Cumin Seed Oil



Cumin oil is being used in California for enhancing the immune system of AIDS patients and has been proven in building immunity in allergic patients as well.

Cumin-seed-bannerCelebrated as one of the most potent digestive aid in India, these cute little seeds stand special among the many natural condiments used since the ancient times, for it always blend with the food, making it extraordinarily delicious with its distinct earthy aroma and enticing flavor.

Ayurveda beckons Cumin as Jiraka, Ajaji and Ajajika. Botanically called as Cuminum cyminum, Cumin belongs to the Apiaceae along with its other siblings including Parsley, Caraway and Dill.  Apart from its widespread culinary uses, Cumin seeds and its essential oil are being used in addressing digestive problems, migraine, low secretion of breast milk, piles, convalescence, poor blood circulation, anemia, skin disorders, insomnia and respiratory infections.

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Historical importance of Cumin:

The most notable accolade to sing the glory and historical reference of Cumin seed is its use in the mummification process that dates back to 5000 years. Biblical references clad Cumin seed as one of the best offering to God. Moreover it was crowned as a tithing spice and valued as a currency used in exchange for trade.

Being a native of the Mediterranean region, Cumin seed has found its application and cultivation throughout the world for its ubiquity, low cost, culinary and medicinal properties. Best known for its ease in cultivation, Cumin seed is a part of the traditional cooking.

Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world; it is often used in culinary as a substitute for black pepper which was highly expensive. Being the only medicinal part of the plant this aromatic herb has been used since the primordial times as the best aphrodisiac, for which loafs of bread seasoned with Cumin seeds along with chicken were served for newly married men.

As a common subject of the works of Hippocrates, Pliny and Dioscorides, Cumin was used vastly in Greece and Rome for its bactericidal, culinary and stomachic qualities.

Few sources state that this herb had the ability to improve skin complexion. Cumin was also considered as a spice of avarice and greed, for which the Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus Pius were nicknamed as Cumin.

The Talmuds used Cumin seeds in the circumcision ritual to arrest bleeding and prevent infections. Cumin seed oil and cumin seed powder are still an effective digestive aid that helps one to get rid of flatulence, indigestion and constipation. It is an active component of the Jeera water in India that grants instant refreshment and makes one to feel warm and active from within.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cumin seed oil:

Cumin seed oil consists of numerous chemical compounds and the major ones among them are aldehydes, monoterpenes hydrocarbons and oxygenated sesquiterpenes that include cumin aldehyde, α-pinene, safranol, linalool, thymol, myrcene, limonene, 1-8-cineole, p-menth-3-en-7-ol, p-mentha-1, 3-dien-7-ol , caryophyllene , β-bisabolene , β-pinene, P-cymene, β-phellandrene, D-terpinene, flavonoids, cuminyl alcohol and β-farnesene.

Cumin seed oil also serves as a rich source of iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, carbohydrates, starch, Vitamin C, A & B1 and glows as a rich dietary fiber.

It is often employed for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, anti carcinogenic, anti-diabetic, antitussive, stomachic, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, appetizer, galactogogue, anti-mutagenic, emmenagogue, antiseptic, astringent, detoxifier, anti-tumor, aphrodisiac, nervine and tonic properties.

Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Cumin Seed Oil:

Ayurveda is a 5000 year old medical practice from India and the word ‘Ayurveda’ means ‘Knowledge of life’, which insists on awareness about one’s life for leading a hale and hearty living.

Unlike other healing methodologies, Ayurveda aims at gifting mankind with holistic health by preventing illnesses and paving way for healthy aging and longevity. The National Institute of Health rightly quotes this as “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.”

The ancient Ayurvedic texts namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, written by the renowned Ayurvedic physicians Charaka (the Father of Medicine) and Sushruta (the Father of Surgery) throw light on all kinds of treatment methodologies and healing techniques used in Ayurveda. These texts even talk about complex surgical treatments including plastic surgery and caesarean deliveries even before the evolution of machines or medical equipments.

Ayurveda conquers the world of medicine for thousands of years with its natural remedies including essential oils or the life force of plants, herbs, yoga, meditation, prayers, Ayurvedic routine and other Ayurvedic therapies like Panchakarma (Cleansing or Detox treatment) and Abhyanga (the art of Ayurvedic massaging).

These remedies reveal the trust of Ayurvedic philosophy on the power of Mother Nature, which is made up of five vital elements namely earth, water, fire, air and space.

This traditional system believes that everything on earth is a part of nature and is built up with the same five elements of nature. Every person on earth is a unique creation with a unique individual constitution that is made up of 3 dynamic biological forces known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. Each dosha is a combination of the 5 elemental forces of nature.

Pitta is a symbol of fire and water and is held responsible for metabolic activities and body temperature. Vata is a combination of air and space and is in charge of respiratory functions, circulation and nervous functions of the system.

Kapha is a representation of earth and water and is accountable for physical build up, reproductive health, sustenance and movement of fluids in the body. According to Ayurveda, balance between these doshas symbolizes health and imbalance causes illnesses.

Ayurvedic therapies are prescribed in such a way to correct the imbalance of doshas and to be in harmony with nature. Cumin seed and its essential oil is known to decrease kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha, which makes this oil as an effective natural remedy for treating digestive disorders, respiratory illnesses, nervous problems and reproductive problems.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cumin seed oil are:

Cumin-seed-boucher1. Attenuates all your stomachic problems:

Cumin essential oil is known for its pitta-enhancing properties that are responsible for metabolism and body temperature. With the Sanskrit name Jiraka, which literally means digestion, Cumin seed oil enhances the metabolism and alleviates all kinds of digestive disorders. Indians drink Jeera water (Cumin seeds boiled in water) for augmenting their digestive potential.

The presence thymol, a natural stimulant in Cumin oil along with its rich iron content induces and regulates the secretion of bile and other digestive and pancreatic enzymes that assist in easing digestion, absorption of essential nutrients and excretion. The carminative properties of this oil helps in relieving flatulence with ease and comfort along with preventing the formation of gas.

The process of digestion starts in the mouth. Cumin aldehyde, the prime aromatic compound of Cumin seed oil triggers the salivary glands in the mouth that results in the proper secretion of saliva with good PH value. It also inhibits the growth of harmful microbes.

The anti-fungal and antibacterial activity of Cumin seed oil is found effective in preserving food items, destroying human and animal pathogens and in protecting plants from hazardous micro-organisms in the soil.

Using 3 drops of Cumin oil blended with 1.5 ml of sesame oil for massaging your abdomen, aids in stimulating Agni or the digestive fire that helps in alleviating flatulence, indigestion, dyspepsia, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, gastrointestinal infections, colic in infants, nausea and morning sickness due to indigestion.

You can also add 2 drops of Cumin oil in warm bathing water or in diffuser for enhancing your appetite and soothing your stomachic disorders.

2. Benefits in preventing cancer:

Cancer has now turned as an unavoidable life threat for the whole of humanity. The presence of flavonoids, monoterpene alcohols and linalool make Cumin seed oil an effective extinguisher of free hydroxyl radicals and lipid peroxides that play a major role in oxidation that initially targets in the single cellular death and when left unattended it may lead to fatality.

With its rich antioxidant property, Cumin seed oil is widely employed in preventing cancer and other health hazards caused due to cellular oxidation. A 2011 study on the numerous healing attributes of Cumin seed as published in PubMed states that no colon tumors were observed in the rats provided with a dietary supplementation of Cumin, in spite of being subjected to a colon specific carcinogen.

Along with this, Cumin seed oil decreases the activity of β-glucuronidase and mucinase enzymes that functions in liberating toxins and enhancing the hydrolysis of protective colonic mucus, either of which leads to the onset of colonic cancer.

Furthermore, Cumin seed is also an effective anti-mutagenic, apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-tumor herb enriched with the presence of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and monoterpenes that tones down the carcinogenic metabolism by increasing the activity of the corresponding enzymes.

Massaging your body with 20 drops of Cumin oil mixed with 10 ml of Virgin Olive oil helps in lessening the effects of free radicals and curbs the spread of cellular damage by penetrating through the skin and reaching every cell in the system.

3. Helps in treating diabetes and its associated symptoms:

Cumin seed oil has anti-diabetic and anti-glycating properties that assists in treating diabetes and its other associated symptoms. Certain studies on this regard state that rabbits when treated with Cumin seed oil exhibited a significant reduction in the blood glucose level and inhibited blood urea nitrogen along with inducing pepsin digestion and improvement in insulin and glycogen in tissues.

The anti-glycating property of Cumin seed oil delays the onset of cataract due to diabetes. It also lowers the cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides and phospholipids thus creating a protective shield on the liver, pancreas and the kidneys by lowering the level of toxic substances.

Inhaling the healing aroma of Cumin oil by adding 2 drops of this oil in burner, vaporizer or diffuser helps in controlling blood sugar levels, which is done when the aromatic molecules of this oil reach the limbic system and pituitary gland, the control center of the body by passing on the therapeutic properties of this oil to the entire system.

4. Helps in alleviating womanly concerns:

As a natural stimulant, Cumin seed oil induces and regulates the secretion of hormones and enzymes especially in women. Flavonoids and monoterpenes present in this oil have an estrogenic effect that corrects hormonal imbalances and cures blocked menses and irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

It increases the estrogen levels and strengthens the uterus and ovary which in turn has a positive effect in increasing the immunity.

The phytoestrogens in Cumin seed oil strengthens the bones by reducing the urinary calcium excretion and increasing the calcium content in the body thus helping in dealing with osteoporosis after menopause.

For dysmennorhea or painful menses, delayed or blocked menstruation and menopausal discomforts, massage your thighs, lower abdomen and genital part with 4 drops of Cumin oil mixed with 2 ml of coconut oil. Using 2 drops of Cumin oil in hot or cold compress is also a good idea in alleviating pain and treating hormone fluctuations.

Cumin seed and its essential oil have thymol, which acts as an effective stimulant in inducing the secretion of milk and increasing the quantity and quality of mother’s milk thus proving beneficiary for both the lactating mother and the baby. As a natural source of iron, manganese and zinc, Cumin seed oil helps in transporting oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body through blood and increases the immunity power of women.

5. Aids in skincare:

Cumin seed oil has an age old history of being applied on wounds, acne, boils and stitches for its antiseptic quality and quick healing attribute. Antioxidants play a vital role in maintaining the complexion and beauty of the skin. Cumin seed oil is rich in antioxidant with the presence of monoterpene alcohols, linalool and flavonoids.

Moreover it is rich in Vitamin A and C, which along with the antioxidants helps in blocking the pores and strengthening the roots of the cellular tissues. It is for these strong reasons, Cumin seed oil is used in skin care for enhancing skin complexion and in oral care for strengthening teeth and gums.

Mix 2 drops of Cumin seed oil with 1 ml of jojoba oil or your mild skin care cream and lotion and apply it on the skin for improving your complexion, fighting against aging symptoms like wrinkles, healing wounds and curbing the growth of microbes, which causes acne and other skin infections.

6. Detoxifies the body:

Being a natural diuretic, Cumin seed oil aids in increasing the quantity and frequency of urinating. It is for this important reason, it is often recommended for people with high pressure and rheumatism.

It aids in cleansing the system by reducing the bad cholesterol, fatty acids, urea and acid levels in the body. Cumin seed oil serves as a protector of kidneys and liver as it helps in effective excretion of toxins and poses less pressure on these organs.

With its kapha-reducing and pitta-increasing properties, Cumin oil increases the heat in the body and results in discharging water retention and fluid deposits along with fostering active metabolism.

Its stomachic property attributed by pyrazine and Cumin aldehyde helps in treating constipation and piles. Add 4 drops of Cumin oil in warm bathing water or massage your body with 20 drops of Cumin oil mixed with 10 ml of coconut oil for effective detox cleansing.

7. Alleviates the respiratory tract infections:

Cumin seed oil helps in treating common cold, bronchitis, asthma, coughs and other respiratory tract infections, which are caused by excess of kapha dosha causing phlegm and mucus deposits to block the nasal passages, bronchial tubes and the respiratory tract.

Being an antimicrobial agent it kills the harmful viruses and bacteria that cling onto the respiratory tract and its kapha-lowering and expectorant qualities help in loosening even thick deposits of mucus and phlegm thus relieving from cold, cough, bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

Add 2 drops of Cumin oil in steam inhalation followed by a warm and gentle massage with the decongestant ointment blended with 2 drops of this oil on the chest, throat and back can help in relieving nasal congestion, cough, sore throat and breathing difficulties.

8. Soothes the mind and strengthens the intellectual power:

Cumin seed oil is a natural relaxant and with its unique aroma, this oil instills a calming effect on the mind and it acts as an effective stress reducer. The presence of rich nutrients and other therapeutic chemical constituents make Cumin seed oil a powerhouse of energy that reinforces your mind and relaxes your body and results in sound sleep.

Studies have also proved that Cumin seed oil possesses anti-stress and memory enhancing activity, making it a must for students with poor memory and weak intellectual skills. 2 drops of Cumin seed oil added to your diffuser or vaporizer or to a tissue placed near your pillows helps in pacifying the mind, clarifying thoughts, clearing confusions and improving memory skills.

Other health benefits of Cumin Seed Oil:

Cumin seed oil is also used in treating anemia, insect bites and in the manufacturing of perfumes and disinfectants.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to treat, prevent or diagnose any health condition or replace any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. We are not medical professionals and we share this information only with the interest in spreading the richness of Ayurveda, the oldest traditional healing methodology.

Never take essential oils internally and dilute essential oils before topical use as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause harm if used directly on the skin. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oil that is suitable for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Cumin Seed Oil Possible Skin Issues:

cumin-seed-oil

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

See => http://www.essentialdepot.com/GreenerLifeDiamond.html

The essential oil of Cumin is said to have phototoxic effects, which may lead to allergic reactions, mild skin irritation, sunburn, blisters and hyperpigmentation when the skin is exposed to direct light from the sun with increased use of dermal application of Cumin oil (more than the safe level) for up to 12 hours after use. The major chemical constituents held responsible for the adverse skin effects of Cumin oil are Cuminaldehyde and certain other phenols.

According to the International Fragrance Association, the safe and maximum level of dermal use of Cumin oil is 0.4%. Photosensitivity and other associated skin defects are said to occur when the safe limit of Cumin oil is exceeded and is used on the parts of the skin that are exposed to visible sunshine. This is applicable only for leave-on products like creams, massage blends, ointments and lotions and not for rinse-off products like bath preparations.

Cumin oil has the status of Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA. The Research Institute of Fragrance Materials (RIFM) reports about 5% No-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) for phototoxic effects on volunteers for Cumin seed oil.

Never use Cumin oil in an undiluted manner and ensure that you always blend essential oils with appropriate carrier oils as pure essential oils are highly concentrated and might cause adverse effects on the skin, eyes and the system.

The National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) states Cumin oil as a photosensitizer and dermal irritant thus it is always recommended to use in a diluted form and should be avoided on damaged skin, eyes, allergic skin conditions and inflammatory parts.

Cumin seed oil is prescribed safe only for topical applications and not for internal use. Certain animal studies have concluded that overdose of Cumin seeds proved anti-fertility activity. Cumin seeds, due to their emmenagogue properties were proved to exhibit mild abortifacient activity, when tested on rats with the gestational age of 8 to 12 days with aqueous cumin extracts.

These seeds were proved to cause anaphylactic reactions on overdose. Caution should be taken in using Cumin oil, if you have a history of irritation or inflammation of the kidneys. It is also said that Cumin seeds may also cause low blood sugar so it is best to avoid the use of Cumin oil prior to 2 weeks before and after any surgical conditions.

