Wintergreen Essential Oil

Winter-green-bannerWintergreen essential oil extracted from the leaves of Wintergreen plants, botanically known as Gaultheria Procumbens is native to North America and Canada. Gaultheria fragrantissima wallich is indigenous to India and the Indian Wintergreen essential oil has similar therapeutic properties just as the American Wintergreen essential oil. I love Wintergreen oil for its effectiveness in relieving muscular pains and spasms.

Experts call it as ‘Nature’s Aspirin’ as it is exceptionally potent in treating arthritic and rheumatic pain since ages together. Ayurveda, the ancient natural science of healing calls this herb as Gandapura and was used in many spiritual ceremonies where this sacred plant was trusted to bring harmony between earth and its inhabitants through its healing powers.

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Historical uses of Wintergreen essential oil:

The essential oil of Wintergreen was used for flavoring in the primordial times. The principal constituent of this oil is methyl salicyclate, which is 98% of this oil and other major constituents are gaultherilene, myrcene, limonene and formaldehyde.

The Native Americans used Wintergreen leaves to brew tea for treating rheumatic problems and chewed the leaves to treat respiratory problems, headache, sore throat, fever, tooth decay and to augment lung capacity.

Wintergreen essential oil is used externally as a folk medicine for joint problems, muscular discomforts, inflammation, cramps, rheumatism, arthritis, psoriasis, bruises, eczema, improper blood circulation, cellulite, headache, obesity and certain heart diseases. Wintergreen was used in numerous ritual practices for treating curses, protecting from evils and for its amazing healing benefits.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Wintergreen oil constitutes of 2 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this oil. Of which, Methyl salicylate contributes to the highest proportion of Wintergreen oil with about 99.9% of its total composition.

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I trust that this must certainly help you in getting to know the exclusive information about the prime chemical constituents of Wintergreen oil.

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these bio-chemical constituents to the healing magnificence of Wintergreen essential oil.

wintergreen-gct

Ayurvedic health benefits of Wintergreen essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic approach that doesn’t focus on the disease alone but treats the individual as a whole. According to this ancient science, human body is made up of three doshas or energy elements namely vata, pitta and kapha, which are a combination of five vital elements of nature (air, water, fire, earth and ether).

Vata symbolizes air and is responsible for ejections, eliminations and discharges of the body. It regulates metabolism and is the key to functions of the brain and nervous system. Pitta represents fire and is in charge of digestion, body temperature, vision and reasoning skills.

Kapha with its lubricating qualities signifies earth and is completely responsible for the shape and figure of an individual. Reproductive health, circulation, muscular strength and ability to regain good health are vested with a balanced kapha.

Every individual will have a predominance of any of these three doshas where the predominant one determines the characteristic of an individual. Good health is a symbol that your doshas are in balance and imbalance of any of these doshas will end up in illness.

Ayurvedic remedies are purely natural and suggest the use of herbs, essential oils extracted from plants, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, practice of yoga, meditation, taking up an Ayurvedic routine and spirituality.

Wintergreen essential oil is a trusted medication in treating vata imbalances predominantly. In Ayurveda, wintergreen oil is used in treating Vata gout where the autoimmune system gets weakened and affects joints and muscles.

This is mainly due to the natural pain killing attribute of Wintergreen oil and a gentle massage with Wintergreen essential oil is said to soothe and warm up the skin, granting complete relief from pain, stiffness, inflammation and dryness.

Let’s now have a look at the other major Ayurvedic health benefits of Wintergreen essential oil are:

Wintergreen-broucher1. Chronic rheumatism and arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis or chronic rheumatism is a long term health disorder and is known as Ama vata in Ayurvedic terms. It affects the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, redness, and sharp pain.

Ayurveda states that the fundamental cause for this illness is the imbalance of the digestive fire and the stagnation of ama or toxic substances of the body mainly due to unhealthy lifestyle and stress.

Wintergreen essential oil has stimulant, anti-arthritic and anti-rheumatic properties that aids in discharging toxins from the body through urine and stimulating proper blood circulation.

Applying few drops of Wintergreen oil with carrier oils like Jojoba oil or sesame oil will help clearing impediments in the blood flow, checks rheumatism and helps in removal of toxins, reduce excess weight, salts and excess water by penetrating deeply into the tissues and muscles through the skin.

2. Pain, inflammation and muscular problems:

Wintergreen essential oil is used as a counterirritant in treating pain, sores, muscular pains, lower back pain, achy joints and inflammation, where counterirritants act by creating an irritable sensation that lessens swelling and pain in the tissues.

The analgesic, relaxant and anodyne properties of this oil cause numbness and warmth when applied on the painful area. It eliminates pain, reduce stress, drive away tension and induce good sleep by inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins responsible for causing pain.

This is mainly due to the presence of Methyl salicyclate which is equivalent to the conventional medicine aspirin (the fundamental component of aspirin is salicyclate). These soothing and pain-relieving attributes of Methyl salicyclate in Wintergreen essential oil makes it a vital part in celebrated pain relievers like BENGAY.

3. Respiratory problems and other spasmodic disorders:

The anti-spasmodic properties of Wintergreen oil aids in treating all kinds of spasms in the respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system and muscles.

Adding few drops of Wintergreen essential oil in steam inhalation, warm baths, gentle massaging and few other topical applications on the affected parts will give complete relief from respiratory disorders like asthma, chest congestion, breathing problems and spasmodic coughs.

Nervous afflictions, muscular contractions and certain other health disorders due to spasms can be effectively treated with the oil of Wintergreen.

4. Skin disorders:

Wintergreen essential oil is highly toxic and it acts as a protective shield against bacteria, virus, fungi, microbes and other harmful organisms. This makes it a good antiseptic and protects the skin from being septic in case of microbes’ prone open wounds, cuts and other skin infections.

This oil is very powerful and kills Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria and heals septic problems. Mild application on the skin is effective for treating all types of skin disorders as this oil has the potential to infiltrate into the skin and is easily absorbed by tissues and blood stream for faster relief. Wintergreen essential oil is also effectual in uplifting the skin, augmenting the skin tone and fighting against the symptoms of aging.

5. Digestion and elimination:

To put in simple terms, this oil boosts digestion, promotes quicker absorption of nutrients and stimulates trouble-free excretion, where the toxic substances of the body are eliminated for supporting good health.

The hepatostimulant property of Wintergreen essential oil assists the secretion of digestive enzymes, bile, gastric juices and hormones facilitating proper functioning of the body. This oil stimulates the working of gall bladder, liver, kidneys, endocrinal glands, digestive system, excretory system, circulatory system and the nervous system.

The diuretic attribute of Wintergreen oil aids in eliminating the excess water, salt, fat and uric acid in the body through urine, which makes it a promising natural remedy for treating bladder infections, hypertension, edema, obesity and water logging.

6. Woman’s health:

Being a natural emmenagogue, wintergreen essential oil helps in treating plenty of womanly problems like delayed menstruation, uterine ulcers, dysmennorhea, blocked menses, pain in the pelvic region, hair fall, hemorrhages, fatigue, vomiting and stress related to menstruation.

A soothing massage using 2 to 3 drops of Wintergreen essential oil blended with sesame oil can grant complete relief. Adding few drops of this oil to your bath tub with warm water can calm your nerves and soothe your senses.

7. Spiritual strength:

The strong aroma of Wintergreen essential oil improves attentiveness and stimulates the mind. Applying this oil to your skin is said to heighten the vibration of the body and accentuate sound.

Increased vibration helps in unveiling spiritual awareness and paves way to the harmony of self and divinity. This attribute has made Wintergreen oil to be an incredible part of the ancient chants (mantras) and meditations where sound was used for adding spiritual strength.

Wintergreen essential oil improves logical thinking and stimulates mental power. Apart from all these natural benefits, this oil is used as a flavoring agent in candies, root beer, chewing gums, smokeless tobacco, mouth fresheners, mouthwash like Listerine, in toothpastes and certain other oral care products. It is also used as a solvent in printmaking.

Disclaimer:

Ingesting Wintergreen essential oil should be strictly avoided as it is highly toxic and can cause serious health effects. 1 fl oz of this oil is equivalent to 171 adult aspirin tablets. Use it only as a topical application after diluting it with soothing carrier oils in 1:10 ratio.

This oil has blood-thinning effects and should be avoided by people who are susceptible to aspirin. Never use it on children below 12 years of age, pets, pregnant women and on broken skin. Consult your healthcare practitioner before using Wintergreen essential oil for your individual constitution.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Wintergreen oil.

Wintergreen Oil Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

Wintergreen oil can also be called as methyl salicylate as this essential oil contains about 99.9% of the methyl salicylate component. Besides being an excellent analgesic equivalent to the aspirin, it leaves behind trepidation with numerous adverse effects on the human system.

Alarmed as a toxic substance, Methyl salicylate is claimed as a neurotoxic, teratogenic and unsafe during pregnancy, labor and nursing.

Poisoning due to Methyl salicylate is said to cause adverse dermal conditions, vomiting, sweating, respiratory alkalosis, pulmonary and laryngeal edema, fluid retention, lethargy, tinnitus, internal haemorrhage, restrains blood clotting and should not be used when using blood-thinning drugs.

“Methyl salicylate is much more toxic than salicylates” quotes the book, Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. Various studies also witness that lethal poisoning of methyl salicylate in Wintergreen oil can happen by absorption through the skin cells.  Mainly due to the aspirin-like qualities of Methyl salicylate, there are chances for bleeding and other subsequent side effects when applied on the skin for treating pain and spasms.

The safe maximum dermal use level of Wintergreen oil is 2.4% as per the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). According to the Health Canada Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, March 2011, the safe maximum level of external use of methyl salicylate in topical products is 1%. This level of usage is applicable only for topically used products and is invalid for rinse-off products, including soaps, shampoos and other bathing products.

A 2007 study, published in the Cal Journal of Emergency Medicine reveals that percutaneous (effected through the skin surface) absorption of Methyl salicylate in Wintergreen oil and other salicylates, may end up in acute poisoning, especially in people with renal failure. This study also concluded that based upon the autopsy, the death of an elderly man with renal failure occurred due to the continuous dermal absorption of Wintergreen oil.

Skrakosch studies on ointments containing salicylic acid, state that the factors affecting the dermal absorption of salicylate are “the effect of salicylic acid on the epidermis, the pathologic state of the skin, the degree of hydration of the stratum corneum, and the solvents used.” Based upon the studies on volunteers with normal skin, it was found that salicylate ointments caused damage to the epidermis within 2 to 14 days.

The use of methyl salicylate is prone to interact with drugs when used along with anticoagulant medication (warfarin) and GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). It is good to avoid Wintergreen oil if you are sensitive to salicylates and certain other skin conditions as it may trigger skin damage. Methyl salicylate is also said to inhibit platelet aggregation.

Along with Methyl salicylate and aspirin, all kinds of salicylates are teratogenic in nature and might harm the fetus so it is best avoided during pregnancy, labor and while nursing. The reproductive toxicity of Methyl salicylate has been witnessed as reproductively toxic in rodents and it can also be 4.5 times more poisonous in humans than in rodents.

Various studies have proved the high mortality rate of methyl salicylate accounting to 50 to 60% with 4 to 8 ml used in children is reported as the lethal dose for children. Use of Methyl salicylate on children (including infants and toddlers) should be strictly avoided, (especially in children with ADHD-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), patients with hypersensitivity, asthma, gastro-intestinal irritation, inflammation and salicylate allergy.

Studies have proved the neurotoxic effects of Methyl salicylate, the excess of which can end up in death via respiratory collapse and cardiopulmonary arrest. Based on the analysis of deadly salicylate poisoning cases, it was detected in post-mortem examination that about 18% had abnormalities in the nervous system.

Wintergreen essential oil used in a diluted form, blended with safe carrier oils like coconut oil is safe only for external use. Never ingest Wintergreen oil as Methyl salicylate is highly fatal and may cause severe toxicity. The most prevalent symptoms of Methyl salicylate poisoning are fever, excitation of central nervous system, high blood pressure, confusion, rapid breathing, convulsions and even coma.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Wintergreen Oil:

  1. Salicylate Toxicity from Ingestion and Continued Dermal Absorption Rachel L. Chin, MD, Kent R. Olson, MD, and Delia Dempsey, MS, MD, published in Cal Journal of Emergency Medicine
  2. Management priorities in Salicylate Poisoning by The American College of Medical Toxicology
  3. Aspirin and other Salicylate poisoning by Gerald F. O’Malley, DO, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital; Rika O’Malley, MD, published in the professional version of the MSD Manuals
  4. Methyl Salicylate by Wikipedia
  5. Treatment of Low Back Pain: The Potential Clinical and Public Health Benefits of Topical Herbal Remedies by Patricia R. Hebert, PhD, E. Joan Barice, MD and Charles H. Hennekens, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
  6. Wintergreen Oil – Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  7. Safety Information on Essential Oils by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
  8. Case Reports of Adverse Events of Wintergreen oil by American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition edited by Zoë Gardner, Michael McGuffin

Suggested Reading:

  1. Potter’s New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations by R. C. Wren
  2. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family by Holly Bellebuono

Reference Links:

  1. Methyl Salicyclate by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurvedic and Herbal remedies for Arthriti by Dr. Narendra Jain
  3. Treatment of Gout  – The Ayurvedic Way by Ravi Bhanot, Ayurvedic Researcher, The Ayurveda Institute of Europe
  4. Wintergreen by Georgetown University Medical Center

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Basil Oil

‘The Elixir of life’ and ‘Mother medicine of Nature’ are the most popular historical references of Basil for its enormous healing values to the mind, body and soul.

Basil-oil-bannerIt has marked its presence significantly in various medicinal systems in the world including Ayurveda and Homeopathy for treating diabetes, renal colic, epileptic attacks, painful breasts, congestion, asthmatic attacks, diarrhea, numbness, migraine, nervous exhaustion and insomnia.

Scientifically known as Ocimum canum, Basil is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae. This traditional medicinal herb is widely distributed in India, especially Tamil Nadu and is called as Nai Tulasi in Tamil. Besides numerous therapeutic properties, the most noteworthy remedial effects of Basil and its essential oil are its functions as a cancer chemoprotective agent and anti-diabetic agent for reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Historical uses and importance of Basil oil:

Basil is said to have its origin in India, the land of rich traditional values. The healing, culinary and aromatic attributes of this sweet-smelling plant have been talked about in many classical herbal writings including Charaka Samhita (ancient Ayurvedic text) and the works of renowned herbalists like Dioscorides, Gerard, Culpeper and Parkinson.

Parkinson has quoted that Basil’s scent “fit for a King’s house”, denoting its royal aroma and has also said that Basil can be used “to procure a cheerful and merry heart.” Gerard and Culpeper has mentioned that Basil is an excellent remedy for melancholy and is a natural antidote for insect bites including scorpion stings, mosquito bites and bee stings.

The word ‘Ocimum’ (generic name) is derived from the Greek word ‘okimon’, which means smell. This indicates one among those reasons behind the unforgettable fragrance of the Basil variety. Basil plays a vital role in various religious practices across the world, where it has been considered as a sacred herb in Hinduism and said to have grown at the place of Christ’s crucifixion.

Basil plant has also been associated as a symbol of love, protection, courtship, truthfulness, courtship, death and luck. This plant has been a significant part of various religious ceremonies, where the smoke from burning this herb is said to calm the mind and augment the spiritual power.

Ocimum canum has been used in the traditional medicine for treating oral problems, fever, insect bites, constipation, parasitic infestations, cold, inflammation, headache, joint pain and dysentery. This plant was burnt in the homes as incense and for protecting from insects. Basil leaves were also used to guard the crops post harvesting from the damages of insects.

This herb is much remembered in various traditions across the world in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Basil and its essential oil are also used as a flavoring agent in soft drinks, shampoos, cuisines, body lotions, teas, candies, dairy products, toothpastes and cosmetics.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

The essential oil of Basil has about 36 chemical components and is a rich source of camphor, eugenol, β-caryophyllene, a-pinene, limonene, myrcene, camphene, naphthalene, caryophyllene and valencene.

These components contribute to its therapeutic properties like antiemetic, anti-stress, antiviral, antibacterial, rubefacient, antidiabetic, antiasthmatic, antimicrobial, anticancer, insecticide, anti-fertility, anti-fungal, anti-malarial, antioxidant, expectorant, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil:

Ayurveda is a complete medicinal practice which stands on the three pillars of health, including physical, mental and a hearty soul. For attaining this holistic healing, Ayurveda focuses on treating the root cause of an illness instead of treating the symptoms. This aids in curing the sickness initially and preventing it in the future as well.

The principle of Ayurveda strongly believes that every individual is a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which consists of three dynamic energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a representation of the five fundamentals elements of nature. They are water, fire, earth, space and air.

Vata dosha is an arrangement of air and space and is in charge for circulatory, respiratory, and nervous functions of the system. Pitta energy is a combination of fire and water and it takes care of body temperature and metabolic activities including digestion, absorption and elimination. Kapha is a representation of earth and water and is responsible for reproductive functions, movement of fluids and muscular development of the body.

Ayurvedic texts state that every person should be treated in a unique manner according to the predominance and balance between the 3 doshas. This doshic structure determines a human’s physique, character and behavioral attributes.

Imbalance between these doshas is said to happen based on an individual’s balance with nature, which is said to deviate depending on a person’s change in food habits, lifestyle changes, environmental factors and climatic conditions.

Doshic imbalances lead to illnesses and is best treated in Ayurvedic medicine by recommending natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, prayers, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing, simple physical exercises, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) techniques.

These remedies help in correcting the imbalance between these doshas and aid in healing the illness initially and preventing it in the future as well. Basil oil is said to reduce kapha dosha predominantly, pacify vata and enhance pitta dosha with its warming effect on the system.

Let’s look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil based on its usage:

Basil-oil-broucher1. Benefits as a bathing or massaging oil:

Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging is an ancient healing technique and is one among the friendliest remedy for treating various medical conditions.  Massaging in Ayurveda means the use of palms, elbows, feet and other conventional massaging tools and equipments for maneuvering nerves, muscles and the whole body.

Ayurveda prescribes the use of Ayurvedic essential oils in massaging technique after analyzing the individual constitution and the state of health. By this way, the medicinal properties of the essential oils pass on to the blood stream and then to the skin, where it transforms the respective health benefits to the related parts of the system.

The largest organ of the human body is skin. Using Ayurvedic essential oils in topical application, aids in passing on the healing values to the system by penetrating through the skin cells. This traditional massaging technique helps in enhancing the blood circulation and augments the red blood cells count.

Massaging your system with 10 drops of Basil oil blended with 5 drops of Clove oil, 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Lime oil along with 15 ml of coconut oil can assist in treating respiratory infections, skin problems, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, headache, arthritis, rheumatism, dandruff, kidney stones, urinary infections and digestive disorders like indigestion, heartburn, vomiting and other stomach disorders.

a) Relieves pain and eliminates toxic substances:

Basil essential oil has detoxifying, diuretic, antioxidant and analgesic properties that help in discarding toxic remains from the system by promoting frequent urination. This also aids in reducing the level of uric acid and salt deposits, which may otherwise lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Improper blood circulation, stagnation of water deposits and amassing of toxic remains or ama (left due to indigestion) are the major causes for rheumatic conditions, arthritis and pain leading to stiff joints, inflammation, painful muscles, soreness, redness, irritation, fatigue and difficulties in performing routine tasks.

Gently massaging the painful and affected parts with this Ayurvedic massaging blend can be of great assistance in reducing inflammation, redness, irritation, pain and it also supports in promoting blood circulation in the painful areas. The therapeutic values of Basil oil along with other Ayurvedic oils in this massage blend promotes the frequency and quality of urination through which the toxic remains in the system are eliminated.

Homeopathy medication prescribes the use of Ocimum canum in the treatment of diseases associated with the kidneys, urethra and bladder. The most common health disorders treated with Basil in Homeopathic medicine are cramps and pain in kidneys and ureters, urinary problems like formation of high acidity or spike crystals of uric acid, renal colic, swelling and other symptoms of renal calculus.

b) Skin disorders and hair problems:

The essential oil of Basil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties that help in healing numerous skin disorders including acne and dermatitis. 3 drops of Basil oil blended with 3 drops of Lavender oil and 3 ml of coconut oil can be applied on acne, marks, ringworm, eczema, athletes’ foot, leucoderma, itches and insect bites for improved results.

Basil oil also helps in clearing away skin blemishes and marks left behind by acne and wounds. Fresh juice extracted from Basil leaves mixed with honey is a traditional remedy for treating acne in Ayurveda. With its antifungal properties, Basil oil is said to be an excellent remedy for clearing dandruff, hair fall, dry and itchy scalp conditions.

A 2012 study on Antifungal activity of Ocimum canum Essential oil against Toxinogenic Fungi isolated from Peanut Seeds in post-harvest in Benin, published in the International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, concluded that the essential oil of Basil is used as an antifungal agent in protecting peanuts post harvest in Benin against the toxic strains of fungi like Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus.

This study justifies the use of the Basil leaves in the traditional medicine for treating numerous ailments and also reports “the essential oil of fresh leaves of O. canum as aflatoxin inhibitor and fungal growth suppressor. Based on these potentials, essential oil of Ocimum canum may be recommended as preservative of stored food commodities from fungal and aflatoxin contamination in storage system.”

Slightly heat 5 drops of Basil oil with 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 3 drops of Lemon oil along with 10 ml of sesame oil and massage it soothingly on your scalp. Leave this blend to rest on your scalp for 30 minutes. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo blended with 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil for treating dandruff, rough hair and split ends. This also aids in controlling hair fall and supports shiny, lustrous and thick hair.

c) Controls diabetes and reduces the level of cholesterol in the system:

Just like Clove oil, Basil oil is also a rich source of eugenol, caryophyllene and methyl eugenol. The high level of antioxidants along with these chemical constituents helps in supporting the proper functions of the pancreatic beta cells. These cells are responsible for storing and releasing of insulin in the system.

Massaging your system with this medicated blend will be a great aid in increasing the sensitivity to insulin and can help in controlling the level of blood sugar and insulin. This also helps in treating oxidative cellular stress and damage, thereby reducing the increased level of cholesterol and high blood pressure. You can also add 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Clove oil in your bathing water daily for obtaining these benefits.

A 2002 study on “Extract of Ocimum canum lowers blood glucose and facilitates insulin release by isolated pancreatic beta-islet cells” by Nyarko AK, Asare-Anane H, Ofosuhene M, Addy ME, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon studied the use of the aqueous extract of Ocimum canum in the traditional Ghanaian medicine for treating diabetes mellitus.

This study concluded that the use of Ocimum canum extracts on animal models “inhibited insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta-islet cells and fasting blood glucose levels and body weight decreased significantly.”

d) Reduces fever:

Basil oil is a known Ayurvedic remedy for treating fever, including viral and malarial fever. With its febrifuge, antibacterial, antifungal, insecticide and antimicrobial properties, Basil and its essential oil assists in reducing the body temperature even in cases of high fever.

Massaging your foot soles with 2 drops of Basil oil along with 2 drops of Coriander oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing fever significantly as all the nerves in body end up in foot soles and passing the therapeutic properties of these essential oils through the foot soles grants instant relief.

2. In steam inhalation:

Basil essential oil has been proven for its remedial effects in reducing excess of kapha dosha, which is responsible for respiratory infections including flu, common cold, nasal congestion, sinusitis, bronchitis, chest congestion, whooping cough and breathing difficulties.

Adding 2 drops of Basil oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil in steam inhalation can help in relieving cold, cough, nasal congestion, sinusitis, sore throat, watery eyes and difficulties in breathing due to excess of mucus and phlegm deposits in the nasal and bronchial passages.

3. In burners or vaporizers:

Aroma plays a significant role in the natural healing methodologies and is one among the five types of remedial measures in Ayurveda. The sense of smell in Ayurveda states that an encouraging, energizing and tranquilizing fragrance has a positive effect on the entire system. This is the major reason for the use of incense sticks, flowers and aromatic candles during prayers and other spiritual gatherings.

Basil essential oil owns a warm, sweet, herbaceous and invigorating aroma that implants an encouraging effect on the plasma, nervous system and the circulatory system. When inhaled the therapeutic properties of this oil reach the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages. Limbic system is the control center of the human brain that controls the feelings, emotions and attributes of a person.

2 drops of Basil oil with 1 drop of Neroli oil and 1 drop of Clary Sage oil added to the burner, diffuser, aromatic candle or vaporizer during meditation or Pranayama can assist in treating anxiety, mood fluctuations, stress, fatigue, nervous weaknesses and stressful conditions. This also assists in enhancing memory power, concentration, sexual interest, self-confidence and spiritual oneness.

Being a sacred oil, Basil is known for its power in uplifting the spirit and supporting improved spiritual bonding. This also helps in expanding the heart chakra, which is responsible for self-confidence, self-love, self-respect and love for others. Inhaling the curative aroma of this oil is said to generate a soothing effect on the intestines and stomach and alleviates spasms and cramps.

4. In oral rinse and compresses:

Basil essential oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that work as a protective shield against germs causing tooth decay, bad odor and gum problems.1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Clove oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as an oral rinse for relieving plaque, tooth pain, bad breath and protecting from damaging germs and other micro-organisms. This gargle can also aid in strengthening the gums and lessening toothache due to sensitivity.

2 drops of Basil oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Bergamot oil in warm or cold compress aids in relieving joint pain, headache, muscular spasms, arthritis, stomach ache, rheumatic pain and migraine.

5. Other uses:

Basil and its essential oil is also effective in the treatment of intestinal worms, indigestion, cancer (attributed to its antioxidant and cytotoxic activities), eye irritation, epileptic attacks, renal colic, vomiting, painful kidneys, epileptic convulsions, painful urination and weak immune system.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not in any way recommended for substituting prescription drugs or expert medical guidance. We are not professionals in healthcare and this information is shared purely based on the interest of spreading the fragrance of Ayurvedic healing, the world’s oldest medical system on earth.

Never use essential oils internally and make sure that you dilute essential oils before using it for external application. This is because 100 percent organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly.

Talk with your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare expert before selecting the most suitable essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and state of health. Please avoid using Basil oil if you have sensitive skin or during pregnancy.

Thought for the day:

By bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility.  -Richard Louv

Suggested Reading:

  1. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, Steven Maimes
  2. The Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  3. Basil Recipes: Cooking with the King of Herbs (Quick and Easy Series) by Dogwood Apps
  4. Essential Oils for Weight Loss: If You Are Not Using These Essential Oils You Are Missing Out On Weight Loss Success (Essential Oils for Beginners – … Need to Accomplish Your Weight Loss Goals) by Sophie Hart
  5. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha

Reference Links:

  1. Basil: An Herb Society of America Guide by the Herb Society
  2. Extract of Ocimum canum lowers blood glucose and facilitates insulin release by isolated pancreatic beta-islet cells by Nyarko AK, Asare-Anane H, Ofosuhene M, Addy ME, published in PubMed
  3. Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of essential oil of Ocimum canum Sims. from India by Tamil Selvi, Thirugnanasampandan, Sundarammal published in the Journal of Saudi Chemical Society
  4. Antifungal activity of Ocimum canum Essential oil against Toxinogenic Fungi isolated from Peanut Seeds in post-harvest in Benin by Adjou Euloge S., Kouton Sandrine, Dahouenon-Ahous, Si Edwige, Sohounhloue Dominique C.K., Soumanou Mohamed M published in the International Research Journal of Biological Sciences

Cajeput Oil

Cajeputoil-bannerCajeput essential oil owns the scent of purity and is an excellent haemostatic, analgesic and a proven natural remedy for respiratory problems.

Traditionally being used in long precedence to treat cold, chronic rheumatism, flu and infections related to sinus and respiratory tracts, Cajeput essential oil owes its extraction to the leaves of Cajeput trees through the process of steam distillation. Botanically called as Melaleuca cajuputi, the word Cajeput is originated from the Malay word ‘kaju putih’ which means ‘white wood’.

Known as Katupruhi in Ayurveda, Cajeput and its essential oil are being used in the traditional healing system for treating muscular pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, urinary tract infections, insect bites and stings, intestinal parasites, headache, joint pain, abdominal cramps, burns, intestinal inflammation, ear infections, oral problems, colic and psoriasis.

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Historical uses and importance of Cajeput and its essential oil:

Renowned for their pointed leaves, exotic flowers, flexible trunk and attractive white bark, Cajeput trees bear their nativity to the South Asian countries and are now widely distributed in Australia, Malay Archipelago and Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia and Vietnam being the principal producers of Cajeput essential oil.

With an unusual and stimulating aroma like that of cardamom, camphor and rosemary, Cajeput essential oil earns the gratitude of extensive usage in the traditional healing systems. Bearing resemblances to Tea tree, Cajeput trees are found prevalently in Malaysia and are called as White tea tree in certain occasions.

Well known for its resistance to forest fire, Cajeput trees are small, tidy and attractive with long-life. The aromatic white flowers of these trees, in addition to contributing to the essential oil also aid in the production of flavored honey by attracting the honey bees resulting in good yield. This property attracted the beekeepers of Florida who were the ones to introduce this tree to the United States.

Being portrayed as an oil of mystical powers, Cajeput essential oil is believed to protect against all kinds of evil powers and is used in cleansing the ritual objects and idols. With its spiritual powers that targets the consciousness of a person, Cajeput oil helps in reverting the mind from addictions to uncontrollable habits such as alcohol, smoking etc.

Ritually used in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia for its beneficial attributes such as antiseptic and analgesic in treating chronic rheumatism, cold and flu, it was introduced to Europe in the 17th century as a natural aid for almost all types of ailments ranging from infections affecting respiratory tract to urinary tract.

Ayurveda employs Cajeput essential oil for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-bacterial and anodyne properties in holistic healing of dyspepsia, stomachic disorders, influenza, rheumatism, cold, cholera, burns, asthma, yeast infections, colic, toothache, parasites in intestines, tumors and even as an insecticide.

The utilization of Cajeput essential oil in some of the renowned liniments such as tiger Balm and Olbas is just enough to prove the analgesic attribute of this oil. As an effective antimicrobial agent, it is used in skincare and in the manufacture of soaps, cosmetics, perfumes and disinfectants.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cajeput essential oil:

With cineol as the primary component, Cajeput essential oil comprises mainly of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and hydrocarbons, which include alpha pinene, limonene, caryophyllene, beta pinene, alpha terpineol, terpineol, cymene, alpha terpinene-4-ol, linalool, gamma terpinene, nerolidol, geranyl acetone, ketone, benzaldehyde, cajeputene hydrate, cajuputol, eucalyptol and myrcene.

The eminent therapeutic attributes of Cajeput essential oil are antipyretic, carminative, anti-neuralgic, analgesic, disinfectant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, tonic, antiseptic, expectorant, emmenagogue, stimulant, anthelmintic, cosmetic, anti-bacterial, decongestant, febrifuge, sudorific and insecticide.

Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Cajeput essential oil:

Ayurveda simply means ‘the knowledge of life’. This oldest healing system trusts that the real wisdom of mankind rests in the knowledge about our system, which is the best wonder of this world.

Human mind and body work in a miraculous manner and Ayurvedic healing insists that this system is built up with the same five elements with which nature is made up of. They are fire, water, earth, air and space.

Earth represents bones and muscles, fire represents agni or the heat energy in the body, water represents blood and other fluids, air represents the breathing mechanism and space is the soul that keeps us alive.

Every individual is made up of a unique individual constitution that comprises three dynamic forces or biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha dosha. These doshas are nothing but a representation of the five elemental forces of nature.

Vata is a combination of air and space and is in charge for nervous functions, circulation and respiratory functions. Fire and water put together forms Pitta dosha, which is responsible for metabolic functions and body temperature.

Kapha dosha is a representation of water and earth and contributes to physical structure, sustenance and reproductive health. Every human being has a majority of any one of these doshas and this predominance decides one’s personality, behavioral traits and attributes.

Ayurvedic philosophy strongly believes that absolute health of human beings exclusively depend upon one’s harmony with nature. Perfect balance between these doshas depending upon the unique individual constitution signifies health and imbalance of doshas causes illnesses.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like herbs, plant essential oils, simple physical exercises, prayers, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, Abhyanga (the art of Ayurvedic massaging) and Pranayama for correcting the doshic imbalances.

Cajeput essential oil reduces kapha and vata dosha, in excess cases and increases pitta energy.

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

Cajeput-broucher1. Assuages respiratory ailments:

Numerous bacteria, viruses and fungi are always on the urge to cause infectious diseases that primarily target the respiratory tract with an array of ailments affecting mankind such as bronchitis, sore throat, flu, cold, ear infections, tightness in chest, laryngitis, blocked nose, mild fever, sinus and cough; Cajeput essential oil plays an important role in stopping the advent of these harmful microbes and protects the system from all types of respiratory ailments.

With its deep penetrating aroma with a rich eucalyptol note, Cajeput essential oil is a renowned cure for sinus that it has always been an unavoidable element in most of the medications that alleviate health problems associated with sinus. Just inhaling 2 drops of this essential oil added to steam inhalation, can provide instant relief from headache, blocked nose, sinus pain and makes you feel tranquil in a matter of minutes.

Excess of kapha dosha is responsible for deposits of mucus and phlegm in the respiratory tract, lungs and nasal passages. With its power to reduce kapha dosha, Cajeput essential oil helps in breaking up even heavy deposits of mucus accumulated in the respiratory organs and assists in excreting it from the body through coughing and aids in lessening the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and laryngitis.

As an effective antibacterial agent, it helps in fighting against infections and works as a decongestant, suitable to be used as an inhaler for cold and sinus. Moreover, as a natural anti-inflammatory agent it helps in reducing inflammations due to infections in the respiratory tracts such as larynx, pharynx and the bronchi.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in warm bathing water and massaging your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Cajeput oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil mixed with vaporizing ointment can help in relieving nasal congestion, cough, cold, bronchial congestion, blocked nasal passages and chest congestion.

Cajeput oil has a warming effect and is a must to have oil in your first aid kit. 1 to 2 drops of this added to your diffuser during winter can keep you away from infections and grant you a safe environment to live in. It induces the sweat glands and promotes sweating and helps in lowering high body temperature and is also effective in alleviating fever associated with cold and pain in the body.

2. Effective insecticide and termicide:

Insects, especially the mosquitoes are always the sure shot carriers of some dreadful diseases such as malaria, filaria, dengue and chickungunya. With no specific vaccines or antiviral treatment available for the viral diseases such as chikungunya and dengue spread by mosquitoes, actions taken to control the mosquito population remains as the only means of preventing these frightful ailments.

A 2012 research article on the study of “The pesticidal and insecticidal activity of Cajeput essential oil” reveals the fact that it is effective against the mosquito species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which remain as the primary vectors of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Numerous natural phyto-chemicals found in this essential oil effectively function in interrupting the neurotransmitter in mosquitoes by acting as a reversible inhibitor of acetyl cholinesterase, resulting in the knockdown of these unsafe insects. Applying 2 drops of Cajeput oil to your mild skin care cream or lotion can help in keeping you away from mosquito bites.

Moreover, Cajeput oil is a natural source of antifungal and anti-microbial properties, which makes it toxic to the fungi spoiling the woods and highly toxic to the termites thus proving beneficial in the manufacture of wood preservatives and natural insecticide for controlling termites. 4 to 5 drops of this oil added to household cleaner or disinfectant can be sprayed on doors, windows and furniture items for protecting them from termites and other insects.

In addition to its insecticidal and pesticidal attributes, Cajeput essential oil actively extinguishes the parasites such as lice and fleas and thus it is recommended to use 2 drops of this mystical oil to shampoos for hair wash. It can also be added to brushes used for pets for a gentle comb that frees your pets from flees and other insects.

3. Aids in maintaining oral health:

Cajeput essential oil holds the glory of its traditional usage for quick relief from toothache and other oral health issues. With α-terpineol and terpinen-4-ol greatly contributing to the anti-bacterial and the antifungal activity of Cajeput essential oil, this oil acts as a quick extinguisher of all the harmful bacteria found in the mouth and other oral cavities. Linalool acts a mild analgesic with tranquilizing properties that makes Cajeput oil to bring quick relief for all tooth and gum related pains.

Just adding 1 drop of Cajeput oil to a cotton ball and keeping it on the affected area can work wonders, resulting in instant relief from pain and toothache. It is for this reason; Cajeput essential oil has been used in dentistry in treating gingivitis and to alleviate pain in the gum after removal of a tooth.

Furthermore, as an anti bacterial agent, this oil kills all the harmful microbes and various other compounds causing bad breath and assists in alleviating the symptoms of halitosis. Numerous oral products such as tooth paste, mouth wash and mouth fresheners involve the utilization of Cajeput essential oil for its long lasting freshness and oral benefits.

In the book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’, Bryan Miller and Light Miller say, “Cajeput can be used in a gargle along with sandalwood oil for sore throat; recipe 1 drop Cajeput oil, 1 drop sandalwood oil in half cup water, mix well and gargle. This has been used with success by many singers who have lost their voice through a combination of stress and colds.”

4. Excellent pain reliever:

With numerous pain-relieving properties, Cajeput oil stands special for its excellent analgesic and soothing attributes. Comprising of limonene and a-terpineol as the best pain-reducing agents, Cajeput essential oil is used to treat all kinds of pain ranging from headache, toothache and many more.

Rich in soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-neuralgic attributes, Cajeput essential oil is indeed a blessing for those who suffer with Neuralgia – a condition that causes severe pain to the whole oral zone including ears, tonsils, throat, pharynx and larynx.

It helps in relaxing the blood vessels and reduces the pressure on the glossopharyngeal nerve and alleviates the symptoms of neuralgia. Cineole in Cajeput oil produces a warming effect on the surface to which the oil is applied and results in relieving the pain beneath the skin.

Widely prescribed in Ayurveda and other Complementary and alternative medicinal practices for treating rheumatism and arthritis, Cajeput essential oil helps in alleviating pain in addition to lessening the inflammation. As an eminent diuretic, this oil aids in maintaining the fluid level in the body and drains out excess water along with other impurities such as acids, fats etc. by inducing perspiration and increasing the frequency of urination thus treating inflammations due to excess water stagnation caused by increased kapha dosha.

Cajeput oil plays an important role in aromatherapy along with camphor oil and is used in Ayurvedic massaging to reduce body pain caused by gout, arthritis and rheumatism. Being an invaluable ingredient in the Indonesian traditional medicine – Minyak Telon and serving as a natural pain killer, Cajeput oil is full of explicit benefits to everyone, especially to those who work on laptops and desktops and remain the victims of back pain, neck pain and stress.

Massaging the painful or affected parts with 2 drops of Cajeput oil, 2 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil blended with 5 ml of coconut oil is an excellent remedy for alleviating joint pain, muscular distress, back pain, arthritic pain, rheumatic pain, headache, muscular tension and much more.

5. Proven effective in skin care:

The presence of chemically antibacterial agents such as terpinen-4-ol, 1, 8 cineol, linalool and alpha-terpineol contribute to the antibacterial attribute of Cajeput essential oil, making it a best antiseptic and skin care product.

Applying 2 drops of Cajeput oil mixed with your skin care cream or lotion can be of great help in treating acne, boils, cuts, wounds, burns, psoriasis and fungal infections caused by tinea versicolor and mites due to scabies, has yielded promising results proving the efficacy of this oil in the field of dermatology.

It helps in removing the toxins, regulates the production of sebum by inducing the sebaceous glands and helps in treating acne, carbuncles and heals the damaged tissues that have turned red due to abscesses.

The high antibacterial and germicidal activity of this oil against various bacterial strains like Staphylococcus aureus results in speedy recovery in the treatment of furunculosis. Moreover it is an excellent aid in treating scrapes, burns, swellings around fingers or toe, scabies etc. This healing effect can be obtained by adding 2 drops of Cajeput oil in bathing water in the morning and before going to bed.

It also fights against infectious microbes and prevents any wounds or cuts from becoming more infectious and septic thus preventing the onset of tetanus. It tones up the skin and makes it bright, free from infections and thus widely used in the preparation of cosmetics, body lotions, shampoos, antiseptic creams, soaps and disinfectants.

6. Supports the digestive system:

With its pitta-enhancing properties, Cajeput essential oil possesses digestive as well as carminative properties helping in easing the digestive process and stimulating the secretion of digestive juices and enzymes that aid in the full absorption of nutrients in food. It aids in removal of gas from the body with ease and prevents its formation thus alleviating the gastrointestinal disorders.

Due to its soothing attribute, it is also useful in treating some of the digestive disorders such as colic, vomiting due to indigestion, freeing from intestinal worms, intestinal cramps, dysentery and enteritis.

Other health benefits of Cajeput essential oil:

Its ability to fight against the advent of fungal infections is used in food products to serve the purpose of a preservative. It helps in fighting against yeast infections caused by the Candida species and is also active against the protozoan such as Trichomonas vaginal and is helpful in treating the trichomonas vaginal infections.

Apart from this, Cajeput essential oil is utilized in treating tumors, to open up blocked menstruation and to aid in healing the womanly concerns and to regulate proper circulation of the blood. Generally used in air fresheners to uplift the surrounding, Cajeput essential oil cleanses the air and uplifts the spirits and elevates the mind helping to overcome depression, sluggishness, anxiety, fear and the aftershocks of radiotherapy.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is articulated entirely with the thought of sharing the enlightening knowledge of Ayurveda, the 5000 year old traditional healing methodology. These natural remedies are not meant to cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition or to substitute any prescribed medications or expert medical advice. We are not healthcare professionals or medical experts.

Never use essential oils internally and make sure that you use them topically in a diluted manner only, as unadulterated, genuine and organic essential oils are very concentrated substances and can cause allergic reactions when used on the skin directly. Talk with your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before choosing the apt essential oil for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. Relieving Pain Naturally: Safe and Effective Alternative Approach to Treating and Overcoming Chronic Pain by Sylvia Goldfarb, Roberta W. Waddell
  4. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  5. Scents of Life: Use And Effect Of Essential Oils by H. M. Schemske

Reference Links:

  1. Cajuput Oil by Wikipedia.
  2. A research article on the ‘Essential Leaf Oils from Melaleuca cajuputi’ by J.H. Kim, K.H. Liu and Y. Yoon from the School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Korea
  3. A 2012 research article on the Evaluation of Melaleuca cajuputi (Family: Myrtaceae) Essential oil in aerosol spray cans against dengue vectors in Low cost housing flats
  4. A research article on ‘Cajeput-Type Oil for the Treatment of Furunculosis’ by Henry M.Feinblatt, published in PubMed