Heeng Oil (Asafoetida)

Heeng-bannerAsafoetida is seen as an archaic remedy for flatulence, colic and other digestive disorders but the truth is that this ‘Food of Gods’ is still boasting its potent of treating various disorders from toothache to impotency for more than 5,000 years, where it’s use has been documented in Ashtanga Hridaya, which is one of the ancient text of the world’s oldest healing science known as Ayurveda.

Highly carped for its pungent aroma, Asafoetida has never failed in adding that extra spice to numerous traditional dishes in various countries including India, Europe, North Africa and the United States.

Known as Rāmaha, Badhika and Sahasravedhi in Sanskrit, Heeng and its essential oil has been prescribed in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating flatulence, whooping cough, painful menstruation, premature ejaculation, impotency, diabetes, asthma, intestinal worms and toothache.

Purchase Heeng Oil (Asafoetida) – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Heeng (Asafoetida):

Asafoetida is native to Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Botanically known as Ferula assa-foetida, it is a member of the Apiaceae plant family and the commercial part used is the oleo-gum resin extracted from the thickened roots and rhizomes. It is also known by other famous names like hing, narthex, heeng, food of Gods, devil’s dung, haltheeth, giant fennel, ting and stinking gum.

Ayurveda quotes “Asafoetida is a grounding herb that can therefore balance an overactive, over emotional, turbulent system“. It was one among the common herbs prescribed for the treatment of hysteria. It was used in 1918 to combat the Spanish influenza pandemic. It was also used as a topical remedy for relieving abdominal injuries.

Heeng is a popular spice all over the world and is used as a digestive aid, flavoring agent and as a condiment in food varieties and in pickles. It is used in daily food preparations in India especially by the followers of Vaishnavism, Jainism and by the merchant caste. Asafoetida was the most prevalent folk remedy for treating flatulence, colic and cold in children and as a contraceptive medicine.

The Arabian pharmacists and scientists like Avicenna, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi and Ibn al-Baitar have talked about the positive effects of Asafoetida on digestive system and the respiratory system. It is used in magic spells in the African-American Hoodoo tradition for its power to protect as well as to curse.

Asafoetida is also used in the Jamaican culture for protecting babies from evil spirits. The Jewish literatures like Mishneh Torah and Mishnah have also talked about this spice.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Heeng oil:

The remedial properties of Heeng essential oil are nervine, carminative, aphrodisiac, vermifuge, abortifacient, antispasmodic, stimulant, anti-flatulent, antimicrobial, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-epileptic, fertility enhancer, contraceptive, anthelmintic, expectorant, bronchodilator and emmenagogue. The major chemical constituents are phellandrenes, α-pinene, hendecyl-sulphonyl acetic acid, ferulic acid and ethers of sesquiterpenes with coumarines like farnesi feroles.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Heeng (Asafoetida) oil:

Asafoetida is a promising Ayurvedic remedy for treating digestive and respiratory disorders for thousands of years. Known as the oldest of all the healing systems on earth, Ayurveda is the mother of all medicinal practices in the world having its roots deeply vested with India, the world’s oldest historical tradition.

Ayurveda is considered as the only healing methodology that considers human body as a temple where the real soul dwells in. It also states that Mother Nature is made up of five vital elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether. Being a part of Nature, human beings are also made up of these five fundamental elements that pair together and form the biological energies called as doshas.

Just like an individual’s fingerprints, each one of us on earth has a unique individual constitution that comprises of these three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Vata is a representation of air and space and is responsible for respiration, nervous functions, circulation, excretion and creativity.

Pitta stands for fire and water and is accountable for digestion, absorption, metabolism and thinking capacity. Kapha represents water and earth and is in charge for structure, movement of fluids, sustenance and love.

Every individual has a dominance of any one of these doshas and it determines their characteristics, temperament and behavioral attributes. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in a such a manner to set right these doshic imbalances.

Heeng and its essential oil in Ayurveda is said to increase Pitta energy and balance vata and kapha dosha with its pungent taste and enormous healing properties. In the Ayurvedic text Ashtanga Hridaya Su Chapter l it is mentioned that “Asafoetida mitigates vata and kapha, relieves flatulence and colic pain. It is pungent taste and at the end of digestion. It aggravates pitta, enhances appetite, taste and digestion. It is easy to digest”.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Heeng oil are:

Heeng-broucher

1. Benefits to the digestive system:

Just by hearing the word ‘Asafoetida’ anyone in India would just say that it is the best natural remedy for treating flatulence, colic and indigestion in children as well as elderly people. With its anti-flatulent, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Heeng essential oil aids in relieving from abdominal gas, stomach pain, intestinal gas and bloating.

It cleanses the intestinal flora and augments the digestive fire. By this way it eliminates all kinds of stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract, relieves cramping and drives out intestinal gas. The strong herbaceous aroma of this oil assists in soothing the lining of the stomach and intestines, reducing distention, treating spasms and increasing the appetite.

Gently massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Asafoetida oil blended with 1 ml of sesame oil will be of great help in treating all types of stomachic and intestinal problems in a comforting manner.

You can also add 1 drop of Heeng oil to warm bathing water or to diffuser in the dining hall to stimulate the process of metabolism and for enhancing the stamina, as this oil is known to nurture the earth element that is responsible for strength and vigor.

Asafoetida is used as a traditional medicine for treating constipation and flatulence in 60% people of Jammu and Kashmir, India and this wonder herbal medicine lessens the development of indigenous microflora in the gut, thus helping in reducing flatulence. It has also been used in western medicinal system as a topical remedy for treating abdominal injuries since the 18th century.

2. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Heeng and its essential oil is an ancient folk remedy for treating cold especially in children. This is mainly due to its antimicrobial and expectorant properties along with its ability to reduce kapha dosha, which is responsible for excess phlegm and mucous deposits causing cold and other respiratory problems.

Add 2 drops of Heeng oil to steam inhalation or to vapor rub and massage it on your chest, neck and back for expelling mucous and phlegm deposits in the bronchial, nasal and respiratory passages. Asafoetida has antimicrobial values that arrest the growth of infectious organisms that worsen cold and cough and pave way for chronic respiratory conditions.

It has been proven effective in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, whooping cough and other respiratory problems. There are numerous home remedies with Asafoetida for treating respiratory disorders and various other health conditions.

One popular home remedy with Heeng is mixing half teaspoon of asafoetida powder with fresh betel leaf juice and white onion juice along with honey every day for treating whooping cough, bronchitis and asthma.

A 2009 study on ‘Influenza A (H(1)N(1)) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida’ have proved the effectiveness of Asafoetida in combating the harmful effects of H1N1 virus with its antiviral and cytotoxic elements. This study concluded that Asafoetida exhibited greater potency against influenza A virus and against HepG2, Hep3B, and MCF-7 cancer cell lines, correspondingly.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system:

Asafoetida addresses male and female reproductive problems in a natural way. It is known to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea in men by increasing the libido and it also acts as an effective aphrodisiac.

Mix 2 drops of Heeng oil with 1 ml of olive oil and gently massage on your lower abdomen or add 1 drop of this oil to your bathing tub before going to bed. Regular use of this therapy can show effective results as the therapeutic molecules present in this oil penetrate deeply into the system through the skin and stimulate the male reproductive system.

Heeng as a powerful herb and a strong essential oil has emmenagogue properties and has been in use as a natural contraceptive. It will be of great assistance in treating dysmennorhea or painful menstruation, excessive bleeding, irregular or delayed periods, leucorrhea, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and other symptoms associated with menses.

The best way to use Heeng oil for menstrual discomforts is by massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of this oil mixed with 1 ml sesame oil or add it in a hot compress for improved results.

As a contraceptive or abortifacient, Heeng oil can be used in treating unplanned abortion, sterility in women and premature labor. It is also effective in improving the quality and quantity of breast milk in nursing women. Using Asafoetida in post-pregnancy period is recommended for relieving colic, indigestion and other digestive difficulties in both the mother and the baby.

4. Benefits to oral health:

Human mouth has the highest possibilities of being affected by millions of micro-organisms that not only cause hazards to oral health but also to the entire body. Heeng essential oil has potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that aids in treating toothache, bleeding gums, bad breath or halitosis and harmful cavities.

Add 1 drop of Heeng oil in a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle for getting rid of various oral problems. You can also add 1 drop of this oil to a piece of cotton and dab it on your aching tooth for immediate relief.

5. Benefits to the entire system:

Asafoetida and its essential oil are beneficial to the entire system in a number of ways. It has been proven effective in stimulating the pancreatic cells to secrete more insulin as improved insulin levels are known to bring down the blood sugar levels to normal.

According to certain studies, the antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of Asafoetida curbs the growth of malignant cells causing cancerous tumors. Since the ancient times, this condiment has been used as a powerful antidote for opium as it is identified to counter the effect of the ingested drug.

Asafoetida is defined as ‘Tamasic’ in Ayurveda for its properties of resistance, dullness, inertia and darkness on the mind and it can balance the over emotional, hyperactive and chaotic system.

This condiment is also used as a pesticide and insecticide for protecting crops from pests and for repelling mosquitoes and certain other insects.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational purpose and is not directed to diagnose or replace any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils internally and always dilute essential oils before using it topically. This is because organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and can cause allergic reactions if used in an undiluted manner.

Remember to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the most suitable essential oil for your unique constitution and health condition. Avoid using Heeng oil if you are a pregnant woman as it has strong abortifacient properties.

Thought for the day:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. -Theodore Roethke

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Ayurvedic Healing Cuisine by Harish Johari
  3. Herbs: An Inside Look Into The World of Alfalfa, Basil, Asafoetida, Burdock, Catnip and More by Vanesa Payne
  4. The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by David Frawley, Vasant Lad
  5. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide by Burton Goldberg Group

Reference Links:

  1. Asafoetida by Wikipedia
  2. Asafoetida (Hing) Benefits by Speedy Remedies.com
  3. Asafoetida by The Spices Board India
  4. Asafoetida – A Grounding Herb by American Botanical Council
  5. Influenza A (H(1)N(1)) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida by Lee, CL; Chia-Lin Lee, Lien-Chai Chiang, Li-Hung Cheng, Chih-Chuang Liaw, Mohamed H. Abd El-Razek, Fang-Rong Chang, Yang-Chang Wu, College of Pharmacy, China published in PubMed

Myrrh Gel Essential Oil

Mrrh-gel-bannerCrowned as one among the first and best gifts to baby Jesus by the Biblical Magi, Myrrh is asserted as a panacea for many diseases and is a symbol of wishing good health and happiness. This sacred herb has its name engraved in almost all the major religious practices of healing and has been in use throughout history as a promising medicine, renowned perfume and sanctified incense.

Myrrh essential oil is hydro distilled from the resin of Myrrh trees. Ayurveda accentuates Myrrh as a trusted remedy for treating arthritis, dysmennorhea, anemia, menopausal problems, bronchitis, asthma, obesity, mouth ulcers, digestive problems, gum diseases, cough and rheumatism. Myrrh resin has been a vital ingredient in many rasayana formulas in Ayurvedic treatment.

Historical importance of Myrrh:

Botanically known as Commiphora myrrha, Myrrh is indigenous to Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The word ‘Myrrh’ is derived from the Aramaic word murr, meaning ‘was bitter’. Myrrh has many religious rituals stringed to its historical fame. The Islamic herbal medicine encyclopedia quotes “The Messenger of Allah stated, Fumigate your houses with al-shih, murr, and sa’tar”, where murr indicates Myrrh.

The book of Matthew states that gold, frankincense and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus Christ. New Testament cites Myrrh as an incense presented at the time of Christian liturgical celebrations. The Eastern Orthodox Church makes use of Myrrh scented oil as a symbol of tradition during the sacraments of unction and chrismation.

Myrrh was held high in the Traditional Chinese Medicine as a special herb with ‘blood-moving’ powers to eliminate stagnant blood from the uterus and is also effective on spleen meridians, liver and heart. It is for this reason, Myrrh has been used in the treatment of uterine tumors, menopause, amenorrhea, rheumatic problems, dysmennorhea, arthritis and other circulatory problems.  It is also said that Myrrh has been used in the Chinese ma yao since 600 BC.

It is said that the Greek soldiers took Myrrh with them to the battlefield for cleansing and healing their wounds, as this herb has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It was used by the ancient Egyptians for treating hay fever, herpes and also in fumigations and embalming.

This herb is used in folklore medicine in making rheumatic plasters and for treating muscular pains. Tibetans trust the magical powers of Myrrh to assuage stress and certain other nervous disorders.

Myrrh is a popular ingredient in many liniments, tooth powders, gargles, toothpastes and mouthwashes especially for its antiseptic and analgesic properties that aid in treating many oral problems, wounds and skin ailments.  It is also used in making tinctures for healing wounds in the Veterinary practice. Assyrians and Babylonians burned Myrrh during religious ceremonies.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Myrrh essential oil:

The remedial values of Myrrh gel essential oil are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, antiseptic, antimicrobial, carminative, stimulant, tonic, stomachic, astringent, antifungal, circulatory, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, anti-catarrhal, immune booster and expectorant. The chemical components contributing to these properties are eugenol, triterpenoids, polysaccharides, a-pinene, limonene, cresol, triterpene acids, cadinene, cuminaldehyde, sesquiterpenes and acetic acid.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Myrrh gel essential oil:

Myrrh is a part of many Ayurvedic medications, especially for its positive effects on the nervous system and the circulatory system. Everything in Ayurveda has a strong reason behind it and that is the focus on treating the root cause of an illness and preventing it in the future also.

Ayurvedic practices do not treat human beings and their illnesses as one among the ten instead it believes that every individual is unique by birth and each and every one of their health condition needs to be treated in a unique manner.

Ayurvedic principles trust that every one of us on earth is built up of three vital energies known as doshas. They are kapha, pitta and vata doshas. The wisdom of Ayurvedic healing lies in its holistic and inimitable approach towards humanity by identifying their attributes, personal traits and health mechanism based on their predominant dosha.

Generally vata predominant people are lean, tall, creative and have a dark complexion and its imbalance causes constipation, stress, sleeplessness, anxiety and loss of sexual interest. People with the predominance of pitta dosha have a fair complexion, sharp decision making skills, short temper and are perfectionists.

Pitta imbalance leads to loss of temper and digestive disorders like heartburn and ulcers. Kapha predominant people are kind at heart, affectionate and obese with an average complexion. Imbalance of kapha energy will lead to overweight, sluggishness and poor process of digestion.

Ayurvedic remedies are based on your individual constitution and center natural medications to treat the imbalance of doshas. Myrrh essential oil is known to pacify vata and kapha energies and increase pitta dosha.

It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Myrrh gel essential oil.

Myrrh-gel-broucher1. Protects from the infestations of microbes and other harmful organisms:

Myrrh essential oil is known for its anti-fungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It assists in killing bacteria, fungi and certain other detrimental microbes by making the body resistant to such infections.

Myrrh oil has natural breath freshening properties that aid in treating bad breath known as halitosis. Add 2 drops of Myrrh oil in warm water and use it as a gargle for treating oral problems like toothaches, pyorrhea, abscesses, mouth ulcers, gingivitis and gum problems. This blend also helps in fighting bacteria causing cavities.

Applying 2 drops of Myrrh oil blended along with coconut oil on wounds, cuts, athletes foot, and other skin infections will aid in preventing the wound from getting septic as Myrrh oil fights Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for wounds becoming septic. This oil is also used in treating cough, measles, pox, cold, fever, diarrhea, mumps, food poisoning and other health conditions caused due to microbial infections.

2. Boosts your immunity and fights against cancer:

A weak immune system is the underlying cause for the body becoming vulnerable to diseases and infections. Myrrh essential oil reinforces the immune system and augments the body’s natural disease resistant power by enhancing the body’s nutrient absorption capacity.

This way it protects the body from pathogens in case of airborne or waterborne diseases like diarrhea, cold, cough, dysentery, typhoid, bronchitis, vomiting and few other digestive problems. Add 3 to 4 drops of Myrrh oil with jojoba oil and massage gently on your body. This helps in transmitting the therapeutic molecules of Myrrh oil by penetrating deeply into the skin and to your blood stream.

Myrrh has been proved effective in fighting against the free radicals and aid in preventing cancer. A 2001 study by the Rutgers University in NJ found that Myrrh essential oil has certain compounds that assist in killing cancer cells and showing promising effect for treatment and prevention of prostate and breast cancer.

Elemene has been identified as the unique component of Myrrh essential oil and has been proven to show improved effect on treatment of cancerous brain tumors.  You can add 2 drops to your diffuser for regaining confidence and energy. Gently massage your affected parts with 5 drops of Myrrh oil blended with coconut oil for combating the growth of free radicals worsening the effects of cancer.

3. Cures skin ailments:

Myrrh essential oil has been used as a trusted natural remedy for skin problems since the Biblical times. This is mainly because of the antiseptic, analgesic, vulnerary and astringent properties of this oil.  A 2010 study by King Saud University, Saudi Arabia traced that Myrrh was particularly potential to increase the count of white blood cells in laboratory rats treated for gastric ulcers and skin injuries with Myrrh.

Blending 2 drops of Myrrh oil with coconut oil and applying it on wounds, cuts, boils, athlete’s foot, bed sores, chapped skin, ringworm, eczema, skin ulcers, hemorrhoids, weeping wounds and itches can help heal such skin problems quickly and protect them from infections also.

Myrrh essential oil has been in use as a rejuvenating facial aid for more than hundreds of years mainly due to its ability to invigorate dull skin, revivify mature complexions, reduce wrinkles and leave it glowing from within. Mix 2 drops of Myrrh oil with jojoba oil and rub it on your face soothingly, leave it for 5 minutes and then wash your face with a mild cleanser for nourishing your skin and help it look supple and younger.

4. Abet respiratory problems:

Myrrh essential oil has expectorant and anti-catarrhal properties that help in treating respiratory problems like cold, asthma, sinus infections, cough, sore throat, congestion, bronchitis and breathing difficulties.

Add 2 drops of Myrrh oil to steaming water and inhale the aroma to get immediate relief from chest congestion and to support the expulsion of phlegm from respiratory tracts and lungs. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to hot bath or to your cold rub and gently massage it on the chest, back and throat for instant aid.

5. Assists your digestive system:

Myrrh oil is carminative and stomachic in nature, aiding in relieving gases and promoting the process of digestion. It helps in restoring the appetite, treating indigestion, nausea, flatulence, stomach pain and constipation by stimulating the flow of saliva, bile and other digestive juices. You can either use 2 to 3 drops of Myrrh oil in steam inhalation or diffuser for calming the digestive system. Massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Myrrh oil blended with sesame oil can help in easing sluggish digestion.

6. Stimulates the mind:

Myrrh essential oil is said to grant mental clarity, alleviate stress, and treat depression, tension, fatigue and anxiety. It is used in Ayurvedic healing for enhancing the intellect and cleansing the blood. Inhaling the sacred aroma of Myrrh oil during meditation can help in opening the mind, increasing concentration and treating poor memory. Massaging your body with 4 drops of Myrrh oil along with sweet almond oil helps in uplifting the mind, relieving anxiety and nervous tension.

Myrrh essential oil has a calming and pacifying fragrance that helps open the heart chakra that is associated with love, forgiveness and acceptance. 2 drops of Myrrh oil added to burner, vaporizer or diffuser assists in discharging fear, hurting experiences and depressive feelings that stop you from going ahead. Myrrh oil strengthens your spiritual acquaintance, trust and self-confidence.

7. Alleviates pain and inflammation:

Myrrh has been a promising remedy in Ayurveda and other traditional healing methodologies for treating pain, gout, arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The essential oil of Myrrh has diaphoretic properties that increase sweating and helps expel excess water, toxic substances and extra salts from the body.

The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil supports in reducing inflammation. By eliminating the toxic substance and lessening inflammation, Myrrh oil is effective in treating arthritis and rheumatic pain.

Blend 2 drops of Myrrh oil, 2 drops of Frankincense oil along with coconut oil and massage soothingly on the affected parts for relieving pain and inflammation. You can also add 3 drops of Myrrh oil to hot compress or in hot bath for similar effects.

Other health benefits:

Myrrh essential oil is also helpful in treating menstrual cramps, delayed menstruation, uterine problems, hair fall problems and acts as a tonic for the entire system by stimulating the digestive system, nervous system and the circulatory system.

Disclaimer: Never take essential oils internally. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so always dilute them in suitable carrier oils before using it for topical application. This article is only for your information and is not meant to replace any prescribed medication or professional advice. Avoid using Myrrh oil if you are a pregnant or nursing woman. Keep it out of reach of children. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the appropriate essential oil for your unique individual constitution and health condition.

Thought for the day:

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.              – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Frankincense & Myrrh: Through the Ages, and a complete guide to their use in herbalism and aromatherapy today by Martin Watt, Wanda Sellar
  2. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
    by Queen Afua
  5. Herbal Remedies Bible: Life Saving And Healing Herbs For All Ailments: Easy Herbal Remedies For Over 100 Ailments by Dane Foster

Reference Links:

  1. Myrrh by Wikipedia
  2. Myrrh Essential Oil Can Help Fight Cancer by Ezinearticles.com
  3. A Wise Man’s Cure: Frankincense and Myrrh by Jennie Cohen published in History in the Headlines
  4. Medicinal Qualities of Myrrh by Rebecca Joy Knottnerus published in Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint-bannerAs nature’s immaculate coolant, the world celebrates Peppermint as the most distinguished member of the mint family, Labiatae along with Spearmint, Pennyroyal, Corsican mint, Lemon mint, Watermint, Lavender, Field mint, Apple mint or Chocolate mint, Patchouli, Thyme and Silver mint. Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE), the Roman natural philosopher, scientist and naturalist rightly said “The smell of mint stirs up the mind and appetite to a greedy desire of food.”

Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the aromatic leaves of this plant and is known since ages as an excellent digestive aid with a bundle of other health benefits as well. The encyclopedia of Ayurveda talks about the notable use of Peppermint essential oil as a cooling carminative that enhances digestion and elimination by eradicating blockages and facilitating the flow of energy from within.

Purchase Peppermint Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE

Purchase Peppermint Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Peppermint and its oil:

Peppermint dates back to 1000 BC when the dried leaves are said to be found in Pyramids. Indigenous to Europe, this herb was first used by the primeval Egyptians as a natural digestive support. Few mythological studies say that the word Peppermint has its origin from Greek myths in the outline of a love triangle involving Hades, his wife Persephone and the nymph Minthe (who was later turned into Peppermint).

Interestingly, Peppermint is a natural hybrid of Spearmint and Watermint. The ancient Romans loved growing Peppermint in their gardens and in the pathways of stepping stones for greeting their guests with its wonderful aroma and for its innumerable medicinal benefits.

It was also used as a form of currency for the kind of esteem and admiration it had in Egypt. Peppermint was used as a tooth polisher by the ancient monks.

The Biblical importance of Peppermint has added even more to its value. Jesus Christ says to the Pharisees,But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” It was also used as a culinary herb in the folklore cooking for seasoning meat and assisting in quicker digestion.

Listed as a natural remedy for treating all kinds of illnesses from venereal disease, cold, sores, headache and digestive problems, Peppermint emerged as a distinguished species in the London Pharmacopoeia in the 16th century.  It was also mentioned in the Icelandic Pharmacopoeias as a much valued herbal remedy in 1240 AD. Peppermint was used as a prized herb by the Native Americans and now the United States is the world’s largest producer of Peppermint essential oil contributing to more than 75% of the total production.

Chemical constituents Gas Chromatography Report of Peppermint essential oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Peppermint oil constitutes of 10 major chemical components that contribute to its distinctive fragrance, remedial properties and quality, among which, menthol has an upper hand with about 38.6 percent.

Just click on:

For learning more about the exclusive information of these key constituents of Peppermint oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the principal chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic properties and other attributes to Peppermint oil.

Pepper-mint-oilTherapeutic properties of Peppermint essential oil:

The therapeutic actions of Peppermint essential oil are carminative, decongestant, immune stimulant, anti-infectious, febrifuge, cardio tonic, nervine, hypertensive, antipruritic, antifungal, sedative, expectorant, antibacterial, mucolytic and anti-carcinogenic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Peppermint essential oil:

Known as Pudina in Sanskrit, Peppermint is a popular culinary herb used for its minty, fresh and enriching aroma for enhancing taste and adding extra flavor to the lip-smacking dishes. Ayurvedic remedies wholly depend on Mother Nature trusting that every single thing on the earth is an incredible part of nature including human beings.

The strong principles of Ayurveda establish that every individual is made up of three vital energy elements known as doshas (vata-air, pitta-fire and kapha-water), which determine the personality, character, behavior and health conditions of a person. A person is said to be healthy when there is perfect balance between all the three doshas and dosha imbalances cause illness. Peppermint and its essential oil in Ayurveda is said to calm all the three doshas.

Peppermint according to Ayurveda has cooling and heating energy (virya), sweet and pungent taste (rasa), dry, penetrating and light quality (guna), benefits the nerve, blood and plasma tissues (dhatu), with a post-digestive effect (vipaka), Peppermint stimulates the circulatory, nervous, digestive and respiratory channels (srotas).

Let’s have a look at the major Ayurvedic health benefits of Peppermint essential oil:Pepermint-broucher1. Keeps away from harmful bacteria and fungi:

Peppermint is a powerful antibacterial oil mainly because of the presence of menthol that aids in fighting against harmful bacteria like salmonella, e.coli and staph.

A 2010 study on ‘Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials’ proved that Peppermint oil has effective antimicrobial and antioxidant effect that fights against harmful microbes and supplemented for nutritional benefits and food preservation. Bacterial infections are responsible for wounds becoming septic and other skin problems like acne.

The Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran proved that the menthol component in Peppermint oil is defiant to fungus including candida. The State University of Brazil also established that Peppermint essential oil varieties have anti-candida effects. For all these reasons Peppermint oil acts as a natural remedy for treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch and other yeast infections.

Applying 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil blended with gentle carrier oils like coconut oil aids in treating bacterial and fungal infections. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in warm foot bath or in bathing water for fighting against such detrimental microbes.

2. Enlivens the mind:

The invigorating, refreshing, cooling and reassuring aroma of Peppermint essential oil boosts mental power.  Inhaling the aroma of this oil grants a complete stream of freshness to fight the challenges of a rising day.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of drops of Peppermint oil in your air freshener, diffuser or in your handkerchief can grant you immense energy and confidence throughout the day. This therapy employed in your study room can help improve your memory skills and concentration power.

3 to 4 drops of Peppermint oil blended with Sesame oil can act as an efficacious massage oil and as a bathing oil for enhancing your mental strength, treating stress, reducing fatigue and anxiety. It also helps in treating anger, mental strain, confusion, nervousness, palpitations, vertigo and depression.

3. Alleviates tension headache better than the other alternative therapies:

Peppermint essential oil is also an effectual natural remedy for treating tension headache. A clinical trial on ‘Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type’ witnessed “Peppermint oil thus proves to be a well-tolerated and cost-effective alternative to usual therapies for alleviating tension-type headache.” This study also proved that there was not much significant difference in efficacy between acetaminophen and Peppermint oil and there are no reported adverse effects as well.

4. Clears all kinds of stagnation:

Peppermint essential oil is a proven stimulant and tonic especially to the brain, pancreas and heart. It is known for clearing away all kinds of stagnations including physical and mental. Peppermint oil clears stagnation in the blood, lymph, stomach and gallbladder. It also breaks emotional blockages.

The expectorant and decongestant properties of this oil help in open the blocked sinus passages and aid in clearing mucus deposits from the respiratory tract by adding 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation.

The diaphoretic quality of Peppermint oil aids in reducing the body temperature in the early stages of fever by releasing the heat of the body through sweat. Applying two drops of Peppermint oil blended with coconut oil on your foot helps in quicker recovery from fever. This blend can also be rubbed on the chest, back and neck for treating congestion, cough and blocked nose.

5. Stimulates the digestive system:

The essential oil of Peppermint and the herb itself are known to the world as a promising digestive remedy. Numerous research studies have proved that Peppermint oil is effective in relaxing gastrointestinal smooth muscle, more or less due the antagonistic effect on calcium channels in the gut.

The American Family Physician Forum states that Peppermint oil is effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, non-ulcer dyspepsia, tension headache and lessening spasm at the time of gastrointestinal procedures.

Peppermint oil along with the combination of caraway oil has been proved in reducing the symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia like bloating, fullness and gastro-intestinal spasm. Gently rub 3 drops of Peppermint essential oil with Sesame oil on the stomach and abdomen to help relieve indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, constipation and pain.

6. Absolute care for hair and skin:

The skin-friendly attributes of Peppermint oil aids in treating eczema, lesions, acne, insect bites, rashes, allergies, irritation and itchiness. Gently massaging your skin with 2 drops of Peppermint oil blended with sweet almond oil helps in nourishing and hydrating dry, dull and lifeless skin. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of oil in your daily lotions and creams and apply it on the affected area.

Dandruff, dry itchy scalp and lice are the major problems associated with hair. Peppermint oil has stimulating and cooling effects. When added to sesame oil and massaged on the scalp helps improve blood circulation, enrich the scalp, conditions your hair and improves hair growth. Adding 3 to 4 drops of Peppermint oil to your shampoo or hair conditioner can add shine to your hair and make it look smooth and silky.

Other health benefits:

Few believe that adding 1 drop of Peppermint oil besides your pillow can bring dreams that reflect your future. Peppermint essential oil when used in massage, added to diffuser or diluted in bath can help relieve menstrual cramps, muscular pain, urinary infections, belching, nerve pain, uterine spasms and much more. The presence of menthol makes Peppermint, a much valued oil in making toothpastes, mouthwashes, cough syrups, ointments, shampoos and soaps, vaporizing rubs etc.

Disclaimer: Never use essential oils internally or apply directly on skin as essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Always remember using essential oils blended with carrier oils or diluted in bath or in diffusers. Speak with your Ayurvedic Practitioner before using essential oils for your specific body type and your unique state of health.

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

Gas Chromatography Report of Peppermint essential oil.

Thought for the day:

The world is like a little marsh filled with mint and white hawthorn.
-Mary MacLane

Suggested Reading:

  1. HEALING POWERS OF PEPPERMINT OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  2. How to Use Peppermint Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  3. Digestive Wellness: Strengthen the Immune System and Prevent Disease Through Healthy Digestion, Fourth Edition by Elizabeth Lipski
  4. Integrative Gastroenterology (Weil Integrative Medicine Library) by Gerard Mullin

Reference Links:

  1. Peppermint History by Indepthinfo on Peppermint
  2. Peppermint Oil by American Family Physician
  3. Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials by Shahed University, Tehran published in PubMed
  4. Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type, published in PubMed