Cardamom Oil


Cardamom, the ‘Queen of spices’, stimulates the heart and mind and brings in enormous joy and clarity of thoughts. It has been in imperial use since the primordial times for its mammoth healing benefits that serve as a phenomenal tonic, expectorant, cephalic, antispasmodic, stimulant and as a promising digestive agent.

Cardamom-bannerBotanically named as Elettaria Cardamomum, Cardamom is well identified by its small seed pods with an outer shell enclosing the small black seeds from which its essential oil is extracted by steam distillation.

Lovingly called as Ela and Truti in Sanskrit, Cardamom has been widely used in Ayurveda for its aromatic and medicinal attributes in the treatment of impotence, bronchitis, indigestion, hoarse voice, vomiting, asthma, blood pressure, poor absorption, cold, cough, bad breath, loss of taste, nervous digestive upset and mood fluctuations.

As an invigorating agent for the central nervous system, Cardamom essential oil induces a sense of harmony and supports absolute fitness.

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Historical uses and importance of Cardamom and its essential oil:

Owing its origin to the Asian countries such as India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, Cardamom is a universal spice and is a member of the powerful Ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Rich in nutritional and healing properties, Cardamomis the third most expensive spice in the world standing next to saffron and vanilla.

It is crowned as a medicinal herb in the Indian Ayurvedic healing methodology, dating back to 4th century B.C; Cardamom has carved its name in Charaka Samhita – the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, for its application in the preparation of various medicaments.

Cardamom was an important part of the Roman and Greek trade and has numerous historical accolades. Believed to have been grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon, Cardamom has been mentioned in the works of Dioscorides, Theophrastus and even in the ancient Indian sacred books known as Vedas.

Arabic medicine portrays Cardamom seeds as the best aphrodisiac and mood elevator while the Chinese medicine predominantly used Cardamom for intestinal infections, stomachic problems, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation and dysentery.

In folklore medicine, digestive disorders were treated with a herbal drink made by boiling roasted Cardamom seeds along with betel nuts. Being an active ingredient in cough drops, Cardamom was administered nasally along with camphor and neem to treat cold. It is a natural mouth freshener.

Cardamom is an antidote to caffeine and it detoxifies the caffeine in coffee and is used in making tea to relieve the symptoms of headache and stress and these seeds were taken along with honey to improve the eyesight.

The traditional Indians used Cardamom as an antidote for poisonous bites like scorpion stings and venomous snake bites. These seeds and its oil were also used for treating respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation of the eyelids and oral infections.

Being transported from East to Europe, Cardamom was highly valued as a tonic and as an aphrodisiac agent, which was used in love potions. The western world uses Cardamom for its unique aroma and sedative properties.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil:

Consisting a majority of monoterpenes with the predominant one being 1, 8-cineole, Cardamom essential oil also comprises of esters, alcohols and sesquiterpenes that includes limonene oxide, α-terpinene, neryl acetate, formic acid, α-pinene, camphene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, β-pinene, sabinene, citronellal, α-terpineol, cis-ocimene, geranyl acetate, linalool, isomenthol, 4-terpineol, nerol, thymol, α-terpinyl acetate, α-guaiene, β-myrcene.

The therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil are carminative, digestive, antiseptic, stimulant, tonic, antispasmodic, cephalic, diuretic, stomachic, analgesic, expectorant, antifungal, astringent, antibacterial, aromatic, diaphoretic, antioxidant, cooling, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-hypertensive and aphrodisiac. 

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Ayurveda is a virtuous medical discipline that believes that every being on earth is a part of Mother Nature and it states that one’s wellness indicates absolute balance with nature and sickness symbolizes imbalance with nature. Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old healing system that has its medicinal practices recorded in Atharvana Veda, one among the 4 sacred books of India, where about 114 verses in this book talk about various illnesses and their Ayurvedic remedies.

Charaka, the father of medicine and Sushruta, the father of surgery were the most famous Ayurvedic physicians and they wrote the Ayurvedic texts namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Charaka says “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” According to Ayurveda, human body is a temple where the spirit lives in. It strongly recommends on keeping the body, mind and spirit pure and tranquil just like maintaining a place of worship.

Ayurveda is called as the mother of all the other healing sciences on earth and is a holistic system that states ‘perfect health is being fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.’

Every individual is approached in a unique manner even if they are affected by the same illness because Ayurvedic philosophy recognizes every human being as a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which comprises of three dynamic biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta.

Ayurvedic doshas administer various functions, where vata governs the functions of the circulatory system, nervous system and respiratory system, kapha is responsible for the activities of the reproductive system, movement of fluids in the body, physical build up and sustenance and pitta dosha controls the body temperature and metabolic functions.

Every individual has a predominance of any one these doshas, which decides one’s figure, personality, mental attributes and behavioral patterns. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance of these biological energies pave way to diseases. Ayurvedic remedies focus on correcting the dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, prayers, meditation and Pranayama.

Ayurveda prescribes Cardamom to treat cardiovascular problems, bronchial disorders and digestive problems. Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy say “Cardamom is good for treating high vata, as it kindles Agni or digestive fire and removes excess kapha from the stomach and lungs.

Its quality is sattvic and it is particularly good for opening and soothing the flow of the pranas in the body”.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil.

Cardamom-broucher1. Combats against infections with strong anti-microbial properties:

With the increase in the food borne diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, there is an increase in the urge for searching natural antibacterial agents with maximum benefits and minimum side effects.

With monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and flavonoids, Cardamom essential oil possesses strong antimicrobial activity inhibiting the growth of numerous harmful micro organisms that cause spoilage of food. Many researches on the anti-microbial attribute of Cardamom essential oil states that it shows significant inhibitory activity against various common pathogens when compared to Fluconazole and tetracycline.

The aqueous and the methanolic extracts of Cardamom essential oil inhibited the growth of gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus pyogenes and Bacillus cereus.

It has been proved effective to use the essential oil of Elettaria Cardamomum in treating various infectious ailments caused by the harmful pathogens. This attribute is also applied in preserving the food items, thus proving greatly beneficial to the manufacturers of stored food products.

Terpinen-4-ol contributes to the effective antifungal attribute of Cardamom essential oil making it active against various infectious fungi that include Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, A.flavus and A.fumigatus, thus proving effectual in treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

It has been proved that Cardamom essential oil results in yielding satisfactory results in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and viruses when compared to the other antifungal pharmaceuticals. 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil added to warm bathing water or 2 drops of this oil mixed with 2 drops of Neroli oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be applied on the affected parts for quick relief.

2. Rich source of antioxidant to fight against cancer:

Free radicals are always hazardous in a number of ways, leading to premature aging and even some fatal diseases including cancer. With natural phyto-chemicals such as di-indolylmethane and Indole-3-carbinol, Cardamom essential oil helps in augmenting the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant found in human body. Moreover it helps in combating against cancers responding to the hormone regulation such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

It possesses chemo-preventive quality, resulting in a significant reduction in the weight and diameter of the tumor, tumor yield, cumulative number of papillomas and the values of tumor incidence and considerable elevation in the level of glutathione in mice with chemically induced skin carcinogenesis serving as the best anti-tumor and anti-cancer agent.

In addition to the phyto-nutrients, Cardamom essential oil is rich in vitamins B, C, protein and iron that make it a complete scavenger of free radicals resisting the aging process right from the cellular level and enhances the immunity.

It possesses anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anticancer qualities, helping in significantly reducing the production of nitric oxide by macrophages that act as one of the primary inflammatory mediators. Moreover, it enhances the cytotoxic activity of the natural killer cells found in the human body, building up a preventive shield against cancer.

Few valuable sources also state the positive outcome on using Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the cell proliferation in Swiss albino mice with chemical induced colon carcinogenesis proving its efficacy in treating colorectal cancer. Mix 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil with 2 drops of Orange oil along with 2ml of jojoba oil and massage it gently on wrinkles and other aging symptoms caused due to free radicals.

You can also massage your system with 5 drops of Cardamom oil along with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil blended with 5 ml of Olive oil to combat free radicals, reduce the size and severity of existing malignant tumors and invigorate the cellular structure.

3. Natural insect repellent:

With high concentrations of monoterpenes such as cineol and terpineol, Cardamom essential oil serves as an effective natural repellent for insects and pests. As per a 2011 research article, this oil was found to possess strong repellent, ovicidal, biocidal and anti-feeding attributes against the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, the bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculates and the flour moth, Ephestia Kuehniella, all of which target the stored products.

Moreover Cardamom essential oil is highly toxic to the adults of T.castaneum and Sitophilus zeamais, which attack the food grains such as wheat. It restrains the egg hatching and the larval stage of T.castaneum proving its ovicidal attribute. This volatile oil also actively prevents the oviposition of C.maculates in mung seeds. Few notable sources mention the acaricidal effect of Cardamom oil with 100% mortality rate against Dermanyssus gallinae, the poultry red mite.

The power of Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the development of adults from the treated eggs remains as the major factor behind its insecticidal quality. Cardamom essential oil serves as a natural source of insect repellent devoid of hazardous side effects, used in protecting the food grains stored in enclosed rooms, storage bins etc.

4. Alleviates stomachic and gastro-intestinal disorders:

Cardamom essential oil is a natural digestive aid since antiquity. It acts as an excellent appetizer, eminent stomachic agent during meal and a great mouth freshener after meal. A herbal tea made of Cardamom, ginger and fennel serves as a natural digestive tonic and a great cure for indigestion.

As an excellent digestive enhancer of all types of food, it produces an energizing effect in the body helping in the stimulation and habitual excretion of gastric juices and other acids in the stomach that aids in alleviating heartburn by balancing the acid level. Cardamom essential oil kills the bacteria in the mouth and prevents one from bad breath and treats the symptoms of flatulence and gastric disturbances.

With its antispasmodic attribute, it relives you from hiccups and alleviates the intestinal cramps caused due to involuntary muscle spasms. With natural phyto-nutrients, it helps in overcoming the effect of overeating and aids you in fighting against the outcomes of gluten intolerance benefiting those with celiac disease. Cardamom essential oil showed significant results in inhibiting the gastric lesions induced by aspirin and ethanol in rats. It protects the mucus wall and aids in maintaining normal levels of gastric acid.

2 drops of Cardamom oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a gargle especially in the morning or before going to bed or even after heavy meals to completely kill microbes in the mouth and grant refreshing breath. 2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Ginger oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil can be massaged on your abdomen for getting rid of gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, headache, nervous digestive upsets, morning sickness, colic and vomiting.

5. Naturally detoxifies the body:

Cardamom essential oil is an effective diuretic and detoxifier that protects human beings from the ill effects of toxin accumulation in the entity resulting to various simple and serious impacts such as premature aging, rheumatism, improper functioning of the organs and some fatal ailments like cancer.

With its natural antioxidants, monoterpenes and flavonoids, this oil is an eminent diuretic helping in releasing the excess water deposits in the body through sweat and urine. It promotes the process of urination and increases the urine output creating a channel to get rid of toxins such as water, fat, acids, calcium deposits, urea and sometimes stones to build a combative cover against obesity due to water stagnation and its risk factors such as hypertension, blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders.

Cardamom detoxifies the caffeine element in coffee and this combination of Cardamom and coffee is called as ‘gavah’ and is of renowned importance in the Arabian culture, where it is considered as a symbol of warmth and generosity. This aromatic oil warms up the body, aids in opening the sweat pores and maintaining the normal body temperature.

The removal of excess toxins with ease and comfort poses fewer burdens on the vital organs such as kidney and liver. It leads to perspiration and its high fiber content along with the detoxifying quality helps in significantly lowering the blood pressure.

Blend 5 drops of Cardamom oil with 5 drops of Jatamansi oil along with 5 ml of coconut oil and gently massage your system, followed by a warm bath diluted with 2 drops of Cardamom oil for eliminating the toxic substances in the body, reducing uterus inflammation, combating the infections in the urinary tract, strengthening the bladder in addition to treating involuntary urination and bedwetting in children and elderly people.

6. Relieves respiratory problems:

Cardamom essential oil works wonders in regulating the blood circulation and rejuvenating the entire system. Traditional healing therapies used Cardamom essential oil in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma for it is known to improve blood circulation in the lungs.

As a natural expectorant with balsamic aroma, it helps in breaking up even the heavy deposits of mucus and phlegm and relieves you from congestion in the lungs and sinuses.

Just inhaling the vapors of Cardamom oil by adding 3 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can alleviate the symptoms of congestion, cold, chest infections, flu, chronic cough and headache. 1 drop of Cardamom oil along with 1 drop of Cinnamon oil added to gargle relieves you instantly from sore throat and pharyngitis.

The anti-mucus action of this oil helps in rejuvenating the spleen and makes it an active component of medicaments for congestion. With this property, Cardamom pods are often included in milk products for its ability to counteract the mucus forming attribute of milk.

7. Lessens tension:

Cardamom oil has cineole, which is a central nervous stimulant aids in soothing the nervous system, calming down the muscles, alleviating tension and instilling mental peace and clarity. Just adding 4 drops of Cardamom oil to the bathtub relieves you from stress, depression and combat body aches and discomfort. It enhances the potency of the nerves and relieves you from physical and emotional discomforts thus rejuvenating the inner spirit and inducing a serene state of mind by lifting up the spirits.

Cardamom essential oil has been proved as an anti-depressant agent owing to its sedative effect in humans. With limonene as a mild tranquilizer, it diverts the mind and helps one to quit the addictions to awful habits such as tobacco chewing, alcohol and smoking.

Cardamom essential oil has gained global recognition for its sweet aroma and positive effects on the brain and the nervous system. Inhaling the aroma of 1 drop of Cardamom oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Neroli oil added to diffuser or vaporizer can assist in relieving one from anxiety, fear, nervous wreck down and lethargy. It is highly recommended to students for its potent to increase the concentration and improve intellectual power.

8. Rich source of nutrition for the total system:

With its enormous healing attributes, Cardamom essential oil is a valuable source of iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin and Vitamin C. All these vital components help in boosting up the overall health of a person.

It boosts up the immune system, helps in the generation of red blood corpuscles, and initiates the cellular energy metabolism, aids in maintaining the cardiovascular health and in promoting healthy heart rate, blood pressure and fluid levels in the body. Moreover, its rich nutrients contribute in maintaining healthy skin and hair.

2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil added to your bath daily can aid in maintaining healthy skin. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties cleanse the skin naturally and help in treating various skin infections. It rejuvenates the skin, opens up the pores and prevents the onset of acne and pimples.

Other health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Cardamom essential oil acts as a natural oral aid treating mouth ulcers, halitosis, oral infections of teeth and gums and toothaches. Vocalists use Cardamom oil to tone up their voice. This oil can keep you away from scalp infections, dandruff and maintain a healthy, lustrous hair.

It can act as a peroxide booster along with honey and Cinnamon in distilled water to lighten the skin without any side effects. It prevents platelet aggregation and aids in preventing blood clots that can be dangerous in certain cases. Cardamom oil is also used as an aphrodisiac alongside pepper, onion and nutmeg to alleviate impotence and other sexual concerns.

Disclaimer:

This is only for information and educational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any health condition or replace with any prescribed medications or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this data is shared only with the interest of spreading the traditional values and curative benefits of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and do remember to dilute them with appropriate carrier oil before using it on the skin externally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might have a tendency to cause allergies if used directly on the skin. Make sure that you consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare expert before choosing the correct essential oil for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Magic of Cardamoms For Cooking and Health (Health Learning Series) by John Davidson, Dueep J. Singh
  2. Aushadh Rahasya: The Secret of Ayurvedic Herbs and Disorders of the Mind by Rodney Lingham
  3. Cardamom: The Genus Elettaria (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  4. Cardamom Tea, A Secret to Longevity (Chinese Edition) by shu xin cheng
  5. Living Well With Cancer by Katen Moore, Libby Schmais

Reference Links:

  1. Cardamom by Wikipedia
  2. Fumigant toxicity and oviposition deterrency of the essential oil from Elettaria Cardamomum, against three stored-product insects published in PubMed.
  3. The In Vitro evaluation of antibacterial potential of dry fruit extracts of Elettaria Cardamomum published in PubMed.
  4. A 2010 research article on the in vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum)

Chamomile Oil German


Chamomile-oil-german-bannerLike a Chamomile bed, the more it is trodden, the more it will spread’, says Shakespeare. With its power to enhance the life force in the body, German Chamomile also known as Blue Chamomile alleviates all kinds of physical and emotional blues. Botanically known as Matricaria Chamomilla, the gentle and grassy aroma of this oil implants calmness in the mind and grants solace to the heart.

Held high across the world for its strongest anti-inflammatory compounds instilling a gentle effect on pain and inflammation, German Chamomile is remembered as one among the best and safest essential oil for people of all ages including children.

Called as Karpurapuspa in Sanskrit and Baboona or Babuna in Hindi, German Chamomile and its essential oil have been used in Ayurveda, the oldest healing methodology of the world as a remedy for itchy skin, dermatitis, menopausal problems, tension, eczema, migraine pain, burns, skin irritation, dysmennorhea, liver congestion, arthritis, PMS, skin inflammation, amenorrhea, anemia, toothache, colic, inflammatory bowel disorders and formation of leukocytes.

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Historical uses and importance of German Chamomile oil:

Chamomile is regarded as one of the oldest herbs used in the history for medicinal purposes. The German variety is indigenous to Nepal and is found all over the world including the temperate zones of Australia, Asia, Europe (Hungary and France) and North America.

This herb is a member of the sunflower or daisy family Asteraceae and is called by other names such as Hungary Chamomile, Blue Chamomile, Matricaria, Scented Mayweed or Wild Chamomile.

The name ‘Matricaria’ has its origin from the Latin name ‘Mater’ meaning ‘Mother’ and is extremely helpful in treating numerous womanly problems. It is regarded as one of the most distinguished herbal teas of the world and nearly one million cups of Chamomile tea are consumed every day.

The most interesting historical reference of this herb dates back to 78 A.D when Europe’s first medical reference book De Materia Medica was written by Dioscorides.

German Chamomile has its name listed in the potent herbs for treating many health conditions and is also listed as one of the most sacred herbs in Lacnunga, the antique manuscript. It is used in herbal medicine as a serene sleep aid, for treating sore stomach, bacterial infections, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and as a mild laxative.

German Chamomile has been used as a natural aid for assisting problems related to women especially with its emmenagogue properties that help in relieving from painful menses, delayed menstruation, menopausal problems and as a uterine tonic.

The herbal infusion, decoction or tea prepared from the flowers of German Chamomile was taken in folklore medicine for assisting in cases of motion sickness, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence and ulcerative colitis.

It has been used for numerous centuries in the traditional medicine for treating dermatitis, skin inflammation and gastrointestinal tract symptoms. Dried German Chamomile flowers were used in compress or infusion for alleviating pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism, arthritis and other inflamed conditions.

German Chamomile was prescribed by the Greek physicians for treating female disorders, fever, restlessness, neuralgia, stress and insomnia. It was used as a tenderizing agent for preserving meat in the ancient period.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of German Chamomile oil:

The major chemical components of German Chamomile oil are ‘terpenoids α-bisabolol and its oxide azulenes including chamazulene and acetylene derivatives’ (bisabolol oxide A, bisabolene oxide A, a-bisabolol and bisabolol oxide B) along with farnesol, thujanol, bisabolol, coumarin and farnasene.

The remedial properties of this oil are anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, immuno-stimulant, anti-anemic, stomachic, anti-allergenic, antiphlogistic, analgesic, bactericidal, anti-spasmodic, vasoconstrictor, antibiotic, carminative, digestive, cicatrisant, vulnerary, cholagogue, hepatic, vermifuge, and sedative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of German Chamomile essential oil:

Ayurveda is the ancient wisdom of healing and it fervently imparts that every human being should follow a disciplined life and must have ample knowledge about his/her health. It is a Vedic science rewarded by the Saints, Sages and Ancient Gods of Hinduism to humanity. Ayurveda simply means knowledge of life (Ayur – Life and Veda – knowledge).

The most predominant factor behind Ayurveda’s existence as a mother of all healing sciences including the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy, Acupressure, Naturopathy, Aromatherapy and Chiropractic.

The distinctiveness of Ayurveda is its adherence to Mother Nature, which insists to maintain balance with nature for a healthy and harmonious life. Ayurvedic principles state that living in harmony with nature is the absolute way to heartiness, prevention of illnesses, healthy aging and longevity.

As per the Ayurvedic philosophy, the whole thing on earth is a grouping of the five vital elements of nature namely water, fire, earth, space and air, where water stands for the blood in the body, fire represents the body temperature and metabolic functions, air assists in breathing, earth symbolizes muscles and bones, space or ether signifies the soul.

Every individual is considered as a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution (the physical, psychological and spiritual make up of a person) just like our fingerprints.

This constitution is an arrangement of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha dosha. Vata is a combination of air and space and is responsible for nervous functions and governs the working of the autonomous and central nervous system.

Kapha is a grouping of water and earth and is in charge for virility, stability, binding power and vigor of the body. Pitta dosha is a blend of fire and water and is accountable for metabolic functions, tissue building, endocrine functions and body temperature.

Every one of us has a predominance of any one of these doshas and this predominant dosha decides our unique persona, temperament and behavioral patterns. Absolute balance between these doshas is a sign of good health and imbalances of these dynamic energies due to food, weather conditions and other lifestyle changes cause illnesses.

Ayurvedic treatments vary from individual to individual even if it is for the same illness because this traditional system observes the individual constitution, medical history of the patient and the root cause of an illness before prescribing the appropriate medicines.

The most established Ayurvedic medications are plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging, Ayurvedic routine, simple physical exercises, prayer and meditation based on upon the distinctive individual constitution for correcting the imbalance of doshas.

German Chamomile oil has the potent to pacify aggravated pitta and kapha doshas and balance vata dosha. These amazing healing attributes make German Chamomile oil as an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for treating inflammation, skin irritation, lack of immune power, anemia, amenorrhea, menopause, anger, headache and other female reproductive problems.

Let’s have a look at the key Ayurvedic health benefits of German Chamomile essential oil:

Chamomile-germanbroucher1. Regulates all kinds of menstrual and menopausal mayhems:

German Chamomile essential oil has numerous beneficial effects on the reproductive tissue known as shukra dhatu in Ayurveda. Ancient Ayurvedic texts also say that this herb has therapeutic properties for regulating menstrual activities and is called as artavashamana.

Massaging your lower abdomen and thighs with 2 drops of German Chamomile oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil can be of great help in relieving menstrual pain or dysmennorhea, premenstrual fatigue and headache, promote menstruation in case of blocked or delayed menses and alleviate all kinds of menstrual discomforts. This massage also serves as a cooling natural remedy to treat the hot flashes, excessive discharge and mood fluctuations during menopause.

German Chamomile tea was prescribed in Ayurveda to lessen pain during childbirth and for easing nausea during pregnancy. Certain studies have proven that Chamomile douche may possibly get better the symptoms of vaginitis or vaginal inflammation in women.

Mostly women of all ages are affected by vaginal inflammation and vaginitis is coupled with pain during urination, itching and vaginal discharge. German Chamomile oil is also effective in treating Atrophic vaginitis also, which occurs due to low estrogen levels in postmenopausal and menopausal women.

2. Relieves skin irritation and supports other skin conditions:

The book on ‘Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects by Philip D. Shenefelt’ states “German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), a member of the daisy family, has been used for centuries, both internally and externally, for treating many conditions, especially gastrointestinal tract symptoms, oral or skin inflammation, as well as dermatitis.”

He also says “The anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and antimicrobial effects of German chamomile oil are attributed to an essential blue oil that contains sesquiterpene alcohol, α-bisabolol, chamazulene, and flavonoids.”

The relaxing, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and wound healing properties of this oil assists in relieving skin problems rapidly in case of varicose ulcers, wounds, burns, stings, allergies, cystitis, vaginitis, neuralgia and skin ulcers.

Many studies have proved that German Chamomile essential oil has witnessed slight superiority over ” 0.5% hydrocortisone cream in atopic eczema (Patzelt-Wenczler et al 1985), more beneficial than 1% hydrocortisone ointment in the management and healing of peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients.”

Adding 2 drops of German Chamomile oil along with 2 drops of Rose Geranium oil to bathing water can be helpful in killing germs, bacteria and fungi responsible for skin infections like athlete’s foot, candida, acne, cystitis, Urticaria and dandruff.

This bath also helps in combating the harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that causes wounds and other skin conditions to turn septic. It also helps in lessening one’s sensitivity to allergens like dust and pollen and aid in treating hay fever, sinusitis, chronic catarrh and eczema.

Massaging the affected areas with 3 drops of German Chamomile oil blended with 2 drops of Sandalwood oil and 3 ml of jojoba oil can help in healing wounds, eczema, psoriasis, varicose ulcers and burns. 2 drops of German Chamomile oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a gargle for treating gingivitis, plaque, sore throat, mouth ulcer and bad breath.

3. Augments immunity and boosts the vital life force:

German Chamomile oil controls the flow of Life Force, also known as Qi or Chi with its cooling and tranquilizing effect on the system. With its immune enhancing power, this oil assists in preventing infectious diseases by strengthening the disease resistance power of the system.

Since the traditional times, this oil acts as a promising natural remedy for treating almost all kinds of diseases. According to Ayurveda, German Chamomile oil has kasasvasahara or therapeutic properties for alleviating respiratory problems like cough, cold, breathing difficulties, tonsillitis, flu, broncho-constriction in asthma and sinusitis. This oil is also said to have fever lessening properties known as jwaraghna with its power to reduce excess of pitta energy responsible for body temperature.

German Chamomile oil also has other healing properties helpful in relieving gout, eye inflammation, arthritis, conjunctivitis, rheumatism, carpal tunnel syndrome, blepharitis, meibomian cysts, fibromyalgia, lumbago, hepatitis, gallbladder infections, anemia, teething pain, abscesses, viral colitis, Alzheimer’s disease, diaper rashes, nervous tension and certain other health conditions.

4. Controls anger and promotes peaceful sleep:

The essential oil of German Chamomile helps in calming and relaxing the mind and body with its naturally cooling effects. It regulates anger, rage, irritation and aversion caused due to the excess heat in our mechanism. The cooling properties of German Chamomile oil reduce pitta dosha especially sadhaka pitta (pitta in the mind and heart).

Excess of which is responsible for the generation of heat energy in the body. By this way, it pacifies the mind, cools the body and instills gentle and positive feelings from within.

Gently massaging your system with 5 drops of German Chamomile oil blended with 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Tea tree oil with 10 ml of coconut oil is an excellent way to keep you cool throughout the day. Adding 1 drop of German Chamomile oil in your handkerchief or a tissue paper and carrying it with you all through the day can help in releasing negative emotions soothingly and induce clarity, improve self-esteem and self-realization.

Adding 2 drops of German Chamomile oil and 2 drops of Rose oil in warm bathing water before going to bed can be of great help in relaxing the tensed nerves, aching muscles and in promoting peaceful sleep. You can also add 2 drops of German Chamomile oil in your diffuser or vaporizer in the bedroom for relieving anxiety and mental agonies.

German Chamomile oil has also been proven in several studies as an efficacious natural remedy for treating GAD or generalized anxiety disorder. Chamomile is widely accepted as gentle tranquilizer and sleep-inducer.

A 2010 study published in PubMed quotes “inhalation of the vapor of chamomile oil reduced a stress-induced increase in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels.” Inhaling the aroma of this oil influences sedative effect in the body by binding the GABA and BDZ receptors in the brain.

Inhaling the herbaceous, intensely sweet and fruity aroma of German Chamomile oil especially during Pranayama (balanced breathing exercise), meditation and prayer enhances our spiritual energy to the next level and augments our soul’s connectedness with the Divine Power.

5. Alleviates pain and inflammation:

German Chamomile essential oil is often trusted to lessen pain, reduce muscular spasms and alleviate gastrointestinal inflammatory problems and other inflammatory disorders. Certain studies reveal that Chamomile restrains Helicobacter pylori, which causes to stomach ulcers. The anti-inflammatory and antiphlogistic activities of German Chamomile are attributed to its chemical components like matricin, alpha-bisabolol oxides A and B, and alpha-bisabolol.

A research tested on human volunteers with Chamomile essential oil states “Chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers. This is important for their use as topical antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory) agents.”

This oil has excellent diuretic properties, known as mutrala in Ayurveda and helps in relieving urinary infections, inflammation in the bladder and other kidney infections along with eliminating the toxic deposits in the system.

Massage the painful or inflamed parts with 3 drops of German Chamomile oil blended with 3 drops of Yarrow oil also known as Yara Yara oil with 5 ml of coconut oil to alleviate pain, mitigate spasms, reduce inflammation, promote blood circulation and eliminate toxic substances in the system and lessen water retention, leading to obesity, rheumatism, arthritis etc.

6. Treats diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems:

Both German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile have been used as a traditional remedy for treating colic, especially in children, diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal disorders. German Chamomile oil is known as a digestive relaxant that helps in soothing the muscles, relaxing the stomach and leaves a gentle effect on the intestines, to help in pacifying stomach ulcers, flatulence, anorexia, diarrhea, bloating, intestinal gas and morning sickness.

Massaging your abdomen gently with 2 drops of German Chamomile oil and 2 drops of Peppermint oil along with 2 ml of almond oil can help in relaxing muscular contractions in the stomach and intestines along with reducing excess of digestive fire or pitta energy causing diarrhea and painful ulcers.

The gentle and cooling effect of German Chamomile oil along with the cool minty effect of Peppermint oil gradually reduces pain in the stomach and intestines and grants peaceful sleep especially in children who suffer from colic.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for educational purposes and is expressed wholly in the concern of spreading the cultural wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences. The remedies listed in this article are not intended to prevent, cure or diagnose any medical condition or as an alternate for any kind of prescription remedies or any medical advice of a healthcare professional.

Internal use of essential oils is strictly not recommended. Ensure that you dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before you use it on the skin topically, as high quality, unadulterated and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly.

Speak with your Ayurvedic professional/healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Avoid using German Chamomile oil if you are pregnant or nursing your baby, because this oil has high emmenagogue properties that may induce menstruation.

Thought for the day:

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

-Anne Frank

Suggested Reading:

  1. Chamomile: Medicinal, Biochemical, and Agricultural Aspects (Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern Times) by Moumita Das
  2. Chamomile: Industrial Profiles (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  3. Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: A definitive guide to essential oils that could save your life during a crisis by Dr. Scott A. Johnson
  4. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D.
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Matricaria chamomilla by Wikipedia
  2. German Chamomile by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future by Janmejai K Srivastava, Eswar Shankar,and Sanjay Gupta, Department of Urology & Nutrition, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio published in PubMed
  4. Chamomilla recutita – German Chamomile: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives from Positive Health Online
  5. Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders Philip D. Shenefelt published in PubMed

Citriodora Oil


Citriodora-bnr.jpgCitriodora or Lemon eucalyptus is a jewel in the crown of the Eucalyptus family, Myrtaceae. With a revivifying and invigorating aroma of lemon and eucalyptus, this lemon-scented eucalyptus oil is used in fixing feelings of abandonment and mental agitation along with poor concentration and confusions. The essential oil of Citriodora is extracted from the elongated leaves of the Lemon-scented gum tree, botanically known as Eucalyptus citriodora by steam distillation.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is used in Ayurvedic treatment for asthma, cold, cough, arthritis, hypertension, shingles, migraine pain, rheumatism, wounds, inflammation, bacterial and fungal infections as well as a non-toxic insect repellent for keeping away from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

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Historical uses and importance of Citriodora and its essential oil:

Lemon eucalyptus or Citriodora is a type of Eucalyptus tree in the Eucalyptus genus. This tree is indigenous to north eastern and tropical parts of Australia but few sources state that it is native to Vietnam and Madagascar. Even today about 75% of the trees grown in Australia belongs to the Eucalyptus family.

Brazil and China are the largest producers of commercial Lemon eucalyptus essential oil and this tree is also grow in India, South Africa, Guatemala, Egypt, Colombia, Indonesia and Albania. Citriodora is also said to be a cross between lemon and eucalyptus varieties. This large handsome evergreen tree grows up to 50 m tall and the broad lanceolate leaves exhibit a strong lemon and eucalyptus aroma when crushed.

Citriodora has its remedial history of being used in the traditional as well as modern medicine in the east and west, mainly as an aid for respiratory infections and for keeping insects at bay. The infusion made from the leaves of this tree has been used in reducing fever, treating gastric conditions and fighting against microbes causing such infectious diseases in the Aboriginal tradition.

Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used the aromatic leaves of this plant in steam inhalation for clearing nasal congestion, easing cold, flu, asthma and sore throat. The paste of this leaves or the leaves poultice were also used in healing wounds, cuts, skin infections, sores, cuts, blisters, chicken pox, joint pain, rheumatic pain, fungal infections and other few other infections.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is a famous ingredient in soaps, aromatic candles, natural insect repellents, lotions, shampoo, toothpastes, deodorants, perfumes, detergents, insecticides, waxes and in the flavoring of few other products since the traditional times.

Remedial properties and chemical components of Citriodora essential oil:

The medicinal benefits of Lemon eucalyptus oil are often attributed to its high content of citronellal component (about 80%). The other chemical constituents include citronellol and other monoterpenes.

The citronellal constituent of the cultured oil is transformed into cis- and trans- isomers of p-menthane-3,8-diols (PMD), which is a natural process that  happens as the Eucalyptus leaves grow old. This oil is also called by other names like Para-menthane-3,8-diol, OLE,  PMD, P-menthane Diol,  Wild Eucalyptus Citriodora, P-menthane-3,8-Diol, Spotted Gum and Quwenling.

The therapeutic properties of this oil are calmative, insecticide, antibacterial, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic, fungicidal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-rheumatic, germicidal, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and antiseptic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Citriodora essential oil: Ayurveda is the ancient Indian healing methodology which exactly means ‘the knowledge of life (Ayur-life + Veda-knowledge)’. If you are completely new to this oldest healing science on earth, then join for a wonder ride where you can explore what Ayurveda has intact for you.

Ayurveda has thousands of dimensions and everything that is natural and organic falls into this bucket, as Ayurvedic principles abide by Mother Nature and strongly believe that everything in the universe is a part of nature and is built with the same five elements of nature, namely earth, fire, air, water and space.

The most imperative approaches of the Ayurvedic regime are holistic approach, which fervently states that health is a combination of the wellness of the body, psyche and the soul. This is clearly stated in Charaka Samhita, the most trusted Ayurvedic encyclopedia as “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda trusts that a healthy body is the absolute home for a healthy mind and a pure soul.

Spiritual aspects play a vital role in Ayurvedic healing. It has been said a small, sincere prayer can bring in enormous positive energy to deal with a difficult day. Spirituality simply means the trust and the natural bond with the Supreme Power that shells and leads the Cosmos. By inculcating this practice, every individual will understand his responsibilities and righteousness to lead a glorious life.

Ayurvedic philosophies bring in the other few vital practices of Ayurveda that includes prevention of illnesses by treating the root cause of a disease instead of the symptoms. Prescribing natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, prayer and a meaningful Ayurvedic routine is the key to this healing wisdom. By this way, it promotes a disease-free living and leads to healthy aging and longevity.

Every Ayurvedic treatment starts with the analysis of the dynamic biological energies that are a pictogram of the five natural elements. They are known as doshas, namely pitta (fire + water), vata (air + space) and kapha (earth + water). These three energies are there in every person in unique ratios to make up the individual constitution. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance leads to sickness.

Ayurvedic therapies are prescribed in such a way that they treat the doshic imbalances and help strike absolute balance according to the Prakriti (fundamental constitution or nature) of an individual. With its moisturizing and heating energy, Citriodora essential oil is known to lessen the excess of kapha and vata energy and increase pitta dosha when deficit.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Citriodora essential oil are:

Citriodora-broucher1. Alleviates rheumatic and arthritic pain:

Rheumatism and arthritis are mainly caused due to surplus deposits of toxic substances, salt, uric acid and excess water causing improper blood circulation especially in the joints. Water retention and stagnation of other fluids in the body are the symptoms of kapha intemperance.

Citriodora essential oil treats kapha surplus and regulates its flow in the system. Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Citriodora oil blended with 2.5 ml of coconut oil can help in eliminating the excess deposits and toxins through sweat and urine and enhances blood circulation. This massaging can also help in treating sore muscles, joint pain, and backache and can also serve as a vitalizing massage for people indulged in sports.

This oil relieves pain and reduces swelling with its heating effect along with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Adding 2 drops of Citriodora oil in warm bathing water or in hot or cold compress is also another alternative to treat arthritic and rheumatic pain. Performing Pranayama, the art of balanced breathing can help in discharging about 70% of the toxins in the body through exhalation.

2. Non-toxic insect repellent:

The essential oil of Eucalyptus citriodora is suggested by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, U.S) as a non-toxic alternate for DEET, which an element used in other repellants, making it unsafe. With a rosy-citronella fragrance and faint lemon undertones, Citriodora essential oil is an ultimate natural remedy for keeping away from harmful insects including mosquitoes, bugs, ticks and fleas.

All you need to do is to add 3 to 4 drops of Citriodora oil in lamp oils, diffuser, lotions, patio sprays, body mists and vaporizers for preventing your lovely family from the adverse effects of insects and pests, which may otherwise cause infectious diseases like malaria, dengue etc.,

3. Relieves respiratory infections:

Problems of the respiratory system become severe when the mucous and phlegm discharges thicken and block the bronchial and nasal passages. Deposits of mucous and phlegm is due to the vitiation of kapha dosha, which is responsible for problems caused due to stagnation of water and fluids in the body.

Citriodora essential oil has kapha-reducing properties along with the antiviral and antimicrobial properties that assist in destroying the harmful virus and microbes responsible for making respiratory infections vulnerable. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to hot water for steam inhalation helps in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits.

By this way it helps in relieving chest congestion, nasal congestion, cough, bronchitis, asthma, sore throat and cold. Adding 2 drops of Lemon eucalyptus oil to your decongesting ointment and gently rubbing on your chest, back and throat can fasten your healing process.

4. Grants mental clarity and improves concentration:

Pitta energy is responsible for body temperature, metabolic functions, decision-making potential and for instilling the feelings of perfection in your routine. Deficit of pitta energy or pitta imbalance along with other environmental and lifestyle factors can end up in chaos, poor concentration, sluggishness, lack of self-confidence, lonesomeness and distress.

Eucalyptus citriodora oil enhances pitta energy. It has a positive effect and supports in opening the heart chakra, which is responsible for forgiveness, compassion, love for self and others and the solar plexus chakra that is incharge for feelings of self-empowerment and self-esteem.

Adding 3 drops of Citriodora oil in your burner, vaporizer, diffuser or air freshener can help in improving your self-confidence, focus, shrewdness and clarity of thoughts with its fresh, citrusy, warming, camphoraceous and woody aroma.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Citriodora oil mixed with 5 ml of olive oil or adding 3 drops of this oil to your bath can help in rejuvenating the mind, body and the soul.

5. Benefits for skin and hair:

Since the traditional times, Citriodora leaves and its essential oil have been used in the treatment of various skin disorders like burns, scabies, wounds, dermatitis and erysipelas. Citriodora oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that help in combating the growth of hazardous micro-organisms causing skin disorders and making wounds, cuts and burns more infectious.

A 2002 study on ‘Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Belgium published that Eucalyptus citriodora is one among the most effective essential oils exhibiting the most active antibacterial effects and inhibited the growth of various bacteria.

Another research done in 2007 on ‘The antibacterial effect of Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil against a battery of clinically important bacterial strains’ at the Phytochemical Pharmacological and Microbiological Laboratory in India proved that “Citriodora oil is highly active against Alcaligenes fecalis and Proteus mirabilis, and active against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhimurium, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas testosterone, Bacillus cereus, Citrobacter freundii. Its healing efficiency was said to be equally comparable to the powerful Piperacillin and Amikacin antibiotics.”

As a potent antifungal oil, Citriodora has been proved effective in treating candida. When tested in a laboratory analysis in comparison with other essential oils possessing synthetic antibiotics against candida, Eucalyptus citriodora oil showed strongest anti-candidal properties.

5 drops of Citriodora oil blended with 3 ml of Almond oil and applied to infectious wounds, cuts, blisters, boils, ringworm, candida, athlete’s foot, rashes and redness due to insect stings and bites, acne and few other skin conditions with its eucalyptus and citrusy effects.

Eucalyptus citriodora oil is also a famous ingredient in shampoos, hair oils and few other hair care formulas. 10 drops of Citriodora oil added to 5 ml of coconut oil can serve as an assured remedy for alleviating dandruff, dry scalp, itching and lice, when massaged gently on the scalp followed by a hair wash with a mild shampoo (preferably 8 ml) mixed with 10 drops of Citriodora oil will leave you with a dandruff-free, lice-free, oil-free and clean smelling hair.

6. Disinfects and purifies the air:

Citriodora essential oil has a lemony, fresh, woody and energizing aroma that makes its use imperative in disinfecting, deodorizing and purifying the air. 5 to 10 drops of Citriodora essential oil can be added to your sprayer pump, diffuser, air freshener or vaporizer for killing the microbes in the atmosphere and spreading the magic of freshness around.

Disclaimer:

This article is for the purpose of education only and is not meant for curing, preventing or diagnosing any health condition or for substituting any prescribed medication or professional advice of your medical expert.

Do not use essential oils internally and always dilute essential oils before using it externally. Keep out of reach of children and avoid this oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mom. Ensure that you seek the advice of your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare expert before selecting the appropriate essential oil for your unique state of health and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Eucalyptus: The Genus Eucalyptus (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Eucalyptus Plantations: Research, Management and Development by Run-Peng Wei, Daping Xu
  3. Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs from Wiley-VCH
  4. Phytochemical and Antifungal analysis of E citriodora L. extracts: Phytochemical Constituents of Eucalyptus citriodora L. Responsible for Antifungal Activity against Pathogenic Organisms by Sehrish Iftikhar, Shabnam Javed
  5. Effect of NaCl on emergence and growth of a range of provenances of Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus populnea, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Acacia … article from: Forest Ecology and Management] by P.A. Madsen, D.R. Mulligan

Reference Links:

  1. Eucalyptus Citriodora by Globinmed
  2. Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus citriodora) by Sigma-Adrich
  3. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (PMD) by A Beyond Pesticides Fact Sheet
  4. Extraction of essential oil and oleoresin from Eucalyptus citriodora leaves using sub and supercritical CO2 Mirelle Dogenski*, Ana Carolina Velho, Débora Nascimento e Santos, Nilson Ferreira, Alessandra Lopes de Oliveira, University of São Paulo, Department of Food Engineering, São Paulo, Brazil
  5. Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ by Cimanga K, Kambu K, Tona L, Apers S, De Bruyne T, Hermans N, Totté J, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Belgium