Celery Seed Oil

‘Quick acting’ is the meaning of the word Celeri, the Latin origin of the name Celery. Well identified as one of the prime ingredient of the Holy Trinity of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine, Celery is a renowned herb known to the Chinese as early as the 5th century and was used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine earlier than that.

Celery-seed-oil-bannerBelonging to the Umbelliferae plant family, it is botanically called as Apium graveolens. Celery seed oil is obtained from the dried Celery seeds by the steam distillation method.

Called as Ajamoda in Ayurveda, Celery seed have been used for thousands of years in treating neurological afflictions, poor digestion, influenza, water retention, high blood pressure, insomnia, arthritis, rheumatism, cold, flu, bronchitis, hepatitis, gout, stone formation in gall bladder or kidneys, asthma, arthritis, dizziness and other ailments related to spleen and liver.

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Historical uses and importance of Celery Seed and its essential oil:

Well known to the contemporary world as a vegetable, Celery owes its nativity to the lowland of Italy and it gradually spread to other parts of the world like Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and India. It is often referred to its use in the New Kingdom of Egypt around 1000 B.C.

Celery was held high as a sacred herb during the Greek era and was used in crowns by the athletes. Few sources state that Celery leaves were found in the garland of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun who died in 1323 BC. It is also mentioned in numerous classical works, one being Homer’s Iliad where the horses of the Myrmidons were said to graze on the wild Celery in Troy.

Aulus Cornelius Celsus, the eminent Roman encyclopaedist well known for his invaluable work in the field of medicine has mentioned about the use of Celery seeds in pills for relieving pain, in his work De Medicina, which is the only existing section of the whole of encyclopedia. Celery seeds were used as a traditional remedy by Hippocrates and was globally used as an effective diuretic in treating cold, arthritis, flu and digestive disorders.

The German Commission E prescribes Celery for treating gout, gastrointestinal problems, loss of appetite, exhaustion, weight loss from malnutrition and rheumatism and it was used in Britain in the 19th century for treating rheumatic conditions.

The juices extracted from the petioles were used in the treatment of edema, rheumatic tendencies, gout, flatulence, overweight due to water retention and lack of appetite. Moreover the petiole which is crisp is also used as a vegetable worldwide.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Celery Seed oil:

With limonene as the major chemical component Celery seed oil consist of a-p-dimethyl styrene, N-pertyl benzene , caryophyllene, a-selinene, N-butyl phthalide, sedanenolide, sabinene, b-elemne, trans-1 2-epoxy limonene, linalool, isovalaric acid, cis-dihydrocarvone, trans-dihydrocarvone, trepinene-4-ol, 1-cis –p-menth-2,8-diene-1-ol, trans-p-menth-2, 8-diene-1-ol, alpha-terpineol, luteolin, carvone, trans-8-diene 1-ol,perialdehyde, apiin and thymol.

It also serves as an eminent nutritional supplement rich in Vitamin A, B, C & E, carbohydrate, protein, iron, potassium, water, fat, fiber, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium with traces of niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

The therapeutic properties of Celery seed oil are aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, cardiac-stimulant, antiseptic, anti-emetic, diaphoretic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, mosquitocidal, nematicidal, anti-bacterial, stomachic, nervine and tonic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Celery seed oil:

Illness, aging and death are the three major problems of mankind and have been drawing the interests of medical experts, researchers, and philosophers from the entire universe for innumerable years. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth exists for more than 5,000 years and it uses natural remedies for attaining longevity through prevention of diseases and a disciplined lifestyle.

Ayurvedic healing practices were recorded in the Vedic literature and Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Charaka, known as the father of medicine has mentioned in his book Charaka Samhita that “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” This traditional remedial science robustly states that perfect health is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

The science of Ayurveda considers human body as a temple and associates the divinity with the soul that dwells within the body. According to this ancient system, everything in the universe is a part of nature and is made up of the five elemental forces of nature, namely fire, water, air, earth and space.

Every individual is a unique creation with a unique individual constitution that holds three vital biological energies known as doshas. These energies are just a consequential depiction of the elements of nature.

Vata energy is an arrangement of air and space and is accountable for circulation, respiration and movement and vitiation of vata dosha causes breathing difficulties, neurological problems, nervous disorders, and menstrual discomforts.

Fire and water come together to embody Pitta dosha, which is in charge of metabolism and body temperature. Excess or deficit of pitta dosha might end up in constipation, fever, ulcer, indigestion, heartburn and other digestive disorders.

Kapha energy stands for earth and water and is responsible for the physical structure, movement of fluids and sustenance of the body. Surplus or deficiency of kapha dosha leads to sluggishness, obesity, respiratory problems, rheumatism and inflammatory conditions.

Ayurvedic philosophy states that the balance between these three doshas according to their natural composition contributes to well-being and imbalance of any one or all the three doshas causes sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies focus on treating the doshic imbalances with the help of essential oils, yoga, herbs, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, Ayurvedic massaging or Abhyanga, prayers, Panchakarma or detoxification techniques and simple physical exercises. These remedies differ from individual to individual on the basis of their unique individual constitution and medical conditions.

Celery seed oil with its hot, easy, light, pungent and dry properties is known for increasing pitta and vata dosha and for pacifying kapha types.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Celery seed essential oil are:

celery-broucher21. Flushes out toxic substances and cleanses the system:

Surplus of kapha energy is responsible for water retention, stagnation of fluids, salt, toxins, uric acid, bad cholesterol and fat in the body. Celery seed oil is a promising Ayurvedic remedy for pacifying kapha dosha and thus it helps in eliminating toxins and other excess fluid deposits stagnated in the body through urine and sweat.

Along with this, the presence of Phthalides such as 3-n-Butylpthalide makes Celery seed oil as a potent diuretic that aids in flushing out toxins and fluid retention from the system and alleviates the symptoms of bloating.

As a natural stimulant, it stimulates the kidney to function actively in discharging excess water along with uric acid, fatty acids and other harmful substances that pave way to the formation of kidney stones, gravel and bladder stones.

Dirt or toxic deposits even in a smaller proportion in the system can result in malfunctioning of both the internal and the external organs. Liver plays a major role in eliminating the toxins from the body and is often prone to get affected seriously if the level of toxins is high. Celery seed oil is liver friendly and protects it against the harmful effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol) found in pain relievers, which are extremely poisonous when present in large amount and other hazardous particles.

Rheumatism is often a kapha imbalance caused due to the amassing of toxins, excess fluid, uric acid, salt and fatty acids especially in the joints. Massaging the affected parts or your entire body with 20 drops of Celery seed oil blended with 10 ml of coconut oil can assist in decreasing water retention, uric acid, toxins and other harmful particles in the system, thus helpful in the treatment of inflammation, overweight, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney infections, liver disorders and hypertension.

2. Acts as an excellent mosquito repellent:

Mosquitoes often act as vectors for numerous infectious viruses and parasites. With its mosquitocidal, nematicidal and antifungal compounds such as sedanolide, senkyunolide-N and senkyunolide-J, Celery seed oil acts as a tremendous mosquito repellent.

Many studies have revealed that Celery seed essential oil emitted strong repellency activity against wide range of mosquitoes belonging to various genera some of which are Aedes gardnerii, Aedes lineatopennis, Armigeres subalbatus, Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Cx. vishnui group, Cx. Quinquefasciatus, Mansonia uniformis and Aedes aegypti – the vector of yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.

Celery seed oil exhibits larvicidal and adulticidal repellent activities against Aedes aegypti which was identified by the toxic effect of this oil in the nervous system of the mosquito producing an abnormal movement in the larvae. This attribute makes this oil to be the safe and natural mosquito repellent than most other commercial repellents in the market.

Applying 2 drops of Celery seed oil blended with 1 ml of jojoba oil or your skin care cream or lotion on your skin can act as a protective shield against mosquitoes and guard you from mosquito-borne pathogens such as dengue, malaria, filariasis and tularemia. It is proven to be safe on human beings with no dermatological side effect during the course of research on the human volunteers.

3. Protects you against inflammation:

Celery seed oil is a natural remedy for inflammation associated with pain and discomfort, be it an acute or a chronic one. With apiin as one of its major component, it possesses anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and kapha pacifying properties in-charge for inflamed conditions. Apiin has the potential of inhibiting the production of nitric oxide that acts as one of the inflammatory mediators.

Chemical components such as luteolin, limonene, apigenin, phthalides and coumarin possess very strong anti-inflammatory properties that help in fighting against inflammation in any part of the body and assist in reducing the risk of ailments such as heart diseases and cancer.

This attribute along with the diuretic property of Celery seed oil helps in recovering from the symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis as mentioned by Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their book “The Encyclopedia of Healing foods”.

Celery Seed oil proves beneficial in dealing with the discomfort and degeneration the body joints due to aging. Gentle massage with 5 drops of Celery seed oil mixed with 2.5 ml of olive oil is recommended to ease the pain in joints due to arthritis and this also aids in retaining healthy joints.

Adding 3 drops of Celery seed oil in warm bathing water or in foot bath also helps in reducing the inflammation in the urinary tract and as a natural anti-fungal agent it destroys and inhibits the growth of Candida albicans that cause oral and genital infection in humans, for which this is used as an active ingredient in many urinary antiseptic products.

4. Relieves hypertension:

Celery seed oil serves as a natural vasorelaxant and anti-hypertensive agent that protects one from the risk of developing some fatal diseases associated with hypertension. Few among them are diabetes, endothelial dysfunction, renal dysfunction, congestive heart failure, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease and stroke.

The presence of chemical components such as apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol, caffeic acid, ferulic acid and coumaric acid instill a relaxant effect in the central nervous system and helps in lowering hypertension.

Owing to its nervine qualities, Celery seed oil is vastly employed in treating nervousness, depression, anxiety and tension. It also serves as a wonderful antidote for alcoholism. With limonene acting as a mild tranquilizer, Celery seed oil works wonders with insomnia and addiction to alcohol or drug usage. Massage your system with 10 drops of this oil blended in 5 ml of almond oil, followed by a warm bath diluted with 3 drops of Celery oil and 2 drops added to diffuser to relieve hypertension and grant absolute relaxation.

5. Lowers blood pressure:

Celery seed oil contains apigenin and isoquerticin that aid in lowering the blood pressure by stimulating the expansion of blood vessels. The combination of several active components such as flavonoids, volatile oil, coumarins and linoleic acid contributes to the anti-oxidant property of Celery seed oil.

This helps in protecting the cells from being damaged and purifies the blood resulting in lowering the blood pressure and controlling the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Adding 3 drops of Celery seed oil in warm bathing water and inhaling the tranquilizing aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your burner, vaporizer or diffuser can serve as a potent aid for lowering blood pressure.

6. Helps in alleviating gastric ulcer and other digestive problems:

The essential oil of Celery seed has excellent pitta increasing properties that stimulate Agni or the digestive fire responsible for trouble-free metabolic functions. This contributes to the stomachic and anti-ulcerogenic attributes of Celery seed oil, which imparts a soothing effect on the digestive system and assists in alleviating flatulence, indigestion, heartburn and poor appetite.

As a natural source of organic sodium, Celery seed oil is much protective in forming a defensive shield for the lining of the stomach and intestines. A 2010 research on the gastric anti-ulcer activity of Celery seed in rats states that the Celery extracts rich in flavonoids and alkaloids protected the stomach by protecting the gastric mucosa and suppressing the basal gastric secretion.

Moreover Celery essential oil is an antimicrobial agent that possess strong inhibition against bacteria such as Escherichia coli and fungus such as Candida albicans thus protecting the intestines from the infectious microbes and parasites.

Massaging your abdomen with 3 drops of Celery seed oil with 1.5 ml coconut oil can help in improving metabolism. 2 drops of this oil added to diffuser or burner can help in enhancing the appetite and 2 drops added to 1 cup of warm water can be used as a gargle for curbing oral infections and killing parasites and microbes in the stomach and intestines.

7. Eases feminine health mayhem:

Celery seed oil is in rich vitamins and minerals that help in regulating the flow of blood all over the body and assists in strengthening the muscles of the uterus. It helps in stimulating uterine contraction and induces menstruation, while reducing the pain and discomforts associated with it. This oil also regularizes the monthly menstrual cycle.

Being a rich source of calcium, Celery seed oil helps in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth and aids in proper muscular contractions and alleviates the adverse impacts of osteoporosis after menopause. 5 drops of Celery oil mixed with 2.5 ml sesame oil can be massaged gently on your lower abdomen, genital parts and thighs for promoting delayed or blocked menstruation, reducing pain, treating menopausal problems and lessening fatigue and mood swings associated with menopause and menstruation.

Few studies also state that Celery seed oil may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer with its antioxidant properties. It helps in balancing the acid/ alkaline system in the body and aids in preventing cancer by reversing the effect of free radicals and inducing apoptosis in case of gastric, liver, colon, cervical and prostate cancer cells of human beings.

Other health benefits of Celery seed oil:

Celery seed oil acts as an aphrodisiac in stimulating the secretion of sexual hormones. Due to its sweet and earthy aroma it is often used in salads, soups and sauces. It is also employed in skin care to treat acne, scars and boils and in treating acute headaches, cold, flu, pyorrhea, anemia, mental stress, sleeplessness etc.

Due to its antibacterial, antifungal and mosquito repellent properties, this oil is used in the manufacturing of disinfectants, antiseptic creams and lotions, mosquito repellent creams, soaps and perfumes.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not proposed to treat, prevent or make a diagnosis of any ailment or medical condition. Nor is it meant to substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is only for the purpose of enlightening the readers with the ancient wisdom or knowledge of life known as Ayurveda.

Do not take essential oils internally and always use them in a diluted manner for topical use, as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Keep out of reach of children and it is always good to do a small patch test on your skin with the diluted essential oil. Pregnant women are not advised to use this oil as it stimulates and contracts the uterus and may result in miscarriage. Consult your healthcare expert or your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your medical condition and prakriti or unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.   -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Healing Remedies Sourcebook: Over 1000 Natural Remedies to Prevent and Cure Common Ailments by C. Norman Shealy
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D.
  4. ISO 3760:2002, Oil of celery seed (Apium graveolens L.) by ISO/TC 54

Reference Links:

  1. Celery by Wikipedia
  2. The pharmacognostical ad pharmacological characterization of Apium Graveolens by Syed Sufiyan Fazal and Rajeev K Singla published in the 2012 Indo Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  3. The Mosquito repellency of the seeds of Celery (Apium graveolens L.) published in PubMed
  4. The extract of Apium graveolens: structure of the major constituent, apiin, and its anti-inflammatory properties published in PubMed

Caraway Oil

Caraway-bannerWhich Ayurvedic oil ‘warms the kidneys’ and ‘moves the liver’? Ah! Wait! Wait! Don’t panic, it is Caraway essential oil that has the potent to cleanse the liver, detoxify the system and discharge toxins, salt, uric acid and excess fluid deposits in the system through urine.

Also known as Persian cumin, Meridian fennel and Shahi jeera, Caraway is one among the 3000 species of plants of the Umbelliferae family dispersed throughout the world. The essential oil is extracted from the dried seeds through steam distillation method.

The Sanskrit name of Caraway is karavi and it is one among the oldest culinary herb used in Ayurvedic healing since the Stone Age. Caraway and its essential oil is being used in Ayurveda for treating diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, morning sickness, colic, dyspeptic headache, bloating, cold, cough, rheumatism, inflammation, delayed menstruation, genitourinary problems, anemia, obesity and hormonal imbalances.

Purchase Caraway Essential Oil – 4oz – CLICK HERE 

Historical uses of Caraway and its essential oil:

Indigenous to Western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa, Caraway is botanically called as Carum carvi. The roots of the Caraway herb were mixed with milk and used in the preparation of Chara – the bread that was taken by Julius Caesar and his soldiers of Valerius.

Caraway has been carved in the ancient scriptures and gained esteem during the middle ages. The recent research from Arabic regional studies recommend “Carum carvi use as an endocrine function support agent, specifically related to thyroid disorders and auto immune disease.”

Parkinson mentions its healing attributes in one of his works which quotes Caraway ‘is much used to be put among baked fruit, or into bread, cakes, etc., to give them a relish. It is also made into comfits and taken for cold or wind in the body, which also are served to the table with fruit.’

It was a tradition to serve a saucer full of Caraway with roasted apple and is still kept in Trinity College, London. Caraway seeds were used as the best condiment in Greece, Rome, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Caraway essential oil is used as an active ingredient in the preparation of alcoholic liquors. It is also used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating hiccups, hernia, lower back pain, lack of appetite and nausea.

The Ebers Papyrus of the African medicine, dated 1500 B.C. prescribe Caraway for treating gastrointestinal problems. People in the primeval period believed that the presence of Caraway in any object will be protected from theft. It was also used in love potions to keep the lovers away from wandering and was given to pigeons and other fowls to keep them away from straying.

Alleged to be first used by the ancient Arabs, Caraway seeds are used in Arabic medicine as a carminative for children and to treat psychological conditions such as hysteria. It is used as a diuretic to treat hypertension and diabetes in Moroccan traditional medicine. Caraway water is used as a medium for pediatric medicines and vapors obtained from Caraway seeds is trusted to alleviate rheumatism and lumbago.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Caraway essential oil:

Owing major similarities to the other members of the Apiaceae (also known as Umbelliferae) family, Caraway essential oil have carvone and limonene as its major components and the other constituents are carvacrol, α-pinene, γ-terpinene, linalool, furfurol, thujone, carvenone, and p-cymene.

Caraway also serves as a rich source of fatty acids, lignin, vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, triacylglycerols and numerous minerals such as copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, selenium, zinc and iron.

Caraway essential oil has been in use since antiquity for its countless therapeutic properties like carminative, astringent, antispasmodic, eupeptic, antihistaminic, antiseptic, aperitif, antimicrobial, disinfectant, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, digestive, insecticide, diuretic, galactogogue, cardiac, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-stress and vermifuge.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Caraway essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest healing sciences known to the world and is said to have been in practice for more than 5,000 years. The most notable 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 methodolgy 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 states 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 ratio 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 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 dosha.

Caraway essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha, making its use inevitable in the treatment of respiratory problems, skin disorders, spasms, cramps, bloating and other digestive disorders.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Caraway essential oil are:caraway-broucher-info1. Combats the growth of free radicals:

Caraway essential oil serves as an effective antioxidant with its rich content of monoterpene alcohols, linalool, flavonoids and other polyphenolic compounds. This helps in destroying and inhibiting the growth of free radicals, which are responsible for cellular oxidation.

Certain scientific studies conclude that the dietary supplementation of Caraway to rats induced with colon cancer suppressed the crypt foci development and decreased the level of fecal bile acids and alkaline phosphatase which affects the epithelial cells of the colon and the rectum if not kept under control. The presence of carvone and limonene helps in reducing the lipid peroxidation products of the intestines and the colon.

Moreover the chemical compounds such as anethofuran, carvone and limonene are potential cancer chemo-preventive agents that build a protective shield against various mutagens such as dimethylnitrosamine, nitrosodimethlyamine, methylazoxymethanol acetate and inhibit the development of stomach cancers in mice induced by diethylsitosamine.

The antioxidant property of Caraway essential oil also makes it an efficient anti-carcinogenic, apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-mutagenic agent. As an apoptotic, Caraway essential oil proves fruitful against human leukemia cells and it also anti-proliferates the tumor cells.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Caraway oil blended with 5 ml of Coconut oil can help in controlling the growth of free radicals and enhance the immune power of the system to shield against the harmful effects of the cancerous cells.

2. Makes you free from toxins:

Caraway essential oil serves as an excellent detoxifier, which assists in promoting active metabolism and excretion of harmful toxins or ama in the body. A 2007 research on the diuretic effect of Caraway essential oil on normal rats states that it increased the frequency and quantity of urine in a 24 hour period. It increased the level of sodium and potassium in the urine while that of the plasma remained unchanged.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Caraway oil in warm bathing water or in a massage blend with 10 drops of this oil mixed with 5 ml of olive oil helps in excreting the toxins, fats, uric acid, salt and excess fluid deposits with ease. By this way, Caraway oil aids in alleviating hypertension, promoting weight loss and treating inflammation caused due to water retention.

Ayurvedic texts adore Caraway seed oil as a liver-friendly oil that support in protecting the liver from the encountering of highly toxic substances. In addition to this, its antimicrobial attribute clears out urinary tract infections. Caraway essential oil is a great source of dietary fiber.

3. Aids in proper digestion:

Caraway essential oil has been in use since the prehistoric period for its pitta-enhancing properties that stimulates the Agni or digestive fire, secretion of gastric and digestive juices. This attribute is responsible for the carminative, digestive and stomachic properties of Caraway oil. Its flavonoids, fatty acids and triacylglycerols help in reducing inflammation in the intestines and relieving smooth muscle contractions induced by spasmogens.

With flavonoids and monoterpene alcohols acting as natural stimulants, Caraway essential oil regulates the secretion of the digestive enzymes and its rich mineral content aid in complete absorption of the dietary nutrients. It raises the temperature of the body and speed up the process of metabolism thus preventing constipation and it helps in regulating the bowel movements.

A 2011 study on the various healing attributes of Caraway essential oil proves the antibacterial activity of this oil against gram negative bacteria such as helicobacter pylori which is identified as the primary etiological factor associated with the onset of various gastrointestinal ailments such as gastric carcinoma, gastritis and peptic ulcer. It blends well with Peppermint oil in treating non-ulcer dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Inhaling the refreshing aroma of Caraway oil by adding 2 drops of this oil in diffuser or burner along with massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Caraway oil blended with 2.5 ml of sesame oil can effectively treat diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, morning sickness, dyspepsia, heartburn due to indigestion, gastrointestinal disorders, stomachic ulcers, intestinal worms and parasites and colic.

Carvone which owes the credit of the anti-inflammatory attribute of Caraway essential oil actively reduces the production of prostaglandin and increases the production of leukotriene thus helping in alleviating colic for which reason Caraway seeds boiled in hot water was used in treating infants with colic. As an effective antimicrobial agent, Caraway oil destroys the harmful microbes in the stomach and inhibits the growth of intestinal pathogens.

4. Alleviates menstrual discomforts and other womanly problems: 

Caraway essential oil has reproductive and estrogenic parameters due to the presence of flavonoids and apigenin. It increases and regulates the secretion of estrogen. Moreover it’s rich iron, calcium and vitamin content stimulates the secretion of hemoglobin and regulates  blood flow to the uterus.

Massaging your lower abdomen, genital area and thighs with 5 drops of Caraway oil blended with 2.5 ml of Almond oil aids in opening up blocked menstruation and alleviates menstrual irregularities, dysmennorhea, menstrual cramps and associated mood swings. It relaxes the uterus and helps in its contraction facilitating the process of child birth before delivery.

Furthermore this oil possesses galactogogue properties, where the mammary glands are induced and the secretion of milk in lactating mothers is increased. Nursing mothers who use Caraway essential oil benefits their baby as well from colic and other stomachic discomforts.

5. Relieves common cold and other respiratory infections:

Common cold and certain other respiratory problems are often known as the most annoying ailments of mankind of all ages.

According to Ayurveda, excess of Kapha element in the body cause water retention, formation of mucus and phlegm deposits in the body. As a natural kapha reducing agent, Caraway essential oil can help in clearing off the phlegm and mucus secretion that often obstruct the nasal passages and block the respiratory tract.

Being a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, Caraway essential oil destroys all the harmful microbes that cling onto the respiratory tract resulting in infections and huge deposits of mucus and phlegm. Carvone, limonene and linalool play a major role in destroying the infectious microbes and hold antihistamine properties that calm down the muscles causing coughing spasms.

2 to 3 drops of Caraway oil added to steam inhalation along with the gentle massaging of your chest, throat and back with 2 drops of this oil mixed in your regular decongesting ointment or rub can help in loosening the deposits of mucus and phlegm, aid in its excretion and reduce the symptoms of bronchitis, laryngitis and sore throat.

6. Alleviates skin disorders:

Caraway essential oil is a powerful antiseptic that helps in treating acne, boils, scabies and itches. It is used in cleansing the wounds as it destroys the presence of micro-organisms and prevents it from spreading and becoming septic, thus protecting one from the onset of tetanus with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Carvone and limonene components present in Caraway oil have enormous anti-oxidant properties that strengthen the connective tissues and confer potent effects on aging symptoms and clears out wrinkles, lessens the sagging of skin and aids in tissue regeneration. This oil is also used in the manufacturing of skin care lotions, creams and ointments for reducing wrinkles and acne.

Rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc, Caraway essential oil helps in regulating the growth and development of cells and aids in improved natural complexion of the skin. Mix 2 drops of Caraway oil with 1 ml of Coconut oil or your mild skin care cream or lotion and gently massage on your skin in circular movements for visible results.

7. Instills tranquility:

Caraway essential oil serves as a boon to mankind with its pleasing aroma and its therapeutic compounds that have a soothing effect on the mind and instills feelings of trust and harmony. It acts as a tonic for the nerves and encourages positive thoughts in a person and eases the mental strain while making one to feel full of life and energy.

The best way to use Caraway essential oil for emotional benefits is to add 2 drops of this oil in burner, vaporizer, diffuser, aromatic candles or your pillow cover for boosting up your system and revitalizing you from within.

Other health benefits of Caraway oil:

Caraway essential oil is also used in treating rheumatism, toothaches, eye infections and inflammations. It is used as a flavoring agent in mouth-wash, gargle preparations, toothpastes, soaps, lotions, perfumes and incense sticks. It also serves as an insecticide and a potential natural fumigant for stored products. With its strong yet pleasing aroma it refreshes your breath and hence used in the manufacturing of mouth fresheners, toothpastes and other oral care products.

Disclaimer:

This is only for educational use and is not meant to prevent or diagnose any health condition or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. This information is shared only with the concern of highlighting the importance of Ayurvedic healing, the traditional wisdom of holistic remedy and we are not medical professionals. Do not use essential oils internally.

Ensure 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. It is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic professional/ healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. Caraway: The Genus Carum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Aromatherapy for the Soul: Healing the Spirit with Fragrance and Essential Oils by Valerie Ann Worwood
  3. The Nursing Mother’s Herbal (The Human Body Library) by Sheila Humphrey

Reference Links:

  1. Caraway by Wikipedia
  2. Essential oil content in Caraway species (Carum carvi) by J.Sedlakovai, B. Kicourkova, L. Lojkovai and V.Kubani of the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Czech Republic
  3. Cuminum Cyminum and Carum carvi by R.K. Johri published in PubMed
  4. The effects of Carum carvi L. (Caraway) extract and essential oil on TNBS-induced colitis in rats published in PubMed

Cananga Oil

Bejeweled as the “Poor man’s jasmine”, Cananga is a relative of the most mesmerizing Ylang Ylang flowers. Although its floral note resembles that of Ylang Ylang oil, Cananga is comparatively less aromatic as it is regarded much greener than the Ylang Ylang tree and is its cost-effective alternative.

cananga-bannerCananga has been a vital part of the remedial regimen since the traditional times in the treatment of depression, anxiety, impotence, insect bites and high blood pressure.

Known as Lanji and Vanachampaka in Sanskrit, Cananga and its essential oil have been recommended in Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy, hair growth, balanced sebum secretion, stress, malaria, insomnia, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, frigidity and nervous conditions.

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Historical uses and importance of Cananga oil:

Cananga is a vibrant member of the sugar apple family, Annonaceae. Indigenous to the tropical parts of Asia, Cananga oil is distributed throughout the world from India, Malaysia, Moluccas islands, Philippines and Java.

Cananga oil is extracted by steam distillation from the freshly picked up, bright yellow flowers those look similar to that of the Ylang Ylang flowers. Few sources state that the first person to distill the essential oil of Cananga Odorata was Albert Schwenger in 1860.

The English Botanist, John Ray explained this tree as ‘Arbor saguisen” and it was also called as Unona odorata and Borga Cananga by few other explorers. The dazzling and fragrant yellow flowers were used for ornamental purposes initially, slowly after which its enormous healing benefits were explored by the traditional folklore people.

The fresh flower petals were used as an effective remedy for asthmatic attacks, where as the dried flowers were used as a treatment for malarial fever. Numerous research studies have proved the effectiveness of Cananga against intestinal infections, rapid heartbeat, typhus, malaria and certain respiratory conditions. Cananga oil is also used in candies, soaps, shampoos, baked goods, perfumes, lotions and skin care creams.

The sea star shaped flowers are the distinctive source of the mesmerizing Cananga essential oil for which it was used on hair for decoration and was scattered on the beds of newly married. Cananga oil is a secret ingredient behind the growth of thick, lustrous and healthy hair.

Cananga was also used as a natural skincare agent, where the leaves and flowers were rubbed on to the skin for nourishing skin health, moisturizing dry skin, alleviating itches, treating insect stings and bites and for balancing the secretion of sebum. It was also employed as natural infusion in bathing.

History reveals that the Victorians along with the Indonesians, Malaysians and other traditional folklore populace used Cananga flowers as a formula in their hair oil for influencing natural hair growth, enhancing the glossy look of the hair, preventing split ends and for moisturizing the dry and itchy scalp, thus preventing from dandruff and other scalp conditions.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Cananga oil:

In general, the ratio of chemical components of essential oils is mainly based on the origin, growth, seasonal differences and topography. The major chemical constituents of Cananga oil are germacrene, pinene, methyl benzoate, benzoic acid, caryophyllene, cadinene, farnesol, cresol, geranyl acetate, borneol, eugenol, linalyl acetate, isoeugenol, linalyl benzoate, geraniol, linalool and other sesquiterpenes.

The therapeutic attributes contributing to its colossal remedial values are relaxant, hypotensive, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating, tonic, anti-depressant, sedative, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, cardio tonic, emmenagogue, calmative, nervine, anti-infectious and antiseborrhoeic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga oil:

Ayurveda is the ancient remedial system that prescribes the use of herbal medications including herbs and spices, essential oils, yoga, meditation and other Ayurvedic healing techniques like Pranayama (balanced breathing), Ayurvedic routine (Ayurvedic regimen for healthy living), Panchakarma (detoxification technique) and Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging).

With the profound meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda is a common sense science that treats illnesses based on its root cause and not by just relying on its symptoms. This traditional healing methodology dates back to 5000 years, where the ancient sages and gurus who practiced Ayurveda lived for more than a 100 years.

Journey towards longevity with the treatment and prevention of illnesses in a natural way is the mantra of Ayurveda. According to this antique science, everything in nature including human beings is made up of five fundamental elements namely fire, earth, water, space and air.

All these vital energies symbolize different parts of the human body, where water stands for blood and fluids in the system, fire is a symbol of the body temperature and Agni (the digestive fire for metabolic functions), earth is a representation of bones and muscles, air is for respiration and ether or space is the eternal soul.

Every person is regarded as a unique entity of Nature with a unique individual constitutional set up known doshas. These three biological forces namely vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth) are a combination of the five elemental energies.

Vata dosha is in charge for nervous functions, movement of the system, creativity quotient, circulation of blood and air. Pitta takes care of metabolism, body temperature, leadership qualities and decision making abilities. Kapha dosha is responsible for the physique, fluid retention, sustenance, love and natural bonding.

Ayurveda in many ancient texts, denote human body as a temple, where the soul dwells in. It is for this reason it recommends maintaining harmony between the mind, body and soul. Every individual is treated in a unique manner based upon their distinct individual constitution, where absolute balance between these doshas as per Nature’s law indicates health and imbalance due to lifestyle changes, climatic conditions, moral values and lack of physical and psychological activities lead to sickness.

Cananga oil is recommended for balancing vata and pitta dosha and for stimulating kapha energy.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga essential oil are:

Cananga-broucher1. Fights hard with negative emotions:

Negativity or pessimism is a highly contagious health condition that spoils your mental and physical well-being along with those around you. The ability to think right is the basis for progress in all kinds of chores that you undertake.

Off-putting thoughts or negative thinking drains your mind and soul. Ayurveda beckons mind as the limb of consciousness and negative energies like fear of failure, loneliness, lack of self-confidence, annoyance, disgust, worries, frustration, anxiety, inferiority complex or lower self-esteem, depression, stress and possessiveness would often cause serious harm to the mind.

Ayurvedic essential oils along with Ayurvedic techniques like abhyanga, meditation and Pranayama have the potent to rejuvenate your mind and nurture your soul for enhanced thinking and better quality of life.

Cananga oil has such an enriching aroma that could stimulate the mental faculty with precision and positive thinking. The essential oil of Cananga has the power to fortify the heart chakra, which is responsible for self-love, self-confidence, trust and love for others, focused thoughts and spiritual consciousness.

2 drops of Cananga oil with 2 drops of Vetiver oil added to your diffuser or vaporizer during meditation or Pranayama (the Ayurvedic way of balanced breathing) can help in elevating your inner consciousness, promoting positive thoughts and hope, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, instilling peace of mind, lessening anxiety, reducing depression and enhancing your creativity quotient and leadership traits with its power to augment vata and pitta doshas.

Cananga oil when added to warm bathing water before going to bed can help in alleviating fatigue, anxiety, stress, nervous depression and other psychological traumas. It also helps in promoting peaceful sleep and ensures a feel-fresh morning at the rise of every new-fangled day.

Ayurvedic massage blend with 5 drops of Cananga oil, 5 drops of Bergamot oil and 5 drops of Rose Geranium oil with 20 ml of Jojoba oil relaxes the tensed muscles, soothes your nerves and brings in complete tranquility to the mind and the soul. You can take up this revitalizing regimen every weekend for kick starting your routine in the next week.

2. Absolute rescuer of a range of skin conditions:

Skin is often the most revealed part of the body and any kind of stressful situations or other health problems affects the skin health and is mostly reflected on the facial skin and the scalp. For example acne, dandruff and wrinkles are most frequently associated with depression, stress, worries and related hormonal fluctuations.

Cananga is a Kushtanut in Ayurvedic philosophy, which is a promising remedy for certain skin diseases. With its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, Cananga is Dushta Vranashodhana for its excellent cleansing qualities of wounds, cuts and infections and is Krumihara for fighting against bacterial and microbial growths in such skin infections.

Applying 1 drop of Cananga oil with 5 drops of coconut oil on wounds, cuts, abrasions and other skin infections can foster quicker healing by curbing the growth of microbes and disinfecting or sanitizing the wounds from within.

With its anti-inflammatory and anti-seborrhoeic values, Cananga is a proven natural remedy for seborrhea, eczema, inflammation, irritation, soreness and redness of the skin. It regularizes the functions of the sebaceous glands, where the sebaceous glands are defined as “microscopic exocrine glands in the skin that secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair of mammals.”

This assists in keeping the skin and scalp moist and smooth. Mixing 1 drop of Cananga oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil and 1 drop of Orange oil and 2ml of coconut oil and gently massaging your skin surface can help in regularizing sebum secretion. You can remove this pack by wiping off your face with a warm towel. This also relieves from clogged pores and helps relieve acne and fight against wrinkles and other aging symptoms.

Being a tonic to the skin, Cananga nourishes the skin surface with its moisturizing and cooling properties and has been recommended for all types of skin including dry skin, stressed skin, oily skin, aging skin and combination skin.

3. Zings your vitality:

Cananga and its closest pal Ylang Ylang are assured solutions for greeting ahead the zing in your intimacy. Held high as the most popular traditional tonic for treating impotence, premature ejaculation, loss of libido and loss of interest in being together, Cananga with its bracing fragrance is a trusted cure for reproductive conditions both in men and women.

Cananga essential oil has a long-lasting intense floral and sensual aroma that helps in treating mood fluctuations, lack of sexual interest, erectile dysfunctions and intimacy problems due to stress or pre-occupied mind.

The enriching fragrance of Cananga oil reaches the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages. It is the control center of the system and passes on the therapeutic values in the form of molecules to the nerve impulses and the corresponding parts of the body, thus supporting the secretion of positive hormones.

Adding 2 drops of Cananga oil along with 2 drops of Tuberose oil and 1 drop of Aswagandha oil to your air freshener in the evening can turn them quixotic by spreading its magical aroma. 3 drops of Cananga oil to your bathing tub before bedtime can also help in spicing up your vim and vigor.

4. Foe for feminine maladies:

The book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Light Miller and Bryan Miller quotes Cananga odorata oil as “A balancer to the female immune system, it reduces tension, cramps, negative emotions and headaches. It brings out warmth, self confidence, the feminine side and sensitivity.” It also states that this oil is excellent for the skin, reproductive system and nerves.

With its effectiveness to treat hormonal imbalances along with its balancing attributes, Cananga oil is a proven cure for treating problems associated with menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Massaging your lower abdomen, inner thighs, lower back, and around your genital area with 3 drops of Cananga oil, 2 drops of Vetiver oil, 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 15ml of Olive oil can help in balancing estrogen hormones and regularize irregular menstruation, relieve dysmennorhea or painful periods, cramps, headache, mood swings, anxiety, irritability and sleeping difficulties. This can also help in treating frigidity and loss of sexual interest.

Wearing 1 drop of Cananga oil to your wrist or to your handkerchief can help in keeping your mind and nerves calm throughout the day. Cananga is an exceptional skin-friendly oil and has enormous benefits for hair growth as well. These advantages are attributed to its sebum-controlling potential and its ability to promote proper blood circulation in the system.

Adding 2 drops of Cananga oil in your regular shampoo for hair or gently massaging your scalp with 10 drops of Cananga oil along with 5 drops of Citriodora oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil and 50ml of Coconut oil (slightly heat this blend before massaging) can support in controlling dandruff, moistening dry, itchy and scaly scalp, encouraging the growth of hair by promoting good circulation in the scalp, have power over split ends and can help in adding the glossy and natural shine to your hair.

5. Boosts the functions of the nervous system:

Cananga oil has the power to relax and soothe the central nervous system and controls the function and flow of adrenaline, which helps in pacifying negative emotions like rage, shock, panic, fear or anger. These feelings in turn lead to high blood pressure, nervousness, tension and insecurity.

Cananga and its essential oil have been celebrated for its ability to lessen anxiety and tension, thus improving the level of blood pressure and treating increased heartbeat and rapid breathing. It has tranquilizing and soothing effect on the nervous system.

Numerous studies have substantiated the effect of Ylang Ylang oil on people with high blood pressure and nervous tension. One study published in Planta Medica concluded that Ylang Ylang oil helped in reducing high blood pressure and increased pulse rate along with a boost in attentiveness and alertness.

Few other studies conducted with a group of people with hypertension, where the group was facilitated to inhale the aromatic blend with essential oils like Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, Lavender and Neroli for about 24 hours, concluded that “essential oils may have relaxation effects for controlling hypertension and in reducing systolic blood pressure.”

Cananga oil, when added to your bathing water can also help in augmenting self-confidence and alleviating the feelings of fear, failure, obstinacy and feelings of loneliness along with stress and depression.

Other health benefits:

Apart from these health benefits, Cananga oil is also recommended for enhancing metabolic functions, flatulence, tastelessness, epilepsy, chest infections, intestinal infections and physical exhaustion.

Disclaimer:

This article is only educational purposes and is not destined for substituting professional medical advice or prescribed medications or for treating any medical conditions. We are not healthcare experts and we take up a shared interest to spread the knowledge of Ayurveda, the oldest and the Mother of all remedial practices in the world.

Do not use essential oils internally and dilute them in suitable carrier oils like Coconut oil before using it for topical application. This is due to the fact that 100% organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and speak with your Doctor if you are a pregnant or nursing mom.

Consult your healthcare professional or Ayurvedic practitioner ahead of choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul. – Luther Burbank.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dealing with Depression Naturally by Dr Miriam Kinai
  2. Listening to Scent: An Olfactory Journey With Aromatic Plants and Their Extracts by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Natural Depression Cure: Holistic Depression Treatment by Dr Marion King

Reference Links:

  1. Cananga Odorata by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants – Cananga Odorata by Toxicology Centre
  3. Health Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. Composition of the essential oil of Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata Hook Fil. et Thomson forma genuina) from Madagascar by Emile M. Gaydou, Robert Randriamiharisoa, Jean Pierre Bianchini, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry