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

Jatamansi Oil



Jatamansi-bannerRespected as a divine herb in Ayurveda, Jatamansi is used as a tonic for the brain and the nervous system. It has been suggested by numerous Ayurvedic texts for treating sleeping troubles, depression, stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome and nervous problems.

Charaka Samhita, the celebrated Ayurvedic Encyclopedia recommends Jatamansi herb for improving memory power, treating insomnia, hysteria and mental instability. Scientifically known as Nardostachys jatamansi, this herb is known as Balchara or Mamsi in Ayurveda and is also known by other names like Indian Spikenard, Nardus root, Jaila, Musk root, Nardin and Nard.

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Historical uses of Jatamansi and its essential oil:

Indigenous to the Himalayas, Jatamansi grows up to 1 m at an altitude of 3,000 to 5,000 feet. This plant bears red, pink or blue color flowers and has been used in various traditional medicines for its medicinal and aromatic rhizomes.

There are many Biblical references of this herb and it is used to represent St. Joseph in the Catholic iconography. It is mentioned in the New Testament where Mary, the sister of Lazarus uses a pint of pure Jatamansi oil to anoint the holy feet of Jesus Christ. It is also noted in the Song of Solomon as nard and is included in the coat of arms of Pope Francis in reference to St. Joseph.

Jatamansi oil was an important part of the Ayurvedic tradition since the primordial times where the medicated oil is known to cure insomnia, digestive problems, epilepsy, hysteria, weak mental health, improper blood circulation and as a tonic to the entire system. This herb was used as a diuretic and as a herb for the heath of heart and liver in Unani medicine.

The powdered rhizomes of Jatamansi were taken internally to treat hepatitis, infertility, menstrual disorders, cleanse the uterus, mental agitation, enhance the appetite and helpful in the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Jatamansi was also used by renowned Physicians like Dioscorides and Apicius. The Persian and Arabian Physicians praised this herb as Sumbul-i-Hindi. The medicated Nard oil was offered on the precious incense altar when Tabernacle was positioned in the First and Second temples of Jerusalem.

Spikenard or Jatamansi was also used as a flavoring agent in the ancient Roman cuisines and as a seasoning in the Medieval European food varieties. It is used in making attars, perfume (L’eau De Jatamansi), incense sticks, hair care products and numerous beauty products. Jatamansi is also used along with certain other herbs in Vedic prayers performed with fire since the ancient period.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Jatamansi oil:

The principal constituents of Jatamansi oil are valeranone, nardostachone, bornyl acetate, jatamansinol, dihydrojatamansin, isobornyl, terpineol, jatamansinone, tetramenthyloxatricylodecanol, oroselone, aromadendrene, Menthylthymyl-ether, nardosinone, seselin, nardostachyin, valeranal, cineol-1,8, spirojatamol and jatamansic acid and few other coumarins. The remedial properties of this oil are nervine, antiseptic, diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, tonic, anti-pyretic, deodorant, fungicidal, sedative, anti-depressant and calmative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Jatamansi essential oil:

Ayurveda is a righteous science that trusts that every creature on earth is a part of nature and it believes that one’s illness and wellness depends upon their balance or imbalance with nature. Ayurvedic texts strongly state that human body is a temple where the spirit dwells in, so it is very important to keep the body, mind and spirit clean and composed just like preserving a place of worship.

Ayurveda is called as a holistic healing methodology as it approaches health as being mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually fit. It is for this reason; Ayurvedic physicians recommend herbs, essential oils, yoga, physical exercises, balanced diet, meditation, Ayurvedic routine and prayers to keep one hale and hearty.

Every individual is treated in a unique manner even if they are affected by the same illness because the theory of Ayurveda identifies every human being as a unique part of nature and as a distinct creation with a unique individual constitution. This constitution is built up of three major bio-energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta. These doshas govern various functions of our body and imbalance of these energies cause sickness.

Each and every human being has a predominance of any one these Ayurvedic body types that determine their personality, physique, mental attributes, behavior and preferences. Ayurvedic remedies aim at balancing the dosha imbalances as perfect balance between these doshas are a clear sign of healthy and heartiness.

Jatamansi is a promising Ayurvedic remedy that has the potent to pacify all the three doshas, especially pitta and kapha energies.

