Betel Leaf Oil



Have you ever thought whether nature has a heart? If yes, then here’s your answer. The heart shaped Betel leaf is beckoned as the ‘Golden heart of nature’. Dating back to 7000 BC, Betel is one among those oldest divine herbs bestowed on mankind.

Betel-leaf-bannerBesides numerous health benefits, these appealing leaves are a symbol of status and hospitality for greeting Kings, nobles and guests in the cultural heritage of India. Botanically called as Piper betle, Betel vine is a member of the pepper family Piperaceae.

Tambool, Saptashira, Nagavallari and Nagini are Sanskrit names of Betel leaf and is commonly called as Paan in Hindi and the English names are Betel pepper, Betel vine and Betel. In Ayurveda, Tambool or Tambuli has been mentioned in numerous Ayurvedic texts including Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, where these glossy leaves have been prescribed for enhancing metabolic functions, reducing inflammation, expelling mucus, strengthening the heart muscles, improving appetite, purifying blood, treating ulcer, nosebleed, acne, bronchitis, halitosis, bleeding gums, headache and reproductive problems.

Historical uses and importance of Betel leaf and its essential oil:

Betel leaf has a rich historical charisma and is said to have been indigenous to South East Asian countries including Malaysia and India. Chewing Betel leaves with areca nut is a cultural tradition in most of the Asian countries for it’s said to give a euphoric feeling that stimulates the mind and grants instant energy for working.

According to the study of numerous Anthropologists, the traces of Betel leaves were said have been found in spirit caves of Northwest Thailand, which dates back to 5500 to 7000 B.C. The oldest historical book of Sri Lanka, ‘Mahawamsa’ written in Pali talks about the leaves of the Betel vine. There are certain other findings in human skeletons dating back to 3000 BC in countries like Philippines and Indonesia, indicating the use of Betel leaves even before thousands of years.

The traditional practice of chewing Betel leaves with areca nut has been mentioned in the pre-historic books of the Indian mythology and the most predominant among them are Raghuvamsa written by Kalidas and Kamsutra written by Vatsyayana. In one of the oldest text named Sakta-tantra, Betel leaves have been denoted as one of the important ways of attaining siddhi or abundant blessings from the Almighty.

In these ancient texts Betel leaves were referred as Tambulika, Tambuladhikara, Tambuladayini, and Tambuladyaka and so on. Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have also indicated the many uses of Betel leaves. In chapters 28-46 of Sushruta Samhita Betel leaves are described as “aromatic, sharp, hot, acrid and beneficial for voice, laxative, appetizer, beside this they pacify vata and aggravate pitta.”

The primeval Ayurvedic texts also highlight the aphrodisiac properties of Betel leaf that aid in treating male and female reproductive problems. The Chinese Traditional medicine also used Betel leaves for its warm and spicy nature that aided in the treatment of cough, itching, inflammation, headache and respiratory infections.

Betel leaves were used in various medical preparations of the Unani medicine and was used as a brain tonic, and in treating throat infections, cleansing the blood and for enhancing the appetite.

Betel leaves were also used in the traditional healing system for treating various health disorders like conjunctivitis, leucorrhea, rheumatism, ringworm, constipation, infertility, bad breath, ottorrhoea, cough and asthma. Singers chewed these leaves to enhance their voice.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components of Betel leaf essential oil:

The primary ingredients of the essential oil of Betel leaf are cadinene, sesquiterpene, chavicol, geraniol, α-thujene, terpinolene, chavibetol, phenyl propane, trans β-ocimene, safrole, caryophyllene, cineole, cadinol, eugenol, camphene, limonene, pinene, and eugenyl acetate.

These chemical constituents contribute to its remedial values like antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, gastroprotective, radio-protective, anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective, galactogogue, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, carminative, analgesic and nervous stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Betel leaf essential oil:

Veda means knowledge and Vedic studies were strongly suggested for people during the primordial times for gaining knowledge on various aspects including reading and writing skills, discipline, war skills and spiritual values. Ayurveda is much more than a traditional healing system and the word Ayurveda literally means knowledge of life.

The 4 major Vedas of India is like the pillars of the Indian mythology with the world’s richest cultural heritage. They are Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda, and among these Ayurveda has its origin from Atharva Veda. This ancient medicinal science is said to have been blessed by the God of Medicine, known as Acharya Dhanvantari.

The main aim of Ayurvedic healing is longevity and healthy aging through a disciplined life and prevention of illnesses with the use of natural remedies like herbal remedies, plant essential oils, yoga, meditation, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and other established Ayurvedic techniques including Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detoxification therapies, Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging and many more.

The most treasured Ayurvedic writings include Sushruta Samhita, Charaka Samhita and Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita. These texts throw light on the basic Ayurvedic concepts and its detailed healing mechanism. Charaka known as the father of medicine represents the Atreya School of physicians and shared his medical intelligence on pathogenesis, anatomy, physiology, etiology, disease symptoms, and diagnosis.

Acharya Sushruta is called as the father of surgery and corresponds to the Dhanvantari School of surgeons. He explains about the classification of wounds, burns, fractures, amputation, rectal surgery, plastic surgery and about many types of surgical equipments.

