Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon-bannerReferred to as ‘Golden Apple’ in the Indian subcontinent, Lemon is a universal remedy for many health disorders and is often called as a panacea for its ability to heal the mind and the body in manifold ways. The essential oil of Lemon is cold pressed from the external rind or peel of the Lemon fruits.

Known as Nimbuka, Jambira and Dantashata in Ayurveda, Lemon is a popular Ayurvedic remedy that is used in medicine, food and also in the process of purification. It is used for stimulating the nervous system, improve concentration power, enhance immunity, purify blood and support digestion.

Lemon and its essential oil is a popular ingredient of many Ayurvedic weight loss remedies and lemon juice taken with lukewarm water in empty stomach in the morning is said to reduce fat deposits and eliminate toxins from the body.

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Historical importance of Lemon and its essential oil:

The real origin of Lemon lies as a mystery and it is said that Lemon is indigenous to India, Myanmar and China. The first historical mark of Lemon was in 90 BC where it was used to shower a high priest in a festival of Jews in Jerusalem though certain sources say that Lemon has been used since 800 BC.

It was introduced to Europe in the 1st century AD during the Roman reign and slowly spread to other parts of the world like Persia, Egypt and Iraq.  It is also said that Lemon was grown as an ornamental plant in the primordial Islamic gardens.

Affluent Victorians grew Lemon trees in their gardens as a symbol of high regard and for garlanding their estates with the naturally refreshing aroma of citrus trees. Serving Lemon wedges along with tea during their tea dances in the afternoon was a popular custom in their tradition.

It was Christopher Columbus who introduced Lemon to America by bringing Lemon seeds to the Island of Haiti during his voyages in 1493. Botanically known as Citrus limon, Lemon is a hybrid of citron and sour orange.

The most notable use of Lemon in the history was its use as a promising protection against scurvy by sailors all over the world. This was endorsed by James Lind, the celebrated Naval Surgeon in his book ‘Treatise on Scurvy’.

Chemical components or Gas Chromatography Report of Lemon essential oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lemon oil constitutes of 5 major chemical components that contribute to its fresh citrusy fragrance, remedial values and distinct quality. Lemon oil is enriched with about 67.6 percent of Limonene constituent.

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For knowing more about the elite information of these top constituents of Lemon essential oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the primary chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic values and other attributes to Lemon essential oil.

Lemon-OilTherapeutic properties of Lemon essential oil:

The remedial properties of Lemon essential oil are antiviral, antibacterial, immune stimulant, digestive, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, calming, diuretic, expectorant, astringent, anti-anemic, detoxifying, antioxidant, tonic and antidepressant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemon essential oil:

Ayurvedic healing dates back to more than 5000 years and it is the oldest of all medicinal systems on earth.  Lemon has been an important part of Ayurvedic treatments in many forms. The top ways to start a refreshing Ayurvedic life begins with the use of Lemon in lukewarm water as this therapy is said to cleanse the system, clear impurities in the blood and energize the mind and the body.

Human being is a unique creation and Ayurveda adorns the beauty of an individual constitution that differentiates each and every individual with a unique physical and mental setup. This uniqueness is determined by the combination of the three biological energies known as doshas.

They are vata, pitta and kapha. Vata dosha is responsible for blood circulation, creative thinking, metabolic functions and the process of elimination. Pitta energy governs body temperature, digestive fire, leadership skills and perfection. Kapha dosha lies behind the movement of fluids in the body, love and affection and body mass.

Predominance of any one of these doshas determines character, personality and behavioral attributes. Dosha balance contributes to good health and imbalance of doshas indicates illness.

Ayurveda sticks to nature and trusts that natural remedies are the best ways of healing human beings as they are an incredible part of nature. Ayurvedic therapies are unique for every individual and are focused towards treating dosha imbalances.

Ayurvedic remedies are often aimed at treating the five senses of human body. They are the sense of sight, sense of smell, sense of taste, sense of touch and sense of sound. Lemon is by far the best Ayurvedic remedy that has the power to retreat and recharge the four vital senses of the human body.

Lemon and its essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata energy and aggravate pitta dosha.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemon essential oil in the order of the five senses of human beings.Lemon-broucher1. Sense of sight:

The very sight of Lemon gives energy, confidence and inner strength. This is because the bright yellow color of Lemon indicates brilliance, cheerfulness, brightness and sunshine. These are the symbols of potency and real power paving way for improvement in one’s health physically and mentally. Healing through the sense of sight is known as color therapy in Ayurveda.

This holistic healing methodology states that every color has various impacts on the physiological and psychological attributes of mankind. Yellow color of Lemon and its essential oil according to Ayurveda has the power to promote clarity of mind, grants motivation, enhances the energy level, augments communication and instills the power of winning. So the next time, when you are feeling down and depressed, just look at the ‘Golden apple’ (lemon) that has the power to mend your mind to peace and prosperity.

2. Sense of smell:

Aroma plays a vital role in uplifting the body and mind. By inhaling the aroma of Lemon essential oil, the therapeutic molecules in the oil reach the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages, where limbic system is the body’s control center that controls feelings, emotions and the corresponding behaviors.

The citrusy, fresh, energizing and enlivening aroma of Lemon essential oil spreads positive energy, calms the mind, grants mental clarity, treats anxiety, fatigue, nervous tension, dizziness, improves concentration, instills hopefulness and assists in weight loss when 2 drops of this oil is added to aromatic lamps, diffuser, air freshener, vaporizer or burner.

A 2004 study published in Brain Research stated that Lemon essential oil may contain pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing properties. When used in steam inhalation, Lemon oil aids in opening blocked nasal passages and clear chest congestion. The revivifying fragrance of Lemon oil makes it a favorite flavor in household cleaners, disinfectants, soaps, shampoos and detergents.

3. Sense of taste:

The best way to take Lemon internally is to drink the fresh juice. Ayurvedic therapies like Chardi Nivarana and Kaphotlesha suggests drinking lemon juice during nausea, vomiting, excessive salivation, gastritis, heaviness in the stomach and sluggish bowel movements. This helps in eliminating the excess deposits of kapha in the stomach.

Lemon is also called as Amadoshahara where ama is the toxic substances in the body. Drinking lemon juice is a proven Ayurvedic remedy for eliminating ama, which is a result of indigestion and improper absorption of nutrients.

Drinking lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey in the morning in empty stomach is said to treat obesity by stimulating the bowel movements and burning the excess fat deposits in the body. Lime has diuretic properties and it helps in expelling the excess fluids in the body causing obesity through urine and sweat.

4. Sense of touch:

Ayurvedic massaging or Abhyanga is an important therapy in Ayurveda for healing numerous illnesses and for eliminating the toxic substances from the body. Abhyanga is the art of maneuvering the body with hands, legs, elbows and certain other massaging equipments. The success of an Ayurvedic massage therapy lies in choosing the right massaging technique along with right essential oils that suits your health condition and unique individual constitution.

Treating through the sense of touch means using essential oils and herbal medications on the skin as skin is the best organ through which the therapeutic properties of these natural remedies penetrate deeply into the bloodstream.

(i) As topical application:

Lemon oil is an excellent remedy for treating skin problems like acne, rough skin, dull skin, oily skin, wounds, pigmentation, cold sores, cellulites, warts, varicose veins and sun tan. The antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, antiviral and soothing properties of this oil assist in rejuvenating and toning the skin naturally by improving blood circulation. Skin care specialist Lia Schorr says that using Lemon oil mixed with glycerin can assist in treating rough patches on the knee, feet, hands and elbows.

Blend 2 drops of Lemon oil with 15 drops of Jojoba oil and apply it topically on pimples, boils, pustules, blackheads and whiteheads. It helps in removing excess oil, eliminate impurities in the skin and clears acne on regular use. You can also apply this blend on cold sores, tanned skin, dull skin and rough skin.

(ii) As Ayurvedic massage oil: Gently massaging your abdomen with 3 drops of Lemon oil mixed with 20 to 25 drops of coconut can help in treating dysentery, intestinal parasites, gas, flatulence, nausea, food poisoning, stomach upset, acidity, cramps and heartburn.

Massaging your chest, throat, foot soles and back with this blend can assist in treating throat infections, tonsillitis, fever, flu, cough and cold. The disinfectant, antiviral and expectorant properties of Lemon oil aid in controlling the growth of viruses responsible for cold, arrests infections and helps expel phlegm and mucous deposits in the body. This is due to the kapha pacifying property of Lemon essential oil.

Gently massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Lemon oil blended with Almond oil can help in controlling dandruff, moisturize the scalp, and augment the strength, volume and shine of your hair with its tonic and stimulating properties.

(iii) As bath oil: 3 to 4 drops of Lemon essential oil added to warm bathing water helps in relaxing your muscles, alleviate stress, lessen depression, promote good sleep, induce peace of mind, wipe away negative feelings, enhance skin health, detoxify the body, cleanse the digestive system and treat respiratory ailments.

(iv) As cold or warm compress: Few drops of Lemon essential oil added to cold or warm compress can help treating acne scars, pain, inflammation, headache, fever, congestion and stomach ache.

5. Partnering with the sense of sound:

Healing through the sense of sound means listening to appeasing music and reciting mantras and slogans that would enrich one’s spiritual values. Add 2 drops of Lemon essential oil to your vaporizer, burner or diffuser during your meditation time or while practicing yoga with the background of soothing instrumental music. This is a simple and an effective remedy for staying refreshed, uplifted and re-energized throughout the day.

Inhaling the invigorating aroma of Lemon essential oil during prayers, chanting mantras or reciting holy books can augment your oneness with the Divine power and pacify your mind and aura simultaneously. Feeling down? Then it’s not a bad idea to listen to motivational tapes with the company of the magical Lemon aroma around you. Add 1 drop of Lemon essential oil to your hanky or wear it on your wrist and you’ll be amazed to see the energy flow from within along with the motivational speech.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils internally as pure essential oils are highly concentrated in nature. Dilute it in suitable carrier oils before using them externally. Do not go out in sun as soon as using Lemon oil because this oil has phototoxic effect just like other citrus essential oils and can harm your skin due to the exposure to ultra violet rays.

This article is for educational purpose only and is not intended to replace any expert advice or prescribed medicines. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the appropriate essential oils for your unique constitution and health condition.

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

Gas Chromatography Report of Lemon essential oil.

Lemon Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

lemon-new

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

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Lemon essential oil is witnessed as one among the photosensitizing citrus oils that may cause burning sensation, irritation, hyperpigmentation (discoloration of the skin surface) and other changes due to its effect of stimulating the photosensitivity of the skin, when exposed to visible light from the sun up to 12 hours of use. The primary reason is the reaction of the photoactive chemical components that absorbs light and leads to toxicity via molecular alterations in the skin.

The chief chemical component accountable for the skin sensitizing and other dermal effects of Lemon oil is Limonene and few other furanocoumarins.

Certain studies (like the 1994 study on the ‘Occupation Contact Dermatitis from Citrus fruits’ and a 2006 study on ‘Skin Diseases in Workers at a Perfume factory’) on the adverse skin reactions of using the essential oil of Citrus limon reports few cases, including the incidence of allergic contact dermatitis with the use of Lemon rind oil in the workers of the perfume industry. Patch testing also witnessed certain allergic effects on using Lemon rind oil.

Research reveals that Lemon oil has furocoumarin derivatives like oxypeucedanin and bergapten; however the phototoxic effect of oxypeucedanin was just 1 quarter of that of bergapten. It is also stated that these components are the major cause of concern behind the phototoxicity of Lemon essential oil. This study also states that oxypeucedanin educes photo pigmentation on the skin of colored-guinea-pig prior to visible erythema.

It is also stated that the quantity of these 2 phototoxic components in Lemon oils from various countries differed by about a factor greater than 20 (bergapten, 4-87 ppm; oxypeucedanin, 26-728 ppm (parts per million), with a wavering ratio.

The safe dilution use level of Lemon oil, a potential phototoxic essential oil is 2%, which is about 12 drops per ounce of any carrier oils, according to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). This applies only for products employed for dermal use to prevent phototoxicity and is not valid for wash-off items like shampoos, soaps and other bath products.

Lemon oil has ‘Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)’authorization by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). As per the European decree, essential oils containing furanocoumarins can be used provided the aggregate level of bergapten does not exceed 15 ppm in cosmetic products that are ready-to-use on the skin, which is prone to be exposed to direct sunlight sans wash-away items and 1 ppm in bronzing and sunscreen products.

On a lighter note, Furocoumarins are also used in remedial practices along with the long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for curing psoriasis, mycosis fungoides and vitiligo.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Lemon Oil:

  1. A study of the phototoxicity of lemon oil by Naganuma M, Hirose S and Nakayama Y, Nakajima K and Someya T, published in the Archives of Dermatological Research and PubMed
  2. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  3. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  4. Citrus limon, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  5. Lemon oil side effects by WebMD
  6. Safety Information on Essential Oils by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

Thought for the day:

When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

– Dale Carnegie

Suggested Reading:

  1. HEALING POWERS OF LEMON OIL (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  2. Lemon: 50 Plus Recipes for Skin Care, Hair Care, Home and Laundry Cleaning along with Lemonade, Vegan, Curd, Chicken, Cookies, Cakes and Desserts by Pamesh Y
  3. How to Use Lemon Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. 35 Health Benefits of Lemon – Ayurveda Details by Dr JV Hebbar MD (Ayu) in Easy Ayurveda
  2. Lemon by Wikipedia
  3. Health Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil by Alternative Medicine, About.Com
  4. The Benefits of Lemon Oil on Skin by Livestrong.Com


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Juniper Leaf Oil

Juniper-leaf-banner

Juniper is not ‘just another’ plant in the Jungle; more than that, it owns myriad health benefits and the most astonishing remedial use is its power to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in breast cancer cells. It is also celebrated as the most common therapeutic plants used by the native North Americans.

Beckoned as Hapusha in Sanskrit, Juniperus communis or the Common Juniper is also called as Aaraar in Hindi, Havusha in Bengali, Gin plant, Alpine Juniper, Horse savin and Fairy circle in English. Juniper has been a part of the Ayurvedic remedy of leucorrhoea, asthma, urino-genital infections, dropsy, gout, bronchitis, bladder and kidney stones, sluggish digestion, rhinitis, rheumatism and certain other water-retention disorders.

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History and importance of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

Juniperus communis is an evergreen coniferous shrub in the Juniperus genus and belongs to the Cypress family, Cupressaceae. There are about 67 Juniper species spread across the world. Juniper has scale-like or needle-shaped leaves. The most soaring Juniper forest is located at an altitude of 4,900 meters in the Northern Himalayas and the South-eastern Tibet and is one of the tallest tree-lines on this planet.

Nicholas Culpeper, the most renowned herbalist and physician of the 17th century prescribed the use of Juniper berries for treating sciatica, asthma and for speeding up childbirth. Juniper was used in folklore medicine for curing snakebites and poisonous stings.

The Seminole Indians in Florida used Juniper for treating headache, swollen joints, diarrhea, stiff neck and common cold. Native Americans also used the berries as a female contraceptive agent.

The indigenous Europeans burned the berries during the last three days of April as a ceremony for cleaning and guarding against sorcery. Juniper leaves were hung near the main door for preventing the entry of witches. Juniper was trusted to bring in good luck in love life and was burnt as incense for keeping away from insects, ghosts and evil spirits.

Juniper is quoted in the Bible as the tree where Prophet Elijah hid. The leaves and berries of this plant have been used by the Tibetans for medicinal and spiritual uses. They believed that the burning of Juniper helped in breaking spiritual barriers, curses, hexes and protect from snakes and other venomous bites. It was used in Tibet for both religious and medicinal purposes.

Herbal tea prepared with Juniper berry and leaves is been taken especially after meals for helping with digestion and for preventing bladder problems. Herbalists recommend drinking this tea in alternative days or as a part of your daily routine as an aid in flushing out the toxic remains in the system, support normal metabolic functions and aid in your weight-loss regimen by discarding the fluid withholding in the system.

Chemical constituents and remedial attributes of Juniper leaf oil:

The essential oil of Juniper has rubefacient, astringent, antiseptic, carminative, analgesic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anti-rheumatic, diuretic, expectorant, anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic, neurotonic and sudorific properties.

The major chemical constituents contributing to its healing values are about 90 percent of various monoterpenes, where as Juniper berry essential oil contains only 50-60 percent of it. Juniper leaf oil also has esters, terpinene-4-ol, antiviral and anti-cancerous compound known as DTP- deoxypodophyllotoxin.

Ayurvedic uses of Juniper leaf and its essential oil:

Ayurveda is a common sense science that simply goes with the saying “There is no smoke without fire”. In a much similar manner, Ayurveda states that every illness has a root cause behind. Identifying it and treating the root cause of a disease instead of its symptoms, is the secret behind the success of Ayurvedic healing in the treatment, prevention and voyage towards longevity.

None of us can deny being a part of nature and that is the mantra of Ayurveda. It firmly indicates that all things in the universe are a component of Nature and everything is made up of the five fundamental energies known as Panchamahabhutas. They are space, earth, water, fire and air.

Every person has a unique identity, which is an outcome of his/her unique individual constitution known as Prakriti. It is a combination of the three biological energies known as doshas (vata, kapha and pitta), which are an arrangement of Panchamahabhutas.

Pitta (fire + water = metabolism, body temperature, leadership traits); vata (air + space = circulation, respiration, creative abilities); kapha (earth + water = reproductive functions, physique, sustenance, trust and love).

Every individual has a distinct combination of these doshas with a predominance of any one dosha and it determines one’s physical set up, mental makeup, character, behavior/attitude and the depths of their spiritual being.

Leading a well-organized life helps in retaining absolute balance with nature, whereas irregular eating habits, junk and ready-to-eat food items, sedentary lifestyle, climatic conditions, change in sleeping patterns, lack of physical exercise, work pressure, stress and certain other factors can pave way for imbalance of your system with nature. This leads to imbalance between doshas and thus, sickness steps in.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice that prescribes natural remedies for striking balance with nature. It prescribes unique remedies for every person based upon their unique individual constitution, even for the same illness as it appreciates individual differences and trusts that every individual has a different mechanism that reacts to variations in their own way.

Ayurvedic medications for the mind, body and the soul include herbs, plant essential oils, yoga, Ayurvedic routine, meditation, Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detoxification technique, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and many other Ayurvedic therapies for complete cure and prevention of illnesses.

Juniper leaf essential oil is recommended for pacifying kapha and vata dosha and for enhancing pitta dosha for trouble-free metabolic functions.

Let’s take a look at the uses of Juniper leaf oil according to the methods of usage:

Juniper-leaf-broucher1. Juniper leaf oil in steam inhalation:

Steam inhalation is an ancient treatment for instant relief from blocked nasal passages, sinusitis pain, headache and for attracting hidden toxins and excess oil in the skin surface.

Steam inhalation with therapeutic herbs and medicated oils as per the medical condition and Prakriti of a person is one among the Ayurvedic detoxification technique known as Panchakarma. Swedhana or promoting sweat is the most suitable treatment for people with Kapha imbalances.

Fluid retention is one among the kapha vitiations, which paves way for the buildup of ama or toxic remains. This slows down the normal functioning of the body and gradually weakens the immune power. When your body’s immunity reduces, the entry of micro-organisms like bacteria, virus and fungi becomes much easier.

This paves way for cold, flu, chest and bronchial congestion and few other respiratory infections. 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 drop of Clove bud oil can help in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits, open up the blocked nasal passages, alleviate pain and lets out the toxic remains by promoting sweat with its sudorific and diaphoretic properties.

A refreshing steam inhalation blend for energizing the skin, especially the facial skin includes 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Rose Geranium oil, 1 drop of Palmarosa oil and 1 drop of Lime oil can work wonders on your skin.

The antiseptic properties of this blend can help in soothing wounds or infections caused by acne. This treatment also helps in opening the clogged pores, removing dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil in the sebaceous glands, controlling the secretion of sebum and enhancing the circulation of blood in the skin with its rubefacient properties, allowing the skin to look supple and healthy.

2. Juniper leaf oil in massage blends, baths and compress:

Rheumatism, obesity, edema, gout, renal calculi, bladder stones, congestion, inflammation, swelling and respiratory infections are kapha imbalances.

Ayurveda recommends hot compress, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and warm bath diluted with therapeutic essential oils for treating water retention or kapha vitiations. Abhyanga is the primordial art of maneuvering the muscles, nerves and joints with the help of palms, foot, elbows and certain Ayurvedic techniques.

Using Ayurvedic essential oils in massage, compress and medicated baths is the easy way for passing on the therapeutic values of essential oils to the bloodstream.

Skin is by far the largest and prominent part of the human body just like the outer rind of bananas. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Juniper leaf oil, 5 drops of Ginger oil, 5 drops of Marjoram oil, 5 drops of Wormwood oil along with 3 ounce of sesame oil can work effectively in eliminating the surplus fluid deposits, toxic remains, salt, fat deposits and uric acid by influencing the frequency and mass of urine and sweat with its diuretic, sudorific, diaphoretic and detoxifying properties.

This assists in reducing swelling, inflammation, redness, soreness, pain and muscular tension associated with arthritis, rheumatism and edema. The tendency to pacify vata imbalance along with the circulatory or the rubefacient properties of Juniper leaf oil helps in treating cellulites, pain, swelling and muscular stiffness related to varicose veins.

It’s pitta augmenting properties help in stimulating the functions of liver and pancreas (normalizes the level of insulin) thus fostering secretion of bile, gastric juices and other digestive acids for relieving flatulence, colic pain and trouble-free digestion.

An invigorating bath with 5 drops of Juniper leaf oil, 2 drops of Geranium oil, 2 drops of Orange bitter oil and 2 drops of Petitgrain oil can help in controlling the free radicals, relaxing the nerves, soothing the muscles, tranquilizing the mind and stimulating positive effects on the brain.

This is an excellent remedy for treating cancer (especially in preventing the spread of free radicals, apoptosis or cellular death and cellular damage), alleviating stress, fatigue, anxiety and negative feelings. Taking this bath before bedtime can support you in sleeping tight and recharge your system for a new-fangled day ahead.

A 2015 study published in PubMed on ‘Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells’ by Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard AP, Colquhoun CD, Carroll M, Bos A, Gray CA, Robichaud GA, Universite de Moncton, Canada have concluded that they “identified the diterpene isocupressic acid and the aryltetralin lignan deoxypodophyllotoxin (DPT) as potent inducers of caspase-dependent programmed cell death (apoptosis) in malignant MB231 breast cancer cells.”

3. Juniper leaf oil in mild creams, lotions and topical applications:

Adding 2 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil and 1 drop of Jojoba oil in gentle skin care creams and lotions for topical use on athlete’s foot, pimples, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions can foster quicker healing with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

4. Juniper leaf oil in diffusers, burners and aromatic candles:

Juniper leaf oil has been used since the traditional times for spiritual and remedial uses. It’s restoring, supportive, fresh, sweet-woody and balsamic fragrance implants absolute peace and feelings of oneness with the universe and the divine.

Adding 3 drops of Juniper leaf oil with 1 drop of Clary Sage oil, 1 drop of Vetiver oil and 1 drop of Sandalwood oil in your diffuser, burner, aromatic candle or vaporizer during prayers, meditation and other sacred ceremonies can uplift your mind, nourish your spirit, open up the mind for newness, instill positive feelings and nurture the soul, helping it to identify its purpose on earth.

Disclaimer:

This is only for educational purposes and is not meant for diagnosing any medical condition or for substituting any prescription medicines or expert advice of a medical professional. We are not healthcare experts and this article is shared only with the idea of widening the knowledge of Ayurvedic healing, the pioneer of all medical systems.

Juniper leaf essential oil is non-irritant and non-toxic but is still recommended for topical use only. This is because pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Do not take essential oils internally.

The essential oil of Juniper leaf should not be used by people with chronic kidney disorders, pregnant and nursing women as it has the potent to cause uterine contractions, making it a traditional medicine for inducing labor. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.

Thought for the day:

A weed is a plant whose virtue is not yet known. –By Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Aromatherapy: A Practical Guide (The Healing series) by Marion Wayman
  2. Clinical Botanical Medicine by Eric Yarnell, Kathy Abascal, Carol G. Hooper
  3. Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus: 3rd Edition by Robert P. Adams
  4. Evidence-based Essential Oil Therapy: The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oils by Dr. Scott A Johnson
  5. Medicinal Plants of North America: A Field Guide (Falcon Guide)
    by Jim Meuninck

Reference Links:

  1. Juniper by Wikipedia
  2. Health benefits of Juniper essential oil by Organic Facts
  3. Deoxypodophyllotoxin isolated from Juniperus communis induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells by Benzina S, Harquail J, Jean S, Beauregard AP, Colquhoun CD, Carroll M, Bos A, Gray CA, Robichaud GA, Universite de Moncton, Canada published in PubMed
  4. Ayurvedic drug plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman
  5. Junipers by Eat the Weeds

Garlic Oil

Garlic-bannerKick cancer out of the world with nature’s best chemotherapy agent, sweetly known as Garlic. It is fêted as an ‘herb of passion’ for its power of influencing fortitude and natural energy levels and is celebrated as the most hopeful natural remedy for preventing cancer.

Besides being called as the stinking rose with its pungent and not so pleasing aroma, Garlic has a long medicinal  history in various traditions across the world and is also known as ‘cure-all’ for its ability to treat illnesses of the nervous system, circulatory system, digestive system, reproductive system and the respiratory system.

Botanically called as Allium sativa, Garlic has its origin in India and its essential oil is extracted from the bulbs through steam distillation method. Known by the name Rasona, Lahsoon and Yavanesta in Sanskrit, Garlic and its essential oil are used in Ayurveda for the treatment of cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, cold, rheumatism, high blood pressure, parasites, impotency, skin disorders, digestive problems, mental disturbances, fluid retention and joint problems.

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Historical uses and importance of Garlic:

Garlic is perceptibly a spectacular herb/vegetable with the human use of more than 7,000 years and is a member of the onion family, Allium. Indigenous to the central parts of Asia, Garlic is by far the most promising herbal remedy with the longest historical use. Its uses have been mentioned in various herbal guides by celebrated herbalists and physicians like Dioscorides, Galen, Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder, especially for treating digestive disorders, respiratory problems, wounds and low immune power.

The ancient Hindu mythology states that Garlic is a sacred herb grown from the drop of nectar (Amirtham – Elixir of life) spilled on earth when Lord Garuda took away the pot of nectar from Lord Indra to save his mother from evil powers. It is still believed that because of the divine qualities of the nectar, Garlic has innumerable healing properties and was named as Rason, meaning King of Rasas (It is also said that Garlic has 5 out of 6 prominent tastes in Ayurveda).

Another interesting historical reference is that Garlic was grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon and it was considered as an herb of empowerment for which it was given to Roman soldiers before the battle. The traditional European fishermen used to wear garlands made with Garlic cloves to guard themselves from sickness and evil spirits.

Garlic was the most primitive herb used as a ‘performance uplifting’ agent and was given to the Olympic athletes in primordial Greece. It is also said that Garlic was used during the construction of the Giza pyramids before 5,800 years. It was also used in Nepal, Middle East and eastern parts of Asia for treating tuberculosis, bronchitis, rheumatism, fever, flatulence, colic, liver problems, intestinal worms, hypertension and digestive problems.

It is a part of most of the delicious cuisines all over the world as a spice, condiment or seasoning for its strong aroma and the flavor it adds to any dish especially the non-vegetarian food varieties. Garlic bread, garlic chicken, crostini, garlic toast and many other Asian and Mediterranean cuisines are crowned with the rich flavor of this wonder herb.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Garlic essential oil:

Garlic oil is known for its carminative, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, immune-booster, anticancer, antibiotic, expectorant, antispasmodic, disinfectant, anti-carcinogenic, antithrombotic, stimulant, anti-arthritic, antiviral, rejuvenative, anti-hyperlipidaemic and alterative properties.

The major chemical components that contribute to the healing values of Garlic oil are selenium, allicin, alliin, phytoncide, S-allylcysteine thiacremonone, ajoene and diallyl polysulphides.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Garlic essential oil:

Disease, aging and death are the three major causes of concern for mankind and have been attracting the attention of medical researchers, philosophers and heath care experts from all over the world since ages.

Ayurveda, the holistic healing methodology aging about 5,000 years aims at attaining longevity through healthy aging and prevention of illnesses. This ancient remedial science strongly states that absolute health is a medley of physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

This Vedic system strongly considers human body as a temple and relates the divine power with the soul that rests within. According to this philosophy all things on earth are a part of nature and are made up of the five vital elements of nature, namely earth, water, air, fire and ether.

Every person is a unique creation with a unique individual constitution that embraces three vital biological energies called as doshas. These energies are just a meaningful representation of the elements of nature.

Kapha dosha symbolizes earth and water and is in charge of the physical structure and sustenance of the body, the imbalance of which leads to obesity and respiratory problems. Vata dosha is a combination of air and ether and is responsible for circulation, movement and respiration and vata vitiation causes neurological disorders, nervous problems, breathing difficulties and menstrual difficulties.

Fire and water combine together and represent Pitta dosha, which is responsible for body temperature, digestion and other metabolic functions. Lack or excess of pitta dosha might end up in fever, indigestion, constipation, heartburn, ulcer and other digestive disorders. Balance between these three doshas contributes to healthiness and imbalance of any one or all the three doshas cause illness.

Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the doshic imbalances with the help of herbs, plant essential oils, yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and simple physical exercises. These remedies vary from individual to individual based upon their unique individual constitution and state of health.

Garlic is one among the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for treating various health conditions and have been a vital part of numerous Ayurvedic preparations. The book on ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes Garlic as a highly rejuvenative oil, especially for the nerve tissue. Garlic oil is good for increasing pitta dosha and lessening excess of vata and kapha energies.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Garlic oil are:

Garlic-broucher1. Excellent aid to digestive disorders:

From Stone Age to this contemporary era, Garlic is a promising home remedy for assisting problems associated with digestion. 2 to 3 cloves of Garlic boiled in a cup of water can be a sure shot remedy for treating indigestion, sluggishness, diarrhea, nausea and gastric troubles. It is regarded as a great natural medicine for supporting digestion by stimulating the appetite and enhancing the process of metabolism.

Imbalance or vitiation of pitta dosha is the major reason for digestive disorders. Garlic has the ability to increase pitta energy and regularizes Agni or the digestive fire and other metabolic functions.

Adding 1 drop of Garlic oil to your handkerchief or tissue and inhaling this strong aroma or mixing 2 drops of this oil with 1 ml of coconut oil can help in fighting against intestinal parasites, inflammation in the stomach and intestines, treat colitis, infectious diseases, stomach upset, dysentery and food poisoning.

This oil works effectively against food poisoning by combating harmful bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis and E.coli, which are responsible for food poisoning and other stomach infections. It acts by penetrating through the skin cells and entering the blood stream, where it passes on its remedial properties to the system.

2. Fights against cancerous cells:

Garlic oil has anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antithrombotic and anti-cancer properties, which help in preventing the growth of new cancerous cells in the body and curtailing the growth of existing cancer cells in the body. Numerous researches and studies have proved the potent of Garlic and its extracts in treating various types of cancer ranging from brain cancer to prostate cancer.

Garlic is first on the list of potential cancer-preventative foods by the American National Cancer Institute and the American Journal of Nutrition issued on October 2000 had published numerous epidemiologic studies stating that the people who used Garlic and its extracts regularly had only a lesser amount (1/3rd) of risk of colorectal cancer and not as much of risk of stomach cancer when compared to people who took little or no Garlic or its extracts.

The presence of numerous (30+) powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds in Garlic oil including ajoene, diallyl sulphide, quercetin and alliin have the power to wedge cancer creating agents like aflatoxin and nitrosamine associated with liver, lung and stomach cancer. These components work like a natural chemotherapy agent and have been proved in various studies for impeding the growth of malignant cancer cells.

A 2008 study on the ‘Anticancer effects of diallyl trisulphide derived from Garlic’ suggest “diallyl trisulfide is responsible, at least in part, for the epidemiologically proven anticancer effect for garlic eaters.” It is also said that the diallyl sulphide in Garlic is known to curb the conversion of PhIP, which is a kind heterocyclic amine that has been related with the increased cause of breast cancer in women.

A report on Garlic and Cancer prevention published in the National Cancer Institute website states five strong reasons for using Garlic to prevent cancer. They are “Protective effects from garlic may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, halt the activation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair, reduce cell proliferation, or induce cell death.”

The best ways to use Garlic for cancer prevention is to add 2 to 3 cloves of raw or cooked Garlic in your diet along with a soothing massage with 2 drops of Garlic oil blended with 1 ml of virgin olive oil for promising results.

3. Controls hypertension and protects the heart:

Garlic is a rich source of allicin and it controls the function of angiotensin II, which is a protein that aids the contracting of blood vessels thus increasing the blood pressure gradually. Along with this, the red blood cells in our body convert the polysulphides in Garlic into hydrogen sulphide, which expands the blood vessels and assists in controlling high blood pressure.

Garlic oil acts as a protective shield for the heart by protecting it from hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and certain other cardiovascular problems. The sulfur-based compounds present in Garlic controls the blood vessels from being blocked and support the functioning of arteries that gradually lose its potent with age. This oil also guards the heart from the harmful damage of free radicals with its antioxidant properties.

By this way, regular use of Garlic oil and Garlic cloves help in slowing down atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries). This oil reduces platelet aggregation and relaxes the walls of the blood vessels by stimulating the production of nitric oxide.

It is also a potent anti-clotting agent with the presence of ajoene that curbs the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says, “Garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.

Inhaling the aroma of Garlic oil with 1 drop of this oil added to tissue or massaging your chest with 2 drops of Garlic oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil can assist in treating atherosclerosis, blocks in the blood vessels, heart attacks, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders along with the strengthening of cardiac muscles.

4. Keeps respiratory infections at bay:

Cold, flu, cough and other respiratory infections are mainly due to the excess of kapha dosha. Garlic oil has the natural warmth in its essence and it lessens the excess of kapha energy. This oil also has antibiotic, expectorant, decongestant, antiviral and antibacterial properties that work together to curtail the growth of harmful micro-organisms that worsen respiratory infections.

Add 2 drops of Garlic oil in steam inhalation and inhaling this healing aroma and massaging your chest with 1 drop of Garlic oil mixed with vaporub or ointments can be of great aid in treating and preventing common cold, whooping cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis and breathing difficulties.

5. Reduces cholesterol and checks obesity:

LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower serum triglycerides are the worst enemies of the human body. Garlic oil aids in maintaining HDL or the good healthy cholesterol and decreasing the level of bad cholesterol thus it lessens total cholesterol levels in the body, blood triglycerides and decreases the formation of arterial plaque.

Along with this, Garlic oil also assists in controlling the formation of fat cells and helps in eliminating the excess deposits of water, salts, fat and other toxic substances contributing to obesity. It prevents weight gain with its anti-inflammatory property mainly due to the presence of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) in Garlic.

Massaging your body with 5 drops of Garlic oil mixed with 3 ml of sesame oil aids in dissolving fat cells and discharging excess water and toxic deposits from the body by promoting frequent urination and sweating. This massaging can also be useful in reducing inflammation in case of arthritis and rheumatism.

6. Strengthens your immune system:

Garlic oil is an effective immune booster with the presence of various nutrients like vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 along with magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, protein, potassium and carbohydrates, all of which make Garlic a potent powerhouse. The antioxidant property of this oil fights against aging symptoms and protects the body from the hazardous effects of free radicals.

As a powerful antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic and antibacterial oil, Garlic has a positive effect on the immune system by acting as a police force that fights against destructive microbes and infectious diseases spread by them. Inhaling the spicy aroma of Garlic oil by adding 1 drop of this oil to your diffuser can help in activating the white blood cells and the immune system, through which it increases the body’s resisting capacity against various diseases.

7. Stimulates your system:

Ayurveda classifies food into three major categories namely rajasic (fiery), sattvic (fresh and pure) and tamasic (flawed).  Amadea Morningstar says “Energetically, rajasic foods stimulate more fire, aggression, passion. They are good foods for stirring up trouble or spurring on the dragons within.”

Garlic is a rajasic food that awakens, influences and stimulates the inner power and passion. It is said to bring consciousness and awareness in the body. It is for this property, Garlic and its essential oil is said to treat sexual disorders like impotency and other reproductive problems. Add 1 drop of Garlic oil in vaporizer or aromatic candles and inhale the aroma for enhancing the natural levels of energy in the body and to rekindle your spirit.

Other health benefits:

Garlic oil is also an excellent remedy for treating pimples, blackheads, acne, athlete’s foot and wrinkles. It is also said to prevent scurvy, due to its high content of Vitamin C and beriberi with its power to enhance thiamin absorbing capacity in the body and reduce the level of blood sugar in diabetes mellitus patients.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to diagnose or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils internally and always remember using essential oils topically in a diluted form only, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause harmful effects if used directly on the skin. Seek advice from an Ayurvedic professional before selecting the right essential oil for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread upward to split the boulder.
-Carl Sandburg

Suggested Reading:

  1. Garlic, Garlic, Garlic: More than 200 Exceptional Recipes for the World’s Most Indispensable Ingredient by Linda Griffith, Fred Griffith
  2. Garlic: Nature’s Original Remedy by Stephen Fulder, John Blackwood
  3. Garlic: The Mighty Bulb by Natasha Edwards
  4. The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks by Ted Jordan Meredith
  5. Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and The Science by Eric Block

Reference Links:

  1. Garlic by Wikipedia
  2. Garlic and Cancer Prevention by National Cancer Institute
  3. What are the benefits of Garlic? by Medical News Today
  4. All About Garlic by MAS Ayurveda
  5. Anticancer effects of diallyl trisulfide derived from garlic by Seki T, Hosono T, Hosono-Fukao T, Inada K, Tanaka R, Ogihara J, Ariga T, Department of Applied Life Sciences, Nihon University Graduate School of Bioresource Sciences, Fujisawa, Japan published in PubMed