Mustard Essential Oil

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‘Sarson ka tel’ or Mustard essential oil is a vital part of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian therapy where it is used for cleansing, stimulating and revitalizing the body. Besides all the controversies across the world, Mustard oil is popular and extensively used in India, Bangladesh and few other Western countries.

Though extracted from the same Mustard seeds, Mustard edible oil is totally different from Mustard essential oil by the method of extraction where the vegetable oil is extracted by cold compressing the seeds and the essential oil of Mustard is extracted by steam distillation of seeds that are soaked in water.

Mustard oil is to Asian countries just like Olive oil is to Mediterranean countries. Besides the myth of being banned in certain countries for internal use, Mustard is a legendary oil used for more than thousands of years in the world’s oldest mythologies like India, Rome and Greece.

Historical importance of Mustard and its oil:

Used as a spice, condiment, herb, cooking oil and medicinal agent, Mustard and its oil are said to have been found since the Stone Age settlements. Among the 40 species of Mustard plants, the most popular and the ones used for extracting essential and edible oils are Brassica nigra (Black mustard), Brassica hirta (White mustard) and Brassica juncea (Brown mustard).

It is still trusted that Mustard was grown in the Indian subcontinent around 3000 B.C.E. Hippocrates used mustard seeds in the preparation of many poultices and medicines. The ancient Romans mixed ground mustard seeds to wine for its unique flavor and remedial values.  It was also used as a natural remedy to treat scorpion stings in the 6th century B.C. by Pythagoras, the renowned Greek scientist.

Mustard was used as a condiment in Greece and Rome for fermenting fish sauce known as garum. The love for mustard made Pope John XXII of Avignon create the post of ‘Grand Moutardier du Pape’ (Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope). Mustard oil has been a part of North Indian cooking for more than 4000 years and this oil has been the secret behind healthy and lustrous hair growth of Indian women.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Mustard essential oil:

The essential oil of Mustard has Allyl isothiocyanate, oleic acid, omega-6 linoleic acid, omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and erucic acid. These constituents contribute to the remedial properties including cordial, tonic, anti-rheumatic, stimulant, appetizer, antifungal, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, hair vitalizer, insect repellant and irritant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mustard essential oil: Mustard oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing as a promising body massage oil for improving blood circulation, enhancing the texture of the skin, muscular development and to lessen the dryness of skin. Ayurveda meaning the knowledge of life skillfully explains the vibrant relationship between one’s mind, body and spirit and the way it relates to the world around.

The Ayurvedic approach of healing starts with an Ayurvedic consultation where your unique individual constitution, likes and dislikes, food habits and your medical history is thoroughly analyzed.

Your treatment starts with the tridosha concept as the guiding principle where Ayurveda believes that every individual is unique and is born with a unique fundamental constitution knows as prakriti. It is built up with 3 major biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

The dynamic balance between these three doshas determine one’s health and predominance of any one of these doshas is the deciding factor for one’s personality, behavior and attributes.

Ayurvedic remedies are always based on your individual constitution and to balance any one or all the three doshas that are out of rhythm. With its warming properties, Mustard essential oil is said to increase pitta dosha and pacify kapha and vata doshas. It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Mustard essential oil:

1. Benefits to the hair:

Ayurvedic Mustard oil is extremely good for hair. The essential fatty acids like linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and certain other components present in this oil makes it an effective natural remedy for treating hair loss, premature graying, dull and lifeless hair. Using Mustard essential oil on your scalp augments natural pigmentation and vitalizes your hair follicles by acting on the roots.

This way it prevents early graying and helps you in maintaining a natural dark hair even in your late 40s or early 50s. Indeed Ayurvedic Mustard oil is a long time secret of many grandmothers in India who still have healthy black hair.

Slightly heat 3 to 4 drops of Mustard essential oil blended with sesame oil and gently massage it on your scalp. Leave this blend for about an hour and wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo or shikakai for nourishing your scalp health, reducing hair fall, enhancing blood circulation, conditioning your hair, strengthening the roots, augmenting its natural shine and to lessen the more salt than pepper on your head.

2. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Mustard essential oil is generally used as a mucolytic in many parts of the world. Herbs and vegetables like wasabi, horseradish and nasturtium along with essential oils that are used as traditional mucolytics and are proved effective in breaking up mucous deposits and help sinus drainage in chronic sinusitis.

The antimicrobial property of Mustard essential oil assists in combating numerous pathogenic organisms and microbes that worsen sinusitis and certain other respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis.

A 2009 study on ‘Antimicrobial activity of Mustard essential oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi’ by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Korea states “Mustard essential oil affected the cell membrane of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi. It affected cell membrane integrity, resulting in a loss of cell homeostasis”.

On an Ayurvedic perspective respiratory problems like cold, cough, sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma are caused due to imbalance or increased kapha dosha responsible for fluid retention, congestion, phlegm and mucous deposits. Mustard essential oil is known to pacify and reduce kapha energy and it is used as an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for treating such respiratory problems.

Blend 2 drops of Mustard essential oil with little coconut oil and heat it. Massage this herbal blend on your chest, back and throat for loosening mucous deposits, removing phlegm from lungs and respiratory tract and to help trouble-free breathing. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Mustard essential oil in hot bathing water that can work wonders on respiratory ailments and certain other pulmonary problems.

3. Benefits to the skin:

Mustard essential oil is an effective antifungal, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, disinfecting and antimicrobial oil that protects the skin from infections, wounds from getting septic and heals minor skin problems like cuts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, insect bites, small lacerations, abrasions etc. Mustard essential oil has been in use for massaging for many centuries.

When gently massaged onto the skin after mixing 2 drops of Mustard essential oil with jojoba oil, it aids in increasing blood circulation with its warming properties, helps open the pores and supports in eliminating the toxins in the body through sweat. This essential oil has high level of vitamin E that promotes healthy skin, moisten the skin, protect the skin from harmful ultra-violet rays, and effectively treat blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines as well.

4. Benefits to the entire system:

The essential oil extracted from Mustard seeds is beneficial to the entire system with its tonic and stimulating properties that foster trouble-free functioning of the body. The pungent aroma of this oil increases hunger by stimulating the digestive juices and by increasing the appetite.

Massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Mustard oil mixed with sesame oil can help in burning the excess fat, promotes quicker digestion by encouraging the secretion of digestive juices and assists in treating constipation, flatulence and intestinal gas.

Mustard essential oil penetrates deeply into the skin and is a powerful Ayurvedic remedy for treating excess vata based nervous problems and kapha based problems like inflammation and retention of fluids. Mix 2 drops of Mustard oil with coconut oil and gently massage in circular movements on the affected areas to treat rheumatism, lumbago, back pain, headaches and inflammation.  Adding 1 drop of this oil to a cup of warm water can serve as an exceptional gargle for protecting your teeth and gums from germs.

This is an excellent massaging oil especially during winter to keep the body warm, trigger the functioning of the muscles and to treat numbness with its irritant properties. This oil is also said to slow down the process of aging naturally and aids in preventing cancer.

Disclaimer:

Never take essential oils internally. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might cause adverse effects on the skin and system. Always remember to use it after diluting in baths or suitable carrier oils. Ensure that you do a patch test on the skin before using essential oils for massage. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner for choosing the right essential oil that is apposite for your individual constitution and health condition.

Mustard Essential Oil Possible Skin Issues:

mustard-new

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

See => http://www.essentialdepot.com/GreenerLifeDiamond.html

Mustard oil is regarded as one of the most unsafe essential oils mainly due to the presence of Allyl isothiocyanate and erucic acid (a toxic monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid). According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubChem), Allyl isothiocyanate compound is poisonous by skin penetration and ingestion. It is also known to emit toxic fumes when exposed to high temperature.

The European Union has prohibited Mustard oil as a cosmetic ingredient and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has forbid the use of this oil in fragrances. Allyl isothiocyanate in Mustard oil is not recommended for therapeutic use, primarily due to its toxicity, irritating nature and rigorous lachrymatory effect (potent to produce tears) that draw a question mark on the safe use of this oil in the healthcare industry.

Generally, essential oils are listed with possible safe levels for therapeutic purposes but there is no viable information on the safe levels for the use of Mustard oil.

The immune system of mammals reacts excessively to allergens thus generating antibodies known as IgE (Immunoglobulin). Allergic reactions are further caused when these antibodies move to cells that discharge chemicals.

The most prominent adverse skin effects of Mustard oil are allergic reactions due to IgE, itchiness, redness, severe skin irritation, followed by blistering and irritation of the mucous membranes as well.

Prolonged use of Mustard oil on skin might interfere the function of the skin, thus augment the loss of water of epidermis and subsequently modifying the epidermal keratinocytes structure.

Few sources also state that inhaling of Mustard oil might end up in irritation of the eyes, nose, mucous membrane, respiratory system along with an obnoxious sensation in the head.

Certain studies state that the topical use of Mustard oil can cause irritant contact dermatitis and other allergic reactions. It is also evidenced that this oil is linked to the development of pityriasis rosea-like skin eruption (cutaneous lesions), which was proved by patch testing.

Tests on Chinese hamster cells proved the genotoxic effects of Allyl isothiocyanate and is also said to cause transitional cell papillomas and hyperplasia, when tested on male rats.

Mustard oil should be strictly avoided by pregnant women as it has the potent to induce uterine contractions and may lead to unusual bleeding and miscarriage and safety measures for using this oil during nursing is also not witnessed.

Mustard oil has the tendency to lower the levels of blood sugar and might interfere with your regular medications for diabetes and low blood sugar may obstruct surgical procedures, thus it is recommended to avoid Mustard oil for about 2 weeks before and after your scheduled surgery.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Mustard Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Pityriasis rosea-like eruptions due to mustard oil application by Zawar V, Nashik, India, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
  3. Dermatoses Due to Indian Cultural Practices by Divya Gupta and Devinder Mohan Thappa, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology and PubMed
  4. Black Mustard Side Effects and Safety by WebMD
  5. Allyl Isothiocyanate by U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubChem)
  6. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed

Thought for the day:

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.  -Walt Whitman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mustard Seeds: The Tiny Seed That May Save Your Life! (Plant & Seed Legacy Series) by Mary Jo Montanye
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar, Urmila Desai
  4. Traditional Systems of Medicine by M. Z. Abdin

Reference Links:

  1. The History of Mustard – From Prehistory to Modern Times by The Nibble.Com
  2. Mustard Oil by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of Mustard essential oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Korea published in Science Direct.com
  4. What are the benefits of Mustard oil for Sinusitis? By Livestrong.Com

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Black Pepper Oil

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Crowned as ‘the King of Spices’ and wholly packed with large amount of solar energy, Pepper is also called as Marich, which is the Sanskrit name for Sun. These petite seeds with mammoth health benefits have been an admirable natural remedy for treating various illnesses ranging from obesity to cancer.

BLack-pepper-oil-broucherOver all its amazing healing values, Black pepper oil has been a vital part of Complementary and Alternative medicinal practices for treating sinusitis, rectal prolapse, cellulites and rheumatism.

Called as Maricha, Vellaja or Kali mirch in Sanskrit and Hindi, Ayurveda recommends Black pepper and its essential oil for treating asthma, sinus congestion, chronic indigestion, cold and other respiratory infections, obesity, improper metabolism, urinary problems, cholera, headache, intermittent fever, toxic remains in the system and for certain other health issues. With the scientific name Piper nigrum, Black pepper is a limb of the plant family Piperaceae.

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Historical uses and importance of Black pepper and its essential oil:

Held high as the most traded spice of the world, Black pepper is indigenous to the southern parts of India especially the Malabar Coast, Kerala. Pepper, originated from the Dravidian word ‘pippali’ meaning long pepper, is the one among the world’s oldest herb and spice dated to 2 BCE, was used for medicinal and culinary purposes.

In the early 1800s, the word ‘pepper’ was used to indicate ‘energy’ or ‘spirit’, after which it was replaced by the word pep. Prized for its value in commodity trading, it was even called as ‘Black gold’.

The legendary Roman bookThe History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ written by Edward Gibbon quotes pepper as “a favorite ingredient of the most expensive Roman cookery“.

It was used in all most all the predominant cultures of the world. According to certain sources, pepper was said to be used in the treatment of eye problems as salves or in poultices in the 5th century.

Indian saints used pepper for acquiring endurance, especially during fasting and travelling. The traditional Indian medicine is said to have used pepper in treating throat infections, sore throat, congestion, cold and cough.

In general, the most popular uses of black pepper as home remedies accounts to its effectiveness in treating indigestion, gangrene, insomnia, lung diseases, tooth decay, constipation, flu, oral abscesses, hernia, joint pain, diarrhea and certain respiratory problems.

Black pepper is regarded as a priceless natural remedy in Ayurvedic medicine, for its varied uses in treating digestive disorders, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal problems, improper blood circulation, parasitic infections and certain other problems associated with the circulatory system.

The popular Ayurvedic preparation “Trikatu” is a combination of Black pepper, long pepper and ginger is recommended for numerous diseases. It is also used in making Indian chai and is taken for curing headache, cold, sore throat and cough.

The traditional Europeans used pepper as a predominant seasoning in various European cuisines and also as a preservative for perishable goods and meat items.

Herbalists across the world, prescribed Black pepper for treating vertigo, arthritis, rheumatic pain, flatulence, colic, nausea and indigestion. TCM, the traditional Chinese medicine records the use of Black pepper since 2 BCE and recommends its use in healing abdominal spasms, pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Black pepper oil:

Black pepper essential oil has various remedial properties and the most important among them are expectorant, febrifuge, antioxidant, diuretic, anti-arthritic, circulatory, analgesic, antibacterial, stimulant, anthelmintic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, laxative, aphrodisiac, anticatarrhal, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory and carminative.

The major chemical components of Black pepper oil are a-pinene, b-pinene, limonene, myrcene, sabinene, camphene, a-thujone, piperitone, caryophyllene, pinocarveol, p-cymene, b-bisabolene, a-phellandrene, b-farnesene, a-terpinene and linalool. Black pepper is also rich in minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, manganese and calcium along with antioxidant vitamins including Vitamin-C and A.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Black Pepper essential oil:

Ayur + Veda simply mean the knowledge of life. It is the oldest medicinal system known to the world with more than 5000 successful years of holistic healing practice. Being the pioneer of all other medicinal systems on earth, Ayurveda focuses on complimenting human beings with absolute health through natural healing methodologies and disciplined lifestyle, leading to prevention of illnesses, aging in the pink and higher life expectancy.

The National Institute of Health precisely articulates this as “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.”

The earliest Ayurvedic texts namely Sushruta Samhita and Charaka Samhita by the legendary Ayurvedic physicians Sushruta and Charaka educates the world on all kinds of diseases, causes, symptoms, and their treatment methodologies along with various Ayurvedic healing techniques.

Much to our astonishment, these Ayurvedic encyclopedias have talked about intricate surgeries including C-section delivery and plastic surgery even before the dawn of modern medical equipments.

The Ayurvedic philosophy insists that everything on earth including human beings are a part of nature and are made up of the five vital elements of nature namely fire, water, earth, space and air.

Human body is the best representation of these five elements of nature, where earth represents muscles and bones, fire is the vital energy for numerous functions of the body, water stands in the form of blood, air is what we breathe and space/ether is our soul that harmonizes all the functions of the system and keeps us alive.

Ayurveda considers every person as a unique part of nature and states that the handling of diseases should also be unique based upon their individual constitution or prakriti, which comprises of three biological energies or doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Vata is a symbol of air and space and checks the functions of the respiratory and nervous system. Pitta represents fire and water and is responsible body temperature and metabolic functions. Kapha stands for earth and water and is in charge for the sustenance, structure and the movement of fluids in the system.

According to Ayurveda, balance between these three doshas is a symbol of being in harmony with nature and it signifies perfect health, whereas imbalances due to unwholesome food habits, lifestyle changes and climatic conditions denote sickness.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies that focus on treating these doshic imbalances with the use of plant essential oils, herbs, and yoga, meditation, Pranayama or breathing practices, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, prayers, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and Panchakarma or the detoxification techniques.

The essential oil of Black pepper is believed to reduce kapha dosha and aggravate pitta and vata doshas with its spicy, warming and rich aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Black pepper essential oil are:

Black-Pepper-Oil1. Trusted Ayurvedic remedy for respiratory infections:

Black pepper and its essential oil is a vital part of the Ayurvedic remedy especially in the treatment of respiratory problems including congestion, sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma.

The spicy and warming natural aroma and therapeutic properties like expectorant, antiseptic, antimicrobial and decongestant properties of this sovereign spice assists in weakening the phlegm and mucous amassing and controls the increase of micro-organisms that worsen respiratory problems.

According to Ayurveda, imbalance or excess of kapha dosha contributes to the accumulation of fluid deposits including mucous and phlegm, especially in the chest, nasal, respiratory and bronchial passages.

This leads to respiratory problems like whooping cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis and breathing difficulties. With its potent to decrease kapha dosha, Black pepper is a cherished Ayurvedic and Grandmother’s medicine for alleviating respiratory problems.

Warm milk with 1 pinch of Black pepper powder and 1 pinch of Turmeric powder is a popular Ayurvedic remedy practiced in every Indian family for treating nasal congestion, chest congestion, cough, sore throat, headache and other symptoms associated with cold. Adding 1 drop of Black pepper oil in a cup of warm water and gargling with this mixture can help in treating sore throat and throat infections.

Black pepper oil, appropriately 2 drops of it added to steam inhalation followed by a gentle rub of your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Black pepper oil mixed with your regular vaporizing ointment can help in treating cold, flu, blocked nasal passages, chest congestion, sinusitis and headache. This natural remedy can also assist in improving blood circulation in the lungs.

2. Relieves digestive disorders:

Undoubtedly, Black pepper is one among the best spices for improving digestion, enhancing the flavor of the food varieties and boosting the functions of metabolism. It is for this reason Black pepper powder is often dusted over all kinds of cuisines, be it a relishing vegetable salad or a lip-smacking chicken curry.

With its digestive, antispasmodic, carminative and anti-flatulent properties, Black pepper essential oil acts as a digestive tonic that treats gas, indigestion, colic and other gastro-intestinal disorders.

Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Black pepper oil, 2 drops of Ajwain oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil along with 3 ml of sesame oil can help in expelling gas in the stomach and intestines and also aids in preventing the formation of gas. Adding 1 drop of this oil to your handkerchief or a tissue paper and inhaling the aroma of this oil assists in promoting the secretion of digestive enzymes, bile and other gastric juices responsible for trouble-free digestion.

This also aids in enhancing the appetite, treat constipation, intestinal spasms, colic, indigestion, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach upsets and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Reduces fever:

Black pepper essential oil has febrifuge properties along with antiseptic and diuretic values that support the system in reducing fever and maintaining the normal body temperature. Massaging your foot soles with 2 drops of Black pepper oil with 1 drop of Cardamom oil mixed with 2 ml of olive oil can help in reducing fever by promoting urine and sweat along with discharging the toxins in the system and combating the growth of micro-organisms that increase fever.

You can also add 1 drop of Black pepper oil to a wet cloth and leave it on your forehead for improved results. It also opens up the sweat pores and reduces the body temperature slowly by granting absolute relief from fever.

4. Alleviates rheumatism and arthritic conditions:

Rheumatism, according to Ayurveda is caused mainly due to the accumulation of toxic substances, water deposits, salt and uric acid especially in the joints, leading to inflammation, redness, soreness, pain and irritation. Black pepper essential oil has the power to discharge excess water deposits, toxic remains known as ama, uric acid and other calcium deposits through urine.

2 drops of this oil mixed with 2 drops of Frankincense oil and 2 ml of coconut oil massaged slowly in circular movements on the affected parts can help in reducing swelling, inflammation, redness, stinging pain and irritation with its diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties.

You can also add 2 drops of Black pepper oil along with 2 drops of lemon oil in warm bathing water for relaxing aching muscles and your entire system. This enriching bath along with the soothing massage with Black pepper oil aids in promoting frequent urination through which the harmful toxins and other excess fluid deposits in the system are ejected.

5. Combats free radicals and fights against cancers:

Black pepper tops the list along with Turmeric as a powerful anti-cancer and cancer prevention spice recommended by the American Institute of Cancer Research. Black pepper has excellent antioxidant properties and high amount of Vitamin C that help in fighting the free radicals responsible for the development of cancerous tumors.

The University of Michigan research has established that the mixture of curcumin (Turmeric component) and piperine (Black pepper constituent) enhances curcumin bioavailability and restrains breast stem cell self-renewal.

Piperine have also been tested and proved for its potent anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in various cellular studies. According to Dr. Joshua Lambert, Associate Professor of Food Science at Penn State University, the combination of piperine along with green tea Polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) augmented the bioavailability of EGCG in studies with human and animal models.

A study on the “In vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) by the Department of Biology and Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Sharjah, UAE states that Black pepper (Piper nigrum) “enhance the cytotoxic activity of the natural killer cells, indicating their potential anti-cancer effects.” In addition to that it concludes the study by stating that “black pepper and cardamom exert immunomodulatory roles and anti-tumor activities, and hence they manifest themselves as natural agents that can promote the maintenance of a healthy immune system.”

This study also states that the anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of Black pepper helps in lessening the production of nitric oxide by macrophages, which acts as one of the chief inflammatory intermediaries.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Black pepper oil, 5 drops of Lemon oil, 5 drops of Orange oil, and 5 drops of Cardamom oil along with 10 ml of coconut oil can help in fighting against existing free radicals and prevent the formation of new free radicals.

You can even add 2 drops of Black pepper oil, 2 drops of Cardamom oil and 2 drops of Orange oil in your bath daily for enhancing your immunity against these dangerous free radicals causing oxidative damages to the cellular structure in the body.

Inhaling the warming aroma of Pepper by adding 2 drops of this oil to your burner or diffuser can also support your healing process in a better manner.

6. Excellent weight-loss formula:

Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ recommend a natural weight loss formula with Black pepper oil as the key component. Their recipe for the weight loss method says “10 drops black pepper oil, 10 drops lavender oil, 5 drops frankincense oil, 5 drops sandalwood oil in three ounces of mustard, canola, almond oil or a mixture. To be used externally on areas where you wish to lose weight.”

7. Enormous spiritual and emotional benefits:

On the spiritual and psychological side, Black pepper essential oil is the best choice for people who are highly anxious and keep on worrying every time. The presence of the primary chemical constituent piperine in Pepper is a powerful anti-depressant and helps in treating depression and is known to enhance the cognitive ability.

Inhaling the warm, peppery, energizing and musky aroma of Black pepper oil especially during meditation, Pranayama and prayers by adding 2 drops of this oil along with 2 drops of lavender oil in your vaporizer, burner or diffuser can assist in venting out the negative feelings, augmenting self-empowerment, enhancing physical and mental stamina to overcome challenges and accepting one’s own potential besides all the conflicting thoughts.

Other uses:

Ayurveda states that diabetes occurs due to imbalance of kapha dosha and low digestive fire. Black pepper oil is among those natural diabetic remedies with its positive effect in reducing excess kapha dosha and increasing the digestive fire. It also helps in controlling the insulin levels in the system.

It is also recommended for stimulating the endocrine system, treating low blood pressure, hypertension, obesity and certain other cardiovascular problems. Certain modern medicinal systems also suggest the use of Black pepper in the treatment of dandruff, wrinkles, vitiligo, tooth decay, swallowing problems in neurological and post-stroke patients, cigarette de-addiction and postural instability in adults.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not proposed to cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition or substitute any kind of prescribed medications or expert medical advice. We are not health professionals and we contribute to this data only with the concern of circulating the traditional opulence and proven medical miracles of Ayurveda, the world’s oldest and long-established holistic medical system.

Do not ingest essential oils and always ensure that you dilute essential oils before using it for topical application. This is because, pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and may possibly cause allergic or other negative reactions if used on the skin directly. At all times, make sure that you consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/medical professional before picking up the suitable essential oil for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and state of health.

Thought for the day:

Nature patiently waits and we have only to turn back to her to find relief from our sufferingDr Bach

Suggested Reading:

  1. Black Pepper Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  2. Black Pepper: Piper nigrum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  3. Pepper: A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice by Marjorie Shaffer
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  5. The Black Pepper Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner M.D.

Reference Links:

  1. Black Pepper by Wikipedia
  2. In vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) by Majdalawieh AF, Carr RI, Department of Biology and Chemistry, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Sharjah, UAE, published in PubMed
  3. Black Pepper Oil from Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Light Miller and Bryan Miller
  4. The spices of Cancer prevention published in the American Institute of Cancer Research’s Update
  5. Medicinal Uses of Black Pepper by Natural Standard

Cassia Oil

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Cassia-banner“Cassia does everything Cinnamon does, but better!” say many Doctors. Cassia owns the glory of being born in the heart of China and has been in use for more than 4,000 years for culinary and medicinal purposes. This ancient herb has been trusted to enhance energy, life force, vitality and blood circulation.

Ayurveda prescribes Cassia for the treatment of menstrual problems, nausea, respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal problems, depression, loss of libido, rheumatism, diabetes and indigestion. Cassia is botanically called as Cinnamomum cassia and is a member of the Lauraceae plant family.

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Historical uses and importance of Cassia oil:

Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon or Chinese cassia finds its origin in South China. This tree serves several purposes and is hence widely cultivated in India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With its celebrated use in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cassia is regarded as one among the 50 fundamental herbs of China.

Cassia finds its importance in the United States too, and is marketed under the name of “Cinnamon” for culinary purposes. The Indians take a liking to the buds on the tree as well and also use it in their food; this is an ancient ingredient for soul food used by the Romans as well.

This tree grows to a height of 10–15 m, which has a grayish bark with leaves that are hard and elongated and a warping of 10-15 cms in length with a pretty red color when young.

The bark of the tree finds its uses in the kitchen, while the leaves and the twigs of this tree are sometimes used in the production of Cassia oil. The oil extracted from the Cassia tree, finds immense importance in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine including Ayurveda.

It is useful as a medicine, for beauty care, for cooking, as a health tonic and also as a stimulant. Cassia oil is brownish to yellowish in color, and the refined oil is colorless with a pale yellow tint when held up to the sunlight.

The aromatic bark of Cassia has been in use as a medicinal spice in various traditions across the world.  In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon has been used for treating diarrhea, cold, nausea, painful menstruation and flatulence.

It was also used to boost immunity, treat fever, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney infections, candida, nail fungus, atherosclerosis, cataract and even cancer, with its natural antioxidant properties.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Cassia oil constitutes of 12 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this super aromatic oil. Of which, (E)-Cinnamaldehyde contributes to the highest proportion of Cassia oil constituents with about 81.3% of its total composition.

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(E)-Cinnamaldehyde

o-Methoxy-Cinnamaldehyde

Cinnamyl acetate

I believe that this must surely help you in learning about the major chemical constituents of Cassia oil.

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

cassia-oil

Therapeutic properties of Cassia essential oil:

The remedial properties of Cassia oil are fungicidal, antimutagen, stimulant, anticoagulant, antiviral, antibacterial, circulatory, anti-diarrhea, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, carminative, anti-galactogogue, anti-rheumatic, emmenagogue, anti-depressant, febrifuge, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-emetic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia essential oil:

Ayurveda is a righteous remedial practice that indicates that everything on earth should follow a disciplined order of living for leading a healthy and progressive life.

Every human being is a part of nature according to Ayurveda and one’s illness and wellness depends upon an individual’s balance with nature. Ayurvedic healing trusts and depends upon Mother Nature and its natural remedies for treating humanity.

This 5,000 year oldest healing methodology is the pioneer for all other medicinal practices including Homeopathy, Siddha, Unani, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Allopathy, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and much more. The first Ayurvedic record refers to Atharvaveda, one of the 4 sacred books of the Indian mythology with 114 verses talking about numerous diseases and the corresponding traditional remedies of Ayurveda.

This was further enhanced by the 3 most important Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita (Charaka – the father of medicine), Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta – the father of surgery) and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita. These books have talked on all the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, various kinds of illnesses and their comprehensive medicinal practices. This includes Ayurvedic remedies for almost all kinds of diseases including the chronic cancer.

According to Ayurveda, health is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness and Charaka Samhita quotes this as, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

The distinctiveness of Ayurveda lies in its holistic approach that treats the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms. This paves way for treating the sickness as well as preventing it in future.

Instead of prescribing the same medicines for everyone, Ayurveda recommends unique remedies for every individual according to their unique individual constitution, even if it is for the same illness. This is because Ayurveda identifies every individual as a distinctive part of nature and considers that their illnesses should also be treated with accordance to it.

The unique individual constitution or prakriti is an arrangement of three biological energies called as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a combination of the five elements of nature including fire, earth, space, air and water.

Vata (air and space) controls the functions of the nervous system, circulatory system and the respiratory system. Pitta (fire and water) governs the metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha (earth and water) is in charge for the movement of fluids in the system and the functions of the reproductive system.

Every person has a dominance of any one these doshas and it determines the physical appearance, personality, behavioral patterns and mental makeup. Absolute balance between these doshic elements symbolizes healthiness and disparities of these biological factors lead to diseases.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and certain Ayurvedic techniques like Panchakarma or the detox therapy, Abhyanga or the skill of Ayurvedic massaging using Ayurvedic oils and much more.

With its warming and stimulating properties, Cassia essential oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing for increasing pitta dosha and decreasing kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia oil and its use in the treatment of various health conditions:

cassia-broucher-info1. Treats psychological problems:

Cassia oil has been used in the treatment of depression. This is mainly attributed to the presence of its constituent known as Cinnamaldehyde, which helps in uplifting the mood, inducing positive thoughts and combating depression. It helps in relieving one from negative feelings.

Ayurveda recommends Cassia oil especially during meditation, yoga and Pranayama for supporting the perfect harmony of the mind, body and the soul. Adding 2 drops of this oil in vaporizer, burner or diffuser particularly during prayers, meditation, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing and yoga practices can help in augmenting mental clarity, boost self-confidence, enhance memory skills and to face the challenges of life with original sense of improved independence.

A 2011 study proved that an isolated substance (CEppt) in the cinnamon plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. CEppt, an extract of the cinnamon bark, was used to resolve the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2013 study by Dr. Mercola on ‘Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s’ brings out the results of a study published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’, which states “Cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, two compounds found in cinnamon, have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of a particular protein called tau. Tau plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons. Both compounds were found to protect tau from oxidative damage that can lead to dysfunction.”

It is also said that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of brain diabetes and is also explored that there is a connection between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because “Insulin and insulin receptors in your brain are crucial for learning and memory, and it’s known that these components are lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease”, says Donald Graves, professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Cassia cinnamon proves effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease mainly with its potent to control blood glucose level in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

2. Checks diabetes:

Diabetes is one among the most common health condition that about 60% of the earth’s population battles everyday and it is often regarded as a bane to humanity.

Treatment of diabetes through Allopathic medicine has not gone a very long way. Studies show that Cassia oil can be used in the treatment of diabetes especially in type2 diabetes where patients suffer with malfunctioning of insulin in the body.

Cinnamon oil helps lower the level of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes; this is made possible through the abundant presence of a Polyphenol compound in Cinnamon that is soluble in water. A 2003 study published in the Diabetes Care journal states that Cassia Cinnamon helped in reducing blood glucose levels, a blood lipid known as triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

Relax your system by adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to warm bathing water in the morning and you can also add 1 drop of this oil to your handkerchief and stay refreshed throughout the day.

In addition to that you can invigorate yourself by an Ayurvedic massage in the weekend with 5 drops of Cassia oil blended with 5 drops of Nutmeg oil, 5 drops of Fennel oil and 10 ml of coconut oil, followed by a warm bath can aid in controlling your blood glucose levels and bad cholesterol levels by penetrating through the skin and passing commands to the bloodstream.

3. Boosts circulation and alleviates rheumatic problems:

Rheumatism is an auto-immune disorder that occurs mainly due to the buildup of toxins or ama in the body caused due to the inequality of digestive fire in the body.

Ayurveda states that ama or the toxic substances in the body has the hazardous power to obstruct the functions of the vital organs in the system. These substances reach the kapha subjugated parts of the body including joints, chest, stomach, fingers, brain and certain other parts.

The symptoms being improper blood circulation, swelling of joints, inflammation, loss of energy, fatigue, inflammation, insomnia, burning and itchy eyes, indigestion, redness, morning stiffness and much more.

Being a circulatory, anti-rheumatic, analgesic oil and controller of excess kapha dosha proves Cassia as an excellent natural remedy for treating rheumatism, arthritis and its associated symptoms.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Nutmeg oil and 3 ml of sesame oil can help in enhancing blood circulation, augmenting warmth feelings to the joints, alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, promoting frequent urination through which toxins are eliminated and relieving from other related symptoms as well.

Along with this, yoga and Pranayama can help in relieving rheumatism and arthritis quicker than you think. A research by the scientists of the Baltimore John Hopkins University published in the Arthritis Foundation website states that “yoga has absolutely been helpful for treating people with rheumatoid arthritis.”

4. Relieves digestive and respiratory disorders:

The carminative and stomachic properties of Cassia oil help in treating gastro-intestinal problems and other digestive problems including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and infections in the stomach and intestines. For treating digestive problems, you can massage your abdomen with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Nutmeg oil along with 2 ml of avocado oil.

Respiratory infections like cold, cough, influenza and congestion occur due to vitiated kapha dosha causing excess fluid deposits leading to accumulation of phlegm, mucus and other microbes in the nasal, respiratory and bronchial passages.

Cassia essential oil has anti-microbial, anti-viral and expectorant properties along with its potent to regularize the functions of kapha dosha. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil in steam inhalation along with a gentle massaging of your throat, chest and back with 1 drop of this oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment can grant quicker relief from all kinds of respiratory problems. You can also practice Pranayama (Ayurvedic breathing exercises) for relieving from chronic respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis etc.

5. Benefits to the female reproductive system:

Cassia oil is a proven natural medicine for treating menstrual pain, spasms, irregular periods, and blocked menstruation. This oil has emmenagogue properties that induce menses and is a boon to women suffering from blocked or irregular menstruation. The analgesic or pain-relieving properties of Cassia oil help in reducing menstrual pain or dysmennorhea.

Massaging your lower abdomen and thighs with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 1 ml of sesame oil can help in alleviating painful menstruation, delayed periods and menstrual spasms. Adding 2 drops of this oil in warm bathing water can help in reducing anxiety, fatigue, nausea, restlessness and loss of energy associated with menstruation.

Cassia and its oil have been used since the ancient Chinese tradition for preventing childbirth and for controlling milk in breastfeeding mothers with its anti-galactogogue properties.

6. Benefits to hair and skin:

Cassia oil finds its uses in cosmetic and hair care products as well. When used with Chamomile tea, Cassia oil can act as a hair dye, and when mixed with lemon juice in right proportions it gives a good strawberry blonde hue for your hair. Shampoos and conditioners that contain Cassia oil can help in the nourishment of your hair from within.

Cassia obovata when made into a mixture with hot water can be used as a hair mask. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to 10 ml of your mild shampoo can help in fostering hair growth, treating damaged hair, strengthening hair follicles and aid in retaining the natural moisture in the scalp.

When it comes to skin care, powdered Cassia and its essential oil are used since the primeval times for treating a wide range of skin problems including acne. This oil works well as an anti-viral and anti-fungal agent and highly helps in treating fungal and viral infections of the skin.

Mixing 2 drops of Cassia oil with 1 drop of Orange oil and 1.5 ml of olive oil and applying it gently on the affected parts can assist in treating pimples, blackheads, ringworm, athlete’s foot, itching, wounds and other skin infections. Massaging your facial skin with this blend can also help in eliminating dead skin cells and controlling excessive secretion of oil causing acne.

Other Uses:

Cassia also finds its use as anti-emetic oil by preventing nauseating sensations and also relieves one from vomiting. You can wear 1 drop of Cassia oil on your wrist or add it to your handkerchief or a tissue and inhale the medicated aroma to help you prevent from vomiting and enhance your appetite, especially during travelling. Cassia oil seems to speed up the functioning of the kidneys and is also known for affecting the libido due to its aphrodisiac qualities.

In food, Cassia oil is used for its wonderful aroma and its sweet flavor that gives the dish an additional taste. The delicate scent of Cassia essential oil plays a major role in reducing drowsiness, irritability, pain, frequency of headaches, and more. So adding 1 to 2 drops of this oil to your diffuser or air freshener and inhaling the light scent of this oil in your room can gift you an amusing atmosphere. Cassia oil also helps in relaxing tight muscles and spasms.

Disclaimer:

This article is completely for the purpose of information and education.  It is not meant to cure, diagnose or put a stop to any medical condition or substitute any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is published only with the concern of sharing the conventional principles and therapeutic uses of Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences in the universe.

Do not take essential oils internally and always keep in mind that you dilute essential oils before using it for topical application. This is because organic and pure essential oils are greatly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Make certain that you consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare practitioner prior to choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Avoid Cassia oil if you are pregnant or nursing your baby.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Cassia oil.

Cassia Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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The adverse skin reactions of Cassia or the Chinese Cinnamon oil are dermal irritation, mild to severe skin sensitization, irritation of the mucous membrane and dermatitis. Cassia oil is said to exhibit no phototoxic effects but is emmenagogue in nature and might cause contraction of the uterine muscles, which is hazardous to the wellness of the fetus and the pregnant women.

The key chemical constituents that are responsible for the possible skin and other undesirable health issues of Cassia oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. These components have been studied for causing acute and subchronic toxicity.

Studies state that Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions, irritation, sensitization and dermatitis when the skin is in contact with products like liniments, mouthwashes, toothpastes and creams.

It may provoke debility, itching, irritation, insomnia, and depression in some people. This mainly occurs when the use of Cinnamaldehyde exceeds the maximum safe level of usage. The highest recommended level by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) for Cinnamaldehyde is 0.05% for most of the products.

When used in vapor therapy and topical application beyond the recommended usage level, Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol are said to contribute to the irritation of mucous membrane and are accounted for hepatotoxicity (toxic, irritant and might cause damage to the liver), mutagenic (alteration in the structure of DNA), reproductive toxicity (research supporting significant fall in the number of nuclei and changes in the allotment of embryos in pregnant mice) and restrain platelet aggregation, a vital part of the blotting clotting process.

Undiluted or concentrated Cassia oil have been proved to cause severe irritation in rabbits in certain studies and few other studies involving consecutive patients with dermatitis, few people were sensitive to 2% Cassia oil on patch testing.

Always ensure to dilute Cassia oil in appropriate carrier oils before topical use and never ingest essential oil as they may be toxic to the system.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cassia Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  3. A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients by The RIFM expert panel, published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology
  4. Cassia bark oil: The Chinese Cinnamon oil by Mercola.com
  5. Fragrance material review on cinnamyl acetate by S.P. Bhatia, G.A. Wellington, J. Cocchiara, J. Lalko, C.S. Letizia, A.M. Api, Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc., Manheimer Fragrances, Teterboro NJ, USA, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology Review and Science Direct

Thought for the day:

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.  -Paracelsus

Suggested Reading:

  1. Cinnamon and Cassia: The Genus Cinnamomum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda B.A.M.S.
  3. The Complete Guide to Natural Cures: Effective Holistic Treatments for Everything from Allergies to Wrinkles (Lynn Sonberg Books) by Debora Yost
  4. The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices by Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling
  5. Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth by Sharol Marie Tilgner

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamomum cassia by Wikipedia
  2. Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s by Dr. Mercola
  3. Can Cinnamon help you control your diabetes by Amy Campbell published in Diabetes Self-Management.com
  4. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and Cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume by Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE published in PubMed


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