Clove Leaf Oil



Clove-leaf-bannerAre you on a voyage to turn over a new leaf in your drowning health regimen? Then step into the room of fitness by switching to Clove leaf and its rejuvenative essential oil. Used as a culinary and healing herb across the world, Clove leaves and its unopened flower buds steal the show in treating enormous health conditions.

With the botanical name Syzigium aromaticum (Eugenia caryophyllata), Clove is known in the world of Ayurveda as “Devapushpa”, meaning sacred flower and as “Devakusum”, which means flower of Deities.

Commonly called as Laung in India, Clove leaf and its essential oil have been noted as Vaktra kleda daurgandhya nashana, means it is used medicinally for treating bad breath and problems in the oral cavity.

It is also used in various Ayurvedic treatments of halitosis, sciatica, lumbago, rheumatic problems, tonsillitis, indigestion, bronchitis, asthma, osteoporosis, breathing difficulty, sore throat, premature ejaculation, diabetes, impotence, toothache, gingivitis, periodontitis and few other oral conditions.

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Historical uses and importance of Clove leaf oil:

Clove is an evergreen tree, which is found growing in plenty in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Singapore, Mauritius, Pakistan, Tanzania, and India (Kerala and Tamilnadu). It is indigenous to the celebrated Spice Islands, the Moluccas Islands in Indonesia.

The most popular herbalist, Hildegard of Bingen suggested Clove for treating swelling of the intestines, gout, hiccups and nasal congestion. The Western herbalism used Clove leaf and its flower buds in the treatment of erectile problems, tooth decay, poor circulation, vomiting, bad breath and sluggish digestion.

The use of Cloves in the TCM or the Traditional Chinese Medicine dates back to 207 B.C. Called as Ding xiang, this miraculous herb is being used for alleviating infections in the kidneys, digestive disorders, impotence, nausea, hernia and various skin problems like ringworm and certain other fungal infections. With its warm and acrid properties, Clove was indeed used as a trusted Chinese remedy for fortifying the functions of the spleen, kidneys and the stomach meridians.

The tea prepared with Clove leaf and buds have been used in the Tibetan and other traditional medicines for multiple sclerosis, inflammation and certain autoimmune disorders. The essential oil is also recommended for treating hypnotic muscles, arthritic pain and rheumatic conditions.

Clove is one among those prized natural remedies in Ayurveda and is used topically for treating toothache, oral cavities, chest congestion, improper blood circulation, slow metabolism, bloating, sore throat and cough.

Chewing the fresh leaves and buds of the Clove tree were used as natural breath freshener and is a folklore remedy for fighting against germs, bad breath, intestinal infections and gum problems.

An herbal infusion prepared with Clove leaves and buds powder along with powdered black pepper, dry ginger, and borax is a proven herbal remedy for relieving bronchitis and asthmatic attacks.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Clove leaf oil:

The essential oil of Clove leaf contains eugenol (about 82 to 88%) as the major ingredient, which contributes to its numerous healing values. Other major chemical components of Clove oil are vanillin, caryophyllene, acetyl eugenol, crategolic acid, beta-caryophyllene, methyl salicylate, bicornin, eugenitin, gallotannic acid, eugenin, stigmasterol, kaempferol, oleanolic acid, rhamnetin, monoterpenes, ketones, aldehydes and certain sesquiterpenes.

The primary therapeutic properties of Clove leaf oil are analgesic, carminative, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, digestive, anesthetic, stimulant, appetizing, diaphoretic, aphrodisiac, antifungal, anti-carcinogenic and blood cleansing.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Clove leaf essential oil:

“Knowledge of life” is all the word ‘Ayurveda’ means. Being a holistic healing approach, the wings of Ayurveda covers everything for addressing a human to be healthy, including his physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The most renowned Ayurvedic philosopher Charaka quotes, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

Ayurveda regards human body as a temple and trusts that the pure soul dwells in. It aims at maintaining the purity of the soul by keeping the mind, body and spirit clean with clean habits, healthy food regimen, yoga, meditation and prayers for nurturing the mind and the spirit.

