Chaulmogra Oil


Chaulmogra-bannerChaulmogra oil created a revolution in the treatment of leprosy and the first effective drug for treating leprosy used the chemical components of Chaulmogra seeds. These therapeutic seeds are being used in Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of leprosy, rheumatism, eczema, leucoderma, scrofula, wounds, sprains, sores and bruises.

Chaulmogra is botanically known to the world as Taraktogenos kurzii/ Hydnocarpus kurzii/ Hydnocarpus wightiana/ Hydnocarpus laurifolia and its Sanskrit name is Tuvrak, Tuvaraka and Kushtavairi. This tall tree is a limb of the Achariaceae plant family. The essential oil is extracted from the Chaulmogra seeds through steam distillation method.

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Historical uses and significance of Chaulmogra and its essential oil:

Chaulmogra or Chaulmoogra has been a part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, the oldest healing science originated from India, especially in the treatment of leprosy and other chronic skin disorders.

Chaulmogra tree is indigenous to India and grows extensively in the tropical forests of Western Ghats from Maharashtra to Kerala and is also found in the hilly regions of Tripura and Assam. It is cultivated in Nigeria, Uganda, Sri Lanka and few other South East Asian countries. These evergreen, deciduous trees grow up to 15 m height and bear fruits between the months of August and September.

The seeds are angular and ovoid with rounded endings and the essential oil extracted from the seeds are pale yellow in color with viscous and heavy consistency. Chaulmogra oil is called as Oleum Chaulmoograe in the United States and in Great Britain as Gynocardia oil. This oil was used in England in the treatment of lung tuberculosis.

Chaulmogra oil was also used in China since the 14th century in alleviating various skin ailments and leprosy. It was slowly then spread to the Western countries including the United States and Europe.

A mixture of Chaulmogra oil balanced in gum or as an emulsion was prescribed for treating leprosy. The bark of this plant is used by the people of Arunachal Pradesh, India in relieving toothache and itching. The tribal populace in Sikkim uses the boiled Chaulmogra seeds as a food item.

Chaulmogra seed oil was mixed with limewater and was applied externally in treating rheumatic conditions especially in the joints and for relieving sprains. These seeds were also used in folklore as a fish poison. The seed paste along with camphor, sulphur, Jatropha curcus seed oil and lime juice was used in topical application for healing skin ulcers and wounds.

Chemical components and remedial properties of Chaulmogra oil:

The seeds of this tree yield about 32.4 percent fixed oil along with other fatty oils. The major chemical constituents are 49 percent hydnocarpic acid, 27 percent chaulmoogric acid, 12 percent gorlic acid (with these 3 primary components, Chaulmogra is called as triglyceride oil) 6.5 percent oleic acid, 2 percent Palmitic acid, 3.4 percent chaulmoogric acid with lower homologues along with myristic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid.

These components contribute to its curative properties like antibiotic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antibacterial, expectorant, decongestant and febrifuge properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Chaulmogra essential oil:

Ayurveda is a Vedic medical science, which is the greatest gift of the ancient Indian Sages to the whole of mankind. Among the 4 four predominant Vedas of Hindu mythology, Ayurveda has its roots to the Atharvaveda and it is also accepted as a supplementary Veda or an Upaveda in its own sacred ways and was enlightened by Acharya Dhanvantari.

This holistic healing science is the oldest remedial science on earth and aims at treating illnesses with the help of herbal plants, essential oils, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, prayers, an Ayurvedic routine and other proven Ayurvedic therapies like Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and Panchakarma or detox therapies.

Ayurveda suggests disciplined ways to fulfill responsibilities or Dharma, lead a healthy lifestyle, aging in the pink and also aims at preventing illnesses and longevity.

Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita are the three greatest Ayurvedic texts that established the basic concepts of Ayurveda and the complete system of medicine.

Few noteworthy works are the eight Ayurvedic branches or methodologies of healing. Acharya Charaka (Father or medicine) stands for the Atreya School of physicians and threw light on anatomy, pathogenesis, physiology, diagnosis, etiology, symptoms of diseases along with guidelines for prevention and extended life span.

