kapha dosha leading to surplus deposits of water, toxins, salt and uric acid in the system, especially in the joints.

Camphor essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha and help in discharging ama or toxins in the system along with excess water content in the body. This oil works by anesthetizing the sensory nerves of peripheral nervous system, thus reducing inflammation.

Massaging the affected or painful parts with 2 drops of Camphor oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 4 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing inflammation, swelling, painful muscles, redness and stiffness associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

This massaging can also help in relieving cramps, abdominal spasms and stiff joints. Adding 2 drops of Camphor essential oil to bathing water can bring in a feeling of newness, coolness and tranquility, especially during the summer season and can also help in alleviating pain and inducing peaceful sleep at night by relaxing the muscles, calming the nerves and cooling the senses.

2. Combats microbes and skin infections:

The essential oil of Camphor oil has been a prominent ingredient in numerous ointments and medications for treating skin infections caused by bacteria, fungi and other microbes. This is attributed to the germicide, disinfectant, anti-microbial and insecticide properties of Camphor oil. 2 drops of Camphor oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil can be applied on minor burns, itches, wounds, rashes, insect bites, nail fungus, cold sores, eczema, acne, chapped lips, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Camphor is an excellent cleanser that helps in disinfecting the system when added to the bath tub (about 2 to 3 drops). 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil added to your shampoo can help in treating dandruff and lice. This also helps in granting a cooling effect on the scalp and prevent unnecessary hair fall due to dandruff and lice.

3. Supports digestive functions:

Being a carminative, Camphor oil works wonders in relieving gas and flatulence. Gas in the intestines and stomach, when left unnoticed raises above slowly and causes sharp and severe pain in the chest, which may even lead to difficulty in breathing. Using Camphor oil assists in relieving gas and prevents the formation of gas.

Along with this, the diaphoretic effects of this oil aids in normalizing metabolic functions, enhancing circulation, improving sluggish digestion and controls the appetite. Mix 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Juniper oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on your abdomen for expelling gas and supporting the functions of the digestive system.

4. Pacifies the nervous system:

Camphor oil treats nervous afflictions and pain in the nervous system by causing numbness. This is attributed to its anesthetic effects. It is a proven remedy for treating neuralgia, which is a relentlessly painful condition caused due to the force on the Ninth Cranial nerve created by the swollen blood vessels surrounding it.

Gently massaging the system with 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil and 2 drops of Wintergreen oil blended with 5 ml of almond oil can help in reducing inflammation and lessen the pressure on the Ninth Cranial nerve, thus treating neuralgia. This can also assist in lessening the negative effects of epileptic attacks, nervous convulsions, chronic anxiety and nervousness.

5. Alleviates cold and other respiratory problems:

Camphor essential oil has a sharp, strong and medicinal aroma that makes its presence vital in numerous decongestant ointments and vaporubs. Vicks vaporub, the most popular decongestant has Camphor as one among its therapeutic formula. Camphor oil has been in use since the traditional times mainly for its effectiveness in treating respiratory ailments.

Excess kapha is the major reason behind the built up of mucus and phlegm deposits causing congestion and other respiratory problems. Camphor oil lessens kapha dosha and discharges mucus and phlegm in the respiratory and nasal passages.

Massaging your chest, throat and back with 1 drop of Camphor oil mixed with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 ml of olive oil along with 2 drops of Camphor oil added to steam inhalation assists in relieving congestion in the respiratory tract, nasal passages, bronchial tract, pharynx and larynx.

Adding to 1 to 2 drops of Camphor oil to warm bathing water can also help in loosening the mucus and phlegm and clear the respiratory system. It is being used as an excellent cough suppressant since the primordial period. The powerful decongestant and bronchodilator properties of Camphor oil makes it an excellent remedy for treating asthma, sinusitis, pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, whooping cough, common cold, chest congestion and cough.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace any prescribed medication or professional medical advice or to cure, treat or prevent any illnesses. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the idea of enlightening the mass with the traditional healing values of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old medical system.

Do not use essential oils internally unless it is prescribed by your medical professional. Dilute essential oils before using it for topical purposes as organic and pure essential oils are very concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before picking up the perfect essential oils for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Ensure that you use very less amount of Camphor oil as prescribed by your medical expert, as excess use of Camphor can act as a narcotic poison.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Camphor oil

Camphor Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

camphor-new

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

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Camphor oil has been acclaimed as lethal and highly toxic in various studies, when used in excess of the prescribed quantity. According to the safety report, the acute toxicity of Camphor oil is said to be exhibited by contact with the skin, eyes, inhaling and ingesting, however ingestion of Camphor oil should be avoided strictly mainly due to its chronic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic – toxic to the liver).