The root of Ayurveda is vested with India, the land of the richest and oldest historical values. It is said to be in existence for about 5000 years. This ancient healing methodology states that everything is a part of Mother Nature and is made of the five fundamental elements of nature, including fire, earth, water, air and space.

Ayurveda is a comprehensive healing science that regards every individual as a unique entity, as it strongly believes that no two persons are same in physical, emotional and spiritual aspects. With this firm foundation, Ayurveda prescribes unique remedies for each individual based on their unique individual constitution or doshas (combination of the elements of nature).

The three doshas are vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (earth and water). Every individual is created with a unique combination of these doshas. According to Ayurveda, absolute health means striking perfect balance with nature and sickness or ill-health is an indication that a person is out of balance with nature due to irregular eating routine, change in weather conditions and behavioral changes.

Ayurveda recommends natural medications including Ayurvedic essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, Pranayama or the balanced breathing technique, herbal remedies, Panchakarma or the art of Ayurvedic detoxification, yoga, meditation and prayers based upon an individual’s unique constitution and for treating doshic imbalances.

Clove leaf and its essential oil with the warm and soothing properties assist in augmenting pitta energy and pacifying kapha and vata doshas in excess.

The most predominant Ayurvedic health benefits of Clove leaf oil are:Clove-leaf-broucher1. Excellent support for oral conditions:

The antibacterial and anodyne properties of Clove and its essential oil make it an excellent cure for administering dental emergencies and oral problems. This formula is used in mouthwash liquids, toothpastes and dental creams for fighting against germs, bacteria and other micro-organisms that affect oral health.

A 2006 study conducted by the Kuwait University have witnessed that a medication prepared with Clove is as effective as a benzocaine gel when used as a topical anesthetic for intraoral injections.

The pain-relieving or analgesic properties and numbness or anesthetic properties of Clove leaf oil is attributed to the presence of eugenol component. Numerous research studies conclude that eugenol reveals pharmacological actions on all parts of the human system as it possess anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenging effects.

A recent research based in Argentina has proved that the essential oil of Clove is an effective antiseptic and antimicrobial agent for oral infections and fights effectively against Escherichia coli, pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcus aureus and certain other gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Gargling with a cup of warm water infused with 2 drops of Clove leaf oil can help in reducing toothache, discarding bacteria, germs and other hazardous micro-organisms in the mouth. This is an excellent natural remedy for refreshing your breath daily.

Treating your tooth pain even before visiting your dentist is as simple as biting a Clove bud in the painful tooth. You can also add 1 drop of Clove leaf oil in a small cotton ball and keep it on the painful area. This helps in reducing the pain by causing numbness in the painful area.

2. Promising digestive aid:

Clove leaf and the essential oil extracted from these magical leaves is a powerful natural remedy for assisting proper digestion. Being an effective carminative and anthelmintic, Clove leaf oil has the power to enhance the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and support bowel movements along with peristalsis.

Ayurveda states that indigestion is the root cause of many health conditions as it permits the toxic substances to remain in the system thus deteriorating their normal functions. Clove has numerous remedial benefits in Ayurveda for treating digestive disorders.

It is called as chardi for treating vomiting, shula for relieving colic pain in the abdomen, adhmana for its potent against abdominal gaseous distension and bloating, paachana and deepana for augmenting digestive power and ruchya for enhancing taste and relieving tastelessness.

Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Clove oil blended with 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil and 1 drop of Ajowan essential oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil can help in stimulating the secretion of bile, hydrochloric acid and other gastric juices responsible for digestion.

This assists in alleviating intestinal gas, abdominal pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting, intestinal worms, sluggish digestion, constipation and bloating. Inhaling the warming aroma by adding 1 drop of Clove leaf oil to a hankie or your wrist especially before eating can support quicker digestion.

3. Heals an extensive range of skin problems:

Clove leaf oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant and blood cleansing properties that elates its stand as an excellent remedy for skin problems. Again, eugenol compound plays a vital role in treating skin problems with its antiseptic and antioxidant properties.

The essential oil of Clove is effective against fighting fungi, virus, bacteria and other harmful foreign bodies. Blending 2 drops of Clove leaf oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil with 2 ml of Almond oil or a mild skin care cream and applying on the affected parts can help in treating athlete’s foot, ringworm, acne, wounds, cuts, prickly heat, bruises, scabies, insect stings, stretch marks, puffy skin and wrinkles.

4. Relieves respiratory infections:

Ayurveda beckons Clove as Shwasa for its effectiveness in treating breathing difficulties, asthma and wheezing problems; Kasa for relieving cough and cold and as Kshaya for administering chronic respiratory conditions.

Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth elements. Excess of which leads to stagnation of water deposits in the system leading to flu, cold, bronchitis, headache, fever and accumulation of phlegm and mucus deposits in the lungs, nasal area and the bronchial passages.

Get ready for an energizing steam inhalation with 2 drops of Clove leaf oil, 1 drop of Ginger oil and 1drop of Spearmint oil for loosening the phlegm accumulation, clearing the blocked nasal and bronchial passages, relieving pain associated with migraine and sinusitis.

Add that extra spice to your vaporizing ointment by adding 2 drops of Clove leaf oil, 1 drop of Citriodora oil, 1 drop of Basil essential oil and massage the chest, throat, back and temples for a quick relief from runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat and headache.

5. Alleviates rheumatic and arthritic pain:

As seen earlier, vitiation of kapha dosha ends up in amassing of water deposits along with the remains of uric acid, toxic substances and salt. This leads to renal calculi or kidney stones and water-borne problems like obesity and rheumatic conditions.

Clove leaf oil has detoxifying and diuretic properties with its power to pacify kapha dosha, which eliminates the toxic remains and excess water deposits by increasing the frequency and quantity of urination.

A gentle massage of the painful parts with 5 drops of Clove leaf oil with 2 drops of   Citronella oil and 2 drops of Peppermint oil along with 50 ml of Coconut oil can work wonders in reducing pain, redness, muscular soreness, swelling, inflammation, irritation and other symptoms related to arthritis and rheumatism.

The most astonishing Ayurvedic truth is that about 70% of toxic substances in the body are eliminated through exhalation and only an average of 30% remains is discarded through sweat and urine. Ayurveda prescribes the practice of Pranayama or the art of balanced yogic breathing for getting rid of the toxic remains in the system.

6.Checks cancerous growths and controls the spread of free radicals:

Clove is called as the Champion of all herbs in fighting against cancer for its high free radical scavenging capacity. Clove oil has antioxidant property that controls the growth of free radicals responsible for cellular damage and cancerous growths.

Generally, the antioxidant capacity of any particular component is measured by its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). Amongst all the other essential oils in the world, Clove oil has about 10 million ORAC, which makes it the best antioxidant and is 400 times effective than the leading antioxidant fruit, wolfberry.

When diagnosed in the initial stages, Clove oil has the power to support the treatment of various types of cancer including lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. Adding 3 drops of Clove leaf oil in warm bathing water every morning can help in checking the growth of free radicals.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Clove leaf oil along with 2 drops of Cinnamon oil, 2 drops of Geranium oil along with 100ml of Apricot Kernel oil can help in controlling the growth of free radicals, delaying the process of aging and enhancing the immune power of the system.

Other health benefits:

Clove is used along with saffron, sandalwood powder and mercuric chloride for treating syphilitic attacks. It has been recommended for treating immune deficiency syndrome, diabetes, dysmennorhea, depression, impotence, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunctions, epilepsy, cholera, sty, stress and parasitic infections. It is also used as a traditional air freshener and an insect repellant for killing household dust mites and red fire ants.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the use of education and is not recommended as a substitute for prescription medicines or for the advice of a medical professional. We are not healthcare practitioners and this information is shared only with the ultimate idea of spreading the richness and magnificence of Ayurvedic treatment, the mother of all healing methodologies on earth.

Always use essential oils in diluted form for topical application only. Ingesting essential oils is not recommended, as 100 percent pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may harm the skin, the most sensitive and the largest organ of the body.

It is always good to talk with your Ayurvedic expert or medical practitioner before deciding the most appropriate essential oils for your Prakriti or unique individual constitution and your health condition.

Keep essential oils away from children and take special care and medical advice while using essential oils during your pregnancy or nursing period.

Thought for the day:

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction”. -By E.O. Wilson.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Cloves by Marian Kim
  2. Clove Oil! Discover The Essential Oil Of Cloves Health Benefits For Toothaches, Acne, Hair & Much More: A Book On Clove Oil Secrets (Natural Health Books Series 1) by Tina Cody
  3. The Green Pharmacy: The Ultimate Compendium Of Natural Remedies From The World’s Foremost Authority On Healing Herbs by James A. Duke
  4. Herbs for Detoxification by C.J. Puotinen
  5. Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, Mika Ono

Reference Links:

  1. Clove by Wikipedia
  2. The Healing Properties of Clove Essential Oil by Health Impact News
  3. Antioxidant activity of Clove – A Powerful Antioxidant Source by İlhami Gülçin, Mahfuz Elmastaş, Hassan Y. Aboul-Enein, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
  4. Clove: A Champion Spice by Parle Milind and Khanna Deepa, Pharmacology Division, Dept. Pharm. Sciences (Accredited by NBA), Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, Haryana, India.

Gultharia Oil



Gulthania-bannerGultharia or the Indian Wintergreen is aboriginal to India and have amazing therapeutic properties in its kitty just like it’s sibling, the American Wintergreen also known as Gaultheria procumbens. Scientifically called as Gaultheria fragrantissim, Gultharia is an aromatic Indian shrub that has been in use for thousands of years in the treatment of chronic rheumatism and joint aches.

Celebrated as Gandapura in Ayurveda, Gultharia has been an important Ayurvedic remedy for relieving joint pain, muscular spasms, sprains, rheumatism, inflammation and for healing wounds.

It is for all these healing values, Gultharia and its essential oil, steam distilled from its leaves are used as an important ingredient in the popular Ayurvedic preparations like Rumalaya liniment, Rumalaya Gel and other herbal pain balms.

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Historical importance of Gultharia:

Indian Wintergreen has a unique healing aroma for which it is also known as Fragrant Wintergreen, is found growing in the sacred lands of the holy Himalayas from Uttarakhand to Myanmar and South Eastern Tibet. It is a member of the Rhododendron plant family, Ericaceae. Gultharia grows at an altitude of 1500 to 2700 m and bears dark-violet blue berries that attract the attention of birds and numerous insects towards it.

It is a known fact that the Indians of America were the first to identify the medicinal powers of Wintergreen in America and this was mainly due to the use of the Indian Wintergreen, which has been in use in the world’s oldest healing system on earth, Ayurveda before 5,000 years in India. The ancient Indians used the leaves of Gultharia herb in brewing tea for fighting against rheumatism, joint pain, toothache and other painful conditions.

These remedial leaves were also ground and used in poultices for relieving muscular aches, stiff joints and headache. It was later traced in 1800s that the pain-relieving qualities of Wintergreen plant was mainly due to the aspirin-like qualities present in these aromatic leaves helping in relieving pain in a jiffy, naturally.

Wintergreen leaves were used in making tea by the French explorers for assisting pain and this usage lead to the popular term ‘The du Canada’ means the ‘The tea of Canada’. The leaves of Gultharia plants were chewed by the traditional Indians as an aid for breathing during strenuous work, alleviating oral problems, freshening the breath and for treating back pain and joint aches.

The leaves of Gultharia plant were used in folklore medicinal system for rheumatism, sore throat, colic, inflammation, tooth decay, skin disorders, cold and body pain. It is also used as a flavoring ingredient in toothpastes, chewing gums, herbal teas, candies and health beverages. These leaves have also been a part of pesticides and insect repellants.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Gultharia essential oil:

Methyl salicylate is the major chemical constituent comprising of about 98% of its essential oil and the other components are gaultherilene, limonene, a-pinene, delta-cadinene, delta-3-carene and myrcene. These constituents contribute to its healing properties like anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic, antispasmodic, carminative, astringent, emmenagogue, diuretic and stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Gultharia essential oil:

Healing according to Ayurveda is not an external force and real healing should always happen from within, for which every individual should have a thorough knowledge about their health condition and their entire system. You will know it appropriately when I say that the word ‘Ayurveda’ actually means ‘the knowledge of life’.

Ayurvedic healing aims at longevity through prevention of illnesses and healthy aging by following an Ayurvedic routine along with the use of herbs, essential oils and a balanced diet. The basic Ayurvedic principle revolves around the health of mind, body and soul.

The ancient secrets of this herbal healing methodology were spread to the world by Charaka and Sushruta, the renowned Ayurvedic experts of the primordial times. Charaka Samhita reiterates the Ayurvedic principle by stating that “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.

Every human being is unique according to the Ayurvedic theory with a unique individual constitution comprised of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha dosha.

Vata energy is responsible for respiration, movement and circulation of the body and controls the neurological imbalances and nervous impulses of the system. Pitta represents fire and is in charge of metabolic functions like digestion and absorption of essential nutrients by the body. Kapha dosha stands for water and is responsible for structure and sustenance of the body, imbalance of which can cause obesity and respiratory problems.

Gultharia essential oil reduces kapha dosha and increases pitta and vata doshas.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Gultharia or Indian Wintergreen essential oil are:

Gulthania-broucher1. Alleviates pain and inflammation:

Pain is the worst enemy of mankind, be it a joint pain or a headache, it has the power to destruct your work and drop down your day. Aspirin is one among the best over-the-counter remedies for treating pain and inflammation. You’ll be surprised to know that the remedial power of aspirin is due to the presence of methyl salicylate and with a high proportion of this constituent, generally many varieties of Wintergreen essential oil is used in various pain relievers in the market.

The pain-relieving quality of Gultharia essential oil is due its analgesic, anodyne and anti-inflammatory properties. Massage the painful area with 2 drops of Gultharia oil blended with 1 ml of coconut oil for relieving pain and reducing inflammation.

This remedial massage relieves pain by causing numbness on the painful area, boosts blood circulation, hinders the secretion of prostaglandin compounds that sensitize the spinal neurons to pain and promote peaceful sleep. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Gultharia oil in hot or cold compress or in warm bathing water for reducing pain and inflammation.

2. Eases digestion:

Improper digestion is the primary reason for all the major illnesses in Ayurveda. Pitta energy is responsible for the digestive fire known as agni, which supports metabolic functions like digestion of food, absorption of essential nutrients and excretion of waste materials from the body.

Sluggish digestion occurs when there is an imbalance of pitta energy due to changes in the diet, lifestyle and emotional constitution of an individual.

Gultharia essential oil has the power to aggravate pitta dosha and acts as an excellent carminative, stimulant and diuretic. Massaging your stomach and abdomen with 2 drops of Gultharia oil mixed with 1 ml olive oil helps in eliminating the formation of gas, supports constipation, flatulence, promote the secretion of bile and other digestive juices and discharges excess salt, uric acid and toxic remains of undigested food through urine.

Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 1 drop of Gultharia oil to your diffuser or vaporizer helps in stimulating the secretion of digestive juices assisting in regular digestion.

3. Eliminates detrimental toxins from the body:

Gultharia essential oil has natural diuretic properties that promote sweating and frequent urination.  By this way, it helps in flushing out the harmful toxins like uric acid, excess salt, water and fat from the body.

Massaging your body with 6 drops of Gultharia essential oil blended with 4 ml olive oil can assist in treating water logging, obesity, edema, kidney stones, urinary infections and hypertension caused due to the accumulation of fat, water, uric acid and other toxins left behind due to improper digestion. Adding 3 to 4 drops of Gultharia oil in bathing water is also a great idea for getting rid of such toxic substances.

4. Boon to arthritis and rheumatic patients:

Rheumatism and arthritis mainly occur due to the accumulation of toxic substances in the body due to poor digestion and problems in the colon, that paves way for the toxins to reach the joints causing pain, lack of circulation, swelling and inflammation.

According to Ravi Bhanot, a popular Ayurvedic Researcher at the Ayurveda Institute of Europe, the best way to treat gout and rheumatic problems is to use medicated oil for massage that is made up of Wintergreen essential oil and menthol.

Gently massaging the affected parts with 4 drops of Gultharia oil with 2ml of sesame oil aids in triggering digestion, promoting the flow of urine through which the toxic substances are eliminated, warms up the muscles, stimulate blood circulation, and reduces pain and inflammation.

This way, the Indian Wintergreen essential oil acts as a boon to arthritis and rheumatic patients who suffer from pain, swollen muscles, inflamed joints and poor blood circulation.

5. Treats menstrual and menopausal problems:

Gultharia essential oil is a proven emmenagogue that can be of great aid in assisting female problems like menstrual discomforts and menopausal symptoms.

Massaging your lower abdomen with 3 drops of Gultharia oil blended with 1.5 ml of warm sesame oil can help in promoting delayed or blocked menstruation, lessen menstrual pain, reduce spasms, and treat nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, tension and urinary problems associated with menses.

It can also help in reducing hot flashes and mood fluctuations in menopausal women by stimulating blood circulation and strengthening the uterine walls. Adding 2 drops of Gultharia oil in warm bath before going to bed and 1 drop added to your room diffuser at night can calm the tensed muscles and promote peaceful sleep at night.

6. Supports respiratory health:

Respiratory problems are mainly caused due to excess of kapha energy. With its power to lessen kapha dosha, Gultharia essential oil can effectively act upon reducing chest congestion, spasmodic coughs, breathing difficulties, asthma and nervous afflictions.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can help you in eliminating excess phlegm and mucous deposits through urine and excreta. With its anti-spasmodic properties, Gultharia essential oil is also effective in treating spasms in the intestine, muscles, nervous system, respiratory system and circulatory system.

Other health benefits:

Gultharia essential oil is an efficacious natural remedy for healing wounds with its antiseptic properties. This oil is also known for its ability to enhance spiritual power, logical thinking, and reasoning skills and accentuate the harmony of the soul with the divine power. It is for this reason; the ancient saints used the leaves of the Indian Wintergreen plant during sacred ceremonies, special chants and meditations.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to diagnose or substitute professional advice or prescribed medication. Gultharia essential oil has a high proportion of methyl salicylate, which is a main ingredient in aspirin and is considered toxic in excess for internal usage.

Never use Gultharia essential oil internally and always ensure that you use this oil in a diluted form for topical application. Keep it away from children and please consult your Healthcare practitioner before using Gultharia essential oil if you are pregnant, nursing or allergic to aspirin. Always consult your Ayurvedic professional before using the right essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend.
-Mao Zedong

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family by Holly Bellebuono
  2. Ayurvedic Beauty Care: Ageless Techniques to Invoke Natural Beauty by Melanie Sachs
  3. American Indian Healing Arts: Herbs, Rituals, and Remedies for Every Season of Life by E. Barrie Kavasch, Karen Baar
  4. American Indian Medicine (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Virgil J. Vogel

Reference Links:

  1. About Wintergreen by eHow
  2. Wintergreen by the American Botanical Council
  3. Fragrant Wintergreen by Flowers of India
  4. Treatment of Gout – The Ayurvedic Way by Ravi Bhanot, Ayurvedic Researcher, The Ayurveda Institute of Europe

Thuja Wood Essential Oil



thujawood-bannerBy saying ‘the tree of life’, I am not talking about the premier English movie of 2011 or about the common motif in mythologies and philosophies. Tree of life is a common name of the Thuja tree, botanically known as Thuja occidentalis. This name indicates the restorative and medicinal values of this herb in addressing various illnesses.

The essential oil of Thuja is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves, branchlets and wood of this tree. Thuja as a promising herb has been used prevalently in Ayurveda to treat warts, psoriasis, bronchial catarrh, uterine carcinomas, rheumatism, cystitis and certain other chronic infections of the upper respiratory system.

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Historical importance of Thuja and its essential oil:

Thuja is known to the world most popularly as an ornamental tree and has been used widely for hedges. The word ‘Thuja’ is a Greek word meaning thuo (to sacrifice) or ‘to fumigate’. The aromatic wood of this tree was initially burnt as a sacrifice to God in the ancient times. It has been a part of the traditional healing system like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy for treating numerous illnesses naturally.

Thuja occidentalis also known as Eastern White Cedar was celebrated as a powerful remedy for treating and preventing scurvy. The native Canadians used the leaves (needles) of this tree to prepare tea that has been claimed to contain 50 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of leaves. This tea was also used as an effective remedy for treating rheumatism and menstrual pain. Thuja is also used in evidence-based phytotherapy for treating chronic and acute infections of the upper respiratory system, angina, pharyngitis and bronchitis.

Indigenous to northeastern parts of North America, Thuja essential oil is claimed to be first used by the American Indians for treating insomnia, gout, cold, dandruff and eczema. The leaves were also used in preparing a decoction for treating cold, congestion, uterine carcinomas, intestinal parasites, cystitis, fever, headache and stomach pain.

Thuja was listed in the US Pharmacopoeia as a diuretic to enhance urine flow and as a treatment to stimulate the functions of the uterus. It was used as incense by the ancient people. Thuja is also used in making pest repellants, shoe polish, perfumes and furniture polishes.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Thuja essential oil:

Thuja oil consists of camphene, alpha-thujone, beta-thujone, delta-sabinene, alpha-pinene, camphone, bornyl acetate, terpinenol and fenchone. These chemical components contribute to its therapeutic values like emmenagogue, stimulant, anti-rheumatic, diuretic, rubefacient, astringent, tonic, febrifuge, expectorant, vermifuge and insect repellant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Thuja essential oil:

Ayurveda means the ‘science of life’ or the ‘knowledge of life’. This incredible healing system is treating humanity for more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda is adorably called as the mother of all healing sciences just because the other popular healing practices like Siddha, Homeopathy, Unani, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) are all the branches of the Ayurvedic tree. The success behind this sacred healing methodology is its intimate connection with ‘Mother Nature’.

Human beings are a part of nature according to Ayurvedic philosophy and it strongly insists that a disciplined life style along with the use of herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga and spiritual oneness is the secret behind healthy aging and longevity. Anything that makes use of natural remedies automatically falls under the Ayurvedic wing and paves way for prevention of diseases and complete well-being.

Health according to Ayurvedic texts is the combination of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. It defines that every individual has a unique constitution made of three biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha dosha. Every one of us will have a predominance of any one of these doshas deciding our physical, mental and behavioral qualities. Perfect balance between these doshas means that a person is hale and hearty and imbalance of these doshas leads to illnesses.

Ayurvedic remedies are focused towards striking an ideal balance between these doshas as these energies are responsible for controlling our metabolic functions, nervous system, lymphatic system, functions of the brain, respiratory system, excretory system and the circulatory system. Thuja herb and its essential oil are commonly used in Ayurveda for treating many diseases and is said to pacify kapha and pitta dosha and increase vata dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Thuja essential oil are:

thujawood-broucher1. Treats menstrual discomforts:

Thuja is one among the best natural remedies for treating menstrual problems. Vata dosha is responsible for the process of elimination from the body like sweat, urine, feces and menstrual fluids. As this oil aggravates vata energy, it has been proven effective in treating delayed menstruation, blocked periods and promoting regular menstruation in case of very little flow during periods.

Apart from this, Thuja oil is also powerful in alleviating other symptoms of menses like severe pain in the abdomen, nausea, fatigue, cramps and loss of temper. Thuja is a popular homeopathic remedy for dealing with menstrual disorders and ovarian cysts.

You can add 2 drops of Thuja oil to warm bathing water or mix 1 drop of Thuja oil with 10 drops of sesame oil and gently massage on your lower abdomen to treat menstrual pain, fatigue, nausea and restlessness.

2. Alleviates serious skin problems:

Thuja essential oil extracted from its leaves, wood and root is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for treating warts including genital warts and venereal warts. HPV is the human pappiloma virus that is responsible for genital warts. It’s been found that there are about 1 million new HPV cases every year and about 15 to 40% of the adult population is affected by HPV in the United States.

Thuja essential oil has been proved effective in treating warts by stimulating the immune system and making it defensive against viruses and in treating the existing cells that are virally affected. Notably, this herb was used externally in the form of ointment or tincture for treating venereal warts, ringworm, warts and thrush in the 19th century.

Blend 2 drops of Thuja oil with 15 to 20 drops of Olive oil and apply topically on the affected areas for quick relief. This blend is commonly used in Homeopathic medicine for treating warts and it is also recommended for treating other skin problems like itching, aging spots, syphilis, distorted nails, burns, bed sores, psoriasis, eczema and vaginal infections.

3. Relieves rheumatic pain:

Excess deposits of fluids, salt, uric acid, toxins and improper blood circulation are the major causes for rheumatic pain, arthritis, inflammation and gout. Excess kapha is responsible for stagnation of water and other fluids in the body and decreased vata leads to improper blood circulation.

Thuja oil works by reducing kapha and promoting vata dosha. Gently massaging 2 drops of Thuja oil mixed with 15 drops of coconut oil promotes blood circulation and helps in relieving pain, reduce inflammation and promote the elimination of salts, excess water, uric and other toxins through urine.

4. Eliminates harmful toxins:

Ayurvedic texts state that accumulation of ama or toxins in the body is the primary cause for numerous health conditions like obesity, acne, renal calculi, urinary infections, prostate problems, digestive disorders, intestinal worms, respiratory problems and heart diseases.

Thuja is a promising detoxifier, astringent and diuretic that aids in eliminating the harmful toxins and other excessive deposits like salt, uric acid etc., through urine and purify the blood stream. Mix 2 to 3 drops of Thuja oil with 20 drops of sesame oil in massage or add 2 drops in hot compress or bathing water or in your vaporizer for getting rid of toxins.

This oil also assists in killing bacteria and viruses responsible for many diseases. Thuja oil also acts as and expectorant and helps in relieving cold, cough, bronchitis, chronic sinusitis, asthma and other respiratory problems due to congestive heart failure. Add 2 drops of Thuja oil in steam inhalation and gently rub your chest, neck and back with 2 drops of this oil blended with 15 drops of warm coconut oil for good relief from respiratory problems.

5. Stimulates the entire system:

Thuja acts as a tonic to the entire system by stimulating the functions of digestive system, excretory system, nervous system and endocrinal system. It promotes the secretion of gastric juices, bile, hormones and other enzymes in the body. This oil also aids in regenerating the growth of red blood cells and white blood cells that are responsible for the body’s immune power.

Thuja essential oil has a strong and appealing aroma, when added (2 drops) to your burner, diffuser or vaporizer during meditation, prayer, exercise or your leisure time can make your body resistant to diseases and your mind against stress and worries.

Other uses: Apart from these health benefits, Thuja essential oil is also used in making perfumes, cold rubs, soaps, cosmetics, cologne, insect repellants, household cleaners, cold rubs and toiletries.

Disclaimer: Never take essential oils internally. Remember to dilute essential oils before external use as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Thuja essential oil is an abortifacient and it should not be used by pregnant women and nursing mothers. Always consult your Ayurvedic physician before using suitable essential oils for your unique health condition and individual constitution. This is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to diagnose or replace any prescribed medication or medical supervision.

Thought for the day:

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong-Winston Churchill

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism By Julia Lawless
  2. How to Remove Warts, Moles and Skin Tags: Your Comprehensive Guide to Safe and Effective Removal By Patricia Santhuff
  3. Vaccinosis and its cure by Thuja By J. Compton Burnett

Reference Links:

  1. Thuja by Wikipedia
  2. Thuja by The American Cancer Society
  3. Thuja for the Treatment of Warts by eHow Health
  4. Phytoconstituents and Therapeutic potential of Thuja occidentalis Kumar Brijesh, Rani Ruchi, Das Sanjita, Das Saumya published in Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences
  5. Thuja occidentalis (Arbor vitae): A Review of its Pharmaceutical, Pharmacological and Clinical Properties Belal Naser, Cornelia Bodinet, […], and Ulrike Lindequist published in PubMed