Rose Essential Oil

Rose-oil-bannerKing of flowers, Queen of essential oils and Gift of Angels, can you guess? Cherished, loved and held high for its intrinsic beauty, mesmerizing aroma and stupendous health benefits Rose and its essential oil can simply make anyone addicted to the flawless elegance of Mother Nature. This mind-blowing flower is often connected with love, romance and forgiveness that it can soften even the hardest of hearts.

Held as Lord Krishna’s favorite flower, Rose is more than 70 million years old and its role in Ayurveda is predominant than most other flowers. Ayurvedic texts explain that the adoring qualities of Rose and the essential oil extracted from it is due to the strong reasons that it balances Sadhaka pitta that controls feelings and its effects on the heart and Prana vata that governs the mind, sensory perception, head, chest and respiration.

Known as Satapatri in Sanskrit, meaning ‘one hundred petals’ and Gulab-ka-phool in Hindi, Ayurvedic philosophers have documented the use of rose petals, rose essential oil, rose vinegar, rose water and Gulkand in the treatment of mental problems, gynecological disorders and as a promising aphrodisiac for enhancing reproductive health.

Pure Rose essential oil is very expensive because certain reports state that it takes about 2,000 pounds of Rose petals for extracting 1 pound of Rose essential oil, means 1 drop of Rose oil is extracted from about 500 rose petals.

There are many species of Rose flowers and the most prevalently used in extracting essential oils are Rosa damascena, cultivated in Turkey, India, Pakistan, Russia, China, Bulgaria and Iran and Rosa centifolia, widely grown in France, Egypt and Morocco.

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Historical importance of Rose and its essential oil:

Among all the flowers in the world, Rose has the oldest history with fossil remains at the Florissant Fossil Beds, Colorado confirming it to be more than 40 million years of age and the fossil deposits at Montana and Oregon date back for about 35 million years.  This flower of love has its origin in the Central parts of Asia before 70 million years.

Rose was an incredible part of almost all the ancient cultures in the world like the Romans, the Greeks, the Chinese, the Indians, the Egyptians, the English, the Arabians, the French and the Phoenicians. All of them sang the glory of roses and cultivated it widely in their provinces.

Rose is used in perfuming and enlightening weddings amongst all the cultures on earth. It is said that the extraction of Rose oil was discovered in India when a celebrated King of India held his daughter’s grand wedding ceremony.

As a part of the wedding decoration, the moat surrounding the castle was filled with petals of rose and after a long time people noticed that the water smelled sweet and tasted great, paving way for the extraction of Rose essential oil.

According to Greek mythology it was Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love and beauty who gave the name ‘Rose’ to this lovely flower. Theophrastus, the Greek scientist was known as the first to give a comprehensive botanical report about Rose around 300 B.C.

Greeks considered roses as a sign of the future for their culture (defined the term ‘sub rosa’). They used rose flowers to adorn the ceilings of their conference rooms during secret meetings signifying that everything conferred there was highly confidential.

The Han dynasty of China from 207 B.C. to 220 A.D. was popular for cultivating rose flowers in their gardens and the growth of roses in the Imperial Gardens of China was noted by Confucius in 500 B.C. and he also mentioned that the Emperor’s library had hundreds of books on roses.

Avicenna, the Arabian physician wrote the healing benefits of Rose water prepared using rose petals in pure water under sunlight. Rose oil is used in preparing the high quality perfumes in the Middle East known as ‘Attars’.

King Alexander the Great was inspired by the rose gardens during his visit to India and is known for introducing the cultivation of roses in Europe. Roman Emperors used rose petals to perfume their baths, in celebrations, in the preparation of scents, for decorating banquet halls and for medicinal purposes. Queen Cleopatra used rose petals in her bath, on her bed, for inviting guests and for alluring her lover Antony.

English used roses for symbolizing the two houses of the War of Roses during the fifteenth century. Red rose was used to represent the House of Lancaster and white rose stood for the House of York. The entire cosmos commemorated rose as an emblem of passionate love, affection, joy, peace and as a saga of absolute romance.

Therapeutic properties and active components of Rose essential oil:

The steam distilled essential oil extracted from rose petals have enormous healing values and the most notable among them are aphrodisiac, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, cholagogue, depurative, bactericidal, haemostatic, cicatrisant, uterine, nervine, emmenagogue, hepatic, laxative and stomachic.

The α-pinene, α-terpinene, Nerol, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, β-pinene, p-cymene, β-caryophyllene, Citral, Phenyl Acetaldehyde, Carvone, Camphene, Farnesol, Citronellyl Acetate, Methyl Eugenol, Ethanol, Phenyl Geraniol, Limonene, Stearpoten, Phenylmenthyl Acetate and Nonanol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Rose essential oil:

More than just a healing methodology, Ayurveda is a guiding principle throwing light on leading a balanced and health lifestyle that would prevent illnesses and promote healthy aging.

This ancient healing system identifies human beings based on their individual constitution composed of three vital energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), where vata signifies air, pitta is fire and kapha stands for water.

The predominance of any of these doshas determines an individual’s personality and imbalance of any of these doshas is the cause of a disease or sickness in general. The vividness of Ayurvedic healing lies in its holistic approach by treating the five senses namely the sense of vision, smell, taste, touch and sound.

According to the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Rose oil is such a unique essential oil that is good for all the three doshas and benefits the blood, nerve, plasma, liver, heart, stomach, reproductive system, marrow, skin and gastro-intestinal system.

It transforms the moisturizing and cooling energy elements that controls negative feelings, strengthens the aura and stimulates the effective functioning of the body. It’s time to take a look at the brilliance of Rose essential oil in curing mankind through their senses.

Rose-oil-broucher1. Sense of vision:

Among the five major therapies of Ayurvedic healing, the color therapy is appealing to the eyes and slowly transfers the absorbed energy of the color to the brain, mind, heart and the entire system.

This is one great way of balancing the tri-doshas, the key to optimal health. As most of us knew, Rose is such a splendid flower that has more than hundreds of colors. The most notable ones are deep red, white, pink, bright yellow, orange, coral and lavender colors.

Eyes are the doors to your heart and the very sight of deep red roses will certainly bring in love, charm, affection and feelings of forgiving without any second thought as it calms kapha energy in charge for love and forgiveness. This is because the color red has an in-depth meaning in Ayurveda and using red color aids in resolving issues that are pending for a long time.

Pink or maroon colors are meant for bringing the thoughts of celebration and happiness. Bright yellow indicates a good start for achievements or academic pursuits as it pacifies pitta responsible for intelligence.

White is absolutely a symbol of peace and using white roses in color therapy aids in abolishing abusive memories, pride, greed, covetousness and is the best way to trigger new friendship, creativity and augment understanding. White color aids in treating vata imbalances, which are responsible for innovation, emotions and friendship.

2. Sense of smell:

Aromatherapy is the Ayurvedic way of using aromatic compounds in treating health conditions. The aromatic molecules present in essential oils enter the nasal passage and reach the limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for controlling emotions and other major functions of the body.

Inhaling the aroma of Rose essential oil by using it in baths, vaporizers, diffusers, burners, tissues or handkerchiefs can help in treating a number of physical and psychological illnesses.

Adding 2 drops of rose essential oil in your air freshener, diffuser, vaporizer or burner can certainly aid in alleviating stress, depression, loneliness, tension headache, mental pressure and lack of confidence.

The anti-depressant properties of this oil when inhaled, influences the central nervous system and boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, mental power, positive feelings, intelligence, hope and the power of fighting back. A popular 2004 study on ‘Anxiolytic-like effects of rose oil inhalation’ proved that inhaling Rose oil reduced anxiety in a group of rats.

Rose essential oil is undoubtedly a commendable aphrodisiac that has mesmerized everyone right from the Kings and Queens of the ancient period till the common populace of this contemporary world.

There is no romance without rose in many parts of the cosmos. Inhaling the aroma of Rose oil by adding 2 drops of Rose essential oil to a sensual bath before bed or to your diffuser in your bed room or your pillows can recreate the magic of love by boosting sexual feelings in both the partners.

3. Sense of taste:

Rose petals were a prominent ingredient in many Ayurvedic preparations for enhancing overall health.  Many tonics and natural drinks prepared with rose are said to increase the complexion, enhances the tissues of the body and bring in a natural glow from within. The most popular drinks prepared with Rose are Rose petal milk, Rose petal Lassi, Rose petal thirst quencher, Rose wine and Gulkand.

Taking such rose drinks internally helps in reducing excess of pitta, the heat element in the body, purifying the blood, increasing the memory power, augmenting digestion, reviving the reproductive tissues, treating menstrual problems, promoting the process of cell-regeneration, checking constipation, treating sore throat, tiredness, acne, anemia, tonsillitis and certain other nervous disorders.

4. Sense of touch:

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and acts as a protective shield for other parts of the system against microbes, aids in managing various climatic conditions.

According to Ayurveda, skin aids in absorbing the vital nutrients in essential oils very quickly and transmit the energy through the bloodstream and the entire body. Ayurvedic treatment through the sense of touch includes Abhyanga, the traditional art of massaging, in baths, steam inhalation, in compresses and in topical application like creams and lotions.

Massaging your body with 2 to 3 drops of Rose essential oil blended with soothing carrier oils like Sweet almond oil aids in treating spasms, pain, inflammation, bloating, wrinkles, trauma, stress, nervous tension, sexual debilities, headache, infections and skin ulcers.

It also helps in regulating the acid levels and bile secretion in the stomach and gall bladder, helping with acidity and other digestive problems. The laxative and depurative properties of this oil help in eliminating toxins from the blood and stimulate the anal and intestinal muscles for cleansing the bowel.

Massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Rose essential oil blended with Jojoba oil for promoting good sleep, treating nightmares, insomnia, sexual problems, depression, fear and fatigue. Massaging the soles of your feet grants instant relief because it is regarded as the most absorbent part of the body for absorbing the healing molecules present in essential oils by the bloodstream.

Rose essential is a gift to women as it is known to treat womanly problems like menstruation, menopause and frigidity. Mood fluctuations, abdominal pain, muscular cramps, vomiting, headache and other problems associated with PMS can be treated aromatically by gently massaging your abdomen with 3 drops of rose essential blended with coconut oil or by using 2 drops of rose oil either in cold or warm compress.

This formula works like a magic as Rose essential oil has emmenagogue properties that help in regularizing menstruation, treating blocked periods and enhancing fertility by promoting the secretion of estrogen, the female reproductive hormones. A 2008 study on effects of essential oils massage on 52 women undergoing menopause, proved that weekly massages with essential oils like rose, lavender, jasmine and rose geranium showed positive effects on menopausal symptoms.

Inhaling the remedial aroma of Rose essential oil by adding 3 to 5 drops in steam bath will aid in treating migraine pain, asthma, liver congestion, cold, chest congestion, cough, nausea, hay fever and certain other respiratory infections.

Adding few drops of Rose oil to your skin care cream or lotion will aid in treating pimples, oily skin, scars, wrinkles, eczema, dry and lifeless skin. It enhances blood circulation, moisturizes the skin, repairs and replenishes the dead cells and cleanses the pores deeply for granting spotless skin naturally.

The antibacterial and antiviral properties of Rose oil strengthens the immune system by fighting against the harmful bacteria and viruses causing illnesses like typhoid, cholera, diarrhea and other infections.

Rose oil assists in strengthening the heart and nourishes the ‘heart-yin’, which helps in healing emotional illnesses.  A 2009 research on ‘Relaxing effect of Rose oil on humans’ demonstrated that the transdermal absorption of ‘Rose oil caused significant decreases of breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation and systolic blood pressure, which indicate a decrease of autonomic arousal’. The results of this research also proved the relaxing effect of Rose oil instilled great relief from stress and depression.

Rose essential oil has been in use for more than thousands of years for implanting spiritual feelings and augmenting mental clarity.

It is for these strong reasons fresh Rose flowers and its essential oil are used in prayers, meditation and other spiritual ceremonies. Rose oil is known to benefit the heart chakra that is purely responsible for unconditional love and that is what Rose is known for all over the world.

Disclaimer:

Do not ingest or apply essential oils directly on your skin without the advice of your healthcare professional as pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause harm. Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner before using essential oils for your specific constitution and health conditions.

Thought for the day:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”                                                                – Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet

Suggested Reading:

  1. How to Use Rose Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  2. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Ageless Woman: Natural Health and Beauty After Forty with Maharishi Ayurveda by Nancy Lonsdorf

Reference Links:

  1. The Great History of Roses by Rose Farm.com International
  2. Why the Rose balances the Heart? By Maharishi Ayurveda
  3. Health Benefits of Rose Essential oil by theResearchpedia
  4. Relaxing effect of Rose oil on humans published in PubMed

Cardamom Oil

Cardamom, the ‘Queen of spices’, stimulates the heart and mind and brings in enormous joy and clarity of thoughts. It has been in imperial use since the primordial times for its mammoth healing benefits that serve as a phenomenal tonic, expectorant, cephalic, antispasmodic, stimulant and as a promising digestive agent.

Cardamom-bannerBotanically named as Elettaria Cardamomum, Cardamom is well identified by its small seed pods with an outer shell enclosing the small black seeds from which its essential oil is extracted by steam distillation.

Lovingly called as Ela and Truti in Sanskrit, Cardamom has been widely used in Ayurveda for its aromatic and medicinal attributes in the treatment of impotence, bronchitis, indigestion, hoarse voice, vomiting, asthma, blood pressure, poor absorption, cold, cough, bad breath, loss of taste, nervous digestive upset and mood fluctuations.

