Chironji Oil



Often used as a substitute for almonds, Chironji is an almond-flavored nut with blood purifying and life force enhancing qualities. Called as Charoli or Chironji in Ayurveda, these dried modest seeds have been in use in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating digestive disorders like diarrhea, ulcers and irregular bowel movements.

Chironji-bannerIt was also recommended to enhance the secretion of semen, increase vigor and vitality, reduce fever, clear acne, skin blemishes, cold and blood disorders. Chironji oil is extracted from the dried seeds by steam distillation method and is scientifically called as Buchanania lanzan.

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Historical importance and uses of Chironji:

Chironji is a medium-sized evergreen tree that grows up to 15m height. This tree is indigenous to India and is found growing widely in Nepal, Malaysia and Burma. The dry forests of Madhya Pradesh, Mirzapur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh are the natural Chironji growing hubs of India. It is a member of the Anacardiaceae plant family and is also known as Almondette tree. Chironji is also called with other names such as ‘Cuddapah almond, Charooli, and Chirolo.’

The seed kernels of this tree contribute to about 52% of oil and are often used as a substitute for almond oil and olive oil. Chironji nuts gained favorable demand in the foreign market and has been nurtured by the Indian government as a reliable source of earning foreign exchange.

Ayurvedic medicine uses all the parts of this tree including its bark, fruits, roots, leaves, nuts and kernels for its varied medicinal properties in treating cold, bowel disorders, premature ejaculation, fever and rheumatism.

Charoli seeds are a popular ingredient in Indian sweets (Chironji ka Barfi, piyush, shrikhand, kheer and halwa), meaty kormas, lamb pepper with Chironji, Gajar ka Meetha, Hyderabadi Haleem, Charoli mutton, Malai kofta and as a flavoring for batters and sauces.

The gum extracted from the bark of this tree and powder of the roots and dried leaves mixed with buttermilk is a traditional remedy for treating diarrhea.

In the folklore medicine of Andhra Pradesh, Chironji gum was mixed with cow’s milk for relieving rheumatic pain and they also used the leaves as a tonic for supporting cardiac functions. The leaf powder was also used in encouraging quick healing of wounds.

Powdered seeds blended with milk and turmeric powder is used in India since as a natural face pack for augmenting the glow, complexion and suppleness of the skin. The juice or the decoction of the Chironji leaves is being used in Unani medicine for purifying the blood, treating loss of libido, impotency and also as a tonic for the digestive system.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Chironji oil:

The major therapeutic values of Chironji oil are carminative, expectorant, diuretic, aphrodisiac, relaxant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and stimulant. The chemical components of this oil are camphene, a-pinene, y-terpinene, b-pinene, myrcene, 8-cineole, sabinene and triglycerides like triolein, dipalmitoolein and dioleopalmitin.

Chironji seeds are a powerhouse of various nutrients like proteins, fiber, vitamin C, B1 and B2, carbohydrates, amino acid, iron, maleic acid, cardanol, linoleic acid, niacin, calcium and few water soluble extracts.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Chironji oil:

Ayurveda means ‘the knowledge of life’ and the greatest thing that has made this science as an admiration to the entire world is its disciplinary approaches that tend to mold the individual on all aspects of life including the physical, mental and attributes of the soul.

The most celebrated Ayurvedic Physician Mr. Vasant Lad says in his Textbook of Ayurveda as, “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.”This clearly depicts that Ayurveda is a holistic healing science that deals with an individual and not just with his ailments.

It follows nature’s system of handling health and harmony leading to disease-free living, healthy aging and expanded life span. Ayurvedic healing identifies the root cause of an illness for preventing it in future and never believes in treating the symptoms alone. The National Institute of Health rightly quotes “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.”

Ayurveda respects every individual as a unique creation and a vital part of nature. This makes the Ayurvedic treatment methods different for every individual even if a group of people are affected by same sickness.

The ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita say that all things in the universe are made up of five elements of nature namely water, earth, space, fire and air and every human being is distinct with a unique individual constitution, which comprises three biological energies known as doshas. These dynamic forces (doshas) are an arrangement of these vital elements.

Pitta dosha is a representation of fire and water and takes care of metabolism, cognitive functions and body temperature. Vata is a grouping of air and space and controls the working of the respiratory system, circulatory system and nervous system. Kapha dosha represents water and earth and is in charge of movement of fluids in the system, physical set up and nourishment.