The major chemical constituents in Camphor oil, responsible for its skin sensitization, allergic reactions, irritation and autoxidation are camphene, 1,8-cineole (abnormal respiration and CNS depression, epigastric pain and cold sweats), limonene and a-pinene. Oils with limonene and a-pinene are responsible for oxidation and oxidized oils cause sensitization and irritation of the skin.

Using Camphor oil topically might also cause skin sensitization, irritation, skin allergies like hives, itching, rashes, swelling of the face and lip dryness. Camphor oil used as direct contact with the skin without any dilution in appropriate carrier oils is considered as a dangerous skin irritant. Never use Camphor oil on cuts, broken or peeled skin.

It is highly recommended to avoid Camphor oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it gets quickly absorbed by the placenta and may cause physical and neurological damage to the developing fetus and in nursing mothers there are possibilities of Camphor being absorbed through skin cracks and pass on to infants through milk (might cause damage to the infants’ liver and central nervous system).

Do not use Camphor oil on patients with bronchitis, asthma, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, as it can cause convulsions, increase spasms, seizures (by accounting to chemical disparity in the brain) and worsen the situation. It is also not recommended for high blood pressure patients as it is frequently used in the treatment of low blood pressure.

The safe level of use of Camphor is up to 3% dilution in case of liniments. As per the Dutch Information Medicamentorum, the safe usage level of Camphor is 20 to 100 mg/g for chest rubs, 0.15 mg/ml for nasal sprays, 20 to 50 mg/g for nose ointments, 1 to 70 mg/g for pruritus lotion and 40 to 250 mg/g in oils for muscular pain.  However 11% is regarded as the maximum level of safe usage in all kinds of dermal applications.

Camphor, according to the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety states that the major risks of ingestion of Camphor are renal damage, colic, anxiety, convulsions, nausea, delirium, gastric irritation, irritation of the mucous membrane, asystole, apnoea, chronic post-convulsive coma and difficulty in breathing occur after ingesting about 2 grams of Camphor (acute toxicity level) and 4 grams are possibly lethal for adults and 1 gram for children and may cause death.

This report also denotes that the major target organs for Camphor damage are the upper respiratory tract, liver, kidneys and the central nervous system. Certain studies witness the immediate collapse in infants soon after the application of Camphor to their nostrils.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Camphor Oil:

  1. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet of Camphor by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Toxicity Summary of Camphor by Toxnet, National Institutes of Health
  5. Camphor topical Side Effects in Detail by Drugs.com
  6. Camphor by the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety

Thought for the day:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Tree That Does Not Sleep:: Phytochemistry, Allelopathy and the Capability Attributes of Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.) by John Schenk
  2. Camphor; A Pharmaceutical and Pharmacognostical Study by U. S. Government
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  5. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Camphor by Wikipedia
  2. History of Camphor oil by eHow
  3. Health benefits of Camphor essential oil by Organic Facts
  4. Camphor by Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy
  5. Camphor benefits – A multipurpose plant by Greenchedy

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Cajeput Oil



Cajeputoil-bannerCajeput essential oil owns the scent of purity and is an excellent haemostatic, analgesic and a proven natural remedy for respiratory problems.

Traditionally being used in long precedence to treat cold, chronic rheumatism, flu and infections related to sinus and respiratory tracts, Cajeput essential oil owes its extraction to the leaves of Cajeput trees through the process of steam distillation. Botanically called as Melaleuca cajuputi, the word Cajeput is originated from the Malay word ‘kaju putih’ which means ‘white wood’.

Known as Katupruhi in Ayurveda, Cajeput and its essential oil are being used in the traditional healing system for treating muscular pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, urinary tract infections, insect bites and stings, intestinal parasites, headache, joint pain, abdominal cramps, burns, intestinal inflammation, ear infections, oral problems, colic and psoriasis.

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

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Historical uses and importance of Cajeput and its essential oil:

Renowned for their pointed leaves, exotic flowers, flexible trunk and attractive white bark, Cajeput trees bear their nativity to the South Asian countries and are now widely distributed in Australia, Malay Archipelago and Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia and Vietnam being the principal producers of Cajeput essential oil.

With an unusual and stimulating aroma like that of cardamom, camphor and rosemary, Cajeput essential oil earns the gratitude of extensive usage in the traditional healing systems. Bearing resemblances to Tea tree, Cajeput trees are found prevalently in Malaysia and are called as White tea tree in certain occasions.

Well known for its resistance to forest fire, Cajeput trees are small, tidy and attractive with long-life. The aromatic white flowers of these trees, in addition to contributing to the essential oil also aid in the production of flavored honey by attracting the honey bees resulting in good yield. This property attracted the beekeepers of Florida who were the ones to introduce this tree to the United States.

Being portrayed as an oil of mystical powers, Cajeput essential oil is believed to protect against all kinds of evil powers and is used in cleansing the ritual objects and idols. With its spiritual powers that targets the consciousness of a person, Cajeput oil helps in reverting the mind from addictions to uncontrollable habits such as alcohol, smoking etc.