Sushruta (Father of Surgery) is a part of the Dhanvantari School of surgeons. He talks about the categorization of burns, wounds, fractures, rectal surgery, amputation, plastic surgery and various surgical equipments. Sushruta also introduced the art of massaging using vital body points or the marma points in the body. Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita is a combination of Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Ayurvedic medicine is based on its four major concepts. They are Panchamahabutas (5 elements of nature), tridosha (3 doshas), malas (elimination of waste) and dhatus (vital organs of the body). This traditional remedy trusts that the world is made up of five vital elements namely earth, water, fire, air and space and everything in the world is also made up of these five elements or the building blocks of existence.

Every human being has a unique individual constitution consisting of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata (air + space), pitta (fire + water) and kapha (earth + water). Vata energy is responsible for the functions of the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.

Pitta is in charge of tissue building, metabolism, body temperature and functions of the endocrine system. Kapha is accountable for strength of the body, virility, binding power and firmness of the system.

Balance between these doshas as per the natural composition indicates health and imbalance due to unhealthy practices, change in food habits and weather conditions causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in order to balance these doshic vitiations.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Chaulmogra oil are:

Chaulmogra-broucher1. Proven traditional remedy for leprosy:

The Encyclopedia Britannica says ‘the first textual reference to leprosy—in an ancient Sanskrit sacred work known as the Atharvaveda’, which is the holy book of Ayurvedic principles. It also says that leprosy has been talked about in Sushruta Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic text, the Hebrew Bible, Chinese medical texts and the writings of the Greek physicians like Galen.

Leprosy is said to be the most feared and most misapprehended disease in the history. For thousands of years, the essential oil derived from the seeds of Chaulmogra tree had been in use in the treatment of leprosy and other skin conditions in India, China, Europe, America and certain other Middle East countries.

In 1854 an English Doctor Frederic John Mouat described the use of this oil in the treatment of leprosy, while he was working in Kolkata, India. In the paper submitted in 1854 named ‘The Indian Annals of Medical Science, he wrote on Chaulmogra oil as “Its success was, however, so remarkable and indisputable in one well-marked case of the worst form of leprosy, that I venture to hope an external application of it to that most loathsome and intractable of diseases, may prove so successful, as to secure the general introduction of the remedy.”

Dr. Mouat tried Chaulmogra in two different ways on his leper patients, one by applying and dressing the external ulcers of the patients with the oil and he also gave it internally in the form of pills, prepared by beating the Chaulmogra seeds into a pulp.

It was also introduced as an established treatment for leprosy in 1874 in the Madras Leper Hospital. Chaulmogra oil is still being used in Ayurveda, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and even Western medicine for treating leprosy and other highly-communicable skin diseases.

2. Heals wounds and other skin problems:

Chaulmogra oil has anti-bacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties that help in healing wounds, prevent it from becoming septic and infectious, kill harmful microbes that may affect the wounds and reduce pain in the injured area.

Certain research studies have proved that Chaulmogra oil contains a weak acid known as 5′-methoxyhydnocarpin, which plays a predominant part in preventing the multidrug resistance in certain bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and this bacteria is often the reason for wounds and infections turning septic. Applying a blend of 1 drop of Chaulmogra oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil in 1 ml jojoba oil can work like a miracle on your skin and aid in healing wounds, cuts, bruises, acne, eczema, psoriasis and sores.

3. Alleviates rheumatic pain and associated symptoms:

Rheumatism is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and inflammation of the hands and legs, especially the joints. Amassing of excess water, toxic remains due to indigestion, salt, uric acid and fat deposits cause rheumatic conditions and it is often regarded as a kapha imbalance.

Chaulmogra oil has kapha-reducing and diuretic properties that help in promoting frequent urination, through which the surplus water deposits and toxic remains are eliminated through urine.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Chaulmogra oil blended with 2 drops of Chamomile oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing pain and inflammation with its analgesic properties and discard toxic substances by stimulating the functioning of the kidneys.

4. Relieves congestion:

Chaulmogra is quoted as an oil with sharp and unctuous quality with hot virility and pungent taste by the book ‘Health & Harmony through Ayurveda’ by Anil K. Mehta, R.N. Sharma and N.K. Gupta. These attributes aid in liquefying excess kapha dosha responsible for cold, cough, congestion, tuberculosis and other respiratory problems.

Chaulmogra oil acts as an excellent aid in loosening the deposits of mucous and phlegm in the nasal passages, respiratory tracts and bronchial tubes, and helping in the treatment of chest congestion, nasal congestion, bronchitis and tuberculosis.

This oil also has antibacterial, expectorant and decongestant properties that help in combating harmful micro-organisms that worsen respiratory infections and promote the expulsion of phlegm.

A 1922 study on ‘Chaulmoogra oil in the treatment of tuberculous laryngitis’ concluded that the Chaulmoogra treatment at the Jefferson Hospital and at the Henry Phipps Institute of the University of Pennsylvania on 60 cases over a duration of 8 months “showed promising results from the beginning and in the majority of the cases, Chaulmoogra oil exerted an analgesic action on the larynx, which became more complete after repeated treatments.

This study also said that “there was no pain or discomfort in the throat afterward, but rather a pleasing sensation of warmth in the throat and chest.” Throat dryness associated with tuberculous laryngitis exhibited improvement after this treatment.

2 drops of Chaulmogra oil added to steam inhalation or in gentle massage by blending 2 drops of this oil with 1 drop of Tea tree oil along with your decongestant ointment on your chest, throat and back can help in relieving cold, cough, sore throat and congestion. A cup of warm gargle with 1 drop of Chaulmogra oil can help in discarding microbes and microbial infections in the mouth and throat and assist in treating sore throat and dry cough.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for educational purposes and is shared only with the thought of spreading the traditional values of Ayurveda, the ancient wisdom of healing. It is not meant to prevent or diagnose any disease or medical conditions or to replace any kind of professional medical advice or prescribed medicines.

Never use essential oils internally. Make sure that you dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it externally on the skin, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before choosing the best essential oil for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Chaulmogra oil is a non-sensitizing and non-toxic oil but it is good to avoid this oil on children and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Leprosy in Colonial South India: Medicine and Confinement by Jane Buckingham
  2. Ayurvedic Drug Plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman
  3. Health & Harmony Through Ayurveda by A. k. Mehta, N. K. Gupta
  4. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller, David Schiller
  5. Medicinal Plants of Asia and the Pacific by Christophe Wiart

Reference Links:

  1. Hydnocarpus wightiana seed oil by Wikipedia
  2. Leprosy by Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. Chaulmogra Oil and the Treatment of Leprosy by John Parascandola published in LHNCBC
  4. Chaulmoogra oil in the treatment of Tuberculous Laryngitis by R.M. Lukens, Chief Clinical Assistant, Department for diseases of the chest, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
  5. Chaulmogra from the book Ayurvedic Drug Plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman

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.

Purchase Chironji Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

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

Curry Leaf Oil


Curry-leaf-bannerCure leaf, Potent cancer warrior, Sweet neem, Indian bay and Vitamins powerhouse are some of the celebrated names of Curry leaf, the much treasured and relished aroma provider of Indian soups and curries.

Owning a similar appearance to bay leaves, these aromatic leaves hold a distinct flavor contributed by caryophyllene and 3-carene. Curry leaf essential oil is extracted from curry leaves by steam distillation method.

Curry leaf tree is an easy to cultivate herb and is indigenous to India and Sri Lanka, the countries of rich cultural heritage. Every part of this tree including its leaves, berries and flowers have enormous medicinal values and the best part is that it is easily affordable to poor people as well.

Ayurveda calls this tree as Girinimba or Krishnanimba, named after Lord Krishna, the God of ultimate protection. This ancient art of holistic healing has used Curry leaves and its essential oil in various Ayurvedic preparations for the treatment of diabetes, eye diseases, liver problems, diarrhea, high cholesterol, hair fall, gastrointestinal problems, skin pigmentation and oral disorders.

Purchase Curry Leaf Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses and importance of Curry Leaf tree:

Curry leaves have its name carved in the Tamil literature dating back to 4th century AD for its abundant culinary benefits. Derived from the Tamil word Kari meaning spicy sauce, curry leaves are being clad by numerous vernacular names such as Kariveppilai in Tamil, Kariveppu in Malayalam, Meetha Neem or Karipatta in Hindi, Karibevu in Kannada, Karepeku in Telugu, Folhas de caril in Portuguese, Listya karri in Russian, Fogli di cari in Italian, Hoias de curry in Spanish and Curryblatter in German.

Beautifying the backyard of every home in the Indian subcontinent, Curry leaf tree has a strong precedence in the Indian folklore medicine. The leaves are widely used for its digestive properties in numerous Indian cuisines and have been used in Ayurvedic healing as a natural tonic for an extensive range of ill-health conditions.

Curry leaves are used in alternative medicinal practices like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and the Traditional Chinese medicine for treating diarrhea, vomiting and to endorse the appetite. These leaves are known to possess anti-diabetic properties and is a popular natural aid for controlling diabetes. The paste extracted from the ground leaves are applied on wounds, eruptions, bruises, burns, acne and to treat other skin disorders.

Curry leaves boiled in coconut oil is a popular natural tonic for hair growth. This herbal tonic is trusted to nourish hair follicles and restore its natural color. It quenches thirst and suppresses the heat of the body, for which the yummy buttermilk flavored with curry leaves is often served to greet the guests in India. These leaves are also used in ancient rituals, prayers and sacred ceremonies as a substitute for tulsi leaves.

Certain Ayurvedic remedies include the roots of Curry leaf tree as an aid to relieve pain associated with kidneys. It also assists in treating inflammation, itching, anemia and other blood disorders. Known for its astringent properties, the fruits of the Curry leaf tree are found to be nutritional and beneficial in the mythological medicines of ancient India and China.

The branches of the Curry leaf tree are used since primordial times vastly in the field of oral care. It was used as a datun (natural brush) for cleaning the teeth and strengthening the gums by building a protective shield to battle against the harmful microbes.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Curry Leaf oil:

Rich in carbazole alkaloids, Curry leaf oil constitutes of  α-pinene, sabinene , caryophyllene, β-pinene , terpinen-4-ol, γ-terpinene , limonene ,α-terpinene, (E)-nerolidol, α-humulene, α-thujene ,β-elemene ,β-selinene , b-gurjunene, b-bisabolene, trans beta ocimene, b-cardinene, a-selinene and myrcene.

This oil serves as a rich nutritional source of carbohydrates, fibers, minerals, proteins, Vitamins A, B, B2, E & C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, oxalic acid and nicotinic acids with zero fats.

Curry leaf oil is used in promoting the health of humanity with its antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, stimulant, anti-dysenteric, stomachic, carminative, antiemetic, purgative, appetizer, analgesic, detoxifier, diuretic, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, depurative, revitalizing, insecticidal, fungicidal, anti-hypercholesterolemic, lipolytic and deodorant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Curry leaf oil:

Ayurveda is the ancient science of holistic healing, where ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge. Being the oldest of all remedial systems in the world, Ayurveda is the mother of all healing methodologies on earth and is the pioneer system for many healing sciences including Siddha, Unani, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Homeopathy and the Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Health according to Ayurveda is a three-tier structure comprising of the perfect balance between the body, mind and spirit. This natural science states that wellness and illness depends solely on the perfect rhythm with nature.

It also says that everything on earth is a part of nature and is made up the five elements of nature. They are earth, water, fire, space and air. Among these elements earth constructs the physical body (bones and muscles), water runs in the form of blood and other fluids in the body, air aids in breathing, agni or fire is the heat energy created in the body for carrying out the functions of metabolism, absorption and body temperature and space is the spirit that lives in.

Ayurveda trusts that every individual is made with a unique combination of these five elements in the form of biological energies known as doshas. These energies put together is the individual constitution or the physical, mental and spiritual make up of a person. Every human being has a predominance of any one of these doshas and this predominance determines their unique personality, character and behavioral attributes.

Illness according to Ayurveda is an opportunity to trace out that there is something out of balance in the body due to the imbalance of these three doshas. To treat these imbalances, which are mostly the root cause of a sickness, Ayurvedic system prescribes natural medications like herbs, physical exercises, essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, healthy lifestyle, meditation, prayers, and yoga that suit the individual constitution.

Curry leaf oil has the power to pacify aggravated kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha. With such well-built healing values, Ayurveda prescribes Curry leaf oil as an aid to assist every human being with healthy hair, bright eyesight, strong teeth and gums, glowing skin, actively functioning liver, smooth digestive system, cholesterol and diabetes-free system.

The most important Ayurvedic health benefits of Curry leaf oil are:

Curry-leaf-broucher1. A natural tonic for long and lustrous hair:

Healthy, long, strong and lustrous hair is the dream of many. Here comes the natural wonder to give life to your dreams about your hair and would you believe if I say that the wonder is nothing but the most affordable Curry leaf oil? Yes! A balanced diet with equal proportion of vitamins, minerals, iron and other nutrients is required to maintain a healthy hair. Rich in minerals, iron, Vitamins A, B, C & E, Curry leaves and its essential oil have been used both internally and externally in Ayurveda since ages for hair care.

As a rich source of natural antioxidants, Curry leaf oil helps in contracting the muscles and tissues, thus strengthening the roots of the hair and preventing hair fall. The healthy nutrients in this oil promotes natural hair growth and effectively works on the real pigmentation of the individual’s physique and helps in bringing back the original color of the hair.

This attribute of Curry leaf oil makes it a wonderful natural aid for premature graying of hair and skin pigmentation problems, where the skin loses its natural pigmentation and white patches start spreading all over the body. A renowned article by the members of the Spices Board Team states that curry leaves have done miracle in the life of those affected by skin pigmentation problems.

All you need to do is to add 5 drops of Curry leaf oil in 2.5 ml of coconut oil and massage it gently on the scalp and let it for 1 hour. After this soothing massage wash your hair with natural hair cleansers like Shikakai or herbal shampoos for startling results. For treating skin pigmentation, add 2 drops of Curry leaf oil in 1 ml of olive oil and apply it on the affected areas in a relaxing manner. Use mild soaps on the skin after this massage.

2. Protects the eyes and improves eyesight:

Vitamin A is all that comes to our mind, the moment we think about ways to improve our eyesight and protect our eyes from the onset of some common diseases that come along with aging. As a rich source of Vitamin A, Curry leaf oil provides the necessary compounds required by the retina of the eye in the formation of the light absorbing molecule called rhodopsin, which aids in good vision.

Curry leaves not only help in brightening the vision of the eyes but also assists in delaying the onset of cataract if utilized regularly. You can add 1 drop of Curry leaf oil in steam inhalation or in warm water for washing your face. The best ways to benefit your vision is to use fresh Curry leaves in your diet and adding 1 to 2 drops of Curry leaf oil in almond oil for massaging your face.

3. Aids in maintaining oral health:

Gum problems, toothache and bad breath are often the most annoying health conditions. It has been a practice in India since the ancient times to chew Curry leaves daily to maintain good oral health. The essential oil extracted from these leaves are rich in vitamin C, calcium, folic acid and zinc. Adding 2 drops of this oil in a cup of warm water and using it as a gargle aids in strengthening the teeth and gums and gives a long lasting freshness in your breath.

Moreover the antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal attributes of this oil helps in refreshing the breath thus curing halitosis as well. It is for this great reason; the primeval Indians used the branches of the Curry leaf tree to clean their teeth.

A recent study on the role of herbal products for oral care states that chewing Curry leaves or gargling with its essential oil stimulates the process of salivation that in turn increases the salivary PH value which plays an important role in maintaining the oral health and promoting the dental remineralization apart from protecting against various other oral health issues such as bad breath, advent of tooth decay due to harmful bacteria etc.

4. Excellent aid in skin care:

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and most often your skin health reflects the healthiness of your entire system. Today’s contemporary living forces most of us to encounter numerous dermatological problems due to the close contact with harmful chemicals in various forms ranging from cosmetics, hair care, skin care and personal hygiene products that we use every day.

Curry Leaf oil serves as a natural antimicrobial and antioxidant agent that aids in protecting the skin from tanning with its rich nutrient values. Massaging your skin with 5 drops of Curry leaf oil blended with 2.5 ml of Jojoba oil effectively helps in keeping the connective tissues intact thus helping in reducing wrinkles and relieving from other signs of aging.

You can also add 2 drops of Curry leaf oil in your regular skin care cream or lotion and apply it gently on the affected area for arresting the spread of infectious micro-organisms like bacteria, virus and fungi that often remains as the cause of concern for various skin problems including pimples, athlete’s foot, ringworm, itches, acne, boils and septic of wounds and burns.

The antimicrobial property of this oil assists in curbing the growth of microbes causing skin problems and infections and this powerful oil is used in the manufacturing of toiletries and ointments and skin care creams. This oil has the power to treat poisonous insect bites also.

5. Helps in treating Diabetes Mellitus:

Diabetes mellitus is the most common health condition among the numerous hereditary diseases that affect human beings. It is one of the most hazardous ailments for it is always associated with plenty of other factors that can make you completely wreck-down if not kept under control.

Ayurvedic healing strongly prescribes the use of Curry leaf and its essential oil for treating diabetes, as these magical leaves have hypoglycemic values. Numerous research studies by medical practitioners and scholars state that curry leaf oil has the potential of slowing down the rate of breaking down of start into glucose which results in lower level of glucose being dispersed in the bloodstream.

Ensure that you go on for a natural Ayurvedic massaging twice a week with 6 drops of Curry leaf oil mixed with 3 to 4 ml of sesame oil, followed by a warm bath where 2 drops of this oil is diluted in the bathing water as well. The remedial properties of this oil penetrate through the skin and enter the blood stream where it fights against diabetes mellitus by controlling the blood glucose levels in the body.

6. Effectively cares your digestive system:

Curry leaf oil has a handful of remedial benefits including stimulant, appetizer, anti-dysenteric, stomachic, carminative and antiemetic. Being a natural stimulant, it enhances the appetite and promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes, thus aiding in proper digestion and complete absorption of the nutrients after every meal.

Curry leaf oil serves as an excellent purgative to regularize your bowel movements. It also helps in alleviating other digestive disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea due to indigestion, constipation, piles etc. Moreover, it acts as an efficient antimicrobial and antifungal agent to set your intestines free from harmful microbes. This is the major reason for using Curry leaves in food preparation.

To help with digestive disorders, you can massage your tummy and abdomen with 4 drops of Curry leaf oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil or add 2 drops of this oil in your vaporizer or diffuser. You can also go for a warm bath diluted with 3 drops of Curry leaf oil to relieve from stomach upset, indigestion, irregular bowel movements and loss of appetite.

7. Helps maintain the optimal cholesterol level:

Curry leaf oil is rich in carbazole alkaloids (antioxidant), which helps in aiding the metabolism of fats and fatty acids in the body, thus helping in reducing and eliminating the bad cholesterol in the system. This potential of Curry leaf oil has significant impact in the treatment of obesity and high-cholesterol levels.

Massage your system with 6 drops of Curry leaf oil with 3 ml of warm coconut oil and inhale the remedial aroma of Curry leaf oil by adding 2 drops of this oil in your burner or aromatic candles for maintaining the proper level of HDL (good cholesterol) in your system. When inhaled, the aromatic molecules of this oil passes the nasal passages and reach the limbic system, which is the chief control center of the brain and it passes appropriate signals and commands to various organs for active functioning.

8. Reduces inflammation:

As a natural detoxifier and depurative, Curry leaf oil helps in excreting the harmful toxins from the body and purifies the blood. It also acts as a diuretic and eases the quantity and frequency of urinating. By this way, it leaves less pressure on the kidneys and protects the liver by aiding it to encounter with less amount of toxic substances.

All these medicinal values make Curry leaf oil as a superior natural remedy for reducing inflammatory conditions caused due to water retention and deposits of toxins, excess salt and uric acid. Mix 2 drops of Curry leaf oil with 1 ml of olive oil and massage it firmly on the painful or inflamed parts for quick relief. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of this oil in hot compress for effective results.

Other health benefits of Curry Leaf Oil:

Due to its richness in vitamin A and calcium, Curry leaf oil is used in strengthening the bones and hence it is highly recommended for women who suffer from osteoporosis and calcium deficiency. It is also a great aid in recovering from the aftershocks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments of cancer. With its disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, Curry leaf oil is also used in the manufacturing of soaps, insecticides and mosquito repellents.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute any professional medical advice or prescribed medication. Do not use essential oils internally and always use it topically in a diluted form only, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from plants. It is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic expert before making the right choice of essential oils that are suitable for your unique state of health and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. -Hal Borland

Suggested Reading:

  1. Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria (Medicinal Herb Guide) by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  2. Curry Leaves and Cumin Seeds: A Healthier Approach to Indian Cooking by Jeeta Gandhi
  3. Pharmacognosy and Biological evaluation of Murraya Koenigii (Linn) by Ashish Gaur
  4. Essential Oils from the Leaves of Murraya Koenigii (spreng.), Murraya Exotica (linn.) And Murraya Exotica Var. Ovatifoliolata by A. R.; Simonsen, J. L.

Reference Links:

  1. Curry Tree by Wikipedia
  2. Phytochemical diversity of Murraya koenigii from Western Himalaya published in pubmed.
  3. A 2012 research article on the Estimation of salivary and tongue coating pH on chewing household herbal leaves: A randomized controlled trial published in PubMed.
  4. A 2004 article on ‘The traditional diabetes remedy offers hope’ published in The Times of India.
  5. Ayurvedic Herb Curry Leaves published in Geocities