Kindly avoid Cumin oil if you are pregnant or getting ready to conceive as Cumin oil has abortifacient and anti-fertility effects, when used more than the prescribed level can end up in miscarriage, stimulate menstruation or premature labor and might delay the chances of getting pregnant.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Cumin Oil:

  1. Cumin, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  2. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  3. Cumin by Drugs.com
  4. Cumin side effects and safety by WebMD
  5. Safety Information on Essential Oils by the National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy

Thought for the day:

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift. -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. Cumin & Coriander: A celebration of everyday North Indian cooking by Archana Nirad
  4. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum): Production and Processing from Science Publishers
  5. Curry Leaves and Cumin Seeds: A Healthier Approach to Indian Cooking by Jeeta Gandhi

Reference Links:

  1. Cumin by Wikipedia
  2. Cumin from Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Light Miller and Bryan Miller
  3. Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum) as a potential source of antioxidants by Muhammad Nadeem and Asad Riaz from the National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  4. A 2011 study on Cuminum Cyminum and Carum Carvi by R.K.Johri as published in PubMed.
  5. A 2009 article on Delay of diabetic cataract in rats by the antiglycating potential of Cumin through modulation of alpha-crystallin chaperone activity.

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Garlic Oil



Garlic-bannerKick cancer out of the world with nature’s best chemotherapy agent, sweetly known as Garlic. It is fêted as an ‘herb of passion’ for its power of influencing fortitude and natural energy levels and is celebrated as the most hopeful natural remedy for preventing cancer.

Besides being called as the stinking rose with its pungent and not so pleasing aroma, Garlic has a long medicinal  history in various traditions across the world and is also known as ‘cure-all’ for its ability to treat illnesses of the nervous system, circulatory system, digestive system, reproductive system and the respiratory system.

Botanically called as Allium sativa, Garlic has its origin in India and its essential oil is extracted from the bulbs through steam distillation method. Known by the name Rasona, Lahsoon and Yavanesta in Sanskrit, Garlic and its essential oil are used in Ayurveda for the treatment of cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, cold, rheumatism, high blood pressure, parasites, impotency, skin disorders, digestive problems, mental disturbances, fluid retention and joint problems.

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Historical uses and importance of Garlic:

Garlic is perceptibly a spectacular herb/vegetable with the human use of more than 7,000 years and is a member of the onion family, Allium. Indigenous to the central parts of Asia, Garlic is by far the most promising herbal remedy with the longest historical use. Its uses have been mentioned in various herbal guides by celebrated herbalists and physicians like Dioscorides, Galen, Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder, especially for treating digestive disorders, respiratory problems, wounds and low immune power.

The ancient Hindu mythology states that Garlic is a sacred herb grown from the drop of nectar (Amirtham – Elixir of life) spilled on earth when Lord Garuda took away the pot of nectar from Lord Indra to save his mother from evil powers. It is still believed that because of the divine qualities of the nectar, Garlic has innumerable healing properties and was named as Rason, meaning King of Rasas (It is also said that Garlic has 5 out of 6 prominent tastes in Ayurveda).

Another interesting historical reference is that Garlic was grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon and it was considered as an herb of empowerment for which it was given to Roman soldiers before the battle. The traditional European fishermen used to wear garlands made with Garlic cloves to guard themselves from sickness and evil spirits.

Garlic was the most primitive herb used as a ‘performance uplifting’ agent and was given to the Olympic athletes in primordial Greece. It is also said that Garlic was used during the construction of the Giza pyramids before 5,800 years. It was also used in Nepal, Middle East and eastern parts of Asia for treating tuberculosis, bronchitis, rheumatism, fever, flatulence, colic, liver problems, intestinal worms, hypertension and digestive problems.

It is a part of most of the delicious cuisines all over the world as a spice, condiment or seasoning for its strong aroma and the flavor it adds to any dish especially the non-vegetarian food varieties. Garlic bread, garlic chicken, crostini, garlic toast and many other Asian and Mediterranean cuisines are crowned with the rich flavor of this wonder herb.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Garlic essential oil:

Garlic oil is known for its carminative, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, immune-booster, anticancer, antibiotic, expectorant, antispasmodic, disinfectant, anti-carcinogenic, antithrombotic, stimulant, anti-arthritic, antiviral, rejuvenative, anti-hyperlipidaemic and alterative properties.

The major chemical components that contribute to the healing values of Garlic oil are selenium, allicin, alliin, phytoncide, S-allylcysteine thiacremonone, ajoene and diallyl polysulphides.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Garlic essential oil:

Disease, aging and death are the three major causes of concern for mankind and have been attracting the attention of medical researchers, philosophers and heath care experts from all over the world since ages.

Ayurveda, the holistic healing methodology aging about 5,000 years aims at attaining longevity through healthy aging and prevention of illnesses. This ancient remedial science strongly states that absolute health is a medley of physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

This Vedic system strongly considers human body as a temple and relates the divine power with the soul that rests within. According to this philosophy all things on earth are a part of nature and are made up of the five vital elements of nature, namely earth, water, air, fire and ether.

Every person is a unique creation with a unique individual constitution that embraces three vital biological energies called as doshas. These energies are just a meaningful representation of the elements of nature.

Kapha dosha symbolizes earth and water and is in charge of the physical structure and sustenance of the body, the imbalance of which leads to obesity and respiratory problems. Vata dosha is a combination of air and ether and is responsible for circulation, movement and respiration and vata vitiation causes neurological disorders, nervous problems, breathing difficulties and menstrual difficulties.

Fire and water combine together and represent Pitta dosha, which is responsible for body temperature, digestion and other metabolic functions. Lack or excess of pitta dosha might end up in fever, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, ulcer and other digestive disorders. Balance between these three doshas contributes to healthiness and imbalance of any one or all the three doshas cause illness.

Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the doshic imbalances with the help of herbs, plant essential oils, yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and simple physical exercises. These remedies vary from individual to individual based upon their unique individual constitution and state of health.

Garlic is one among the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for treating various health conditions and have been a vital part of numerous Ayurvedic preparations. The book on ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes Garlic as a highly rejuvenative oil, especially for the nerve tissue. Garlic oil is good for increasing pitta dosha and lessening excess of vata and kapha energies.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Garlic oil are:

Garlic-broucher1. Excellent aid to digestive disorders:

From Stone Age to this contemporary era, Garlic is a promising home remedy for assisting problems associated with digestion. 2 to 3 cloves of Garlic boiled in a cup of water can be a sure shot remedy for treating indigestion, sluggishness, diarrhea, nausea and gastric troubles. It is regarded as a great natural medicine for supporting digestion by stimulating the appetite and enhancing the process of metabolism.

Imbalance or vitiation of pitta dosha is the major reason for digestive disorders. Garlic has the ability to increase pitta energy and regularizes Agni or the digestive fire and other metabolic functions.

Adding 1 drop of Garlic oil to your handkerchief or tissue and inhaling this strong aroma or mixing 2 drops of this oil with 1 ml of coconut oil can help in fighting against intestinal parasites, inflammation in the stomach and intestines, treat colitis, infectious diseases, stomach upset, dysentery and food poisoning.

This oil works effectively against food poisoning by combating harmful bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis and E.coli, which are responsible for food poisoning and other stomach infections. It acts by penetrating through the skin cells and entering the blood stream, where it passes on its remedial properties to the system.

2. Fights against cancerous cells:

Garlic oil has anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antithrombotic and anti-cancer properties, which help in preventing the growth of new cancerous cells in the body and curtailing the growth of existing cancer cells in the body. Numerous researches and studies have proved the potent of Garlic and its extracts in treating various types of cancer ranging from brain cancer to prostate cancer.

Garlic is first on the list of potential cancer-preventative foods by the American National Cancer Institute and the American Journal of Nutrition issued on October 2000 had published numerous epidemiologic studies stating that the people who used Garlic and its extracts regularly had only a lesser amount (1/3rd) of risk of colorectal cancer and not as much of risk of stomach cancer when compared to people who took little or no Garlic or its extracts.

The presence of numerous (30+) powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds in Garlic oil including ajoene, diallyl sulphide, quercetin and alliin have the power to wedge cancer creating agents like aflatoxin and nitrosamine associated with liver, lung and stomach cancer. These components work like a natural chemotherapy agent and have been proved in various studies for impeding the growth of malignant cancer cells.

A 2008 study on the ‘Anticancer effects of diallyl trisulphide derived from Garlic’ suggest “diallyl trisulfide is responsible, at least in part, for the epidemiologically proven anticancer effect for garlic eaters.” It is also said that the diallyl sulphide in Garlic is known to curb the conversion of PhIP, which is a kind heterocyclic amine that has been related with the increased cause of breast cancer in women.

A report on Garlic and Cancer prevention published in the National Cancer Institute website states five strong reasons for using Garlic to prevent cancer. They are “Protective effects from garlic may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, halt the activation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair, reduce cell proliferation, or induce cell death.”

The best ways to use Garlic for cancer prevention is to add 2 to 3 cloves of raw or cooked Garlic in your diet along with a soothing massage with 2 drops of Garlic oil blended with 1 ml of virgin olive oil for promising results.

3. Controls hypertension and protects the heart:

Garlic is a rich source of allicin and it controls the function of angiotensin II, which is a protein that aids the contracting of blood vessels thus increasing the blood pressure gradually. Along with this, the red blood cells in our body convert the polysulphides in Garlic into hydrogen sulphide, which expands the blood vessels and assists in controlling high blood pressure.

Garlic oil acts as a protective shield for the heart by protecting it from hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and certain other cardiovascular problems. The sulfur-based compounds present in Garlic controls the blood vessels from being blocked and support the functioning of arteries that gradually lose its potent with age. This oil also guards the heart from the harmful damage of free radicals with its antioxidant properties.

By this way, regular use of Garlic oil and Garlic cloves help in slowing down atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries). This oil reduces platelet aggregation and relaxes the walls of the blood vessels by stimulating the production of nitric oxide.

It is also a potent anti-clotting agent with the presence of ajoene that curbs the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says, “Garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.

Inhaling the aroma of Garlic oil with 1 drop of this oil added to tissue or massaging your chest with 2 drops of Garlic oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil can assist in treating atherosclerosis, blocks in the blood vessels, heart attacks, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders along with the strengthening of cardiac muscles.

4. Keeps respiratory infections at bay:

Cold, flu, cough and other respiratory infections are mainly due to the excess of kapha dosha. Garlic oil has the natural warmth in its essence and it lessens the excess of kapha energy. This oil also has antibiotic, expectorant, decongestant, antiviral and antibacterial properties that work together to curtail the growth of harmful micro-organisms that worsen respiratory infections.

Add 2 drops of Garlic oil in steam inhalation and inhaling this healing aroma and massaging your chest with 1 drop of Garlic oil mixed with vaporub or ointments can be of great aid in treating and preventing common cold, whooping cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis and breathing difficulties.

5. Reduces cholesterol and checks obesity:

LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower serum triglycerides are the worst enemies of the human body. Garlic oil aids in maintaining HDL or the good healthy cholesterol and decreasing the level of bad cholesterol thus it lessens total cholesterol levels in the body, blood triglycerides and decreases the formation of arterial plaque.

Along with this, Garlic oil also assists in controlling the formation of fat cells and helps in eliminating the excess deposits of water, salts, fat and other toxic substances contributing to obesity. It prevents weight gain with its anti-inflammatory property mainly due to the presence of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) in Garlic.

Massaging your body with 5 drops of Garlic oil mixed with 3 ml of sesame oil aids in dissolving fat cells and discharging excess water and toxic deposits from the body by promoting frequent urination and sweating. This massaging can also be useful in reducing inflammation in case of arthritis and rheumatism.

6. Strengthens your immune system:

Garlic oil is an effective immune booster with the presence of various nutrients like vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 along with magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, protein, potassium and carbohydrates, all of which make Garlic a potent powerhouse. The antioxidant property of this oil fights against aging symptoms and protects the body from the hazardous effects of free radicals.

As a powerful antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic and antibacterial oil, Garlic has a positive effect on the immune system by acting as a police force that fights against destructive microbes and infectious diseases spread by them. Inhaling the spicy aroma of Garlic oil by adding 1 drop of this oil to your diffuser can help in activating the white blood cells and the immune system, through which it increases the body’s resisting capacity against various diseases.

7. Stimulates your system:

Ayurveda classifies food into three major categories namely rajasic (fiery), sattvic (fresh and pure) and tamasic (flawed).  Amadea Morningstar says “Energetically, rajasic foods stimulate more fire, aggression, passion. They are good foods for stirring up trouble or spurring on the dragons within.”

Garlic is a rajasic food that awakens, influences and stimulates the inner power and passion. It is said to bring consciousness and awareness in the body. It is for this property, Garlic and its essential oil is said to treat sexual disorders like impotency and other reproductive problems. Add 1 drop of Garlic oil in vaporizer or aromatic candles and inhale the aroma for enhancing the natural levels of energy in the body and to rekindle your spirit.

Other health benefits:

Garlic oil is also an excellent remedy for treating pimples, blackheads, acne, athlete’s foot and wrinkles. It is also said to prevent scurvy, due to its high content of Vitamin C and beriberi with its power to enhance thiamin absorbing capacity in the body and reduce the level of blood sugar in diabetes mellitus patients.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to diagnose or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils internally and always remember using essential oils topically in a diluted form only, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause harmful effects if used directly on the skin. Seek advice from an Ayurvedic professional before selecting the right essential oil for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread upward to split the boulder.
-Carl Sandburg

Suggested Reading:

  1. Garlic, Garlic, Garlic: More than 200 Exceptional Recipes for the World’s Most Indispensable Ingredient by Linda Griffith, Fred Griffith
  2. Garlic: Nature’s Original Remedy by Stephen Fulder, John Blackwood
  3. Garlic: The Mighty Bulb by Natasha Edwards
  4. The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks by Ted Jordan Meredith
  5. Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and The Science by Eric Block

Reference Links:

  1. Garlic by Wikipedia
  2. Garlic and Cancer Prevention by National Cancer Institute
  3. What are the benefits of Garlic? by Medical News Today
  4. All About Garlic by MAS Ayurveda
  5. Anticancer effects of diallyl trisulfide derived from garlic by Seki T, Hosono T, Hosono-Fukao T, Inada K, Tanaka R, Ogihara J, Ariga T, Department of Applied Life Sciences, Nihon University Graduate School of Bioresource Sciences, Fujisawa, Japan published in PubMed

Frankincense Oil



Frankinsence-banenrRepresented as an ‘Emblem of Prayer’, Frankincense is yet another Biblical oil that brings you close to heaven by appeasing your mind, relieving your pain, strengthening your positive emotions and implanting enormous beauty benefits.

Extracted from the gum or resin of Boswellia frereana tree by steam distillation, Frankincense essential oil is often held high for its power to spread health and heartiness in a magic of minutes, just like that.

Ayurveda quotes the use of Frankincense as ‘dhoopan’, and burning Frankincense everyday in homes is trusted to bring good health in Indian culture.

Known as ‘Dhoop’ in Sanskrit, Frankincense and its essential oil have been used for more than thousands of years in Ayurvedic healing in the treatment of respiratory illnesses, arthritis, weak female hormone system, rheumatism, skin infections, wounds, womanly problems and for cleansing the air.

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Historical uses and importance of Frankincense and its essential oil:

Frankincense is represented as a ‘symbol of the divine aroma’ and as an ‘emblem of prayer’ in various chapters of the Bible including Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10 and Revelation 5:8, 8:3. Best known as one of the three gifts gifted to Infant Jesus by the wise men, the existence of Frankincense dates back even before the birth of Jesus Christ. Given the credit of the most spiritual oil of the Middle East, it has flawless healing benefits with an inbound immaculate aroma.

People of all religions consider Frankincense as a symbol of sacredness and it is witnessed with the presence of this mesmerizing fragrance in various religious ceremonies. Frankincense is an important symbol of trading carried out in Arabian Peninsula and North Africa for more than 5000 years ago that the temples of the ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut are adorned by murals depicting sacks of Frankincense traded from the land of Punt.

Prepared from the resin of Frankincense or olibanum trees by steam distillation method, this oil is a part of the traditional medicinal system including Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and in certain other folklore remedies in treating wounds, arthritis, digestive disorders, rheumatism, and weak immune system and in promoting healthy skin.

Frankincense has its name etched in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder. The renowned book on ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes the use of Frankincense since ages as “Clay tablets, revealed that, in Babylon, 57,000 pounds of Frankincense were burned every year.” It also says that about 60 tons of this aromatic resin was used in the annual feast of the God Baal in the Assyrian civilization.

Since ancient times, Frankincense is burnt in homes for keeping away from insects, cleansing the atmosphere, warding off sickness and evil spirits and to help reach one’s prayers to the Divine. This holy herbal medicine is burnt even today in numerous Indian homes during the dusk to fulfill their special prayers and guard against bad spirits and harmful insects.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report of Frankincense oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Frankincense oil consists of 9 major chemical components that contribute to its unique fragrance, therapeutic properties and quality.

Just click on:

For learning more about the extensive information of these chief constituents of Frankincense oil.

Alpha-thujene is the predominant constituent of Frankincense with about 53 % area.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the principal chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic and other attributes to Frankincense oil.

Frankincense-OilStudies on the chemical composition of Frankincense oil reveal that it contains monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes such as a-pinene, b-pinene, isoterpenolene, a-phellandrene, b-phellandrene, sabinene, linalool, octanol, octyl acetate, bornyl acetate, incensole and incensyl acetate in different ratios depending upon the species of the Boswellia trees from which the resins are obtained.

Therapeutic properties of Frankincense oil:

Frankincense oil is commonly used for its aromatic, antiseptic, astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-tumor, immune stimulant, disinfectant, carminative, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, tonic, uterine, vulnerary and expectorant properties.

Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Frankincense Oil:

Ayurveda is an ancient healing science that focuses on longevity and healthy aging through prevention of diseases and a balanced lifestyle that assists in being in harmony with nature.

Ayurvedic healing methodologies were strongly implanted to the human civilization by the powerful Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Charaka Samhita enlightens Ayurveda as a discipline that heals the mind, body and soul and says, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

With this thought, Ayurveda regards human body as a temple, where the spirit dwells in and keeping the mind and body clean without any physical illnesses or mental chaos is the way to harmonious living.

The science of Ayurveda rests on the principle of five elements of nature namely fire, water, earth, air and space. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, everything in the universe is a part of nature and contains all these five elements in it.

Human body also consists of these elements in the form of biological energies known as doshas, in various forms so as to represent a unique individual constitution.

Vata dosha represents air and space and is responsible for circulation, nervous functions, respiration and movement. Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth and is in charge of the structure of the body along with its sustenance. Pitta symbolizes fire and water and is responsible for body temperature and metabolic functions. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, physical exercises, healthy balanced diet, Ayurvedic routine, meditation and prayers in order to treat these doshic imbalances and treat the illnesses by analyzing its root cause instead of diagnosing its symptoms.

Frankincense is said to have a sattvic or cleansing effect on the mind as well as the nervous system. It assists in burning impurities in the subtle nerve channels. The essential oil of Frankincense clears excess kapha and pacifies vata and pitta doshas.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Frankincense essential oil are:

frankinsence-broucher1. Strengthens your immune system:

Frankincense essential oil is an exceptional gift of nature that serves as an antiseptic, disinfectant and immune stimulant. Just inhaling the invigorating aroma of this supreme oil by adding 2 drops of this oil to your burner or diffuser, helps build a protective aura around yourself and acts as a shield in fighting against germs and disease causing microorganisms.

A 2002 study on the chemistry and immunomodulatory activity of Frankincense oil conducted by the department of Pharmacognosy of Mansoura University, Egypt states that Frankincense oil exhibited immuno-stimulant activity in addition to its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti- leukotriene properties. This study encourages the utilization of Frankincense essential oil for several auto-immune disorders.

The number of leukocytes in the human body determines the strength of the immune system of an individual. Inhaling the fragrance or using Frankincense essential oil in a massage blend (5 drops of Frankincense oil added with 2.5 ml coconut oil) increases the production of leukocytes in the body with its cytophylactic property.

2. Fights against cancerous cells:

Frankincense essential oil has anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties, the attributes of monoterpenes that effectively helps in fighting against the cancerous tumors.

A 2012 research on Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydro distillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins has proved that this oil induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures. It also reverses tumor growth in a heterotopic xenograft mouse tumor model. Studies have also reported that cultured human bladder and breast cancer cells are more sensitive to Frankincense essential oil and yield good results.

3. Pacifies your digestive system:

As a very good source of β-phellandrene and α-pinene, Frankincense essential oil acts as an effective carminative and helps in preventing and expelling the formation of gas in the stomach and intestines. It also acts as a natural antacid and promotes the secretion of bile and other digestive juices.

Mix 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 1 ml sesame oil and massage this blend on your abdomen for relieving flatulence, constipation and other gastro-intestinal problems including stomach pain, feelings of discomfort in the chest and abdominal area.

4. Combats oral infections:

The antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties of Frankincense oil acts as a defensive shield that protects one from germs, bacteria, pathogens and fungi. This defensive mechanism of Frankincense essential oil makes its presence vital in making dental care products like toothpaste, mouthwash, mouth freshener etc.

Add 1 drop of Frankincense oil in a cup of warm water and use it as a natural gargle to keep away from oral problems like toothache, bad breath, cavities, mouth sores and few other oral infections.

5. Pampers your skin health:

Frankincense essential oil often evolves as a perfect rescuer in case of skin problems as it acts as an effective astringent, which helps in retrieving its natural beauty. This oil works on wrinkles and other aging symptoms with its ability to shrink the body tissues and bring it back to its original shape and assist in tightening the skin.

As a cicatrisant, it helps in the formation of scar tissue and yields excellent results in treating scars, fading the after marks of acne, pimples, boils, pox, stretch marks and fat cracks due to pregnancy and childbirth. Add 2 drops of Frankincense essential oil with 1 ml of jojoba oil or to your regular skin care cream and apply it in circular movements to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, marks and micro-wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks.

As an anti-aging agent it helps in the regeneration of healthy cells while keeping the existing ones healthy. Because of its firming and toning activity it strengthens the gums and hair roots and contracts the muscles, intestines and blood vessels that loosen with aging. Frankincense oil acts as a coagulant and helps in preventing blood loss in case of wounds and cuts. It also assists in healing wounds and other skin infections speedily.

6. Helps treat womanly problems:

Frankincense oil acts as an emmenagogue that stimulates the flow of blood in the pelvic area and the uterus, thus regulating the menstrual cycle and functions of the female reproductive system.

It is also uterine in nature and regulates the secretion of estrogen hormone in the appropriate level, thus reducing the risk of cyst formation or uterine cancer in women.

Add 2 to 3 drops of Frankincense essential oil with 1 ml of Evening primrose oil and massage it slowly on your lower abdomen for relieving problems associated with menstruation like abdominal pain, nausea, digestive disorders, restlessness and mood swings. You can also add 2 drops of Frankincense oil in warm bathing water for calming your nerves and promoting peaceful sleep.

7. Relieves respiratory illnesses:

Stagnation of water, toxic substances and infectious micro-organisms in the body pave way for respiratory problems. This is mainly due to excess of kapha dosha and Frankincense essential oil lessens excess kapha.

This oil also has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that protect one from infectious microbes and helps reduce phlegm deposits in the respiratory tract and inflammation of the nasal and respiratory passages.

2 drops of Frankincense oil added to steam inhalation or mixed with vaporub and applied on the chest, back and throat aids in easing cough, cold, bronchitis, laryngitis, breathing difficulties, asthma and certain other respiratory ailments.

8. Helps in fighting against arthritis:

Frankincense oil has been used since ancient times to treat arthritis, rheumatism and muscular pain. With its anti-inflammatory, diuretic and kapha reducing qualities, this oil also aids in eliminating excess water deposits, salt, uric acid and toxic substances in the body causing pain, swelling and inflammation.

A valuable source states that this oil possesses potent anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic effect that actively treats arthritis, osteo arthritis and pain in muscular joints. Mix 4 drops of Frankincense oil with 2 ml of coconut oil and massage it gently on the painful area or you can also add 2 to 3 drops of this oil to hot compress for quick relief.

9. Alleviates stress and anxiety:

Frankincense essential oil awakens insight, soothes anxiety and frees one from all sorts of worldly pressure that affect the mind and the body. Various studies have proved that incensole acetate in Frankincense oil is an effective anti- depressant and reduces abnormal behaviors due to anger, stress and anxiety.

Adding 2 drops of Frankincense oil in your vaporizer, burner or diffuser assists in attaining spiritual enhancement that balances the mind, body and soul to experience eternal happiness. This healing effect can also be attributed to the presence of carbon based compounds like sesquiterpenes that directly act on the limbic system, known as the control center of the human brain.

Other health benefits:

Frankincense essential oil is also used in the manufacture of soaps, disinfectant cleansers, incense sticks, cosmetics, perfumes, body lotions, oral hygiene products and much more.

Disclaimer:

This article is for the purpose of education only and is not intended for treatment or for replacing any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils for internal use and always use externally in a diluted manner, as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin.

Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your unique individual constitution and health condition.

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

Gas Chromatography Report of Frankincense oil.

Thought for the day:

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.
-Beverley Nichols

Suggested Reading:

  1. Frankincense & Myrrh by Martin Watt, Wanda Sellar
  2. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  3. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  4. Holistic Cancer Protocols with Essential Oils by Dr. Deborah McFarland

Reference Links:

  1. Frankincense by Wikipedia
  2. Frankincense in Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Vishnu Dass, Ayurvedic Herbology
  3. Chemistry and Immunomodulatory Activity of Frankincense Oil by Botros R. Mikhaeil, Galal T. Maatooq, Farid A. Badria, and Mohamed M. A. Amer Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt, published in Naturforsch
  4. Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine