Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood-bannerEmpowering the soul, granting a sense of clarity, kindling connectedness and serving as an excellent detoxifier to purify one from physical and emotional mayhems and toxins is all that Cedarwood essential oil does to mankind. Extracted from the woods of the Cedar tree by steam distillation process, Cedarwood essential oil stands unique with extensive healing benefits ranging from acne to ulcers.

Derived from the Sanskrit word, Devadaru meaning the woods of Gods, Cedarwood tree and its essential oil is a divine cure for numerous ailments like bronchitis, cough, cold, dandruff, insomnia, osteoarthritis and cancerous tumors.

Known to the world as an effective stress buster, Cedarwood essential oil is used in various Traditional and Alternative medicinal practices including Ayurveda, where this miraculous tree and its therapeutic essential oil are used to treat diarrhea, headache, fever, urinary infections, flatulence, hemorrhoids, arthritis, and congestion.

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Historical uses and importance of Cedarwood tree and its essential oil:

Botanically called as Cedrus Deodara, Cedarwood trees own the accolade of religious significance in Hinduism and Christianity. Highly preferred by the Indian sages as the perfect living place, this tree was used in building numerous places of worship including King Solomon’s temple. The serene fragrance of Cedarwood trees kindle the spiritual feeling and bring one closer to God through prayer.

Owing its resemblance to the Arabic word ‘Kedron’ meaning ‘power’, Cedarwood tree empowers us mentally. It was well known to the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians and Tibetans for its use as a preservative for embalming the mummies, to keep away from infections and insects, and in the manufacturing of cosmetics and incense sticks.

Native Americans used Cedarwood essential oil to enhance them spiritually. It was traditionally believed by the Chrokee that the presence of a small piece of Cedarwood tied in a medicine tag and worn around the neck would build a protective shield against illnesses and results in quicker recovery.

Ancient Europeans made use of Cedarwood in curing flatulence, indigestion, plague, fever, small pox and leprosy. American Indians held Cedarwood as a remedy for many health conditions like rheumatism, headache, fever, constipation and also as an analgesic.

Traditional Indians followed the culture of building rooms with Cedarwood for storing food grains and meat for protecting from the advent of microbes and insects. The bark of Cedarwood tree helps in fighting against fever, diarrhea, dysentery and ulcer. It also serves as an effective astringent and works out wonders in reducing the sugar level in the body.

The insecticidal activity of its essential oil is used to repel insects in cattle, camels and horses. This oil is well known for its wide application in France in the treatment of urinary infections, cellulites, water retention, hair loss, to control anger and nervous tension.

The intricate aroma of the woods of this tree have a astounding healing attribute that the Indians used to just sit under this tree to alleviate the symptoms of asthma and respiratory disorders. This amazing tree adds one more feather to its cap by being crowned as the national tree of Pakistan.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cedarwood Essential Oil:

With the highest amount of sesquiterpenes, a hydrocarbon group Cedarwood essential oil owes it unique odour to alpha and beta cedrenes and cedrol. It also contains thujopsene, himachalenes, pentane, acetonitrile, atlantone, humulene and other sesquiterpenes.

The therapeutic properties of Cedarwood essential oil includes anti-infectious, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, circulatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, stimulant, diuretic, sedative, expectorant and insect repellent.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cedarwood essential oil:

The oldest medicinal system on earth aging more than 5,000 years is none other than Ayurveda, which means the ‘knowledge of life’. It is the only oldest science that has been documented in a systematic manner and the first writings on Ayurvedic medications were a part of Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or sacred books of the Hindu Mythology. Ayurveda has its origin in India and is a priceless gift to mankind by the ancient saints and sages.

The most important Ayurvedic encyclopedias that talk about almost all the diseases on earth and its Ayurvedic healing remedies are Charaka Samhita by Acharya Charaka (Father of Medicine), Sushruta Samhita by Acharya Sushruta (Father of Surgery) and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (Based on Charaka Samhita + Sushruta Samhita). Ayurveda defines health as a threefold structure that revolves around the health of the mind, body and spirit.

The Sutrasthana of Charaka Samhita states this as The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda is a holistic healing methodology that focuses on the overall well-being of an individual instead of curing the illness alone. The brilliance of Ayurveda lies in treating the root cause of a disease instead of its symptoms, which is often practiced in Allopathy or the modern medicine.

This practice assists in preventing illnesses in the future, helping to grow old in a healthy manner and attain longevity or expanded life span. Ayurveda claims that every individual on earth is unique with a unique individual constitution or physical, mental and spiritual makeover. This constitution is an arrangement of three biological energies known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. Each of these doshas is a combination of the five vital elements of nature which is present in all the things on earth on a specific proportion.

Vata is a blend of air and space and is responsible for the functions of the nervous system respiratory system and the circulatory system. Pitta is a grouping of fire and water and is accountable for metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha is a combination of earth and water and is in charge for the physical structure, resilience and movement of fluids in the system.

All human beings have a predominance of any one of these doshas, determining our personality, character and behavior. The natural ratio of doshas present in every person is known as Prakriti. Balance between these doshas according to the Prakriti indicates health, and imbalance to due food and other lifestyle changes causes sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies aim at striking balance between these doshas and the most predominant natural remedies prescribed in Ayurvedic treatment are herbs, essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, Ayurvedic massaging, prayers, Pranayama, Panchakarma (detox therapies) and meditation.

Cedarwood essential oil has a neutral effect on all the three doshas and is expressed as VPK= (equal on vata, pitta and kapha). In the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, Bryan Miller and Light Miller state “Cedarwood oil is calming and elevating, an anti-depressive, very helpful in breathing problems, especially bronchial congestion. Spiritually, it can be used when developing or mastering Pranayama (breathing exercise).”

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cedarwood essential oil are:

cedarwood-oil-broucher1. Calms the mind and the body:

Cedarwood essential oil has the power to pacify the mind with its sedative properties. In modern Aromatherapy, this oil is often recommended for those who suffer from insomnia, stress, tension, depression, fear and anxiety, for it stimulates the secretion of serotonin that is converted into melatonin in the brain.

Melatonin plays a major role in calming down the nerves and soothing the muscles, which leads to a peaceful and unwavering sleep that holds numerous virtues to our health such as preventing one from getting into obesity and various other risk factors such as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

It poses a state of tranquility to the spirit and relaxes the nerves, relieving you from anxiety and promoting the feeling of self acceptance thus making you feel more secure. Cedarwood oil enhances your spiritual feelings and induces the state of meditation bringing you closer to the divine power and makes you feel stronger from within. It is for this reason that the Indian sages preferred the forest filled with Cedarwood trees as their favorite place to meditate.

Mix 2 drops of Cedarwood oil with 2 drops of Petitgrain oil, which is known as emotionally harmonizing oil in your diffuser before going to bed or during the time of meditation or while performing Pranayama (the art of balanced breathing) for enriching your divine thoughts and invigorating your connectivity with the heavenly power.

You can also opt for an Ayurvedic massage with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil in 5 ml of olive oil for uplifting your senses and relaxing your system.

2. Sacred cure for Alopecia Areata:

With the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value as 169,000 µTE/100g, Cedarwood essential oil acts as a natural antioxidant to quench the free radicals. It reduces the aging symptoms and proves good for problems related to the skin and hair due to aging.

Trusted scientific researchers have proved the efficacy of Cedarwood essential oil in treating Alopecia Areata, a condition associated with loss of hair from any part of the body most frequently identified in the scalp.

A 1998 study published in the Archives of Dermatology states that 44% of the people with Alopecia Areata treated with essential oil mixture which includes Cedarwood oil showed improvement with ease and without any side effects, when compared to the other group treated with carrier oils.

The presence of nortracheloginin, dibenzylbutyrolacto lignanan and matairesinol enhance the antioxidant attribute of Cedarwood essential oil that effectively protects the cells from damage and rejuvenates the formation of new cells.

From time immemorial, Cedarwood oil has been used for its beneficial effects on hair growth and in the prevention of dandruff, scalp irritation and other problems associated with hair and scalp.

It remains as an important natural ingredient in hair care products as it promotes hair growth and curbs dandruff with its antifungal properties. Blend 3 drops of Cedarwood oil with 3 drops of Jatamansi oil in 5 ml of coconut oil massaged to your scalp can help in promoting natural hair growth, controlling loss of hair and reducing dandruff gradually.

3. Effective insect repellent:

Insects, especially mosquitoes often serve as the carrier for certain hazardous diseases such as malaria, dengue etc. Cedarwood essential oil is naturally rich in sesquiterpenes such as atlantones and himachalenes, making it an excellent insect repellent that sanitizes the surrounding.

A 2011 research article published in PubMed states that Cedarwood essential oil is best used in pest management for its Larvicidal effect on diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, L which are the dangerous pests of the cruciferous crops.

Amidst the other insecticides and pesticides that are chemically unsafe, Cedarwood essential oil serves as a natural remedy to drive away various insects including moths and ants. It is for this reason the woods of the Cedarwood tree were used in building wardrobes, store rooms for conserving food items and pet houses for cats and dogs to drive away fleas.

Cedarwood essential oil can be called as a harmonizing insect repellent that kills insects and fills the atmosphere with its elevating woody aroma. Certain sources state that a mixture of Cedarwood essential oil along with that of Sage oil, Juniper berry oil, Rosemary oil, Lavender oil and Cinnamon oil hold the potential of repelling brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) subjecting them to a sudden undirected movement diverting away from their path.

Cedarwood essential oil was also tested effective against the larvae of the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, Anopheles stephensi and Culex quinquefasciatus, which are the vectors of the dreadful ailments that include yellow fever and chikungunya.

It served as an eminent pesticide targeting the mosquitoes that breed in water and inducing 100% mortality even in the third-instar larvae stage of these species. 2 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with 2 drops of Lavender oil can be mixed with 2 ml of Jojoba oil can be applied on the skin for keeping away from the harmful insect bites and stings.

4. Aids in proper blood circulation:

Bearing close functional resemblance to that of the hemoglobin content present in blood, the sesquiterpenes in Cedarwood essential oil oxygenates the human body at the cellular level and promotes the release of toxins and aids in proper circulation supplying oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. Just inhaling the fumes of the Cedarwood essential oil shows drastic changes in the behavioral patterns of human beings.