The credit of introducing Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging based on the marma points in the body also goes to Sushruta. The third Ayurvedic text Ashtangha Hridaya contains the medicinal values of both Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, the major principles of Ayurveda include the 5 vital elements of nature known as Panchamahabutas, 3 dynamic energies known as tridosha, discarding of waste called as malas and the important organs of the body, known as dhatus.

This conventional therapy believes that the earth is made up of five fundamental elements known as space, earth, fire, water, and air. Similarly, the whole thing in this world is also made up of the same five elements also called as the building blocks of nature.

By nature, every person has a unique individual constitution, named as Prakriti and it comprises of three biological forces known as doshas. They are vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (earth and water).

Among these, vata dosha is accountable for the activities of the nervous system including the central and autonomic functions. Pitta dosha is responsible for metabolic functions, tissue building, endocrinal functions and the body temperature. Kapha energy is in charge of physical fitness, binding power, sustenance and reproductive functions.

Absolute balance between these doshas as per nature’s law signifies health and disparity caused by irregular food habits, detrimental practices, climatic conditions and certain other factors leads to sickness.

Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in order to balance these doshic vitiations. Betel leaf essential oil is known for its remedial properties that pacify kapha and vata dosha and increase pitta body type.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Betel leaf oil are:

Betel-leaf-broucher1. Ayurvedic approach for refreshing your breath:

Betel leaves are an excellent Ayurvedic aid for refreshing the breath instantly even after heavy meals or especially after having food items that may possess strong odor like garlic or onion. Chewing betel leaves is a customary practice in India since the traditional times mainly for its potent to prevent bad breath, enhance digestion, support healthy gums, assist strong teeth and combat germs and other micro-organisms that cause oral infections.

According to numerous research studies, Betel leaves and its essential oil are the best remedies for treating plaque, dental decay, dental caries and other oral infections caused by bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms.

According to a study on Piper betle, published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, “Dental caries is a chronic endogenous infection caused by the normal oral commensally flora. The carious lesion is the result of demineralization of enamel and later of dentine by acids produced by plaque microorganisms as they metabolize dietary carbohydrates.”

The primary bacteria responsible for tooth decay is Streptococcus mutans and certain other researchers have concluded that the aqueous extracts present in Betel leaves have the oral protective action and potent to combat such bacterial growths along with various acid-producing oral pathogens.

Gargling every morning and night with one cup of warm water mixed with 1 drop of Betel leaf oil can act as a protective shield against tooth decay, plaque, halitosis or unpleasant odor in the mouth, harmful effects of bacteria, germs and other oral pathogens. This also helps in sweetening your breath, arresting oral bleeding, strengthening your gums and fortifying your teeth.

2. Keeps away microbes and its hazardous infections:

The essential oil extracted from betel leaves prevent the system from the dangerous effects of pathogens and micro-organisms and kills the existing microbes and treats the infections caused by such harmful bodies.

A 1991 study on the ‘Biological activity of the essential oil of Piper betle L., by S. C. Garg and Rajshree Jain states that “The essential oil from the leaves of Piper betle L. has been found in vitro to be highly active against the growth of four keratinophilic fungi, Arthroderma benhamiae, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Ctenomyces serratus and five pathogenic Aspergilli. Bacterial organisms Bacillus subtilis, B. pumilus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi and Vibrio cholerae were also found to be susceptible to the oil.”

Certain studies also state that Betel leaves and its extracts also possess bactericidal activity on various urinary tract pathogenic bacteria including Enterocococcus faecalis, koseri, C.fruendi, Klebsiella pnemoniae.

The molecule sterol present in these leaves is said to be responsible for the anti-bacterial activity of Betel leaf oil. This contributes to its effectiveness against numerous gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It also contains anti-fungal activity and proves challenging to fungi and the resulting fungal infections.

This property of Betel leaf oil helps in treating related skin problems like acne, wounds becoming septic, ringworms, athletes’ foot and certain other infectious diseases like dermatophytosis, which is caused by highly specialized fungi known as the dermatophytes and this disease occurs mainly on the keratinized parts of the body like nail, skin and hair.

A study on the “Evaluation of Anti-dermatophytic activity of Piper betle, Allamanda cathertica and their combination: An in vitro and in vivo stud” published in the International Journal of Pharm Tech., states that the chloroform extract of piper betel shows the much more efficiency than the methanol fraction against dermatophytes because of presence of non-polar components in the fraction.

Gently applying 2 drops of Betel leaf oil blended with 1 drop of Peppermint oil and 1 drop of turmeric oil along with 2 ml of coconut oil on the affected parts can help in relieving wounds and infections quickly along by combating and preventing the growth of destructive microbes. You can also 2 drops of Betel leaf oil to your bathing water to protect you from germs, prevent body odor and grant ultimate refreshment all through the day.

3. Natural digestive aid:

Chewing of betel leaf is considered as an edible digestive aid since the traditional times for its carminative, intestinal, anti-flatulent and gastro-protective properties. The essential oil extracted from these aromatic leaves are also claimed to possess these therapeutic properties, as essential oils are nothing but the life essence or vital life force of the plants.

Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Betel leaf oil mixed with 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 ml of sesame oil can be an excellent digestive assistance. This helps in promoting the secretion of saliva, gastric juices and digestive acids and it also supports in producing the peristaltic waves, which is highly significant for hassle-free digestion.

This Ayurvedic massaging along with inhaling the warm aroma of Betel leaf oil by adding 1 drop of this oil to your hankie or a tissue paper can aid in treating constipation, diarrhea, gas pain, flatulence, intestinal spasms and sluggish digestion.

Certain researches have also established that the essential oil of Betel leaf has been highly effective against hookworms (Bunostomum trigonocephalum) and tapeworms (Taenia solium) than the accepted synthetic anthelmintics like hexyl resorcinol and piperazine phosphate.

4. Instant remedy for respiratory problems:

The best Ayurvedic remedy for relieving cold, cough and breathing difficulties is applying warmed Betel leaves on the chest after soaking it in mustard oil. Juice extracted from crushed Betel leaves mixed with honey is another traditional remedy for loosening tough phlegm deposits and relieving severe cough.

Betel leaf oil has expectorant properties that aids in expelling accumulated mucus and phlegm especially in the lungs and the respiratory passages. Along with this, the antimicrobial properties of this help in killing contagious microbes in the system like bacteria and viruses that aggravate respiratory infections, if left uncontrolled. Adding 2 drops of Betel leaf oil in steam inhalation and inhaling this medicated steam can help in treating nasal congestion, chest congestion and other cough.

Mix 2 drops of Betel leaf oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 ml of mustard oil and warm it slightly. Gently massage your throat, chest and back with this medicated oil to eject excess water deposits in the body leading to the amassing of phlegm and mucus deposits. The micro-organisms in the body are eliminated through excessive sweating and urination after taking up these Ayurvedic remedies with Betel leaf oil.

5. Relieves rheumatic conditions and pain:

One amongst the three Ayurvedic schools (Sushruta Samhita, Charaka Samhita and Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita) has recommended the use of betel leaves in the treatment of severe pain and aches, mainly originating from the nervous system. This pain-relieving attribute of Betel leaf is due its analgesic, numbing and cooling properties.

Rheumatism is often regarded as a health disorder caused mainly due to kapha vitiations. Excess of kapha dosha due to changes in food habits, climatic conditions and other lifestyle changes leads to stagnation of water in the system, built up of toxins, inflammation, pain, irritation and certain other symptoms. Betel leaf essential oil with its warming properties increases the heat energy in the system and reduces excess of kapha dosha.

Massaging the affected parts with 3 drops of Betel leaf oil mixed with 1.5 ml of coconut oil can help in alleviating the surplus water deposits in the system by promoting frequent urination with its diuretic properties. You can also add 4 to 5 drops of this oil in hot or cold compress and use it gently on the painful parts. This can also help in relieving headache, lumbago or lower back pain, arthritis pain, swelling, redness and muscular tension.

6. Treats various skin disorders:

Betel leaf juice mixed with turmeric powder is a trusted folklore medicine for treating wounds, boils, acne, cuts and other minor injuries. With its powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, Betel leaf and its essential oil have been proven effective in treating allergies, skin ulceration, nosebleeds, body odor, itchiness, vaginal wetness, acne and other skin infections.

Mix 2 drops of Betel leaf oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 ml of Jojoba oil and apply it on the infected parts and leave it for half an hour. Wash it thoroughly with a mild skin cleanser. 1 drop of Betel leaf oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a safe genital wash for treating vaginal wetness, combating germs and other micro-organisms in the discharge, and for supporting genital shrinkage in women, especially after delivery.

Other health benefits:

Betel leaf essential oil is also an effective Ayurvedic remedy for treating reproductive problems with its aphrodisiac properties, diabetes with its anti-diabetic properties, urinary problems with its diuretic properties, constipation in children with its carminative properties, halitosis and other oral problems with its disinfectant and anti-microbial properties.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not intended to cure or prevent any medical condition or replace any prescription medicines. This is only an initiative to spread the time-honored wisdom and medical excellence of Ayurveda and we are not healthcare professionals.

Remember to consult your Ayurvedic professional/healthcare practitioner before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your state of health and prakriti or unique individual constitution.

Avoid ingesting or using essential oils internally. Make sure that you dilute Ayurvedic essential oils in suitable carrier oils before topical application. This is because pure and organic essential oils are the vital life force of plants and are highly concentrated liquids.

Thought for the day:

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.  -John Muir

Suggested Reading:

  1. Betelvine (Piper Betle L.): Genetic diversity, Phytochemical analysis, Bioactive compounds, Antimicrobial activities, Betelvine by Mofizuddin Mollah, Monzur Hossain, Rafiul Islam
  2. Betel leaf Cultivation – A Potential Crop for Sustainable Income: An In-depth Study on Economy of Betel leaf Cultivation and Marketing with reference to Nadia District, West Bengal, India by Sayan Ghosh, Asit Maiti
  3. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications by Christian Ratsch, Albert Hofmann
  4. Antimutagenic and Bactericidal effect of betel vine ethanol extract: Antimutagenic and Bactericidal Property of Ethanol extract of Piper betel L. (Betel vine) leaf by Mukesh Singh
  5. The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices by Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling

Reference Links:

  1. Betel by Wikipedia
  2. Golden Heart of the Nature: Piper betle L., D. Pradhan, Dr. K. A. Suri, Dr. D. K. Pradhan, and P. Biswasroy, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
  3. Effects of betel chewing on the central and autonomic nervous systems by Nai-Shin Chu MD, published in the Journal of Biomedical Science
  4. Betel leaves , Ayurvedic herbs and their healing power by Dr. Satish Kulkarni published in NZhealth.net
  5. Biological activity of the essential oil of Piper betle L., by S. C. Garg and Rajshree Jainpublished in the Journal of Essential Oil Research

Oregano Essential Oil



oregano-bannerAcclaimed as ‘The Mediterranean Miracle’, ‘Mountain Joy’ and as the ‘Wonder Herb in Ayurveda’, Oregano has been aiding people all over the world and especially in the Mediterranean regions to maintain healthy living for numerous centuries.

The most popular Ayurvedic book, ‘Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine’ by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad says “Oil of Oregano is one of the most potent antiseptics known to man.

Botanically known as Origanum Vulgare, Oregano is yet another prestigious limb of the mint family, Lamiaceae and has its origin in the Mediterranean region and southwestern Eurasia. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences used Oregano (known as Sathra) and its essential oil as a heating carminative to treat digestive disorders and was also used for treating toothache, skin problems, pain and inflammation.

Purchase Oregano Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE   

Purchase Oregano Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses of Oregano essential oil and the herb:

Known as the staple herb of the Italian-American cuisine, Oregano is one among the best culinary herbs in the world used in a variety of Mediterranean cuisines, Mexican food, Italian dishes and is also used in making fried, roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, fish and much more food varieties. It is also a part of many Lebanese, Turkish, Palestinian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Syrian, Latin American and Egyptian cuisines.

Oregano essential oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant. This oil has been in use since the primordial times in various medicinal practices. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used Oregano for treating vomiting, fever and diarrhea. The fresh leaves were used in tea for strengthening the immune system and for dealing with infections.

Biblical texts denote Oregano as a cleansing tonic. The ancient Arabic medicine used this herb for food preservation and for treating gastrointestinal disorders. The natural medicinal system of Philippines used Oregano and its essential oil for treating cough and ear aches in children. It was also used in curing pain and given for women after childbirth for its emmenagogue properties.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and the father of western medicine used Oregano as an effective antiseptic and for treating respiratory and digestive ailments. History denotes that it was the Greeks who discovered the disinfectant and antimicrobial properties of this oil and they used it for treating skin infections, sore throat, wounds, viral infections and for protecting the body from the effect of harmful organisms.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Oregano oil:

Oregano essential oil is enriched with chemical constituents like carvacrol, cymene, thymol, borneol, terpinene, pinene, linalyl acetate, bisabolene, linalool, caryophyllene and geranyl acetate. The remedial properties of this oil are antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, antioxidant, emmenagogue, anti-allergenic, digestive, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil:

Ayurveda means ‘science of life’, the science that preaches the simple methodologies to prevent illness, stay healthy and for healthy aging that makes you independent in your 60s or 70s without relying upon anyone to assist your health conditions.

The philosophy of Ayurveda relates the life of an individual with the life of the Universe. Based upon this innate wisdom, Ayurveda further explains that the Universe is made up of five elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether and it also states that an individual is also made up of the five elements of nature, which is also known as the building blocks of life.

Among these five elements water governs the movement of fluids in the body like blood, saliva, mucus and plasma. Fire determines the digestive power, intellectual skills and body temperature. Air controls the functioning of the heart, stomach, lungs, joints and intestines.

Ether is present in all parts of the human body where the presence of cavity and emptiness are witnessed like heart, nostrils, blood vessels, bladder etc. Earth represents vigor, braveness, constancy and steadiness.

The individual constitution comprises of three energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Vata represents air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha stands for water and earth. Imbalance of doshas leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends the use of herbs, essential oils, healthy lifestyle, meditation and yoga to bring the body and mind back to balance. Oregano oil is known to enhance pitta deficiency and reduce kapha and vata excess.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil are:

Oregano-broucher1. Protects the body from infections and allergies:

Oregano oil has been proved effective for treating numerous infections and allergic conditions with its antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.

The Georgetown University research on Oregano oil’s effectiveness against drug-resistant bacteria, proves that the presence of carvacrol component in Oregano oil lessen the infections as effectively as the traditional antibiotics.

A study conducted by the Mexican researchers on the effectiveness of Oregano to treat giardia, which is a water-borne bacterium that lives inside the intestines. Another study proves that Oregano oil is effective in killing giardia bacterium than the generally prescribed drug tinidazol. Oregano is a powerful anti-bacterial oil that wards off numerous pathogenic bacteria like E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Strep and protects one from typhoid, sores, cholera, infections in the colon, urinary tract and certain other skin infections.

Parasites like tape worms, round worms, mosquitoes, fleas, lice and bed bugs cause innumerable communicable diseases that affect the human body severely. Oregano essential oil has anti-parasitic properties that aids in killing parasites.

Viral infections like cold, pox, mumps and measles weaken your immune power and paves way for other harmful organisms to affect your health. Oregano essential oil is a powerful immune stimulant that strengthens your immune system, fight against viruses and makes your system resistant to other foreign bodies.

Fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm can be treated aromatically with the antifungal properties of this oil. Being an anti-allergenic oil, Oregano acts as a sedative and pacifies the hyper-sensitive reaction responsible for allergies.

A 2001 research on ‘Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms’ proved that among the 11 essential oils tested for effectiveness against microbes, Oregano essential oil showed the highest inhibitory rate against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. The carvacrol and thymol compounds in this oil are very effective in killing a microbe known as Candida, which is the reason behind eczema and psoriasis.

To guard yourself against such infections and allergies, you can either topically apply 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with olive oil on the affected area or add 2 drops of oil in your bath or skin care cream or lotions.

2. Promotes digestive health:

Oregano essential oil is a heating carminative oil that aids in increasing the pitta flow and promotes quicker digestion. Massaging your tummy with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with sesame oil can assist in treating slow digestion due to excess of mucous deposits in the stomach or fullness.

You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Oregano oil in warm compresses to help with stomach upsets, relieving gas, enabling the movement of food and for regularizing the entire process of digestion.

3. Assists respiratory problems:

As Oregano essential oil has warming effect, it can assist the body when it is cold and treat problems like cold, sinusitis, headache, mucous congestion, whooping cough, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Oregano essential oil is said to be one of the best essential oils for opening blocked sinus passages and treat congestion as a natural decongestant.

Light Miller in her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ says that Oregano essential oil is a warming diaphoretic oil that eliminates surface toxins, provoke perspiration, improve blood circulation and relieve headaches due to congestion or cold.

Add 2 drops of Oregano oil to steaming water and inhaling this medicated steam will aid in alleviating congestion, open blocked nasal passages and relieve pain due to cold and infection. You can also blend 2 drops of Oregano oil with coconut oil and gently massage the soles of your feet or apply on your chest and back or add it to warm bathing water for immediate relief from cold, sore throat and sinus problems.

4. Helps relieve pain and inflammation:

The anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant and warming diaphoretic properties of Oregano oil assist in eliminating toxins from the body, reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation and lessen pain and inflammation in rheumatic and arthritic patients.

Gently massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with coconut oil or adding it to your bath helps in reducing pain and inflammation in arthritis. Oregano essential oil has been proved by the Physiotherapy research to contain morphine-like properties that act as a perfect pain relief aid.

5. Fights against prostate cancer:

The University of Arizona research and the study by the Long Island University have proved that Oregano essential oil has antioxidant and anti-cancerous properties that fights against many types of human cancers.

Prostate cancer has been listed as the second important cause of cancerous death in American men. This study found that the presence of the active constituent, carvacrol in Oregano oil helps in the treatment of prostate cancer by stimulating apoptosis (programmed death of cells) in prostate cancer cells.

Other health benefits:

Oregano essential oil also helps in alleviating dysmennorhea, normalizing blocked menstruation and treating menopausal symptoms. This oil is also used for treating intestinal parasites, muscular pain, warts, vaginal candida and asthma.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils directly on the skin and always dilute it in suitable carrier oils as essential oils are highly concentrated solutions. Avoid using essential oils internally. Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Avoid using essential oils if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

Thought for the day:

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.    -Aristotle

Suggested Reading:

  1. Oregano – The Herb that Saved…My Life by Thomas Mayhew
  2. The Cure Is in the Cupboard: How to Use Wild Oregano for Better Health by Cass Ingram
  3. The Oregano Oil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  4. Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Reference Links:

  1. Oregano Oil May Protect Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria by the Georgetown University Researcher published in Science Daily
  2. Oregano by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms published in PubMed
  4. Oregano Active Constituent Kills Prostate Cancer Cells by Herbcyclopedia

Castor Oil



‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is a celebrated phrase and it promptly applies to Castor oil, the often overlooked oil. Castor is indeed a Master in healing colossal medical conditions including alopecia, wrinkles, ovarian cysts, fibroids, constipation, phantom tumor, piles, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia and the list goes on.

Castor-bannerCalled as Gandharvahasta or Eranda taila in Ayurveda, Castor oil is the handiest remedy for alleviating abdominal tumors and uterine fibroids in women and certain other inflammatory conditions.

It is also prescribed for enhancing sperm quality, cognitive functions, memory power, skin health, digestive ability, muscular strength, immunity and in cleansing vagina, semen and the abdomen.

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Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Castor oil:

The primary chemical components of Castor oil are ricinoleic acid that contributes to about 85 to 95 per cent of its oil along with other constituents like oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, a-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and dihydroxystearic acid.

Anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, anti-infectious, anti-rheumatic, fungicidal, laxative, immune stimulant, insecticidal, anti-viral, labor inducing, anti-allergic, anthelmintic, rejuvenative, anti-aging, germicidal, disinfectant, and analgesic are the major remedial attributes of pure Castor oil.

Historical uses and importance of Castor oil:

Castor oil is extracted from the attractive and ornamental Castor seeds by cold press method. It is one among the most commonly used oil since the pre-historic times for cleansing the colon, reproductive system and as a powerful detoxifying agent.

Ricinus communis is the botanical name of the Castor plant from which this healing vegetable oil is extracted.

You’d be shocked to know that Castor oil was given as punishment to mischievous children and it was later restricted by the Physicians for using medicines as punishment.

Mussolini is known for the use of Castor oil as a penalty for political dissidents and it was popularly quoted that Mussolini’s supremacy was supported by the ‘bludgeon and castor oil’.

These negative facts about Castor oil vanished gradually after few decades of Mussolini’s death in the Western world and with its enormous medical benefits that had proven positive effects.

The ancient Ayurvedic healing records the use of Eranda or Castor oil since 2000 BC as a traditional analgesic, purgative and laxative for treating arthritis, constipation and infestation of worms. It has also been used in lamps.

Castor oil is the hero in the Asian and African provinces and was regarded as a panacea for various infectious diseases and chronic health conditions.

Ayurveda and other alternative medicinal practices prescribe Castor oil as an effective remedy for rheumatism, lumbago, hair fall, wrinkles, cysts, warts, menstrual discomforts, constipation, yeast infections, acne, ringworm, arthritis and inflammatory nerves.

Castor oil has been listed as ‘Generally recognized as safe and effective’ (GRASE) by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States as an over-the-counter laxative.

Kolliphor EL is one among the most common Castor oil derivative that is included in various modern drugs as follows:

“Xenaderm ointment, a topical treatment for skin ulcers, is a combination of Balsam of Peru, castor oil, and trypsin.

Paclitaxel, a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy.

Miconazole, an antifungal agent.

Nelfinavir mesylate, an HIV protease inhibitor.”

Even today, Castor oil is used as a natural emollient and moisturizer in numerous soaps, shampoos and various other cosmetics manufacturing.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Castor oil:

Castor oil is an excellent detoxifying, cleansing, nourishing and pacifying oil for the mind, body and spirit, especially when used in Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage. Abhyanga is an ancient art of repairing and rejuvenating the tensed muscles and the system with the use of therapeutic Ayurvedic oils.

Charaka, the most celebrated Ayurvedic philosopher quotes massaging as:

The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89.

Many Ayurvedic experts and philosophers beckon Castor oil as ‘the only oil that eliminates ama (toxic remains in the system mainly due to improper digestion) and crammed mala (faeces) and kapha vitiation (stagnation of water deposits).’ Castor oil works best when it is employed with heat on the affected parts of the body.

Often rated as the best oil for treating vata imbalances, Castor oil has the potent to treat chronic constipation, Gastro-intestinal congestion, benign tumors, uterine fibroids, infections, cysts, dry skin conditions, matured skin, brittle hair, discards morbid vata, stiff joints, gout and bloating.

Castor oil pacifies vata and kapha dosha in excess and enhances pitta energy. It augments circulation with its warm attributes, thus encouraging the movement of lymph.

Being the oldest of all remedial sciences on earth, Ayurveda is the real inspiration and the root for all other medical systems on earth. This includes Siddha, Homeopathy, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Unani, Aromatherapy, Acupressure and Chiropractic.

Ayurveda abides by a ‘cause and effect’ technology that sticks to the popular adage, “There’s no smoke without fire.”

Any health condition, according to Ayurveda does not occur instantly and Ayurveda believes that there is a strong underlying root cause behind every illness. The mind, body and the spirit are interconnected with each other and imbalance of any of these factors would affect the others.

Ayurvedic healing endeavors to identify the root cause of a sickness and treat it for complete cure and prevention, instead of treating its symptoms that might be of temporary relief.

Ayurveda states that good state of health is a blend of emotional, physical and spiritual wellness of an individual. It aims at self-realization and attaining Divinity through purity along with hale and heartiness.

Thus, Acharya Charaka, the renowned Ayurvedic Guru and the author of Charaka Samhita, the first Ayurvedic encyclopedia says The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

Every person in this universe is a unique individual with a distinct individual constitution known as Prakriti. This is a combination of three doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha.

World is made up of five fundamental elements called as Panchamahabhutas (earth, air, fire, space and earth.) Doshic energies are an arrangement of these five vital forces.

All the human beings have a predominance of any one dosha, which decides the physical, mental, spiritual and behavioral attributes.

Ayurveda strives to strike absolute balance between these doshas and treat the unevenness with Nature as imbalance with the natural buoyancy is often the beginning of any medical condition.

The most common Ayurvedic medications are herbs and herbal medicines in the form of powder, syrup and paste; Ayurvedic essential oils, Panchakarma or the practice of Ayurvedic detoxification, Pranayama or conscious breathing, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging, yoga, Ayurvedic routine or Dinacharya, simple physical exercises, prayers and meditation.

The most effective but the less known Ayurvedic health benefits of Castor oil are:Castor-Oil1. Promising natural remedy for treating uterine fibroids and hormonal imbalances:

Uterine fibroids are one among the most common problems in women, often present without any symptoms and in certain cases it causes extreme menstrual pain, pain in the pelvic area, frequent urination and fertility problems as well depending upon its location in the inner wall of the uterus.

The actual reason for fibroids in the uterus is not known but is generally stated as a change in the hormonal levels of women in the reproductive age. Fibroids tend to shrink with age as the level of estrogen reduces gradually.

Fibroids are benign tumors that require no treatment unless it causes severe pain or fertility problems. The most intricate solution for treating uterine fibroids is hysterectomy or removal of uterus.

Gulma is the Ayurvedic term for fibroids and other phantom tumors. Ayurveda recommends the use of warm Castor oil in massage and as a medicinal intake.

Castor oil is called as Gulma hara, which means that the best remedy for discarding tumors present in the abdominal area.

Abdominal tumors are often caused due to the vitiation of vata and kapha dosha. Castor oil is termed as one among the best natural medication for eliminating excess vata and kapha dosha, thus enhancing circulation and reducing the size and symptoms of fibroids, cysts and other abdominal tumors.

Vata dosha is the air and space energy that rush through the system in a jiffy and is prevalently the cause behind the imbalance of other two doshas. Vata doshas rules circulation and movement of the body and vitiated vata might end up in causing anxiety, dry skin, bloating, muscular stiffness, dehydration, improper blood circulation, insomnia and more.

This Sanskrit verse says it right, “THE LION OF CASTOR OIL ALONE CAN KILL THE MADDENED ELEPHANT OF ‘VATA’ AS IT STAMPEDES THROUGH THE BODY.”

Castor oil is by far considered as the only oil that has the ability to eliminate ama or toxic remains, kapha imbalance (surplus fluid deposits) and congested mala (faeces). When used externally with heat, Castor oil is effective in decreasing the growth of excess tissues, cysts and tumors.

The rich therapeutic oil extracted from the seeds of the Castor plant is a promising alternative for treating Yoni Roga, which means the disorders of the genital tract in women and Udara, meaning abdominal diseases.

It is also termed as Adhobhaga Doshahara, which means its efficacy in flushing out doshic vitiations from the lower part of the system.

Massage your lower abdomen with 5 ml of warm Castor oil and cover it with a flannel cloth, followed by a plastic wrap. Use a heating pad or hot water bottle over the wrap and relax in a comfortable position for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Castor oil has deep penetrating properties, thus it enters the bloodstream quickly and passes on its therapeutic properties at ease. This power-packed massage therapy can help one in breaking up scar tissues, if any, eliminates uterus congestion, reduces and confiscates fibroids, cysts and other benign tumors in the abdominal area (uterus and ovary).

It works by increasing the blood circulation in the abdominal region and thus breaks down the clogged mass of fibroids, cysts and tumors.

Dysmennorhea or painful menses, delayed or obstructed menstruation are treated with the natural emmenagogue properties of Castor oil, which is attributed to the presence of ricinoleic acid.

Remember not to use Castor oil during menstruation as it might increase the flow of menses and the best time to use is before the onset of your periods.

Castor oil is an excellent cleansing remedy for the male and female reproductive system. Ayurveda calls Castor oil as Yoni vishodhana, medication for vaginal cleansing and as Shukra vishodhana, remedy for enhancing the quality of semen and purifying it.

Ayurveda recommends newly married couples to take Castor oil as an aid to purify the mind, body and spirit before giving birth to a new soul on earth. The oil of Castor is also used for treating Shukra gada or seminal problems.

2. Nourishes and supports skin health:

Are you into Soap making business? Then just choose Castor oil with your eyes closed and you’d definitely order bulk of Castor oil cans if you get to know the Ayurvedic benefits of it.

Castor oil is a promising Ayurvedic remedy for healing skin disorders (Kushtapaha); an excellent invigorating and anti-aging agent (Vaya sthapana); enhances the natural glow of your skin (Kantikara); boosts skin health (Twachya); enters even through the minute channels of the skin and repairs the damaged skin cells (Teekshna and Sookshma).

The most impressive use of Castor oil is its effectiveness in treating wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s foot, spots and other symptoms of aging. This quality is attributed to its emollient benefits that influence the natural production of elastin and collagen, the secret agents of supple skin.

Massaging your skin with 4 ml of Castor oil blended with 1 ml of Jojoba oil can assist in revitalizing and revivifying the skin surface.

Castor oil can also be helpful in treating psoriasis, ringworm, eczema, stretch marks, skin inflammation, boils, acne, abrasions, corns, cysts and dry skin conditions.

3. Fortifies and thickens your hair by enriching the roots:

Hair and skin are the most promising indicators of a ‘Healthy You’. Loss of hair, dandruff, dry, rough and gray hairs do not always occur because of environmental nuances. There are much more intense reasons behind the illness of your hair and scalp.

Stress, worries, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, panic attacks and of course unhealthy diet and lifestyle practices contribute to the detrimental state of your hair.

Castor oil is an incredible natural asset for addressing most of your hair problems and has even been proven to influence the growth of hair on your eyebrows.

Unclogging the blocked pores, strengthening the hair follicles, nourishing the scalp conditions, moisturizing the hair and scalp and motivating the natural growth of hair is all that the magical touch of Castor oil can spell upon you.

Being a traditional remedy for addressing various hair conditions, Castor oil is also recommended in the United States of America as an economical substitute for the most expensive serums for the growth of hair and eyebrows.

To start with, blend 10 ml of Castor oil with 2 drops of Lime oil and 5 drops of Rosemary oil and heat it slightly. Massage this warm blend on your scalp and leave it for about an hour. Shampoo your hair with a mild herbal shampoo for best results.

Continue this enriching massage twice a week for about 3 months for repairing your hair damages and fostering the natural shine and luster of your bouncy locks.

Ayurveda beckons Castor oil as Keshya for its efficiency in encouraging hair growth and enriching the hair follicles.

The presence of Vitamin E, ricinoleic acid and other Omega-9 and Omega-6 fatty acids help in influencing good circulation of blood in the scalp, seal the moisture in the hair and scalp, treat split ends and breakage of hair.

The antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties of Castor oil also assist in treating itchy scalp conditions, dandruff and other infections of the scalp.

4. Relieves pain, inflammation and rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis are the children of the toxic elements left in the system, especially amassed in the hands, legs and joints. This results in pain, inflammation, improper blood circulation, redness, soreness and irritation in the muscles and joints.

Castor oil is a winning rescuer from amavat (inflexibility and pain in joints) and rheumatic conditions with its wonderful effect to augment blood circulation, relieve pain, reduce swelling and treat stiffness in joints.

With its easily penetrating quality, Castor oil pierces into the bloodstream and starts working instantly on the affected parts. Castor oil is called as Shulaghnam for its analgesic values and is also known as Guhya shoola and Prushta shoola for supporting the treatment of lower back pain.

It’s also been proven effectual in the treatment of Shotha (inflammation and swelling) and Katigraha (stiffness in the lower back).

Massaging the painful parts with 3 ml of warm Castor oil blended with 2 drops of Ginger oil can help in eliminating the toxic wastes and excess fluid deposits stagnated in the system through urine and metabolic wastes.

It can also be helpful in alleviating pain, soothing the tensed muscles, calming the nerves and instilling complete relief.

5. Expels toxic remains and excellent cleanser of the digestive tract:

Ama or toxic remains in the body are mainly due to indigestion, irregular diet and other lifestyle practices. Ayurveda states that build up of noxious substances in the system might pave way to the rise of chronic and even fatal diseases.

As read already, Castor is one among the best Ayurvedic remedy for eliminating toxic (ama) remains, excess fluid, salt, uric acid and fat deposits in the body.

Castor oil is a grandmother’s remedy for eliminating worms, parasites and toxic substances in the body, especially the digestive system. Pure Castor oil is ingested during the night and is trusted to stimulate the bowel movements and flush out the toxic waste through faeces in the morning.

Gas (anaha), bloating (Vatodara), gout (Vatashonita), chronic constipation (Vid bandha), prostitis (Ashtila), and heaviness are often treated with Castor oil, either as a tonic or massage oil.

Deepana is another medicinal term for Castor oil for its ability to enhance digestive power and is a promising natural laxative. For its anthelmintic properties that aids in discarding worms, parasites and other pathogens in the body, Castor oil is also known as Krimighnam.

Blend 2 drops of Peppermint oil with 3 ml of Castor oil and massage on the abdominal area for alleviating digestive discomforts.

Other health benefits:

In general, Castor oil is said to contribute to varied health benefits of the system including its power to nurture immunity or the power to resist against diseases (Balakara); improve cognitive and memory functions (Medhakara and Smrutikara); and augment general health and heartiness (Arogyakara).

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not destined to treat, prevent or diagnose any health conditions. It is not meant for substituting any prescription medicines or the advice of a medical professional. We, at Essential Depot are not healthcare experts and this information is shared only for thinning out the phenomenal healing of Ayurveda, the oldest of all medical sciences on earth.

All essential oils are recommended topical use only and not for ingestion. This is mainly because 100 per cent pure and organic oils are concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions.

Take special care when using essential oils on pregnant or nursing women, children and people with chronic illnesses. Speak with your Ayurvedic professional or General practitioner before choosing the suitable oils for your unique individual constitution or Prakriti and the state of health or Vikruti. A patch test on your skin before enjoying the enormous benefits of Ayurvedic essential oils is recommended.

Thought for the day:

Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
Hippocrates

Suggested Reading:

  1. Castor Oil Pack Therapy: Application & Instruction by ND, Bruce Baar MS
  2. Castor Oil and Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth: The Secret to Re-growing Hair and Preventing Hair Loss Naturally by Mark Calhoun
  3. Castor Oil: How To Grow Longer Hair, Get Rid Of Scars, Remove Wrinkles, And Other Health And Beauty Recipes (Homemade Body Care Book 4) by Kathy Aquino
  4. The 3 Essential Oils: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Castor Oil by Cat McEwan
  5. Castor Oil (Carrier Oils Book 7) by Miriam Kinai

Reference Links:

  1. Ricinus communis by Wikipedia
  2. Transdermal Absorption of Castor Oil by Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D., David L. McMillin, M.A., Eric A. Mein, M.D., and Carl D. Nelson, D.C. published in the Meridian Institute.
  3. Final report on the safety assessment of Ricinus communis (Castor seed oil), published in the International Journal of Toxicology
  4. Benefits of Castor oil by MedIndia
  5. Health benefits of Castor oil by Times of India


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