Lime Essential Oil

Lime--bannerAnyone for that matter would admire L…I…M…E as the fruit of Lasting Impression with Motherly Embrace. Undoubtedly Lime is such an adorable kitchen staple for more than thousands of years and its essential oil seldom falls short to heal our mind and body with its numinous aroma.

It can be named as an effective anti-blue fruit and oil for its ability to pacify your mood at times of depression and all kinds of blues including postpartum blues. Botanically named as Citrus aurantifolia, Lime is a limb of the citrus family Rutaceae.

Ayurveda uses Lime and its essential oil as a stimulant for treating skin problems, heart diseases, digestive disorders and mental mayhems. It has been used to boost brain power, purify the blood and aid in preventing memory loss. Certain other traditional medicines uses Lime as a remedy for treating gout, malignant tumors, throat infections and chronic skin diseases.

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Historical importance of Lime and its essential oil:

Lime has been a vital part of the folklore medicine for cleansing the system and revitalizing the mind. Aura is the life force or vital energy of any living thing and is called by different names in various healing systems. It is known as ‘prana’ in Ayurveda and ‘qi’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Lime is a powerful ancient remedy for cleansing the aura and restoring confidence.

Lime is indigenous to Asia and is now cultivated in numerous countries like America, West Indies and Italy. This evergreen tree bears white flowers and glittering green fruits. India is the largest Lime oil producing country in the world and Lime was introduced into Europe initially by the Moors and was then spread slowly to America. Lime essential oil is extracted by cold press method from the peel of the fruit.

Lime juice is widely known as a remedy for treating scurvy and it has been said that the ancient British sailors used it to prevent scurvy and other skin problems due to its rich Vitamin C content. Ships used for transporting Lime were adorably called as ‘lime juicers’.

The leaves of the Lime tree were used in the prehistoric period for treating poisonous bites and swellings. Apart from its medicinal uses Lime has been used in making pickles, sauces, desserts, jams, confectionaries, sorbets, marmalades, beverages, squashes, perfumes, household cleaners, detergents, soaps, cosmetics and other beauty products.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lime oil constitutes of 13 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this oil. Of which, Limonene contributes to the highest proportion of Lime oil constituents with about 65.4% 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 Lime oil.

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

lime-oil

Therapeutic properties of Lime essential oil:

A 2003 study on ‘Characterization of aroma volatiles in key lime essential oils (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle)’ state “Geranial, neral and linalool were found to dominate the lime oil aroma in both oils, which accounted for their fresh, floral citrus-like character.”

These components contribute to its remedial values like astringent, tonic, haemostatic, disinfectant, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, aperitif, restorative, stimulant and bactericidal.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Lime essential oil:

Nature is the best teacher and shows its love to everyone on Earth with maternal care and affection. That is why we call nature as ‘Mother Nature’. Ayurveda is a traditional medicinal system that trusts upon Nature for its healing methodologies. This ancient philosophy states that every human being is a part of nature and his/her health condition completely depends upon one’s balance with nature.

Man/woman is made up of the same 5 vital elements of nature namely water, earth, ether, air and fire. These elements combine together in making up the individual constitution of a human being. By this way every individual has a unique constitution identified with the combination of 3 vital bio-energies called as doshas. They are vata dosha that is made up of air and ether, pitta dosha that comprises of fire and water and kapha dosha that is a grouping of water and earth.

Ayurvedic treatments differ from individual to individual even for the same health disorder. This is because every individual has a predominance of any one of the three doshas that determines their state of health, personality and behavior and balance between these doshas indicates hale and heartiness.

Ayurvedic texts prescribe natural remedies like essential oils, herbs, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, physical exercises and meditation for treating dosha imbalances, healing illnesses, preventing it in future and for healthy aging.

Lime is known for alleviating all the three doshas vata, pitta and kapha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Lime essential oil:

Lime-broucher1. Supports healthy hair:

Lime is one among the best essential oils for treating dull, oily, lifeless, rough, frizzy and greasy hair. This oil has a handful of essential nutrients that nourish the scalp and add natural shine to your hair.

Oily and greasy hair are the most prominent reasons for inviting dandruff as these types of hair attract dust and dirt very easily. LIme removes oil quickly and moisturizes the scalp from within, helping you to get rid of dandruff, dry and itchy scalp. Indian healthcare practitioners consider Lime oil as a traditional hair conditioner.

Add 2 drops of Lime essential oil along with your shampoo or conditioner before applying on hair. This aromatic bath assists in cleansing the hair, removing excessive oil, reducing dandruff and making the hair manageable.

You can also add 3 drops of Lime oil with 30 drops of sesame oil and heat it in medium flame. Gently massage this warm oil blend on to your scalp and part lines. This massage aids in enriching the scalp by helping it absorb this oil and nourish your hair from the roots. It also increases blood circulation and promotes the growth of healthy hair.

2. Clears acne and cures numerous skin problems:

Acne is a burning skin problem among teenagers all over the world and it is said that about 85% of the global populace are affected by acne at some point of their life. It occurs mainly due to the excess secretion of oil by the sebaceous glands rooted deeply in the skin surface.

This excess oil blocks the glands and cause bacterial growth and inflammation leading to boils, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and pustules that are collectively known as acne.

Mayo clinic recommends the use of products that can control excess oil and treat inflammation. Lime and its essential oil is the best natural cure for clearing acne and the marks left over by acne as it has rich vitamin C and flavonoids acting as antioxidants, which detoxify and cleanse the skin. Applying 2 drops of Lime oil blended with 15 drops of jojoba oil can assist in washing out impurities from the skin and influence the growth of new skin cells.

Lime essential oil has antiseptic, bactericidal, disinfectant and astringent properties that fights against harmful bacteria causing skin infections, heals cuts, wounds, boils, cellulites, varicose veins, acne and other skin eruptions.

A 2006 study on ‘In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils’ published in PubMed evaluated the antibacterial activity of about 21 essential oils against 6 bacterial species including 2 gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus an  Bacillus subtilis and 4 gram-negative bacteria Proteus vulgaris, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This study concluded stating that among the 21 essential oils tested “Cinnamon, clove and lime oils were found to be inhibiting both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Blending 2 to 3 drops of Lime oil with 20 drops of Olive oil and massaging it on the affected areas can assist in treating eczema, cuts, psoriasis, carbuncles, sores, skin ulcers, rashes and gangrene. Founder of the Polarity therapy, Mr. Randolph Stone states that Lime oil blended with Olive oil is an excellent remedy for treating eczema.

3. Promotes digestion:

Dr. Lakshmi Senaratne, senior Ayurvedic scientist at Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurveda Research Institute says that Lime and its essential oil have stomachic properties, thus it naturally promotes the secretion of bile and other gastric juices.

This helps in supporting the regular digestion process and enhances your appetite. Being a good laxative, this oil is also effective in treating nausea, dyspepsia and flatulence.

The anthelmintic properties of Lime essential oil treat diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, exhaustion and abdominal pain. It also aids in controlling thirst. She also says that the ability of Lime to lessen pitta and vata energies makes it a powerful remedy for treating vomiting, anorexia, thirst and bleeding disorders.

All you need to do to improve your digestive process is to add 2 drops of Lime oil in 20 drops of sesame oil and gently massage on your abdomen. You can also use few drops of this oil in warm or cold compress to treat stomach pain and other discomforts.

3 to 4 drops of Lime oil added to warm bath is also effective in easing the process of digestion. Inhaling the refreshing citrus aroma by adding 2 drops to your burner or diffuser can help control nausea, morning sickness and improve your appetite.

4. Treats fever and respiratory infections:

Lime essential oil has febrifuge properties that assist in controlling your body temperature by reducing pitta dosha responsible for the temperature level of your body. Massaging your body or your foot soles with 3 drops of Lime oil blended with 20 to 25 drops of coconut oil or 3 drops added to cold compress can reduce your fever gradually by detoxifying your system and eliminating the harmful toxins and fever causing infections through sweat.

The antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, immune stimulant and tonic properties of Lime oil aid in fighting against microbes causing cold and fever, strengthening the immune power, combating the growth of detrimental micro-organisms and making the body resistant against infections. 2 drops of Lime essential oil added to steam inhalation can help in treating cold, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, cough, sore throat, asthma and other similar respiratory infections.

You can also mix 3 drops of Lime oil with 20 to 25 drops of coconut oil and apply it on your chest, neck and back for good relief. It helps loosen the phlegm deposits causing congestion in the bronchial passages. You can also add 1 drop of Lime oil to a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle for treating sore throat and for freshening your breath.

5. Acts as a tonic to the mind and body:

Lime has a divine aroma that is refreshing, rejuvenating, revitalizing, strengthening, uplifting and calming in nature. It helps in purifying the aura and strengthening the heart chakra responsible for love for others and self.

Adding 2 drops of Lime oil to your vaporizer, diffuser, burner or aromatic lamps can help in improving your concentration power and your immunity. This is mainly because of the tonic and restorative properties of Lime oil that helps you regain the lost energy of the mind and body due to diseases or emotional breakups.

Adding 3 to 4 drops of Lime essential oil in your bath tub can assist in relieving stress, depression, irritation, anxiety, muscular pain, tension, lack of self-confidence and negative feelings. Lime oil fortifies the mind and body by drawing the energies inward and helps an individual to focus without any distractions.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils internally. Do not go out in the sun immediately after using Lime essential oil on your skin as all citrus oils has phototoxic effect and can cause irritation when exposed to the harmful UV rays. Always remember to dilute essential oils before using them topically.

Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the suitable essential oils for your individual constitution and state of health. This article is only for educational purpose and is not intended to replace any professional advice or prescribed medication.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Lime oil.

Lime Essential Oil Possible Skin Issues:

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

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Lime essential oil has photosensitizing effect that can end up in causing irritation of the skin, allergic reactions, burning sensation, phytophotodermatitis, hyperpigmentation (change of skin color, visible especially in people with white skin complexion) and certain other effects. This is said to happen mainly because of Lime oil’s potent to stimulate the skin photosensitivity, when it is exposed to observable sunlight up to 12 hours of use.

The underlying cause is the response of the photoactive chemical constituents that attracts UV light radiation and contributes to toxicity through molecular alterations in the surface of the skin.

The primary chemical constituent responsible for the photo-carcinogenic, skin sensitizing and other topical effects of the essential oil of Lime is Limonene and certain other furanocoumarins.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives reveals about a skin condition called as phytophotodermatitis, induced by Lime, where a 24-year old nurse came up with red demarcated tender patches and crusted vesicles after squeezing fresh limes and going out in sun on a bright day.

Phytophotodermatitis is defined as a nonimmunologic eruption of the skin that occurs after its contact with phototoxic components in certain plant varieties and is then exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation through visible sunlight.

Few other studies also witness the effects of photosensitization of Lime and Lime-based products containing psoralens, paving way for burns, blisters, bullae, eruption, erythematous vesicles, rashes, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. It is also been said that in certain severe cases, systemic toxicity come with the rashes, which includes nausea, vomiting and fever.

Lime oil has also been reported to promote tumors, when tested on rats where most of the papillomas were benign and few were malignant.

The safe dilution level of Lime oil is 0.7%, which is 4.2 drops per ounce of any carrier oils as per the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). This safe dilution level applies only for products used topically to thwart photosensitivity and is not applicable for wash-away products like soaps, shampoos and other bathing products.

IFRA also suggests that Limonene rich essential oils should only be employed, provided the level of peroxides are set aside to the lowest realistic level, for example: by including antioxidants during production.

Lime oil has ‘Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)’status by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). As per the European regulatory body, essential oils with furanocoumarins must be used in such a way that the level of bergapten should not go beyond 15ppm (parts per million) in ready to use cosmetic products after which the skin is subjected to exposure of direct sunlight and this does not apply for wash-off products. The level of bergapten should be1 ppm in bronzing and sun protection products.

For your information, Furocoumarins are also used in healing practices on par with the long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for treating vitiligo, psoriasis and mycosis fungoides.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Lime Oil:

  1. Lime-induced Phytophotodermatitis by Dr. Andrew Hankinson, Dr. Benjamin Lloyd and Dr. Richard Alweis, published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives and PubMed
  2. Citrus aurantifolia, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  5. Safety Information on Essential Oils by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
  6. Lime oil by Mercola.com
  7. A Topical Skin Eruption by Dr. Christina Greenaway, published in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and PubMed

Thought for the day:

It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.          -John Ruskin

Suggested Reading:

  1. Citrus Oils: Composition, Advanced Analytical Techniques, Contaminants, and Biological Activity (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) From CRC Press
  2. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  3. Growing Citrus: The Essential Gardener’s Guide by Martin Page
  4. Save Your Life with the Phenomenal Lemon (& Lime!) (Save Your Life!) by Blythe Ayne
  5. The Lemon & Lime Cookbook by Rick Donker

Reference Links:

  1. Lime is Beneficial for Skin and Hair by Namini Wijedasa published in Infolanka.com
  2. Acne by the American Academy of Dermatology
  3. In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils by Seenivasan Prabuseenivasan, Manickkam Jayakumar, and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthupublished in BMC Complement Altern Med, PubMed
  4. Health Benefits of Lime Essential Oil by Organic Facts

Litsea Cubeba Oil

Litsea--cubebabannerLitsea cubeba is a Chinese wonder herb conferred to the medicinal world. Used as a promising anti-depressant for more than thousands of years in the Asian subcontinent, Litsea cubeba is remembered to treat anxiety, fear, fatigue, excessive perspiration, pain and stress.

This is mainly due to the uplifting, regenerating, energizing and refreshing aroma of its lemony essential oil extracted from the pepper-like berries of this evergreen shrub. Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine embraces a long history of Litsea cubeba where this mesmerizing herb has been used for treating asthma, acne, eczema, dermatitis, indigestion and microbial infections.

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Historical importance of Litsea cubeba:

Botanically known as Litsea cubeba, this herb is popularly known as May Chang. It also called by other names like Mountain pepper, Chinese pepper, mountain spice tree, tropical verbena and exotic verbena. Native to China, Indonesia and Japan, Litsea cubeba is also grown widely in India, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java.

Lovingly called as maqaw by the Atayal aborigines in Taiwan, May Chang has been used as a renowned spice by the aborigines of Taiwan. The pepper-shaped fruits of this tree were used as hot flavoring spice for meat dish known as sambal. May Chang flowers were also used in preparing medicinal tea.

The ancient Chinese used this herb for treating digestive ailments, chills, back pain, muscular aches and asthma. Traditionally this herb was used as a natural anti-spasmodic agent that helped in clearing spasms especially in the bronchia, thus assisting in the treatment of asthmatic attacks.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Litsea cubeba oil:

Citral is the major component of Litsea cubeba essential oil with more than 70 to 85% of the oil where geraniol is the a-citral and neral is the b-citral. This constituent contributes primarily to the healing properties of this oil such as antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, tonic, insecticide, deodorant, calming, stimulant, antispasmodic, anti-infectious, sedative, carminative, vulnerary, antidepressant and stomachic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Litsea cubeba oil:

Ayurveda is a treasure to mankind. You don’t need to be a healthcare practitioner to understand Ayurvedic philosophies as the wisdom of this noble science lies in its simplicity. Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita explain the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental factors affecting a human’s life, ways to lead a healthy life, natural remedies for diseases and guide towards a disciplined life and longevity.

’Everything in this world is vested with nature’ is the strong belief of Ayurvedic healing. It considers human beings as a part of nature and illness according to Ayurveda denotes a person’s imbalance with nature. Ayurvedic treatments involve the use of natural remedies to strike balance between nature and an individual’s state of health.

Ayurveda states that every individual is unique with an exclusive constitution that is built up of three biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Each of these doshas governs a set of functions in the body.

Predominance of any one of these doshas determines the character and physical attributes of a person. Imbalance of all or any of these doshas causes sickness. Herbs, essential oils, a disciplined life style, meditation, physical exercises and yoga are the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for dealing with dosha imbalances.

Litsea cubeba essential oil is said to pacify excess kapha energy and aggravate deficit vata and pitta doshas.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Litsea cubeba oil are listed below for your reference:

Litsea-broucher1. Cures problems with digestion:

With the strong citrus aroma and warming stomachic properties, Litsea essential oil increases pitta energy, which governs the process of digestion, thinking and body temperature. This herb and its essential oil augment the digestive fire and enhance the appetite, treat indigestion and flatulence.

It prevents the formation of gas in the stomach and intestines. To support the process of digestion, blend 3 drops of Litsea cubeba oil with 15 drops of sesame oil and massage your abdomen or add 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water.

2. Pampers your skin health:

‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ and when it comes to the beauty of human beings, skin plays the prime role in determining one’s external beauty. Litsea cubeba oil has everything that is essential to maintain a healthy looking skin from within. Maharishi Ayurveda denotes that Litsea cubeba essential oil is an excellent vata and pitta balancing formula to treat normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin.

Massaging your skin with 2 drops of Litsea cubeba oil mixed with10 to 15 drops of coconut oil can work wonders on your greasy, oily and infection prone skin. This massage enhances blood circulation and controls the secretion of sebum.

The astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of this oil help you to keep away from acne, blemishes, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, psoriasis and cellulites. The ability to cleanse the skin, balance the flow of sebum and shrink open pores, aids in treating and preventing acne flare-ups.

A recent study on ‘Screening of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers. from north-east India – chemical composition and antimicrobial activity’ proved that Litsea cubeba oil has potent “antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.” This oil is also effective in treating wounds, ringworms, cuts and insect bites.

3. Stimulates your mind:

Litsea cubeba essential oil has an exuberant aroma that is flowery and lemony in nature. It is for this purpose Litsea cubeba herb and its oil has been used in making perfumes, soaps and other cosmetic products.

Inhaling the magical aroma of this oil uplifts your mood, augments mental alertness, refreshes your mind, influences new ideas for life, pacifies your depressed mind and grants you a sense of freedom and confidence. Kurt Schnaubelt says that Litsea cubeba oil is used for calming the mind and senses.  Adding 2 drops of this oil to vaporizer, diffuser or burner aids in treating your mental worries and give a new lease of life to your world around.

4. Treats pain and inflammation:

The vata and pitta enhancing properties of Litsea cubeba oil assists in increasing blood circulation, reducing inflammation and strengthening the muscles. By reducing kapha energy, this oil aids in eliminating the excess fluid deposits and toxic substances in the body and tones your tissues.

The book on ‘Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art’ states that massaging with May Chang oil helps alleviate allergies, open up the bronchial passages in case of asthma, bronchitis and other chest infections.

Massaging the affected area with 2 to 3 drops of Litsea cubeba oil blended with 20 drops of coconut oil helps relieve pain, headache, muscular tension, respiratory ailments, arthritis and rheumatism. You can also use this oil in hot or cold compress for assisting inflammation and pain.

5. Kills insects and keeps your home fresh and clean:

Litsea cubeba oil is the ideal fragrant way to keep away from insects and stay refreshed and ready to be picked up all through the day. You can add 2 drops of this oil in your regular insect repellant preparations or outdoor candles to keep your family protected from bugs, flies, mosquitoes and other insects and to give a clean n fresh feeling to your home. You can also add few drops of this oil in your shampoo, bathing water, body wash or skin care cream to stay protected in an insect-free environment.

Other uses:

With a much similar aroma to Lemongrass and lemon verbena, Litsea cubeba oil is preferred by numerous aromatherapists and perfume author Mandy Aftel prefers this oil to other citrus oils for its versatile aroma. This herb and its oil has also been used and proved effective in the treatment of arrhythmia, nervous disorders, high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases and cancer cells death in case of lung cancer. The bark of this tree is also used in making handicrafts and furniture.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not intended to diagnose or replace any professional advice or prescribed medication. Never use essential oils internally. Always use essential oils in a diluted form as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your health condition and unique constitution.

Thought for the day:

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.  – Diane Ackerman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume by Mandy Aftel
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils by Kurt Schnaubelt
  4. Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre

Reference Links:

  1. Litsea Cubeba by Wikipedia
  2. What is Litsea Cubeba? By WiseGEEK
  3. Uses of May Chang Essential Oil by Livestrong.Com
  4. Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Profile Aromatherapy Lifestyle by Quinessence
  5. Screening of fruit and leaf essential oils of Litsea cubeba Pers. from north-east India – chemical composition and antimicrobial activity published in the Journal of essential oil research by Taylor Francis Online

Melissa Essential Oil

Mlissa-bannerMelissa………., the name that sounds sweet, smells great and means ‘honeybee’ in Greek is claimed as one of the rarest essential oils just because it requires about 12,000 pounds of Melissa leaves to obtain 1 pound of its essential oil.

Scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, this herb is also known to the world as Lemon balm, Life’s elixir, Cure-all, English balm, Sweet balm, Blue balm and Honey plant and is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae.

This herb is trusted to enhance cognitive performance, treat Alzheimer’s disease, venomous bites and fight against viral attacks like herpes in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing systems in the world. Melissa essential oil is also used in treating insomnia, depression, nervous headache and known to clear one’s mind for right decision-making.

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Historical uses and importance of Melissa and its essential oil:

Wow!!! Is all I have to say when I read about a handful of pages about the history of Melissa herb and the way its medicinal importance have travelled all around the universe. From America to Australia, from Arabia to India, Melissa has not left any part of this world unhealed.

Lemon balm has been in use for more than 2000 years and few sources state that its use was recorded in Theophrastus’ Historia Plantarum around 300 B.C. and was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. French Emperor King Charles V and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V are said to have taken Melissa beverages for augmenting their health.

Pliny The Elder, the renowned Roman naturalist have said that planting Lemon balm near bee hives will attract bees to return to their hives and “causeth the Bees to keep together and causeth others to come unto them” said English herbalist Gerard denoting that rubbing the leaves of Melissa on bee hives will encourage the bees to come back.

An Arabian proverb quotes Lemon balm as “Balm makes the heart merry and joyful” and the Arabian physician Avicenna (11th century) used Melissa in the treatment of melancholy and depression. Called as the ‘heart’s content’ in southern parts of Europe, Lemon balm tea was the most famous morning tea after it was taken along with honey after breakfast by the Princes of Sydenham and Glamorgan who lived 116 and 108 years respectively.

Paracelsus, the Swiss alchemist and physician called Melissa as “the elixir of life” for he trusted that this magical herb has the power to augment strength and pave way for longevity. Lemon balm was regarded as a sacred herb in the temple of Diana, the ancient Roman Goddess.

Greek physician Dioscorides used Lemon balm for treating toothaches, dog bites, scorpion stings, blocked menstruation, toothache and gout. Popular herbalist Nicholas Culpeper said that Melissa is effective in treating melancholy and boils and is good for the mind, spleen, heart and liver. Melissa has been associated with moon, water and feminine.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Melissa essential oil: The essential oil of Lemon balm has effective chemical constituents like geraniol, β-caryophyllene, citronellal, geranial, caryophyllene oxide, trans-ocimene, methyl heptenone, linalool, neral, 3-octanone, cis-ocimene, a-humulene, geranyl acetate and certain other components.

Antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, tonic, nervine, antidepressant, sedative, bactericidal, antiviral, stomachic, cordial, hypotensive, carminative and febrifuge are its therapeutic values.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil:

Lemon balm essential oil is regarded as one of the most potent remedial essential oils in all of the oils used in Complementary and Alternative medicine system, amongst which Ayurveda is the oldest healing science. Melissa herb and its essential oil has been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various illnesses associated with various tissues of the body like blood, spleen, nerve, organ tissue and lymphatic muscle.

The book on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Bryan Miller and Light Miller talks about certain important health indications where Lemon balm essential oil is used in Ayurveda as a natural remedy for treating menopause, fever, melancholy, depression, infant and child afflictions, cold and flu.

Ayurveda strongly believes that human beings are a significant part of nature. It phenomenally states that every individual is unique and their individual constitution is made up of three vital biological energies known as doshas.  They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every human being according to Ayurveda has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determines their physical, mental and spiritual set up.

Balance between these doshas indicates that the person is healthy and imbalance due to environmental factors, food habits, emotional factors and behavioral patterns cause illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies aim at bringing balance between the doshas with its natural healing methodologies.

Ayurveda turns towards nature for treating humanity and using essential oils is one of the most effective remedy that has been a part of this ancient wisdom. Ayurvedic texts claim that essential oils are the prana or life force of plants. Melissa essential oil is said to alleviate pitta and kapha while improving vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil.

Melissa-brouchre1. Treats bacterial, viral and certain other infectious disorders:

Lemon balm essential oil is an excellent natural aid for treating all kinds of infections and health disorders that are associated with the infestation of micro organisms like bacteria and viruses. Numerous scientific evidences have witnessed that the antibacterial effects of this oil is due to the presence of eugenol and its ability to fight against virus is mainly because of tannins present in it.  

Bacteria and virus cause cold, flu, fever, infections in the intestine, kidneys, urinary tract and colon, skin problems like acne, rashes, herpes, allergies, severe itching and certain other respiratory infections.

Lemon balm essential oil has febrifuge, sudorific and diaphoretic properties that fights against bacteria, virus and other harmful microbes causing fever. Gently massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Melissa oil with 20 drops of coconut oil will aid in reducing the temperature of your body by promoting sweat through which the destructive toxins are expelled.

Blend 2 to 3 drops of Lemon balm oil with 15 to 20 drops of olive oil and apply topically on pimples, boils, cuts, herpes, cold sores, ringworms, athlete’s foot, wounds, allergies, black heads, rashes and itches for effective remedy. This application also aids in preventing the wounds from getting septic as it combats bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that are responsible for the wound becoming septic and defenseless.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that the topical application of ointments containing Lemon balm essential oil aids in healing cold sores caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). It witnesses this effect by quoting several studies and one among them is the vast study that involved 1 dermatology clinic and 3 German hospitals where Lemon balm was used in treating the primary infection of HSV I. The cream with Lemon balm formula was proved to lessen the healing time of oral as well as genital herpes.

Certain other studies proved the effectiveness of Lemon balm oil when applied to lip sores, herpes lesions and it also exhibited a concentration-dependent activity and improved effect against HIV infection. You can also add 2 drops of Melissa oil to steaming water and steam inhalation aids in treating cold, headache, sinus pain and flu by pushing out excessive fluids and toxic substances in the body through sweat.

2. Calms the digestive system:

Melissa essential oil has carminative and stomachic properties that assist in expelling gases in the stomach and intestines without any pain in the abdominal muscles and by promoting proper flow of bile and other digestive juices.

Applying 2 drops of this oil blended with 15 drops of sesame oil on your stomach and abdomen assists in treating flatulence, colic, dysentery, vomiting, intestinal spasms, dyspepsia, convulsions and also helps in strengthening the digestive system with its tonic and antispasmodic properties. You can also add 3 drops of Lemon balm oil to warm bathing water to stimulate your digestive process.

3. Pacifies your emotional instabilities:

Lemon balm and its essential oil has been held high as a perfect remedy for treating melancholy, mental disturbances, depression, hopelessness, negative emotions and lack of confidence. The uplifting, energizing, refreshing and revitalizing aroma of this oil helps in driving away mental agony, feelings of loneliness, fear, emotional shock, anxiety and anger.

The calming and encouraging touch along with the presence of terpenes in this essential oil is said to grant soothing effects on the mind and drive in understanding, self-confidence, hope and acceptance to proceed with life’s challenges. It helps in balancing your emotions and few popular studies have proved its effects in lessening agitation and have considerable quality-of-life effects.

It is because of these reassuring and comforting properties, Melissa essential oil is lovingly called as the ‘Nectar of life’ or ‘The elixir of life’. Dr. Hill recommends diffusing few drops of Lemon balm oil at night to treat depression, insomnia and restlessness. Add 2 to 3 drops of this oil your diffuser, burner or vaporizer to relieve from worries and treat emotional blocks.

You can also massage your body with 2 drops of Melissa oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil blended with a small cup of coconut oil to ease tension, stress and fatigue and for relaxing the nerves and muscles.

4. Boosts your brain power:

Lemon balm essential oil is known to enhance brain power and improve the cognitive performance. Certain studies witness that Lemon balm aids in enhancing cognitive function and reduce agitation in people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Lemon balm has been approved by the German Commission E for treating nervous disorders, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems. Diffusing 2 drops of Lemon balm oil and 1 drop of Rosemary oil during the day or at night can help in treating dementia, cognitive impairments and Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Helps mitigate womanly problems:

With its emmenagogue properties, massaging 2 drops of Melissa oil blended with 15 drops of sesame oil will promote blocked menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, nausea, irritability and mood fluctuations during menstruation. This herb was also used in the traditional medicine to treat depression during menopause, to grant strength during and after childbirth.

Other health benefits:

Melissa essential oil is also used to treat hair loss, baldness, nervous disorders, trauma, inflammation, high blood pressure, insect stings, hyperactive thyroid, phobias and palpitations. It is also used as a culinary herb and as a flavoring agent in various products.

Kurt Schnaubelt in his book Advanced Aromatherapy quotes Melissa oil as “The way in which Melissa oil combines an excellent antiviral component with a soothing but pervasive sedative power is difficult to imagine; it has to be experienced. In its complexity, power, and gentleness, Melissa oil perfectly illustrates how nature time after time works better than one-dimensional synthetic medicines.”

Disclaimer: Never use essential oils internally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and always remember to use it in a diluted form. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the right essential oil for your health condition and unique individual constitution. This article is meant only for informational purpose and is not meant to diagnose or replace any prescribed medications or expert advice.

Thought for the day:

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.  John Burroughs

Suggested Reading:

  1. Melissa Extract: The Natural Remedy for Herpes by Jan de Vries
  2. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  3. Effects of chronic administration of Melissa officinalis L. extract on anxiety-like reactivity and on circadian and exploratory activities in … Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology by Alvin Ibarra, Nicolas Feuillere, Marc Roller, Edith Lesburgere, Daniel Beracochea
  4. Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2.: An article from: Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology by A. Allahverdiyev, N. Duran, M. Ozguven, S. Koltas

Reference Links:

  1. Lemon Balm by University of Maryland Medical Center

  2. Melissa officinalis by Boston University School of Medicine

  3. Lemon Balm: An Herb Society of America Guide by Herb Society

  4. Melissa officinalis by Wikipedia

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.

Purchase Orange Bitter Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE

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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:

Orange-bitter-broucher1. 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 cellulites 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:

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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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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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Petitgrain Essential Oil

Born with the celebrated siblings Neroli and Bitter Orange, Petitgrain is known to the world as emotionally harmonizing oil. The essential oil of Petitgrain is extracted from the leaves and twigs, where Neroli oil is extracted from the flowers and Bitter Orange oil is extracted from the rind of the fruits of the Bitter Orange tree. Trusted for attaining clarity of mind and mental wellness, Petitgrain essential oil has been used in Ayurveda as an excellent massage oil for treating inflamed tissues, muscular spasms and lymphatic damage.

Light Miller and Bryan Miller’s book on ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ quotes that Petitgrain essential oil has enhanced strength and freshness than the oil extracted from the fruit as it is distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant with an enhanced aura.

Purchase Petitgrain Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE

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Historical uses of Petitgrain essential oil: The French name Petitgrain means ‘little grains’ or ‘little seeds’. It acquired this name because Petitgrain essential oil was initially extracted from unripe oranges that were just in the size of cherries. It is said that this oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of a variety of Citrus species namely Citrus sinensis, Citrus aurantium, Citrus bigardia or Petitgrain bigarade and Citrus reticulata. Bitter orange tree is indigenous to tropical regions of Asia and eastern parts of Africa. Since the primordial times, this oil has been an important ingredient of the classic ‘Eau-de-Cologne’ and many other perfumes and cosmetics.

Numerous Complementary and Alternative Medical systems have recorded the traditional use of this oil for treating problems associated with digestion, nervous exhaustion and skin disorders. English herbalist Gerard suggests bitter juices of Citrus fruits for treating venomous bites, stings and worms. Theophrastus, the antique book talks about the use of oranges for scenting fabrics and warding off moths.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components: The chemical components of Petitgrain oil include linalool, geraniol, myrcene, neryl acetate, nerol, limonene, α-terpineol, trans-ocimene, geranyl acetate and linalyl acetate. The remedial properties of Petitgrain essential oil are antiseptic, deodorant, antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, nervine, relaxant, immune-stimulant, anti-infectious, clarifying, sedative, tonic and anti-depressant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Petitgrain essential oil: Ayurveda is a systematic practice dealing with holistic healing as its base along with prevention of diseases, healthy aging and longevity. Ailment according to Ayurveda is a sharp signal that the human body is not in harmonization with nature. A systematic Ayurvedic treatment starts with a thorough examination where you should wear your heart on your sleeve and help yourselves know the most important things that contribute to your health and illness.

After an Ayurvedic consultation you will know the significant things of your health regime like the energy elements (doshas) contributing to your individual constitution (resembles your personality, attributes and nature), root cause of your illness, self-realization, detailed plan of a healthy diet that would suit you the best, Ayurvedic medications including essential oils, herbs, meditation, physical exercises, yogasanas and an organized Ayurvedic routine for an emotionally and physically fit living. Perfect balance of all the three doshas is a determining factor of your complete well-being. Dosha imbalances can be treated with the suitable Ayurvedic remedies. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Petitgrain essential oil are:

1. Health benefits as a massage oil or bath oil: Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage is the ultimate therapy for relaxing the mind and comforting the body with the use of Ayurvedic essential oils. Skin is the best channel that aids the blood passage to absorb the therapeutic properties present in such essential oils and pass it on to the entire body and the psyche. A classic Ayurvedic massage is known to augment blood circulation, calm the mind, promote mental energy and enlighten the soul.

For a perfect massage blend, add 2 drops of Petitgrain oil with warm carrier oil like Almond oil to alleviate stress, control anger, lessen fear, treat nervous exhaustion, relax muscular spasms, calm stressed muscles, reduce menstrual pain and reduce rapid heartbeat. As a nervous stimulant and nerve tonic, this remedial oil aids in treating nervous afflictions, wear and tear of nerves due to prolonged stress and fortifies them. Adding 3 to 4 drops of  Petitgrain essential oil in warm bathing water helps you vent out stress, tension, fear, anxiety, anger, pain, irritability and other negative feelings.

2. Benefits to the system when added to vaporizers or diffusers: Fragrance, scent, aroma, smell or odor, whatever form it may be has a strong impact on your sensory receptors and limbic system followed by the entire behavioral and emotional set-up. Adding 2 drops of Petitgrain essential oil to your air freshener, diffuser, vaporizer or burner will help you in attaining greater heights as it boosts the intellectual power, helps restore emotions, instills self- acceptance and self-love, promotes clarity of mind and augments the concentration power especially during prayers and meditation which empower the mind.

Petitgrain is an exemplary essential oil for those who are on the road to recovery after a trauma or an illness, either mental or physical. The stimulant, tonic and anti-depressant properties of this oil assists in quicker recovery by relaxing the mind, conquering addictions, clearing off mental depression and insecurity due to the memories of the painful moments, strengthening the nervous system and promoting peaceful sleep as many people during the process of recovery suffer from insomnia and other sleeping problems.

3. Nourishes your skin as a trusted topical application: Petitgrain essential oil is lighter and refreshing than Neroli or Bitter Orange oil, making it more suitable for skin problems when 3 to 4 drops of this oil are added to skin care creams and lotions. The natural antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious properties of Petitgrain oil assists in fighting bacteria and other microbes that worsen wounds, cause septic, and give birth to acne and other skin infections.

Petitgrain oil plays a vital role in skin care as it helps clear skin blemishes, acne and oily skin. When used after a bath it keeps your skin moisturized all through the day. Cuts, wounds, burns, lesions and skin ulcers are also treated with this oil.

Other health benefits: Petitgrain essential oil is also regarded as an effective aphrodisiac. A study on ‘Antioxidant and anticancer activities of Citrus reticulate (Petitgrain Mandarin) and Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) essential oils’ proved that  there are about twenty-five components present in Citrus reticulate (Petitgrain mandarin) oil and this oil possessed antioxidant and anticancer activities. It is also used in the perfume industry for making fragrances for both men and women.

Disclaimer: Pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so never take them internally or use them directly on the skin. Always ensure that you dilute essential oils before any topical or aromatherapy uses. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner about the suitability of any essential oil for your specific body type and health condition.

Thought for the day:

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
-Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care: Choosing Botanicals, Oils & Extracts for Simple & Healthy Beauty by Hélène Berton
  3. Daily Aromatherapy: Transforming the Seasons of Your Life with Essential Oils by Joni Keim, Ruah Bull

Reference Links:

  1. Petitgrain Essential Oil by Yoga Wiz.com
  2. How to use Neroli and Petitgrain by Yahoo Voices!
  3. Antioxidant and anticancer activities of Citrus reticulate (Petitgrain Mandarin) and Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) essential oils published in Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences
  4. Bitter Orange by National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Sesame Oil

Sesame-bannerFrom nasal drops to enema, from babies to elderly people, Sesame oil forms an incredible part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Experts say that about 90% of the herbal oils in Ayurvedic treatment are prepared with a base of Sesame oil.

Celebrated for its rich presence of nutrients, this oil is used as a nourishing cooking oil in most parts of India, especially the southern parts of the nation where Ayurvedic system of healing has its roots deeply vested with.

Known as Tila in the Ayurvedic world, Sesame oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum (syn. Sesamum Orientale). Sesame oil has been used for its innumerable benefits to mankind and the most touching thing is that the seed hulls left after pressing the oil can be fed to livestock as a wholesome food.

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Historical importance of Sesame Oil:

This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years just like the ancient Ayurvedic system. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization, the oldest civilization of the world. Sesame was the first crop used for extracting oil.

Before 600 BC, Sesame oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Sesame oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.

Most of the Ayurvedic therapies have registered the use of Sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Sesame seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.

Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, sesame oil is said to benefit the heart chakra responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world, root chakra responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world and the spleen chakra responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect.

Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil:

Sesame oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants.

All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame oil:

Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have listed enormous health benefits of Sesame oil. Practicing Ayurveda is a sure shot remedy for self-improvement as it involves a systematic life-style along with essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, meditation and physical exercises that keep you fit and fine even in your late 60s.

Human body is made up of 3 energy elements known as doshas in Ayurveda. They are vata, pitta and kapha. The predominant energy element determines your personality, character and behavior. Sesame oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame seed oil in terms of various ways of administration.Sesame-broucher1. Oil Pulling:

This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity and is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit. It is nothing but swishing 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes in empty stomach in the morning and spitting out the toxins-filled remains. This process helps in protecting the dental health known as Dantya Swasthya in Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita (Charaka Samhita Ch V-78 to 80) quotes the act of oil pulling as “It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables” . The best oil recommended for oil pulling by Ayurvedic texts is organic cold pressed Sesame oil.

Sesame oil has sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin components along with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E that make this oil as a rich natural antioxidant. This property helps in preventing decay and degeneration of cells in the body and blocks the absorption of negative cholesterol in the liver.

A popular study on “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis” by Dr. HV Amith proved that 45 days of methodical oil pulling showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of this oil help in treating halitosis or bad breath, plaque, gingivitis and dental cavities.

One more study conducted in 2008 on “The Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria” proved the in-vitro antibacterial activity of Sesame oil against dental caries causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. This study also witnessed the considerable reduction of the total count of bacteria after oil-pulling.

Oil pulling with Sesame oil is also effective in treating cracked lips, eczema, sinusitis, heart disorders, psoriasis, obesity, dry skin, headache, kidney problems, rheumatic pain and inflammation, dry throat and tooth decay.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy:

Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Sesame oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.

(i) Balya (benefits for children):

Known as the King of Oils, Sesame oil is completely safe for the use of children and is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. It is because of this property, every Indian family massage their new born babies and toddlers with Sesame oil before bath and leave them under sunlight for few minutes allowing the body to absorb vitamin D and nourish the skin cells naturally.

(ii) Twachya (benefits for the skin):

The presence of vitamin E and zinc in this oil helps in augmenting the elasticity of the skin; repairs damaged skin cells and promote the production of collagen. Massaging your skin with this nourishing natural emollient aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Sesame oil also protects your skin from dangerous ultra-violet rays.

(iii) Keshya (benefits for the hair):

Massaging your head with warm Sesame oil stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue.

It is a long time tradition of Indians to massage their head and body with Sesame oil once in a week and take bath with the herbal powder known Shikakai to reduce the body temperature and enliven the nerves and cells. This oil kills the dandruff causing bacteria and protects the skin and scalp from the harmful effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing:

Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders.  This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet:

When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and is said to grant Vranashodhana (healing and cleansing internal and external wounds), Agni janana (augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism) and Medha janana (enhancing intelligence).

Regular use of Sesame oil helps in fighting cancer with its antioxidant properties, guards the body from DNA damage due to radiation, treats rheumatism, improves digestive health, supports respiratory wellness, aids in preventing diabetes, lowers blood pressure and improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

Disclaimer:

Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using Sesame oil for your individual constitution. This article is only for informational purpose and is not meant to replace your prescribed medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage by John Douillard
  2. Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Brannigan
  3. The Oral Health Bible by Michael Bonner, Earl L. Mindell
  4. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife

Reference Links:

  1. Sesame Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria by Durai Anand T, Gopinath RM, Pothiraj C and Kayalvizhi B of the PG Department of Microbiology, VHNSN College, India
  3. Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed by GreenMEDInfo
  4.  Sesame Oil For Bone Building in Ayurveda by Livestrong.com