As an invigorating agent for the central nervous system, Cardamom essential oil induces a sense of harmony and supports absolute fitness.

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Historical uses and importance of Cardamom and its essential oil:

Owing its origin to the Asian countries such as India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, Cardamom is a universal spice and is a member of the powerful Ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Rich in nutritional and healing properties, Cardamomis the third most expensive spice in the world standing next to saffron and vanilla.

It is crowned as a medicinal herb in the Indian Ayurvedic healing methodology, dating back to 4th century B.C; Cardamom has carved its name in Charaka Samhita – the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, for its application in the preparation of various medicaments.

Cardamom was an important part of the Roman and Greek trade and has numerous historical accolades. Believed to have been grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon, Cardamom has been mentioned in the works of Dioscorides, Theophrastus and even in the ancient Indian sacred books known as Vedas.

Arabic medicine portrays Cardamom seeds as the best aphrodisiac and mood elevator while the Chinese medicine predominantly used Cardamom for intestinal infections, stomachic problems, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation and dysentery.

In folklore medicine, digestive disorders were treated with a herbal drink made by boiling roasted Cardamom seeds along with betel nuts. Being an active ingredient in cough drops, Cardamom was administered nasally along with camphor and neem to treat cold. It is a natural mouth freshener.

Cardamom is an antidote to caffeine and it detoxifies the caffeine in coffee and is used in making tea to relieve the symptoms of headache and stress and these seeds were taken along with honey to improve the eyesight.

The traditional Indians used Cardamom as an antidote for poisonous bites like scorpion stings and venomous snake bites. These seeds and its oil were also used for treating respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation of the eyelids and oral infections.

Being transported from East to Europe, Cardamom was highly valued as a tonic and as an aphrodisiac agent, which was used in love potions. The western world uses Cardamom for its unique aroma and sedative properties.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil:

Consisting a majority of monoterpenes with the predominant one being 1, 8-cineole, Cardamom essential oil also comprises of esters, alcohols and sesquiterpenes that includes limonene oxide, α-terpinene, neryl acetate, formic acid, α-pinene, camphene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, β-pinene, sabinene, citronellal, α-terpineol, cis-ocimene, geranyl acetate, linalool, isomenthol, 4-terpineol, nerol, thymol, α-terpinyl acetate, α-guaiene, β-myrcene.

The therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil are carminative, digestive, antiseptic, stimulant, tonic, antispasmodic, cephalic, diuretic, stomachic, analgesic, expectorant, antifungal, astringent, antibacterial, aromatic, diaphoretic, antioxidant, cooling, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-hypertensive and aphrodisiac. 

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Ayurveda is a virtuous medical discipline that believes that every being on earth is a part of Mother Nature and it states that one’s wellness indicates absolute balance with nature and sickness symbolizes imbalance with nature. Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old healing system that has its medicinal practices recorded in Atharvana Veda, one among the 4 sacred books of India, where about 114 verses in this book talk about various illnesses and their Ayurvedic remedies.

Charaka, the father of medicine and Sushruta, the father of surgery were the most famous Ayurvedic physicians and they wrote the Ayurvedic texts namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Charaka says “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” According to Ayurveda, human body is a temple where the spirit lives in. It strongly recommends on keeping the body, mind and spirit pure and tranquil just like maintaining a place of worship.

Ayurveda is called as the mother of all the other healing sciences on earth and is a holistic system that states ‘perfect health is being fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.’

Every individual is approached in a unique manner even if they are affected by the same illness because Ayurvedic philosophy recognizes every human being as a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which comprises of three dynamic biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta.

Ayurvedic doshas administer various functions, where vata governs the functions of the circulatory system, nervous system and respiratory system, kapha is responsible for the activities of the reproductive system, movement of fluids in the body, physical build up and sustenance and pitta dosha controls the body temperature and metabolic functions.

Every individual has a predominance of any one these doshas, which decides one’s figure, personality, mental attributes and behavioral patterns. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance of these biological energies pave way to diseases. Ayurvedic remedies focus on correcting the dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, prayers, meditation and Pranayama.

Ayurveda prescribes Cardamom to treat cardiovascular problems, bronchial disorders and digestive problems. Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy say “Cardamom is good for treating high vata, as it kindles Agni or digestive fire and removes excess kapha from the stomach and lungs.

Its quality is sattvic and it is particularly good for opening and soothing the flow of the pranas in the body”.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil.

Cardamom-broucher1. Combats against infections with strong anti-microbial properties:

With the increase in the food borne diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, there is an increase in the urge for searching natural antibacterial agents with maximum benefits and minimum side effects.

With monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and flavonoids, Cardamom essential oil possesses strong antimicrobial activity inhibiting the growth of numerous harmful micro organisms that cause spoilage of food. Many researches on the anti-microbial attribute of Cardamom essential oil states that it shows significant inhibitory activity against various common pathogens when compared to Fluconazole and tetracycline.

The aqueous and the methanolic extracts of Cardamom essential oil inhibited the growth of gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus pyogenes and Bacillus cereus.

It has been proved effective to use the essential oil of Elettaria Cardamomum in treating various infectious ailments caused by the harmful pathogens. This attribute is also applied in preserving the food items, thus proving greatly beneficial to the manufacturers of stored food products.

Terpinen-4-ol contributes to the effective antifungal attribute of Cardamom essential oil making it active against various infectious fungi that include Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, A.flavus and A.fumigatus, thus proving effectual in treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

It has been proved that Cardamom essential oil results in yielding satisfactory results in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and viruses when compared to the other antifungal pharmaceuticals. 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil added to warm bathing water or 2 drops of this oil mixed with 2 drops of Neroli oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be applied on the affected parts for quick relief.

2. Rich source of antioxidant to fight against cancer:

Free radicals are always hazardous in a number of ways, leading to premature aging and even some fatal diseases including cancer. With natural phyto-chemicals such as di-indolylmethane and Indole-3-carbinol, Cardamom essential oil helps in augmenting the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant found in human body. Moreover it helps in combating against cancers responding to the hormone regulation such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

It possesses chemo-preventive quality, resulting in a significant reduction in the weight and diameter of the tumor, tumor yield, cumulative number of papillomas and the values of tumor incidence and considerable elevation in the level of glutathione in mice with chemically induced skin carcinogenesis serving as the best anti-tumor and anti-cancer agent.

In addition to the phyto-nutrients, Cardamom essential oil is rich in vitamins B, C, protein and iron that make it a complete scavenger of free radicals resisting the aging process right from the cellular level and enhances the immunity.

It possesses anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anticancer qualities, helping in significantly reducing the production of nitric oxide by macrophages that act as one of the primary inflammatory mediators. Moreover, it enhances the cytotoxic activity of the natural killer cells found in the human body, building up a preventive shield against cancer.

Few valuable sources also state the positive outcome on using Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the cell proliferation in Swiss albino mice with chemical induced colon carcinogenesis proving its efficacy in treating colorectal cancer. Mix 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil with 2 drops of Orange oil along with 2ml of jojoba oil and massage it gently on wrinkles and other aging symptoms caused due to free radicals.

You can also massage your system with 5 drops of Cardamom oil along with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil blended with 5 ml of Olive oil to combat free radicals, reduce the size and severity of existing malignant tumors and invigorate the cellular structure.

3. Natural insect repellent:

With high concentrations of monoterpenes such as cineol and terpineol, Cardamom essential oil serves as an effective natural repellent for insects and pests. As per a 2011 research article, this oil was found to possess strong repellent, ovicidal, biocidal and anti-feeding attributes against the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, the bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculates and the flour moth, Ephestia Kuehniella, all of which target the stored products.

Moreover Cardamom essential oil is highly toxic to the adults of T.castaneum and Sitophilus zeamais, which attack the food grains such as wheat. It restrains the egg hatching and the larval stage of T.castaneum proving its ovicidal attribute. This volatile oil also actively prevents the oviposition of C.maculates in mung seeds. Few notable sources mention the acaricidal effect of Cardamom oil with 100% mortality rate against Dermanyssus gallinae, the poultry red mite.

The power of Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the development of adults from the treated eggs remains as the major factor behind its insecticidal quality. Cardamom essential oil serves as a natural source of insect repellent devoid of hazardous side effects, used in protecting the food grains stored in enclosed rooms, storage bins etc.

4. Alleviates stomachic and gastro-intestinal disorders:

Cardamom essential oil is a natural digestive aid since antiquity. It acts as an excellent appetizer, eminent stomachic agent during meal and a great mouth freshener after meal. A herbal tea made of Cardamom, ginger and fennel serves as a natural digestive tonic and a great cure for indigestion.

As an excellent digestive enhancer of all types of food, it produces an energizing effect in the body helping in the stimulation and habitual excretion of gastric juices and other acids in the stomach that aids in alleviating heartburn by balancing the acid level. Cardamom essential oil kills the bacteria in the mouth and prevents one from bad breath and treats the symptoms of flatulence and gastric disturbances.

With its antispasmodic attribute, it relives you from hiccups and alleviates the intestinal cramps caused due to involuntary muscle spasms. With natural phyto-nutrients, it helps in overcoming the effect of overeating and aids you in fighting against the outcomes of gluten intolerance benefiting those with celiac disease. Cardamom essential oil showed significant results in inhibiting the gastric lesions induced by aspirin and ethanol in rats. It protects the mucus wall and aids in maintaining normal levels of gastric acid.

2 drops of Cardamom oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a gargle especially in the morning or before going to bed or even after heavy meals to completely kill microbes in the mouth and grant refreshing breath. 2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Ginger oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil can be massaged on your abdomen for getting rid of gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, headache, nervous digestive upsets, morning sickness, colic and vomiting.

5. Naturally detoxifies the body:

Cardamom essential oil is an effective diuretic and detoxifier that protects human beings from the ill effects of toxin accumulation in the entity resulting to various simple and serious impacts such as premature aging, rheumatism, improper functioning of the organs and some fatal ailments like cancer.

With its natural antioxidants, monoterpenes and flavonoids, this oil is an eminent diuretic helping in releasing the excess water deposits in the body through sweat and urine. It promotes the process of urination and increases the urine output creating a channel to get rid of toxins such as water, fat, acids, calcium deposits, urea and sometimes stones to build a combative cover against obesity due to water stagnation and its risk factors such as hypertension, blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders.

Cardamom detoxifies the caffeine element in coffee and this combination of Cardamom and coffee is called as ‘gavah’ and is of renowned importance in the Arabian culture, where it is considered as a symbol of warmth and generosity. This aromatic oil warms up the body, aids in opening the sweat pores and maintaining the normal body temperature.

The removal of excess toxins with ease and comfort poses fewer burdens on the vital organs such as kidney and liver. It leads to perspiration and its high fiber content along with the detoxifying quality helps in significantly lowering the blood pressure.

Blend 5 drops of Cardamom oil with 5 drops of Jatamansi oil along with 5 ml of coconut oil and gently massage your system, followed by a warm bath diluted with 2 drops of Cardamom oil for eliminating the toxic substances in the body, reducing uterus inflammation, combating the infections in the urinary tract, strengthening the bladder in addition to treating involuntary urination and bedwetting in children and elderly people.

6. Relieves respiratory problems:

Cardamom essential oil works wonders in regulating the blood circulation and rejuvenating the entire system. Traditional healing therapies used Cardamom essential oil in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma for it is known to improve blood circulation in the lungs.

As a natural expectorant with balsamic aroma, it helps in breaking up even the heavy deposits of mucus and phlegm and relieves you from congestion in the lungs and sinuses.

Just inhaling the vapors of Cardamom oil by adding 3 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can alleviate the symptoms of congestion, cold, chest infections, flu, chronic cough and headache. 1 drop of Cardamom oil along with 1 drop of Cinnamon oil added to gargle relieves you instantly from sore throat and pharyngitis.

The anti-mucus action of this oil helps in rejuvenating the spleen and makes it an active component of medicaments for congestion. With this property, Cardamom pods are often included in milk products for its ability to counteract the mucus forming attribute of milk.

7. Lessens tension:

Cardamom oil has cineole, which is a central nervous stimulant aids in soothing the nervous system, calming down the muscles, alleviating tension and instilling mental peace and clarity. Just adding 4 drops of Cardamom oil to the bathtub relieves you from stress, depression and combat body aches and discomfort. It enhances the potency of the nerves and relieves you from physical and emotional discomforts thus rejuvenating the inner spirit and inducing a serene state of mind by lifting up the spirits.

Cardamom essential oil has been proved as an anti-depressant agent owing to its sedative effect in humans. With limonene as a mild tranquilizer, it diverts the mind and helps one to quit the addictions to awful habits such as tobacco chewing, alcohol and smoking.

Cardamom essential oil has gained global recognition for its sweet aroma and positive effects on the brain and the nervous system. Inhaling the aroma of 1 drop of Cardamom oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Neroli oil added to diffuser or vaporizer can assist in relieving one from anxiety, fear, nervous wreck down and lethargy. It is highly recommended to students for its potent to increase the concentration and improve intellectual power.

8. Rich source of nutrition for the total system:

With its enormous healing attributes, Cardamom essential oil is a valuable source of iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin and Vitamin C. All these vital components help in boosting up the overall health of a person.

It boosts up the immune system, helps in the generation of red blood corpuscles, and initiates the cellular energy metabolism, aids in maintaining the cardiovascular health and in promoting healthy heart rate, blood pressure and fluid levels in the body. Moreover, its rich nutrients contribute in maintaining healthy skin and hair.

2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil added to your bath daily can aid in maintaining healthy skin. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties cleanse the skin naturally and help in treating various skin infections. It rejuvenates the skin, opens up the pores and prevents the onset of acne and pimples.

Other health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Cardamom essential oil acts as a natural oral aid treating mouth ulcers, halitosis, oral infections of teeth and gums and toothaches. Vocalists use Cardamom oil to tone up their voice. This oil can keep you away from scalp infections, dandruff and maintain a healthy, lustrous hair.

It can act as a peroxide booster along with honey and Cinnamon in distilled water to lighten the skin without any side effects. It prevents platelet aggregation and aids in preventing blood clots that can be dangerous in certain cases. Cardamom oil is also used as an aphrodisiac alongside pepper, onion and nutmeg to alleviate impotence and other sexual concerns.

Disclaimer:

This is only for information and educational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any health condition or replace with any prescribed medications or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this data is shared only with the interest of spreading the traditional values and curative benefits of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and do remember to dilute them with appropriate carrier oil before using it on the skin externally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might have a tendency to cause allergies if used directly on the skin. Make sure that you consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare expert before choosing the correct essential oil for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Magic of Cardamoms For Cooking and Health (Health Learning Series) by John Davidson, Dueep J. Singh
  2. Aushadh Rahasya: The Secret of Ayurvedic Herbs and Disorders of the Mind by Rodney Lingham
  3. Cardamom: The Genus Elettaria (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  4. Cardamom Tea, A Secret to Longevity (Chinese Edition) by shu xin cheng
  5. Living Well With Cancer by Katen Moore, Libby Schmais

Reference Links:

  1. Cardamom by Wikipedia
  2. Fumigant toxicity and oviposition deterrency of the essential oil from Elettaria Cardamomum, against three stored-product insects published in PubMed.
  3. The In Vitro evaluation of antibacterial potential of dry fruit extracts of Elettaria Cardamomum published in PubMed.
  4. A 2010 research article on the in vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum)

Litsea Cubeba Oil

Litsea--cubebabannerLitsea cubeba is a Chinese wonder herb conferred to the medicinal world. Used as a promising anti-depressant for more than thousands of years in the Asian subcontinent, Litsea cubeba is remembered to treat anxiety, fear, fatigue, excessive perspiration, pain and stress.

This is mainly due to the uplifting, regenerating, energizing and refreshing aroma of its lemony essential oil extracted from the pepper-like berries of this evergreen shrub. Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine embraces a long history of Litsea cubeba where this mesmerizing herb has been used for treating asthma, acne, eczema, dermatitis, indigestion and microbial infections.

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Historical importance of Litsea cubeba:

Botanically known as Litsea cubeba, this herb is popularly known as May Chang. It also called by other names like Mountain pepper, Chinese pepper, mountain spice tree, tropical verbena and exotic verbena. Native to China, Indonesia and Japan, Litsea cubeba is also grown widely in India, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java.

Lovingly called as maqaw by the Atayal aborigines in Taiwan, May Chang has been used as a renowned spice by the aborigines of Taiwan. The pepper-shaped fruits of this tree were used as hot flavoring spice for meat dish known as sambal. May Chang flowers were also used in preparing medicinal tea.

The ancient Chinese used this herb for treating digestive ailments, chills, back pain, muscular aches and asthma. Traditionally this herb was used as a natural anti-spasmodic agent that helped in clearing spasms especially in the bronchia, thus assisting in the treatment of asthmatic attacks.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Litsea cubeba oil:

Citral is the major component of Litsea cubeba essential oil with more than 70 to 85% of the oil where geraniol is the a-citral and neral is the b-citral. This constituent contributes primarily to the healing properties of this oil such as antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, tonic, insecticide, deodorant, calming, stimulant, antispasmodic, anti-infectious, sedative, carminative, vulnerary, antidepressant and stomachic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Litsea cubeba oil:

Ayurveda is a treasure to mankind. You don’t need to be a healthcare practitioner to understand Ayurvedic philosophies as the wisdom of this noble science lies in its simplicity. Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita explain the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental factors affecting a human’s life, ways to lead a healthy life, natural remedies for diseases and guide towards a disciplined life and longevity.

’Everything in this world is vested with nature’ is the strong belief of Ayurvedic healing. It considers human beings as a part of nature and illness according to Ayurveda denotes a person’s imbalance with nature. Ayurvedic treatments involve the use of natural remedies to strike balance between nature and an individual’s state of health.

Ayurveda states that every individual is unique with an exclusive constitution that is built up of three biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Each of these doshas governs a set of functions in the body.

Predominance of any one of these doshas determines the character and physical attributes of a person. Imbalance of all or any of these doshas causes sickness. Herbs, essential oils, a disciplined life style, meditation, physical exercises and yoga are the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for dealing with dosha imbalances.

Litsea cubeba essential oil is said to pacify excess kapha energy and aggravate deficit vata and pitta doshas.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Litsea cubeba oil are listed below for your reference:

Litsea-broucher1. Cures problems with digestion:

With the strong citrus aroma and warming stomachic properties, Litsea essential oil increases pitta energy, which governs the process of digestion, thinking and body temperature. This herb and its essential oil augment the digestive fire and enhance the appetite, treat indigestion and flatulence.

It prevents the formation of gas in the stomach and intestines. To support the process of digestion, blend 3 drops of Litsea cubeba oil with 15 drops of sesame oil and massage your abdomen or add 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water.

2. Pampers your skin health:

‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ and when it comes to the beauty of human beings, skin plays the prime role in determining one’s external beauty. Litsea cubeba oil has everything that is essential to maintain a healthy looking skin from within. Maharishi Ayurveda denotes that Litsea cubeba essential oil is an excellent vata and pitta balancing formula to treat normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin.

Massaging your skin with 2 drops of Litsea cubeba oil mixed with10 to 15 drops of coconut oil can work wonders on your greasy, oily and infection prone skin. This massage enhances blood circulation and controls the secretion of sebum.

The astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of this oil help you to keep away from acne, blemishes, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, psoriasis and cellulites. The ability to cleanse the skin, balance the flow of sebum and shrink open pores, aids in treating and preventing acne flare-ups.

A recent study on ‘Screening of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers. from north-east India – chemical composition and antimicrobial activity’ proved that Litsea cubeba oil has potent “antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.” This oil is also effective in treating wounds, ringworms, cuts and insect bites.

3. Stimulates your mind:

Litsea cubeba essential oil has an exuberant aroma that is flowery and lemony in nature. It is for this purpose Litsea cubeba herb and its oil has been used in making perfumes, soaps and other cosmetic products.

Inhaling the magical aroma of this oil uplifts your mood, augments mental alertness, refreshes your mind, influences new ideas for life, pacifies your depressed mind and grants you a sense of freedom and confidence. Kurt Schnaubelt says that Litsea cubeba oil is used for calming the mind and senses.  Adding 2 drops of this oil to vaporizer, diffuser or burner aids in treating your mental worries and give a new lease of life to your world around.

4. Treats pain and inflammation:

The vata and pitta enhancing properties of Litsea cubeba oil assists in increasing blood circulation, reducing inflammation and strengthening the muscles. By reducing kapha energy, this oil aids in eliminating the excess fluid deposits and toxic substances in the body and tones your tissues.

The book on ‘Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art’ states that massaging with May Chang oil helps alleviate allergies, open up the bronchial passages in case of asthma, bronchitis and other chest infections.

Massaging the affected area with 2 to 3 drops of Litsea cubeba oil blended with 20 drops of coconut oil helps relieve pain, headache, muscular tension, respiratory ailments, arthritis and rheumatism. You can also use this oil in hot or cold compress for assisting inflammation and pain.

5. Kills insects and keeps your home fresh and clean:

Litsea cubeba oil is the ideal fragrant way to keep away from insects and stay refreshed and ready to be picked up all through the day. You can add 2 drops of this oil in your regular insect repellant preparations or outdoor candles to keep your family protected from bugs, flies, mosquitoes and other insects and to give a clean n fresh feeling to your home. You can also add few drops of this oil in your shampoo, bathing water, body wash or skin care cream to stay protected in an insect-free environment.

Other uses:

With a much similar aroma to Lemongrass and lemon verbena, Litsea cubeba oil is preferred by numerous aromatherapists and perfume author Mandy Aftel prefers this oil to other citrus oils for its versatile aroma. This herb and its oil has also been used and proved effective in the treatment of arrhythmia, nervous disorders, high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases and cancer cells death in case of lung cancer. The bark of this tree is also used in making handicrafts and furniture.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not intended to diagnose or replace any professional advice or prescribed medication. Never use essential oils internally. Always use essential oils in a diluted form as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your health condition and unique constitution.

Thought for the day:

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.  – Diane Ackerman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume by Mandy Aftel
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils by Kurt Schnaubelt
  4. Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre

Reference Links:

  1. Litsea Cubeba by Wikipedia
  2. What is Litsea Cubeba? By WiseGEEK
  3. Uses of May Chang Essential Oil by Livestrong.Com
  4. Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Profile Aromatherapy Lifestyle by Quinessence
  5. Screening of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers. from north-east India – chemical composition and antimicrobial activity published in the Journal of essential oil research by Taylor Francis Online