Ritually used in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia for its beneficial attributes such as antiseptic and analgesic in treating chronic rheumatism, cold and flu, it was introduced to Europe in the 17th century as a natural aid for almost all types of ailments ranging from infections affecting respiratory tract to urinary tract.

Ayurveda employs Cajeput essential oil for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-bacterial and anodyne properties in holistic healing of dyspepsia, stomachic disorders, influenza, rheumatism, cold, cholera, burns, asthma, yeast infections, colic, toothache, parasites in intestines, tumors and even as an insecticide.

The utilization of Cajeput essential oil in some of the renowned liniments such as tiger Balm and Olbas is just enough to prove the analgesic attribute of this oil. As an effective antimicrobial agent, it is used in skincare and in the manufacture of soaps, cosmetics, perfumes and disinfectants.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cajeput essential oil:

With cineol as the primary component, Cajeput essential oil comprises mainly of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and hydrocarbons, which include alpha pinene, limonene, caryophyllene, beta pinene, alpha terpineol, terpineol, cymene, alpha terpinene-4-ol, linalool, gamma terpinene, nerolidol, geranyl acetone, ketone, benzaldehyde, cajeputene hydrate, cajuputol, eucalyptol and myrcene.

The eminent therapeutic attributes of Cajeput essential oil are antipyretic, carminative, anti-neuralgic, analgesic, disinfectant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, tonic, antiseptic, expectorant, emmenagogue, stimulant, anthelmintic, cosmetic, anti-bacterial, decongestant, febrifuge, sudorific and insecticide.

Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Cajeput essential oil:

Ayurveda simply means ‘the knowledge of life’. This oldest healing system trusts that the real wisdom of mankind rests in the knowledge about our system, which is the best wonder of this world.

Human mind and body work in a miraculous manner and Ayurvedic healing insists that this system is built up with the same five elements with which nature is made up of. They are fire, water, earth, air and space.

Earth represents bones and muscles, fire represents agni or the heat energy in the body, water represents blood and other fluids, air represents the breathing mechanism and space is the soul that keeps us alive.

Every individual is made up of a unique individual constitution that comprises three dynamic forces or biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha dosha. These doshas are nothing but a representation of the five elemental forces of nature.

Vata is a combination of air and space and is in charge for nervous functions, circulation and respiratory functions. Fire and water put together forms Pitta dosha, which is responsible for metabolic functions and body temperature.

Kapha dosha is a representation of water and earth and contributes to physical structure, sustenance and reproductive health. Every human being has a majority of any one of these doshas and this predominance decides one’s personality, behavioral traits and attributes.

Ayurvedic philosophy strongly believes that absolute health of human beings exclusively depend upon one’s harmony with nature. Perfect balance between these doshas depending upon the unique individual constitution signifies health and imbalance of doshas causes illnesses.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like herbs, plant essential oils, simple physical exercises, prayers, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, Abhyanga (the art of Ayurvedic massaging) and Pranayama for correcting the doshic imbalances.

Cajeput essential oil reduces kapha and vata dosha, in excess cases and increases pitta energy.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cajeput essential oil.

Cajeput-broucher1. Assuages respiratory ailments:

Numerous bacteria, viruses and fungi are always on the urge to cause infectious diseases that primarily target the respiratory tract with an array of ailments affecting mankind such as bronchitis, sore throat, flu, cold, ear infections, tightness in chest, laryngitis, blocked nose, mild fever, sinus and cough; Cajeput essential oil plays an important role in stopping the advent of these harmful microbes and protects the system from all types of respiratory ailments.

With its deep penetrating aroma with a rich eucalyptol note, Cajeput essential oil is a renowned cure for sinus that it has always been an unavoidable element in most of the medications that alleviate health problems associated with sinus. Just inhaling 2 drops of this essential oil added to steam inhalation, can provide instant relief from headache, blocked nose, sinus pain and makes you feel tranquil in a matter of minutes.

Excess of kapha dosha is responsible for deposits of mucus and phlegm in the respiratory tract, lungs and nasal passages. With its power to reduce kapha dosha, Cajeput essential oil helps in breaking up even heavy deposits of mucus accumulated in the respiratory organs and assists in excreting it from the body through coughing and aids in lessening the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and laryngitis.

As an effective antibacterial agent, it helps in fighting against infections and works as a decongestant, suitable to be used as an inhaler for cold and sinus. Moreover, as a natural anti-inflammatory agent it helps in reducing inflammations due to infections in the respiratory tracts such as larynx, pharynx and the bronchi.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in warm bathing water and massaging your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Cajeput oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil mixed with vaporizing ointment can help in relieving nasal congestion, cough, cold, bronchial congestion, blocked nasal passages and chest congestion.

Cajeput oil has a warming effect and is a must to have oil in your first aid kit. 1 to 2 drops of this added to your diffuser during winter can keep you away from infections and grant you a safe environment to live in. It induces the sweat glands and promotes sweating and helps in lowering high body temperature and is also effective in alleviating fever associated with cold and pain in the body.

2. Effective insecticide and termicide:

Insects, especially the mosquitoes are always the sure shot carriers of some dreadful diseases such as malaria, filaria, dengue and chickungunya. With no specific vaccines or antiviral treatment available for the viral diseases such as chikungunya and dengue spread by mosquitoes, actions taken to control the mosquito population remains as the only means of preventing these frightful ailments.

A 2012 research article on the study of “The pesticidal and insecticidal activity of Cajeput essential oil” reveals the fact that it is effective against the mosquito species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which remain as the primary vectors of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Numerous natural phyto-chemicals found in this essential oil effectively function in interrupting the neurotransmitter in mosquitoes by acting as a reversible inhibitor of acetyl cholinesterase, resulting in the knockdown of these unsafe insects. Applying 2 drops of Cajeput oil to your mild skin care cream or lotion can help in keeping you away from mosquito bites.

Moreover, Cajeput oil is a natural source of antifungal and anti-microbial properties, which makes it toxic to the fungi spoiling the woods and highly toxic to the termites thus proving beneficial in the manufacture of wood preservatives and natural insecticide for controlling termites. 4 to 5 drops of this oil added to household cleaner or disinfectant can be sprayed on doors, windows and furniture items for protecting them from termites and other insects.

In addition to its insecticidal and pesticidal attributes, Cajeput essential oil actively extinguishes the parasites such as lice and fleas and thus it is recommended to use 2 drops of this mystical oil to shampoos for hair wash. It can also be added to brushes used for pets for a gentle comb that frees your pets from flees and other insects.

3. Aids in maintaining oral health:

Cajeput essential oil holds the glory of its traditional usage for quick relief from toothache and other oral health issues. With α-terpineol and terpinen-4-ol greatly contributing to the anti-bacterial and the antifungal activity of Cajeput essential oil, this oil acts as a quick extinguisher of all the harmful bacteria found in the mouth and other oral cavities. Linalool acts a mild analgesic with tranquilizing properties that makes Cajeput oil to bring quick relief for all tooth and gum related pains.

Just adding 1 drop of Cajeput oil to a cotton ball and keeping it on the affected area can work wonders, resulting in instant relief from pain and toothache. It is for this reason; Cajeput essential oil has been used in dentistry in treating gingivitis and to alleviate pain in the gum after removal of a tooth.

Furthermore, as an anti bacterial agent, this oil kills all the harmful microbes and various other compounds causing bad breath and assists in alleviating the symptoms of halitosis. Numerous oral products such as tooth paste, mouth wash and mouth fresheners involve the utilization of Cajeput essential oil for its long lasting freshness and oral benefits.

In the book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’, Bryan Miller and Light Miller say, “Cajeput can be used in a gargle along with sandalwood oil for sore throat; recipe 1 drop Cajeput oil, 1 drop sandalwood oil in half cup water, mix well and gargle. This has been used with success by many singers who have lost their voice through a combination of stress and colds.”

4. Excellent pain reliever:

With numerous pain-relieving properties, Cajeput oil stands special for its excellent analgesic and soothing attributes. Comprising of limonene and a-terpineol as the best pain-reducing agents, Cajeput essential oil is used to treat all kinds of pain ranging from headache, toothache and many more.

Rich in soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-neuralgic attributes, Cajeput essential oil is indeed a blessing for those who suffer with Neuralgia – a condition that causes severe pain to the whole oral zone including ears, tonsils, throat, pharynx and larynx.

It helps in relaxing the blood vessels and reduces the pressure on the glossopharyngeal nerve and alleviates the symptoms of neuralgia. Cineole in Cajeput oil produces a warming effect on the surface to which the oil is applied and results in relieving the pain beneath the skin.

Widely prescribed in Ayurveda and other Complementary and alternative medicinal practices for treating rheumatism and arthritis, Cajeput essential oil helps in alleviating pain in addition to lessening the inflammation. As an eminent diuretic, this oil aids in maintaining the fluid level in the body and drains out excess water along with other impurities such as acids, fats etc. by inducing perspiration and increasing the frequency of urination thus treating inflammations due to excess water stagnation caused by increased kapha dosha.

Cajeput oil plays an important role in aromatherapy along with camphor oil and is used in Ayurvedic massaging to reduce body pain caused by gout, arthritis and rheumatism. Being an invaluable ingredient in the Indonesian traditional medicine – Minyak Telon and serving as a natural pain killer, Cajeput oil is full of explicit benefits to everyone, especially to those who work on laptops and desktops and remain the victims of back pain, neck pain and stress.

Massaging the painful or affected parts with 2 drops of Cajeput oil, 2 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil blended with 5 ml of coconut oil is an excellent remedy for alleviating joint pain, muscular distress, back pain, arthritic pain, rheumatic pain, headache, muscular tension and much more.

5. Proven effective in skin care:

The presence of chemically antibacterial agents such as terpinen-4-ol, 1, 8 cineol, linalool and alpha-terpineol contribute to the antibacterial attribute of Cajeput essential oil, making it a best antiseptic and skin care product.

Applying 2 drops of Cajeput oil mixed with your skin care cream or lotion can be of great help in treating acne, boils, cuts, wounds, burns, psoriasis and fungal infections caused by tinea versicolor and mites due to scabies, has yielded promising results proving the efficacy of this oil in the field of dermatology.

It helps in removing the toxins, regulates the production of sebum by inducing the sebaceous glands and helps in treating acne, carbuncles and heals the damaged tissues that have turned red due to abscesses.

The high antibacterial and germicidal activity of this oil against various bacterial strains like Staphylococcus aureus results in speedy recovery in the treatment of furunculosis. Moreover it is an excellent aid in treating scrapes, burns, swellings around fingers or toe, scabies etc. This healing effect can be obtained by adding 2 drops of Cajeput oil in bathing water in the morning and before going to bed.

It also fights against infectious microbes and prevents any wounds or cuts from becoming more infectious and septic thus preventing the onset of tetanus. It tones up the skin and makes it bright, free from infections and thus widely used in the preparation of cosmetics, body lotions, shampoos, antiseptic creams, soaps and disinfectants.

6. Supports the digestive system:

With its pitta-enhancing properties, Cajeput essential oil possesses digestive as well as carminative properties helping in easing the digestive process and stimulating the secretion of digestive juices and enzymes that aid in the full absorption of nutrients in food. It aids in removal of gas from the body with ease and prevents its formation thus alleviating the gastrointestinal disorders.

Due to its soothing attribute, it is also useful in treating some of the digestive disorders such as colic, vomiting due to indigestion, freeing from intestinal worms, intestinal cramps, dysentery and enteritis.

Other health benefits of Cajeput essential oil:

Its ability to fight against the advent of fungal infections is used in food products to serve the purpose of a preservative. It helps in fighting against yeast infections caused by the Candida species and is also active against the protozoan such as Trichomonas vaginal and is helpful in treating the trichomonas vaginal infections.

Apart from this, Cajeput essential oil is utilized in treating tumors, to open up blocked menstruation and to aid in healing the womanly concerns and to regulate proper circulation of the blood. Generally used in air fresheners to uplift the surrounding, Cajeput essential oil cleanses the air and uplifts the spirits and elevates the mind helping to overcome depression, sluggishness, anxiety, fear and the aftershocks of radiotherapy.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is articulated entirely with the thought of sharing the enlightening knowledge of Ayurveda, the 5000 year old traditional healing methodology. These natural remedies are not meant to cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition or to substitute any prescribed medications or expert medical advice. We are not healthcare professionals or medical experts.

Never use essential oils internally and make sure that you use them topically in a diluted manner only, as unadulterated, genuine and organic essential oils are very concentrated substances and can cause allergic reactions when used on the skin directly. Talk with your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before choosing the apt essential oil for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.        -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. Relieving Pain Naturally: Safe and Effective Alternative Approach to Treating and Overcoming Chronic Pain by Sylvia Goldfarb, Roberta W. Waddell
  4. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  5. Scents of Life: Use And Effect Of Essential Oils by H. M. Schemske

Reference Links:

  1. Cajuput Oil by Wikipedia.
  2. A research article on the ‘Essential Leaf Oils from Melaleuca cajuputi’ by J.H. Kim, K.H. Liu and Y. Yoon from the School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Korea
  3. A 2012 research article on the Evaluation of Melaleuca cajuputi (Family: Myrtaceae) Essential oil in aerosol spray cans against dengue vectors in Low cost housing flats
  4. A research article on ‘Cajeput-Type Oil for the Treatment of Furunculosis’ by Henry M.Feinblatt, published in PubMed

Mentha Oil



Mentha-oil-broucherAre you a mint? I mean, are you a cool-headed person? Life would be simply stupendous if all of us remain as cool as mint leaves. Yes! This miraculous herb in any form would drive in extraordinary coolness, where the mere sight of mint leaves gives coolness to the eyes; eating fresh mint leaves or mint-based gums implants long lasting freshness in the mouth; applying Mint oil on your body revives and refreshes the skin; inhaling its enlivening aroma instills peace and happiness and just hearing the word ‘mint’ itself pleases the ears. (Aha! Mint benefits all the five senses of healing.)

Mentha or mint has a long association with Ayurveda and the other entire Alternative and complementary healing methodologies. With its sattvic (power to enhance purity and harmony) and prana (life force or vital energy) enhancing properties, Mentha and its essential oil is trusted to heal a range of health conditions including depression, anxiety, nervous tension, lack of self-esteem, asthma, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, lack of appetite, fever, rheumatic conditions, halitosis, dandruff, acne, flatulence, bad breath and the list never ends.

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Therapeutic attributes and chemical constituents of Mentha essential oil:

The essential oil of Mentha has antidepressant, stimulant, carminative, antiseptic, cholagogue, expectorant, antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, antioxidant, stomachic, antimicrobial, nervine, antifungal, analgesic, detoxifying, anti-pruritic, diaphoretic and anti-flatulent properties.

The major chemical constituent of Mentha essential oil is menthol and the other components that make Menthol oil as worthy as its weight in gold are a-pinene, b-pinene, flavonoids, menthone, methyl acetate, limonene, b-caryophyllene and camphene.

History and traditional uses of Mentha and its essential oil:

Mentha is a plant genus in the family of mints known as Lamiaceae. There are about 20 species of plants and hybrid mint varieties in the Mentha genus. The most popular among them are Peppermint, Spearmint, Japanese Peppermint, Banana mint, Penny royal, Garden mint, Apple mint, Orange mint, Water mint, Wild mint, Forest mint and Asian mint.

Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Mentha spicata are the most famous botanical (species) names of the Mentha family. Most often, all the members of this family share common chemical constituents and the corresponding remedial properties mainly due to the qualities acquired from the same genus Mentha (It’s parent).

Mint is the most friendly and quickly growing perennial plant and its origin has been referred to Asia and Europe. The history of ancient medicine has a handful of remedial references on Mentha and its varied significance.

The genus name Mentha has said to be obtained from Greek mythology, where Menthe, a nymph who was transmuted to a plant by Proserpine as a result of his jealousy on the love of Pluto for Menthe. Aha! Moment again and the credit goes to you ladies, as again like most of the tremendous plant varieties, Mint is also a female indeed!!

English physician, Dr. James Parkinson states “Mintes are sometimes used in Baths with Balm and other herbs as a help to comfort and strengthen the nerves and sinews. It is much used either outwardly applied or inwardly drunk to strengthen and comfort weak stomackes.”

“It is comfortable for the head and memory, and a decoction when used as a gargle, cures the mouth and gums, when sore. Garden Mint is most useful to wash children’s heads when the latter are inclined to sores, and Wild Mint, mixed with vinegar is an excellent wash to get rid of scurf. Rose leaves and mint, heated and applied outwardly cause rest and sleep”, says Nicholas Culpepper, the 17th century herbalist and physician.

The book Herball by the famous botanist John Gerard quotes Mint asthe smelle rejoiceth the heart of man, for which cause they used to strew it in chambers and places of recreation, pleasure and repose, where feasts and banquets are made.”

Pliny the elder, the Roman Natural philosopher says “The smell of Mint does stir up the minde and the taste to a greedy desire of meate. It will not suffer milk to cruddle in the stomach, and therefore it is put in milk that is drunke, lest those that drinke thereof should be strangled.”

Mint is a universal herbal remedy for various health problems, where the traditional Romans and Greeks used these miraculous leaves for treating indigestion, colic, pain and respiratory illnesses.

The primordial Europeans used Mint leaves for dealing with gall bladder disorders, flatulence, cough and other digestive mayhems. As a nourishing appetizer, Mint has been used in various mouth-watering dishes across the world including the cuisines of India, Asian subcontinent; Middle East, America and Britain.

Mentha leaves have been used in making traditional tea varieties in India, where mint tea is said to alleviate fatigue, anxiety and instill instant nourishment to the brain. Many research studies conclude that Mentha is a trusted remedy for irritable bowel syndrome.

The essential oil of Mentha has been used in the manufacturing of various things including soaps, dandruff shampoos, acne creams, skin care lotions, jellies, teas, candies, syrups, ice creams and beverages. Mentha is also a noted flavoring ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gums, perfumes, cosmetics, pain balms and vaporizing ointments.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha essential oil:

What is your thought about Ayurveda? What do you really think? Is your mind uttering that it is an ancient science, a traditional healing system, works slowly, needs patience during the healing tenure and at last you soothe stating that you don’t have much time to take up an Ayurvedic treatment.

Is Ayurveda still the “Road not taken” in your life? Then listen to me, you are not too far from attaining a healthy and harmonious life. More than just a medicinal system, Ayurveda is a complete and disciplined way of living. The word ‘Ayur + Veda’ simply means the knowledge of life.

All it needs to take up Ayurveda in your life is to do a thorough self-examination, for understanding your individual constitution (the innate rhythm of your system with nature) contributing to your physical set up, psychological attributes, spiritual element and your behavioral patterns.

You can take the help of an Ayurvedic expert to learn about your doshas and then frame your way of living that strikes absolute balance with nature. Ayurveda recommends Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine, things to follow in your day-to-day living for prevention of illnesses and increased life span.

The rich historical reference of Ayurveda vests with India for about 5,000 years, where it is believed to be a gift of the Lord of Creation (Brahma) to the Lord of Medicine (Dhanvantari). This sacred science of healing was taken to the next level by the Ayurvedic philosophers Acharya Charaka and Acharya Sushruta, the masterminds behind the Ayurvedic encyclopedias Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is unique with a distinct individual constitution, likewise their health conditions should also be treated in a unique manner even if it is for the treatment of the same sickness.

The first Ayurvedic consultation with your Ayurvedic practitioner helps you to identify your medical history, Prakriti (unique individual constitution – combination of 3 doshas) and the most suitable treatment methodologies exclusively for your physical, emotional and spiritual conditions.

Ayurvedic essential oils (prana or the life force of plants), herbal medications (fresh, dried herbs or herbal infusions), yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, prayers, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), and Pranayama (balanced breathing), Panchakarma (detoxification techniques) are the major Ayurvedic remedies prescribed often.

These medications aim at balancing the doshic irregularities due to changes in lifestyle, code of conduct, food habits, weather and work conditions. Ayurveda recommends the use of Mentha and its essential oil for aggravating vata dosha and pacifying pitta and kapha energies.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha essential oil are:

  1. By far the best remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders:
  2. Magical spell for relieving pain and inflammation:
  3. Depression or fear of failure? Embrace Mentha for sure:
  4. Say goodbye to bad breath and other oral problems:
  5. Breathe easy – Mentha for your respiratory woes:
  6. Share the joy of healing skin problems:

Mentha-OIl1. By far the best remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders:

Pitta dosha is combination of fire and water. This dosha is responsible for metabolic functions, body temperature and cognitive abilities. Pitta dosha is often associated with the stimulation of Agni or the digestive fire.

Pitta vitiation ends up in excessive secretion of gastric juices, digestive acids and other digestive enzymes, which in turn rest on the stomach or intestinal lining. This ends up in gastric ulcer, irritation of the bowel and intestines.

Mentha is known for its potent to pacify pitta or the digestive fire with its cooling and soothing effects. It is for this reason; Mentha and its essential oil are used for treating irritable patterns in the intestines and bowels.

Michael T. Murray, Naturopath and the known author of “The Encyclopedia of healing foods” says that Mentha oil calm down the muscles and walls of the stomach and intestines, which aids in alleviating indigestion, abdominal cramps and pain associated with irritation and irregular bowel movements.

The stimulating, refreshing and energizing aroma of Mentha oil makes it an effective remedy in controlling vomiting (for which it is called as vatihari in Ayurveda, means one that prevents vomiting), bloating and nausea especially during travel. Wearing 2 drops of Mentha oil to your hankie or a tissue and inhaling the uplifting aroma while travelling can pacify the digestive system and protect you from the inconveniences of puking on the go.

A 2010 study published in the “Digestive diseases and sciences” journal has concluded that Mint oil considerably lessened pain in the abdomen and enhanced the lives of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Massaging your abdomen with 4 drops of Mentha oil, 2 drops of Marjoram oil and 2 ounces of coconut oil can assist in relieving flatulence, bloating, motion sickness, belching, heartburn, abdominal spasms and peristalsis with its stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, stomachic and anti-flatulent properties.

2. Magical spell for relieving pain and inflammation:

Mentha is absolutely one among the top 10 essential oils for its ability to discard all forms of stagnation in the system including lungs, stomach, gall bladder, kidneys, lymphatic tissues and blood.

According to Ayurveda, stagnation or retention of fluids, toxic remains, salt, uric acid, and fat deposits invite numerous foreign bodies and the corresponding disorders by deteriorating the functions of the system.

Fluid retention is a kapha disorder and is the key to rheumatic conditions, edema, joint pain, obesity, low level of insulin resistance, fibroids, increased blood pressure and heart problems.

With its power to reduce kapha imbalance, Mentha oil assists in treating pain, inflammation and flushing out excess fluids and toxic remains in the system. These remedial benefits are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and diaphoretic properties.

A gentle massage with 5 drops of Mentha oil, 3 drops of Ginger oil with 4 ounce of Evening primrose oil can assist in reducing pain by causing numbness in the aching area, eliminating toxic remains and surplus fluids by promoting frequent sweat and urination and soothing the tensed muscles and nerves.

3. Depression or fear of failure? Embrace Mentha for sure:

Stress, depression, anger, fear of failure, feelings of loneliness and other mental worries eats up your intellect and your power to fight back and triumph.

Mentha essential oil has an extraordinarily soothing, invigorating, heartening and reviving aroma that grants you the perfect power of resisting your mental maladies, encouraging your power to rise up, augmenting your intellectual abilities, clearing the mental blocks, calming your nerves and your entire system from within.

Called as Sugandhi patra for its inspiring aromatic leaves, Ayurveda states that Mentha oil has a positive impact on:

  • Throat chakra or Visukthi (genuineness and the power to communicate bravely).
  • Solar plexus chakra or Manipuragam (self-esteem and self-confidence).
  • Sacral chakra or Svathishtanam (pleasure, abundance and well-being).
  • Root chakra or Moolatharam (power of survival).

Adding 2 drops of Mentha oil, 1drop of Vetiver oil and 1 drop of Patchouli oil in your vaporizer, burner or diffuser especially during Pranayama, meditation and prayers can grant in opening, relaxing, clearing and activating all the associated chakras or the points of subtle energy.

This rewards the power of overcoming loneliness, negative emotions and helps in exhibiting the supremacy of being a self-confident, legitimate, intellectual, cool-headed, fearless and productive person. This also helps in enhancing your concentration power, treat memory loss and vent out your hatred feelings and jealousy.

You can also add this blend in your bath or in your aromatic candles before bedtime.

4. Say goodbye to bad breath and other oral problems:

Bad breath or halitosis is not just a symbol of poor oral hygiene. Instead, the common underlying causes are poor digestion and retention of ama or toxic remains in the body.

Mentha essential oil has disinfectant, antimicrobial, cooling, energizing and refreshing attributes that helps in killing germs and microbes responsible for oral problems like gingivitis, cavities, mouth ulcers and bad breath.

Mixing 2 drops of Mentha oil and 1 drop of Lemon oil in a cup of warm water for gargling, preferably twice (morning and night) in a day after brushing can help in healing mouth sores and bleeding gums. It also assists in refreshing the breath and treat cavities, gingivitis (gum inflammation) etc.

5. Breathe easy – Mentha for your respiratory woes:

Trouble-free breathing is a gift to mankind as the healing powers and the life force or prana of Mother Nature enter the system through breathing in and toxins in the system are purged through breathing out.

The essential oil of Mentha has excellent decongestant (attributed to the presence of menthol), expectorant and stimulant properties that help in treating asthma and other breathing difficulties caused due to respiratory conditions.

Steam inhalation with 2 drops of Mentha oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil followed by a gentle massage with this blend added to your mild vaporizing cream can help in opening up blocked nasal and bronchial passages, clearing congestion by loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits, relieving headache associated with sinusitis and migraine and in relieving fever, runny nose, itchy eyes and other associated symptoms of cold.

6. Share the joy of healing skin problems:

Pimples???? No more panics as Mentha promises in clearing excess oil, sebum, dirt and other harmful microbes in the sebaceous glands. It controls the secretion of sebum and allows the skin to nurture from within.

Skin impurities are again a symbol of ama or toxic deposits in the system. Ayurveda states that about 70% of the toxic elements in the body are discarded through exhalation. Wow! Amazing news right!

Just rush to add 2 drops of Mentha oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil in your burner in the early hours of the day during your Pranayama or the technique of conscious breathing.

As it penetrates deeply with its light and subtle qualities, the therapeutic values of Mentha oil pass through the nasal passages in the form of aromatic molecules and reach the limbic system (control center of the brain).

You can experience the difference in the texture of skin after regular practice of Pranayama with Mentha magic, as all the microbes and toxic substances are washed out during slow and steady exhalation.

You can also add 2 drops of Mentha oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 1 ounce of Jojoba oil and dab externally for treating wounds, pimples, cuts, abrasions, itching, candida and other inflammatory conditions of the skin.

Other health benefits:

Mentha and its mystical essential oil are also used in the treatment of dandruff, wrinkles, cancerous growths, cough, insect bites, impotence, hay fever and more.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education. It is not meant for curing any health condition or for replacing any prescription medicines or advice of medical experts. We are not health professionals and this article focuses on widening the horizons of Ayurveda, the mother of all remedial science on earth.

Mentha essential is meant only for topical use. This is due to the fact that pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause adverse allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Do take ingest essential oils.

Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your individual constitution and health condition. Care should be taken in using essential oils if you are pregnant or nursing. Keep essential oils away from children.

Thought for the day:

Learn character from trees, values from roots and change from leaves.

-By Tasneem Hameed

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mint: The Genus Mentha (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from Brand: CRC Press
  2. Mentha by Dinesh Kumar Singh, Prasann Kumar, Pankaj Kumar Mishra
  3. Growing and Cooking with Mint: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-145 by Glenn Andrews
  4. Teas for Life: 101 Herbal Teas for Greater Health by Diane Kidman
  5. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice by Sebastian Pole

Reference links:

  1. Mentha by Wikipedia
  2. Mint: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks by Medical News Today
  3. Mints by Botanical.com
  4. What are the benefits of Mint leaves? By Tracey Roizman, Demand Media
  5. Studies on activity of various extracts of Mentha arvensis Linn against drug induced gastric ulcer in mammals by Ramesh L Londonkar and Pramod V Poddar, published in PubMed