Oregano Essential Oil

oregano-bannerAcclaimed as ‘The Mediterranean Miracle’, ‘Mountain Joy’ and as the ‘Wonder Herb in Ayurveda’, Oregano has been aiding people all over the world and especially in the Mediterranean regions to maintain healthy living for numerous centuries.

The most popular Ayurvedic book, ‘Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine’ by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad says “Oil of Oregano is one of the most potent antiseptics known to man.

Botanically known as Origanum Vulgare, Oregano is yet another prestigious limb of the mint family, Lamiaceae and has its origin in the Mediterranean region and southwestern Eurasia. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences used Oregano (known as Sathra) and its essential oil as a heating carminative to treat digestive disorders and was also used for treating toothache, skin problems, pain and inflammation.

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Historical uses of Oregano essential oil and the herb:

Known as the staple herb of the Italian-American cuisine, Oregano is one among the best culinary herbs in the world used in a variety of Mediterranean cuisines, Mexican food, Italian dishes and is also used in making fried, roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, fish and much more food varieties. It is also a part of many Lebanese, Turkish, Palestinian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Syrian, Latin American and Egyptian cuisines.

Oregano essential oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant. This oil has been in use since the primordial times in various medicinal practices. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used Oregano for treating vomiting, fever and diarrhea. The fresh leaves were used in tea for strengthening the immune system and for dealing with infections.

Biblical texts denote Oregano as a cleansing tonic. The ancient Arabic medicine used this herb for food preservation and for treating gastrointestinal disorders. The natural medicinal system of Philippines used Oregano and its essential oil for treating cough and ear aches in children. It was also used in curing pain and given for women after childbirth for its emmenagogue properties.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and the father of western medicine used Oregano as an effective antiseptic and for treating respiratory and digestive ailments. History denotes that it was the Greeks who discovered the disinfectant and antimicrobial properties of this oil and they used it for treating skin infections, sore throat, wounds, viral infections and for protecting the body from the effect of harmful organisms.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Oregano oil:

Oregano essential oil is enriched with chemical constituents like carvacrol, cymene, thymol, borneol, terpinene, pinene, linalyl acetate, bisabolene, linalool, caryophyllene and geranyl acetate. The remedial properties of this oil are antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, antioxidant, emmenagogue, anti-allergenic, digestive, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil:

Ayurveda means ‘science of life’, the science that preaches the simple methodologies to prevent illness, stay healthy and for healthy aging that makes you independent in your 60s or 70s without relying upon anyone to assist your health conditions.

The philosophy of Ayurveda relates the life of an individual with the life of the Universe. Based upon this innate wisdom, Ayurveda further explains that the Universe is made up of five elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether and it also states that an individual is also made up of the five elements of nature, which is also known as the building blocks of life.

Among these five elements water governs the movement of fluids in the body like blood, saliva, mucus and plasma. Fire determines the digestive power, intellectual skills and body temperature. Air controls the functioning of the heart, stomach, lungs, joints and intestines.

Ether is present in all parts of the human body where the presence of cavity and emptiness are witnessed like heart, nostrils, blood vessels, bladder etc. Earth represents vigor, braveness, constancy and steadiness.

The individual constitution comprises of three energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Vata represents air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha stands for water and earth. Imbalance of doshas leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends the use of herbs, essential oils, healthy lifestyle, meditation and yoga to bring the body and mind back to balance. Oregano oil is known to enhance pitta deficiency and reduce kapha and vata excess.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil are:

Oregano-broucher1. Protects the body from infections and allergies:

Oregano oil has been proved effective for treating numerous infections and allergic conditions with its antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.

The Georgetown University research on Oregano oil’s effectiveness against drug-resistant bacteria, proves that the presence of carvacrol component in Oregano oil lessen the infections as effectively as the traditional antibiotics.

A study conducted by the Mexican researchers on the effectiveness of Oregano to treat giardia, which is a water-borne bacterium that lives inside the intestines. Another study proves that Oregano oil is effective in killing giardia bacterium than the generally prescribed drug tinidazol. Oregano is a powerful anti-bacterial oil that wards off numerous pathogenic bacteria like E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Strep and protects one from typhoid, sores, cholera, infections in the colon, urinary tract and certain other skin infections.

Parasites like tape worms, round worms, mosquitoes, fleas, lice and bed bugs cause innumerable communicable diseases that affect the human body severely. Oregano essential oil has anti-parasitic properties that aids in killing parasites.

Viral infections like cold, pox, mumps and measles weaken your immune power and paves way for other harmful organisms to affect your health. Oregano essential oil is a powerful immune stimulant that strengthens your immune system, fight against viruses and makes your system resistant to other foreign bodies.

Fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm can be treated aromatically with the antifungal properties of this oil. Being an anti-allergenic oil, Oregano acts as a sedative and pacifies the hyper-sensitive reaction responsible for allergies.

A 2001 research on ‘Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms’ proved that among the 11 essential oils tested for effectiveness against microbes, Oregano essential oil showed the highest inhibitory rate against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. The carvacrol and thymol compounds in this oil are very effective in killing a microbe known as Candida, which is the reason behind eczema and psoriasis.

To guard yourself against such infections and allergies, you can either topically apply 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with olive oil on the affected area or add 2 drops of oil in your bath or skin care cream or lotions.

2. Promotes digestive health:

Oregano essential oil is a heating carminative oil that aids in increasing the pitta flow and promotes quicker digestion. Massaging your tummy with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with sesame oil can assist in treating slow digestion due to excess of mucous deposits in the stomach or fullness.

You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Oregano oil in warm compresses to help with stomach upsets, relieving gas, enabling the movement of food and for regularizing the entire process of digestion.

3. Assists respiratory problems:

As Oregano essential oil has warming effect, it can assist the body when it is cold and treat problems like cold, sinusitis, headache, mucous congestion, whooping cough, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Oregano essential oil is said to be one of the best essential oils for opening blocked sinus passages and treat congestion as a natural decongestant.

Light Miller in her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ says that Oregano essential oil is a warming diaphoretic oil that eliminates surface toxins, provoke perspiration, improve blood circulation and relieve headaches due to congestion or cold.

Add 2 drops of Oregano oil to steaming water and inhaling this medicated steam will aid in alleviating congestion, open blocked nasal passages and relieve pain due to cold and infection. You can also blend 2 drops of Oregano oil with coconut oil and gently massage the soles of your feet or apply on your chest and back or add it to warm bathing water for immediate relief from cold, sore throat and sinus problems.

4. Helps relieve pain and inflammation:

The anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant and warming diaphoretic properties of Oregano oil assist in eliminating toxins from the body, reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation and lessen pain and inflammation in rheumatic and arthritic patients.

Gently massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with coconut oil or adding it to your bath helps in reducing pain and inflammation in arthritis. Oregano essential oil has been proved by the Physiotherapy research to contain morphine-like properties that act as a perfect pain relief aid.

5. Fights against prostate cancer:

The University of Arizona research and the study by the Long Island University have proved that Oregano essential oil has antioxidant and anti-cancerous properties that fights against many types of human cancers.

Prostate cancer has been listed as the second important cause of cancerous death in American men. This study found that the presence of the active constituent, carvacrol in Oregano oil helps in the treatment of prostate cancer by stimulating apoptosis (programmed death of cells) in prostate cancer cells.

Other health benefits:

Oregano essential oil also helps in alleviating dysmennorhea, normalizing blocked menstruation and treating menopausal symptoms. This oil is also used for treating intestinal parasites, muscular pain, warts, vaginal candida and asthma.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils directly on the skin and always dilute it in suitable carrier oils as essential oils are highly concentrated solutions. Avoid using essential oils internally. Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Avoid using essential oils if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

Thought for the day:

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.    -Aristotle

Suggested Reading:

  1. Oregano – The Herb that Saved…My Life by Thomas Mayhew
  2. The Cure Is in the Cupboard: How to Use Wild Oregano for Better Health by Cass Ingram
  3. The Oregano Oil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  4. Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Reference Links:

  1. Oregano Oil May Protect Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria by the Georgetown University Researcher published in Science Daily
  2. Oregano by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms published in PubMed
  4. Oregano Active Constituent Kills Prostate Cancer Cells by Herbcyclopedia

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa--bannerPalmarosa oil is an absolute skin supporter for its immense medicinal benefits to the skin. With a much similar aroma like rose, this oil is used for moisturizing the skin and pacifying the mind. Scientifically known as Cymbopogon martini, Palmarosa is indigenous to the Indian sub-tropical regions and is a member of the grass family Graminaceae.

The essential oil of Palmarosa is extracted by steam distillation method from the dried grassy leaves that are harvested before flowering. In her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’, Light Miller says “Palmarosa is widely used in Ayurvedic skin care. It is good for all skin types because it is a cellular stimulator and supports all cell regulation. It’s highly antiseptic, calming, uplifting and anti-depressive.”

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Historical uses of Palmarosa oil:

The most popular historical use of Palmarosa oil is that it has been used as a substitute as well as to adulterate rose oil with its rosy aroma. This oil was also used in making incense blends in India and was traded from India to Persia after which the western use of this oil began slowly.

It was also prescribed by the Indian doctors to lower fever and fight against infections. The ancient Indians also used Palmarosa oil for treating nerve pain, fever, rheumatism and certain other infectious diseases.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Palmarosa oil constitutes of 14 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality. Of which, Geraniol contributes to the highest proportion of Palmarosa oil constituents with about 79.4% of its total composition.

Just click on:

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

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these biochemical constituents to the healing magnificence of Palmarosa essential oil.

palmarosa-oil

Therapeutic properties of Palmarosa essential oil:

Palmarosa essential oil has regenerative, antiseptic, antibacterial, cytophylactic, febrifuge, aphrodisiac, stimulant, moisturizing, antiviral, hydrating and digestive properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Palmarosa essential oil:

The richness of Ayurveda lies in its holistic approach towards health and harmony. Ayurvedic texts state that illness is just an indication symbolizing that there is imbalance between the mind, body and spirit with nature. It illustrates that human body is made up of three energy components namely vata, pitta and kapha together known as doshas in Ayurveda.

Vata is a combination of air and space and promotes biological functions responsible for external and internal movements of the body. Pitta represents fire and water and is responsible for metabolic functions and certain psychological attributes.

Kapha is a blend of water and earth and governs the functions of tissues, retains the balance of water, fat and other fluids in the body. Imbalance of any one of these doshas or all the three doshas results in illness. Palmarosa essential oil is known to reduce the excess of vata, pitta and kapha flow.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Palmarosa oil are:

Palmarosa-Oil1. Fights against harmful organisms:

As an effective bactericide and antiviral oil, Palmarosa essential oil helps in killing harmful bacteria, viruses and other microbes. When applied topically after adding few drops of Palmarosa oil to ointments, skin care creams or lotions, this oil inhibits the growth of dangerous viruses that protect themselves by developing a hard cyst around them. Viral infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and prolonged itching can be treated effectively by applying this blend externally.

A 2009 study on ‘Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Palmarosa, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Tuberose’, proved that among these four tested essential oils, the essential oil extracted from Palmarosa reflected the highest activity against both gram negative bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and gram positive bacteria like Escherichia coli.

Staphylococcus aureus causes numerous infections like urinary tract infections, skin lesions, pneumonia and meningitis. Escherichia coli are generally present in human intestines and cause food poisoning. You can add 2 drops of Palmarosa oil in warm bathing water or blend it with jojoba oil and use it as a massage oil for inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

2. Heals wounds and skin rashes:

The antiseptic properties of Palmarosa oil makes it an aromatic remedy for healing your wounds, cuts, burns, rashes and other skin infections. Using it as an liniment after adding 2 to 3 drops of Palmarosa oil to your skin care cream or lotion, aids in mending your wounds as well as protect them from being septic.

This is mainly because Palmarosa oil has antibacterial properties that ward off gram negative bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that is wholly responsible for a wound to become septic. You can also use 2 to 3 drops of this oil in your bath for alleviating pain, spasms, convulsions and other skin infections.

3. Moisturizes and regenerates the skin:

Palmarosa oil is known as one of the best oils for treating problems with dry, dull and oily skin. It acts as a natural tonic to your skin and helps retain its moisture without allowing it to dry and turn lifeless.

Gently massaging your skin with 2 drops of Palmarosa oil and coconut oil will help in regulating the secretion of sebum, hydrating the skin, keeping it soft and supple and fighting against wrinkles and other symptoms of aging.

With its cytophylactic properties, Palmarosa essential oil assists in generating the growth of new skin cells and restores skin health by repairing the damaged skin cells due to environmental conditions, ageing and lack of moisture.

It enhances the defensive mechanism of the cells in the body and strengthens the immune system. The anti-inflammatory and cooling mechanism of this oil aids in treating eczema, psoriasis, boils, dermatitis, inflamed skin and wrinkles.

2 drops of Palmarosa essential oil can drive in the magical remedy for your skin. You can use it as a massage oil by blending it with jojoba oil or add it to your bath tub or to your skin care cream and lotions for visible results.

Palmarosa oil is also said to cure candida, shingles, rashes, acne and blemishes. It is also known for treating acne scars and for reducing the appearance of broken capillaries.

4. Calms the mind:

Palmarosa essential oil has a gentle, misty and lemony-rose fragrance that is comforting and calming to the mind and body. Adding 2 to 3 drops to your diffuser, air freshener, burner, vaporizer, linen or to your pillows grant a feeling of contentment, sense of security, adaptability to the existing situation, rekindles the aura, clarifies thoughts and augments the trust in the sacred stream of life.

Palmarosa oil also aids in treating nervousness, anger, anxiety, fear, possessiveness, jealousy, insomnia and resentment.

Other health benefits:

Palmarosa essential oil has been in use since the primordial times for cooling down fever with its triple healing power of being an antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic oil.  It is also effective in treating digestive disorders, intestinal problems, stiff and sore muscles, bruising, heart palpitations and for strengthening the heart yin.

Disclaimer:

Always use essential oils for topical application and for aromatherapy uses only. Never ingest essential oils without the proper guidance of your healthcare provider. Keep away from children and do not use essential oils if you are pregnant. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using specific essential oils for your unique health condition.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Palmarosa oil.

Thought for the day:

Beauty is only skin deep. I think what’s really important is finding a balance of mind, body and spirit.    Jennifer Lopez

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care: Choosing Botanicals, Oils & Extracts for Simple & Healthy Beauty by Hélène Berton
  2. The Book of Beauty: Making Natural Skin Care Products with Aromatherapy and Ayurveda by Samyukta Blanchet
  3. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann Worwood

Reference Links:

  1. Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Palmarosa, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Tuberose published in PubMed
  2. Palmarosa Oil by The Ananda Apothecary
  3. Health Benefits of Palmarosa Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. Palmarosa Essential Oil by Tracesetc.com

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