Oregano Essential Oil



oregano-bannerAcclaimed as ‘The Mediterranean Miracle’, ‘Mountain Joy’ and as the ‘Wonder Herb in Ayurveda’, Oregano has been aiding people all over the world and especially in the Mediterranean regions to maintain healthy living for numerous centuries.

The most popular Ayurvedic book, ‘Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine’ by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad says “Oil of Oregano is one of the most potent antiseptics known to man.

Botanically known as Origanum Vulgare, Oregano is yet another prestigious limb of the mint family, Lamiaceae and has its origin in the Mediterranean region and southwestern Eurasia. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences used Oregano (known as Sathra) and its essential oil as a heating carminative to treat digestive disorders and was also used for treating toothache, skin problems, pain and inflammation.

Purchase Oregano Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE   

Purchase Oregano Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses of Oregano essential oil and the herb:

Known as the staple herb of the Italian-American cuisine, Oregano is one among the best culinary herbs in the world used in a variety of Mediterranean cuisines, Mexican food, Italian dishes and is also used in making fried, roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, fish and much more food varieties. It is also a part of many Lebanese, Turkish, Palestinian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Syrian, Latin American and Egyptian cuisines.

Oregano essential oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant. This oil has been in use since the primordial times in various medicinal practices. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used Oregano for treating vomiting, fever and diarrhea. The fresh leaves were used in tea for strengthening the immune system and for dealing with infections.

Biblical texts denote Oregano as a cleansing tonic. The ancient Arabic medicine used this herb for food preservation and for treating gastrointestinal disorders. The natural medicinal system of Philippines used Oregano and its essential oil for treating cough and ear aches in children. It was also used in curing pain and given for women after childbirth for its emmenagogue properties.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and the father of western medicine used Oregano as an effective antiseptic and for treating respiratory and digestive ailments. History denotes that it was the Greeks who discovered the disinfectant and antimicrobial properties of this oil and they used it for treating skin infections, sore throat, wounds, viral infections and for protecting the body from the effect of harmful organisms.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Oregano oil:

Oregano essential oil is enriched with chemical constituents like carvacrol, cymene, thymol, borneol, terpinene, pinene, linalyl acetate, bisabolene, linalool, caryophyllene and geranyl acetate. The remedial properties of this oil are antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, antioxidant, emmenagogue, anti-allergenic, digestive, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil:

Ayurveda means ‘science of life’, the science that preaches the simple methodologies to prevent illness, stay healthy and for healthy aging that makes you independent in your 60s or 70s without relying upon anyone to assist your health conditions.

The philosophy of Ayurveda relates the life of an individual with the life of the Universe. Based upon this innate wisdom, Ayurveda further explains that the Universe is made up of five elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether and it also states that an individual is also made up of the five elements of nature, which is also known as the building blocks of life.

Among these five elements water governs the movement of fluids in the body like blood, saliva, mucus and plasma. Fire determines the digestive power, intellectual skills and body temperature. Air controls the functioning of the heart, stomach, lungs, joints and intestines.

Ether is present in all parts of the human body where the presence of cavity and emptiness are witnessed like heart, nostrils, blood vessels, bladder etc. Earth represents vigor, braveness, constancy and steadiness.

The individual constitution comprises of three energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Vata represents air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha stands for water and earth. Imbalance of doshas leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends the use of herbs, essential oils, healthy lifestyle, meditation and yoga to bring the body and mind back to balance. Oregano oil is known to enhance pitta deficiency and reduce kapha and vata excess.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil are:

Oregano-broucher1. Protects the body from infections and allergies:

Oregano oil has been proved effective for treating numerous infections and allergic conditions with its antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.

The Georgetown University research on Oregano oil’s effectiveness against drug-resistant bacteria, proves that the presence of carvacrol component in Oregano oil lessen the infections as effectively as the traditional antibiotics.

A study conducted by the Mexican researchers on the effectiveness of Oregano to treat giardia, which is a water-borne bacterium that lives inside the intestines. Another study proves that Oregano oil is effective in killing giardia bacterium than the generally prescribed drug tinidazol. Oregano is a powerful anti-bacterial oil that wards off numerous pathogenic bacteria like E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Strep and protects one from typhoid, sores, cholera, infections in the colon, urinary tract and certain other skin infections.

Parasites like tape worms, round worms, mosquitoes, fleas, lice and bed bugs cause innumerable communicable diseases that affect the human body severely. Oregano essential oil has anti-parasitic properties that aids in killing parasites.

Viral infections like cold, pox, mumps and measles weaken your immune power and paves way for other harmful organisms to affect your health. Oregano essential oil is a powerful immune stimulant that strengthens your immune system, fight against viruses and makes your system resistant to other foreign bodies.

Fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm can be treated aromatically with the antifungal properties of this oil. Being an anti-allergenic oil, Oregano acts as a sedative and pacifies the hyper-sensitive reaction responsible for allergies.

A 2001 research on ‘Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms’ proved that among the 11 essential oils tested for effectiveness against microbes, Oregano essential oil showed the highest inhibitory rate against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. The carvacrol and thymol compounds in this oil are very effective in killing a microbe known as Candida, which is the reason behind eczema and psoriasis.

To guard yourself against such infections and allergies, you can either topically apply 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with olive oil on the affected area or add 2 drops of oil in your bath or skin care cream or lotions.

2. Promotes digestive health:

Oregano essential oil is a heating carminative oil that aids in increasing the pitta flow and promotes quicker digestion. Massaging your tummy with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with sesame oil can assist in treating slow digestion due to excess of mucous deposits in the stomach or fullness.

You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Oregano oil in warm compresses to help with stomach upsets, relieving gas, enabling the movement of food and for regularizing the entire process of digestion.

3. Assists respiratory problems:

As Oregano essential oil has warming effect, it can assist the body when it is cold and treat problems like cold, sinusitis, headache, mucous congestion, whooping cough, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Oregano essential oil is said to be one of the best essential oils for opening blocked sinus passages and treat congestion as a natural decongestant.

Light Miller in her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ says that Oregano essential oil is a warming diaphoretic oil that eliminates surface toxins, provoke perspiration, improve blood circulation and relieve headaches due to congestion or cold.

Add 2 drops of Oregano oil to steaming water and inhaling this medicated steam will aid in alleviating congestion, open blocked nasal passages and relieve pain due to cold and infection. You can also blend 2 drops of Oregano oil with coconut oil and gently massage the soles of your feet or apply on your chest and back or add it to warm bathing water for immediate relief from cold, sore throat and sinus problems.

4. Helps relieve pain and inflammation:

The anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant and warming diaphoretic properties of Oregano oil assist in eliminating toxins from the body, reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation and lessen pain and inflammation in rheumatic and arthritic patients.

Gently massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with coconut oil or adding it to your bath helps in reducing pain and inflammation in arthritis. Oregano essential oil has been proved by the Physiotherapy research to contain morphine-like properties that act as a perfect pain relief aid.

5. Fights against prostate cancer:

The University of Arizona research and the study by the Long Island University have proved that Oregano essential oil has antioxidant and anti-cancerous properties that fights against many types of human cancers.

Prostate cancer has been listed as the second important cause of cancerous death in American men. This study found that the presence of the active constituent, carvacrol in Oregano oil helps in the treatment of prostate cancer by stimulating apoptosis (programmed death of cells) in prostate cancer cells.

Other health benefits:

Oregano essential oil also helps in alleviating dysmennorhea, normalizing blocked menstruation and treating menopausal symptoms. This oil is also used for treating intestinal parasites, muscular pain, warts, vaginal candida and asthma.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils directly on the skin and always dilute it in suitable carrier oils as essential oils are highly concentrated solutions. Avoid using essential oils internally. Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Avoid using essential oils if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

Thought for the day:

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.    -Aristotle

Suggested Reading:

  1. Oregano – The Herb that Saved…My Life by Thomas Mayhew
  2. The Cure Is in the Cupboard: How to Use Wild Oregano for Better Health by Cass Ingram
  3. The Oregano Oil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  4. Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Reference Links:

  1. Oregano Oil May Protect Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria by the Georgetown University Researcher published in Science Daily
  2. Oregano by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms published in PubMed
  4. Oregano Active Constituent Kills Prostate Cancer Cells by Herbcyclopedia

Camphor Oil



camphor-banner“Camphor increases prana, opens up senses and brings clarity to the mind, eases headache and awakens perception. It is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain”, says Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Botanically known as Cinnamomum camphora, Camphor is a member of the Lauraceae plant family and is extracted from the wood and bark of this evergreen tree.

Prevalently called as Karpura in Ayurveda, this sacred and aromatic herb is used in Ayurvedic healing for more than thousands of years in the treatment of bronchitis, insomnia, asthma, hysteria, whooping cough, epilepsy, dysmennorhea, sinus headaches, nasal and pulmonary congestion, delirium and gout.

No sacred or religious ritual in India gets fulfilled without Camphor and is also known in Ayurveda with other names like Chandra, Himavaluka, Ghanasara and Chandra Prabha.

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Historical uses and importance of Camphor and its essential oil:

Popularly called as ‘the tree that does not sleep’, Camphor has been an important natural remedy especially in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of various illnesses including nervous afflictions and other psychosomatic problems.

Indigenous to Formosa, Japan and China, this tree can grow up to a maximum height of 100 feet and the traditional Chinese used Camphor for its remedial uses and its wood was used in building temples and ships mainly due to its exuberant aroma and robustness. During the Tang dynasty (C.E. 618-907), Camphor was used in flavoring confectionery items like ice cream in China.

Camphor is an important part of Indian prayers, especially the religious ceremonies of the Hindu community since the traditional times. Burning camphor in the Pooja plate for deities is a part of every prayer in temples as well as homes and this sacred flame is calmly touched and its warmth feeling is passed on to the eyes. It is a part of the biggest spiritual celebration of the Hindus known as Mahashivratri dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans used Camphor as a fragrant wood, incense resin, flavoring agent and as fumigants for embalming. It was given as prestigious gifts by the Chinese emperors for other kingdoms including the Arabian treaties. Camphor was also used as a traditional remedy for plague in Iran and Persia.

The strong aroma of Camphor makes it an excellent agent for protecting against snakes and other poisonous reptiles. It was also used as an insect repellant as it is trusted to be toxic to insects. Camphor was also used in tool chests to guard tools against rusting.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report (GC) of Camphor oil:

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Camphor oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its unique aroma, therapeutic values and consistency of this oil. Among which, 1,8-Cineole is the key component with about 35.9% of Camphor oil.

Just click on:

I believe that this information would certainly help you in having a clear picture about the primary chemical constituents of Camphor oil.

The table crafted below explains the unique nature and therapeutic qualities of these biochemical constituents to the curative values of Camphor essential oil.

camphor-table

Therapeutic properties of Camphor essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are stimulant, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, decongestant, nervine, anti-phlogistic, analgesic, anti-arthritic and bronchodilator.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science known to the world for more than 5,000 years. The most prominent thing about Ayurveda is that its healing practices are recorded systematically in the form of literature.

Among the 4 major sacred books of the Indian Mythology, Atharvana Veda records the Ayurvedic therapies and about 114 verses of this sacred book shares the symptoms and diagnostic techniques of numerous health disorders.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system that treats the individual instead of the symptoms and traces the root cause of an illness. By this way, this ancient common sense science focuses on prevention of illnesses leading through healthy aging process to longevity.

Based on the Vedic references of Ayurveda, two ancient Ayurvedic texts were written by the legendary Ayurvedic physicians known as Charaka and Sushruta, who wrote Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

These Ayurvedic encyclopedias state that everything is a part of nature and the human body is a combination of the five elements known as Panchamaha Bhoothas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space.

Every person is made up of a unique individual constitution that consists of three dynamic energies known as doshas (vata-air & space, pitta- fire & water and kapha- water & earth), which are a combination of the elemental forces of nature.

For a person to be hale and healthy, these doshas should always remain in a specific ration as set by nature and any change in the functioning or the balance between these doshas cause illnesses. Imbalance of these biological energies mainly occurs due to food habits (mainly depending on the quality of the food taken), change in weather conditions and lifestyle changes.

Ayurvedic remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, prayers, Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the detox technique and Ayurvedic routine are recommended based on the Prakriti or the unique individual constitution of a person and for correcting the imbalances of doshas.

Camphor essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil are:

Camphor-broucher1. Relieves severe pain, spasms and inflammation:

Camphor essential oil has antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that render itself as a promising pain reliever. The stimulating and counter-irritant effects of this oil relieve even severe muscular and joint pains.

With its anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic attributes, Camphor essential oil assists in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic deposits in the joints and the entire system through urine and sweat and supporting the functions of the circulatory system. Ayurveda states that rheumatic problems mainly occur due to excess of kapha dosha leading to surplus deposits of water, toxins, salt and uric acid in the system, especially in the joints.

Camphor essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha and help in discharging ama or toxins in the system along with excess water content in the body. This oil works by anesthetizing the sensory nerves of peripheral nervous system, thus reducing inflammation.

Massaging the affected or painful parts with 2 drops of Camphor oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 4 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing inflammation, swelling, painful muscles, redness and stiffness associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

This massaging can also help in relieving cramps, abdominal spasms and stiff joints. Adding 2 drops of Camphor essential oil to bathing water can bring in a feeling of newness, coolness and tranquility, especially during the summer season and can also help in alleviating pain and inducing peaceful sleep at night by relaxing the muscles, calming the nerves and cooling the senses.

2. Combats microbes and skin infections:

The essential oil of Camphor oil has been a prominent ingredient in numerous ointments and medications for treating skin infections caused by bacteria, fungi and other microbes. This is attributed to the germicide, disinfectant, anti-microbial and insecticide properties of Camphor oil. 2 drops of Camphor oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil can be applied on minor burns, itches, wounds, rashes, insect bites, nail fungus, cold sores, eczema, acne, chapped lips, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Camphor is an excellent cleanser that helps in disinfecting the system when added to the bath tub (about 2 to 3 drops). 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil added to your shampoo can help in treating dandruff and lice. This also helps in granting a cooling effect on the scalp and prevent unnecessary hair fall due to dandruff and lice.

3. Supports digestive functions:

Being a carminative, Camphor oil works wonders in relieving gas and flatulence. Gas in the intestines and stomach, when left unnoticed raises above slowly and causes sharp and severe pain in the chest, which may even lead to difficulty in breathing. Using Camphor oil assists in relieving gas and prevents the formation of gas.

Along with this, the diaphoretic effects of this oil aids in normalizing metabolic functions, enhancing circulation, improving sluggish digestion and controls the appetite. Mix 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Juniper oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on your abdomen for expelling gas and supporting the functions of the digestive system.

4. Pacifies the nervous system:

Camphor oil treats nervous afflictions and pain in the nervous system by causing numbness. This is attributed to its anesthetic effects. It is a proven remedy for treating neuralgia, which is a relentlessly painful condition caused due to the force on the Ninth Cranial nerve created by the swollen blood vessels surrounding it.

Gently massaging the system with 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil and 2 drops of Wintergreen oil blended with 5 ml of almond oil can help in reducing inflammation and lessen the pressure on the Ninth Cranial nerve, thus treating neuralgia. This can also assist in lessening the negative effects of epileptic attacks, nervous convulsions, chronic anxiety and nervousness.

5. Alleviates cold and other respiratory problems:

Camphor essential oil has a sharp, strong and medicinal aroma that makes its presence vital in numerous decongestant ointments and vaporubs. Vicks vaporub, the most popular decongestant has Camphor as one among its therapeutic formula. Camphor oil has been in use since the traditional times mainly for its effectiveness in treating respiratory ailments.

Excess kapha is the major reason behind the built up of mucus and phlegm deposits causing congestion and other respiratory problems. Camphor oil lessens kapha dosha and discharges mucus and phlegm in the respiratory and nasal passages.

Massaging your chest, throat and back with 1 drop of Camphor oil mixed with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 ml of olive oil along with 2 drops of Camphor oil added to steam inhalation assists in relieving congestion in the respiratory tract, nasal passages, bronchial tract, pharynx and larynx.

Adding to 1 to 2 drops of Camphor oil to warm bathing water can also help in loosening the mucus and phlegm and clear the respiratory system. It is being used as an excellent cough suppressant since the primordial period. The powerful decongestant and bronchodilator properties of Camphor oil makes it an excellent remedy for treating asthma, sinusitis, pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, whooping cough, common cold, chest congestion and cough.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace any prescribed medication or professional medical advice or to cure, treat or prevent any illnesses. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the idea of enlightening the mass with the traditional healing values of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old medical system.

Do not use essential oils internally unless it is prescribed by your medical professional. Dilute essential oils before using it for topical purposes as organic and pure essential oils are very concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before picking up the perfect essential oils for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Ensure that you use very less amount of Camphor oil as prescribed by your medical expert, as excess use of Camphor can act as a narcotic poison.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Camphor oil

Camphor Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

camphor-new

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

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

Camphor oil has been acclaimed as lethal and highly toxic in various studies, when used in excess of the prescribed quantity. According to the safety report, the acute toxicity of Camphor oil is said to be exhibited by contact with the skin, eyes, inhaling and ingesting, however ingestion of Camphor oil should be avoided strictly mainly due to its chronic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic – toxic to the liver).

The major chemical constituents in Camphor oil, responsible for its skin sensitization, allergic reactions, irritation and autoxidation are camphene, 1,8-cineole (abnormal respiration and CNS depression, epigastric pain and cold sweats), limonene and a-pinene. Oils with limonene and a-pinene are responsible for oxidation and oxidized oils cause sensitization and irritation of the skin.

Using Camphor oil topically might also cause skin sensitization, irritation, skin allergies like hives, itching, rashes, swelling of the face and lip dryness. Camphor oil used as direct contact with the skin without any dilution in appropriate carrier oils is considered as a dangerous skin irritant. Never use Camphor oil on cuts, broken or peeled skin.

It is highly recommended to avoid Camphor oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it gets quickly absorbed by the placenta and may cause physical and neurological damage to the developing fetus and in nursing mothers there are possibilities of Camphor being absorbed through skin cracks and pass on to infants through milk (might cause damage to the infants’ liver and central nervous system).

Do not use Camphor oil on patients with bronchitis, asthma, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, as it can cause convulsions, increase spasms, seizures (by accounting to chemical disparity in the brain) and worsen the situation. It is also not recommended for high blood pressure patients as it is frequently used in the treatment of low blood pressure.

The safe level of use of Camphor is up to 3% dilution in case of liniments. As per the Dutch Information Medicamentorum, the safe usage level of Camphor is 20 to 100 mg/g for chest rubs, 0.15 mg/ml for nasal sprays, 20 to 50 mg/g for nose ointments, 1 to 70 mg/g for pruritus lotion and 40 to 250 mg/g in oils for muscular pain.  However 11% is regarded as the maximum level of safe usage in all kinds of dermal applications.

Camphor, according to the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety states that the major risks of ingestion of Camphor are renal damage, colic, anxiety, convulsions, nausea, delirium, gastric irritation, irritation of the mucous membrane, asystole, apnoea, chronic post-convulsive coma and difficulty in breathing occur after ingesting about 2 grams of Camphor (acute toxicity level) and 4 grams are possibly lethal for adults and 1 gram for children and may cause death.

This report also denotes that the major target organs for Camphor damage are the upper respiratory tract, liver, kidneys and the central nervous system. Certain studies witness the immediate collapse in infants soon after the application of Camphor to their nostrils.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Camphor Oil:

  1. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet of Camphor by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Toxicity Summary of Camphor by Toxnet, National Institutes of Health
  5. Camphor topical Side Effects in Detail by Drugs.com
  6. Camphor by the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Tree That Does Not Sleep:: Phytochemistry, Allelopathy and the Capability Attributes of Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.) by John Schenk
  2. Camphor; A Pharmaceutical and Pharmacognostical Study by U. S. Government
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  5. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Camphor by Wikipedia
  2. History of Camphor oil by eHow
  3. Health benefits of Camphor essential oil by Organic Facts
  4. Camphor by Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy
  5. Camphor benefits – A multipurpose plant by Greenchedy


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Apricot Kernel Oil



‘Bundan iyisi Şam’da kayısı’, Will you trust me if I say that I speak Turkish? I know that you will not. Ok, chill. This Turkish idiom literally means “the only thing better than this is an apricot in Damascus” and the most simple meaning is “it doesn’t get any better than this.” That is the excellence of Apricots.

apricot-kernel-bannerThe seed kernels are the source of its rich essential oil and are also called as apricot almonds or bitter almonds, attributed to its bitter taste but the sweetest healing benefits that would coerce you to love it forever.

Often associated witheducation and medicine’ by the Traditional Chinese, Apricot means ‘education circle’ in the Chinese dictionary. Held high as a phenomenal natural remedy for cancer, Apricot kernel is the most talked about subject matter in the world of medicinal research for its effectiveness in treating malignant growths in mankind.

Apricot kernel and its essential oil have been in various Complementary and Traditional Healing systems including Ayurveda for its enormous therapeutic benefits for treating dry skin, hair loss, wrinkles, blemishes, fine lines and other aging symptoms, rheumatic problems, cold, cough and constipation.

Purchase Apricot Kernel Oil – 1 GALLON – CLICK HERE

Purchase Apricot Kernel Oil – 1 QUART – CLICK HERE

Historical uses and importance of Apricot kernel oil:

Apricots are scientifically called as Prunus armeniaca. This drupe fruit is indigenous to Armenia, Himalayas, China and few other parts of Asia. Certain sources also state that Apricot was first cultivated before 3000 BC in India.

The Roman General Lucullus imported Apricot initially to Rome from Armenia. The historical hero Alexander the Great was the first king to bring in Apricots to Greece.

Chinese and Apricots have a historical bonding, where the renowned Chinese physician Dong Feng of the ‘Three Kingdoms Period’ just requested his patients to plant Apricot plants in his orchard on the recovery of their sickness as a token of gratitude for his medical services. This eventually ended up in the growth of numerous Apricot trees along with innumerable medicinal benefits in Dong Feng’s garden.

It is also said that Confucius, the Chinese philosopher taught his students in a place encircled with Apricot woods. Even today, the poetic indication to physicians in China goes like “The Expert of the Apricot Grove.” Wonderful to hear, isn’t it?!?!

The woods of the Apricot trees are also used in various wooden carvings in Armenia and the musical wind instrument named Duduk is known as the Apricot pipe.

Regarded as an aphrodisiac in Europe, Apricots have also been mentioned in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and as a stimulant of normal labour in “The Duchess of Malfi” by John Webster.

The traditional use of Apricot seeds include its effectiveness as a natural alternative for cancer cure and these seeds were used as early as 502 AD for fighting against tumors. In the 17th century the English used the seeds of Apricot fruits in the treatment of ulcers, tumors and swellings.

Apricot kernels were prescribed in Chinese medicine for treating emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. Throughout the history, these bundles of wonders have been in use for treating constipation, cough, expelling mucous and phlegm deposits and for enhancing the health of hair and skin.

Sir Robert McCarrison during his job with the Indian Medical Service in 1930s, explored the health and heartiness of a tribal populace known as Hunzas. Major Robert said that the people of this tribe lived for about 100 years of age mainly due to their nutritious diet with fresh grains, fruits and vegetables, raw milk along with their livelihood that involves lot of natural physical exercises. It was also written that there was no evidence of cancer, obesity, heart problems or diabetes.

The reason behind their cancer-free life was later found by Krebs research, which concluded that Apricot kernels were a vital part of the Hunzas diet regimen, contributing to the discovery of the amygdalin compound in Apricot kernels, the secret behind tumor suppression.

The seeds of Apricots and its essential oil have been used in the manufacturing of perfumes, moisturizing lotions, soaps, cosmetics and in confectioneries as a substitute for bitter almond oil in seasoning culinary varieties.

Remedial properties and chemical constituents of Apricot kernel oil:

Antioxidant, expectorant, laxative, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-asthmatic, revitalizing and anti-tussive are the prominent healing values of Apricot kernel oil.

The chemical constituents of this oil are oleic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid and arachidonic acid in the order of its major presence. It also contains amygdalin or laetrile, the crystalline compound claimed to be responsible for its cancer fighting attributes.

Apricot kernels are indeed a nutrient hub with the presence of Vitamins A, C, E, K, B17, phosphorous, niacin, magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Apricot kernel oil:

Being the oldest remedial system (about 5,000 years old), Ayurveda is adorably called as the Mother of all healing sciences on earth. As a sacred child of India, Ayurveda is believed as a gift to Acharya Dhanvantari, the Lord of Medicine by Lord Brahma, the God of Creation.

The aim of Ayurveda is to gift mankind with absolute health, harmony, prevention of illnesses, healthy aging and longevity with the use of natural remedies including Ayurvedic therapies and a disciplined living.

It’s an ancient adage that the solutions for all the problems are deeply vested within the problem itself. With this principle in mind, Ayurveda states that illness is being in disharmony with nature and the remedies for diseases are enormously present in nature by itself.

The National Institute of Health states, “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.”

Ayurvedic encyclopedias, namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita by the Ayurvedic philosophers and physicians Charaka and Sushruta talk about all kinds of medical conditions, their symptoms, root cause and remedies.

They never stopped with fever, cold, indigestion, headache and joint pain; instead they were the pioneers of plastic surgery and C-section delivery before thousands of years that lacked both the contemporary techniques and modern medical equipment.

Ayurveda defines that all things on earth including human beings are a vital part of nature and are built up with the five fundamental elements of nature. They are earth, water, space, air and fire.

Human body represents these elements where bones and muscles are the components of earth, blood and other fluids – water, heat and the essential energy – fire, breathing mechanism – air and the spirit is the element of space.

Each and every individual is a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution called as Prakriti, which is a combination of 3 doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Perfect balance between the doshas indicate health and imbalance due to irregular food habits, sedentary life style, improper code of conduct, climatic changes etc, lead to illnesses.

Ayurvedic remedies including herbs, essential oils, meditation, Pranayama (balanced breathing), Panchakarma (detox technique), Ayurvedic routine, prayers, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage and other natural techniques are prescribed for striking balance between doshas thus paving way for harmony with nature.

Apricot kernel oil has the power to pacify kapha and vata doshas and aggravate pitta dosha. The natural health benefits of Apricot kernel oil are:

apricot-kernel-broucher1. Potent cancer warrior:

The article on ‘Apricot seeds kill cancer cells without side effects’ posted in Natural news talks about the effectiveness of the amygdalin compound in Apricot kernels for fighting against free radicals and combating the growth of cancerous cells.

An intense research study by Dr. Ernst Krebb, led to the discovery of Amygdalin or the B17 compound found in Apricot kernels and in about 1200 edible plant varieties throughout nature.

Dr. Krebb also recorded in his study that amygdalin is a nitrioloside that bear a resemblance to the B complex structures. It is because of this reason; Amygdalin compound was named as B17.

The antioxidant property of Apricot kernel oil is due to the presence of B17 and laetrile (the resultant of amygdalin when purified and put in a concentrated form). Dr. Krebb tested the positive effects of laetrile on himself and concluded that laetrile extracted from amygdalin is extremely powerful in fighting against cancerous cells and preventing further cellular damage.

This research is still under various controversies due to the fact that benzaldehyde and cyanide. Numerous foods like spinach, millet, bitter almonds, lima beans, bamboo shoots contain cyanide and are still safe for consumption. This is due to the fact that cyanide molecule in these items remain ‘locked’ and are not harmful for the system when they meet up with other molecular substances.

Unlike normal cells, the cancerous cells contain beta-glucosidase, which is the ‘unlocking enzyme’ for benzaldehyde and cyanide in amygdalin compounds of Apricot kernel oil. This reacts and destroys the cancerous cells and the presence of rhodanese enzymes in the normal cells prevent other normal cells from being affected by the otherwise reaction of cyanide and benzaldehyde.

The best possible means to use Apricot kernel oil for fighting cancerous growths is to use it in a promising massage blend. Mix 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil with 5 drops of Clove oil bud oil, 5 drops of Garlic oil and 5 drops of Juniper berry oil and massage it gently on your system, once in a week.

Garlic, Clove, and Juniper berry oil along with Apricot kernel oil have rich antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties that can help in arresting free radicals, support in apoptosis (death of cancerous cells) and prevent cellular damage.

You can also add 1 drop of each of these oils in diffuser during Pranayama (breathing exercise) where most of the toxic remains in the system can be eliminated through exhalation along with the positive therapeutic properties of this oil blend.

2. Pampers your skin:

The oil of Apricot kernel is light, gentle and non-sticky, with these attributes, it has established a prominent throne in the empire of skin care products. This oil helps in moisturizing the skin in case of dry, rough and scaly conditions (emollient properties); heal cuts, wounds, sunburn, psoriasis, eczema and razor burns (antiseptic properties); protect the wounds from getting infectious (antibacterial properties); fight against fine lines, wrinkles and other symptoms of aging (antioxidant and anti-aging properties).

For locking in extra moisture in your skin surface and for treating acne, blend 2 drops of Rosemary oil with 2 drops of Tea tree oil and 2 ounce of Apricot kernel oil and gently work on your skin.

Apricot kernel oil has a rich content of vitamin E, A and C, which are extremely beneficial for treating dry, mature, scaly and sensitive skin. Apricot oil has the potent to penetrate deeply into the skin and repair the damaged skin cells from within.

Regular massaging with this nourishing blend supports in retaining the clarity, elasticity, suppleness and all other signs of a healthy skin.

3. Prevents loss of hair and treats dandruff:

Dandruff, dry hair, excessive hair loss and itchy scalp are the most sickening hair problems. These conditions are caused by lack of nutrition, unhealthful lifestyle practices, damage due to external factors and excessive use of chemical hair care products with concentration of sulphate and paraben.

Apricot kernel oil comes to your rescue with a high content of vitamin E and other fatty acids in treating all types of hair problems with its potent to lock moisture in your scalp and hair.

Massage your hair and scalp with 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil with 5 drops of Curry leaf oil and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil for combating dandruff, dry and itchy scalp, split-ends, premature graying and promote hair growth by deeply penetrating the scalp and nourishing the hair follicles.

You can also add 5 drops of Apricot oil and 2 drops of Curry leaf oil in your mild shampoo and conditioner for adding that extra shine and bounce to your lustrous locks.

4. Powerful laxative that helps with constipation:

Apricot kernel oil is a part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine for inducing diarrhea, especially for discarding toxic remains in the body through metabolic wastes. This oil has exceptional laxative properties that help in treating constipation, where passing hard and bleeding stools ends up in excruciating pain.

Gently massage your abdomen with 6 drops of Apricot oil and 2 drops of Peppermint oil for encouraging regular bowel movements, secretion of bile and other digestive enzymes for trouble-free digestion and excretion.

5. Promotes blood circulation and relieves pain and inflammation:

The oil extracted from Apricot kernels has proven anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that aid in relieving pain and inflammation, especially in the joints.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil and 2 drops of St. John’s Wort oil, 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 6 drops of Ajowan oil can assist in alleviating stress and pain, strengthening the system, promoting blood circulation and eliminating toxic deposits through urine and sweat.

You can also follow this massage with heat pack for allowing deeper penetration into the skin cells. This aids in opening and enhancing the flow of prana or vital energy, harmonizing the nervous functions and for granting a sense of complete relief.

Ayurveda states that cold, congestion, arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions are a result of amassing of toxins, salt, uric acid and fat deposits in the system. In general, fluid retention disorders are caused due to kapha vitiation and with its power to pacify excess kapha; Apricot kernel oil helps in treating such inflammatory health conditions.

6. Purges phlegm and mucous deposits:

These heart-shaped tiny little seeds are used in various traditional medicines including the Chinese medicine for treating respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema, cold and bronchitis.

With its antitussive (cough suppressant), expectorant and anti-asthmatic properties, Apricot kernel oil can help in eliminating phlegm and mucous in the lungs and respiratory passages, alleviate cold, cough and congestion and support in problem-free breathing by lessening strain on the lungs, when 4 drops of Apricot kernel oil with 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Black pepper oil is added to steam inhalation and a gentle massage on your back, temples, chest and throat with your vaporizing ointment mixed with this blend is given.

Other health benefits:

Apricot kernel oil is also used in the treatment of anemia, fever, lowering cholesterol for heart health, osteoporosis and earaches.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not for treatment of any health conditions or for substituting any prescription medicines or the advice of your medical professional. We are not healthcare experts and this piece of information is shared only in public concern for passing on the traditional healing wisdom of Ayurveda.

Never take essential oils internally and it is recommended only for topical application. This is because 100 percent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic or harmful reactions, if ingested or used on the skin directly.

Always speak with your Ayurvedic professional or healthcare practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Extra care should be taken in using essential oils if it is for children, nursing and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. No one can count the apples in a seed.” -Author Unknown.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Apricot Power: How Laetrile Cured My Cancer by Helen M. Curran
  2. Apricot Greats: Delicious Apricot Recipes, The Top 100 Apricot Recipes
    by Jo Franks
  3. The Way of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra
  4. Healing Skin Disorders: Natural Treatments for Dermatological Conditions by Andrew Gaeddert
  5. Carrier Oils: For Aromatherapy and Massage by Len Price, Shirley Price

Reference Links:

  1. Apricot by Wikipedia
  2. Prunus armeniaca by Wikipedia
  3. Apricot seed by Encyclopedia.com
  4. Apricot kernels for cancer: The real story by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, published in ‘The Truth About Cancer.com’
  5. Apricot Seeds Kill Cancer Cells without Side Effects by Paul Fassa for Natural News