As per a 2003 research, the chemical constituent Cedrol in Cedarwood oil showed a significant reduction in the heart rate, rate of respiration and blood pressure in humans who were exposed to the fumes of Cedarwood essential oil. It acts as a defensive warrior against cardiovascular diseases and other ailments associated with poor circulation.

5 drops of Cedarwood oil with 5 drops of Vetiver oil (excellent oil in promoting blood circulation, fortifying the red blood cells and promoting the supply of oxygen to the cells) mixed with 5 ml of sesame oil can be used in massaging your system for regularizing proper blood circulation. This can be followed by a warm bath diluted with 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 2 drops of Vetiver oil.

5. A natural antioxidant in skincare:

Rich in antioxidants, Cedarwood essential oil is also a wonderful antiseptic and astringent and is widely employed in skin care for a handful of skin benefits. It tightens the cells and tissues and tones the skin in addition to cleansing it.

As a sedative, it relaxes the tissues and provides relief from irritation and itching due to acne, boils and scars. It serves as an excellent remedy for various skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, chicken pox, cracked and oily skin.

With its anti-seborrhoeic attribute, it controls and regulates the secretion of sebum which is responsible for the production of acne and a medical condition associated with peeling of the skin from eyebrows, scalp etc.

Cedarwood essential oil is utilized in various cosmetics and hair care products for its balancing effect on the dry and oily skin. It repels the insects effectively and helps in recovering from insect bites where it works in extracting the toxins injected by the insects from the human body.

Cedarwood essential oil prevents the wounds from becoming septic by curbing the advent of harmful microbes by inhibiting their growth and protects the skin from internal and external infections by draining out the toxins.

The antioxidant quality of this oil is attributed to the chemical compounds such as Benzylbutyrolactol, Matairesinol and wikstromal. Cedarwood essential oil possesses excellent apoptotic and cytotoxic attribute inhibiting the growth of tumors and preventing the multiplication of human cancer cells .

It hunts for the free radicals that induces formation of cancerous tumors and resolves the problem from the baseline. Moreover it increases the generation of nitric oxide and kills the cancerous cells by decreasing the potential of the mitochondria.

2 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with 1 ml of Almond oil or your mild skin care cream or lotion can be massaged gently on your skin for enhancing the natural glow of your skin, reducing the growth of free radicals responsible for wrinkles and other aging symptoms.

6. An effectual detoxifier:

Toxins generally ruin the routine pattern of the organ functionalities in the body. Cedarwood essential oil serves as a natural diuretic boosted up with sedative properties. As an anti-seborrhoeic agent, it organizes the sebum production and other secretions from the endocrine system and promotes sweating which is one natural way of getting rid of toxins.

It helps in reducing the workload of the heart by releasing the fluids with toxins found in its surrounding. This oil also helps in getting rid of excess water, fats and uric acid from the body in the form of urine. A relief from water retention and uric acid may also relieve you from inflammations helping to recover from arthritis and rheumatism.

Moreover, Cedarwood essential oil stabilizes the membrane as an anti inflammatory agent and inhibits edema and joint pain. The stable components of Cedarwood oil aided in the degranulation of the isolated peritoneal mast cells and inhibited leukotriens and lipoxygenase in rats with paw edema induced by carageenin. It helps in maintaining the health of the liver, by helping it to encounter with less toxins.

With regulated excretion of water from the body in the form of sweat and urine, this oil helps in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level and blood pressure and aids in overcoming from the harmful effects of water retention such as obesity and hypertension.

It also aids in proper functioning of the kidneys and the urinary system by assisting in the expulsion of unwanted fluids from the system. With its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties it helps in alleviating urinary tract infections and is used in the preparation of antiseptic and antibacterial ointments and solutions.

Massaging your body with 6 drops of Cedarwood oil, 6 drops of Calamus oil and 6 drops of Clary Sage oil with 10 ml of coconut oil is an excellent way to emancipate toxic substances and water retention from the body, reduce inflammation and pain related to arthritis and rheumatism.

7. Expectorant to allow you breathe with ease:

Cedarwood oil highly benefits the respiratory system by being a natural expectorant. It serves as a remedy for all bronchial ailments. It aids in draining out the excess mucus and phlegm resulting in smooth respiration with ease and comfort. These reasons gained popularity for the use of Cedarwood oil in steam inhalation therapy for treating asthma, lung irritation and bronchitis.

Add 1 drop of Cedarwood oil and 1 drop of Davana oil (relieves congestion, aids in expelling heavy deposits of phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract and nasal) in steam inhalation and gently rubbing your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Cedarwood oil mixed with vaporub can acts as an effective decongestant to treat cough, cold and headache associated with it. This oil clears out the congestion associated with bronchitis, sinusitis, cough, flu and cold.

8. Aids in digestion and assists in discarding worms and infections:

With its easing, nervine, diuretic and stimulant properties, Cedarwood essential oil enhances the process of digestion by stimulating the secretion of enzymes and digestive acids and bile from the liver. It relaxes the nerves and soothes the intestines and aids in the removal of gas and other waste materials from the body thus alleviating flatulence and constipation. It cures diarrhea by tightening and contracting the muscles of the intestines.

The antibacterial attribute of this oil fights best against bacteria such as Listeria monocytogens that are found in food. This along with the antifungal and insecticidal property makes Cedarwood oil to protect the stomach from the advent of intestinal worms and parasites. It also helps in preserving the food items.

Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 2 drops of Calamus oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil can help in alleviating excess gas, toxic substances, worms and other infestations in the stomach and intestines.

Other health benefits of Cedarwood essential oil:

Cedarwood oil possesses emmenagogue properties and aids in womanly concerns helping in regulating the menstrual cycle by opening up blocked menstruation and it strengthens the uterus. It acts as an excellent health tonic suitable for all. It serves as an Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis, restlessness and nervous breakdown. It is widely used in the manufacturing of perfumes, disinfectant cleaners, sprays, aftershaves, cleaning oil, panel closets, cigar boxes and insecticides.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and education and is not meant to treat, prevent or diagnose any health condition or substitute any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the interest of spreading the medicinal heritage of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old healing system.

Do not take essential oils internally and always remember to dilute essential oils before using it topically as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may tend to cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare professional before choosing the right essential oil  for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.      -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils
    by Joni Loughran, Ruah Bull
  2. Aromatherapy For The Emotions by Kylie Thompson
  3. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  4. Essential Oils For Hair: A Simple Guide & Introduction To Aromatherapy (Essential Aromatherapy Oils For Natural Beauty) by Susan Henny
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Cedrus Deodara by Wikipedia
  2. A review article on the Phytochemistry and pharmacology of Cedrus Deodara by the International Journal of pharmaceutical sciences and research
  3. Chemical composition and the Larvicidal activities of the Himalayan Cedar, Cedrus Deodara Essential Oil and its fractions against the Diamondback Moth, Plutella Xylostella
  4. Phytochemical analysis, anti proliferative against K562 human chronic myelogenus leukemia, antiviral and hypoglycemic activities of Cedrus species

 


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Citriodora Oil

Citriodora-bnr.jpgCitriodora or Lemon eucalyptus is a jewel in the crown of the Eucalyptus family, Myrtaceae. With a revivifying and invigorating aroma of lemon and eucalyptus, this lemon-scented eucalyptus oil is used in fixing feelings of abandonment and mental agitation along with poor concentration and confusions. The essential oil of Citriodora is extracted from the elongated leaves of the Lemon-scented gum tree, botanically known as Eucalyptus citriodora by steam distillation.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is used in Ayurvedic treatment for asthma, cold, cough, arthritis, hypertension, shingles, migraine pain, rheumatism, wounds, inflammation, bacterial and fungal infections as well as a non-toxic insect repellent for keeping away from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

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Historical uses and importance of Citriodora and its essential oil:

Lemon eucalyptus or Citriodora is a type of Eucalyptus tree in the Eucalyptus genus. This tree is indigenous to north eastern and tropical parts of Australia but few sources state that it is native to Vietnam and Madagascar. Even today about 75% of the trees grown in Australia belongs to the Eucalyptus family.

Brazil and China are the largest producers of commercial Lemon eucalyptus essential oil and this tree is also grow in India, South Africa, Guatemala, Egypt, Colombia, Indonesia and Albania. Citriodora is also said to be a cross between lemon and eucalyptus varieties. This large handsome evergreen tree grows up to 50 m tall and the broad lanceolate leaves exhibit a strong lemon and eucalyptus aroma when crushed.

Citriodora has its remedial history of being used in the traditional as well as modern medicine in the east and west, mainly as an aid for respiratory infections and for keeping insects at bay. The infusion made from the leaves of this tree has been used in reducing fever, treating gastric conditions and fighting against microbes causing such infectious diseases in the Aboriginal tradition.

Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used the aromatic leaves of this plant in steam inhalation for clearing nasal congestion, easing cold, flu, asthma and sore throat. The paste of this leaves or the leaves poultice were also used in healing wounds, cuts, skin infections, sores, cuts, blisters, chicken pox, joint pain, rheumatic pain, fungal infections and other few other infections.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is a famous ingredient in soaps, aromatic candles, natural insect repellents, lotions, shampoo, toothpastes, deodorants, perfumes, detergents, insecticides, waxes and in the flavoring of few other products since the traditional times.

Remedial properties and chemical components of Citriodora essential oil:

The medicinal benefits of Lemon eucalyptus oil are often attributed to its high content of citronellal component (about 80%). The other chemical constituents include citronellol and other monoterpenes.

The citronellal constituent of the cultured oil is transformed into cis- and trans- isomers of p-menthane-3,8-diols (PMD), which is a natural process that  happens as the Eucalyptus leaves grow old. This oil is also called by other names like Para-menthane-3,8-diol, OLE,  PMD, P-menthane Diol,  Wild Eucalyptus Citriodora, P-menthane-3,8-Diol, Spotted Gum and Quwenling.

The therapeutic properties of this oil are calmative, insecticide, antibacterial, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic, fungicidal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-rheumatic, germicidal, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and antiseptic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Citriodora essential oil: Ayurveda is the ancient Indian healing methodology which exactly means ‘the knowledge of life (Ayur-life + Veda-knowledge)’. If you are completely new to this oldest healing science on earth, then join for a wonder ride where you can explore what Ayurveda has intact for you.

Ayurveda has thousands of dimensions and everything that is natural and organic falls into this bucket, as Ayurvedic principles abide by Mother Nature and strongly believe that everything in the universe is a part of nature and is built with the same five elements of nature, namely earth, fire, air, water and space.

The most imperative approaches of the Ayurvedic regime are holistic approach, which fervently states that health is a combination of the wellness of the body, psyche and the soul. This is clearly stated in Charaka Samhita, the most trusted Ayurvedic encyclopedia as “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda trusts that a healthy body is the absolute home for a healthy mind and a pure soul.

Spiritual aspects play a vital role in Ayurvedic healing. It has been said a small, sincere prayer can bring in enormous positive energy to deal with a difficult day. Spirituality simply means the trust and the natural bond with the Supreme Power that shells and leads the Cosmos. By inculcating this practice, every individual will understand his responsibilities and righteousness to lead a glorious life.

Ayurvedic philosophies bring in the other few vital practices of Ayurveda that includes prevention of illnesses by treating the root cause of a disease instead of the symptoms. Prescribing natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, prayer and a meaningful Ayurvedic routine is the key to this healing wisdom. By this way, it promotes a disease-free living and leads to healthy aging and longevity.

Every Ayurvedic treatment starts with the analysis of the dynamic biological energies that are a pictogram of the five natural elements. They are known as doshas, namely pitta (fire + water), vata (air + space) and kapha (earth + water). These three energies are there in every person in unique ratios to make up the individual constitution. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance leads to sickness.

Ayurvedic therapies are prescribed in such a way that they treat the doshic imbalances and help strike absolute balance according to the Prakriti (fundamental constitution or nature) of an individual. With its moisturizing and heating energy, Citriodora essential oil is known to lessen the excess of kapha and vata energy and increase pitta dosha when deficit.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Citriodora essential oil are:

Citriodora-broucher1. Alleviates rheumatic and arthritic pain:

Rheumatism and arthritis are mainly caused due to surplus deposits of toxic substances, salt, uric acid and excess water causing improper blood circulation especially in the joints. Water retention and stagnation of other fluids in the body are the symptoms of kapha intemperance.

Citriodora essential oil treats kapha surplus and regulates its flow in the system. Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Citriodora oil blended with 2.5 ml of coconut oil can help in eliminating the excess deposits and toxins through sweat and urine and enhances blood circulation. This massaging can also help in treating sore muscles, joint pain, and backache and can also serve as a vitalizing massage for people indulged in sports.

This oil relieves pain and reduces swelling with its heating effect along with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Adding 2 drops of Citriodora oil in warm bathing water or in hot or cold compress is also another alternative to treat arthritic and rheumatic pain. Performing Pranayama, the art of balanced breathing can help in discharging about 70% of the toxins in the body through exhalation.

2. Non-toxic insect repellent:

The essential oil of Eucalyptus citriodora is suggested by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, U.S) as a non-toxic alternate for DEET, which an element used in other repellants, making it unsafe. With a rosy-citronella fragrance and faint lemon undertones, Citriodora essential oil is an ultimate natural remedy for keeping away from harmful insects including mosquitoes, bugs, ticks and fleas.

All you need to do is to add 3 to 4 drops of Citriodora oil in lamp oils, diffuser, lotions, patio sprays, body mists and vaporizers for preventing your lovely family from the adverse effects of insects and pests, which may otherwise cause infectious diseases like malaria, dengue etc.,

3. Relieves respiratory infections:

Problems of the respiratory system become severe when the mucous and phlegm discharges thicken and block the bronchial and nasal passages. Deposits of mucous and phlegm is due to the vitiation of kapha dosha, which is responsible for problems caused due to stagnation of water and fluids in the body.

Citriodora essential oil has kapha-reducing properties along with the antiviral and antimicrobial properties that assist in destroying the harmful virus and microbes responsible for making respiratory infections vulnerable. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to hot water for steam inhalation helps in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits.

By this way it helps in relieving chest congestion, nasal congestion, cough, bronchitis, asthma, sore throat and cold. Adding 2 drops of Lemon eucalyptus oil to your decongesting ointment and gently rubbing on your chest, back and throat can fasten your healing process.

4. Grants mental clarity and improves concentration:

Pitta energy is responsible for body temperature, metabolic functions, decision-making potential and for instilling the feelings of perfection in your routine. Deficit of pitta energy or pitta imbalance along with other environmental and lifestyle factors can end up in chaos, poor concentration, sluggishness, lack of self-confidence, lonesomeness and distress.

Eucalyptus citriodora oil enhances pitta energy. It has a positive effect and supports in opening the heart chakra, which is responsible for forgiveness, compassion, love for self and others and the solar plexus chakra that is incharge for feelings of self-empowerment and self-esteem.

Adding 3 drops of Citriodora oil in your burner, vaporizer, diffuser or air freshener can help in improving your self-confidence, focus, shrewdness and clarity of thoughts with its fresh, citrusy, warming, camphoraceous and woody aroma.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Citriodora oil mixed with 5 ml of olive oil or adding 3 drops of this oil to your bath can help in rejuvenating the mind, body and the soul.

5. Benefits for skin and hair:

Since the traditional times, Citriodora leaves and its essential oil have been used in the treatment of various skin disorders like burns, scabies, wounds, dermatitis and erysipelas. Citriodora oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that help in combating the growth of hazardous micro-organisms causing skin disorders and making wounds, cuts and burns more infectious.

A 2002 study on ‘Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Belgium published that Eucalyptus citriodora is one among the most effective essential oils exhibiting the most active antibacterial effects and inhibited the growth of various bacteria.

Another research done in 2007 on ‘The antibacterial effect of Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil against a battery of clinically important bacterial strains’ at the Phytochemical Pharmacological and Microbiological Laboratory in India proved that “Citriodora oil is highly active against Alcaligenes fecalis and Proteus mirabilis, and active against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhimurium, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas testosterone, Bacillus cereus, Citrobacter freundii. Its healing efficiency was said to be equally comparable to the powerful Piperacillin and Amikacin antibiotics.”

As a potent antifungal oil, Citriodora has been proved effective in treating candida. When tested in a laboratory analysis in comparison with other essential oils possessing synthetic antibiotics against candida, Eucalyptus citriodora oil showed strongest anti-candidal properties.

5 drops of Citriodora oil blended with 3 ml of Almond oil and applied to infectious wounds, cuts, blisters, boils, ringworm, candida, athlete’s foot, rashes and redness due to insect stings and bites, acne and few other skin conditions with its eucalyptus and citrusy effects.

Eucalyptus citriodora oil is also a famous ingredient in shampoos, hair oils and few other hair care formulas. 10 drops of Citriodora oil added to 5 ml of coconut oil can serve as an assured remedy for alleviating dandruff, dry scalp, itching and lice, when massaged gently on the scalp followed by a hair wash with a mild shampoo (preferably 8 ml) mixed with 10 drops of Citriodora oil will leave you with a dandruff-free, lice-free, oil-free and clean smelling hair.

6. Disinfects and purifies the air:

Citriodora essential oil has a lemony, fresh, woody and energizing aroma that makes its use imperative in disinfecting, deodorizing and purifying the air. 5 to 10 drops of Citriodora essential oil can be added to your sprayer pump, diffuser, air freshener or vaporizer for killing the microbes in the atmosphere and spreading the magic of freshness around.

Disclaimer:

This article is for the purpose of education only and is not meant for curing, preventing or diagnosing any health condition or for substituting any prescribed medication or professional advice of your medical expert.

Do not use essential oils internally and always dilute essential oils before using it externally. Keep out of reach of children and avoid this oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mom. Ensure that you seek the advice of your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare expert before selecting the appropriate essential oil for your unique state of health and individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Eucalyptus: The Genus Eucalyptus (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Eucalyptus Plantations: Research, Management and Development by Run-Peng Wei, Daping Xu
  3. Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs from Wiley-VCH
  4. Phytochemical and Antifungal analysis of E citriodora L. extracts: Phytochemical Constituents of Eucalyptus citriodora L. Responsible for Antifungal Activity against Pathogenic Organisms by Sehrish Iftikhar, Shabnam Javed
  5. Effect of NaCl on emergence and growth of a range of provenances of Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus populnea, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Acacia … article from: Forest Ecology and Management] by P.A. Madsen, D.R. Mulligan

Reference Links:

  1. Eucalyptus Citriodora by Globinmed
  2. Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus citriodora) by Sigma-Adrich
  3. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (PMD) by A Beyond Pesticides Fact Sheet
  4. Extraction of essential oil and oleoresin from Eucalyptus citriodora leaves using sub and supercritical CO2 Mirelle Dogenski*, Ana Carolina Velho, Débora Nascimento e Santos, Nilson Ferreira, Alessandra Lopes de Oliveira, University of São Paulo, Department of Food Engineering, São Paulo, Brazil
  5. Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ by Cimanga K, Kambu K, Tona L, Apers S, De Bruyne T, Hermans N, Totté J, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Belgium

Citronella Oil

Citronella-banner‘Citronella is there for insect bites and stings’ is an endemic statement and is a realistic one as well, as the essential oil of Citronella is an excellent air purifier and disinfectant that aids in warding off insects and treating stings and bites of venomous insects also. The lemony, warming and sweet smelling Citronella oil is extracted from its aromatic grassy leaves by steam distillation.

Scientifically known as Cymbopogon nardus, this aromatic herb is called as Pangiri in Ayurveda and have been used in this ancient healing system in the treatment of toothaches, redness, irritation and inflammation of the skin, infectious diseases, digestive problems, headache, rheumatism, fatigue and as an after childbirth wash.     

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Historical uses and importance of Citronella and its essential oil:

Native to Southeastern parts of Asia, especially Sri Lanka; Citronella is a member of the plant family Poaceae. It is also grown widely as a commercial crop in Java Islands, Indonesia, Burma, India, West Indies, Taiwan, Madagascar and Ceylon.

This perennial grass variety is loved all over the world for its enticing lemon aroma and its blue-green leaves that grow up to a height of 1.5 meters tall. The Ceylon variety is considered to be the best and is called as Maha pengeri in Ceylon.

Citronella and its essential oil have been in use for more than thousands of years and were used as one of the oldest effective insect repellent even before the manufacturing of insect repellents like DEET.

This essential oil is used in the manufacturing of soaps, perfumes, detergents, insecticides, soap flakes and household cleaners. It was used in traditional medicine for treating menstrual problems, increased perspiration, mental fatigue, depression and as a safe repellent for pets.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Citronella oil constitutes of 15 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this oil. Of which, Citronellal contributes to the highest proportion of Citronella oil constituents with about 51.5% of its total composition.

Just click on:

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

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these bio-chemical constituents to the healing magnificence of Citronella essential oil.

citronella-gct

Therapeutic properties of Citronella essential oil:

These constituents contribute to its remedial properties like bactericidal, diaphoretic, insecticidal, antioxidant, antiseptic, deodorant, stimulant, antifungal, tonic, relaxant, parasitic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Citronella essential oil:

Ayurveda is a mighty ocean enclosing mammoth health benefits for humanity. More than anything else, an Ayurvedic system teaches you absolute discipline to lead a hale, hearty and disease-free life for attaining longevity through healthy aging.

Ayurveda simply means the ‘knowledge of life’ and the first thing that Ayurveda insists is to have a thorough knowledge about oneself. Health according to this noble science is a three-dimensional array that comprises of physical, mental and spiritual health.

Everything on earth including the living and non-living things are a part of nature and are made up of the same five elements that Mother Nature is created with. They are space, fire, water, earth and air.

The uniqueness in Ayurveda lies in its remedial methodology that treats individuals rather than their illnesses; it focuses on the root cause of an illness rather than its symptoms; it follows a unique treatment methodology for every person even with the same illness rather than following the ‘one-size fits all’ strategy.

Every individual is a unique representation of nature with a specific individual constitution, comprising of three vital biological energies called as doshas. Each of this energy is a combination of any two vital elements and these dynamic energies determine the personality, behavior, physical and mental makeup of a person.

Vata is a fundamental energy of air and space and is responsible for circulation and nervous functions of the body. Pitta is a basic force of fire and water and is accountable for body temperature and metabolic functions. Kapha is a dynamic force of earth and water and is in charge of the physical structure, movement of fluids and sustenance.

Ayurveda identifies this innate presence of doshas and prescribes natural remedies in such a way to treat doshic imbalances, which would otherwise lead to diseases. The most predominant natural Ayurvedic remedies are essential oils, herbs, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and prayers.

Essential oils are the life energy of plants and are a potential Ayurvedic remedy for treating mankind through the sense of smell and sense of touch.

Citronella essential oil is known for lessening excess of pitta and kapha dosha and has a neutral effect on vata energy.

The Ayurvedic uses of Citronella essential oil are:

Citronella-broucher1. Nature’s best insect repellent:

Citronella essential oil is the most popular natural remedy for treating insect stings and bites and is also a potent insect repellent to keep away insects like mosquitoes, flies, ants and ticks. It has been registered in the United States since 1948 for this purpose. Citronella oil has been regarded as biopesticide with a non-toxic action by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It is also considered as a natural alternative to chemical-based insect repellents like DEET.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Citronella oil in your air freshener, diffuser or vaporizer can assist in repelling insects. As it has been marked as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the United States Food and Drug Administration, Citronella oil can also be used to prevent flea infestations on your pets. Mixing 5 drops of Citronella oil to 10 ml of coconut oil and applying on your skin can guard you against mosquitoes and other insect stings and bites.

For pets, you can add 5 drops of Citronella oil to 8 ml of pet shampoo and make them feel fresh and flea-free for the entire day. “I use it when I shampoo my dog’s hair; 20 drops of Citronella added to 2 tablespoons of shampoo is very effective at killing fleas. He will be a happy dog with no fleas”, says Bryan Miller in the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.

Insect repelling cartridges, candles, tablets and pellets for using in outdoor household areas are also available in the market with Citronella oil formula. The University of Maryland Medical Center study on ‘Insect bites and stings’ talks about a study where “citronella candles reduced the number of female mosquitoes caught in traps by 35%; linalool candles reduced female mosquitoes by 65%; and geraniol candles reduced female mosquitoes by 82%”. Citronella essential oil has citronellal, linalool and geraniol content in it, thus making it the most effective insect repellent on earth.

A 2008 study on ‘Characterization and mosquito repellent activity of Citronella oil nanoemulsion’ by the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand published in PubMed suggested that Citronella oil showed a release rate that related well to the protection time, contributing to a prolonged mosquito protection time.

2. Wards off bacterial and fungal infections:

Citronella is a proven antibacterial oil with the presence of remedial constituents like methyl isoeugenol. It works by restricting the growth of existing bacteria causing infections and curtailing the spreading or growth of new bacteria. Massaging your system with 10 drops of Citronella oil blended with 10 ml of olive oil can be effective in treating bacterial infections in the stomach, kidneys, liver, intestines, prostate, bladder, colon and the urinary passages.

The antifungal property of Citronella oil makes it a trusted natural remedy in combating the fungal infections like athlete’s foot, candida, dandruff and ringworm. Adding 2 drops of Citronella oil in warm bathing water can be of great assistance in treating external fungus problems in fingers, skin, toes and scalp and also effective in treating internal fungus infections causing fungal dysentery, vaginal infections, lung growth caused by weakened resistance and certain other health conditions.

3. Clears away excess oil in the skin and hair:

The essential oil of Citronella is a skin-friendly and hair-friendly oil that is often overlooked mainly because of its growing importance as a natural insect repellent. 2 drops of Citronella oil added to 1 ml of jojoba oil or to your mild skin care cream or lotion can help in cleansing the skin, removing excess oil secretion, nourishing the skin cells from within, moisturizing the skin, tightening the pores, enhancing the skin complexion and leaving it soft and supple.

The acne-clearing and other skin complimenting benefits of Citronella oil makes it popular ingredient in many sunscreen lotions, fairness creams and moisturizing lotions. A 2006 study by Steve Ritter on ‘Citronella oil: Mixture of terpenes in plant oil provides a relatively safe way to stave off pesky flying insects’ says “Citronella oil, containing a mix of terpenes (geranial and citronellal), has been used in personal care products for more than 50 years and has very low human toxicity.”

The fresh, clean and lemony aroma of Citronella oil comes as an esteem to your shampoo, as it aids in controlling dandruff with its anti-fungal properties, kills lice with its insecticide properties and removes excess oil from your oily hair and leaves a touch of absolute moisture in case of dry hair. Mix 5 to 6 drops of Citronella oil in 8 to 10 ml of mild shampoo and apply it gently on your scalp and hair. Leave it for 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly for a never before shiny, clean and lustrous hair.

4. Emancipates toxic substances in the body:

The detoxifying and diuretic properties of Citronella essential oil acts as an excellent aid in eliminating toxic remains left behind due to indigestion, unclean environment and other unhealthy lifestyle practices. These toxic substances are called as ama in Ayurveda and are the major reason behind numerous health conditions like arthritis, rheumatic pain, sluggishness, nervous exhaustion, fatigue, urinary infections and even severe heart problems.

Massaging the painful, inflamed or affected parts of the body with 5 drops of Citronella oil blended with 3 ml of sesame oil can assist in reducing inflammation, discharging of toxic substances, uric acid, excess fat deposits and water stagnation in the body through sweat and urine. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of Citronella oil in hot or cold compress and massage the aching parts for quick relief.

Ayurvedic texts state that only 20 to 30% of toxic substances in the body get discharged through urine and sweat and about 70% of harmful toxins are released only through exhalation. So deep breathing with slow inhalation along with slow and steady exhalation can be a sure shot remedy in expelling detrimental toxins in the body and this breathing exercise in known as Pranayama.

5. Appeases the mind:

The fruity, woody and citrusy aroma of Citronella essential oil instills calmness and warmth on your mind, body and spirit. Conflict of thoughts and perceptions are often the reason of stress, frustration and depression. Inhaling Citronella oil added to a diffuser or vaporizer (3 drops) has the power to grant mental clarity by pacifying the mental and emotional bodies that aids in determining the inner reasons for conflict.

Spiritually, Citronella essential oil has a positive impact on the Solar plexus chakra known as ‘Manipura’ in Sanskrit. This chakra is responsible for courage, self respect, ambition, self esteem and self discipline. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Citronella oil mixed with 10 ml of virgin Olive oil can assist in releasing the energy of distrust responsible for aggravation, loneliness and disharmony between the self and society.

6. Kills worms and stimulates the digestive system:

Worms and parasites in the stomach and intestines hinder the normal metabolic functions and lead to delayed physical and mental activities of the body. 2 drops of Citronella oil added to diffuser or vaporizer along with massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of this oil mixed with 3 ml of sesame oil can assist in killing intestinal worms and parasites and stimulate the normal functioning of the digestive system and enhancing the process of absorption of essential nutrients in food, toning the lining muscles of stomach and intestines and supporting the process of excretion.

7. Alleviates pain and stimulates the system:

Citronella essential oil has tonic properties that support and strengthen the nervous system, digestive system, excretory system and the endocrine system. By this way, massaging your body with 10 drops of Citronella oil blended with 10 ml of coconut oil can help in enhancing the immune power, hormone secretion, brain functions and blood circulation. This also helps in relieving pain including arthritic pain, migraine, rheumatic pain, muscular and joint pain, dysmennorhea, back pain and headache.

Other uses:

Citronella essential oil is also used in spritzers, aroma lamps, aromatic candles and room fresheners along with Eucalyptus, Lemon and Lavender essential oil for disinfecting, purifying and deodorizing the surroundings, making it an insect-free environment.

Disclaimer:

This information is for educational purposes only. Details enclosed here are an endeavor to maintain traditional wisdom and understanding. Do not use this for diagnosing or replacing any professional medical advice or prescribed medication. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare expert before choosing the right essential oils according to your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Never use essential oils internally, including Citronella oil as it has aldehyde content. Always dilute it in appropriate carrier oils or other liquids before using it for topical applications, as organic and pure essential oils are the life forces of plants and are extremely concentrated substances. Care should be taken in using Citronella oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Citronella oil.

Thought for the day:

I’m thankful to be breathing, on this side of the grass. Whatever comes, comes. -Ron Perlman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Citronella by Eugene Raskin
  2. Citronella ; Cymbopogon Nardus – A Literature Survey From Information Services Centre, Industrial Technology Institute
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  5. The Naturally Clean Home: 100 Safe and Easy Herbal Formulas for Non-Toxic Cleansers by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Reference Links:

  1. Citronella Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Citronella Oil by Steve Ritter published in PUBS
  3. Health benefits of Citronella Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. A handbook on Lemongrass, Neem and Citronella by Janhit Foundation
  5. Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing by Marta Ferreira Maia and Sarah J Moore published in PubMed


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