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

Cedarwood Oil


Cedarwood-bannerEmpowering the soul, granting a sense of clarity, kindling connectedness and serving as an excellent detoxifier to purify one from physical and emotional mayhems and toxins is all that Cedarwood essential oil does to mankind. Extracted from the woods of the Cedar tree by steam distillation process, Cedarwood essential oil stands unique with extensive healing benefits ranging from acne to ulcers.

Derived from the Sanskrit word, Devadaru meaning the woods of Gods, Cedarwood tree and its essential oil is a divine cure for numerous ailments like bronchitis, cough, cold, dandruff, insomnia, osteoarthritis and cancerous tumors.

Known to the world as an effective stress buster, Cedarwood essential oil is used in various Traditional and Alternative medicinal practices including Ayurveda, where this miraculous tree and its therapeutic essential oil are used to treat diarrhea, headache, fever, urinary infections, flatulence, hemorrhoids, arthritis, and congestion.

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Historical uses and importance of Cedarwood tree and its essential oil:

Botanically called as Cedrus Deodara, Cedarwood trees own the accolade of religious significance in Hinduism and Christianity. Highly preferred by the Indian sages as the perfect living place, this tree was used in building numerous places of worship including King Solomon’s temple. The serene fragrance of Cedarwood trees kindle the spiritual feeling and bring one closer to God through prayer.

Owing its resemblance to the Arabic word ‘Kedron’ meaning ‘power’, Cedarwood tree empowers us mentally. It was well known to the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians and Tibetans for its use as a preservative for embalming the mummies, to keep away from infections and insects, and in the manufacturing of cosmetics and incense sticks.

Native Americans used Cedarwood essential oil to enhance them spiritually. It was traditionally believed by the Chrokee that the presence of a small piece of Cedarwood tied in a medicine tag and worn around the neck would build a protective shield against illnesses and results in quicker recovery.

Ancient Europeans made use of Cedarwood in curing flatulence, indigestion, plague, fever, small pox and leprosy. American Indians held Cedarwood as a remedy for many health conditions like rheumatism, headache, fever, constipation and also as an analgesic.

Traditional Indians followed the culture of building rooms with Cedarwood for storing food grains and meat for protecting from the advent of microbes and insects. The bark of Cedarwood tree helps in fighting against fever, diarrhea, dysentery and ulcer. It also serves as an effective astringent and works out wonders in reducing the sugar level in the body.

The insecticidal activity of its essential oil is used to repel insects in cattle, camels and horses. This oil is well known for its wide application in France in the treatment of urinary infections, cellulites, water retention, hair loss, to control anger and nervous tension.

The intricate aroma of the woods of this tree have a astounding healing attribute that the Indians used to just sit under this tree to alleviate the symptoms of asthma and respiratory disorders. This amazing tree adds one more feather to its cap by being crowned as the national tree of Pakistan.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cedarwood Essential Oil:

With the highest amount of sesquiterpenes, a hydrocarbon group Cedarwood essential oil owes it unique odour to alpha and beta cedrenes and cedrol. It also contains thujopsene, himachalenes, pentane, acetonitrile, atlantone, humulene and other sesquiterpenes.

The therapeutic properties of Cedarwood essential oil includes anti-infectious, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, circulatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, stimulant, diuretic, sedative, expectorant and insect repellent.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cedarwood essential oil:

The oldest medicinal system on earth aging more than 5,000 years is none other than Ayurveda, which means the ‘knowledge of life’. It is the only oldest science that has been documented in a systematic manner and the first writings on Ayurvedic medications were a part of Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or sacred books of the Hindu Mythology. Ayurveda has its origin in India and is a priceless gift to mankind by the ancient saints and sages.

The most important Ayurvedic encyclopedias that talk about almost all the diseases on earth and its Ayurvedic healing remedies are Charaka Samhita by Acharya Charaka (Father of Medicine), Sushruta Samhita by Acharya Sushruta (Father of Surgery) and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (Based on Charaka Samhita + Sushruta Samhita). Ayurveda defines health as a threefold structure that revolves around the health of the mind, body and spirit.

The Sutrasthana of Charaka Samhita states this as The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda is a holistic healing methodology that focuses on the overall well-being of an individual instead of curing the illness alone. The brilliance of Ayurveda lies in treating the root cause of a disease instead of its symptoms, which is often practiced in Allopathy or the modern medicine.

This practice assists in preventing illnesses in the future, helping to grow old in a healthy manner and attain longevity or expanded life span. Ayurveda claims that every individual on earth is unique with a unique individual constitution or physical, mental and spiritual makeover. This constitution is an arrangement of three biological energies known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. Each of these doshas is a combination of the five vital elements of nature which is present in all the things on earth on a specific proportion.

Vata is a blend of air and space and is responsible for the functions of the nervous system respiratory system and the circulatory system. Pitta is a grouping of fire and water and is accountable for metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha is a combination of earth and water and is in charge for the physical structure, resilience and movement of fluids in the system.

All human beings have a predominance of any one of these doshas, determining our personality, character and behavior. The natural ratio of doshas present in every person is known as Prakriti. Balance between these doshas according to the Prakriti indicates health, and imbalance to due food and other lifestyle changes causes sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies aim at striking balance between these doshas and the most predominant natural remedies prescribed in Ayurvedic treatment are herbs, essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, Ayurvedic massaging, prayers, Pranayama, Panchakarma (detox therapies) and meditation.

Cedarwood essential oil has a neutral effect on all the three doshas and is expressed as VPK= (equal on vata, pitta and kapha). In the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, Bryan Miller and Light Miller state “Cedarwood oil is calming and elevating, an anti-depressive, very helpful in breathing problems, especially bronchial congestion. Spiritually, it can be used when developing or mastering Pranayama (breathing exercise).”

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cedarwood essential oil are:

cedarwood-oil-broucher1. Calms the mind and the body:

Cedarwood essential oil has the power to pacify the mind with its sedative properties. In modern Aromatherapy, this oil is often recommended for those who suffer from insomnia, stress, tension, depression, fear and anxiety, for it stimulates the secretion of serotonin that is converted into melatonin in the brain.

Melatonin plays a major role in calming down the nerves and soothing the muscles, which leads to a peaceful and unwavering sleep that holds numerous virtues to our health such as preventing one from getting into obesity and various other risk factors such as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

It poses a state of tranquility to the spirit and relaxes the nerves, relieving you from anxiety and promoting the feeling of self acceptance thus making you feel more secure. Cedarwood oil enhances your spiritual feelings and induces the state of meditation bringing you closer to the divine power and makes you feel stronger from within. It is for this reason that the Indian sages preferred the forest filled with Cedarwood trees as their favorite place to meditate.

Mix 2 drops of Cedarwood oil with 2 drops of Petitgrain oil, which is known as emotionally harmonizing oil in your diffuser before going to bed or during the time of meditation or while performing Pranayama (the art of balanced breathing) for enriching your divine thoughts and invigorating your connectivity with the heavenly power.

You can also opt for an Ayurvedic massage with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil in 5 ml of olive oil for uplifting your senses and relaxing your system.

2. Sacred cure for Alopecia Areata:

With the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value as 169,000 µTE/100g, Cedarwood essential oil acts as a natural antioxidant to quench the free radicals. It reduces the aging symptoms and proves good for problems related to the skin and hair due to aging.

Trusted scientific researchers have proved the efficacy of Cedarwood essential oil in treating Alopecia Areata, a condition associated with loss of hair from any part of the body most frequently identified in the scalp.

A 1998 study published in the Archives of Dermatology states that 44% of the people with Alopecia Areata treated with essential oil mixture which includes Cedarwood oil showed improvement with ease and without any side effects, when compared to the other group treated with carrier oils.

The presence of nortracheloginin, dibenzylbutyrolacto lignanan and matairesinol enhance the antioxidant attribute of Cedarwood essential oil that effectively protects the cells from damage and rejuvenates the formation of new cells.

From time immemorial, Cedarwood oil has been used for its beneficial effects on hair growth and in the prevention of dandruff, scalp irritation and other problems associated with hair and scalp.

It remains as an important natural ingredient in hair care products as it promotes hair growth and curbs dandruff with its antifungal properties. Blend 3 drops of Cedarwood oil with 3 drops of Jatamansi oil in 5 ml of coconut oil massaged to your scalp can help in promoting natural hair growth, controlling loss of hair and reducing dandruff gradually.

3. Effective insect repellent:

Insects, especially mosquitoes often serve as the carrier for certain hazardous diseases such as malaria, dengue etc. Cedarwood essential oil is naturally rich in sesquiterpenes such as atlantones and himachalenes, making it an excellent insect repellent that sanitizes the surrounding.

A 2011 research article published in PubMed states that Cedarwood essential oil is best used in pest management for its Larvicidal effect on diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, L which are the dangerous pests of the cruciferous crops.

Amidst the other insecticides and pesticides that are chemically unsafe, Cedarwood essential oil serves as a natural remedy to drive away various insects including moths and ants. It is for this reason the woods of the Cedarwood tree were used in building wardrobes, store rooms for conserving food items and pet houses for cats and dogs to drive away fleas.

Cedarwood essential oil can be called as a harmonizing insect repellent that kills insects and fills the atmosphere with its elevating woody aroma. Certain sources state that a mixture of Cedarwood essential oil along with that of Sage oil, Juniper berry oil, Rosemary oil, Lavender oil and Cinnamon oil hold the potential of repelling brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) subjecting them to a sudden undirected movement diverting away from their path.

Cedarwood essential oil was also tested effective against the larvae of the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, Anopheles stephensi and Culex quinquefasciatus, which are the vectors of the dreadful ailments that include yellow fever and chikungunya.

It served as an eminent pesticide targeting the mosquitoes that breed in water and inducing 100% mortality even in the third-instar larvae stage of these species. 2 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with 2 drops of Lavender oil can be mixed with 2 ml of Jojoba oil can be applied on the skin for keeping away from the harmful insect bites and stings.

4. Aids in proper blood circulation:

Bearing close functional resemblance to that of the hemoglobin content present in blood, the sesquiterpenes in Cedarwood essential oil oxygenates the human body at the cellular level and promotes the release of toxins and aids in proper circulation supplying oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. Just inhaling the fumes of the Cedarwood essential oil shows drastic changes in the behavioral patterns of human beings.

As per a 2003 research, the chemical constituent Cedrol in Cedarwood oil showed a significant reduction in the heart rate, rate of respiration and blood pressure in humans who were exposed to the fumes of Cedarwood essential oil. It acts as a defensive warrior against cardiovascular diseases and other ailments associated with poor circulation.

5 drops of Cedarwood oil with 5 drops of Vetiver oil (excellent oil in promoting blood circulation, fortifying the red blood cells and promoting the supply of oxygen to the cells) mixed with 5 ml of sesame oil can be used in massaging your system for regularizing proper blood circulation. This can be followed by a warm bath diluted with 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 2 drops of Vetiver oil.

5. A natural antioxidant in skincare:

Rich in antioxidants, Cedarwood essential oil is also a wonderful antiseptic and astringent and is widely employed in skin care for a handful of skin benefits. It tightens the cells and tissues and tones the skin in addition to cleansing it.

As a sedative, it relaxes the tissues and provides relief from irritation and itching due to acne, boils and scars. It serves as an excellent remedy for various skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, chicken pox, cracked and oily skin.

With its anti-seborrhoeic attribute, it controls and regulates the secretion of sebum which is responsible for the production of acne and a medical condition associated with peeling of the skin from eyebrows, scalp etc.

Cedarwood essential oil is utilized in various cosmetics and hair care products for its balancing effect on the dry and oily skin. It repels the insects effectively and helps in recovering from insect bites where it works in extracting the toxins injected by the insects from the human body.

Cedarwood essential oil prevents the wounds from becoming septic by curbing the advent of harmful microbes by inhibiting their growth and protects the skin from internal and external infections by draining out the toxins.

The antioxidant quality of this oil is attributed to the chemical compounds such as Benzylbutyrolactol, Matairesinol and wikstromal. Cedarwood essential oil possesses excellent apoptotic and cytotoxic attribute inhibiting the growth of tumors and preventing the multiplication of human cancer cells .

It hunts for the free radicals that induces formation of cancerous tumors and resolves the problem from the baseline. Moreover it increases the generation of nitric oxide and kills the cancerous cells by decreasing the potential of the mitochondria.

2 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with 1 ml of Almond oil or your mild skin care cream or lotion can be massaged gently on your skin for enhancing the natural glow of your skin, reducing the growth of free radicals responsible for wrinkles and other aging symptoms.

6. An effectual detoxifier:

Toxins generally ruin the routine pattern of the organ functionalities in the body. Cedarwood essential oil serves as a natural diuretic boosted up with sedative properties. As an anti-seborrhoeic agent, it organizes the sebum production and other secretions from the endocrine system and promotes sweating which is one natural way of getting rid of toxins.

It helps in reducing the workload of the heart by releasing the fluids with toxins found in its surrounding. This oil also helps in getting rid of excess water, fats and uric acid from the body in the form of urine. A relief from water retention and uric acid may also relieve you from inflammations helping to recover from arthritis and rheumatism.

Moreover, Cedarwood essential oil stabilizes the membrane as an anti inflammatory agent and inhibits edema and joint pain. The stable components of Cedarwood oil aided in the degranulation of the isolated peritoneal mast cells and inhibited leukotriens and lipoxygenase in rats with paw edema induced by carageenin. It helps in maintaining the health of the liver, by helping it to encounter with less toxins.

With regulated excretion of water from the body in the form of sweat and urine, this oil helps in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level and blood pressure and aids in overcoming from the harmful effects of water retention such as obesity and hypertension.

It also aids in proper functioning of the kidneys and the urinary system by assisting in the expulsion of unwanted fluids from the system. With its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties it helps in alleviating urinary tract infections and is used in the preparation of antiseptic and antibacterial ointments and solutions.

Massaging your body with 6 drops of Cedarwood oil, 6 drops of Calamus oil and 6 drops of Clary Sage oil with 10 ml of coconut oil is an excellent way to emancipate toxic substances and water retention from the body, reduce inflammation and pain related to arthritis and rheumatism.

7. Expectorant to allow you breathe with ease:

Cedarwood oil highly benefits the respiratory system by being a natural expectorant. It serves as a remedy for all bronchial ailments. It aids in draining out the excess mucus and phlegm resulting in smooth respiration with ease and comfort. These reasons gained popularity for the use of Cedarwood oil in steam inhalation therapy for treating asthma, lung irritation and bronchitis.

Add 1 drop of Cedarwood oil and 1 drop of Davana oil (relieves congestion, aids in expelling heavy deposits of phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract and nasal) in steam inhalation and gently rubbing your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with vaporub can acts as an effective decongestant to treat cough, cold and headache associated with it. This oil clears out the congestion associated with bronchitis, sinusitis, cough, flu and cold.

8. Aids in digestion and assists in discarding worms and infections:

With its easing, nervine, diuretic and stimulant properties, Cedarwood essential oil enhances the process of digestion by stimulating the secretion of enzymes and digestive acids and bile from the liver. It relaxes the nerves and soothes the intestines and aids in the removal of gas and other waste materials from the body thus alleviating flatulence and constipation. It cures diarrhea by tightening and contracting the muscles of the intestines.

The antibacterial attribute of this oil fights best against bacteria such as Listeria monocytogens that are found in food. This along with the antifungal and insecticidal property makes Cedarwood oil to protect the stomach from the advent of intestinal worms and parasites. It also helps in preserving the food items.

Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 2 drops of Calamus oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil can help in alleviating excess gas, toxic substances, worms and other infestations in the stomach and intestines.

Other health benefits of Cedarwood essential oil:

Cedarwood oil possesses emmenagogue properties and aids in womanly concerns helping in regulating the menstrual cycle by opening up blocked menstruation and it strengthens the uterus. It acts as an excellent health tonic suitable for all. It serves as an Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis, restlessness and nervous breakdown. It is widely used in the manufacturing of perfumes, disinfectant cleaners, sprays, aftershaves, cleaning oil, panel closets, cigar boxes and insecticides.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and education and is not meant to treat, prevent or diagnose any health condition or substitute any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the interest of spreading the medicinal heritage of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old healing system.

Do not take essential oils internally and always remember to dilute essential oils before using it topically as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may tend to cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare professional before choosing the right essential oil  for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils
    by Joni Loughran, Ruah Bull
  2. Aromatherapy For The Emotions by Kylie Thompson
  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. Essential Oils For Hair: A Simple Guide & Introduction To Aromatherapy (Essential Aromatherapy Oils For Natural Beauty) by Susan Henny
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Cedrus Deodara by Wikipedia
  2. A review article on the Phytochemistry and pharmacology of Cedrus Deodara by the International Journal of pharmaceutical sciences and research
  3. Chemical composition and the Larvicidal activities of the Himalayan Cedar, Cedrus Deodara Essential Oil and its fractions against the Diamondback Moth, Plutella Xylostella
  4. Phytochemical analysis, anti proliferative against K562 human chronic myelogenus leukemia, antiviral and hypoglycemic activities of Cedrus species

 


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Juniper Leaf Oil


Juniper-leaf-banner

Juniper is not ‘just another’ plant in the Jungle; more than that, it owns myriad health benefits and the most astonishing remedial use is its power to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in breast cancer cells. It is also celebrated as the most common therapeutic plants used by the native North Americans.

Beckoned as Hapusha in Sanskrit, Juniperus communis or the Common Juniper is also called as Aaraar in Hindi, Havusha in Bengali, Gin plant, Alpine Juniper, Horse savin and Fairy circle in English. Juniper has been a part of the Ayurvedic remedy of leucorrhoea, asthma, urino-genital infections, dropsy, gout, bronchitis, bladder and kidney stones, sluggish digestion, rhinitis, rheumatism and certain other water-retention disorders.

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History and importance of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

Juniperus communis is an evergreen coniferous shrub in the Juniperus genus and belongs to the Cypress family, Cupressaceae. There are about 67 Juniper species spread across the world. Juniper has scale-like or needle-shaped leaves. The most soaring Juniper forest is located at an altitude of 4,900 meters in the Northern Himalayas and the South-eastern Tibet and is one of the tallest tree-lines on this planet.

Nicholas Culpeper, the most renowned herbalist and physician of the 17th century prescribed the use of Juniper berries for treating sciatica, asthma and for speeding up childbirth. Juniper was used in folklore medicine for curing snakebites and poisonous stings.

The Seminole Indians in Florida used Juniper for treating headache, swollen joints, diarrhea, stiff neck and common cold. Native Americans also used the berries as a female contraceptive agent.

The indigenous Europeans burned the berries during the last three days of April as a ceremony for cleaning and guarding against sorcery. Juniper leaves were hung near the main door for preventing the entry of witches. Juniper was trusted to bring in good luck in love life and was burnt as incense for keeping away from insects, ghosts and evil spirits.

Juniper is quoted in the Bible as the tree where Prophet Elijah hid. The leaves and berries of this plant have been used by the Tibetans for medicinal and spiritual uses. They believed that the burning of Juniper helped in breaking spiritual barriers, curses, hexes and protect from snakes and other venomous bites. It was used in Tibet for both religious and medicinal purposes.

Herbal tea prepared with Juniper berry and leaves is been taken especially after meals for helping with digestion and for preventing bladder problems. Herbalists recommend drinking this tea in alternative days or as a part of your daily routine as an aid in flushing out the toxic remains in the system, support normal metabolic functions and aid in your weight-loss regimen by discarding the fluid withholding in the system.

Chemical constituents and remedial attributes of Juniper leaf oil:

The essential oil of Juniper has rubefacient, astringent, antiseptic, carminative, analgesic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anti-rheumatic, diuretic, expectorant, anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic, neurotonic and sudorific properties.

The major chemical constituents contributing to its healing values are about 90 percent of various monoterpenes, where as Juniper berry essential oil contains only 50-60 percent of it. Juniper leaf oil also has esters, terpinene-4-ol, antiviral and anti-cancerous compound known as DTP- deoxypodophyllotoxin.

Ayurvedic uses of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

Ayurveda is a common sense science that simply goes with the saying “There is no smoke without fire”. In a much similar manner, Ayurveda states that every illness has a root cause behind. Identifying it and treating the root cause of a disease instead of its symptoms, is the secret behind the success of Ayurvedic healing in the treatment, prevention and voyage towards longevity.

None of us can deny being a part of nature and that is the mantra of Ayurveda. It firmly indicates that all things in the universe are a component of Nature and everything is made up of the five fundamental energies known as Panchamahabhutas. They are space, earth, water, fire and air.

Every person has a unique identity, which is an outcome of his/her unique individual constitution known as Prakriti. It is a combination of the three biological energies known as doshas (vata, kapha and pitta), which are an arrangement of Panchamahabhutas.

Pitta (fire + water = metabolism, body temperature, leadership traits); vata (air + space = circulation, respiration, creative abilities); kapha (earth + water = reproductive functions, physique, sustenance, trust and love).

Every individual has a distinct combination of these doshas with a predominance of any one dosha and it determines one’s physical set up, mental makeup, character, behavior/attitude and the depths of their spiritual being.

Leading a well-organized life helps in retaining absolute balance with nature, whereas irregular eating habits, junk and ready-to-eat food items, sedentary lifestyle, climatic conditions, change in sleeping patterns, lack of physical exercise, work pressure, stress and certain other factors can pave way for imbalance of your system with nature. This leads to imbalance between doshas and thus, sickness steps in.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice that prescribes natural remedies for striking balance with nature. It prescribes unique remedies for every person based upon their unique individual constitution, even for the same illness as it appreciates individual differences and trusts that every individual has a different mechanism that reacts to variations in their own way.

Ayurvedic medications for the mind, body and the soul include herbs, plant essential oils, yoga, Ayurvedic routine, meditation, Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detoxification technique, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and many other Ayurvedic therapies for complete cure and prevention of illnesses.

Juniper leaf essential oil is recommended for pacifying kapha and vata dosha and for enhancing pitta dosha for trouble-free metabolic functions.

Let’s take a look at the uses of Juniper leaf oil according to the methods of usage:

Juniper-leaf-broucher1. Juniper leaf oil in steam inhalation:

Steam inhalation is an ancient treatment for instant relief from blocked nasal passages, sinusitis pain, headache and for attracting hidden toxins and excess oil in the skin surface.

Steam inhalation with therapeutic herbs and medicated oils as per the medical condition and Prakriti of a person is one among the Ayurvedic detoxification technique known as Panchakarma. Swedhana or promoting sweat is the most suitable treatment for people with Kapha imbalances.

Fluid retention is one among the kapha vitiations, which paves way for the buildup of ama or toxic remains. This slows down the normal functioning of the body and gradually weakens the immune power. When your body’s immunity reduces, the entry of micro-organisms like bacteria, virus and fungi becomes much easier.

This paves way for cold, flu, chest and bronchial congestion and few other respiratory infections. 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 drop of Clove bud oil can help in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits, open up the blocked nasal passages, alleviate pain and lets out the toxic remains by promoting sweat with its sudorific and diaphoretic properties.

A refreshing steam inhalation blend for energizing the skin, especially the facial skin includes 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Rose Geranium oil, 1 drop of Palmarosa oil and 1 drop of Lime oil can work wonders on your skin.

The antiseptic properties of this blend can help in soothing wounds or infections caused by acne. This treatment also helps in opening the clogged pores, removing dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil in the sebaceous glands, controlling the secretion of sebum and enhancing the circulation of blood in the skin with its rubefacient properties, allowing the skin to look supple and healthy.

2. Juniper leaf oil in massage blends, baths and compress:

Rheumatism, obesity, edema, gout, renal calculi, bladder stones, congestion, inflammation, swelling and respiratory infections are kapha imbalances.

Ayurveda recommends hot compress, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and warm bath diluted with therapeutic essential oils for treating water retention or kapha vitiations. Abhyanga is the primordial art of maneuvering the muscles, nerves and joints with the help of palms, foot, elbows and certain Ayurvedic techniques.

Using Ayurvedic essential oils in massage, compress and medicated baths is the easy way for passing on the therapeutic values of essential oils to the bloodstream.

