Myrtle Essential Oil

Myrtle-bannerAcclaimed as the “Queen of the lemon herbs”, Lemon Myrtle often called as just Myrtle seldom fails to enchant your mind and senses with its refreshing citrus aroma that is more lemony than lemon itself. This is because lemon has only 3-10% citral content while Lemon Myrtle contains about 90-98% citral, contributing to its unique, uplifting lemony fragrance.

Scientifically known as Backhousia citriodora, the essential oil is extracted from the aromatic leaves and twigs of this plant. Celebrated as a natural antiseptic and decongestant, Myrtle herb and its essential oil are used in the treatment of respiratory problems, infectious diseases and neurological disorders in Ayurveda.

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Historical importance of Myrtle:

Native to Australia, Lemon myrtle is one among the few favorite Australian essential oils and it is said that the Indigenous Australians used Lemon myrtle as a remedial and culinary herb. The ancient Egyptians used the leaves of this plant to treat fever and other infections. Myrtle has been mentioned in the Greek mythology as a symbol of love and divine generosity. It was considered sacred to the Greek Goddesses Demeter and Aphrodite.

Myrtle is also said to have been mentioned in the Bible directly for about six times. In Isaiah 41:19 it is said “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together.” Greek physician Dioscorides recommended Myrtle oil for his patients to treat bladder and lung infections. This herb has also been in use in many traditions for treating respiratory tract ailments and skin disorders.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Myrtle essential oil:

Lemon myrtle essential oil has analgesic, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, antimicrobial, expectorant, tonic, antifungal, decongestant, sedative, anti-neuralgic, astringent and anti-rheumatic properties. The major chemical components are terpenoid aldehydes like citral, geranial and neral along with the trace constituents linalool, methyl-heptenone, d-isopulegol, myrcene, cyclocitral and citronellal.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Myrtle essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing principle that trusts on nature and natural remedies for treating human illnesses. This ancient philosophy states that human beings are part of nature and their illness and wellness depend upon their body’s balance with nature. Sickness according to the Ayurvedic texts is a signal indicating that the human body is out of balance with nature.

Ayurvedic beliefs consider disease as an opportunity to repair, revamp and restore the body’s complete health back into balance. Every individual is unique with a specific set of energy elements that make up their individual constitution.

These vital energies are known as doshas, namely pitta, vata and kapha doshas. The predominance of any one of these doshas determines the attributes and behavior of an individual.

Ayurvedic remedies are based upon dosha predominance and Ayurvedic treatments vary from individual to individual even for the same illness. It prescribes holistic remedies in the form of herbs, essential oils, healthy and nutritious diet, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation along with an Ayurvedic routine for disease prevention and attaining longevity.

Myrtle essential oil is known to pacify kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemon myrtle essential oil are:

Myrtle-broucher1. Proven antibacterial and antimicrobial:

Lemon myrtle essential oil is regarded as a remarkable antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial agent with its clean, refreshing and pure citrus aroma. Certain studies have proved that Lemon myrtle oil possess significant antimicrobial power against harmful organisms like Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus niger and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Add 2 drops of this oil along with olive oil to treat infections and diseases due to bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms. You can apply this blend topically on the affected parts in case of athlete’s foot, ringworm, wounds and other skin problems. This oil heals and protects the wound from being septic as it fights against Staphylococcus bacteria that is responsible for making wounds septic.

1to 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil added to a cup of warm water can serve as an excellent gargle for fresh breath and for helping with raw throats. Using 2 drops of this oil in your diffuser or in bath can give you a long-lasting feeling of freshness.

2. Trusted respiratory aid:

The decongestant and expectorant properties of Lemon myrtle oil acts effectively in treating chest congestion, flu, cold, bronchitis, asthma and sinus infections. Adding 3 drops of Lemon myrtle oil in steam inhalation can assist in alleviating headache, loosening mucus and phlegm deposits in the lungs and respiratory passages. The therapeutic molecules in this oil aids in controlling the increase of infectious particles that worsen cold and cough.

Certain anecdotal evidences witness that the expected number of cold, cough and sinus problems are lower in households that regularly use Lemon myrtle oil in aroma lamps.

You can also add 2 drops of this oil to your vaporizing ointment and gently massage onto your chest, back, forehead and throat for relieving from congestion and easing difficulties in breathing. Respiratory problems in general spoil your sleep at night, adding 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil in hot bath especially before bed will help in promoting peaceful sleep at night.

3. Potent antioxidant:

Lemon myrtle essential oil has shown antioxidant properties that help in fighting against free radicals responsible for the growth of malignant tumors and other cancerous growths. This oil has potent antioxidant and antimicrobial effects that help combat food borne human pathogens and free radicals.

4. Excellent skin care remedy:

Several studies conducted by the Charles Sturt University, Australia have proved Lemon myrtle as an effective germicidal and antibacterial oil than tea tree oil in treating skin ailments and other health conditions. This is mainly because of its antiseptic and skin-friendly properties.

A recent study on ‘Antimicrobial activity of Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) methanolic extracts’ states “The low toxicity of the methanolic extract and its inhibitory bioactivity against a panel of bacteria validate Australian Aboriginal usage of B. citriodora as an antiseptic agent and confirms its medicinal potential.”

Lemon Myrtle essential oil is an excellent oil for treating acne and oily skin. Mix 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil with your skin care lotion and apply it on your acne, cold sores, warts, wounds and insect bites for soothing relief. 2 to 3 drops of this oil blended with olive oil can be used topically on rashes, neuro-dermatitis, tinea, psoriasis, folliculitis, candidiasis and itching.

The essential oil extracted from Australian Lemon myrtle leaves have been proved effective in treating Molluscum contagiosum, a common viral disorder that affect the skin of children and sexually active adults as it is generally seen as a sexually transmitted disease.

A 2004 study on ‘Essential oil of Australian Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) in the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum in childrenwhere 9 out of 16 children with Molluscum contagiosum treated with 10% of Lemon myrtle essential oil showed 90% reduction in the number of lesions at the end of 21 days of daily topical application.

5. Natural deodorant and air freshener:

The fresh, citrusy aroma of Lemon myrtle oil will never let you down for the entire day if you wear 1 drop of this oil on your wrist or add 2 drops in your refreshing bath in the morning. You can also add 1 drop to your hanky or add few drops to your deodorant to combat body odor.

The antimicrobial properties in this oil absorb microbes in the sweat that causes bad odor. The clean scent of Lemon myrtle oil makes its use inevitable as an air purifier as it kills germs and other micro organisms in the atmosphere, making your home a better place to live in.

6. Gives a lift to your feelings and emotions:

Lemon myrtle essential oil is also fêted for its calming effects that uplift and revivify depressive thoughts and feelings of fear. Gently massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil blended with coconut oil can help you in conceding complete relaxation, alleviate stress, suppress negative feelings, induce better sleep and augment your self-confidence. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of this oil to your diffuser or aroma lamps for giving your mind the natural boost that it requires.

Other health benefits:

Lemon myrtle leaves and its essential oil are also used in brewing tea, flavoring confectionaries, savories, syrups, candies, sauces, desserts, mayonnaises, shampoos, body lotions and mouth fresheners. It is also used as a protective shield in the food industry as Lemon myrtle oil is known to destroy food spoilage yeasts, bacteria and other pathogens.

Disclaimer:

Avoid using essential oils internally. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils as pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause skin irritation or other side effects if used undiluted. Do not use Lemon myrtle oil before going out in sun as it has high phototoxicity effect just like other citrus oils. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using right essential oils for your health condition and unique constitution.

Thought for the day:

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Medicinal Plants in Australia: Volume 2: Gums, Resins, Tannin and Essential Oils by Cheryll Williams
  2. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller, David Schiller
  3. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann Worwood
  4. Only the Essentials: A Concise Aromatherapy Reference Guide by Michele A. Williams

Reference Links:

  1. Backhousia citriodora by Wikipedia
  2. Lemon Myrtle Oil (Backhousia Citriodora) by UncleHarrys.Com
  3. Antimicrobial activity of Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) methanolic extracts by Griffith University, Queensland, Australia published in Pharmacognosy Communications
  4. Essential oil of Australian Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) in the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum in children by Center for Biomedical Research, Boise, ID published in PubMed

Must Have Ayurvedic Essential Oils in the Medicine Cabinet

The word’ Medicine’ carries the ailing thoughts to our mind about the dull, sick days that we are married to our bed than before. Most of the times in the company of ‘easily digestible-tasteless’ food items and extremely bitter pills, the sick days end up acrimoniously. To be honest, the medicine cabinet looked like a ‘Pandora’s Box’ to me till I enlivened it with the most vital and rejuvenating Ayurvedic essential oils. Ayurveda is the holistic healing methodology that has been in practice for more than 5000 years, striving hard for the harmony of mind and body etched with the human system. The touch of nature through the use of these essential oils has proven remedies from the hectic headache to the chronic cancer. Each of us have a preference to our favorable aromas and you can choose your range of essential oils as per your choice but the must-have Ayurvedic essential oils in your medicine cabinet to manage everything and everyone right from your baby to your grandpa are:

  1. Frankincense essential oil: It’s time to dwell in the luxury proffered by the Frankincense essential oil, rightly known as ‘The King of essential oils’. Originated from the French word ‘Franc’ meaning ‘luxuriant’, this divine oil was offered to God by the ancient Egyptians and was used as a revivifying face mask and as the incredible incense for its sweet balsamic fragrance. With its carminative, expectorant, tonic, sedative, digestive, antiseptic, stimulant, diuretic and astringent properties, this oil helps visualizing, enhances concentration, augments the spiritual power, supports digestion, treats cold, flu, fever, skin infections, alleviates stress and is an essential ingredient in most of the popular skin care products administering dry skin and effects of aging.
  2. Rose essential oil: How can the King be alone without the Queen? Yes! Rose essential oil is celebrated as the ‘Queen of essential oils’. This oil with its soft, tender, gentle and feminine qualities is known to treat skin problems, depression, stress, anxiety and is an excellent aphrodisiac gifted by Mother Nature. Rose essential oil is used as a tonic for nerves, kidney, heart and for womanly problems like irregular menstruation, uterine disorders, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and vaginal infections with its antispasmodic, anti-depressant, astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, sedative and anti-bacterial properties.
  3. Lavender essential oil: More than its curative values, the look at the color of the lavender flowers will bring in peace and harmony at one’s home. Lavender essential oil is claimed as the safest essential oil and can be used even for kids. It has been proved effective in the pharmaco-physio-psychotherapy in the future with its vital presence in the Ayurvedic treatment named Shirodhara. It is extremely powerful in treating respiratory problems, depression, insomnia, stress, insect bites, digestive disorders, bruises and many others. For years together, Lavender essential oil has been a part of hair care and skin care products.
  4. Peppermint essential oil: This oil is an excellent tonic for the nervous system and a friend to the respiratory system protecting the body from viral infections. The fresh aroma rests a calming, relaxing, energizing, refreshing and a vitalizing feeling required to either start up a bright fragrant day or to end up a serene poise day. It is a renowned pain-reliever that supports the function of the liver, and treats asthma, sinus, nausea, intestinal gas, spasms in the bowel and many other health problems.
  5. Tea tree essential oil: How can we forget Tea tree essential oil and its splendid healing properties when we are discussing about the must-have essential oils in the medicine cabinet? This oil is tested and proven in the treatment of dandruff, acne, gum problems, nail fungus, insect bites, athlete’s foot, cold sores, eczema, ringworm, strep throat, corns, Candida and more. Tee tree essential oil is also used as a powerful insect repellent.
  6. Turmeric essential oil: Traditionally known as the ‘Golden Goddess’, Turmeric root essential oil is trusted and scientifically proven to treat and prevent cancerous diseases with its antioxidant, antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from this Turmeric herb and its essential oil is used in Ayurvedic treatments for more than 4000 years.

With these six priceless gems, why would you still call it a medicine cabinet? Breathe deep, smile heartily, feel fresh and call it as a ‘Healing Jewel Box’ that spreads smiles, happiness, joy and complete health for the entire family. You can also include few other favorite essential oils of your choice like Rosemary essential oil, Geranium essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil, Thyme essential oil, Clove essential oil, Chamomile essential oil and Lemon essential oil, fully packed with healing values.

Thought for the day:

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.            -Buddha

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils by Gill Farrer-Halls
  2. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann Worwood
  3. The Essential Oils Handbook: All the Oils You Will Ever Need for Health, Vitality and Well-Being by Jennie Harding

Reference Links:

  1. An evaluation of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from Curcuma longa. L by Indian Journal of Pharmacology
  2. Rose Essential Oil in Herbal Medicine by Every Green Herb
  3. Peppermint Essential Oil-Remedies and Cures by Peppermintessentialoil.com
  4. Candida by Wikipedia

Best Christmas Gift Idea 2012: Adoring Ayurvedic Essential Oils

Are you thinking ‘What is wrong with me?’ wondering what’s the need for Christmas gift idea now, while there are still 4 full months for December 25th to knock your door? Come on! This is scorching summer season and to think about something that will enchant your mind, chill your senses and hearten your spirits will certainly be a brilliant idea and nothing else other than Christmas Eve has the glory to splash such joy on you. Sounds great now….. Right!! This is the right time to start your Christmas count down. Every year Christmas is exceptional in its special way. This year, you make it out of the ordinary by gifting your loved ones with warm and healing Ayurvedic essential oils rather than your usual gifts.

Your 2011 Christmas might not have been the same as your 2008 Christmas. You might have missed your loved ones or there might have been a new member to your family last year (baby!), much more adventure and a variety of gifts and that is what Christmas is all about. Make your 2012 Christmas outshine all the other festive seasons that you’ve passed in your lifetime with a wonderful pack of sensational essential oils that can take your entire family out of this world. Yes! There are certain mind-blowing Ayurvedic essential oils that suit everyone and can be used all through the year till the next Christmas comes by your way. Such enlivening essential oils are:

  1. Lavender essential oil: According to me ‘Lavender is the queen of all essential oils’ and is my all-time favorite. How can anyone keep themselves away from this magnificent oil with a mystique fragrance in it? Fill your love in a bottle full of Lavender essential oil that can uplift the spirits and refresh the mind. Wow! The wonderful color, the exuberant aroma, immense health benefits and numerous therapeutic properties like nervine, sedative, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-rheumatic, anti-convulsant and many more make Lavender very special at all the good times and sick times too!
  2. Ylang Ylang essential oil: Nothing can be so very romantic, tender, quixotic, passionate and magical like the transfixing fragrance of Ylang Ylang essential oil. This oil has emmenagogue, sedative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive and antidepressant properties that alleviates pain, supports mood fluctuations, controls high blood pressure, aids in frigidity problems, brings down rapid heartbeat and treats your senses.
  3. Rose essential oil: Shakespeare rightly said that ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’. Very popularly known as the symbol of love all around the universe, Rose essential oil can give you the joy of being together in a garden full of fresh, fragrant roses. Rose oil has been proven effective in treating various health conditions with its aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antiviral, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, uterine, bactericidal and nervine properties.
  4. Grapefruit essential oil: Grapefruit oil with its light and fresh aroma is trusted to have great effects in shedding the extra pounds of the body. Any weight loss program with essential oils cannot get fulfilled without Grapefruit essential oil. It is also an excellent skin toning agent and natural skin purifier.

Apart from these essential oils, you can also include Peppermint essential oil, Sandalwood essential oil, Sweet orange essential oil or Jasmine essential oil as per the preference of your near ones.

Love is known only when it is shown. Express your unconditional love this Christmas season with the never-ending bliss of these Ayurvedic essential oils gift pack. There’s nothing to get surprised if the love of your life asks for one the next Christmas also. Wait and watch!!!

Merry Christmas and let it be a Mesmerizing Christmas as well.

Reference links:

  1. Christmas by History.com
  2. Health benefits of Rose essential oil by Organic facts
  3. Ylang Ylang – The Great Benefits by Ylang Ylang Essential Oil