Cucumber Oil



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

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

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

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

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Historical uses and importance of Cucumber and its essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Cucumber oil:

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

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cucumber oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The other significant Ayurvedic health benefits of Cucumber oil are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other health benefits:

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

– By Pedro Calderon de la Barca.

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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

Basil Oil



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

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

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

Historical uses and importance of Basil oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a) Relieves pain and eliminates toxic substances:

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

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

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

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

b) Skin disorders and hair problems:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

d) Reduces fever:

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

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

2. In steam inhalation:

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

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

3. In burners or vaporizers:

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

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

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

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

4. In oral rinse and compresses:

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

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

5. Other uses:

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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

Cade Oil



Cade-oil-bannerWell known in ancient India as one of the best natural remedies for dandruff, damaged hair due to bleaching, dyeing etc, and hair fall, Cade oil is a significant Ayurvedic oil for treating skin and hair problems. It is also called by other names like Juniper tar, Prickly cedar, Sharp cedar, Cade Juniper and Prickly Juniper and is scientifically known as Juniperus oxycedrus. This small tree is a member of the Cypress family, Cupressaceae.

Cade essential oil is extracted from the branches and heartwood of the tree by steam distillation method. Ayurveda recommends Cade and its essential oil in the treatment of various skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, scabies and skin eruptions along with burning hair problems like hair fall, dandruff and other hair damages.

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Historical uses and importance of Cade and its essential oil:

Ancient people of various traditions in the prehistoric times believed that Cade helped them in keeping away from sickness, depressing emotions, negative thoughts and from evil spirits as well. Cade was also used in pagan rituals in Sumeria and Babylonia as a sacrifice to the Gods, while Inanna and Ishtar considered this herb to be holy. The Europeans however considered Cade as a medicinal plant and used it to protect life stock.

The word ‘oxycedrus’ means “sharp cedar” and this particular species is considered to be the Cedrus or the original Cedar of the ancient Greeks. Cade is said to have been originated in the Mediterranean region across Portugal and Morocco, south to Lebanon and Israel, east to westernmost Iran and France and grows up to a height of 1600 m altitude above the sea level on rocky areas.

The Native Americans used it to treat ailments in animals. Many experts refer to the Juniper tree as a source of protection with perfect loveliness and succor, which are the terms derived from the plant language. Towards the 19th century, the French adopted Cade as well and began the use of the same in the treatment of lice, leprosy, skin infections, snake bites and toothaches.

As of today, modern aromatherapy use Cade oil to treat various kinds of skin infections like dandruff, scalp infections accompanied by hair loss, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin irritations/eruptions. Due to its skin and hair benefiting properties that help in treating scalp and skin problems, Cade is used in the manufacturing of soaps, lotions, creams and perfumes, and of course these products do have a wonderful aroma as well.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cade oil:

Cade oil is said to contain cadinene, creosol, cadinol, p-creosol, terpenes and guaiacol. The major healing properties of this oil are antiseptic, analgesic, antimicrobial, antipruritic, disinfectant, anti-parasitic, vermifuge and vulnerary.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cade essential oil:

The word Ayurveda (Ayur + Veda) means ‘the knowledge of life’ (Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge). Celebrated across the globe as the world’s oldest healing methodology, Ayurveda is lovingly beckoned as the mother of all healing sciences and the most popular medicinal practices that followed Ayurveda are Homeopathy, Siddha, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Allopathy, European Traditional medicine, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Unani.

The most inspiring reason behind the progressive lead of Ayurvedic medicine is its holistic healing approach that states that health is a combination of the physical, mental and spiritual well-being. This noble fact has been highlighted in Charaka Samhita, one among the oldest Ayurvedic encyclopedia as ““The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

Ayurvedic medicine rooted the principles of natural healing by treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms and aims at prevention of diseases by helping to lead a disciplined lifestyle and by maintaining perfect balance with nature. According to Ayurveda, everything on earth is a part of nature and nature by itself is made up of five vital elements namely water, earth, space, air and fire.

Earth represents bones and muscles, water stands for blood and other fluids in the body, fire is responsible for metabolic functions and body temperature, air aids in breathing and space is the spirit that keeps us alive.

Every human being on earth is a unique creation built up with a unique individual constitution just like our fingerprints. This constitution comprises of three dynamic energies called as doshas, which are an arrangement of the five vital elements of nature.

Vata dosha stands for air and space and takes care of respiration, circulation and nervous functions of the body. Pitta dosha symbolizes fire and water and is in charge of metabolic functions and body temperature.

Kapha represents water and earth and is responsible for physical structure, sustenance and reproductive health. Every individual has a predominance of any one dosha, which decides their personality, traits and behavioral attributes.

Perfect balance between these doshas as per nature’s law signifies health and doshic imbalances cause illnesses.Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, prayer, Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma, Pranayama and other Ayurvedic techniques for fostering natural balance between these doshas.

Cade oil finds its use in Ayurveda for treating vata imbalances including skin disorders and hair problems and kapha problems like bronchitis and congestion. It serves good for the treatment of itching, pneumonia, diarrhea, diabetes, peptic ulcer, high blood pressure, bronchitis, and many more.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Cade oil are:

cade-oil-broucher1. Excellent benefits to the skin and hair:

Cade oil has numerous benefits to the skin and hair for which it has been used since the ancient period for treating health problems including dermatological cancers, eczema, psoriasis, skin eruptions, parasitic and fungal infections on the skin, chronic rhinitis and other skin infections.

Cade oil is also a proven remedy for treating alopecia or excessive hair loss, dandruff and other scalp problems. It is for these reasons, Cade oil is used as an effective formula in making ointments for treating wounds, psoriasis, eczema, and the treatment of fungal, viral and bacterial conditions of the scalp.

Numerous studies have proved the potential effects of Cade oil and its use in medicinal manufacturing of skin creams, ointments, and anti- dandruff shampoos as well. Cade essential oil is used as an ingredient in liniments and ointments for chronic skin diseases and problems of the scalp.

Mixing 4 drops of Cade oil blended with 4 drops of Rosemary oil, 4 drops of Thyme oil, 4 drops of Cedarwood oil with 20 ml coconut oil can be used as an effective massage blend for the body for treating all kinds of skin problems, allergies, microbial infections and hair problems as well. This massaging helps in fighting against dead skin cells, promoting quicker healing of wounds, and its disinfectant properties fights against microbes that worsen skin infections.

2 drops of Cade oil added to bathing water or to 10 ml of mild shampoo can act as a potent remedy for treating psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, seborrhea, wounds, herpes, dandruff, lice, loss of hair and other scalp problems as it works by nourishing the skin and scalp, promoting the growth of hair by enriching the hair follicles and support the growth of healthy hair by combating the growth of infectious microbes.

Cade oil hair mask for dandruff: To start with, try it out only for few applications and check the results. Make the mixture using the following ingredients, 1tsp castor oil, ½ tsp soya oil, 10 drops of Cade oil and 2 drops of wheat germ oil. Now mix all the ingredients and store in a dark bottle. Massage this oil deeply into the scalp as required.

Leave it at least for 2 hours and wash it off using a mild shampoo. Try it twice a week and do check with your medical expert on your diet, as hair loss and other scalp disorders can also be related to other dietary and other lifestyle changes.

2. Fights against microbial infections:

The essential oil of Cade is a well-known anti-microbial oil and the antimicrobial activity of Juniperus oxycedrus oil was studied through aqueous and methanol extracts of its leaves in the Pelitli Village of Gebze, Kocaeli, in the Marmara region of Turkey, where Cade was extensively used by the people of the same terrain for the treatment of numerous diseases. The effects of the extracts from the tree were employed in its research in the field of medicine.

Cade essential oil is dark, aromatic and smells like smoke. This oil is also used as mixtures in cosmetics and creams employed in medicinal applications for skin problems. A 2003 study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L,’ was conducted on the laboratory strains belonging to 56 bacterial species, and 31 isolates of 5 fungi species.

This study proves that the methanol extract of Cade oil proved promising in the inhibitory effects on the growth of 57 strains of 24 bacterial species in the genera of PseudomonasStaphylococcus, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Brucella, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Micrococcus and Xanthomonas.

Another Egyptian study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity/Cytotoxic activity of essential oils of leaves and berries of Cade oil’, witnessed that Cade oil showed major activity against most of the tested strains including gram positive bacteria like Enterobacter cloacae and Staphylococcus aureus, and gram negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas syringae etc.,

The best way to use Cade oil for fighting against bacteria, fungi, virus and other microbial infections is to add 3 to 4 drops of Cade oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil in bathing water to fight against existing microbial infections and to guard you against the effects of harmful microbes throughout the day. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to 1 ml of olive oil and apply it gently on the affected area.

3. Combats fungal growths and infections:

With its antifungal effects, Cade oil fights against the growth of fungus and checks various fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, dandruff etc.,. This property is attributed to its presence of chemical constituents tested by GC-MS and its 42 compounds that represent 96.73% of total oil, α-pinene (39.63%), manoyl oxide (12.34), Z-caryophyllene (4.1%) and extensively high amounts of monoterpenes hydrocarbons and sesquiterpenes. The existence of these strong properties makes the oil prove best in its antifungal activities.

A 2013 study on the ‘Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus’ states “the antifungal testing by in vitro contact assay showed that the oil significantly inhibits the growth of nine plant pathogenic fungi.” Applying 2 drops of Cade oil mixed with 1 ml of sweet almond oil on the infected parts can help in reducing the severity of the infection and prevent the infestation of new microbes as well.

4. Spiritual upliftment:

Cade is an amazing Ayurvedic remedy that has been used in incense and utilized especially during prayers, meditation and Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing. The most inspiring reason is the enormous spiritual benefits of Cade oil.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in your diffuser, room freshener, vaporizer or aromatic candles during prayers and meditation can be of great assistance in helping you forget the pain of being abused, quit addiction, fear of being neglected, alleviate negative emotions and re-align the spiritual and emotional elements of the system. Regular meditation, simple physical exercises, prayers and Pranayama assisted with Cade oil can aid in augmenting your spiritual quotient and elevate your bonding with the divine.

Other health benefits:

Cade essential oil have also been in use since the ancient times in the treatment of pain, joint aches, leprosy, toothaches, snake bites, lice, dandruff, cancer, peptic ulcer, pneumonia, high blood pressure, skin irritation, bronchitis, diarrhea, itching and few other infections.

Disclaimer:

This article is for educational uses only. We are not medical professionals and this information is not directed to diagnose, cure or prevent any medical conditions or to substitute any prescribed drugs or professional medical advice. This info is shared with the motive of spreading the Ayurvedic healing wisdom, which is the world’s oldest medicinal system.

Care should be taken while using essential oils topically, as pure and organic oils are highly concentrated liquids and should always be used in a diluted form. Never use essential oils internally and keep them out of reach of children.

Make certain that you talk with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your individual constitution and medical condition. This oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breast feeding and do not use it directly on broken or inflamed skin.

Thought for the day:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Junipers of the World: The Genus Juniperus, 4th Edition by Dr. Robert P. Adams
  2. Morphological variation of Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus (Cupressaceae) in the Mediterranean region [An article from: Flora] by M. Klimko, K. Boratynska, J.M. Montserrat, Didukh
  3. Arthritis – The Botanical Solution: Nature’s Answer to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout and Other Forms of Arthritis by Case Adams PhD
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  5. Healthy Hair Care Tips: Natural Hair Care Tips For All Hair Related Problems by Jimmy King

References:

  1. Juniperus oxycedrus by Wikipedia
  2. Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L by Karaman, Sahin, Gulluce and Sengul published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology
  3. Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus L., Ismail Amri, Lamia Hamrouni, Samia Gargouri, Mohsen Hanana, Bassem Jamoussi published in Research Gate
  4. Cade by Daniele Ryman for Aromatherapy Bible