Skin is by far the largest and prominent part of the human body just like the outer rind of bananas. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Juniper leaf oil, 5 drops of Ginger oil, 5 drops of Marjoram oil, 5 drops of Wormwood oil along with 3 ounce of sesame oil can work effectively in eliminating the surplus fluid deposits, toxic remains, salt, fat deposits and uric acid by influencing the frequency and mass of urine and sweat with its diuretic, sudorific, diaphoretic and detoxifying properties.

This assists in reducing swelling, inflammation, redness, soreness, pain and muscular tension associated with arthritis, rheumatism and edema. The tendency to pacify vata imbalance along with the circulatory or the rubefacient properties of Juniper leaf oil helps in treating cellulites, pain, swelling and muscular stiffness related to varicose veins.

It’s pitta augmenting properties help in stimulating the functions of liver and pancreas (normalizes the level of insulin) thus fostering secretion of bile, gastric juices and other digestive acids for relieving flatulence, colic pain and trouble-free digestion.

An invigorating bath with 5 drops of Juniper leaf oil, 2 drops of Geranium oil, 2 drops of Orange bitter oil and 2 drops of Petitgrain oil can help in controlling the free radicals, relaxing the nerves, soothing the muscles, tranquilizing the mind and stimulating positive effects on the brain.

This is an excellent remedy for treating cancer (especially in preventing the spread of free radicals, apoptosis or cellular death and cellular damage), alleviating stress, fatigue, anxiety and negative feelings. Taking this bath before bedtime can support you in sleeping tight and recharge your system for a new-fangled day ahead.

A 2015 study published in PubMed on ‘Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells’ by Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard AP, Colquhoun CD, Carroll M, Bos A, Gray CA, Robichaud GA, Universite de Moncton, Canada have concluded that they “identified the diterpene isocupressic acid and the aryltetralin lignan deoxypodophyllotoxin (DPT) as potent inducers of caspase-dependent programmed cell death (apoptosis) in malignant MB231 breast cancer cells.”

3. Juniper leaf oil in mild creams, lotions and topical applications:

Adding 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil and 1 drop of Jojoba oil in gentle skin care creams and lotions for topical use on athlete’s foot, pimples, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions can foster quicker healing with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

4. Juniper leaf oil in diffusers, burners and aromatic candles:

Juniper leaf oil has been used since the traditional times for spiritual and remedial uses. It’s restoring, supportive, fresh, sweet-woody and balsamic fragrance implants absolute peace and feelings of oneness with the universe and the divine.

Adding 3 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Clary Sage oil, 1 drop of Vetiver oil and 1 drop of Sandalwood oil in your diffuser, burner, aromatic candle or vaporizer during prayers, meditation and other sacred ceremonies can uplift your mind, nourish your spirit, open up the mind for newness, instill positive feelings and nurture the soul, helping it to identify its purpose on earth.

Disclaimer:

This is only for educational purposes and is not meant for diagnosing any medical condition or for substituting any prescription medicines or expert advice of a medical professional. We are not healthcare experts and this article is shared only with the idea of widening the knowledge of Ayurvedic healing, the pioneer of all medical systems.

Juniper leaf essential oil is non-irritant and non-toxic but is still recommended for topical use only. This is because pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Do not take essential oils internally.

The essential oil of Juniper leaf should not be used by people with chronic kidney disorders, pregnant and nursing women as it has the potent to cause uterine contractions, making it a traditional medicine for inducing labor. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.

Thought for the day:

A weed is a plant whose virtue is not yet known. –By Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Aromatherapy: A Practical Guide (The Healing series) by Marion Wayman
  2. Clinical Botanical Medicine by Eric Yarnell, Kathy Abascal, Carol G. Hooper
  3. Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus: 3rd Edition by Robert P. Adams
  4. Evidence-based Essential Oil Therapy: The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oils by Dr. Scott A Johnson
  5. Medicinal Plants of North America: A Field Guide (Falcon Guide)
    by Jim Meuninck

Reference Links:

  1. Juniper by Wikipedia
  2. Health benefits of Juniper essential oil by Organic Facts
  3. Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells by Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard AP, Colquhoun CD, Carroll M, Bos A, Gray CA, Robichaud GA, Universite de Moncton, Canada published in PubMed
  4. Ayurvedic drug plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman
  5. Junipers by Eat the Weeds