Every person has a predominance of any one dosha, which decides their individuality and behavioral traits. Perfect balance between these doshas as per the natural set up denotes health and imbalance due to improper food habits, change in lifestyle and climatic conditions leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, simple physical exercises, prayers, Ayurvedic massage, meditation and Panchakarma (detoxification therapies) based on the individual constitution to treat imbalance of doshas. Chironji oil is said to pacify kapha and vata and has a neutral effect on pitta dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Chironji oil:

chironji-broucher1. Proven remedy for diarrhea and other digestive problems:

Diarrhea is called as Atisara in Ayurveda and it can also be caused due to toxins and psychological factors. Generally, accumulation of dampness caused by pitta instills a mild tendency on the colon and causes diarrhea. Ayurveda states that diarrhea may also be due to high toxic deposits or ama in the system, accumulation of water and increased vata or air in the body.

Chironji oil has the tendency to reduce kapha and vata and helps in eliminating the toxins or ama in the body, excess air and water retention. Adding 3 drops of Chironji oil in cool bathing water can help in relaxing the lining of the stomach and intestines, binding the stools and regularizing the bowel movements.

Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your diffuser or vaporizer can aid in overcoming loss of appetite. Massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Chironji oil mixed with 2.5 ml of coconut oil can improve metabolism by acting as a tonic for digestion. Drinking a glass of buttermilk seasoned with 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and coriander leaves can be of great assistance in treating all kinds of digestive woes.

2. Alleviates cold and other respiratory disorders:

Common cold and respiratory problems in general occur due to the vitiation of kapha dosha, which is responsible for stagnation of water in the body, toxic deposits and development of phlegm and mucous in the system.

Chironji oil has expectorant properties with its power to decrease kapha energy. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to steam inhalation and massaging your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Chironji oil mixed with your vaporub can help in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits, relieving chest congestion, nasal congestion and common cold accompanied with runny nose and watery eyes.

3. Supports the reproductive system:

Chironji oil is a time-honored remedy for treating problems associated with sexual and reproductive functions. These seeds have aphrodisiac properties that help in treating impotence, loss of libido, lack of sexual interest, premature ejaculation and boost strength. Chironji seeds are being used in Maharashtra, India in preparing sweets and nutritious drink for the newlywed couples to maintain vitality and enhance their reproductive ability.

Massaging your body with 20 drops of Chironji oil with 3 drops of Cinnamon oil and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil can help in augmenting your sexual interest, grant lasting pleasure, and treat premature ejaculation and impotency by increasing vigor and the count of blood cells.

Adding 3 drops of Chironji oil to your bathing water and 2 drops of Chironji oil with 2 drops of Rose oil put in your diffuser can grant peace, reduce fatigue and treat mood swings.

4. Purifies the blood:

Chironji is used in Unani medicine as a blood cleanser. It has a positive effect on the mind and body and enhances proper blood circulation. Stress and metal worries also contribute to building up of toxins by stimulating the secretion of cortisol, also known as stress hormone in the bloodstream.

A 2012 study on ‘Adaptogenic activity of methanolic extract of Buchanania lanzan’, an experimental study in the rat model concluded that Chironji has antistress or adaptogenic activity. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Chironji oil blended with 5 drops of Lavender oil and 10 ml of coconut oil helps in augmenting the count of blood cells, enhancing positive feelings, calming the mind and eliminating toxic substances in the blood.

5. Relieves rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism is caused by kapha aggravation leading to sluggishness, water stagnation, building up of salt, uric acid, fatty substances and toxins especially in the joints causing swelling, pain, redness and irritation. Chironji oil reduces kapha dosha and assists in discharging excess deposits of water, uric acid, salt and toxins in the body through urine.

Its diuretic properties promote the quality and frequency of urination and its anti-inflammatory along with its analgesic attributes aid in reducing swelling and pain associated with rheumatism. Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Chironji oil, 2 drops of Peppermint oil along with 4 ml of sesame oil can assist in alleviating rheumatic problems.

Other health benefits:

Chironji oil is also used in treating wounds, fever, ulcers, pimples, skin blemishes, glandular swelling of the neck, itching, exhaustion and biliousness.

Disclaimer:

This piece of writing is only for the purpose of education and is written wholly in the concern of sharing the long-established insight of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences. It is not intended to prevent or diagnose any disease or health conditions or to substitute any kind of expert medical advice or prescribed medications.

Do not use essential oils internally. Always ensure that you dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it for topical application, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Consult your healthcare professional/Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. -Lao Tzu

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Secret to Great Health – The Vedic Health Code by Swami Ram Charran
  2. The Modern Ayurveda: Milestones Beyond the Classical Age from CRC Press
  3. Handbook of Nuts: Herbal Reference Library by James A. Duke
  4. Unsaponifiable Matter in Plant Seed Oils by Didier Fontanel

Reference Links:

  1. Buchanania lanzan by Wikipedia
  2. Charoli by Only Foods.net
  3. Diarrhea by Baidyanath Ayurveda
  4. Chironji nut (Buchanania lanzan) processing, present practices and scope by the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, West Bengal published in the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
  5. Adaptogenic activity of methanolic extract of Buchanania lanzan leaves an experimental study in rat model by Shalini Kapoor Mehta, Navpreet Bains and Naira Nayeem, GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Ludhiana published in Pelagia Research Library

Coriander Oil Indian



Coriander is a divine herb that makes us feel the touch of nature’s magnificence with its tiny little seeds that possess mammoth benefits for various medical conditions including the chronic cancer and durable diabetes. Extracted from the seeds of the Coriandrum sativum plant by steam distillation, organic Coriander essential oil is a proven natural remedy for treating migraine, arthritis, neurological inflammation, urinary tract infections, fever and indigestion.

Coriander is said to have its name etched in numerous Sanskrit texts dating more than 7000 years. This herb is known in Ayurveda as Dhanyaka or Dhaniya and is a member of the Ayurvedic family Shat pushpa. Coriander and its essential oil is also recommended in Ayurveda for relieving menstrual problems, fever, hepatitis C, parasitic worms, kidney disorders, mouth ulcers, high cholesterol level, colitis, urticaria, hay fever, loss of memory, rheumatism, impotence etc.,

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Historical uses and importance of Coriander and its essential oil: It is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and has been used throughout the history of various traditions both for culinary and medicinal purposes. It was prevalently used for indigestion, stomach ache, nausea and other gastrointestinal disorders.

The traditional Ayurvedic text, Sushruta Samhita states Coriander as Kustumvari and used it as a demulcent aid for treating thirst and burning sensation of the skin. It was initially blended with other aromatic herbs such as anise, caraway, cardamom, fennel and cumin and used in the treatment of numerous diseases. Coriander is known for its natural high content of volatile oils and was prescribed for treating cancer, skin conditions, blood impurities, liver disorders and sore throat.

The primordial Romans used Coriander seeds and its leaves for preserving and flavoring meat and meat products. This is mainly due to the antioxidant property that curbs animal fats from becoming rancid and the effectiveness of Coriander in combating meat-ruining fungi and bacteria. These concrete reasons make the use of Coriander leaves and seeds in the preparation of various lip-smacking cuisines across the world even in this contemporary world.

Chinese believe that Coriander disciplines the Qi or the vital life energy. Certain herbal texts of the Han Dynasty quote Coriander as a powerful herb for making humans immortal. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used this herb for treating hernia, piles, dysentery, flatulence, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, stomach pain, nausea and measles.

The powder extracted from the seeds was also used in treating worms in children. Greeks used Coriander for supporting weight loss, weak memory and impotence. The Iranian folklore medicine use Coriander for relieving insomnia and anxiety in women.

In the modern medicinal practice, Coriander has been used as a vital part of the dietary intervention program for regulating deficiency of vitamin A in children. It is listed as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) in FDA (Food and Drug Administration, United States). The German Commission E approves Coriander as a natural aid for treating gastrointestinal conditions like loss of appetite and dyspepsia.

Remedial properties and chemical constituents of Coriander essential oil: The major chemical components responsible for its healing values are cineole, coriandrol, borneol, cymene, terpineol, geraniol, camphor, anethole, carvone, pinene, dipentene, terpinolene, phellandrene and linalool. The therapeutic benefits of Coriander essential oil are carminative, aphrodisiac, digestive, antispasmodic, lipolytic, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, stimulant, deodorant, alterative, depurative, diuretic, fungicidal, stomachic and diaphoretic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Coriander essential oil: Ayurveda, the complete healing system considers that health is based on its three pillars including the physical health, mental health and a healthy soul. With this concept as its chief belief, Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the root cause of the illnesses by prescribing herbs, Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), prayers and meditation. It paves way for attaining longevity through healthy aging and prevention of illnesses.

The matchlessness of Ayurveda lies in its methodology of treating sicknesses in a unique manner for every individual as it trusts that every person is a unique part of nature with a specific individual constitution that comprises of three vital biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas represent the five elements of nature, which every creation on earth is trusted to be built with. They are fire, water, earth, space and air.

Vata energy is a combination of space and air and is responsible for circulation, respiration, movement and nervous functions of the body. Pitta dosha is a representation of fire and water and it controls all kinds of metabolic functions including digestion, absorption and elimination.

Kapha symbolizes earth and water and is in charge of muscular development and fluid retention in the body. Every human being has a unique combination of these three doshas with a predominance of any one dosha, which determines the personality, character and behavioral attributes.

Balance between these three doshas indicates absolute state of health and imbalance due to lifestyle, food habits and other environmental changes causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in such an efficient manner that brings back the perfect rhythm between the doshas in accordance with the individual’s prakriti (constitution) and medical condition.

Coriander Oil Indian is known to have a positive effect on all the three doshas and helps maintain optimal levels by acting as an excellent suppressant. Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Coriander essential oil by its usage methods.

1. As an exceptional Ayurvedic massage oil or bath oil: The art of Ayurvedic massaging is called as Abhyanga, where the palms, feet, elbows and other traditional massaging equipments are used for maneuvering muscles, nerves and the entire human system.

By using Ayurvedic essential oils in massaging, this traditional healing methodology ensures that the therapeutic properties of the essential oils are passed on to the blood stream by penetrating through the skin cells and thus transmitting the corresponding healing benefits to various parts of the body.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Coriander oil blended with 5 ml of sesame oil helps in alleviating muscular pain, arthritis, rheumatic pain, stomach ache, indigestion, vomiting, flatulence, heartburn and other digestive problems.

a) Eases digestive disorders: Coriander oil has carminative, stomachic and digestive properties that stimulate the process of metabolism and influence proper secretion of bile, gastric juices and other acids responsible for trouble-free digestion. This oil improves digestion by regulating pitta dosha, which is responsible for digestion and other metabolic functions. It helps in relieving gas built-up in the stomach and intestines and it also prevents the formation of gas. English Herbalist John Gerard wrote, “Coriander seeds well prepared and covered with sugar as comfits, taken after meat, helpeth digestion”

According to the 2009-10 report by the Food Standards Agency, about 1 million people in the UK are suffering from food poisoning, contributing to 500 deaths and around 20,000 cases requiring medical care. Recent researches have proved that the use of Coriander oil helps in fighting against harmful bacteria causing food poisoning and other infections in the stomach and intestines.

A 2011 study on the combating effect of Coriander oil against 12 bacterial strains were tested in the lab, including Bacillus cereus, E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Salmonella enteric by Dr. Fernanda Domingues and her team from the University of Beira Interior, Portugal. This study witnessed that 1.6% or less than that quantity of Coriander oil killed or reduced the growth of all the harmful bacteria tested. It also discards parasites in the body.

Dr. Domingues also said that “Coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell. This disrupts the barrier between the cell and its environment and inhibits essential processes including respiration, which ultimately leads to death of the bacterial cell. ‘It could become a natural alternative to common antibiotics.” She also said that Coriander oil can be used in lotions or oral rinses for treating food poisoning and fighting against multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.

b) Discharges toxic substances from the body: Coriander essential oil has diuretic, analgesic, depurative and antioxidant properties that assists in eliminating harmful toxic substances or ama from the body along with excess salts, uric acids and cholesterol in the blood by promoting the frequency and quality of urination. By this way it reduces inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.

c) Controls diabetes and the level of cholesterol: Numerous studies have proved the effectiveness of Coriander and its essential oil in controlling the levels of cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol like VLDL or LDL and increased the level of HDL (good cholesterol).

Coriander has also been suggested in controlling blood glucose levels and regularly checks the process of glucose getting converted into glycogen, causing diabetes. A 2011 study on ‘Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract’ published in PubMed states “C. sativum seeds not only possess antihyperglycemic properties but antioxidative properties also. Increased dietary intake of coriander seeds decreases the oxidative burden in diabetes mellitus.”

d) Lessens menstrual pain and excess flow: Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of Coriander oil mixed with 1 ml olive oil helps in regulating excessive menstrual flow and alleviates dysmennorhea or severe menstrual pain. The Arabians used Coriander for lessening menstrual pain and pain during childbirth.

e) Natural aphrodisiac: Coriander oil is also an excellent aphrodisiac that has been used in various traditions across the world. It is also mentioned in the famous Arabian tale, ‘A Thousand and One Nights’ as an effective aphrodisiac for arousing sexual passion naturally. This quality is attributed to the presence of phyto-estrogen content in Coriander seeds. Using it in massage, followed by a warm bath with 2 drops of Coriander oil diluted in bathing water preferably before going to bed can aid in enhancing the libido, treat frigidity in men and women, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunctions.

2. In burners or vaporizers: Coriander essential oil has a sweet, warm and slightly spicy aroma that instills a positive effect on the blood, plasma and the nervous system. Adding 2 to 3 drops of Coriander oil in burner, vaporizer or diffuser helps in refreshing the mind, regenerating the glandular system, treat mood fluctuations, improve memory power, lessen anxiety, mental fatigue, nervous weakness, tension, loss of sexual interest and lack of concentration.

Inhaling the remedial aroma of this oil is said to create a warming effect on the stomach and intestines and ease cramps and spasms. It uplifts the spirit and boosts the confidence level. Coriander oil permits more spiritual bonding to pass through the body and helps expanding the heart chakra, responsible for love and affection for self and others.

3. In steam inhalation: Coriander essential oil is known for lessening excess of kapha dosha, which is in charge of respiratory problems like cold, cough, sinusitis and nasal congestion. 2 drops of Coriander oil added to steam inhalation can be a great aid in alleviating cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, cold and sinusitis. It is also helpful in reducing the temperature especially with conditions like hay fever along with the massage of 1 drop of Coriander oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil in the foot soles.

4. In compresses, creams or oral rinses: 2 drops of Coriander oil mixed with 1 ml of jojoba oil or mild skin care cream or lotion and applied on the affected parts helps in clearing pimples, blackheads, athletes foot, ringworm and acne with its anti-bacterial and  fungicidal properties. Adding 1 drop of Coriander oil in a cup of warm water and used as an oral rinse assists in treating bad breath, plaque and discards harmful micro-organisms in the mouth. Using 2 drops of Coriander oil in hot or cold compress helps in treating muscular spasms, joint pain, migraine and arthritis.

Coriander seed oil has been proved and published in the European Food Safety Authority Journal as a safe and novel food ingredient, where the committee concluded stating “the novel food ingredient, coriander seed oil, is safe under the proposed uses and use levels.” The book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes Coriander oil as “an antidote to hot food, very decongesting to the liver, and is a great reducer of fire and heat in the body. It is thought to be an aphrodisiac because of its phyto-estrogen content. It’s also a carminative, stimulating digestion.”

Disclaimer: This is only for the purpose of information and is not intended to substitute any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause harm if used directly on the skin, so it always good to dilute essential oils before topical use. Never take essential oils internally without consulting your Ayurvedic practitioner and upon his/her expert advice, choose the most appropriate essential oil for your prakriti (unique individual constitution) and medical condition. Please avoid this oil during pregnancy.

Thought for the day:

Every Flower Is A Soul Blossoming In Nature.     -Gerard De Nerval

Suggested Reading:

  1. Coriander – Coriandrum Sativum L. by Axel Diederichsen, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
  2. The 50 Miracle Cures of Coriander by Dr. Awad Mansour
  3. Protective Effect of Cumin and Coriander on Profenofos: Antidote effect of Cumin and Coriander by Arun Kumar, Ranjit Kumar, Mohammad Ali
  4. Cumin & Coriander: A celebration of everyday North Indian cooking by Archana Nirad
  5. The Miracle Cures Of Diabetes: How To Beat Your Diabetes For Good by Prof Awad Mansour

Reference Links:

  1. Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract’ by Anuradha CV and Deepa B, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Annamalai University, India, published in PubMed
  2. The natural remedy for superbugs? Coriander oil could be used to cure food poisoning and MRSA by Health column in Daily mail UK
  3. Medicinal Uses of Coriander by Natural Standard, the Authority on Integrative Medicine
  4. Scientific Opinion on the Safety of ‘Coriander Seed Oil’ as a Novel Food Ingredient published in the European Food Safety Authority Journal

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