Mentha Piperita Essential Oil

Mentha-pepperita-bannerThe 3 greatest chronicles of my visit to India are the monumental Taj Mahal (one that you can see on my Facebook profile pic) that enthralled my sight, the deep-rooted cultural differences within a single country that moved my heart and finally the lip-smacking Samosas (the most popular Indian snack) pairing its pride with the mouthwatering mint chutney that are still deeply vested within my taste buds.

Power-packed with immeasurable health benefits, mint leaves botanically known as Mentha arvensis has a distinct aroma that’ll uplift you instantly. Mentha oil or Mentha Piperita oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant by steam distillation.

Known as Pudina or Podina, the fresh and dried leaves along with its essential oil have been in use in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences for more than thousands of years. The most popular Ayurvedic uses of this herb are for treating digestive disorders, respiratory problems, menstrual discomforts and skin problems like acne, itching and rashes.

Purchase Mentha Piperita Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Purchase Mentha Piperita Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical importance and uses of Mentha piperita:

The history of Mentha piperita dates back to 3,000 years and is still trusted to be cultivated first in the temperate climate of Europe, after which it was slowly spread to Asian countries like India, Japan and China along with certain other countries in Africa and North America. Currently India is the largest producer and exporter of Mentha oil contributing to 80% of the world’s total production.

Among many other members of the mint family Lamiaceae, Mentha arvensis is the only member that thrives well in subtropical areas. It is also known to the world with other names like Japanese mint, Corn mint, Wild mint, Field mint and Pudina.

This herb was used by the Aztecs to promote perspiration, treat stomach pain, flatulence and colic. Mentha oil was also used in treating pain, headache and oral problems. The herbal infusion prepared with these leaves was really effective in treating insomnia and sleeping disorders.

Mentha Arvensis was also used by the Native Americans for treating pain, inflammation and stomach ache. The traditional Europeans used mint as a remedy for cough, gastrointestinal disorders, flatulence and gall bladder problems. There are numerous home remedies using fresh mint leaves.

The Ojibwa community uses this plant in sweat-bath, whereas it is a part of the Sun Dance ceremony of the Northern Cheyenne Indians of Montana. This medicinal plant is also a part of Ayurveda, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and various other contemporary healing methodologies.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components of Mentha piperita essential oil:

This oil consists of about 95% menthol and other active ingredients are isomenthone, methyl acetate, menthone, alpha-pinene, camphene, beta-pinene, piperitone, flavonoids, limonene, beta-caryopyllene, neomenthol and tannins.

The healing properties are carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antimicrobial, cholagogue, anti-fungal, expectorant, stimulant, tonic, antiphlogistic, antidepressant and nervine.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha piperita essential oil:

Pudina is an incredible kitchen herb in India and many other Asian countries for its tempting and refreshing aroma along with its excellent medicinal values. Ayurveda aged for about 5000 years is a holistic medicinal practice that considers every human being as a part of nature.

Ill-health and good health according to Ayurvedic texts depend upon nature and natural remedies are the best way to treat it. Based upon this principle, Ayurvedic remedies encompass nature’s gifts like herbs and essential oils along with a balanced lifestyle, yoga, meditation and simple physical exercises that can assist in preventing diseases and pave way for longevity.

Every human being is considered as a unique creation and just like Hippocrates words ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison’, Ayurvedic treatments differ from individual to individual even for the same disease. This uniqueness is identified by one’s individual constitution that is made up of three bio-energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta doshas.

Perfect balance between all the three doshas with the predominance of any one of the dosha determines a human’s health, attributes along with his physical and mental set up. Imbalance of doshas end up in illness and Ayurvedic treatments often prescribe remedies that can stabilize dosha disparities. Mentha and its essential oil are said to pacify pitta and kapha doshas and aggravate vata dosha with its easy, clear, dry and light properties.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha piperita essential oil are:

Mentha-pepperita-broucher1. Soothes the digestive system:

Mentha arvensis is a natural carminative that speeds up sluggish digestion, treats indigestion, motion sickness, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, food poisoning, nausea, intestinal peristalsis and gas.  The active ingredients present in Menthol essential oil pacifies the inner lining of the stomach and intestines and its cooling property aids in treating ulcers as well.

The stomachic and digestion promoting properties of mint has made it a vital ingredient in many lamb and other meat dishes in the Middle East, America, Great Britain, Asia and Africa. Ancient people also used mint for preventing coagulation of milk.

All you need to do to treat your digestive chaos is to add 3 to 4 drops of Mentha piperita oil in warm bathing water and let that warmth and refreshing energy of the medicated bathing water treat your digestive difficulties. You can also gently massage your abdomen and tummy with 2 drops of this oil blended with sesame oil for assisting your digestive problems.

The simplest way to treat nausea (especially while traveling), morning sickness and loss of appetite is to add 1 drop of Mentha oil to your hanky or tissue and inhale its invigorating aroma that can put an end to your giddiness and nostalgic feeling just like that.

A 2010 study on ‘Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials’ state “The essential oil of mint may be exploited as a natural source of bioactive phytochemicals bearing antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials that could be supplemented for both nutritional purposes and preservation of foods.”

2. Emancipates all forms of stagnation:

Mentha piperita essential oil is known to clear all forms of stagnation in the body causing sickness and affecting the body’s normal functioning. It alleviates excess kapha energy that is responsible for stagnation of excess fluids in the body leading to obesity, rheumatism, respiratory problems etc.,

(i)Treats respiratory problems:

Inhaling the healing aroma of Mentha oil by adding 2 drops to steam inhalation assists in treating respiratory problems like cold, asthma, bronchitis, sinus congestion, blocked nasal passages and congestion of lungs and bronchi.

Adding 2 drops of this oil to your cold rub and gently rubbing it on your chest, throat, back and forehead can aid in relieving headache, sore throat, chest congestion and runny nose. This speedy action is due to the presence of menthol, which is a primary ingredient in all the popular vaporub and balms in the market.

(ii) Alleviates fever and neuralgia:

The febrifuge and diaphoretic properties of Mentha essential oil helps in reducing fever by releasing the heat of the body through sweat. The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of this oil assist in curbing the growth of harmful microbes causing fever and other respiratory infections.

2 drops of Mentha oil can be added with coconut oil and applied on the soles of your feet to reduce your body temperature and treat neuralgia as the vital points of all the parts of your body are connected to the soles.

(iii) Regularizes menstruation:

The power to emancipate all types of stagnations in the body makes Mentha essential oil as a promising remedy for treating menstrual pain and blocked menstruation. Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 to 3 drops of Mentha oil along with sesame oil helps in regularizing your menstrual cycle, treat dysmennorhea, nausea and other painful symptoms of menstruation by balancing the level of estrogen.

3. Nurtures the skin:

Undoubtedly, Mentha essential oil is a natural antiseptic that aids in healing wounds and treating numerous skin problems. It acts as a protective shield on the skin and guards against the infections of micro organisms like bacteria, fungi and other microbes.

A 2008 study on ‘Enhancement of the Antibiotic activity against a Multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha Arvensis L. and Chlorpromazine’ has proved that the extracts of Mentha Arvensis can be used as natural weapon for bacterial resistance.

This oil has excellent skin cleansing properties. Adding 2 drops of Mentha oil to your skin care cream or lotion supports in treating pimples, blackheads, blemishes and dark circles. This oil also has anti-pruritic effect that can be effective in treating itching, rashes and insect bites.

4. Relieves pain and inflammation:

The rich menthol content in Mentha piperita oil helps in relaxing the muscles, treat muscular spasms, reduce pain, alleviate inflammation and promote blood circulation. Massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Mentha oil blended with coconut oil can aid in relieving pain, rheumatism, arthritis, numbness, soreness and irritation.

5. Grants absolute tranquility:

No one can deny the fact that mint has an enlivening aroma that can drive us straight to a whole new world of freshness and fragrance. Inhaling the aroma of Mentha oil by adding 2 drops to your aromatic lamp or diffuser or air freshener can trim down your fatigue, stress, depression, nervous tension and anxiety after a long tiring day.

The aromatic molecules of this tranquilizing oil travel through your nasal passages and reach the limbic system of the brain, which is the body’s control hub of feelings and emotions. By this way Mentha oil motivates, pacifies, rejuvenates and replenishes your senses and augments your mental power by boosting your confidence.

Other health benefits:

Mentha piperita essential oil is also used in lotions, toothpastes, gargles, cough drops, analgesic balms, perfumery, pharmaceuticals, mouth fresheners, shampoos, tobacco products and as a flavoring agent in numerous other products. You can also use this oil as a natural oral cleanser by adding 1 drop of Mentha oil to a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle in the morning and at night. This assists in killing germs, restricting bacterial growth, refreshing your breath, strengthening your gums and whitening your teeth.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not meant to treat or diagnose any health condition or to substitute any prescribed medications or expert professional advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this information is shared with the idea of spreading the significance of Ayurveda, the oldest holistic healing system on earth.

Never use essential oils internally. Ensure that you dilute them in appropriate carrier oils before using it for external purposes as pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and undiluted use on the skin might cause allergic reactions. It is highly recommended to speak with your Ayurvedic expert/ healthcare professional prior to choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health.

Thought for the day:

Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.  -Thomas B. Macaulay

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mint: The Genus Mentha (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Cultivation of Mentha arvensis and production of menthol in India by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (India)
  3. ISO 9776:1999, Oil of Mentha arvensis, partially dementholized (Mentha arvensis L. var. piperascens Malinv. and var. glabrata Holmes) by ISO TC 54
  4. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Mentha Arvensis Piperascens by Boston University School of Medicine
  2. Enhancement of the Antibiotic activity against a Multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha Arvensis L. and Chlorpromazine University of the Region of Cariri, Crato and Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil
  3. Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials published in PubMed

Balsam Peru Oil

Balsam-peru-banner“The balsam is stimulant and tonic, and is of use in chronic coughs, whites, palsy and chronic rheumatism. As an external application, it is employed with advantage in cleansing and stimulating foul and indolent ulcers”, quotes the book Ayurvedic Materia Medica for domestic use by Thomas John Graham.

Also called as Peruvian balsam, the essential oil and the balsam as such are being used in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine like Ayurveda and Homeopathy as well as in Modern medicinal practices.

With its decongestant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-rheumatic properties, Balsam Peru is prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for treating bronchial asthma, whooping cough, bruises, bed sores, burns, eczema, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, headache, fever, diaper rashes, cold, scabies, ringworm and rheumatic conditions.

Purchase Balsam Peru Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses and importance of Balsam Peru essential oil and its other extracts: This tree is scientifically called as Balsamum tolutanum. Balsam of Peru is the resin extracted from the tall tree that grows in Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and France.

Balsam Peru is also called by other names like Balsamum Peruvianum, Surinam balsam, Balsam fir oleoresin, Quina quina, Balsam Tolu, Toluifera pereirae, Indian Balsam, China oil, Myroxylon Balsamum, Balsams Peru, Myrosperum pereira balsam etc.

Initially, Peru was the major and largest exporter of Balsam oil and it was for this reason, this Balsam was called as Balsam of Peru. In recent times, Balsam of Peru is exported by various other major Balsam growing countries. This tree has a natural potential of producing resin, which is sticky in nature. Balsam of Peru is collected from Balsam trees that are roughly 20 years old by tapping method.

Balsam of Peru has been a part of the traditional healing methodologies for centuries together. It was used as a natural remedy for treating digestive disorders, headache, cold, cough, respiratory infections and certain skin problems. The Native American populace used the powder extracted from this tree as a deodorant.

Balsam of Peru and its essential oil has been a trusted remedy of the Europeans and other Asian folks for healing skin diseases like bedsores, ringworm, scabies, eczema, diaper rashes, wounds and itches. It is also used as an important ingredient in the manufacturing of female hygiene sprays, shampoos, insect repellents, topical salves, soaps, mouthwash, surgical dressings, skin care lotions and certain other fragrant ingredients.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Balsam Peru essential oil:

Studies have proved that the resin extracted from the Peruvian balsam tree consists of about 80% of cinnamic acid along with the presence of cinnamein. This is the reason for its vanilla and cinnamon like aroma. It’s essential oil is said to contain various volatile oils and the major components are benzyl cinnamate, benzyl benzoate, and nerolidol.

These components contribute to its remedial properties like antiseptic, antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-parasitic, expectorant, decongestant, antifungal, diuretic, antioxidant, deodorant, cicatrisant, anti-stress and anti-dandruff.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Balsam Peru essential oil:

The word ‘Ayurveda’ simply means ‘the knowledge of life’, where ‘Ayur’ stands for life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge. This oldest remedial system states that illness occurs when there is disharmony between an individual and nature.

Ayurvedic healing considers every human being as a unique part of nature with a unique individual combination. According to this philosophy ‘no two individuals are given the same medicine, even for the same disease’. The first Ayurvedic consultation aims at analyzing the unique individual constitution of a person, which comprises of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth).

These Ayurvedic doshas are nothing but a combination of the five vital elements of nature called as Panchamahabutas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space. Ayurveda states that every person has a prakriti (individual constitution), which is a combination of these doshas in a unique proportion with a predominance of any one of them.

This prevalence determines the character, personality, uniqueness and behavioral attributes of a person. Based upon these fundamental qualities, the unique Ayurvedic treatment methodology and remedies are prescribed. Ayurvedic writings reveal that the absolute balance between these doshas indicates perfect health and harmony with nature, whereas doshic imbalances lead to sickness.

The most notable Ayurvedic remedies include Ayurvedic essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing, prayers, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga, and Panchakarma. With these remedies, Ayurveda focuses on treating the root cause of an illness instead of diagnosing its symptoms.

With its stimulating and invigorating properties, Balsam Peru essential oil has been recommended in Ayurveda for augmenting pitta dosha and pacifying kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Balsam Peru oil:

Balsam-peru1. Controls dandruff and checks hair-fall:

The essential oil of Balsam Peru has been used as an important ingredient in many hair care products including shampoos and conditioners for its antifungal, anti-parasitic and anti-dandruff properties. These remedial values help in clearing away dandruff, killing head lice and treating dry and itchy scalp conditions.

Massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Balsam Peru oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil and 2 drops of Rosemary oil along with 5 ml of Coconut oil can be of great assistance in nourishing your scalp, clearing away the itchy flakes on the head, repairing your damaged hair and act as a hair tonic. You can also add 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil to your regular shampoo and enjoy the richness of your shining hair, free from dandruff and head lice.

2. Extremely beneficial to the skin:

Balsam Peru oil is a time-honored skin care remedy that has been employed in the treatment of numerous skin problems including ringworm, bedsores, skin ulcers, wounds and diaper rashes. The antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of this oil helps in quicker healing of wounds, combats the growth of microbes responsible for skin infections, and fights aging symptoms.

Blend 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil with 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil with 3 ml of Olive oil. Gently apply this blend on skin problems like eczema, scabies, wounds, ringworm, acne, athlete’s foot, chapped skin, rashes and wrinkles.

This natural skin tonic works like a wonder in treating fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot with its anti-fungal properties; acne, rashes, wounds and eczema with its antimicrobial properties; wrinkles and dull lifeless skin with its antioxidant properties.

Bedsores generally occur in sick people who are bed-ridden. This includes especially the aged population with sensitive skin. Mixing 1 drop of Balsam Peru oil with 2 ml of Jojoba oil can reduce pain and help in promoting quicker healing of wounds. This blend can also be used externally on diaper rashes for babies as well as the aged.

3. Alleviates respiratory infections:

According to Ayurveda, amassing of toxic substances or ama in the system is a major cause for many illnesses including respiratory problems. It is a known fact that excess of kapha dosha (blend of water and earth elements) is responsible for diseases based on the surplus fluid deposits in the system causing respiratory infections, obesity, rheumatism, edema and other inflammatory conditions.

Balsam Peru oil has diuretic, expectorant and antimicrobial properties that aid in eliminating the excess fluid deposits in the system through urine and sweat, discarding phlegm and mucus secretions in the respiratory tract and arresting the growth of microbes that worsen respiratory problems. It has been used in the United States since 1800s as a respiratory aid and cough suppressant. Balsam of Peru was also used as an ingredient in cough syrups and lozenges.

2 drops of Balsam Peru oil along with 1 drop of Peppermint oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation can help in relieving cold, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, sinusitis, watery eyes, chronic cough, bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma and inflammation of the pharynx.

Gently rubbing your throat, chest, back and forehead with 2 drops of Balsam oil along with 1 drop of Tea tree oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment can help in relieving sore throat, bronchial congestion, blocked nasal passages, chest congestion, headache, sinusitis and drowsiness due to cold and other respiratory infections.

4. Enhances the functions of the digestive system:

Indigestion is the key cause for building up of toxic substances in the body. This is due to improper metabolic functions, including digestion, absorption and elimination. Pitta dosha is responsible for ‘Agni’ or digestive fire in the system. Vitiation of pitta energy often ends up in sluggishness, nausea, constipation, flatulence, loss of appetite and other digestive disorders.

Balsam Peru oil has the ability to enhance pitta energy and can re-kindle the digestive fire. Inhaling the warm aroma of Balsam Peru oil by adding 2 drops of this oil to your vaporizer especially before your meals can help in enhancing your appetite, stimulating your bowel movements, treating constipation and promoting proper digestion. Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil and 2 drops of Nutmeg oil with 2 ml of sesame oil can support your digestive functions.

5. Improves blood circulation and treats rheumatic disorders:

Ayurvedic writings denote that rheumatism is an auto-immune disease that arises mostly due to the upsurge of ama or toxins in the system owing to the disparity of digestive fire. These harmful substances may even block the working of the essential organs in the body.

Basically, ama stored in the body reaches the kapha dominated parts like fingers, joints, stomach, brain, chest, toes and few other parts. Thus rheumatism is identified with the symptoms of inflammation, redness of joints, soreness of muscles, lack of energy, swelling of joints, irregular blood circulation, insomnia and fatigue.

With its diuretic, anti-rheumatic, antioxidant and analgesic properties, the essential oil of Balsam Peru has the potent to improve blood circulation, reduce pain, decrease swelling and inflammation by eliminating the toxic remains, excess water deposits, salt and uric acid through urine and soothe the joints and muscles.

Massaging the affected parts with 3 drops of Balsam Peru oil with 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Yarrow oil, 2 drops of Bay oil blended with 20 ml of coconut oil can help in alleviating pain, inflammation, swelling, soreness, stiff muscles, water retention, insomnia and other symptoms associated with rheumatism.

Ayurveda also recommends the practice of Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing in Ayurveda, through which the toxic remains in the system are discarded through exhalation. Along with this certain yogasanas can also help in treating rheumatic problems at ease and this has also been proved by various scientific studies.

Other health benefits:

With its mild, warm and soothing aroma, Balsam Peru oil acts like a marvel in treating depression, mood fluctuations and negative feelings. To attain this solace, 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil and 2 drops of Benzoin Res oil can be added to your burner, candle diffuser or vaporizer during the practice of yoga, meditation and Pranayama. This can also aid in enhancing self-confidence and positive thoughts.

Disclaimer: This information is meant only for the use of education and is not meant to diagnose or treat any health condition or replace any prescribed medications or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare practitioners and this info is shared only with the idea of highlighting the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences.

Never take essential oils internally and do remember to dilute essential oils before using it on your skin, as pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may lead to allergic reactions when used on the body directly. Ensure that you seek advice from your Ayurvedic professional/healthcare expert before selecting the appropriate essential oil for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Avoid using Balsam Peru oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it is regarded as a sensitizing oil that may cause allergic reactions.

Thought for the day:

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. -Voltaire

Suggested Reading:

  1. 10 Ways to Use Balsam Of Peru (Recipe Book) by Sam Enrico
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils by Joni Loughran, Ruah Bull
  4. Scabies Natural Home Treatment Solution by Alyson Rodgers
  5. A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics by Roberts Bartholow

Reference Links:

  1. Balsam of Peru by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurveda Materia Medica for Domestic Use by Thomas John Graham
  3. Peruvian Balsam by Herbs2000.com
  4. Balsam of Peru essential oil by Oil Health Benefits

Basil Oil Indian

basil oil indianBasil is a blessing in disguise for the rest of the world but for most of the traditional Indian families, every day begins with the blessing of Lord Krishna through Basil leaves. This holy plant is being worshipped by the Hindus in India since thousands of years and is a familiar thing to find a Basil or Tulsi plant in every home. It is known to the world of medicine as a digestive tonic, respiratory aid, anti-depressant, pain reliever, skin care agent, immune stimulant and as a symbol of divinity.

Valued as an emblem of sacredness, purification, love, protection, eternity, respect and good luck, Basil is used in Ayurvedic preparations for more than 5,000 years. It is lovingly called as Tulsi in Hindi and Surasa in Sanskrit and has been a vital part of Ayurvedic healing of a plethora of illnesses.

The most notable among them are nervous tension, constipation, rheumatism, whooping cough, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, stress, bruises, diabetes, fever, poor memory, poisonous bites and stings, acne and kidney disorders.

Historical uses and importance of Basil leaves and its essential oil:

Popularly known as the ‘Queen of herbs’ in Ayurveda, Basil is botanically called as Ocimum sanctum. It is grown throughout the world for its spiritual and medicinal uses. Highly regarded as a symbol of ‘Good luck charm’, Basil plant has myriad references in the history of world medicine.

Basil plant has been talked about in the ancient sacred books like Rig Veda and in the Ayurvedic texts including Charaka Samhita. Respected as an elixir of life in Ayurveda, this plant is said to pave way to absolute balance and longevity for its enormous medicinal values.

The oldest historical mention of Basil leaves is in the ancient Hindu mythology, where Basil or Tulsi plant is said to symbolize Vishnupriya, the wife of Lord Vishnu and the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. God Vishnu is honored with the garland made with Basil leaves.

Few other sources state that Tulsi is trusted as a form of Goddess Tulsi and this plant is considered as a symbol of blessedness because it is believed to have grown from the ashes of Goddess Tulsi. Basil plant is worshipped by the married Hindu women in India for being blessed with the faithfulness of Goddess Tulsi.

Known as Bacia-nicola (meaning kiss me Nicholas) in Italy, Basil is regarded as a representation of love and luck and is said to attract man to his lady love. It was used in the ancient Greece in the crowning ceremonies of Kings for purification.

Besides its medicinal values, Basil leaves are also used for culinary purposes for its strong aroma and astringent flavor, especially in Asian cooking. The seeds and leaves of this plant are used in the preparation of an herbal tea, which is said to gift good health and fortune.

The native populace of the Indian subcontinent including the Himalayan areas generally grind the leaves and seeds of Basil plant and blend this with Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), Katuka (Picrorhiza kurroa), Bel Fruit (Aegle marmelos), Sugandi root (Hemidesmus indicus), and Blue Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). This herbal mixture is then smoked for persuading the vision and dreams.

The tribal population in Australia has reported the use of Basil leaves in the preparation of an herbal tea for supporting the system as a tonic for treating fever, respiratory problems and few other illnesses. The essential oil extracted from Basil leaves also finds its use in the field of herbal cosmetics and in the treatment of skin disorders and numerous other illnesses.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

The remedial values of Basil oil are cephalic, antifungal, diaphoretic, anti-asthmatic, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-cancer, antidote, anti-oxidant, diuretic, anti-fertility, expectorant, anti-diabetic, anti-malarial, hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory.

The primary chemical components of Basil oil are eugenol, ursolic acid, b-caryophyllene, linalool, oleanolic acid, carvacrol, germacrone D, b-elemene and linolenic acid. Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium are few among its nutritional constituents.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil Indian essential oil:

Adorably called as Tulsi in India, Basil is the most respected and often talked about herb in the history of Ayurveda. With its divine aroma and holiness, Tulsi is esteemed high for its healing values. These holy leaves are chewed daily in the morning after performing the ritual prayers for cleansing the system, stimulating metabolic functions, supporting the respiratory functions and strengthening the immune system.

Ayurveda is by far the pioneer of the medicinal world with more than 5,000 years of promising existence. It has its roots vested with the ancient India, where its origin has been referred to Atharvaveda, one among the four sacred books of the Indian mythology.  With the literal meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda means more than a method of treating illnesses.

Holding all these prominent reasons, Ayurveda is known as a common sense science. It leads mankind towards a holistic life with the gifts of absolute health, harmony and longevity. The medications prescribed in Ayurveda simply rely on Mother Nature as it trusts that everything on this globe is a vital part of Nature.

With this philosophy, Ayurvedic texts denote that all things on earth including human beings are built up with the same 5 vital building blocks of nature. They are fire, air, water, earth and space. Earth stands for the bones and muscles in the body and represents braveness, stability and vitality. Air is responsible for the functions of the lungs, heart, intestines and joints.

Ether is found all over the body, where the presence of emptiness and cavity exist. Few parts among them are blood vessels, nostrils, bladder and heart. Fire controls the body temperature, metabolic functions and intellectual power. Water is in charge of the fluid functions of the body, including saliva, blood, plasma and mucus.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is a unique entity with a unique individual constitution or Prakriti, which is an arrangement of the 3 biological energies known as doshas. Ayurvedic principles revolve around the pillars of these dynamic forces, which are a combination of the vital elements of nature. They are vata, pitta and kapha doshas.

Every person has a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines the character, personality, health conditions and behavioral attributes of a person. An individual is claimed to be healthy when there is absolute balance between all the three doshas and imbalances between these doshas end up in illnesses.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, prayers, Ayurvedic routine along with Ayurvedic healing techniques like Panchakarma (the Ayurvedic detox techniques), Pranayama (art of balanced breathing), Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging) etc. These remedies aim at correcting the imbalances of doshas, prevent illnesses and sustain a healthy life even in the late 60s and 70s.

Basil essential oil has heating and neutral energies (virya) and sharp and bitter taste (rasa). It is known for reducing excess of vata and kapha doshas and aggravates pitta dosha. Basil is said to have amazing beneficial effects on the respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive organs and the digestive system.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil are as follows:

Basil-oil-bro1. Alleviates depression, stress and disorders of the autonomic nervous system: Visceral or the autonomic nervous system supports the generation of hormones and its resultant responses in the human system.  It controls the vital functions of the system including breathing, salivation, digestion, heart rate, urination, perspiration, respiratory rate, breathing and sexual feelings.

Problems in the functioning of this involuntary nervous system can result in indigestion, breathing problems, heart disorders, improper blood circulation, depression, nervousness, anxiety, headache, sexual problems and kidney disorders.

Basil essential oil has a balancing effect on the nervous system. This aids in treating anxiety, stress, depression, nervousness, loss of interest and negative emotions. When inhaled by adding 1 drop of Basil oil, 1 drop of Rose Geranium oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil in diffuser or air freshener, can aid in alleviating stress, inspiring positive feelings, elevating the spirits, augmenting memory power and grant the strength to face challenges.

According to the Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Tulsi “opens the heart and the mind and distributes the energy of love and devotion.  Basil is sacred to Vishnu and Krishna and strengthens faith, compassion, and clarity.

Tulsi stalks are worn as garlands and strengthen the energy of attachment. Basil imparts divine protection by purifying the aura and invigorating the immune system. It contains natural mercury that, as the seed of Shiva, imparts the germinative power of pure consciousness.”

According to a 2010 study on “Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview by Priyabrata Pattanayak,Pritishova Behera, Debajyoti Das and Sangram K. Panda, published in PubMed says, “Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress.

Adding 2 drops of Basil oil in bathing water every morning and night helps in bringing in abundant of constructive thoughts, progressive ideas, encouraging feelings and new-fangled energy to face your new day and relax for a peaceful night. 2 drops of Basil oil added to your air freshener in the night can aid in granting absolute solace and calmness.

Basil has strong effects on the emotions, and can be very strengthening when we are suffering fear or sadness”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.

2. Enormous benefits to the skin:

Tulsi is a darling remedy when it comes to the protection of skin from various infections and disorders. With its antioxidant and detoxifying properties, Tulsi acts as an excellent skin cleansing and nourishing agent that gifts your skin with a flawless beauty and younger look.

The antifungal and anti-microbial properties of this oil acts as a shield against microbes and aids in the treatment of acne, eczema, scabies, itches, ringworm, athlete’s foot and infectious wounds. The rich presence of Vitamins A and C nourish the skin from within and help in exploring and retaining its natural glow.

The book ‘Ocimum sanctum: The Indian Home Remedy In Current Medical Scene’ have talked about various studies, where the essential oil of Basil “has been found to inhibit in-vitro growth of E. coli, B. anthracis and P. aeruginosa proving its anti-bacterial activity.” It is also said that this oil contains anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Massaging your skin with 2 drops of Basil oil blended with 1 drop of Lemon oil, 1 drop of Bergamot oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil along with 2.5 ml of olive oil helps in removing the dead skin cells, reducing pimples, black heads and fading away marks left behind by wounds and acne. You can also apply this blend on wounds, eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, scabies, wounds and itches for quicker healing.

3. Nurtures the growth of healthy hair:

Basil has been an important ingredient in numerous Ayurvedic and other herbal preparations for hair care. Take 5 drops of Basil oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lime oil along with 10 ml of Almond oil and heat this mixture slightly.

Massaging your scalp with this herbal blend helps in promoting the growth of hair by strengthening the hair follicles, reducing dandruff, moisturizing dry scalp and rough hair, controlling itching and enriching the scalp.

4. Alleviates fever and respiratory illnesses:

The anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-malarial properties of Basil essential oil aids in reducing fever. Numerous research studies have reported that Basil oil contains 100 percent insecticidal and larvicidal activities especially against Culex mosquitoes.

Massage your foot soles with 2 drops of Basil oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 2 ml of coconut oil for reducing fever. Adding 2 drops of Basil oil in your air-freshener or diffuser can be of great assistance in keeping away from insects with its insect-repellant properties.

The therapeutic properties of Basil oil including its anti-microbial and anti-viral attributes helps in arresting the growth of bacteria, virus and other micro-organisms that worsen cold, cough and other respiratory infections. Mucus and phlegm deposits in the system are again a result of excess kapha dosha.

Basil oil is an effective Ayurvedic remedy for lowering excess of kapha dosha that aids in loosening the phlegm and mucus accumulation in the body. 2 drops of Basil oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation can grant you instant relief from cold, cough, stiff nose, congestion, sinusitis, whooping cough and blocked nasal passages.

You can also massage your chest, back and throat with 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment for supporting quicker relief. This oil also helps in strengthening the immune system and helps in fighting against infectious and communicable diseases.

5. Helps control diabetes and the risk of cardiac disorders:

The essential oil of Basil has anti-diabetic properties that aids in the treatment of diabetes by controlling the level of blood sugar. With its diuretic properties, Tulsi promotes frequent urination through which the toxic elements in the system are flushed out and helps to stay energized.

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Indian Physiology and Pharmacology says “eugenol in Basil oil have been found to reduce raised blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels and activities of LDH, GPT, GOT and alkaline phosphatase in blood serum explaining the therapeutic potentials of Ocimum sanctum as antidiabetic, cardio-protective, hypolipidaemic and hepatoprotective agent.”

The decoction extracted from the whole plant has been recommended in Ayurveda for lowering the level of blood glucose in case of diabetes mellitus. The presence of eugenol and other therapeutic constituents in this oil are also effective in reducing blood cholesterol and blood pressure. With its antioxidant properties, Basil oil is also known for protecting the heart from the effects of harmful free radicals.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Basil oil, 5 drops of Juniper oil, 5 drops of Myrtle oil and 2 drops of Clove oil along with 20 ml of coconut oil, once in a week can help in controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. You can also add 2 drops of Basil oil in your diffuser every day and inhale this magical aroma for enhancing your heart health.

6. Relieves pain and inflammation:

The pain relieving quality of Basil oil is attributed to the presence of eugenol. This contributes to the analgesic, relaxant, nervine and anti-inflammatory qualities of this oil.

Tulsi oil reduces inflammation and swelling with its kapha reducing attribute. Kapha dosha represents the water element in the body and excess of which leads to the amassing of water deposits, built up of toxic substances, uric acid and salts in the system.

Gently massaging the painful and affected parts with 3 drops of Basil oil, 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 3 drops of Camphor oil with 5 ml of coconut oil aids in treating pain, rheumatic conditions, arthritis, headache, stiff joints and back pain.

This works by spreading heat in the painful areas with its heating energy, induce frequent urination where the excess water deposits and toxic remains in the system are eliminated.

7. Promotes digestion:

Basil oil has the power to increase ‘Agni’ or the digestive fire in the system with its pitta-enhancing attribute. Pitta dosha symbolizes fire and is responsible for metabolic functions, including digestion, absorption and excretion.

Adding 5 drops of Basil oil in warm compress or massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Basil oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 drops of Bergamot oil with 4 ml of sesame oil can aid in promoting the secretion of bile, digestive juices and gastric acids.

This assists in treating indigestion, formation of gas in the stomach and intestines, vomiting, motion sickness, colic, sluggish digestion and intestinal spasms. The anti-microbial property of this oil helps in killing germs and harmful micro-organisms in the stomach and intestines.

Also useful in:

Basil essential oil is also helpful in the treatment of eye problems, oral infections, migraine pain, kidney stones, mouth ulcers, cancerous tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, labour pain and certain other medical conditions.

Disclaimer:

This post is only for the use of education and information. It is not intended for diagnosing, treating or preventing illnesses or substituting expert medical advice or prescribed medicines. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only for spreading the glory of Ayurvedic remedies, the mother of all healing systems on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and always dilute essential oils before using it for topical applications. This is due to the fact that 100% pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances.

Avoid using Basil oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mother as it has anti-fertility and anti-estrogenic effects that may cause harm. Speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare professional before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.  -Samuel Johnson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Tulsi Holy Basil: The “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda, TCM and Homeopathy (Learning Medicinal Herbs within India’s Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine Book 2) by Ryder Management Inc.
  2. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. Ayurveda: The A-Z Guide To Healing Techniques From Ancient India by Dr. Helen Mary Thomas
  4. Basil Recipes: Cooking with the King of Herbs (Quick and Easy Series) by Dogwood Apps
  5. The Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner

Reference Links:

  1. Ocimum tenuiflorum by Wikipedia
  2. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review by Prakash. P and Gupta. N published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
  3. Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview by Priyabrata Pattanayak,Pritishova Behera, Debajyoti Das and Sangram K. Panda, published in Pharmacognosy review (PubMed)
  4. Health Benefits of Basil or Tulsi Value Food Info
  5. Basil by Bryan Miller and Light Miller published in the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide To Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing