Birch Oil

Well identified as the ‘Shining Tree’, Birch tree sets a remarkable note in the field of ancient and modern medicine for its preventive and defensive actions against rheumatism, skin disorders, circulatory problems and dental mayhems.

Birch-new-2

Scientifically called as Betula Alba, Birch tree bears its origin to the Indian subcontinent, especially in the cold and temperate climates, in particular the northern part of India, which has been the safe haven for numerous saints, sages and Rishis since the pre-historic period for attaining divinity through meditation.

Birch tree is well known for its silvery white bark, from which the Birch essential oil is extracted by dry distillation method. It is called as ‘bhurja’ in Sanskrit, which means ‘a tree whose bark is used for writing upon’, and few sources also state that this name is extracted from the Sanskrit word ‘bhura’, which means ‘shining tree’.

Birch tree is highly rich in flavonoids and saponins. For its enormous medicinal and curative attributes, this tree and its essential oil are being used in Ayurveda for treating obesity, fluid retention, kidney stones, arthritis, colitis, indigestion, cholesterol and respiratory disorders.

Historical uses and importance of Birch and its essential oil:

Being a priceless tree of the ancestral origin, Birch and its essential oil were widely utilized since the primitive times, dating back to the Paleolithic and the Mesolithic era as an adhesive and for various other uses. Adhering to the meaning of its name (tree which is used for writing purposes), Birch has been extensively used for preparing manifold documents in olden days, which are now termed as Birch Bark Manuscripts.

Fulsome with spiritual and cultural importance, Birch tree is crowned as the National tree of Russia and Finland. The most special fact about Birch tree is that it resists all kinds of adverse soil and climatic conditions. The bark of this tree has been used for numerous purposes such as construction, writing and medicinal applications. This tree was also called as ‘Lady of the Woods’, for its elegance, charm, lightness and the mesmerizing aroma after rain.

The Native Americans used Birch in their folklore remedies, where it was taken along with beverages to deal with various health conditions associated with the stomach including dysentery, diarrhea and indigestion.

The essential oil obtained from the bark of this tree has been used in hair care and skin care products to drive away dandruff, hair fall, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. The sap of the inner bark is a rich source of nutrients and was used in making cakes and is predominantly known to the world as a famine food for its ability to satiate hunger as a last choice if not anything is accessible.

Birch essential oil has been used as a disinfectant, powerful insect repellent, and also in the treatment of skin infections, fever, kidney stones, eczema and rheumatism. It is also a key ingredient in various perfumes including the most popular Russian Leather fragrance and Iceland Wintergreen.

In various folk medicines, Birch was used in transfer magic remedies for alleviating rheumatic pain and other associated symptoms. The aromatic leaves of this tree were also used in making Birch tea, which was used as an effective remedy for dissolving kidney stones, alleviating pain, gout, dropsy and rheumatism.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Birch Oil:

The remedial properties of Birch essential oil are anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, febrifuge, diuretic, astringent, detoxifying, analgesic, depurative, antiseptic, stimulant, germicide, tonic, insecticide, and anti-depressant. The major chemical constituents contributing to its therapeutic properties are betulene, methyl salicylate, betulenol, creosol, salicylic acid, and guaiacol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Birch essential oil:

The word ‘Ayurveda’ has become the most common terminology in this contemporary living as many are becoming conscious about their health. When absolute health is the need of the hour, then natural remedies and chemical-free medications come along without any say and this where Ayurveda comes into picture.

Besides being a natural healing methodology, Ayurveda is a holistic system that helps in leading a disciplined life, including guidelines for a balanced diet to a modest lifestyle.

Ayurveda is the oldest of all medicinal systems on earth and it completely trusts that Mother Nature has the cure for all ailments including physical disorders and mental mayhems.

It is also said that living in harmony with Nature gifts a disease-free, harmonious and healthy life. According to this philosophy everything on earth is a combination of the 5 fundamental elements of nature. They are fire, earth, water, space and air.

For a better understanding, it is clearly depicted that earth is the representation of the bones and muscles, fire is the heat energy generated in the body for many vital functions of the system like metabolism, water stands for blood and other fluids, we breathe air and space is the representation of our soul that harmonizes all the other functions of the human body and keeps us alive.

Ayurvedic healing relies upon nature and it strongly states that all the other things on this planet are being created just for the happiness of mankind. You can identify this with the following example; Mother earth has 92 elements, including magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium etc, and the human system also has all these 92 constituents.

When a person is ill due to the deficiency of any of these elements, say iron, he/she is advised to take dates, which is rich in iron and to our astonishment dates grow by engrossing iron content from the earth. Simply brilliant, isn’t it?

Every human being is regarded as a unique part of nature in Ayurveda and it is also recommended that the remedial measures should also be unique based upon their unique individual constitution, which comprises of three biological energies called as doshas (also known as Tridosha) namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Pitta represents fire and water, vata is a combination of air and ether, and kapha signifies earth and water. Pitta energy is responsible for body temperature and metabolism, kapha controls the physical appearance, movement of fluids in the system and sustenance and vata dosha regulates the functions of the nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems.

Your first Ayurvedic consultation will help you in identifying your unique individual constitution and your predominant dosha type, which has an upper hand in determining your physical and mental makeup. Perfect balance between these doshas signifies well-being and disparities due to unwholesome food habits, change in climatic conditions, lifestyle and immoral behaviors leads to sickness.

The most significant Ayurvedic remedies that focus on treating doshic imbalances are herbs, plant essential oils, meditation, simple physical exercises, yoga, Pranayama or balanced breathing practices, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and a balanced diet.

Birch essential oil is known to pacify vata and kapha dosha and intensifies pitta dosha. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Birch essential oil are:

Birch-broucher1. Nature’s gift for treating rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism is generally regarded as a medical condition caused due to excess deposits of fluids in the system along with the built up of toxic substances and improper blood circulation that lead to inflammation, pain, redness, stiffness and irritation.

According to Ayurveda, rheumatism is majorly a kapha imbalance disorder and can be treated with Ayurvedic remedies that reduce kapha vitiation. Birch oil has anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties that aids in alleviating these agonizing conditions and reduces excess kapha dosha.

Birch essential oil is known as an effective pain reliever with the presence of the salicylate component that is present in aspirin based medications. This compound helps in lessening pain, swelling and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other pain in the joints and muscles. It works by arresting the body’s production of prostaglandins hormones, which are responsible for pain, inflammation and other similar conditions.

Along with these attributes, the essential oil of Birch also has detoxifying, diuretic and depurative properties that assist in eliminating toxins from the body, discarding salt, uric acid and excess fluid deposits in the body by promoting sweat and frequent urination and by purifying the entire system. Being a circulatory agent, this oil also helps in promoting proper circulation of blood and lessens the severity of circulatory disorders like rheumatism and edema.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Birch oil, 2 drops of Ginger oil and 2 drops of Tea tree oil along with 3 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing pain, inflammation, redness and promote proper blood circulation that helps in treating rheumatic and arthritic conditions. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Birch oil in warm compress and in warm bathing water that can help in improving your medical conditions related to rheumatism and other muscular and circulatory problems.

2. Alleviates congestion and other respiratory infections:

Birch essential oil is always one among those best natural remedies that assist in relieving severe congestion, long-term allergies and other respiratory infections. With its expectorant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, Birch essential oil supports the system in fighting against chest congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, pneumonia and bronchial congestion.

Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth elements and imbalance of kapha dosha leads to excess level of water deposits, amassing of mucus and phlegm deposits and building up of toxic substances worsening respiratory problems.

Birch essential oil is used in Ayurvedic healing for correcting kapha imbalance by generating heat in system and discarding mucus and phlegm deposits in the lungs and the respiratory passages.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Birch oil in steam inhalation can aid in loosening mucus accumulation, treating stuffed nose, nasal, chest and bronchial congestion and combats the effects of toxins and microbes in the body.

You can mix 2 drops of Birch oil, 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with your regular vaporizing ointment and massage in gentle movements on throat, chest and back for quick relief. A hot compress with 2 drops of Birch oil, following this massage on the back and chest can help improve respiratory conditions at ease.

3. Lessens pain and heal wounds rapidly:

Birch is such a magical oil that can relieve severe pain in a matter of minutes. With the presence of the salicylate component in aspirin and other pain-relieving pills, Birch oil aids in lessening pain by causing numbness on the painful area and uplifts the nerves and muscles.

Along with the Alternative and Complementary medicinal practices, the Allopathic doctors also recommend Birch oil for relieving severe pain, preventing the joints from swelling in cases of dislocation of joints or fractures.

Gently massaging the painful parts with 2 drops of Birch oil and 2 drops of Lemongrass oil along with 2 ml of olive oil can aid in easing muscular pain and stiffness. It also helps in alleviating muscular spasms and bout. 3 to 4 drops of Birch oil combined with 4 drops of Helichrysum oil and 4 ml of coconut oil massaged on the affected parts will work like a fascination especially on carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mix 2 drops of Birch oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil along with 3 ml of Sweet almond oil and apply it on wounds, cuts, skin rashes, cellulites, ringworm, eczema, itches and insect bites for quick relief. This formula works with the disinfectant, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and germicide properties of Birch oil that kills infectious micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi in skin infections and wounds and promotes quicker healing.

4. Cures oral problems:

There’s no wonder that an admirable essential oil like Birch has the therapeutic effects for treating oral problems with its anti-bacterial, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent and germicide properties. These remedial values help in treating oral problems like weak gums, cavities, bacteria, painful gums, plaque and halitosis or bad breath.

1 drop of Birch oil along with 1 drop of Spearmint oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a natural gargle formula for combating germs and bacterial growths in the mouth, strengthening the gums as an astringent, protecting the teeth and gums from infections as an antiseptic and also for keeping away from bad breath by refreshing the mouth throughout the day. This therapy can be followed twice a day in the morning and night.

5. Promotes hair growth and treats hair problems:

Birch is yet another nourishing oil for controlling loss of hair, maintaining those beautiful locks, preventing dandruff, enriching the scalp and promoting growth of hair naturally.  Just 1 drop of Birch oil in your regular shampooing can aid in healing your hair problems and deliver quick results in re-establishing your hair growth.

Massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Birch oil mixed with 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil, 3 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with 7 ml of Virgin olive oil can help in moisturizing the scalp, controlling dandruff with its anti-fungal properties, strengthening the hair follicles with its astringent properties, promotes hair growth and grants the natural lustrous, shiny and glossy look of your hair. Follow this massage with 2 drops of Birch oil added to your mild shampoo for promising results.

Other health benefits:

A 1994 study at the University of North Carolina concluded that “the chemicals found in white birch bark slowed the growth of HIV”. Various other studies conducted on the betulinic acid present in Birch essential oil have been proved to possess anti-tumor properties and kill cancerous cells. Birch essential oil is also used in the treatment of colitis, bladder stone, gout, headache, candida, multiple sclerosis, depression and urinary disorders.

Disclaimer:

This editorial is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not in anyways intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition or replace any prescribed medication or medical advice of a healthcare expert. We are medical professionals and this information is shared only with the concern of bringing out the importance of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing systems on earth.

Make sure that you speak with an Ayurvedic expert before using the perfect essential oil for your prakriti or individual constitution and state of health. Do not ingest essential oils or use it for internal purposes and ensure that you always employ essential oils in a diluted form, as 100% pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause allergic or hazardous reactions, if used directly for topical application. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.

Thought for the day:

All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God. -Thomas Browne

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann
  3. Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink
  4. The Healing Power of Essential Oils: The Original Liquid Copals by Bevonne Birch Crookston
  5. American Indian Medicine (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Virgil J. Vogel

Reference Links:

  1. Birch Tar by Wikipedia
  2. Health benefits of Birch essential oil by Organic Facts
  3. White Birch by the American Cancer Society
  4. Birch Tree: Natural Medicine in your Backyard by Mother Earth News

Cade Oil

Cade-oil-bannerWell known in ancient India as one of the best natural remedies for dandruff, damaged hair due to bleaching, dyeing etc, and hair fall, Cade oil is a significant Ayurvedic oil for treating skin and hair problems. It is also called by other names like Juniper tar, Prickly cedar, Sharp cedar, Cade Juniper and Prickly Juniper and is scientifically known as Juniperus oxycedrus. This small tree is a member of the Cypress family, Cupressaceae.

Cade essential oil is extracted from the branches and heartwood of the tree by steam distillation method. Ayurveda recommends Cade and its essential oil in the treatment of various skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, scabies and skin eruptions along with burning hair problems like hair fall, dandruff and other hair damages.

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Historical uses and importance of Cade and its essential oil:

Ancient people of various traditions in the prehistoric times believed that Cade helped them in keeping away from sickness, depressing emotions, negative thoughts and from evil spirits as well. Cade was also used in pagan rituals in Sumeria and Babylonia as a sacrifice to the Gods, while Inanna and Ishtar considered this herb to be holy. The Europeans however considered Cade as a medicinal plant and used it to protect life stock.

The word ‘oxycedrus’ means “sharp cedar” and this particular species is considered to be the Cedrus or the original Cedar of the ancient Greeks. Cade is said to have been originated in the Mediterranean region across Portugal and Morocco, south to Lebanon and Israel, east to westernmost Iran and France and grows up to a height of 1600 m altitude above the sea level on rocky areas.

The Native Americans used it to treat ailments in animals. Many experts refer to the Juniper tree as a source of protection with perfect loveliness and succor, which are the terms derived from the plant language. Towards the 19th century, the French adopted Cade as well and began the use of the same in the treatment of lice, leprosy, skin infections, snake bites and toothaches.

As of today, modern aromatherapy use Cade oil to treat various kinds of skin infections like dandruff, scalp infections accompanied by hair loss, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin irritations/eruptions. Due to its skin and hair benefiting properties that help in treating scalp and skin problems, Cade is used in the manufacturing of soaps, lotions, creams and perfumes, and of course these products do have a wonderful aroma as well.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cade oil:

Cade oil is said to contain cadinene, creosol, cadinol, p-creosol, terpenes and guaiacol. The major healing properties of this oil are antiseptic, analgesic, antimicrobial, antipruritic, disinfectant, anti-parasitic, vermifuge and vulnerary.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cade essential oil:

The word Ayurveda (Ayur + Veda) means ‘the knowledge of life’ (Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge). Celebrated across the globe as the world’s oldest healing methodology, Ayurveda is lovingly beckoned as the mother of all healing sciences and the most popular medicinal practices that followed Ayurveda are Homeopathy, Siddha, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Allopathy, European Traditional medicine, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Unani.

The most inspiring reason behind the progressive lead of Ayurvedic medicine is its holistic healing approach that states that health is a combination of the physical, mental and spiritual well-being. This noble fact has been highlighted in Charaka Samhita, one among the oldest Ayurvedic encyclopedia as ““The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

Ayurvedic medicine rooted the principles of natural healing by treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms and aims at prevention of diseases by helping to lead a disciplined lifestyle and by maintaining perfect balance with nature. According to Ayurveda, everything on earth is a part of nature and nature by itself is made up of five vital elements namely water, earth, space, air and fire.

Earth represents bones and muscles, water stands for blood and other fluids in the body, fire is responsible for metabolic functions and body temperature, air aids in breathing and space is the spirit that keeps us alive.

Every human being on earth is a unique creation built up with a unique individual constitution just like our fingerprints. This constitution comprises of three dynamic energies called as doshas, which are an arrangement of the five vital elements of nature.

Vata dosha stands for air and space and takes care of respiration, circulation and nervous functions of the body. Pitta dosha symbolizes fire and water and is in charge of metabolic functions and body temperature.

Kapha represents water and earth and is responsible for physical structure, sustenance and reproductive health. Every individual has a predominance of any one dosha, which decides their personality, traits and behavioral attributes.

Perfect balance between these doshas as per nature’s law signifies health and doshic imbalances cause illnesses.Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, prayer, Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma, Pranayama and other Ayurvedic techniques for fostering natural balance between these doshas.

Cade oil finds its use in Ayurveda for treating vata imbalances including skin disorders and hair problems and kapha problems like bronchitis and congestion. It serves good for the treatment of itching, pneumonia, diarrhea, diabetes, peptic ulcer, high blood pressure, bronchitis, and many more.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Cade oil are:

cade-oil-broucher1. Excellent benefits to the skin and hair:

Cade oil has numerous benefits to the skin and hair for which it has been used since the ancient period for treating health problems including dermatological cancers, eczema, psoriasis, skin eruptions, parasitic and fungal infections on the skin, chronic rhinitis and other skin infections.

Cade oil is also a proven remedy for treating alopecia or excessive hair loss, dandruff and other scalp problems. It is for these reasons, Cade oil is used as an effective formula in making ointments for treating wounds, psoriasis, eczema, and the treatment of fungal, viral and bacterial conditions of the scalp.

Numerous studies have proved the potential effects of Cade oil and its use in medicinal manufacturing of skin creams, ointments, and anti- dandruff shampoos as well. Cade essential oil is used as an ingredient in liniments and ointments for chronic skin diseases and problems of the scalp.

Mixing 4 drops of Cade oil blended with 4 drops of Rosemary oil, 4 drops of Thyme oil, 4 drops of Cedarwood oil with 20 ml coconut oil can be used as an effective massage blend for the body for treating all kinds of skin problems, allergies, microbial infections and hair problems as well. This massaging helps in fighting against dead skin cells, promoting quicker healing of wounds, and its disinfectant properties fights against microbes that worsen skin infections.

2 drops of Cade oil added to bathing water or to 10 ml of mild shampoo can act as a potent remedy for treating psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, seborrhea, wounds, herpes, dandruff, lice, loss of hair and other scalp problems as it works by nourishing the skin and scalp, promoting the growth of hair by enriching the hair follicles and support the growth of healthy hair by combating the growth of infectious microbes.

Cade oil hair mask for dandruff: To start with, try it out only for few applications and check the results. Make the mixture using the following ingredients, 1tsp castor oil, ½ tsp soya oil, 10 drops of Cade oil and 2 drops of wheat germ oil. Now mix all the ingredients and store in a dark bottle. Massage this oil deeply into the scalp as required.

Leave it at least for 2 hours and wash it off using a mild shampoo. Try it twice a week and do check with your medical expert on your diet, as hair loss and other scalp disorders can also be related to other dietary and other lifestyle changes.

2. Fights against microbial infections:

The essential oil of Cade is a well-known anti-microbial oil and the antimicrobial activity of Juniperus oxycedrus oil was studied through aqueous and methanol extracts of its leaves in the Pelitli Village of Gebze, Kocaeli, in the Marmara region of Turkey, where Cade was extensively used by the people of the same terrain for the treatment of numerous diseases. The effects of the extracts from the tree were employed in its research in the field of medicine.

Cade essential oil is dark, aromatic and smells like smoke. This oil is also used as mixtures in cosmetics and creams employed in medicinal applications for skin problems. A 2003 study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L,’ was conducted on the laboratory strains belonging to 56 bacterial species, and 31 isolates of 5 fungi species.

This study proves that the methanol extract of Cade oil proved promising in the inhibitory effects on the growth of 57 strains of 24 bacterial species in the genera of PseudomonasStaphylococcus, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Brucella, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Micrococcus and Xanthomonas.

Another Egyptian study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity/Cytotoxic activity of essential oils of leaves and berries of Cade oil’, witnessed that Cade oil showed major activity against most of the tested strains including gram positive bacteria like Enterobacter cloacae and Staphylococcus aureus, and gram negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas syringae etc.,

The best way to use Cade oil for fighting against bacteria, fungi, virus and other microbial infections is to add 3 to 4 drops of Cade oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil in bathing water to fight against existing microbial infections and to guard you against the effects of harmful microbes throughout the day. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to 1 ml of olive oil and apply it gently on the affected area.

3. Combats fungal growths and infections:

With its antifungal effects, Cade oil fights against the growth of fungus and checks various fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, dandruff etc.,. This property is attributed to its presence of chemical constituents tested by GC-MS and its 42 compounds that represent 96.73% of total oil, α-pinene (39.63%), manoyl oxide (12.34), Z-caryophyllene (4.1%) and extensively high amounts of monoterpenes hydrocarbons and sesquiterpenes. The existence of these strong properties makes the oil prove best in its antifungal activities.

A 2013 study on the ‘Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus’ states “the antifungal testing by in vitro contact assay showed that the oil significantly inhibits the growth of nine plant pathogenic fungi.” Applying 2 drops of Cade oil mixed with 1 ml of sweet almond oil on the infected parts can help in reducing the severity of the infection and prevent the infestation of new microbes as well.

4. Spiritual upliftment:

Cade is an amazing Ayurvedic remedy that has been used in incense and utilized especially during prayers, meditation and Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing. The most inspiring reason is the enormous spiritual benefits of Cade oil.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in your diffuser, room freshener, vaporizer or aromatic candles during prayers and meditation can be of great assistance in helping you forget the pain of being abused, quit addiction, fear of being neglected, alleviate negative emotions and re-align the spiritual and emotional elements of the system. Regular meditation, simple physical exercises, prayers and Pranayama assisted with Cade oil can aid in augmenting your spiritual quotient and elevate your bonding with the divine.

Other health benefits:

Cade essential oil have also been in use since the ancient times in the treatment of pain, joint aches, leprosy, toothaches, snake bites, lice, dandruff, cancer, peptic ulcer, pneumonia, high blood pressure, skin irritation, bronchitis, diarrhea, itching and few other infections.

Disclaimer:

This article is for educational uses only. We are not medical professionals and this information is not directed to diagnose, cure or prevent any medical conditions or to substitute any prescribed drugs or professional medical advice. This info is shared with the motive of spreading the Ayurvedic healing wisdom, which is the world’s oldest medicinal system.

Care should be taken while using essential oils topically, as pure and organic oils are highly concentrated liquids and should always be used in a diluted form. Never use essential oils internally and keep them out of reach of children.

Make certain that you talk with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your individual constitution and medical condition. This oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breast feeding and do not use it directly on broken or inflamed skin.

Thought for the day:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Junipers of the World: The Genus Juniperus, 4th Edition by Dr. Robert P. Adams
  2. Morphological variation of Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus (Cupressaceae) in the Mediterranean region [An article from: Flora] by M. Klimko, K. Boratynska, J.M. Montserrat, Didukh
  3. Arthritis – The Botanical Solution: Nature’s Answer to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout and Other Forms of Arthritis by Case Adams PhD
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  5. Healthy Hair Care Tips: Natural Hair Care Tips For All Hair Related Problems by Jimmy King

References:

  1. Juniperus oxycedrus by Wikipedia
  2. Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L by Karaman, Sahin, Gulluce and Sengul published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology
  3. Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus L., Ismail Amri, Lamia Hamrouni, Samia Gargouri, Mohsen Hanana, Bassem Jamoussi published in Research Gate
  4. Cade by Daniele Ryman for Aromatherapy Bible

Marjoram Oil

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

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

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Purchase Marjoram Essential Oil – Retail – 1 oz – CLICK HERE

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

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

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

Historical uses and significance of Marjoram oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Marjoram essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ayurvedic uses of Marjoram oil are:

1. Physical benefits:

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

2. Psychological benefits and uses to the nervous system:

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram-broucher-new1. Physical benefits:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heals skin disorders:

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

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

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

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

Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Spiritual benefits:

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

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

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

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

Other health benefits:

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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