Balsam Tolu Oil

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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.

Purchase Balsam Tolu Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

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

Valerian Root Essential Oil

‘ALL HEAL’ is how the medicinal world calls Valerian herb and more than 250 species of this plant variety. This name was derived from the Latin word ‘Valere’ meaning ‘to feel good‘ or ‘to be well’.

Valerian root--bannerYes! You might have now known why this therapeutic herb is celebrated all through these years in treating a wide range of illnesses since the 2nd century A.D. In this context we are going to travel around the enormous health benefits of the species Valeriana Wallichii also known as Indian Valerian and is indigenous to India and is cultivated all around the world.

The most popular one among this family Valerianaceae is Valeriana Officinalis, which is native to Europe and North America but Valeriana Wallichii is used as an effective alternative to V. Officinalis with more or less the same healing values.

This herb is commonly known as Tagara in the Ayurvedic world of medicines. Ayurvedic texts suggest the use of Valerian root and the essential oil extracted from this root to treat an extensive range of illnesses including insomnia, skin problems and certain other nervous disorders. Valerian is listed as ‘Generally Recognized As Safe” by the United States Food and Drug Administration and has been approved as an effectual mild sedative by German’s Commission E.

Purchase Valerian Root Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses of Valerian root:

Aelius Galenus, the popular Roman physician, philosopher and surgeon prescribed Valerian root for treating insomnia. Valerian tea was prescribed to treat a sick woman by Pilgram Marpeck, the Anabaptist reformer in the sixteenth century.

Dioscorides, the renowned Greek physician recommended this herb for the treatment of digestive disorders, urinary tract infections, heart palpitations, epilepsy and few other skin problems. Hippocrates, the father of western medicine also suggested Valerian root as an effective anti-depressant and as a remedy for treating insomnia.

During the medieval times in Sweden, this herb was said to be placed in the wedding clothes of the bridegroom to keep away from the envy of the elves. Such a historical mark of this herb spread its use extensively as an efficacious sedative for nervous disorders, menstrual cramps, anxiety, behavioral problems in childhood, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, learning difficulties and few other health conditions. Valerian was also used in baths to alleviate pain and promote sleep for fibromyalgia patients.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Valerian root essential oil:

Valerian Wallichii is the popular species used in the Indian Ayurvedic system of healing mankind and is known as the major species of Valeriana genus. Valeriana Wallichii is used as a significant substitute for the European species Valeriana Officinalis and has been an important part of the traditional healing system for treating skin disorders, obesity, snake poisoning, sleep disorders and nervous problems.

Charaka, the Ayurvedic philosopher has named Tagara as Sitaprasamana meaning to relieve cold feeling of the skin. This herb is also known as Sirsa dosaghna, meaning treats the illnesses of the head; Chaksusya meaning effective for the eyes; Bhutapasmara nasan meaning a promising remedy for hysteria, epilepsy and certain other evil powers; Visaghna meaning a natural anti- toxin.

According to Ayurveda, human body is made up of three predominant doshas or individual body types namely vata, pitta and kapha where vata governs metabolism and is in charge of destructions and eliminations of the body, pitta controls reasoning capacity, digestion and body temperature and kapha is responsible for the shape and structure of your body and is accountable for the power to repair the imbalances of the body. According to Ayurveda, valeriana wallichii is an effective herb in treating vata, pitta and kapha imbalances.

Valerian root essential oil is known for its deep, rich, musky and woody aroma. The essential oil of Valerian root is said to have sedative, stimulant, anti-epileptic, stomachic, antispasmodic, analgesic, carminative, analeptic and nervine properties.

The major constituents of Valerian root essential oil are limonene, borneol, pienene, sesquiterpenes, nerolidol, p-cymene, valerone, malliol, valerenic acid and 1, 8-cineole.

The chief health benefits of Valerian root essential oil are:

Valerian-root-broucher1. Sleeplessness and Valerian root essential oil:

The sedative property of this oil makes it a promising remedy for treating insomnia. Valerian is a well-known alternative to prescription drugs for sleeping disorders mainly because of its safe and gentle effects on the human body. Numerous studies have proved that Valerian aids people to fall asleep quicker and is also found that they have a quality sleep without any disturbances mentally.

Researchers also ensure that not like many over-the-counter sleeping pills, valerian have lesser side effects. Valerian root essential oil can be used by burning it in an aroma lamp before going to bed or used as soothing massage oil with tranquilizing carrier oils like coconut oil or by adding few drops to your bathing water in the evening.

2. Valerian oil for depression and other psycho-spiritual problems:

Renowned scientists trust that Valerian augments the amount of GABA in the brain where GABA is a chemical by name gamma aminobutyric acid. This chemical aids in promoting a calming effect on anxiety and control the nerve cells. The distinct aroma of this oil is trusted to combat seizures, anxiety, neuralgia, emotional stress, mental strain, depression, restlessness, tension and trauma.

Recent studies have proved the effectiveness of Valerian Wallichii essential oil as an effective anti-depressant and this ability to dispirit the central nervous system aids you in attaining deep hypnotic states. Tagara assists in discharging toxins from the nerves, joints, blood, colon and tissues and acts directly on the nerve channels.

3. Attention-enhancing and neurologic benefits of Valerian root:

It is a well-known fact that numerous herbalists and physicians use preparations containing Valerian essential oil in the treatment of many psychosomatic problems, peripheral, central and autonomic nervous system conditions. The attention-enhancing property of this herb has made some German physicians to use Valerian root to treat ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

4. Valerian essential oil in the treatment of pain:

According to the PMDD information blog that talks about preventing and treating severe premenstrual syndrome, valerian root is an effective natural remedy for treating PMDD problems and dysmennorhea. It is also said that the anxiety and sleeping difficulties due to premenstrual concerns can be easily treated by using this herb.

Valerian root essential oil also aids in treating migraine pains, gout pains, rheumatism and headaches due to cold. With its antispasmodic properties, this oil is also used widely in the healing of muscular spasms. Charaka Samhita says that the best way to keep away from pain and get a peaceful sleep is to take a warm, relaxing bath before bed. Adding 2 to 3 drops of Valerian oil to your bath tub can help you fight against most of your painful conditions effectively.

5. Skin disorders and Valerian root oil:

Few drops of Valerian essential oil added to your skin cream can help in treating dry scaly skin. The antibacterial properties of this oil is helpful in the remedy of burns, cuts, wounds, open sores, eczema, bruises, psoriasis, itchiness, boils, acne, scars, insect bites, stings etc. You can apply this oil externally on the affected area after blending it with your favorite carrier oils or to your skin care cream. The soothing effect of this oil will calm and cool your skin instantly.

6. Other health benefits of Valerian root essential oil:

Valerian root essential oil is a valuable remedy for treating vata disorders like facial palsy, flatulence, and paralysis. This oil is also effective in lessening kapha imbalances and is used as a natural remedy for treating asthma, whooping cough and certain other respiratory infections. The carminative and bitter properties of this oil assist in stimulating the appetite and treat indigestion and few other digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea and digestive ulcers.

Except for its pungent odor, nothing else can stop you from using Valerian root essential oil to enjoy its greater natural health benefits.

Disclaimer: Do not ingest Valerian root essential oil unless suggested by your Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner.

Thought for the day:

There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.                                                      – Calvin Coolidge

Suggested Reading:

  1. Valerian: The Genus Valeriana (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) From CRC Press
  2. Valerian: The Relaxing Herb (The Herbs and Health Series) By Christopher Hobbs
  3. Kava Kava, Valerian, Nervine Herbs (Woodland Health) By Rita Elkins

Reference Links:

  1. Valerian by Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH – The Longwood Herbal Task Force and The Center For Holistic Pediatric Education and Research
  2. Valerian (herb) by Wikipedia
  3. Valerian by University of Maryland Medical Center

Basil Oil

‘The Elixir of life’ and ‘Mother medicine of Nature’ are the most popular historical references of Basil for its enormous healing values to the mind, body and soul.

Basil-oil-bannerIt has marked its presence significantly in various medicinal systems in the world including Ayurveda and Homeopathy for treating diabetes, renal colic, epileptic attacks, painful breasts, congestion, asthmatic attacks, diarrhea, numbness, migraine, nervous exhaustion and insomnia.

Scientifically known as Ocimum canum, Basil is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae. This traditional medicinal herb is widely distributed in India, especially Tamil Nadu and is called as Nai Tulasi in Tamil. Besides numerous therapeutic properties, the most noteworthy remedial effects of Basil and its essential oil are its functions as a cancer chemoprotective agent and anti-diabetic agent for reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Historical uses and importance of Basil oil:

Basil is said to have its origin in India, the land of rich traditional values. The healing, culinary and aromatic attributes of this sweet-smelling plant have been talked about in many classical herbal writings including Charaka Samhita (ancient Ayurvedic text) and the works of renowned herbalists like Dioscorides, Gerard, Culpeper and Parkinson.

Parkinson has quoted that Basil’s scent “fit for a King’s house”, denoting its royal aroma and has also said that Basil can be used “to procure a cheerful and merry heart.” Gerard and Culpeper has mentioned that Basil is an excellent remedy for melancholy and is a natural antidote for insect bites including scorpion stings, mosquito bites and bee stings.

The word ‘Ocimum’ (generic name) is derived from the Greek word ‘okimon’, which means smell. This indicates one among those reasons behind the unforgettable fragrance of the Basil variety. Basil plays a vital role in various religious practices across the world, where it has been considered as a sacred herb in Hinduism and said to have grown at the place of Christ’s crucifixion.

Basil plant has also been associated as a symbol of love, protection, courtship, truthfulness, courtship, death and luck. This plant has been a significant part of various religious ceremonies, where the smoke from burning this herb is said to calm the mind and augment the spiritual power.

Ocimum canum has been used in the traditional medicine for treating oral problems, fever, insect bites, constipation, parasitic infestations, cold, inflammation, headache, joint pain and dysentery. This plant was burnt in the homes as incense and for protecting from insects. Basil leaves were also used to guard the crops post harvesting from the damages of insects.

This herb is much remembered in various traditions across the world in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Basil and its essential oil are also used as a flavoring agent in soft drinks, shampoos, cuisines, body lotions, teas, candies, dairy products, toothpastes and cosmetics.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

The essential oil of Basil has about 36 chemical components and is a rich source of camphor, eugenol, β-caryophyllene, a-pinene, limonene, myrcene, camphene, naphthalene, caryophyllene and valencene.

These components contribute to its therapeutic properties like antiemetic, anti-stress, antiviral, antibacterial, rubefacient, antidiabetic, antiasthmatic, antimicrobial, anticancer, insecticide, anti-fertility, anti-fungal, anti-malarial, antioxidant, expectorant, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil:

Ayurveda is a complete medicinal practice which stands on the three pillars of health, including physical, mental and a hearty soul. For attaining this holistic healing, Ayurveda focuses on treating the root cause of an illness instead of treating the symptoms. This aids in curing the sickness initially and preventing it in the future as well.

The principle of Ayurveda strongly believes that every individual is a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which consists of three dynamic energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a representation of the five fundamentals elements of nature. They are water, fire, earth, space and air.

Vata dosha is an arrangement of air and space and is in charge for circulatory, respiratory, and nervous functions of the system. Pitta energy is a combination of fire and water and it takes care of body temperature and metabolic activities including digestion, absorption and elimination. Kapha is a representation of earth and water and is responsible for reproductive functions, movement of fluids and muscular development of the body.

Ayurvedic texts state that every person should be treated in a unique manner according to the predominance and balance between the 3 doshas. This doshic structure determines a human’s physique, character and behavioral attributes.

Imbalance between these doshas is said to happen based on an individual’s balance with nature, which is said to deviate depending on a person’s change in food habits, lifestyle changes, environmental factors and climatic conditions.

Doshic imbalances lead to illnesses and is best treated in Ayurvedic medicine by recommending natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, prayers, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing, simple physical exercises, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) techniques.

These remedies help in correcting the imbalance between these doshas and aid in healing the illness initially and preventing it in the future as well. Basil oil is said to reduce kapha dosha predominantly, pacify vata and enhance pitta dosha with its warming effect on the system.

Let’s look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil based on its usage:

Basil-oil-broucher1. Benefits as a bathing or massaging oil:

Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging is an ancient healing technique and is one among the friendliest remedy for treating various medical conditions.  Massaging in Ayurveda means the use of palms, elbows, feet and other conventional massaging tools and equipments for maneuvering nerves, muscles and the whole body.

Ayurveda prescribes the use of Ayurvedic essential oils in massaging technique after analyzing the individual constitution and the state of health. By this way, the medicinal properties of the essential oils pass on to the blood stream and then to the skin, where it transforms the respective health benefits to the related parts of the system.

The largest organ of the human body is skin. Using Ayurvedic essential oils in topical application, aids in passing on the healing values to the system by penetrating through the skin cells. This traditional massaging technique helps in enhancing the blood circulation and augments the red blood cells count.

Massaging your system with 10 drops of Basil oil blended with 5 drops of Clove oil, 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Lime oil along with 15 ml of coconut oil can assist in treating respiratory infections, skin problems, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, headache, arthritis, rheumatism, dandruff, kidney stones, urinary infections and digestive disorders like indigestion, heartburn, vomiting and other stomach disorders.

a) Relieves pain and eliminates toxic substances:

Basil essential oil has detoxifying, diuretic, antioxidant and analgesic properties that help in discarding toxic remains from the system by promoting frequent urination. This also aids in reducing the level of uric acid and salt deposits, which may otherwise lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Improper blood circulation, stagnation of water deposits and amassing of toxic remains or ama (left due to indigestion) are the major causes for rheumatic conditions, arthritis and pain leading to stiff joints, inflammation, painful muscles, soreness, redness, irritation, fatigue and difficulties in performing routine tasks.

Gently massaging the painful and affected parts with this Ayurvedic massaging blend can be of great assistance in reducing inflammation, redness, irritation, pain and it also supports in promoting blood circulation in the painful areas. The therapeutic values of Basil oil along with other Ayurvedic oils in this massage blend promotes the frequency and quality of urination through which the toxic remains in the system are eliminated.

Homeopathy medication prescribes the use of Ocimum canum in the treatment of diseases associated with the kidneys, urethra and bladder. The most common health disorders treated with Basil in Homeopathic medicine are cramps and pain in kidneys and ureters, urinary problems like formation of high acidity or spike crystals of uric acid, renal colic, swelling and other symptoms of renal calculus.

b) Skin disorders and hair problems:

The essential oil of Basil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties that help in healing numerous skin disorders including acne and dermatitis. 3 drops of Basil oil blended with 3 drops of Lavender oil and 3 ml of coconut oil can be applied on acne, marks, ringworm, eczema, athletes’ foot, leucoderma, itches and insect bites for improved results.

Basil oil also helps in clearing away skin blemishes and marks left behind by acne and wounds. Fresh juice extracted from Basil leaves mixed with honey is a traditional remedy for treating acne in Ayurveda. With its antifungal properties, Basil oil is said to be an excellent remedy for clearing dandruff, hair fall, dry and itchy scalp conditions.

A 2012 study on Antifungal activity of Ocimum canum Essential oil against Toxinogenic Fungi isolated from Peanut Seeds in post-harvest in Benin, published in the International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, concluded that the essential oil of Basil is used as an antifungal agent in protecting peanuts post harvest in Benin against the toxic strains of fungi like Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus.

This study justifies the use of the Basil leaves in the traditional medicine for treating numerous ailments and also reports “the essential oil of fresh leaves of O. canum as aflatoxin inhibitor and fungal growth suppressor. Based on these potentials, essential oil of Ocimum canum may be recommended as preservative of stored food commodities from fungal and aflatoxin contamination in storage system.”

Slightly heat 5 drops of Basil oil with 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 3 drops of Lemon oil along with 10 ml of sesame oil and massage it soothingly on your scalp. Leave this blend to rest on your scalp for 30 minutes. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo blended with 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil for treating dandruff, rough hair and split ends. This also aids in controlling hair fall and supports shiny, lustrous and thick hair.

c) Controls diabetes and reduces the level of cholesterol in the system:

Just like Clove oil, Basil oil is also a rich source of eugenol, caryophyllene and methyl eugenol. The high level of antioxidants along with these chemical constituents helps in supporting the proper functions of the pancreatic beta cells. These cells are responsible for storing and releasing of insulin in the system.

Massaging your system with this medicated blend will be a great aid in increasing the sensitivity to insulin and can help in controlling the level of blood sugar and insulin. This also helps in treating oxidative cellular stress and damage, thereby reducing the increased level of cholesterol and high blood pressure. You can also add 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Clove oil in your bathing water daily for obtaining these benefits.

A 2002 study on “Extract of Ocimum canum lowers blood glucose and facilitates insulin release by isolated pancreatic beta-islet cells” by Nyarko AK, Asare-Anane H, Ofosuhene M, Addy ME, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon studied the use of the aqueous extract of Ocimum canum in the traditional Ghanaian medicine for treating diabetes mellitus.

This study concluded that the use of Ocimum canum extracts on animal models “inhibited insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta-islet cells and fasting blood glucose levels and body weight decreased significantly.”

d) Reduces fever:

Basil oil is a known Ayurvedic remedy for treating fever, including viral and malarial fever. With its febrifuge, antibacterial, antifungal, insecticide and antimicrobial properties, Basil and its essential oil assists in reducing the body temperature even in cases of high fever.

Massaging your foot soles with 2 drops of Basil oil along with 2 drops of Coriander oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing fever significantly as all the nerves in body end up in foot soles and passing the therapeutic properties of these essential oils through the foot soles grants instant relief.

2. In steam inhalation:

Basil essential oil has been proven for its remedial effects in reducing excess of kapha dosha, which is responsible for respiratory infections including flu, common cold, nasal congestion, sinusitis, bronchitis, chest congestion, whooping cough and breathing difficulties.

Adding 2 drops of Basil oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil in steam inhalation can help in relieving cold, cough, nasal congestion, sinusitis, sore throat, watery eyes and difficulties in breathing due to excess of mucus and phlegm deposits in the nasal and bronchial passages.

3. In burners or vaporizers:

Aroma plays a significant role in the natural healing methodologies and is one among the five types of remedial measures in Ayurveda. The sense of smell in Ayurveda states that an encouraging, energizing and tranquilizing fragrance has a positive effect on the entire system. This is the major reason for the use of incense sticks, flowers and aromatic candles during prayers and other spiritual gatherings.

Basil essential oil owns a warm, sweet, herbaceous and invigorating aroma that implants an encouraging effect on the plasma, nervous system and the circulatory system. When inhaled the therapeutic properties of this oil reach the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages. Limbic system is the control center of the human brain that controls the feelings, emotions and attributes of a person.

2 drops of Basil oil with 1 drop of Neroli oil and 1 drop of Clary Sage oil added to the burner, diffuser, aromatic candle or vaporizer during meditation or Pranayama can assist in treating anxiety, mood fluctuations, stress, fatigue, nervous weaknesses and stressful conditions. This also assists in enhancing memory power, concentration, sexual interest, self-confidence and spiritual oneness.

Being a sacred oil, Basil is known for its power in uplifting the spirit and supporting improved spiritual bonding. This also helps in expanding the heart chakra, which is responsible for self-confidence, self-love, self-respect and love for others. Inhaling the curative aroma of this oil is said to generate a soothing effect on the intestines and stomach and alleviates spasms and cramps.

4. In oral rinse and compresses:

Basil essential oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that work as a protective shield against germs causing tooth decay, bad odor and gum problems.1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Clove oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as an oral rinse for relieving plaque, tooth pain, bad breath and protecting from damaging germs and other micro-organisms. This gargle can also aid in strengthening the gums and lessening toothache due to sensitivity.

2 drops of Basil oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Bergamot oil in warm or cold compress aids in relieving joint pain, headache, muscular spasms, arthritis, stomach ache, rheumatic pain and migraine.

5. Other uses:

Basil and its essential oil is also effective in the treatment of intestinal worms, indigestion, cancer (attributed to its antioxidant and cytotoxic activities), eye irritation, epileptic attacks, renal colic, vomiting, painful kidneys, epileptic convulsions, painful urination and weak immune system.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not in any way recommended for substituting prescription drugs or expert medical guidance. We are not professionals in healthcare and this information is shared purely based on the interest of spreading the fragrance of Ayurvedic healing, the world’s oldest medical system on earth.

Never use essential oils internally and make sure that you dilute essential oils before using it for external application. This is because 100 percent organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly.

Talk with your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare expert before selecting the most suitable essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and state of health. Please avoid using Basil oil if you have sensitive skin or during pregnancy.

Thought for the day:

By bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility.  -Richard Louv

Suggested Reading:

  1. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, Steven Maimes
  2. The Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  3. Basil Recipes: Cooking with the King of Herbs (Quick and Easy Series) by Dogwood Apps
  4. Essential Oils for Weight Loss: If You Are Not Using These Essential Oils You Are Missing Out On Weight Loss Success (Essential Oils for Beginners – … Need to Accomplish Your Weight Loss Goals) by Sophie Hart
  5. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha

Reference Links:

  1. Basil: An Herb Society of America Guide by the Herb Society
  2. Extract of Ocimum canum lowers blood glucose and facilitates insulin release by isolated pancreatic beta-islet cells by Nyarko AK, Asare-Anane H, Ofosuhene M, Addy ME, published in PubMed
  3. Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of essential oil of Ocimum canum Sims. from India by Tamil Selvi, Thirugnanasampandan, Sundarammal published in the Journal of Saudi Chemical Society
  4. Antifungal activity of Ocimum canum Essential oil against Toxinogenic Fungi isolated from Peanut Seeds in post-harvest in Benin by Adjou Euloge S., Kouton Sandrine, Dahouenon-Ahous, Si Edwige, Sohounhloue Dominique C.K., Soumanou Mohamed M published in the International Research Journal of Biological Sciences