And it’s time to look at the amazing Ayurvedic health benefits of Jatamansi essential oil.jatamansi-broucher-11. Alleviates depression, stress and insomnia:

The rhizomes of Jatamansi herb have strong anti-depressant properties that calms the mind, relaxes the body and grants absolute peace to the entire system. 2 drops of Jatamansi oil added to your diffuser, burner, vaporizer or to bathing water is said to alleviate depression, chronic stress, anxiety, insomnia and tension.

Blend 5 drops of this oil with 2.5 ml of sesame oil and massage your body for relieving from chronic fatigue syndrome, nervous headache, negative feelings, sleeping difficulties, lack of self-confidence and sluggishness. Jatamansi is loved as a herb for the mind and emotions with its anti-depressant, anti-stress and antioxidant properties that help in lessening oxidative stress thus mitigating chronic fatigue syndrome.

Since the traditional times, several studies have proved the effectiveness of Jatamansi as a promising de-stressing and sedative agent by increasing the rest time. A 2012 study on ‘Nardostachys jatamansi protects against cold restraint stress induced central monoaminergic and oxidative changes in rats’ stated that this herb has potent anti-stress qualities representing its therapeutic significance in disorders related to stress.

A 2008 study on ‘Inhibition of MAO and GABA: probable mechanisms for antidepressant-like activity of Nardostachys jatamansi DC. in mice’ revealed that the ethanolic extracts of Jatamansi emerges to be a potent anti-depressive means when compared to reference drugs like Sertaline and Imipramine in decreasing depressive signs in mice. This study also state that “the extract may have potential therapeutic value for the management of mental depression.”

2. Tonic to your intellect:

Jatamansi and its essential oil have been used in many Ayurvedic preparations as a neuro-protective agent and brain tonic for improving memory power, cognitive performance and thinking capacity. It has been trusted to promote intellectual power, improve mental weaknesses, instability and mental sluggishness.

A 2006 study on ‘Nardostachys jatamansi improves learning and memory in mic’e by Joshi and Parle, Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, India proved that Jatamansi extracts significantly enhanced memory power and learning in both aged and young mice.

This study also reiterates the clinically proven use of Jatamansi herb in Ayurveda as an antioxidant, anti-ischemic, neuro-protective and anticonvulsant agent and it also states that Jatamansi can also be used as a memory uplifting agent in the healing of dementia in elderly people.

You can wear 1 drop of Jatamansi oil on your wrist, handkerchief or a tissue paper at the time of studying or in your room whenever you feel like refreshing your mind power. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in air freshener, diffuser, burner or vaporizer for adding muscles to your brain power and intellect.

3. Puts an end to hostile and obstinate behaviors:

The essential oil of Jatamansi has calming, soothing, cooling, restoring and relaxing qualities that assist in holding back the burning sensation of the mind and body. Being a natural coolant that calms pitta or the fire energy, Jatamansi essential oil can work wonders in controlling your negative emotions like anger, aggressiveness, stubborn behaviors, tension and intimidating attributes.

Adding 2 drops of Jatamansi oil in warm bathing water or in your diffuser or aromatic lamp can effectively control resentment by tranquilizing your mind and body. You can also opt for a calming massage by blending 5 drops of Jatamansi oil with 2.5 ml sesame oil.

4. Treats nervous disorders:

Jatamansi is held high in Ayurveda as a powerful neuro-protective agent that calms vata energy, clears pitta force and decreases kapha dosha. By this way, Jatamansi nourishes and cools the worn out and burning nervous system.

It aids in treating various nervous disorders along with bipolar disorders, delusions and certain other psychological problems. Jatamansi have been clinically proven effective since the primeval period in the treatment of epilepsy, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, nervous breakdown and hysteria.

Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging is the best method to use Jatamansi for treating nervous disorders. Mix 5 drops of Jatamansi oil with 2.5 ml of coconut oil and massage it gently on the affected parts. The deep penetrating quality of this oil supports in improving nervous problems.

5. Relieves respiratory problems:

Jatamansi oil has the potent to reduce kapha energy, the excess of which is responsible for the creation of mucus and phlegm. This oil assists in expelling the excess mucous deposits and phlegm accumulated in the chest, nasal passages and respiratory tract.

