Mentha Oil



Mentha-oil-broucherAre you a mint? I mean, are you a cool-headed person? Life would be simply stupendous if all of us remain as cool as mint leaves. Yes! This miraculous herb in any form would drive in extraordinary coolness, where the mere sight of mint leaves gives coolness to the eyes; eating fresh mint leaves or mint-based gums implants long lasting freshness in the mouth; applying Mint oil on your body revives and refreshes the skin; inhaling its enlivening aroma instills peace and happiness and just hearing the word ‘mint’ itself pleases the ears. (Aha! Mint benefits all the five senses of healing.)

Mentha or mint has a long association with Ayurveda and the other entire Alternative and complementary healing methodologies. With its sattvic (power to enhance purity and harmony) and prana (life force or vital energy) enhancing properties, Mentha and its essential oil is trusted to heal a range of health conditions including depression, anxiety, nervous tension, lack of self-esteem, asthma, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, lack of appetite, fever, rheumatic conditions, halitosis, dandruff, acne, flatulence, bad breath and the list never ends.

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Therapeutic attributes and chemical constituents of Mentha essential oil:

The essential oil of Mentha has antidepressant, stimulant, carminative, antiseptic, cholagogue, expectorant, antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, antioxidant, stomachic, antimicrobial, nervine, antifungal, analgesic, detoxifying, anti-pruritic, diaphoretic and anti-flatulent properties.

The major chemical constituent of Mentha essential oil is menthol and the other components that make Menthol oil as worthy as its weight in gold are a-pinene, b-pinene, flavonoids, menthone, methyl acetate, limonene, b-caryophyllene and camphene.

History and traditional uses of Mentha and its essential oil:

Mentha is a plant genus in the family of mints known as Lamiaceae. There are about 20 species of plants and hybrid mint varieties in the Mentha genus. The most popular among them are Peppermint, Spearmint, Japanese Peppermint, Banana mint, Penny royal, Garden mint, Apple mint, Orange mint, Water mint, Wild mint, Forest mint and Asian mint.

Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Mentha spicata are the most famous botanical (species) names of the Mentha family. Most often, all the members of this family share common chemical constituents and the corresponding remedial properties mainly due to the qualities acquired from the same genus Mentha (It’s parent).

Mint is the most friendly and quickly growing perennial plant and its origin has been referred to Asia and Europe. The history of ancient medicine has a handful of remedial references on Mentha and its varied significance.

The genus name Mentha has said to be obtained from Greek mythology, where Menthe, a nymph who was transmuted to a plant by Proserpine as a result of his jealousy on the love of Pluto for Menthe. Aha! Moment again and the credit goes to you ladies, as again like most of the tremendous plant varieties, Mint is also a female indeed!!

English physician, Dr. James Parkinson states “Mintes are sometimes used in Baths with Balm and other herbs as a help to comfort and strengthen the nerves and sinews. It is much used either outwardly applied or inwardly drunk to strengthen and comfort weak stomackes.”

“It is comfortable for the head and memory, and a decoction when used as a gargle, cures the mouth and gums, when sore. Garden Mint is most useful to wash children’s heads when the latter are inclined to sores, and Wild Mint, mixed with vinegar is an excellent wash to get rid of scurf. Rose leaves and mint, heated and applied outwardly cause rest and sleep”, says Nicholas Culpepper, the 17th century herbalist and physician.

The book Herball by the famous botanist John Gerard quotes Mint asthe smelle rejoiceth the heart of man, for which cause they used to strew it in chambers and places of recreation, pleasure and repose, where feasts and banquets are made.”

Pliny the elder, the Roman Natural philosopher says “The smell of Mint does stir up the minde and the taste to a greedy desire of meate. It will not suffer milk to cruddle in the stomach, and therefore it is put in milk that is drunke, lest those that drinke thereof should be strangled.”

Mint is a universal herbal remedy for various health problems, where the traditional Romans and Greeks used these miraculous leaves for treating indigestion, colic, pain and respiratory illnesses.

The primordial Europeans used Mint leaves for dealing with gall bladder disorders, flatulence, cough and other digestive mayhems. As a nourishing appetizer, Mint has been used in various mouth-watering dishes across the world including the cuisines of India, Asian subcontinent; Middle East, America and Britain.

Mentha leaves have been used in making traditional tea varieties in India, where mint tea is said to alleviate fatigue, anxiety and instill instant nourishment to the brain. Many research studies conclude that Mentha is a trusted remedy for irritable bowel syndrome.

The essential oil of Mentha has been used in the manufacturing of various things including soaps, dandruff shampoos, acne creams, skin care lotions, jellies, teas, candies, syrups, ice creams and beverages. Mentha is also a noted flavoring ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gums, perfumes, cosmetics, pain balms and vaporizing ointments.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha essential oil:

What is your thought about Ayurveda? What do you really think? Is your mind uttering that it is an ancient science, a traditional healing system, works slowly, needs patience during the healing tenure and at last you soothe stating that you don’t have much time to take up an Ayurvedic treatment.

Is Ayurveda still the “Road not taken” in your life? Then listen to me, you are not too far from attaining a healthy and harmonious life. More than just a medicinal system, Ayurveda is a complete and disciplined way of living. The word ‘Ayur + Veda’ simply means the knowledge of life.

All it needs to take up Ayurveda in your life is to do a thorough self-examination, for understanding your individual constitution (the innate rhythm of your system with nature) contributing to your physical set up, psychological attributes, spiritual element and your behavioral patterns.

You can take the help of an Ayurvedic expert to learn about your doshas and then frame your way of living that strikes absolute balance with nature. Ayurveda recommends Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine, things to follow in your day-to-day living for prevention of illnesses and increased life span.

The rich historical reference of Ayurveda vests with India for about 5,000 years, where it is believed to be a gift of the Lord of Creation (Brahma) to the Lord of Medicine (Dhanvantari). This sacred science of healing was taken to the next level by the Ayurvedic philosophers Acharya Charaka and Acharya Sushruta, the masterminds behind the Ayurvedic encyclopedias Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is unique with a distinct individual constitution, likewise their health conditions should also be treated in a unique manner even if it is for the treatment of the same sickness.

The first Ayurvedic consultation with your Ayurvedic practitioner helps you to identify your medical history, Prakriti (unique individual constitution – combination of 3 doshas) and the most suitable treatment methodologies exclusively for your physical, emotional and spiritual conditions.

Ayurvedic essential oils (prana or the life force of plants), herbal medications (fresh, dried herbs or herbal infusions), yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, prayers, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), and Pranayama (balanced breathing), Panchakarma (detoxification techniques) are the major Ayurvedic remedies prescribed often.

These medications aim at balancing the doshic irregularities due to changes in lifestyle, code of conduct, food habits, weather and work conditions. Ayurveda recommends the use of Mentha and its essential oil for aggravating vata dosha and pacifying pitta and kapha energies.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha essential oil are:

  1. By far the best remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders:
  2. Magical spell for relieving pain and inflammation:
  3. Depression or fear of failure? Embrace Mentha for sure:
  4. Say goodbye to bad breath and other oral problems:
  5. Breathe easy – Mentha for your respiratory woes:
  6. Share the joy of healing skin problems:

Mentha-OIl1. By far the best remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders:

Pitta dosha is combination of fire and water. This dosha is responsible for metabolic functions, body temperature and cognitive abilities. Pitta dosha is often associated with the stimulation of Agni or the digestive fire.

Pitta vitiation ends up in excessive secretion of gastric juices, digestive acids and other digestive enzymes, which in turn rest on the stomach or intestinal lining. This ends up in gastric ulcer, irritation of the bowel and intestines.

Mentha is known for its potent to pacify pitta or the digestive fire with its cooling and soothing effects. It is for this reason; Mentha and its essential oil are used for treating irritable patterns in the intestines and bowels.

Michael T. Murray, Naturopath and the known author of “The Encyclopedia of healing foods” says that Mentha oil calm down the muscles and walls of the stomach and intestines, which aids in alleviating indigestion, abdominal cramps and pain associated with irritation and irregular bowel movements.

The stimulating, refreshing and energizing aroma of Mentha oil makes it an effective remedy in controlling vomiting (for which it is called as vatihari in Ayurveda, means one that prevents vomiting), bloating and nausea especially during travel. Wearing 2 drops of Mentha oil to your hankie or a tissue and inhaling the uplifting aroma while travelling can pacify the digestive system and protect you from the inconveniences of puking on the go.

A 2010 study published in the “Digestive diseases and sciences” journal has concluded that Mint oil considerably lessened pain in the abdomen and enhanced the lives of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Massaging your abdomen with 4 drops of Mentha oil, 2 drops of Marjoram oil and 2 ounces of coconut oil can assist in relieving flatulence, bloating, motion sickness, belching, heartburn, abdominal spasms and peristalsis with its stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, stomachic and anti-flatulent properties.

2. Magical spell for relieving pain and inflammation:

Mentha is absolutely one among the top 10 essential oils for its ability to discard all forms of stagnation in the system including lungs, stomach, gall bladder, kidneys, lymphatic tissues and blood.

According to Ayurveda, stagnation or retention of fluids, toxic remains, salt, uric acid, and fat deposits invite numerous foreign bodies and the corresponding disorders by deteriorating the functions of the system.

Fluid retention is a kapha disorder and is the key to rheumatic conditions, edema, joint pain, obesity, low level of insulin resistance, fibroids, increased blood pressure and heart problems.

With its power to reduce kapha imbalance, Mentha oil assists in treating pain, inflammation and flushing out excess fluids and toxic remains in the system. These remedial benefits are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and diaphoretic properties.

A gentle massage with 5 drops of Mentha oil, 3 drops of Ginger oil with 4 ounce of Evening primrose oil can assist in reducing pain by causing numbness in the aching area, eliminating toxic remains and surplus fluids by promoting frequent sweat and urination and soothing the tensed muscles and nerves.

3. Depression or fear of failure? Embrace Mentha for sure:

Stress, depression, anger, fear of failure, feelings of loneliness and other mental worries eats up your intellect and your power to fight back and triumph.

Mentha essential oil has an extraordinarily soothing, invigorating, heartening and reviving aroma that grants you the perfect power of resisting your mental maladies, encouraging your power to rise up, augmenting your intellectual abilities, clearing the mental blocks, calming your nerves and your entire system from within.

Called as Sugandhi patra for its inspiring aromatic leaves, Ayurveda states that Mentha oil has a positive impact on:

  • Throat chakra or Visukthi (genuineness and the power to communicate bravely).
  • Solar plexus chakra or Manipuragam (self-esteem and self-confidence).
  • Sacral chakra or Svathishtanam (pleasure, abundance and well-being).
  • Root chakra or Moolatharam (power of survival).

Adding 2 drops of Mentha oil, 1drop of Vetiver oil and 1 drop of Patchouli oil in your vaporizer, burner or diffuser especially during Pranayama, meditation and prayers can grant in opening, relaxing, clearing and activating all the associated chakras or the points of subtle energy.

This rewards the power of overcoming loneliness, negative emotions and helps in exhibiting the supremacy of being a self-confident, legitimate, intellectual, cool-headed, fearless and productive person. This also helps in enhancing your concentration power, treat memory loss and vent out your hatred feelings and jealousy.

You can also add this blend in your bath or in your aromatic candles before bedtime.

4. Say goodbye to bad breath and other oral problems:

Bad breath or halitosis is not just a symbol of poor oral hygiene. Instead, the common underlying causes are poor digestion and retention of ama or toxic remains in the body.

Mentha essential oil has disinfectant, antimicrobial, cooling, energizing and refreshing attributes that helps in killing germs and microbes responsible for oral problems like gingivitis, cavities, mouth ulcers and bad breath.

Mixing 2 drops of Mentha oil and 1 drop of Lemon oil in a cup of warm water for gargling, preferably twice (morning and night) in a day after brushing can help in healing mouth sores and bleeding gums. It also assists in refreshing the breath and treat cavities, gingivitis (gum inflammation) etc.

5. Breathe easy – Mentha for your respiratory woes:

Trouble-free breathing is a gift to mankind as the healing powers and the life force or prana of Mother Nature enter the system through breathing in and toxins in the system are purged through breathing out.

The essential oil of Mentha has excellent decongestant (attributed to the presence of menthol), expectorant and stimulant properties that help in treating asthma and other breathing difficulties caused due to respiratory conditions.

Steam inhalation with 2 drops of Mentha oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil followed by a gentle massage with this blend added to your mild vaporizing cream can help in opening up blocked nasal and bronchial passages, clearing congestion by loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits, relieving headache associated with sinusitis and migraine and in relieving fever, runny nose, itchy eyes and other associated symptoms of cold.

6. Share the joy of healing skin problems:

Pimples???? No more panics as Mentha promises in clearing excess oil, sebum, dirt and other harmful microbes in the sebaceous glands. It controls the secretion of sebum and allows the skin to nurture from within.

Skin impurities are again a symbol of ama or toxic deposits in the system. Ayurveda states that about 70% of the toxic elements in the body are discarded through exhalation. Wow! Amazing news right!

Just rush to add 2 drops of Mentha oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil in your burner in the early hours of the day during your Pranayama or the technique of conscious breathing.

As it penetrates deeply with its light and subtle qualities, the therapeutic values of Mentha oil pass through the nasal passages in the form of aromatic molecules and reach the limbic system (control center of the brain).

You can experience the difference in the texture of skin after regular practice of Pranayama with Mentha magic, as all the microbes and toxic substances are washed out during slow and steady exhalation.

You can also add 2 drops of Mentha oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 1 ounce of Jojoba oil and dab externally for treating wounds, pimples, cuts, abrasions, itching, candida and other inflammatory conditions of the skin.

Other health benefits:

Mentha and its mystical essential oil are also used in the treatment of dandruff, wrinkles, cancerous growths, cough, insect bites, impotence, hay fever and more.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education. It is not meant for curing any health condition or for replacing any prescription medicines or advice of medical experts. We are not health professionals and this article focuses on widening the horizons of Ayurveda, the mother of all remedial science on earth.

Mentha essential is meant only for topical use. This is due to the fact that pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause adverse allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Do take ingest essential oils.

Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your individual constitution and health condition. Care should be taken in using essential oils if you are pregnant or nursing. Keep essential oils away from children.

Thought for the day:

Learn character from trees, values from roots and change from leaves.

-By Tasneem Hameed

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mint: The Genus Mentha (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from Brand: CRC Press
  2. Mentha by Dinesh Kumar Singh, Prasann Kumar, Pankaj Kumar Mishra
  3. Growing and Cooking with Mint: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-145 by Glenn Andrews
  4. Teas for Life: 101 Herbal Teas for Greater Health by Diane Kidman
  5. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice by Sebastian Pole

Reference links:

  1. Mentha by Wikipedia
  2. Mint: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks by Medical News Today
  3. Mints by Botanical.com
  4. What are the benefits of Mint leaves? By Tracey Roizman, Demand Media
  5. Studies on activity of various extracts of Mentha arvensis Linn against drug induced gastric ulcer in mammals by Ramesh L Londonkar and Pramod V Poddar, published in PubMed

Marjoram Oil



Marjoram-bannerOh! My! My! Marjoram is addressed as the herb of eternal love and joy of the mountain. As the most loved herb by Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty, the leaves of Marjoram were sanctified for surmounting marital bliss and everlasting love. The spicy, rich, sweet, soothing and tantalizing aroma of this oil will leave you relaxed, energized and absolutely rejuvenated.

Known to the world of Ayurveda as Maru, Marwa, Sinshi and Sathra, Marjoram has been recommended for treating muscular tension, cardiovascular problems, premenstrual problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, sinus congestion, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disorder, asthma, joint pain, flatulence, rheumatism, toothache, loss of libido and certain other health conditions.

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Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Marjoram oil: The major chemical constituents responsible for the therapeutic values of Marjoram oil are linalool, a-pinene, cineole and sabinene.

A 2012 study on “Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-cancer activity by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal concludes that “the cytotoxicity-guided study of the dichloromethane and ethanol extracts of Thymus mastichina L. using the HCT colon cancer cell line allowed the identification of nine compounds, sakuranetin (1), sterubin (2), oleanolic acid (3), ursolic acid (4), lutein (5), beta-sitosterol (6), rosmarinic acid (7), 6-hydroxyluteolin-7-O-beta-glucopyranoside (8), and 6-hydroxyapigenin-7-O-beta-glucopyranoside.”

The remedial properties of the oil of Marjoram are deodorant, antiseptic, analgesic, disinfectant, emmenagogue, sedative, antispasmodic, calming, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, antifungal, antioxidant, disinfectant, antibacterial, diaphoretic and expectorant.

Historical uses and significance of Marjoram oil:

Marjoram is an excellent culinary herb that has been used habitually in the flavoring of soups. There are many types of Marjoram and are called by different names like Sweet Marjoram, Mastic Marjoram, Wild Marjoram, Knotted Marjoram, Spanish Marjoram and Garden Marjoram.

As a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, Marjoram has various botanical names and the most common being Origanum marjorana (Sweet Marjoram), Thymus mastichina (Spanish Marjoram), Origanum onites (Pot Marjoram) and Origanum heracleoticum (Winter Marjoram) and few other names.

The oldest historical uses of Marjoram take us to the ancient Greek mythology, where it was used for treating muscular tension, poisonous stings and bites, discarding fluid retention and as a symbol of love and affection.

Indigenous to Southern Europe, Marjoram is used as a flavoring ingredient and as a condiment. It is used in various food varieties including salamis, stews, seasonings, marinades, dressings, salads, roasted meat, sausages and goes well with green and leafy vegetables.

Marjoram has been an interesting part of wedding rituals, where the Newly-wed couples wear Marjoram wreaths as a sign of beginning their magical love life. Marjoram teas and infusions are extremely famous for their power in relieving headache, sinusitis, flatulence, hay fever and menstrual discomforts.

It is an ancient belief that if a Marjoram plant grows on a grave, and then the deceased person has attained perpetual happiness in the world after. The aromatic leaves and flowers of this plant were strewn in homes for its antimicrobial, disinfectant and deodorant properties.

Traditional home remedies with Marjoram include poultices for healing boils, rashes, sprains and abrasions. Folklore beliefs also include the use of Marjoram as a rescuer from bad luck and curses.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Marjoram essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science that treats human beings as reverential individuals and not just as patients. This miraculous therapy respects the individual differences of every person and recommends remedies as per the unique individual constitution and not on the basis of diseases.

It is for this reason, the first Ayurvedic consultation always begins with personal discussion with the Ayurvedic professional for learning the medical history, family background, lifestyle, food habits, likes and dislikes, good and bad things that have happened in the life of the person, affecting and influencing his medical condition.

This is because human beings are valued as a special creation and they should not be treated as a “one size fits all” module. Dr. Vasant Lad, the renowned Ayurvedic Expert has denoted in the Textbook of Ayurveda as “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.”

Ayurveda strongly states that health is a tree-tier figure that encompasses physical, mental and spiritual well-being. “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness” quotes the National Institute of Health.

Even today, the world of medicine looks up to Ayurvedic healing for its integral health-giving methodologies that strive to cast a person through all the facets of life together with the wellness of the mind, body and spirit.

By identifying the root cause of a disease, Ayurveda hits the nail on the head of the illness without missing its aim, as shooting the bird’s eye.

This ancient methodology states that the treatment of symptoms of an illness will grant only a temporary remedy, instead treating the underlying root cause will cure the illness, protect the system from its other side effects and also aid in preventing it in the future as well.

The most valued Ayurvedic encyclopedias including Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita say that everything in the universe are crafted with the five fundamental elements of nature i.e. water, fire, earth, air and space.

Every person is unique with a distinct Prakriti otherwise known as the individual constitution (combination of 3 doshas). These doshas are biological energies and are an array of the five vital forces of nature.

Vata is an arrangement of air and space and is responsible for the functions of the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems. Pitta dosha is a demonstration of fire and water and takes control of metabolism, body temperature and cognitive functions.

Kapha dosha symbolizes water and earth and it regulates the movement of fluids in the body, physique, reproductive functions and enhanced nourishment.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines their distinctiveness, personality and behavioral attributes.

Absolute balance between these doshas as per the law of nature depicts health and harmony, whereas imbalance due to irregular food habits, code of conduct, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical and psychological exercises and change in weather conditions leads to ill-health.

Ayurveda prescribes natural medications including herbal remedies, Ayurvedic essential oils, Dinacharya or the Ayurvedic routine, prayers and meditation for the spirit and soul, yoga, simple physical exercises, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, Panchakarma (treatment for cleansing toxic remains) and many more for the mind and body.

These remedies depend upon the Prakriti of an individual and are always person-specific and not disease-specific.

Marjoram and its essential oil are recommended for pacifying kapha and vata conditions, in surplus and to augment pitta dosha.

The Ayurvedic uses of Marjoram oil are:

1. Physical benefits:

  • Relieves pain and muscular tension:
  • Checks asthma, cold and other respiratory infections:
  • Encourages menstruation and relieves dysmennorhea:
  • Heals skin disorders:
  • Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

2. Psychological benefits and uses to the nervous system:

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram-broucher-new1. Physical benefits:

The essential oil of Marjoram has enormous benefits to the body ranging from its efficiency in lessening the risk of hypertension with its anti-depressant property, reducing blood pressure in case of high BP with its effect to check anxiety and stress, checking the amassing of cholesterol with its detoxifying attribute and enhanced blood circulation with its power to pacify vata dosha.

Relieves pain and muscular tension: Anyone can clearly pinpoint Marjoram essential oil for relaxing tensed muscles, especially after workouts or physical exertion. With its mild sedative, analgesic and antispasmodic properties, Marjoram essential oil relieves pain in the muscles and joints.

Research reports state that Marjoram has the potent to enhance bone mass building by supporting osteotrophic actions in the bones. This is mainly due to the fact that Marjoram is one among the richest source of vitamin K.

With its power to eliminate fluid retention, toxic substances, salts, fat deposits and uric acid in the system, Marjoram is a proven remedy for treating edema, rheumatic and arthritic conditions where inflammation, redness, pain, soreness and swelling of joints are witnessed.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Marjoram oil along with 3 drops of Cedarwood oil with 2 ounce of coconut oil can assist in relieving pain, swelling, muscular soreness, lumbago, joint aches and other associated discomforts by discarding excess toxins in the form of sweat and urine.

Checks asthma, cold and other respiratory infections: Asthma, cold, sinusitis, congestion and similar respiratory infections generally occur due to the invasion of bacteria, virus and other harmful micro-organisms.

As a potent expectorant, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial agent along with its power to pacify excess kapha energy responsible for the buildup of phlegm and mucous deposits in the nasal and respiratory passage, Marjoram essential oil is effective in treating various respiratory conditions.

3 drops of Marjoram oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation and in your vaporizing ointment, massaged gently on throat, back, chest and temples can help in loosening mucous and phlegm, relieve chest and nasal congestion, alleviate headache related to sinusitis and migraine, treat flu, sore throat and other respiratory problems.

Encourages menses and relieves dysmennorhea: Marjoram has circulatory, sedative, relaxant and emmenagogue properties that help in regulating the menstrual cycle in case of missed periods or delayed menstruation, reduce menstrual pain and fortify the pelvic muscles.

A 2015 study on “The effect of marjoram (Origanum majorana) tea on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised controlled pilot study by Haj-Husein, S. Tukan and F. Alkazaleh, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics”, concluded as “the beneficial effects of marjoram tea on the hormonal profile of PCOS women because it was found to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the levels of adrenal androgens.”

Massaging the lower abdomen, lower back and thighs with 5 drops of Marjoram oil, 5 drops of Thyme oil and 4 ounce of Sesame oil can aid in stimulating regular menstruation, lessen pain, fatigue and anxiety associated with periods and check polycystic ovarian syndrome with its power to reinstate hormonal balances and considerably decrease the level of adrenal androgens.

Heals skin disorders:

Marjoram essential oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and disinfectant properties that make it an effective oil in healing wounds, rashes, dermatitis, scalp infections, invasion of microbes causing skin infections and acne.

Recent studies have established the high concentration of linalool component in Marjoram oil, which contributes to the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties, thus making it as a significant oil in various cosmetics and skin care products.

Blend 2 drops of Marjoram oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Orange oil and mix it with your mild skin care lotion or cream and lightly dab it on the affected areas for treating acne, dermatitis, sunburn, shaving irritation, wounds (for fighting against micro-organisms like Staphylococcus bacteria, which worsens infections in case of wounds or other skin problems) and wrinkles.

You can also mix this blend in your bath for treating inflamed scalp conditions and for refreshing your skin health.

Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

Ayurveda states that ama or toxic remains as a result of improper digestion is the root cause for many other health conditions including obesity, rheumatism, edema, kidney disorders,acne, heart diseases etc.,

Marjoram essential oil has carminative properties with its ability to enhance pitta dosha, which is responsible for digestive fire and metabolic functions. Massaging the abdomen with 3 drops of Marjoram oil, 3 drops of Nutmeg oil and 1 drop of Spearmint oil with 3 ounce of coconut oil can support in stimulating the salivary glands, augmenting the secretion of bile, digestive enzymes and other gastric juices.

This is turn aids in enhancing the appetite, treating flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal spasms, constipation and also in soothing the intestinal and lining of the stomach.

2. Psychological benefits and the uses to the nervous system:

Since the prehistoric times, Marjoram is trusted to be the herb of happiness and love. You will be amazed if I say that this ‘Joy of the mountain’ was adored for its ability to tone down distress and misery.

Everything from nervous tension, anxiety, depressed thoughts, negative feelings, loneliness, lack of concentration, stress, mood fluctuations and anger to inferiority complex, has a time to rest with the kind of emotional benefits owned by Marjoram oil.

Practicing Pranayama with 2 drops of Marjoram oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 drops of Tangerine oil in a diffuser, can help you significantly in relieving stress, anger, anxiety, hatred thoughts, vengeance, inferior feelings and lower self esteem.

Pranayama is the Ayurvedic art of balanced breath where the therapeutic properties of these essential oils reach the limbic system of the brain through the aromatic molecules during conscious inhalation of breath or the life force.

This renovates the mind and repairs toxicity of the mind and body. In a much similar way, the toxic remains and de-motivating feelings are discarded from the system during extended exhalation.

Following this balanced breathing technique daily with the use of Marjoram oil is an excellent way to inculcate optimistic feelings, self-love, self-acceptance, improved concentration, mental dynamism, enhanced memory power and assisting in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This is an effective remedy for protecting the brain from neuronal damages.

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram is a representation of tranquility, harmony, health and heartiness. It enlightens the soul by awakening the sense of self-consciousness, especially when using it during meditation.

The oil of Marjoram has a positive effect on the heart chakra and the solar plexus chakras, where chakras are the centers of energy in the subtle body. The heart chakra or Anagatha determines one’s ability to love and the emotional factors associated with it are self-love, love for others, inner peace and joy.

Solar plexus chakra or Manipuraga decides a person’s level of confidence and the potent to take control of one’s live. Emotional attributes related with this chakra are self-confidence and self-esteem.

Adding 2 drops of Marjoram oil and 2 drops of Vetiver oil added to your burner or diffuser at the time of meditation and prayers can open your eye of consciousness, empower your spirit, foster mental clarity, augment self-love paving way for higher self-esteem and improved self-confidence. What next? A peaceful life with joy and focused living is in store for you to enjoy and enrich.

Other health benefits:

Marjoram is also used in the treatment of impotence, loss of libido, bruises, cough, bloating and toothache.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not intended to treat any medical condition or to substitute any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare experts and this article aims only in sharing the healing wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Essential oils are not meant for ingestion. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may harm the skin if used directly without dilution. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before safe topical application.

Speak with your Ayurvedic expert or healthcare professional for deciding on the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution or state of health. Please avoid Marjoram oil if you are pregnant or nursing. Keep away from children.

Thought for the day:

Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind, body and soul.

Suggested Reading:

  1. SWEET MARJORAM ESSENTIAL OIL – THE #1 PAIN RELIEF OIL IN AROMATHERAPY: ANTISPASMODIC HEALER, RESTORATIVE PAIN RELIVER, PLUS+ HOW TO USE GUIDE & RECIPES! (Healing with Essential Oil) By KG Stiles
  2. Marjoram Greats: Delicious Marjoram Recipes, The Top 55 Marjoram Recipes by Jo Franks
  3. Marjoram, Mint and Marigold by Evans, Hazel (1996) Hardcover by Hazel Evans
  4. Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink

Reference Links:

  1. Marjoram by Spices Board of India
  2. Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-cancer activity by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal published in PubMed
  3. The effect of marjoram (Origanum majorana) tea on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised controlled pilot study by Haj-Husein, S. Tukan and F. Alkazaleh, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  4. Marjoram by Dr. Vikram Chauhan
  5. Marjoram, Herb of love published in doityourself

Cananga Oil



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

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

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

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Historical uses and importance of Cananga oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Cananga oil:

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga essential oil are:

Cananga-broucher1. Fights hard with negative emotions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Absolute rescuer of a range of skin conditions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Zings your vitality:

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

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

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

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

4. Foe for feminine maladies:

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

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

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

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

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

5. Boosts the functions of the nervous system:

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

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

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

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

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

Other health benefits:

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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