Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin-bannerThere’s no Halloween without Pumpkin and there are no Pumpkin seeds without enormous healing values. These seeds are highly nutritious and the oil extracted Pumpkin seeds are often celebrated for its amazing remedial benefits to prostate problems like benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, diabetes, arthritis and kidney disorders.

Widely known as Pepitas, Pumpkin seeds and its oil are used and recommended in Ayurvedic healing for treating urinary problems, low bone density, arthritis, bed-wetting, joint pain, vascular diseases, controlling cholesterol levels (LDL) and for supporting the functions of the kidneys and prostate.

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Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Pumpkin Seed Oil:

Palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, myristic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, linolenic acid and behenic acid are the major chemical components of Pumpkin seed oil. It also contains carotenoids like β-carotene and lutein and tocopherols including ϒ- gamma, β- beta and delta tocopherols.

Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of zinc, proteins, magnesium, tryptopan (serotonin), thiamine and manganese.

The remedial values of Pumpkin seed oil are antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, alterative, antimicrobial, detoxifying, anti-hypertensive, emollient, nutritive, anti-inflammatory, sedative, moisturizing and tranquilizing.

Historical uses and importance of Pumpkin Seed and its oil:

Pumpkins are one among the most popular staple food and are said to have been originated in America. The term ‘Pumpkin’ is extracted from the Greek word Pepon and the meaning is ‘large melon’. Pumpkin seeds are also known as Pepitas and the Mexican Spanish term ‘pepita de calabaza’ simply stands for ‘little seed of squash’.

These petite but powerful seeds are said to have been discovered in the Mexican caves in 7,000 BC. The tribal populace of Native America, including the Aztec cultures (1300 to 1500 AD) has used Pumpkin and its seeds for food and medicinal purposes.

The greatest news is that Pumpkins have been planted in about 100,000 acres across U.S and Illinois is the leading producer of Pumpkins. China is the largest producer of Pumpkins in the world followed by U.S, India, Mexico, Ukraine and Russia.

The United States pharmacopoeia listed Pumpkin seeds as an effective medicine for treating parasites and these seeds have been used in the traditional and alternative medicinal practices for treating gastric disorders, urinary illnesses, prostate problems, tapeworms and intestinal parasites.

Pumpkin has been an excellent food for Pilgrims, especially for its high nutritious profile and its potent to stay fresh. This pilgrim verse written in circa 1633 utters all that is vital about Pumpkins.

“For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
 Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
 We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
 If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.”

Even today Pumpkins and its seeds are used as a wholesome food by the pilgrims and have been employed as an essential part of everyday cooking across the world, including the Asian, European and Mediterranean countries.

Pumpkin seeds are loved and recommended as a healthy snack across the globe for numerous reasons and you can bank upon them during your next munch.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Pumpkin Seed oil:

Pumpkin seed oil is said to have a positive effect on all the three doshas or the fundamental energies of life.

Botanically called as Cucurbita pepo, Pumpkin like all other members of the Cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae, it is trusted as an excellent detoxifying agent in Ayurvedic healing. Thus Pumpkin and its nutrient seeds and oil are prescribed for discarding ama or toxic deposits in the system.

Ayurvedic texts prescribe its use in cleansing the bladder and other adjoining organs of the body.

The most awe-inspiring fact is that Pumpkin seeds are extremely rich in an amino acid called as tryptopan that assists in eliminating the toxins in the mind, thus assisting the treatment of stress, anxiety, trauma, anger and is also proven to enhance your cognitive abilities and tranquilize the nervous system.

Ayurveda beckons Pumpkin and its seeds as livotonic, means a tonic for the liver that helps in strengthening the liver, regulates its normal functioning and support in the treatment of hepatitis, degeneration and inflamed liver conditions.

None of us can deny that every day is a new day and a new birth in your life and it’s appropriate to call it as a newer opportunity and a souvenir indeed.

The fruit of pessimism can suppress you while the seeds of optimism can impress your living. In a much similar way, disease is not a matter of agony and is instead a blessing to be happy about.

Ayurveda regards disease or sickness as an opportunity to discern the imbalance in your system. Treating the root cause of an illness can save your head now and prevent such conditions in the future as well.

Nature is the best medicine and everything present in nature is made up of five fundamental elements of Nature like earth (muscles and bone), fire (digestive fire and body temperature), water (blood and other vital fluids), air (all that we breathe) and space (spirit and soul).

Being a part of nature, any illness is an indication of being of out of balance with nature. Using natural medications can certainly assist in permanent remedy of a disease and support in leading a balanced and hearty living.

Ayurveda prescribes natural medications like herbal remedies, Ayurvedic essential oils (life force of plants), yoga (sister science of Ayurveda), meditation (tonic to the soul), Pranayama (conscious breathing technique), Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), Panchakarma (detoxification practices), Dinacharya (Ayurvedic routine) and more.

Here’s the heart of this article and you’re right. Pumpkin seed oil can assist in the treatment of the following health conditions:

Pumpkin-Seed-Oil1. Supports in the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and certain other prostate problems:

Pumpkin seeds are the most favorite snack of men in Bulgaria, Ukraine and Turkey. These seeds are loaded with high zinc content and are responsible for supporting prostate health and aids in decreasing the size of prostrate.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is a medical condition in men, which is characterized with enlarged or inflamed prostates. Even though it is non-cancerous in nature, BPH requires prompt medical attention. This in general enlarges in middle-aged and elderly men along with age.

Recent studies witness that the presence of cucurbitacins, a chemical component in Pumpkin seeds assist in thwarting testosterone (male hormone) into dihydrotestosterone (an associated element) that is said to encourage the production of prostrate cells.

The celebrated book ‘An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods’ by Elise Marie Collins describes that Pumpkin seed oil have been proved as an alternative remedy for treating benign prostate enlargement and its varied symptoms. Marie also suggests that the use of Pumpkin seed oil along with other natural medications like Saw Palmetto for effective treatment of prostate conditions.

What is all in Pumpkin seeds that can help in the treatment of BPH? The presence of zinc, lignans and phytosterols in these tiny little seeds has been effective in reducing the risk associated with BPH.

Various research analysis reports on the phytosterol components in Pumpkin seeds, including sitostanol, beta-sitosterol, avenasterol, campestanol, stigmasterol and campesterol are responsible for its efficacy in the diagnosis of BPH.

Ayurveda calls Pumpkin seed as Basti Shoda, which means a remedy for cleansing the bladder and the adjacent parts of the body.

Pumpkin seeds and its oil were also prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for increasing sperm count and for treating impotence and premature ejaculation, for which it is known as ‘Virya Vardhak’, which enhances intense power and vitality.

2. Combats against cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol levels:

Pumpkin seeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in preventing the growth and spread of cancerous cells and support the recovery of patients during their treatment tenure and healthy cardiovascular system.

The presence of phytosterol compounds in Pumpkin seeds has been associated with controlling the level of cholesterol in the system. Phytosterols work by restraining the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine and enhance the level of HDL cholesterol.

A 2011 study on ‘The effect of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L) seeds and L-arginine supplementation on serum lipid concentrations in atherogenic rats’ published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, states that about 37 days of regular supplementation of Pumpkin seeds on rats that are on atherogenic diet-induced atherosclerosis showed a 78 % fall in LDL (bad) cholesterol and 47% reduction in total levels of cholesterol and a promising increase in defensive HDL cholesterol (imperative for healthy heart functions).

A 2013 study on ‘Effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from pumpkin seeds on estradiol production and ER/PR expression in breast cancer and trophoblast tumor cells’ by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Rostock, Germany states “Phytoestrogens have a controversial effect on hormone-dependent tumors” and it concludes by reporting that the presence of lignans in Pumpkin seed are effective in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

Numerous researches suggest that the presence of omega-3 fatty acids like α-linolenic acid in Pumpkin seed oil might aid in reducing inflammation and the occurrences of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, cancer and heart diseases, quotes the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Pumpkin seeds are alkalizing in nature to the body’s natural pH levels, where most of the snack foods might cause acidity, pain and even cancer. Pumpkin seed oil is also effective in reducing the oxidative stress responsible for cancer, diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

A research study led by Tao Xia in the East China Normal University have concluded that certain compounds in Pumpkin extracts are known to encourage regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells, thus enhancing the levels of insulin in blood.

3. Assists in diagnosing osteoporosis, bone disorders and low immunity:

The most promising attribute that makes Pumpkin seed oil as an armament against osteoporosis is its high zinc, phosphorous and magnesium content, where insufficient consumption of zinc, magnesium and certain other minerals are often associated with weak bones and increased rate of osteoporosis.

Zinc plays a vital role in cellular growth, immune power, sensory functions and sleep patterns. Deficiency of zinc is characterized by acne, frequent cold and cough, depression, fatigue, poor cognitive abilities and more.

Low levels of blood of the trace mineral and osteoporosis diagnosed at the spinal and hip area were reported due to the deficient levels of zinc in the diet, states a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with 400 men in the sample group.

4. Alleviates stress, depression and sleeping difficulties:

Pumpkin seed oil contains numerous amino acids like tryptophan, which gets transformed to niacin and serotonin (neuro-transmitter in the brain for stirring your mood). These compounds have been proved universally for its ability to assuage stress levels, social anxiety turmoil, and depression along with fostering a tranquilizing sleep.

Sleep is nature’s medicine for repairing, healing and renovating the physical, emotional and spiritual throbbing and damages. Stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue often curtail natural sleep patterns that agonize your nights and ruin your days throughout.

By promoting a peaceful sleep at night, Pumpkin seed oil pacifies the mind, body and the soul. Stress, anxiety and depression are often the factors behind excessive loss of hair. With its potent to alleviate stress, depression and fatigue, Pumpkin seed oil can control stress related hair loss conditions like Alopecia Areata, Trichotillomania, and Telogen Effluvium.

Pumpkin seed oil promotes hair growth by augmenting the follicular strength, and natural sheen says Marnie Nussbaum, celebrated Cosmetic dermatologist. She also states that Pumpkin Seed oil curtails 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This enzyme has been proven to delay and impede the growth of hair.

Pumpkin seeds are packed with rich nutrients including vitamins A and B, zinc, protein, iron and omega-6 fatty acids that are extremely beneficial for the growth of healthy hair, nourishment of dry and scaly scalp conditions.

5. Helps mitigate kidney disorders and inflammatory conditions:

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are proved in treating inflammatory problems by reducing inflammation, particularly in joints without any negative effects (According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology Research). It is mainly for this reason; Pumpkin seed oil is recommended for treating arthritis.

Frequent urination and the excess pressure to urinate recurrently are among the few symptoms of an overactive bladder. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent remedy for supporting the overall health of the excretory system and treats overactive bladder and other urinary problems effectively (With reference to the Journal of Traditional and Complementary medicine – 2014 study).

BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia) might also pave way for stones or calculi in the bladder and frequent infections in the urinary tract.

The presence of B vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins in Pumpkin seeds are also proved to maintain regular functions of the kidneys, bladder and urinary tracts by restraining surplus levels of DHEA (dihydro epi-androstenedione).

Best ways to use Pumpkin Seed oil:

The best possible ways to use Pumpkin seed oil for enhancing your health condition is to use it in an enriching massage blend with your favorite essential oils like Peppermint oil, Mace oil, Lavender oil, Patchouli oil, Ashwagandha oil, Orange oil and more, as the great news is………….. Pumpkin seed oil blends well with all the oils.

Other health benefits:

Ayurveda suggests the use of Pumpkin seeds and its oil for balancing excess vata and pitta doshas, especially during the fall season and discarding toxic remains in the system. Pumpkin seeds in general are known to strengthen the functions of the lungs and intestines.

The potent to relieve excess sogginess in the body, makes Pumpkin seeds a friendly all time snack for supporting human health in general. It is also used in eliminating parasites and tapeworms.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the purpose of information and is not indented for the treatment of any health conditions or as a replacement for any prescribed medicines or the advice of a medical expert. We, at Essential Depot are not healthcare professionals and this information is shared only with the view of cascading the traditional wisdom of Ayurvedic healing.

Essential oils are prescribed only for topical use. This is due to the fact that 100 percent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions when used internally.

Always speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Extra care should be taken in using essential oils if it is for children, elderly populace, nursing and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.

– Taylor Swift

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dr. Katz’s Guide to Prostate Health: From Conventional to Holistic Therapies by Aaron E. Katz
  2. Pumpkin, a Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel
  3. Pumpkin Seed Flour and its Micro-nutrient levels: Production of Pumpkin Seed Flour and Evaluation of its Potential to Enhance Vitamin A and Iron Levels of Maize Flour by Twinamasiko Andrew
  4. How Does A Pumpkin Grow?: Discover the secrets about how pumpkins grow! Be inspired to plant a seed and watch the beauty unfold in your own backyard. (Country Garden Book 2) by Renae Smith
  5. Pumpkin Seeds :Healthy and Easy Homemade for Your Best Friend by Heviz’s

Reference Links:

  1. Pumpkin seed oil by Wikipedia
  2. What’s new and beneficial about Pumpkin seeds? by The World’s Healthiest Foods
  3. Effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from pumpkin seeds on estradiol production and ER/PR expression in breast cancer and trophoblast tumor cells’ by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Rostock, Germany, published in Nutrition and Cancer Journal and PubMed
  4. The True Potency of the Pumpkin Seed by Life Extension Magazine
  5. Amazing health benefits of Pumpkin Seeds by Dr. Mercola

Orange Bitter Essential Oil

Orange-bitter-bannerBitter’ has been the most neglected taste all around the world and the truth is that bitter things are often better for your fitness regime. On a deeper note, most of the medicines are bitter and they pave way for the sweet fruit of health and harmony.

Unlike the sweet oranges, bitter oranges are not much favored mainly for its tart, astringent and acidic taste. Since the ancient times, bitter oranges and the essential oil cold pressed from the rind of these fruits have carried away the world of medicine with its enormous medicinal values.

Known as Narange in Sanskrit, bitter orange is used in Ayurveda in the treatment of gout, gastrointestinal problems, lack of appetite, anxiety and digestive disorders.

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Scientifically known as Citrus aurantium, bitter orange is an evergreen tree indigenous to the tropical parts of Asia and Africa. Almost all the parts of this tree are used in extracting essential oils due its healing values.

Essential oil extracted from the leaves and twigs of this tree is known as Petitgrain oil, the oil distilled from the flowers of this tree is the celebrated Neroli oil and the oil extracted from the peel of the bitter orange fruit is called as Bitter orange essential oil.

Historical importance of Bitter Orange:

The Traditional Chinese Medicine used bitter oranges as a natural carminative and tonic for treating dyspepsia. They also used dried bitter oranges in the treatment of diarrhea, ptosis of the anus and uterus, blood in feces and abdominal distention.

The rind of bitter orange fruits were used in Homeopathy for relieving abdominal pain, headache, constipation, digestive disorders, weight loss and high blood pressure. Due to the presence of the active ingredient synephrine, bitter oranges are used in herbal medicinal system as an appetite suppressant and as a stimulant.

The Brazilian folklore medicine used bitter orange and its oil in treating insomnia and anxiety. The ancient Europeans used it as a prophylactic and as a sedative for curing nervous problems, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, sore throat and gout.

This medicinal herb has been in use in various cultures across the globe in the treatment of cancer, anaphylactic shock, cardiac exhaustion, heartburn, fungal infections and certain other heart problems.

The native Latin Americans used it in the preparation of a tonic for treating insomnia, lessening anxiety and also as a laxative. It is also used in the United States as an effective aid in preventing colon, breast and skin cancer.

In addition, bitter orange essential oil is used in flavoring baked goods, alcoholic beverages, gelatins, candies, puddings, meat products, frozen desserts and certain other condiments. It is also used as a marinade for meat in the Haitian, Cuban, Nicaraguan and Dominican cooking.

Therapeutic properties and constituents of Bitter orange essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are antiseptic, carminative, sedative, stomachic, digestive, antidepressant, anti-hyper cholesterolemic, tranquilizer, anti-inflammatory, choleretic, antifungal and antibacterial. Synephrine, tyramine metabolites N-methyltyramine, pinene, carotenoids, limonene, cymene, camphene, octopamine, ocimene and few other alkaloids are its major chemical constituents.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Bitter orange essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest of all the healing methodologies in the world and it still flourishes due to the simplicity it preaches and practices in its remedial rule. According to this ancient science, every individual is a part of nature and his/her poor health and good health depends upon their harmony with nature.

Sickness in Ayurveda is a strong symbol that the individual’s system is out of balance with nature and needs immediate assistance with natural remedies like essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, healthy lifestyle and meditation.

Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the actual root cause of an illness instead of treating the illness alone and suggests an Ayurvedic routine for preventing such illnesses in the future as well.

Every human being according to Ayurvedic principle is unique with an individual constitution that comprises of three energy elements known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. The predominance of any one of these doshas determines the personality and characteristics of an individual and imbalance of any of these doshas leads to diseases.

Ayurvedic treatments vary from individual to individual based upon their dosha predominance and unique constitution. Bitter orange essential oil is said to increase vata and pitta doshas and pacify kapha dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Bitter orange oil are:

1. Treats skin problems:

Bitter orange essential oil has been proved effective in treating numerous skin problems with its antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. The rind of this fruit from which its essential oil is extracted contains non-bitter flavonoids, which is known to have considerable venotonic properties.

It is for this reason; bitter orange essential oil is used in cosmetics for preventing capillary fragility. Bitter orange extracts are also used in the treatment of cellulite as it has the potent to normalize the affected parts and stimulate the cutaneous tone of the skin.

The effects and unique properties of bitter orange essential oil in the Aromatherapy Workbook by Shirley Price states bitter orange essential oil “help restore an acne skin to normal and is prophylactic against the signs of ageing”. When applied to the affected area after blending 2 drops of bitter orange oil with coconut oil, the antifungal properties of this oil help in treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Bitter orange oil also acts as a natural antiseptic and aids in clearing acne, cold sores, wounds, psoriasis, eczema and certain other skin problems due to excessive stagnation of oil. You can add 2 drops of bitter orange oil with refreshing carrier oil like jojoba oil or to your skin care creams and lotions and gently massage onto the affected parts for quicker effects.

2. Enhances the digestive mechanism:

For more than thousands of years, bitter orange has been used in the world of Complementary medicine for treating digestive problems like flatulence, dyspepsia, constipation, sluggish digestion, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, nausea and indigestion.

Gently massaging your stomach with 2 drops of bitter orange oil blended with sesame oil can help you enhance the entire process of digestion. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to your bath tub to help with digestive disorders.

3. Assists in weight-loss:

Weight loss supplements with bitter orange formula are the most popular and the recent use of bitter oranges in the therapeutic world. Numerous researches have proved the effectiveness of bitter orange supplements in treating obesity.

“At present, Citrus aurantium may be the best thermogenic substitute for Ephedra” reveals the Georgetown University Medical Center study on ‘Citrus aurantium as a thermogenic, weight-reduction replacement for Ephedra’.

A recent research on ‘The safety of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine’ states “The data indicate that based on current knowledge, the use of bitter orange extract and p-synephrine appears to be exceedingly safe with no serious adverse effects being directly attributable to these ingredients”.

It also notes that bitter orange extract and its principal protoalkaloidal constituent p-synephrine are extensively used in weight management, weight loss and products promoting sports performance.

A 2006 study on ‘Citrus aurantium and synephrine alkaloids in the treatment of overweight and obesity’ by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MD, USA states that there are certain promising evidences that Citrus aurantium containing several compounds including synephrine alkaloids is a safe alternative to Ephedra, which is a weight-loss supplement banned in US for its adverse health effects.

To boost your metabolism and lessen energy absorption, you can massage your body with 2 to 3 drops of bitter orange oil blended with coconut oil or add 3 drops of this oil to your bath tub.

4. Alleviates stress and reduces anxiety:

Bitter orange oil has a much similar aroma to that of fresh tangy oranges. Inhaling the energizing and enlivening fragrance of this oil especially during the early hours of the day promises a serene atmosphere and instills complete calmness in your mind.

This is why Ayurvedic healing suggests the use of bitter orange oil during your meditation practice. Add 1 drop of bitter orange oil to your diffuser or air freshener and start your deep meditation after which you will feel a never before freshness and increase in your confidence level.

The Aromatherapy expert, Dr. Vivian Lunny recommends an invigorating bath blend with 2 drops of bitter orange oil, 1 drop of neroli oil and 2 drops of petitgrain oil for reducing anxiety, lethargy and tiredness.

When added to your warm bathing water especially after a tiring and stressful day, this blend is said to give a new lease of life, augment stress relief, promote relaxation and stimulate positive feelings. You can also add 1 drop of bitter orange oil to your handkerchief or to your pulse points to renew yourself throughout the day.

Other benefits:

Bitter orange essential oil is also used in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, intestinal ulcers, lowering blood sugar level in diabetic patients, sleep disorders, joint pain, muscular aches, bruises, cold and certain other liver and gall bladder problems.

It is also used in making soaps, cleaning products, disinfectants, cosmetics, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, eau de colognes and certain other household cleaners. Bitter orange oil is also used as a commercial flavoring agent in foods and beverages in many countries.

Disclaimer:

Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so always use it after diluting in suitable carrier oils. Never use essential oils internally. Citrus oils in general have a photo-toxic effect so avoid going out in the sun immediately after using it on your skin.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and people suffering from hypertension and glaucoma should avoid using bitter orange oil. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution.

Bitter Orange Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

bitter-orange-new

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

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

Bitter orange oil exhibits mild photosensitivity effects if the oil is oxidized, which might cause irritation and hyper-pigmentation of the skin and this happens when visible sunlight gets in touch with the skin for up to 12 hours of usage. The major cause being the response of the chemical components that are photoactive in nature attracts light and ends up in toxicity via molecular alterations.

The safe dermal use level of Bitter orange oil by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 1.25%, specifically to thwart phototoxicity in the products used for topical application and not for soaps, shampoos and other bath preparations. This No-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) is based on various studies with Bitter orange oil on mice and swine, where the No-observed-effects-level (NOEL) was proved as 6.25%.

Besides, Bitter orange oil is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). “There are no contraindications but that photosensitization may occur in fair-skinned individuals”, quotes The German Commission E monograph for Bitter orange peel.

The major chemical constituent responsible for the skin sensitization and mild irritation of Bitter orange oil is Limonene, which accounts to about 90% of this oil and certain other furanocoumarins.

According to European regulations, essential oils with furanocoumarins should be used in such a way that the overall level of bergapten does not surpass 15 ppm (parts per million) in ready-to-use cosmetic products meant for use on the skin surface that are exposed to sunlight (other than wash-away products) and 1 ppm in sunscreen and bronzing items.

Use Bitter orange oil only for external use and ingestion of this oil should be avoided strictly, as internal use of this oil has adverse effects according to various reports. Medical research studies state that the presence of stimulants like octopamine, amines synephrine (an alkaloid with almost the related chemical structure to ephedrine in Ephedra – Ma-Huang) and N-methyltyramine are responsible for the cardiovascular toxicity of Bitter orange and this is also reported to cause increase in blood pressure and vasoconstriction.

It is recommended to avoid the use of Bitter orange in patients with tachyarrhythmia, hypertension and narrow-angle glaucoma, mainly due its potent to cause additive effects. Overdose of synephrine in children overdose ended up in tachycardia, nausea, quick increase in blood pressure and irritation. Certain researches witness the effect of Bitter orange in restraining human cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) in the test tube studies.

Just like Grapefruit, Bitter orange is said to hold back a vital enzyme in the small intestine, and this may possibly have an effect on the levels of blood, when taking certain medications like antiviral, anti-anxiety, antidepressant drugs, statins and calcium channel blockers and along with the intake of caffeine.

Care should be taken if Bitter orange oil is used in massage in the abdominal area, as essential oils penetrate quickly through the skin, reach the bloodstream and may cause adverse effects. It is not recommended to take Bitter orange products when using other prescribed medications, except under strict medical supervision.

Furocoumarins are also used in various remedies on par with the long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for the healing of mycosis fungoides, vitiligo and psoriasis.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Bitter Orange Oil:

  1. Bitter Orange by University of Michigan Health System
  2. Bitter Orange, Sour News by University of California, Berkeley Wellness
  3. Bitter Orange Peel and Synephrine by American Botanical Council
  4. Bitter Orange, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  5. Bitter Orange by Drugs.com
  6. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

Thought for the day:

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. -Moliere

Suggested Reading:

  1. Citrus Essential Oils: Flavor and Fragrance from Wiley
  2. Citrus Oils: Composition, Advanced Analytical Techniques, Contaminants, and Biological Activity (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  3. Aromatherapy Workbook: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Essential Oils by Shirley Price
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Link:

  1. Bitter orange by Wikipedia
  2. Citrus aurantium and synephrine alkaloids in the treatment of overweight and obesity by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MD, USA published in PubMed
  3. Bitter Orange by Drugs.com
  4. The safety of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine by Creighton University Medical Center, NE, USA published in PubMed


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Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli-bannerPatchouli essential oil, the phenomenal oil with extraordinary health benefits is often neglected and fails to attract the aroma lovers unlike Lavender and Rose oils, as many believe that it has a strong misty fragrance.

If you ask me the best thing about Patchouli oil, I would rather say that it is an instant remedy for fighting and fixing anxiety and help you stay relaxed all day long when rubbed on your wrist as a stimulating perfume.

Mesmerized with its enlivening fragrance, I would ask you to wear the aroma of Patchouli essential oil on your wrists as it will help you better to fight the challenges of your busy day better than your wrist watch could do.

Patchouli is an Indian name, meaning ‘Green leaf’ (Patch-green and ilai-leaf). Many of us still remember Patchouli as the significant incense of the 60s and 70s but the truth is that Patchouli oil has its roots vested deeply in the field of Ayurveda for more than 5000 years for treating innumerable health conditions since the primordial times.

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Immemorial history of Patchouli Essential oil:

Scientifically known as Pogostemon cablin, this herb is a member of the mint family, Labiatae and is native to India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The essential oil is steam distilled from the young leaves of this plant. Patchouli and its oil are often associated to the sixties where it was used by people to cover up the smell of their smoking. It was traditionally used as an effectual aphrodisiac in perfumes and as a powerful moth repellant.

The ancient Indians used Patchouli in shawls and linens traded to Britain in 1800s to generate a unique aroma and for its germ-killing effects. It was also used as an important constituent for scenting Indian inks. This herb and its essential oil are of high religious importance as it is still trusted to keep away pessimism, negative feelings and evil powers.

Patchouli essential oil is the major ingredient of the tribal prescriptions for treating poisonous snake bites, bites and stings of various insects including mosquitoes and other animals. For mosquito bites and stings of other insects, mix 2 drops of Patchouli oil with 6 drops of carrier oil like coconut oil and apply on the affected part for complete healing.

For venomous snake bites like King Cobra’s bite, few drops of pure Patchouli oil is taken on a cloth or cotton and put on the bitten part instantaneously as first aid before the patient is taken to the doctor for intense treatment. After which 2 drops of Patchouli oil is mixed with 4 drops of carrier oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, wheat germ oil or grape seed oil and applied on the bitten surface twice daily to promote quicker healing of the wound.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report of Patchouli oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Patchouli oil constitutes of 8 chemical components that contribute to its magnificent aroma, remedial properties, consistency and quality.

Just click on:

For knowing more about the detailed information of these key constituents of Patchouli essential oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the chief chemical components and its role in granting the therapeutic and other attributes to Patchouli oil.

Patchouli-OilThe chemical constituents responsible for the healing values of this oil are a-patchoulene, b-patchoulene, a-bulnesene, a-guaiene, norpatchoulenol, pogostol, caryophyllene, seychellene and patchouli alcohol (comprises of cadinene, luglviol, patchoulol, aldehydes, cinnamic, benzoic, evenol and phenol).

Therapeutic properties and growing importance of Patchouli oil:

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India stated about the importance of Patchouli and its essential oil in its report submitted on Medicinal and Aromatic plants. According to this report Patchouli has developed extensively as a prominent aromatic plant and every year, the world consumes about 1000 Metric Ton of Patchouli essential oil.

The predominant therapeutic properties of Patchouli essential oil are aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, cytophylactic, astringent, diuretic, deodorant, antiseptic, decongestant, anti-inflammatory, fungicide, cicatrisant, relaxant, febrifuge, sedative, insecticide and tonic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Patchouli essential oil:

Ayurveda, the ancient medicinal system with its origin in India has the longest history in the field of medicine for more than 5000 years.

Ayurvedic texts define health as a perfect harmony between the emotional, physical and spiritual wellness of an individual to which his diet, lifestyle and other innumerable factors contribute to. This noble science aims at disease prevention rather than treating the disease at the disrupting stage.

Ayurveda trusts that every individual is made up of three energy elements known as doshas. The book’ Absolute Beauty’ by Pratima Raichur defines dosha as “metabolic principles governing mind and body; the intelligence of the body- mind”. These doshas are a combination of the five elements namely air, water, ether, earth and fire. Imbalance of any of these doshas ends up in illness or lack of health.

Patchouli essential oil is said to treat kapha deficit and aggravation of vata and pitta. This helps in treating emotional imbalances like depression, stress and anxiety along with numerous skin problems.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Patchouli essential oil are:1. Amazing natural oil for skin care:pATCHOULI-BROUCHERPatchouli is one among those best essential oils for skin care. The cicatrisant property of this oil makes it a perfect companion in quicker healing of cuts and wounds while helping in fading away the marks and scars left by injuries, acne, burns, chicken pox, measles, stretch marks etc.

Patchouli essential oil is also a good tissue re-generator that promotes the growth of new skin cells. The antiseptic and antifungal properties of this oil helps in healing wounds, burns, boils, sores, eczema, dry skin, rough skin, cracks, excessively dehydrated skin and fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

The astringent effects in Patchouli oil helps in tightening loose skin and muscles especially after weight loss and post-delivery. It stops the sagging of skin effectively and treats contractions of nerves, skin and muscles.

All you need to do to work out these wonders is to add 2 to 3 drops of Patchouli essential oil to gentle carrier oils like jojoba oil or sweet almond oil or to your mild skin creams or lotions and gently massage on the affected area.

2. Patchouli oil for Spiritual Influence:

The rich and energizing aroma of Patchouli essential oil grants mental clarity for many years. Among the seven chakras of the human body, Patchouli essential oil is used for connecting the heart chakra with the sacral and root chakras, where chakra is defined asThe centers of psychic energy located at points along the spinal cord. They are associated with the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Each chakra corresponds to a specific mantra (sound) and geometric pattern (yantra). Through meditation on these chakras we can gain mastery over our body and each corresponding element.

Inhaling the aroma of this oil through a diffuser, vaporizer or applying it on the chakra or vital flex points, will aid in discharging jealousy, feelings of insecurity, obsessions and enhance the quality of one’s life to a greater level.

2 drops of Patchouli oil added to potpourri, vaporizer, diffuser or burner during an intense meditation will kindle your confidence, creativity, endurance, will power, self-confidence, self-esteem, positive feelings and the fortitude to live in the present moment.

3. Exceptional essential oil for intimacy:

Ayurveda considers sex as a positive force that helps restore the vital energy of life and is misused; it can be the strongest binding attachment stopping one from attaining higher spiritual reality. Ayurvedic texts does not encourage loveless sex as it considers that sex can be complete and beautiful only when there is intimacy and absolute love between the two partners involved in it.

Robert Svoboda’s translation quotes that “For the perfect love tryst Ayurvedic  Scholar Sushruta recommends a full moon night in a bower of flowers, soft silk garments, sweet and intoxicating perfumes, light and nourishing food and sweet music.”

It also talks about the use of sweet perfumes, where the partners are said to bathe in or anoint their body in sensual essential oils like Patchouli essential oil before sex.  Adding few drops of this essential oil with natural aphrodisiac properties in your burner or vaporizer is also said to add to the erotic mood and deeper intimacy.

4. Alleviates stress and deprives depression:

Patchouli essential oil is grounding and calming to the mind and body. This extremely versatile oil uplifts the mind, helps overcome depressive feelings, tranquilize the mind and paves way for new hopes ahead. The sweet herbaceous and ethereal floral charm brings peace and harmony for the ruined mind.

Fear, fatigue, anxiety, nervous tension, work pressure and prolonged stress can be cleared by enchanting your limbic system with the classic aroma of Patchouli essential oil. 2 to 3 drops of Patchouli oil added to your diffuser, vaporizer, burner, wrist, pillow or to a tissue assists in strengthening your mental power and wash away depressive thoughts that drain you.

Adding 5 to 6 drops of Patchouli in warm bath before going to bed will invigorate your senses, refreshes your mind and strengthens your immune system. You can also choose to enjoy the benefits of a reviving Ayurvedic massage by blending 4 drops of Patchouli oil in cold pressed Sesame oil followed by a warm bath for lessening stress, depression and other related health conditions.

Other health benefits:

1 drop of Patchouli oil added to a cup of warm water for gargle can assist in treating halitosis or bad breath, strengthening the gums and refreshing your breath all through the day. Adding 3 drops of this oil in calming coconut oil for massage or in bath aids in treating fever, pain, inflammation and tones the entire system by stimulating the metabolic functions and boosts the immune power.

The febrifuge and antiphlogistic properties of this oil aids in reducing inflammation, fever and body pain associated with it. Adding few drops of Patchouli essential oil in your air freshener, burner or vaporizer can keep away from insects like bed bugs, mosquitoes, ants, moths and flies.

Disclaimer:

Pure essential oils are highly concentrated in nature and always use them externally after diluting in appropriate carrier oils. Avoid taking essential oils internally. Seek the advice of your Ayurvedic professional regarding the usage of specific essential oils for your unique constitution and state of health.

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

Gas Chromatography Report of Patchouli essential oil.

Thought for the day:

Patchouli has always been a part of my fragrance, like a line through my life.                                                                                           -Julia Roberts

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood
  2. Jeanne Rose: Herbal Body Book: The Herbal Way to Natural Beauty & Health for Men & Women by Jeanne Rose
  3. The Essentials of Aromatherapy Essential Oils by Dr Miriam Kinai
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Medicinal & Aromatic Plants – Patchouli by National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development
  2. Patchouli by Kamlesh Ayurveda
  3. Sex, Spirituality and Ayurveda by Caroline Robertson, Ayurveda Elements
  4. 10 Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil by Become A Healthier You