Adding 2 drops of Jatamansi oil to 1ml of coconut oil or your cold rub and massaging it on your throat, back and chest can aid in opening up blocked nasal passages, clear chest congestion, treat cough and cold, spasmodic cough, asthma, whooping cough and sinusitis. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation for quick relief from respiratory troubles.

6. Reduces heart palpitations and convulsions:

Palpitations of the heart are caused when vata energy shoves pitta dosha and leads it to rush through the channels characterized by unnoticed skipped beats, increased heart rate, breathing difficulty and dizziness.

The oil of Jatamansi is used in the treatment of palpitations of the heart and convulsions mainly because of its anti-convulsive and anti-arrhythmic activity. 2 drops of Jatamansi oil added to warm foot bath or bathing water or gently massaged on the affected area after blending it with 1 ml olive oil can ease tension and grant relief from convulsions and palpitations.

Other health benefits:

Jatamansi is indeed a miraculous part of nature that has innumerable healing properties ingrained in it. The essential oil of Jatamansi has been used as a uterus stimulant for promoting menstruation, cleansing the uterus, treating dysmennorhea and inflammation of the uterus. It was also used as an aphrodisiac in treating impotence and seminal debility. It is also known for promoting the growth of hair, retain its natural color and slow down the process of graying.

Jatamansi oil is a natural antiseptic that assists in healing wounds, eczema, burns, rashes, allergies and certain other skin infections due the infestation of microbes like bacteria and fungi. It is also effective in the treatment of renal colic, liver enlargement, hepatitis, jaundice, pancreatitis, fever and lung problems.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not destined to substitute any professional medical advice or prescribed medication. Never take essential oils internally and use it topically in a diluted form only, as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and can harm you if used in a concentrated form. Remember to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the appropriate essential oil for your health condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.     -Victor Hugo

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurvedic Herbs: A Clinical Guide to the Healing Plants of Traditional Indian Medicine by Virginia M Tyler, M.S. Premila
  2. THE COMPLETE BOOK ON JATROPHA (BIO-DIESEL) WITH ASHWAGANDHA, STEVIA, BRAHMI & JATAMANSI HERBS (CULTIVATION, PROCESSING & USES) by NIIR BOARD OF CONSULTANTS AND ENGINEERS
  3. Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way: Creating Happiness with Meditation, Yoga, and Ayurveda by Nancy Liebler, Sandra Moss
  4. The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook: Forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health by David Simon M.D., Deepak Chopra M.D.
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) by Wikipedia
  2. Nardostachys jatamansi by Examine.com
  3. Benefits of Jatamansi by Ayurveda Yogashram
  4. Inhibition of MAO and GABA: probable mechanisms for antidepressant-like activity of Nardostachys jatamansi DC. in mice by Dhingra D, Goyal PK, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, India published in PubMed
  5. Nardostachys jatamansi protects against cold restraint stress induced central monoaminergic and oxidative changes in rats by Lyle N, Chakrabarti S, Sur T, Gomes A, Bhattacharyya D, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, India published in PubMed

Lemon Essential Oil



Lemon-bannerReferred to as ‘Golden Apple’ in the Indian subcontinent, Lemon is a universal remedy for many health disorders and is often called as a panacea for its ability to heal the mind and the body in manifold ways. The essential oil of Lemon is cold pressed from the external rind or peel of the Lemon fruits.

Known as Nimbuka, Jambira and Dantashata in Ayurveda, Lemon is a popular Ayurvedic remedy that is used in medicine, food and also in the process of purification. It is used for stimulating the nervous system, improve concentration power, enhance immunity, purify blood and support digestion.

Lemon and its essential oil is a popular ingredient of many Ayurvedic weight loss remedies and lemon juice taken with lukewarm water in empty stomach in the morning is said to reduce fat deposits and eliminate toxins from the body.

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Historical importance of Lemon and its essential oil:

The real origin of Lemon lies as a mystery and it is said that Lemon is indigenous to India, Myanmar and China. The first historical mark of Lemon was in 90 BC where it was used to shower a high priest in a festival of Jews in Jerusalem though certain sources say that Lemon has been used since 800 BC.

It was introduced to Europe in the 1st century AD during the Roman reign and slowly spread to other parts of the world like Persia, Egypt and Iraq.  It is also said that Lemon was grown as an ornamental plant in the primordial Islamic gardens.

Affluent Victorians grew Lemon trees in their gardens as a symbol of high regard and for garlanding their estates with the naturally refreshing aroma of citrus trees. Serving Lemon wedges along with tea during their tea dances in the afternoon was a popular custom in their tradition.

It was Christopher Columbus who introduced Lemon to America by bringing Lemon seeds to the Island of Haiti during his voyages in 1493. Botanically known as Citrus limon, Lemon is a hybrid of citron and sour orange.

The most notable use of Lemon in the history was its use as a promising protection against scurvy by sailors all over the world. This was endorsed by James Lind, the celebrated Naval Surgeon in his book ‘Treatise on Scurvy’.

Chemical components or Gas Chromatography Report of Lemon essential oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lemon oil constitutes of 5 major chemical components that contribute to its fresh citrusy fragrance, remedial values and distinct quality. Lemon oil is enriched with about 67.6 percent of Limonene constituent.

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For knowing more about the elite information of these top constituents of Lemon essential oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the primary chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic values and other attributes to Lemon essential oil.

Lemon-OilTherapeutic properties of Lemon essential oil:

The remedial properties of Lemon essential oil are antiviral, antibacterial, immune stimulant, digestive, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, calming, diuretic, expectorant, astringent, anti-anemic, detoxifying, antioxidant, tonic and antidepressant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemon essential oil:

Ayurvedic healing dates back to more than 5000 years and it is the oldest of all medicinal systems on earth.  Lemon has been an important part of Ayurvedic treatments in many forms. The top ways to start a refreshing Ayurvedic life begins with the use of Lemon in lukewarm water as this therapy is said to cleanse the system, clear impurities in the blood and energize the mind and the body.

Human being is a unique creation and Ayurveda adorns the beauty of an individual constitution that differentiates each and every individual with a unique physical and mental setup. This uniqueness is determined by the combination of the three biological energies known as doshas.

They are vata, pitta and kapha. Vata dosha is responsible for blood circulation, creative thinking, metabolic functions and the process of elimination. Pitta energy governs body temperature, digestive fire, leadership skills and perfection. Kapha dosha lies behind the movement of fluids in the body, love and affection and body mass.

Predominance of any one of these doshas determines character, personality and behavioral attributes. Dosha balance contributes to good health and imbalance of doshas indicates illness.

Ayurveda sticks to nature and trusts that natural remedies are the best ways of healing human beings as they are an incredible part of nature. Ayurvedic therapies are unique for every individual and are focused towards treating dosha imbalances.

Ayurvedic remedies are often aimed at treating the five senses of human body. They are the sense of sight, sense of smell, sense of taste, sense of touch and sense of sound. Lemon is by far the best Ayurvedic remedy that has the power to retreat and recharge the four vital senses of the human body.

Lemon and its essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata energy and aggravate pitta dosha.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemon essential oil in the order of the five senses of human beings.Lemon-broucher1. Sense of sight:

The very sight of Lemon gives energy, confidence and inner strength. This is because the bright yellow color of Lemon indicates brilliance, cheerfulness, brightness and sunshine. These are the symbols of potency and real power paving way for improvement in one’s health physically and mentally. Healing through the sense of sight is known as color therapy in Ayurveda.

This holistic healing methodology states that every color has various impacts on the physiological and psychological attributes of mankind. Yellow color of Lemon and its essential oil according to Ayurveda has the power to promote clarity of mind, grants motivation, enhances the energy level, augments communication and instills the power of winning. So the next time, when you are feeling down and depressed, just look at the ‘Golden apple’ (lemon) that has the power to mend your mind to peace and prosperity.

2. Sense of smell:

Aroma plays a vital role in uplifting the body and mind. By inhaling the aroma of Lemon essential oil, the therapeutic molecules in the oil reach the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages, where limbic system is the body’s control center that controls feelings, emotions and the corresponding behaviors.

The citrusy, fresh, energizing and enlivening aroma of Lemon essential oil spreads positive energy, calms the mind, grants mental clarity, treats anxiety, fatigue, nervous tension, dizziness, improves concentration, instills hopefulness and assists in weight loss when 2 drops of this oil is added to aromatic lamps, diffuser, air freshener, vaporizer or burner.

A 2004 study published in Brain Research stated that Lemon essential oil may contain pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing properties. When used in steam inhalation, Lemon oil aids in opening blocked nasal passages and clear chest congestion. The revivifying fragrance of Lemon oil makes it a favorite flavor in household cleaners, disinfectants, soaps, shampoos and detergents.

3. Sense of taste:

The best way to take Lemon internally is to drink the fresh juice. Ayurvedic therapies like Chardi Nivarana and Kaphotlesha suggests drinking lemon juice during nausea, vomiting, excessive salivation, gastritis, heaviness in the stomach and sluggish bowel movements. This helps in eliminating the excess deposits of kapha in the stomach.

Lemon is also called as Amadoshahara where ama is the toxic substances in the body. Drinking lemon juice is a proven Ayurvedic remedy for eliminating ama, which is a result of indigestion and improper absorption of nutrients.

Drinking lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey in the morning in empty stomach is said to treat obesity by stimulating the bowel movements and burning the excess fat deposits in the body. Lime has diuretic properties and it helps in expelling the excess fluids in the body causing obesity through urine and sweat.

4. Sense of touch:

Ayurvedic massaging or Abhyanga is an important therapy in Ayurveda for healing numerous illnesses and for eliminating the toxic substances from the body. Abhyanga is the art of maneuvering the body with hands, legs, elbows and certain other massaging equipments. The success of an Ayurvedic massage therapy lies in choosing the right massaging technique along with right essential oils that suits your health condition and unique individual constitution.

Treating through the sense of touch means using essential oils and herbal medications on the skin as skin is the best organ through which the therapeutic properties of these natural remedies penetrate deeply into the bloodstream.

(i) As topical application:

Lemon oil is an excellent remedy for treating skin problems like acne, rough skin, dull skin, oily skin, wounds, pigmentation, cold sores, cellulites, warts, varicose veins and sun tan. The antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, antiviral and soothing properties of this oil assist in rejuvenating and toning the skin naturally by improving blood circulation. Skin care specialist Lia Schorr says that using Lemon oil mixed with glycerin can assist in treating rough patches on the knee, feet, hands and elbows.

Blend 2 drops of Lemon oil with 15 drops of Jojoba oil and apply it topically on pimples, boils, pustules, blackheads and whiteheads. It helps in removing excess oil, eliminate impurities in the skin and clears acne on regular use. You can also apply this blend on cold sores, tanned skin, dull skin and rough skin.

(ii) As Ayurvedic massage oil: Gently massaging your abdomen with 3 drops of Lemon oil mixed with 20 to 25 drops of coconut can help in treating dysentery, intestinal parasites, gas, flatulence, nausea, food poisoning, stomach upset, acidity, cramps and heartburn.

Massaging your chest, throat, foot soles and back with this blend can assist in treating throat infections, tonsillitis, fever, flu, cough and cold. The disinfectant, antiviral and expectorant properties of Lemon oil aid in controlling the growth of viruses responsible for cold, arrests infections and helps expel phlegm and mucous deposits in the body. This is due to the kapha pacifying property of Lemon essential oil.

Gently massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Lemon oil blended with Almond oil can help in controlling dandruff, moisturize the scalp, and augment the strength, volume and shine of your hair with its tonic and stimulating properties.

(iii) As bath oil: 3 to 4 drops of Lemon essential oil added to warm bathing water helps in relaxing your muscles, alleviate stress, lessen depression, promote good sleep, induce peace of mind, wipe away negative feelings, enhance skin health, detoxify the body, cleanse the digestive system and treat respiratory ailments.

(iv) As cold or warm compress: Few drops of Lemon essential oil added to cold or warm compress can help treating acne scars, pain, inflammation, headache, fever, congestion and stomach ache.

5. Partnering with the sense of sound:

Healing through the sense of sound means listening to appeasing music and reciting mantras and slogans that would enrich one’s spiritual values. Add 2 drops of Lemon essential oil to your vaporizer, burner or diffuser during your meditation time or while practicing yoga with the background of soothing instrumental music. This is a simple and an effective remedy for staying refreshed, uplifted and re-energized throughout the day.

Inhaling the invigorating aroma of Lemon essential oil during prayers, chanting mantras or reciting holy books can augment your oneness with the Divine power and pacify your mind and aura simultaneously. Feeling down? Then it’s not a bad idea to listen to motivational tapes with the company of the magical Lemon aroma around you. Add 1 drop of Lemon essential oil to your hanky or wear it on your wrist and you’ll be amazed to see the energy flow from within along with the motivational speech.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils internally as pure essential oils are highly concentrated in nature. Dilute it in suitable carrier oils before using them externally. Do not go out in sun as soon as using Lemon oil because this oil has phototoxic effect just like other citrus essential oils and can harm your skin due to the exposure to ultra violet rays.

This article is for educational purpose only and is not intended to replace any expert advice or prescribed medicines. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the appropriate essential oils for your unique constitution and health condition.

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

Gas Chromatography Report of Lemon essential oil.

Lemon Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

lemon-new

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

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Lemon essential oil is witnessed as one among the photosensitizing citrus oils that may cause burning sensation, irritation, hyperpigmentation (discoloration of the skin surface) and other changes due to its effect of stimulating the photosensitivity of the skin, when exposed to visible light from the sun up to 12 hours of use. The primary reason is the reaction of the photoactive chemical components that absorbs light and leads to toxicity via molecular alterations in the skin.

The chief chemical component accountable for the skin sensitizing and other dermal effects of Lemon oil is Limonene and few other furanocoumarins.

Certain studies (like the 1994 study on the ‘Occupation Contact Dermatitis from Citrus fruits’ and a 2006 study on ‘Skin Diseases in Workers at a Perfume factory’) on the adverse skin reactions of using the essential oil of Citrus limon reports few cases, including the incidence of allergic contact dermatitis with the use of Lemon rind oil in the workers of the perfume industry. Patch testing also witnessed certain allergic effects on using Lemon rind oil.

Research reveals that Lemon oil has furocoumarin derivatives like oxypeucedanin and bergapten; however the phototoxic effect of oxypeucedanin was just 1 quarter of that of bergapten. It is also stated that these components are the major cause of concern behind the phototoxicity of Lemon essential oil. This study also states that oxypeucedanin educes photo pigmentation on the skin of colored-guinea-pig prior to visible erythema.

It is also stated that the quantity of these 2 phototoxic components in Lemon oils from various countries differed by about a factor greater than 20 (bergapten, 4-87 ppm; oxypeucedanin, 26-728 ppm (parts per million), with a wavering ratio.

The safe dilution use level of Lemon oil, a potential phototoxic essential oil is 2%, which is about 12 drops per ounce of any carrier oils, according to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). This applies only for products employed for dermal use to prevent phototoxicity and is not valid for wash-off items like shampoos, soaps and other bath products.

Lemon oil has ‘Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)’authorization by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). As per the European decree, essential oils containing furanocoumarins can be used provided the aggregate level of bergapten does not exceed 15 ppm in cosmetic products that are ready-to-use on the skin, which is prone to be exposed to direct sunlight sans wash-away items and 1 ppm in bronzing and sunscreen products.

On a lighter note, Furocoumarins are also used in remedial practices along with the long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for curing psoriasis, mycosis fungoides and vitiligo.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Lemon Oil:

  1. A study of the phototoxicity of lemon oil by Naganuma M, Hirose S and Nakayama Y, Nakajima K and Someya T, published in the Archives of Dermatological Research and PubMed
  2. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  3. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  4. Citrus limon, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  5. Lemon oil side effects by WebMD
  6. Safety Information on Essential Oils by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

Thought for the day:

When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

– Dale Carnegie

Suggested Reading:

  1. HEALING POWERS OF LEMON OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  2. Lemon: 50 Plus Recipes for Skin Care, Hair Care, Home and Laundry Cleaning along with Lemonade, Vegan, Curd, Chicken, Cookies, Cakes and Desserts by Pamesh Y
  3. How to Use Lemon Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. 35 Health Benefits of Lemon – Ayurveda Details by Dr JV Hebbar MD (Ayu) in Easy Ayurveda
  2. Lemon by Wikipedia
  3. Health Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil by Alternative Medicine, About.Com
  4. The Benefits of Lemon Oil on Skin by Livestrong.Com

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