Linseed Oil


Your heart would skip a beat, if I say that about 72,000-96,000 deaths happen in the United States every year due to Omega-3 deficiency. (A Harvard Study on ““The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary Lifestyle and Metabolic Risk Factors.”)

Linseed-bannerLinseed also called as Flaxseed is rich in Omega-3, where 55% of Flaxseed oil is dominated with the presence of Omega-3. It is a fatty acid that helps in fighting against heart attacks, high blood pressure, increased levels of cholesterol, free radicals causing cancerous growths, stress, hypertension, weak immunity and more.

Known as Rudrapatni, Masruna, Kshama and Neela in Sanskrit, Flaxseed and its oil has been used for more than 5,000 years in Ayurveda for treating obesity, high blood pressure, excess cholesterol, arthritis, paralysis, bloating, wounds, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and constipation.

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Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Linseed oil:

The oil of Flaxseed contains about 50% of alpha-linoleic acid along with oleic acid, p-coumaric acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, arachidic acid, cyanogenic glycosides, sitosterol, campesterol, phytosterols and linoleic acid.

Cardio-tonic, expectorant, nervine, antioxidant, immune stimulant, purgative, cicatrisant, analgesic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, laxative, demulcent, emollient, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial and antifungal are the predominant remedial values of Flaxseed oil.

Flaxseed is rich in lignans, which contain antioxidant and plant estrogen qualities. Trusted sources state that Flaxseed has 75 – 800 times extra lignans than all other plant food varieties.

Omega-3 essential fatty acid is heading the health benefits of Flaxseed with its extremely beneficial effects on heart and its power to resist the incidence of cancerous tumors, discard toxins and bad cholesterol in the system.

According to the Flax Council of Canada, the nutritional profile of Flaxseed oil constitutes of Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9 fatty acids and certain other healthy nutrients.

This report also states that Linseed contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5 along with calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, potassium, about 29% of carbohydrates, 18% of protein and a massive 95% of fiber.

Historical uses and importance of Linseed and its oil:

Flaxseed has a rich history of being used since the ages of Acharya Charaka, the most trusted Ayurvedic philosopher and the author of Charaka Samhita, the pioneering Ayurvedic encyclopedia.

With Linum ustitissimum as its scientific name, Linseed is a limb of the plant family, Linaceae.

The most persuasive thing that I observed about Linseed is that the special Sanskrit names of this magical herb. Names like Rudrapatni, Uma, Parvati, Masruna, Suvarchala, Venu, Kshaumi, Kshama and Kshuma are all female names.

Among which Uma, Parvati and Rudrapatni exhibit absolute power and supremacy as all the three indicate the Indian Hindu Goddess Parvati Devi, the wife of Shiva, the Supreme God adorned as the ‘Transformer’ or the ‘Destroyer’.

This vivid long-established proof is more than enough to understand the glorious healing benefits and the dominance of Flaxseed in curing and benefitting mankind.

The book ’20,000 secrets of Tea’ by Victoria Zak quotes Flax as “Flaxseeds were used by the Greeks, mandated by law as a necessary food in the 8th century in France, and recommended by Gandhi.”

Warm poultice of Flaxseed oil has been prescribed in Ayurvedic remedies for treating eczema and certain other skin conditions. Ground Linseed (fresh paste) with cold water is an exceptional natural remedy for treating headache, poisonous insect bites and arthritis.

The traditional populace of India used Flaxseed to normalize the level of blood sugar and cholesterol with 1 tbsp of Flaxseed powder mixed with 10 ounce of water, especially in between meals to curb hunger and burn excess fat and cholesterol in regular intervals.

This is the right time to crack the difference between the terms ‘Linseed and Flaxseed’, while both these names denote the same seeds of the Linum ustitissimum plant, the distinction lies in its terms of usage.

Based upon a reliable source, the term ‘Flaxseed’ is used when it is meant for human use and ‘Linseed’ is used more for commercial or industrial purpose as an excellent paint binder and wood finish. This is just to help you understand better but to put in a nutshell ‘both Linseed and Flaxseed mean one and the same.’

Linseed and its cold pressed oil is also used as a vital ingredient in Ayurvedic medications like Sarshapadi Pralepa, topical remedy for lymph nodes and inflamed cyst conditions; Kolakulathadi Choornam, powder based medicine used in Ayurvedic powder massage called as Udvartana; Gojihwadi Kashaya is a tonic used in treating bronchitis, cough, fever and few other respiratory problems.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Linseed oil:

Ayurveda simply stands for the ‘Knowledge of life’, where Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge.

This noble healing system is more than 5000 years old and is the ‘Proud pioneer’ of all the medical sciences on earth including Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Aromatherapy, Allopathy, The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Siddha, Unani and Acupressure.

The beauty of Ayurveda lies in its trust that all things in the universe, including human beings are built with the 5 principal elements, known as Panchaboothas or Devanagari.

They are fire, air, water, space and earth. You’d be more than just amazed to know that each of these 5 elements stays behind as the constructive forces behind numerous functions of our body and the entire world.

Air governs functions of the respiratory, nervous, muscular and cardiac system. Earth is responsible for physical built-up including muscles, skin, cartilages, hair, nails, bones and tendons.

Water is present in the form of cytoplasm, blood, digestive acids and activities of the salivary glands. Fire is evident through metabolic functions, intellectual power, body temperature and vision. Ether or space is active in the abdomen, lungs, mouth, digestive passage and thorax.

These five elements institute the performance of the five senses, namely the sense of sound, smell, touch, taste and sight. It also controls the functions of the 7 primary elements called as Saptadhatus. They are blood, reproductive tissues, marrow, plasma, fat, bone and flesh.

Every person is made up of a unique individual constitution, Prakriti, which is a combination of 3 vital energies known as doshas. Doshas are nothing but an arrangement of 5 elements, pitta (fire + water), kapha (earth + water) and vata (space + air).

The character, physique, behavioral patterns and spiritual entitlement of an individual is determined by the predominant dosha. Perfect balance between doshas means perfect health and imbalance indicates illnesses.

Every Ayurvedic remedy aims at treating the individual in a unique manner and not just his/her illnesses. It aims at attaining Swasthya, means heartiness of the body, mind and spirit. Ayurvedic healing works with a vision of attaining longevity through healthy lifestyle practices, prevention of illnesses and self-realization.

Ayurvedic remedy prescribe herbal medications, Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine, simple physical exercises, Panchakarma or cleansing technique, Pranayama or mindful breathing, meditation (connection with the Divine State) and prayers.

Flaxseed oil has been prescribed in Ayurveda for augmenting pitta and kapha dosha and for pacifying vata dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Linseed oil are:

Linseed-broucher1. Boosts up your immunity and strength – Balya:

Flaxseed oil is termed as Balya in Ayurveda for its effectiveness in enhancing immune power or the human body’s ability to withstand, guard and fight against the invasion of harmful foreign bodies and other disease causing infections.

With its rich presence of Omega-3 fatty acid, Flaxseed is one among those best natural alternatives for supporting the immune system, augmenting vigor, muscular strength and is highly recommended as ‘Comprehensive food for a body builder’.

Mensfitness.com recommends the use of Flaxseed as a part of one’s routine mainly for its rich fiber and protein and might help in maximizing one’s calisthenics in the gym.

The book ‘Ask the Guru’ by Dickens quotes Flaxseed as “Best body building food”. This is attributed to its improved presence of about 25 percent of essential amino acid proteins, which aids in building muscular potency and enormous strength that is indispensable for workouts and body building.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 70 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure – that’s 1 of every 3 adults.”

Many research studies have witnessed the efficiency of Flaxseed and its oil in lowering high blood pressure and treating headache, fatigue, anxiety and physical exhaustion associated with hypertension and increased blood pressure.

Massaging your system with 2 ounce of Flaxseed oil blended with 4 drops of Argan oil and 3 ounce of Sesame oil can help in augmenting your stamina, physical endurance, briskness, flexibility, disease resistance ability and the emotional authority to achieve your fitness funda.

Fortify your system with this massage everyday or once in 2 days, preferably before stepping into your gym.

2. Stimulates Agni or the digestive fire – Dipana:

Flaxseed, with a high substance of mucilage is an excellent laxative that aids in treating constipation by lubricating the digestive tract and can even treat chronic constipation effectively.

Victoria Zak in her book ’20,000 secrets of Tea’ says that the tea prepared with Flaxseed is a bulking laxative and is used in blends for rheumatism and intestinal cleansing.

Termed as Malakrut for its ability to increase the volume of faeces, Ayurveda states that Flaxseed and its oil have the potent to increase Agni or the digestive fire, responsible for spontaneous and trouble-free digestion, for which it is called as Dipana.

Massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Flaxseed oil and 1 drop of Peppermint oil, stimulates the secretion of bile, gastric juices and digestive acids that help in supporting metabolic functions including digestion, absorption of nutrients in food and excretion of toxic remains in the system.

This assists in treating long term constipation, hemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, irregular bowel syndrome, flatulence, bloating and heartburn.

3. Increases your brain power and treats brain-related disorders – Medhya:

Linseed and its oil are known as Medhya with the presence of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids that are used in enhancing the functions of human brain.

It is a proven fact that Omega-3 fatty acids are indispensable for normal development of brain and insufficiency of fatty acids may lead to the surfacing of neurologic dysfunctions.

A 2012 study onProtective role of Ashwagandharishta and flax seed oil against maximal electroshock induced seizures in albino rats by Ila R Tanna, Hetal B Aghera, BK Ashok, HM, Chandola, published in Pharmacological Research and Ayurjournal witnesses the effectiveness of Flaxseed oil and Ashwagandha in treating neuropsychological disorders like epilepsy, depression and anxiety.

This study concludes that Flaxseed oil and Ashwagandha are the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These natural medications have anti-stress and anxiolytic activities.

They work as “antidepressant by enhancing 5-HT neurotransmission and omega-3s promote transmission of the chemical messengers that facilitate communication between nerve cells and are associated with emotional stability (e.g., serotonin) and positive emotions.”

In addition, “it also affects brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which encourages synaptic plasticity, provides neuroprotection, enhances neurotransmission, and has antidepressant effects. Both Ashwagandharishta and flax seed oil are having antiepileptic activity; besides, they are having excellent anti-post-ictal depression effect.”

Adding 4 drops of Flaxseed oil with 2 drops of Ashwagandha oil in bath or in steam inhalation or in mild skin care creams and dabbing it on your temples, wrist and forehead might help in calming your nerves, soothing your senses, improve cognitive functions and help promote emotional steadiness with the secretion of positive hormones like serotonin.

Thus Flaxseed oil can assist in the treatment of depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, epilepsy and certain other bipolar health disorders.

4. Discards toxic remains and free radicals – Mutrala and Malakrut:

You might have come across the efficacy of Flaxseed oil in treating cancer and might have even doubted its worth. If you have heard it before, then you’ve heard it right.

Flaxseed/Linseed oil is extremely effective in guarding the system against the infestation of free radicals, toxic substances, salt, uric acids, fat and bad cholesterol.

If permitted these health demolishers may lead to the birth of cancer (skin cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer etc.,), rheumatic conditions, edema and arthritis.

The most influencing cancer fighting component in Flaxseed oil is phytochemical Lignans. It contains the richest antioxidant properties than any other plant derivatives and is approximately 800 times more than in other alternatives.

Various researches about Flaxseed in treating cancer have stated that lignans in Flaxseed protect the system from cancer by blocking enzymes that are responsible for hormone metabolism and pry with the spreading and growth of tumor cells.

An American study has proved that Flaxseed has about 27 anti-cancerous elements and it also has the power to treat ovarian cysts, menopausal symptoms and breast cancer with its power to block estrogen receptors.

Linseed oil has warming effects and massaging the painful parts with 5 drops of Flaxseed oil and 2 drops of Bay oil can assist in increasing the frequency and quantity of urination (for which it is called as Mutrala) through which the toxic substances, salt, fat, bad cholesterol and uric acid are eliminated.

By this way it treats inflammation, swelling, soreness, pain and redness associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. It also supports the health of bones by enhancing the calcium absorption ability of the body.

The mention of Dr. Johanna Budwig and her power to treat various types of cancer with Flaxseed and cottage cheese is indeed a valuable information of all of us.

5. Supports heart health and treats diabetes – Hrudya, Medohara and Pramehaghna:

Medohara is the name attributed to the power of Linseed oil in regulating the metabolism of cholesterol and fat in the body.

Flaxseed has the ability to boost HDL or good cholesterol and reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides, whereas HDL has been held responsible for an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Flaxseed controls high blood pressure that augments the risk of serious health conditions like stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney disorders.

Fitzpatrick says “”Lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduce atherosclerotic plaque buildup by up to 75%.” And several studies have revealed that the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in Linseed oil aids in checking the hardening of the arteries, prevent plaque from being settled in the arteries by controlling white blood cells from clinging to the inner linings of the blood vessels.

Called as Hrudya, Flaxseed oil has Omega-3 fatty acids that play a vital role in regularizing the functions of the heart and helpful in treating atherosclerosis, heart condition where blood clots or cholesterol clots is developed in the blood pipes; irregular heart beat or arrhythmia; stroke, cardiac arrest and ventricular arteriamia.

Flaxseed also assists in preventing the spikes in blood sugar, which happen after eating. Lignans also support in controlling the blood sugar level, thus helping in the treatment of diabetes for which it is called as Pramehaghna.

Massaging once in 2 days or twice in a week, advisably after work with 2 ounce of Linseed oil and 2 ounce of Coconut oil can help in regularizing your heart functions, dissolve HDL or bad cholesterol, liquefy blood clots in the blood vessels, reduce high blood pressure, regulate blood sugar and tranquilize your system for a healthier tomorrow.

You may even doubt whether a massage would be effective in treating heart problems??? Trust me; skin is the largest and permeable organ of the human body.

Massaging remedial oils on the skin aids in passing on the therapeutic properties of the oil to the bloodstream, by allowing deeper penetration of these oils.

Follow this massage with warm bath before going to bed… That’s it….. Everything else for a peaceful night and hearty day is all set…….

Other health benefits: Apart from these health benefits, Flaxseed oil is also helpful in treating Sjogren’s syndrome, benign prostate hypertrophy or enlarged prostate, hot flashes, eczema, acne, ringworm, clawed nails, Parkinson’s syndrome, wrinkles, dandruff etc.,

Flaxseed oil is used in Ayurveda as nasal drops (nasya), enema (basti chikitsa), ear drops (karna poorana), and of course Ayurvedic massaging (Abhyanga).

  1. Eat healthy and nutritious food.
  2. Ensure that you stick to a routine of simple physical exercises every day.
  3. Meditate or just close your eyes for about 10 minutes in a quiet place (reflecting and visualizing your vision).
  4. Practice balanced breathing or Pranayama (about 70 % of toxins are discarded through exhalation).
  5. Arm your mind with positive thoughts.
  6. Fulfill your duties to your family and society.
  7. Drink enough water.
  8. Smile even through adversities.

And that is what Ayurveda is all about…

It is more than enough to make your days more than just meaningful and rewarding……

Disclaimer:

This post is meant only for educational purposes and is not intended for treatment of any health condition or to substitute any prescribed medication or expert medical advice. None of us in Essential Depot are healthcare professionals and this article is shared only on the basis of spreading awareness on Ayurveda, the mother of all medical systems on earth and the oldest remedial science in the universe.

Essential oils are recommended only for topical application and are not advisable for ingestion. This is because 100 percent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated substances and may lead to allergic reactions when taken internally or used on the skin without appropriate dilution. Ensure that you use Linseed/Flaxseed oil only for topical use, sooner after a patch test on your skin.

Speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before selecting the fitting essential oils for your Prakriti or unique individual constitution and Vikruti or current health condition. Consult your Doctor before using Flaxseed/Linseed oil on pregnant or nursing moms and on children.

Thought for the day:

You are naturally beautiful when you are YOURSELF.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Healing Power of Flax: How Nature’s Richest Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Help to Heal, Prevent and Reverse Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes and Heart by N. D. Joier-Bey, Herb Joiner-Bey, N. D. Joiner-Bey
  2. Flax: The genus Linum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  3. Flax Oil as a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases, 3rd Edition by Dr. Johanna Budwig
  4. Flax for Life!: 101 Delicious Recipes and Tips Featuring Fabulous Flax Oil
    by Jade Beutler
  5. Flax Seed :The Ultimate Recipe Guide by Jonathan Doue M.D., Encore Books

Reference Links:

  1. Linseed oil by Wikipedia
  2. The health benefits of Flaxseed oil by Dr. Edward Group for Global Healing Center
  3. 6 reasons to never neglect Flaxseed by Mensfitness.com
  4. Protective role of Ashwagandharishta and flax seed oil against maximal electroshock induced seizures in albino rats by Ila R Tanna, Hetal B Aghera, BK Ashok, HM, Chandola, Department of Roga Nidana and Vikriti Vijnana, Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, published in Pharmacological Research, 2012 and Ayurjournal
  5. The Benefits of Flaxseed by WebMD

Balsam Tolu Oil


Balsam-tolu-banner

From being a promising remedy for skin ailments for the American and Mexican tribal population to a vital element in popular skin care liniments and cough formulas, Balsam Tolu extracts and its essential oil have traveled a long way in the history of natural medicine. With a unique and fresh vanilla-like aroma, Balsam Tolu is used as a natural fragrance in perfumes, creams, soaps, shampoos, hair tonics and diaper rashes creams.

History is always fascinating and Ayurvedic use of Balsam Tolu indeed owns an interesting history behind its scene. It was the Native Indians who identified the medicinal values of Balsam Tolu during their reign of Peru while they were residing in the South and Central American provinces, where Peru was recognized as the birthplace of the Balsam trees in the ancient period.

Being the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurvedic remedies prescribe Balsam Tolu and its essential oil for asthma, migraine, tuberculosis, abscesses, bronchitis, cough, ringworm, wounds, bed sores, scabies, sprains and certain venereal diseases.

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Historical uses and significance of Balsam Tolu essential oil and its other extracts: Botanically known as Balsamum tolutanum, Balsam Tolu is the resin extracted from the Myroxylon tree. It is grown primarily in South America and Central America. This tree has a natural resin producing ability and this resinous Balsam is called by other alternate names including Balsam Peru, Peruvian Balsam, Toluifera pereirae, Myroxylon Balsamum, Indian Balsam, Quina and China oil.

The gummy resin tapped from this tall tree is then made into Balsam and the major exporters of Balsam of Tolu are Columbia, El Salvador and Venezuela. The tribal people from Central America and Mexico used the leaves and bark of the Balsam Tolu tree as a folklore remedy for arthritis, wounds, cold, flu and asthma. The name ‘Tolu’ denotes the tribal race ‘Tolues’ from Columbia and it is said that they used this tree as an ancient remedy for various conditions.

The tribal populace who were aboriginal to the rainforest area used various parts of this tree in the treatment of tuberculosis, wounds, headache, rheumatism, asthma, venereal diseases, abscesses, sprains, catarrh, sores and bronchitis.

Balsam Tolu was first documented in the German Pharmacopeia in the 17th century. The book on “The Essence of Herbs” by Chrissy Brownlyn says “some native Indians used the bark in a powdered form as an underarm deodorant while others found it best for lung and cold ailments”.

It further denotes that the credit of using this plant in pharmaceutical industry goes to the Europeans, especially the Germans who used Balsam of Tolu in treating skin problems like ringworm, scabies, diaper rashes, bedsores, wounds, head lice, dandruff and certain minor ulcerations, after identifying its anti-parasitic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The mild and gentle vanilla and cinnamon like aroma of Balsam Tolu oil had supported its use as a flavoring agent in confectionaries, cough syrups, throat lozenges, chewing gums and soft drinks. The mesmerizing floral fragrance of this oil has been prescribed for use in relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga for soothing the mind and calming the senses.

Balsam Peru oil and Balsam tolu oil are extracted from the same tree but by different extraction methods. Even today, Tolu Balsam is used in anti-dandruff shampoos, conditioners, soaps, female hygiene sprays, perfumes, hair tonics, detergents, skin care creams, perfumes, topical salves, ointments, deodorants, surgical dressings, suntan lotions, cosmetics, colognes and certain other medical aids and equipments.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Balsam Tolu essential oil:

Among the 25 different chemical components, the major elements contributing to the therapeutic values of Balsam Tolu oil are cinnamic acid, cinnamein, benzyl benzoate, vanillin, nerolidol, cinnamyl cinnamate, benzoic acid, farnesol and other aldehydes. The most important therapeutic attributes of Balsam Tolu oil are antifungal, antiseptic, expectorant, anti-dandruff, anti-stress, analgesic and anti-parasitic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Balsam Tolu essential oil:

From men in the Stone Age to this Digital Era, celebrate Ayurveda as a boon to mankind for its holistic and regimented approach towards health and harmony.

Ayurveda was gifted to humanity by Acharya Dhanvantari, the ancient God of medicine and is said to have its origin in India, the land of herbs and cultural heritage. This traditional remedy also holds the pride of being a part of Atharvaveda, one among the 4 sacred books of the Indian mythology.

When compared to the modern medicine, where personal care and attention to individuals becomes a question mark, Ayurveda is a divine science that regards and respects human body as a temple where the soul lives in. With this thought of nobility, Ayurveda recommends mankind to keep their mind, body and soul clean, happy and content.

The principles of Ayurveda rely on nature for everything as it strongly trusts that everything on earth is a vital part of nature. The visible proof behind this theory is that all things in nature are made up of five basic elements of nature, namely fire, water, earth, space and air.

Human body is also made up of these five elements, where earth is present in the form of bones and muscles; water represents blood and fluids in the system; air is vital for breathing; space is the soul that dwells in and fire is the essential energy for body temperature, metabolic functions and certain other vital activities of the system.

Ayurveda never goes by the fact that ‘one size fits all’, as it trusts that every human being is a distinctive part of nature composed with a unique individual constitution known as prakriti. It is a combination of three biological energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas that acts as a deciding factor in determining the character, personality, attributes and behavioral patterns.

Absolute balance between these doshas as per the law of nature indicates health and doshic imbalances due to climatic conditions, lifestyle changes, irregular food habits and moral vitiations leads to illness.

Ayurvedic healing aims at treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms alone. This aids in curing the disease initially and preventing it in the future as well. Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies that go well with the individual constitution of a person, even if a group of people are affected by the same medical condition.

The prime Ayurvedic remedies are plant essential oils, simple physical exercises, herbs, yoga, prayers, Pranayama (Ayurvedic breathing exercises), meditation, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or Ayurvedic detoxification techniques and Ayurvedic routine.

Balsam Tolu essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta energy. It’s time to look into the Ayurvedic health benefits of Balsam Tolu essential oil. Ayurveda generally prescribes the use of essential oils in the following ways:

Balsam-Tolu-broucher1. As an invigorating massage oil:

Abhyanga or the art of massaging with Ayurvedic oils is an important Ayurvedic technique prescribed for healing numerous illnesses since the traditional times. Abhyanga is the traditional method through which the soft tissues of one’s body is maneuvered with the help of fingers, elbows, feet, forearms and other ancient massaging equipments.

Ayurvedic massaging has the potent to pass innumerable benefits to the human body and the key benefits among them are:

  • Relieving muscular tension.
  • Normalizing the breathing pattern.
  • Relaxing the nervous system.
  • Revitalizing the mind.
  • Alleviating pain and inflammation.
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Augmenting the natural glow and suppleness of skin.

Ayurvedic physicians generally prescribe the appropriate essential oil based on the prakriti and medical condition of a person. Balsam tolu oil is good to treat vata and kapha vitiations and pitta deficit.

Massaging your system or affected parts with 5 drops of Balsam tolu oil, 2 drops of Patchouli oil, 2 drops of Frankincense oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil, 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Petitgrain oil along with 50 ml of Coconut oil can assist in relieving pain, soreness and inflammation associated with rheumatism, alleviating muscular tension, relaxing the nerves, enhancing the skin texture, improving slow digestion, treating constipation, supporting urination through which the toxic remains in the body are eliminated and promoting peaceful sleep and positive feelings.

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and is the quickest transmitter of remedial properties to the bloodstream. Using Balsam Tolu oil in Ayurvedic massaging aids in passing away its healing values like antioxidant (helps in checking aging symptoms and discard the growth of free radicals in the body), antiseptic, cicatrisant and stimulating properties (supports in enhancing the skin health), diuretic, anti-rheumatic, analgesic values (aids in alleviating pain, eliminating toxic remains by promoting frequent urination, reducing inflammation, redness and stiff muscles) and anti-stress properties that help in relaxing the nerves, mind and induce good sleep.

2. In compress or bathing:

Balsam Tolu oil owns an exotic floral fragrance that makes it an excellent bathing oil that can help in leaving you fresh and energized all through the day.

Using 2 drops of Balsam oil along with 1 drop of Cinnamon oil and 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil in your bathing water or in warm or cold compress is a great way to recharge your nerves, enchant your muscles, lessen muscular tension, alleviate tension headache, back pain and calm your senses and instill a complete feeling of newness.

A warm bath with this blend especially before going to bed is a great way to promote good sleep without any nightmares.

3. Topical application as creams or salves:

Balsam Tolu has been used as a promising remedy for myriad skin problems since the times of the tribal populace. 2 to 3 drops of Balsam Tolu oil along with 1 drop of Turmeric oil mixed with your mild skin care cream or with 2 ml of Jojoba oil can be applied on wounds, eczema, minor skin ulcerations, acne, scabies, rashes, ringworm, bedsores, diaper rashes and skin infections caused due to fungi and parasites.

The herbal blend of 2 drops of Balsam Tolu oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Basil oil along with 10 ml of sweet almond oil, applied on the scalp and hair, followed by a thorough rinse with your mild shampoo can assist in keeping away from dandruff, combat head lice, enrich the scalp and promote the growth of healthy hair naturally.

4. In burner, diffuser or vaporizer:

Ayurvedic texts recommend the use of aromatics or aromatherapy as a major means of natural healing and prevention of illnesses. Smell or aroma has an important effect in balancing and stimulating various functions of the body. This action is performed by the odor-bearing molecules that influence the receptors in the nose while breathing. They reach the olfactory bulb of the limbic system in the form of nerve impulses.

The aromatic molecules of Balsam tolu essential oil has expectorant, antifungal, anti-dandruff, antiseptic, anti-stress, anti-parasitic, analgesic, anti-rheumatic and stimulating properties. When inhaled by adding 2 drops of Balsam tolu oil in vaporizer, burner or diffuser, these molecules containing the therapeutic properties of this oil reach the limbic system.

Following this, the hypothalamus and other vital parts of the limbic system convey the corresponding commands to different parts of the body as per the remedial values. Inhaling the soothing aroma of Balsam tolu oil can assist in relaxing the system, lessening pain, reducing fatigue, treating insomnia, and alleviating stress and depression.

Ayurveda states that using Balsam tolu oil in diffuser or vaporizer specifically during meditation, yoga and Pranayama instills a sacred feeling as the mind is said to reach the most subtle and tranquil α (alpha) state during meditation.

5. In vaporizing ointments or steam inhalation:

Inhaling the medicated steam is a proven natural remedy for alleviating cold, cough, sore throat, headache, sinusitis, blocked nose, watery eyes and migraine pain. Steam inhalation works effectively as the steam aids in bringing out the toxic remains in the body through sweat and one can feel the relief instantly after a medicated steam inhalation.

Adding 2 drops of Balsam Tolu oil along with 1 drop of Peppermint oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil in steam inhalation can aid in relieving headache, opening blocked sinus and nasal passages, soothing sore throat, discarding phlegm and mucus deposits and eliminating the microbes present in the system through sweat.

When added to your vaporizing ointment, this blend can also be helpful in treating bronchitis, tuberculosis, chest congestion, nasal congestion, whooping cough and certain other respiratory infections.

Certain test tube studies have revealed that Myroxylon plant has been effective in inhibiting H.pylori, the general ulcer-causing bacteria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is responsible for lung diseases.

Disclaimer:

This article is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition or substitute any professional medical advice. It is only for educational purposes and we are not medical practitioners. This heath related information is shared only with the view of spreading the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, the oldest holistic healing system on earth.

Never use essential oils for internal purposes. Always remember to dilute essential oils before using it for topical uses, as organic and 100 percent pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may lead to allergies, if used without diluting them. Discuss with your healthcare expert/Ayurvedic physician before taking the right call on the most suitable essential oils for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Keep away from Balsam Tolu oil, if you are a nursing or pregnant mother, as it is regarded as a sensitizing oil and may have chances of causing allergic reactions.

Thought for the day:

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. -Alice Walker

Suggested Reading:

  1. Prescription for Herbal Healing, 2nd Edition: An Easy-to-Use A-to-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies by Phyllis A. Balch CNC, Stacey Bell
  2. 10 Ways to Use Balsam Of Peru (Recipe Book) by Sam Enrico
  3. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  4. Scabies Natural Home Treatment Solution by Alyson Rodgers
  5. Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann

Reference Links:

  1. Balsam of Peru by Wikipedia
  2. Balsam of Tolu from The Essence of Herbs by Chrissy Brownlyn
  3. Balsam of Tolu by Infostir.com
  4. Peruvian Balsam (Myroxylon pereirae syn. M. Balsamum) by Herbs2000.com

Cucumber Oil


Will you be delighted or dreary if someone beckons you, “As Cool as a Cucumber”? I would rather recommend you to take pride when somebody calls you with that phrase because it simply means the attitude of being calm, composed and in absolute control of your emotions, even if a particular situation demands your aggressiveness and anger.

Cucumber-bannerThis is because Cucumber is one among the coolest fruits as scientific facts state “the inside temperature of a Cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air”, besides growing well in tropical conditions.

Called as Kantakiphalam, Svetakarahatakam, Mutralam and Sudhavasah in Sanskrit, Cucumber is commonly called as Kheera in the traditional healing methodology.

Proudly representing India as its Motherland, Cucumber has been a part of the ancient Ayurvedic regimen in the treatment of rheumatic conditions, constipation, urinary disorders, cholera, wrinkles, dandruff, arthritis, vaginal infections, loss of appetite, duodenal ulcer, erectile dysfunctions, high cholesterol, eczema and hyperacidity.

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Historical uses and importance of Cucumber and its essential oil:

Cucumber, as far as its history is known to the world is said to be a 3,000 years old fruit variety of the gourd family, cucurbitaceae. Besides its use in culinary, Cucumber has been preferred for raw eating, mainly for its cool, mild and enhancing flavor.

This cylindrical fruit is a powerhouse of various nutrients, for which it has been used in various civilizations across the world including the Rome, Israel, Greek, Egypt, The United Kingdom, France, China, and USA. The three famous varieties of this creeping vine are pickling, slicing and burpless cucumbers.

Cucumbers are absolutely edible and are found across the globe, all around the year but the high seasonal growth curtails to May – August. Pliny The Elder, the Roman philosopher quotes that Cucumber is the most favorite fruit of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius. His gardeners grew cucumbers using artificial methods, just to ensure that the king had cucumbers on his table every day.

It is being said that cucumbers were used in the primordial Roman province for treating more than 40 medical conditions, including scorpion stings, blurred vision, frigidity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The Biblical reference of cucumber goes like this “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely/the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.” After which the Israelites started cultivating cucumbers by themselves.

Certain sources state that cucumbers were brought to Haiti in 1494 by Christopher Columbus and were cultivated by the early Spanish settlers. South and North Dakota boasts for owning the finest cucumber farmers of Native America.

These fresh and refreshing fruits are often used in making salads (Indian raita), sauces, pickles, cold soups, sausages, chutneys, lamb chops, relishes and dressings. Cucumber and its essential oil are also used in the manufacturing of soaps, moisturizing lotions, anti-dandruff shampoos, conditioners and skin care creams, especially anti-aging products, for its nourishing properties.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Cucumber oil:

The oil of Cucumber contains about 14 to 20% of oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid and 60 to 68% of omega-3-linoleic acid. It also contains potassium, silicon, cucurbitacins, sulphur and certain fatty acids like 9, 12, 15-Octadecatrienoic acid and 9, 12-Octadecadienoic acid.

Cucumber oil has antioxidant, diuretic, anti-rheumatic, anti-ulcer, relaxing, antidote, rejuvenating, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, tonic, anti-dandruff, and laxative properties. It is rich in Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C along with magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, iron and folic acid.

Next time, when you are exhausted and drained out, stop sliding on toxic caffeine drinks, instead grab a Cucumber and bank upon it for all your nutritional requisites.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cucumber oil:

Ayurveda and Cucumber share the mutual joy of being indigenous to India, the land of rich cultural heritage. This oldest healing science on the globe states that everything on earth is made up of the five vital elements of nature, namely fire, water, earth, space and air.

Among which the living things on this planet acquires prana, the vital energy of life and ojas, and the nutritive quintessence from Mother Earth. While animal and human beings utilize prana and ojas for vitality and livelihood, plants grab ojas and prana from the ground and renovate them as food, herbal medications and essential oils for the absolute well-being of all other organisms.

The greatest news about the nobility of plants and trees are that they capture enormous life force and spiritual energy straight from the space by constantly looking up to the sky. Thus, any source of food or medicines acquired from plants instills the purest form of energy directly to our soul. It is because of this reason; we call invigorating plant fragrances (especially from essential oils, the life essence of plants) as soulful aromatic substances.

Cucumber is a bundle of joy and instant coolant that refreshes everyone even on a bright sunny day. It bears all the heat in the atmosphere, yet remaining absolutely cool in the inside makes it a special fruit with enormous healing attributes and nutritional values. India, being a country of tropical climatic conditions, rests upon Cucumber to quench its thirst and no Indian summer is complete without Cucumbers on the street.

Being a complete traditional remedy, Ayurveda regards health as a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness and this ideology is based upon its philosophy of considering the human system as a place of worship or temple.

Ayurveda believes that the soul vested within each of us connects with Divinity and this connection or synchronization is the rationale behind hale and heartiness.

Ayurveda says that every individual is made up of three distinct doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) or biological energies. The most predominant among the three doshas acts as a deciding factor for your personality, character and behavioral traits.

Imbalance of any one of these doshic elements end up in health problems signaling that the body is out of balance with nature.

Imbalance of vata dosha can end up in memory loss, lack of concentration, fear, insomnia, dry skin, restlessness and constipation. Pitta unevenness might lead to disgust, ulcer, anger, heartburn, high blood pressure, jealousy, fever and skin ulcers.

Fluid retention, toxic remains, congestion, sluggishness, delayed menstruation, uterine fibroids, obesity and procrastination are the results of Kapha vitiation.

Cucumber oil has pacifying effects on pitta and kapha dosha. The cooling and refreshing properties of this oil can help in treating high blood pressure, heartburn, ulcer, fluid retention, skin eruptions, constipation and stress.

Cucumber is absolutely a treat for the four senses of healing, whereas its lucid green color soothes the sense of sight, it’s refreshing taste energizes the sense of taste, its cooling properties penetrate deeply into the skin to transfer its therapeutic values through the sense of touch, it’s refreshing aroma reaches the limbic system in the form of aromatic molecules to control emotions.

The other significant Ayurvedic health benefits of Cucumber oil are:

Cucumber-oil1. Augments skin health and supports radiating complexion:

Cucumber oil has stupendous revitalizing and nourishing properties that help in treating dull, damaged or mature skin conditions. The presence of linoleic acid and oleic acid in cucumber makes it an excellent aid for skin problems including acne, blackheads, sunburns, psoriasis, eczema and certain other inflammatory skin conditions.

The antioxidant properties of cucumber oil are attributed to the significant existence of tocopherol and tocotrienol substance along with the three lignans including secoisolariciresinol, lariciresinol and pinoresinol. These elements make Cucumber oil powerful in fighting against the free radicals responsible for aging symptoms, skin damages and several types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and uterine cancer.

Massaging your skin with 10 drops of Cucumber oil blended with 2 drops of Orange oil and 4 ounce of coconut oil can help in retaining the natural moisture in the skin, repair dry and dull skin surface, treat eczema, psoriasis, rough, scaly and mature skin, reduce wrinkles, aging symptoms and skin eruptions.

A 2011 study on “Exploring Cucumber Extract For Skin Rejuvenation” by Naveed Akhtar, Arshad Mehmood, Barkat Ali Khan, Tariq Mahmood, Haji Muhammad Shoaib Khan and Tariq Saeed, Department of Pharmacy, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan, Published in the African Journal of Biotechnology, states that cucumber extract has been proven extremely beneficial for the skin.

These experts also say that Cucumber extracts have passed the maximum number of dermatological tests including skin melanin test, skin erythema test (safety of cosmetics), pH tests, skin moisture content test, skin sebum content test, and trans epidermal water loss test.

This study concludes stating that this was a preliminary initiative in exploring the unknown effects of Cucumber as a topical cream for skin rejuvenation.

It also states that cucumber extracts aid in reducing the melanin content (responsible for skin pigmentation and complexion); has anti-acne effects with its potent to decrease the content of skin sebum.

This study also declares that these analyses have proved to be capable in the context of prospective topical applications of cucumber extract (with its varied skin care properties), as cosmetics, skin-care items and in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical preparations.

You can also add 2 drops of Cucumber oil in a cup of cool water and wash your face for locking the moisture and fight against acne causing micro-organisms.

2. Combats dandruff and explores the natural shine of your locks:

Bouncy, strong, silky and dandruff-free lustrous locks are the dream of many women out there. Men are not an exception though, in longing for healthy hair that is free from hair loss, dandruff and other scalp conditions.

Cucumber is one among those natures’s richest owner of the minerals like silica and sulphur, of which sulphur is known for promoting hair growth and silica fortifies the hair follicles and protect from breakage and loss of hair. Silica is an essential element for supporting the health of connective tissues like skin, muscles, ligaments and bones.

The moisturizing properties of Cucumber oil helps in hydrating the scalp and aids in reducing dryness, itchy and flaky scales on the scalp surface and nourishes the scalp and roots of the hair from within.

Massaging your scalp with 5 ounce of Cucumber oil mixed with 5 drops of Rosemary oil and 5 drops of Brahmi oil and leaving it for 1 hour by wrapping a warm towel (helps the medicated blend to penetrate deeply into your scalp) can assist in reducing dandruff, replenishing the scalp, enhancing the luster of your hair and prevent excessive hair fall. You can also add 5 drops of Cucumber oil in your mild shampoo for fastening the natural moisture in your hair for a longer duration.

This blend can be applied by the swimmers before their swimming voyage in the chlorinated and chemical filled water. This helps in preventing the hair damage naturally.

3. Helps control high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes:

Certain studies witness that the presence of sterols in Cucumbers may help in reducing the high level of cholesterol, while the presence of fiber, magnesium and potassium assists in treating high blood pressure. Cucumber also stimulates the secretion of insulin hormones in the pancreas, thus assisting in the treatment of diabetes.

Eating fresh cucumber daily along with adding 5 drops of Cucumber oil in your liquid soap can help in vitalizing your cells and augment your energy levels.

4. Soothes the digestive system, thus helps in treating ulcers and halitosis:

Cucumber oil has the power to soothe and pacify pitta dosha. The excess of which would end up in overindulgence of digestive fire leading to ulcer, high blood pressure, acidity, heartburn, acne, negative emotions, feelings of rage, insomnia, acne and certain other skin eruptions.

Massaging your abdomen and chest with 10 drops of Cucumber oil blended with 2 drops of Peppermint oil can help in cooling the digestive system (intemperance of digestive fire) by soothing the lining of the stomach and intestines. Using 2 drops of Cucumber oil in warm gargle can assist in fighting against bad breath with the presence of phytochemicals.

5. Flushes out toxins and aids in treating rheumatic and inflammatory conditions:

Cucumber has enormous amount of ascorbic acid, contributing to its diuretic properties. This moisture-rich oil helps in replenishing the system with its anti-rheumatic, antioxidant and diuretic properties by flushing out the excess fluid deposits, toxic remains, salt, uric acid, free radicals and fat deposits in the system, which is often responsible for inflammatory conditions like gout, rheumatism, arthritis, swelling, redness, obesity and puffy eyes.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 ounce of Cucumber oil with 5 ounce of Sweet Almond oil can help in promoting frequent urination, thus eliminating toxic remains, free radicals, salt, fat deposits and uric acid, which helps in reducing swelling, skin irritations, muscular soreness, pain, redness and muscular stiffness associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing can help highly in expelling ama or excess toxic substances in the system, where all these toxins are discharged through exhalation.

Inhaling the refreshing fragrance of Cucumber by adding 2 drops of this oil in your air freshener, especially during Pranayama and meditation can grant quicker relief by releasing your mind and body from toxic emotional blocks and harmful toxins in the system.

Other health benefits:

Cucumber is also helpful in treating vaginal itching, erectile dysfunctions, heart problems, renal calculi, cancer therapy, dark circles, urinary infections, cholera, and cellulites.

Disclaimer:

This piece of information is meant only for the purpose of information and is not recommended to treat or prevent any kind of medical conditions. It is not meant to replace any prescription medicines or the advice of a medical professional. We, the team of Essential Depot are not experts in Remedial practices or Traditional medicine and these facts are shared only for spreading the greatness of Ayurveda in treating mankind.

Essential oils are recommended only for topical applications and do dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it on the skin. Never ingest essential oils as absolutely pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions, when used internally or on the skin without dilution.

Speak with your Ayurvedic expert or medical professional before choosing the right essential oils for your state of health and unique individual constitution. Performing a patch test on your skin before enjoying its complete benefits is an amicable advice.

Thought for the day:

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.

– By Pedro Calderon de la Barca.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Cucumber Recipes by Jackie Swansen
  2. Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeial Plant Drugs: Expanded Therapeutics by C. P. Khare
  3. Dying to Look Good by Christine Hoza Farlow
  4. Asian Secrets of Health, Beauty and Relaxation by Sophie Benge, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
  5. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller, David Schiller

Reference Links:

  1. Cucumber by Wikipedia
  2. Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) – Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics, published in Cosmetic Ingredient Review
  3. The anti-aging effects of Cucumbers by Dr. David Jockers, published in Natural News
  4. Exploring Cucumber Extract For Skin Rejuvenation by Naveed Akhtar, Arshad Mehmood, Barkat Ali Khan, Tariq Mahmood, Haji Muhammad Shoaib Khan and Tariq Saeed, Department of Pharmacy, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur and the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan, Published in the African Journal of Biotechnology
  5. Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber by Mukherjee PK, Nema NK, Maity N, Sarkar BK, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, India, published in PubMed