Garlic Oil

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

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

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

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Historical uses and importance of Garlic:

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

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

Another interesting historical reference is that Garlic was grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon and it was considered as an herb of empowerment for which it was given to Roman soldiers before the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

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

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

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Garlic essential oil:

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Garlic essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Garlic oil are:

Garlic-broucher1. Excellent aid to digestive disorders:

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

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

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

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

2. Fights against cancerous cells:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Controls hypertension and protects the heart:

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

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

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

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

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

4. Keeps respiratory infections at bay:

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

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

5. Reduces cholesterol and checks obesity:

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

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

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

6. Strengthens your immune system:

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

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

7. Stimulates your system:

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

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

Other health benefits:

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

Disclaimer:

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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

Sesame Oil

Sesame-bannerFrom nasal drops to enema, from babies to elderly people, Sesame oil forms an incredible part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Experts say that about 90% of the herbal oils in Ayurvedic treatment are prepared with a base of Sesame oil.

Celebrated for its rich presence of nutrients, this oil is used as a nourishing cooking oil in most parts of India, especially the southern parts of the nation where Ayurvedic system of healing has its roots deeply vested with.

Known as Tila in the Ayurvedic world, Sesame oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum (syn. Sesamum Orientale). Sesame oil has been used for its innumerable benefits to mankind and the most touching thing is that the seed hulls left after pressing the oil can be fed to livestock as a wholesome food.

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Historical importance of Sesame Oil:

This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years just like the ancient Ayurvedic system. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization, the oldest civilization of the world. Sesame was the first crop used for extracting oil.

Before 600 BC, Sesame oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Sesame oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.

Most of the Ayurvedic therapies have registered the use of Sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Sesame seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.

Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, sesame oil is said to benefit the heart chakra responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world, root chakra responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world and the spleen chakra responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect.

Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil:

Sesame oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants.

All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame oil:

Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have listed enormous health benefits of Sesame oil. Practicing Ayurveda is a sure shot remedy for self-improvement as it involves a systematic life-style along with essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, meditation and physical exercises that keep you fit and fine even in your late 60s.

Human body is made up of 3 energy elements known as doshas in Ayurveda. They are vata, pitta and kapha. The predominant energy element determines your personality, character and behavior. Sesame oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame seed oil in terms of various ways of administration.Sesame-broucher1. Oil Pulling:

This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity and is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit. It is nothing but swishing 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes in empty stomach in the morning and spitting out the toxins-filled remains. This process helps in protecting the dental health known as Dantya Swasthya in Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita (Charaka Samhita Ch V-78 to 80) quotes the act of oil pulling as “It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables” . The best oil recommended for oil pulling by Ayurvedic texts is organic cold pressed Sesame oil.

Sesame oil has sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin components along with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E that make this oil as a rich natural antioxidant. This property helps in preventing decay and degeneration of cells in the body and blocks the absorption of negative cholesterol in the liver.

A popular study on “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis” by Dr. HV Amith proved that 45 days of methodical oil pulling showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of this oil help in treating halitosis or bad breath, plaque, gingivitis and dental cavities.

One more study conducted in 2008 on “The Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria” proved the in-vitro antibacterial activity of Sesame oil against dental caries causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. This study also witnessed the considerable reduction of the total count of bacteria after oil-pulling.

Oil pulling with Sesame oil is also effective in treating cracked lips, eczema, sinusitis, heart disorders, psoriasis, obesity, dry skin, headache, kidney problems, rheumatic pain and inflammation, dry throat and tooth decay.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy:

Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Sesame oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.

(i) Balya (benefits for children):

Known as the King of Oils, Sesame oil is completely safe for the use of children and is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. It is because of this property, every Indian family massage their new born babies and toddlers with Sesame oil before bath and leave them under sunlight for few minutes allowing the body to absorb vitamin D and nourish the skin cells naturally.

(ii) Twachya (benefits for the skin):

The presence of vitamin E and zinc in this oil helps in augmenting the elasticity of the skin; repairs damaged skin cells and promote the production of collagen. Massaging your skin with this nourishing natural emollient aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Sesame oil also protects your skin from dangerous ultra-violet rays.

(iii) Keshya (benefits for the hair):

Massaging your head with warm Sesame oil stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue.

It is a long time tradition of Indians to massage their head and body with Sesame oil once in a week and take bath with the herbal powder known Shikakai to reduce the body temperature and enliven the nerves and cells. This oil kills the dandruff causing bacteria and protects the skin and scalp from the harmful effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing:

Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders.  This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet:

When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and is said to grant Vranashodhana (healing and cleansing internal and external wounds), Agni janana (augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism) and Medha janana (enhancing intelligence).

Regular use of Sesame oil helps in fighting cancer with its antioxidant properties, guards the body from DNA damage due to radiation, treats rheumatism, improves digestive health, supports respiratory wellness, aids in preventing diabetes, lowers blood pressure and improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

Disclaimer:

Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using Sesame oil for your individual constitution. This article is only for informational purpose and is not meant to replace your prescribed medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage by John Douillard
  2. Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Brannigan
  3. The Oral Health Bible by Michael Bonner, Earl L. Mindell
  4. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife

Reference Links:

  1. Sesame Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria by Durai Anand T, Gopinath RM, Pothiraj C and Kayalvizhi B of the PG Department of Microbiology, VHNSN College, India
  3. Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed by GreenMEDInfo
  4.  Sesame Oil For Bone Building in Ayurveda by Livestrong.com

Frankincense Oil

Frankinsence-banenrRepresented as an ‘Emblem of Prayer’, Frankincense is yet another Biblical oil that brings you close to heaven by appeasing your mind, relieving your pain, strengthening your positive emotions and implanting enormous beauty benefits.

Extracted from the gum or resin of Boswellia frereana tree by steam distillation, Frankincense essential oil is often held high for its power to spread health and heartiness in a magic of minutes, just like that.

Ayurveda quotes the use of Frankincense as ‘dhoopan’, and burning Frankincense everyday in homes is trusted to bring good health in Indian culture.

Known as ‘Dhoop’ in Sanskrit, Frankincense and its essential oil have been used for more than thousands of years in Ayurvedic healing in the treatment of respiratory illnesses, arthritis, weak female hormone system, rheumatism, skin infections, wounds, womanly problems and for cleansing the air.

Purchase Frankincense Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

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Historical uses and importance of Frankincense and its essential oil:

Frankincense is represented as a ‘symbol of the divine aroma’ and as an ‘emblem of prayer’ in various chapters of the Bible including Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10 and Revelation 5:8, 8:3. Best known as one of the three gifts gifted to Infant Jesus by the wise men, the existence of Frankincense dates back even before the birth of Jesus Christ. Given the credit of the most spiritual oil of the Middle East, it has flawless healing benefits with an inbound immaculate aroma.

People of all religions consider Frankincense as a symbol of sacredness and it is witnessed with the presence of this mesmerizing fragrance in various religious ceremonies. Frankincense is an important symbol of trading carried out in Arabian Peninsula and North Africa for more than 5000 years ago that the temples of the ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut are adorned by murals depicting sacks of Frankincense traded from the land of Punt.

Prepared from the resin of Frankincense or olibanum trees by steam distillation method, this oil is a part of the traditional medicinal system including Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and in certain other folklore remedies in treating wounds, arthritis, digestive disorders, rheumatism, and weak immune system and in promoting healthy skin.

Frankincense has its name etched in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder. The renowned book on ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes the use of Frankincense since ages as “Clay tablets, revealed that, in Babylon, 57,000 pounds of Frankincense were burned every year.” It also says that about 60 tons of this aromatic resin was used in the annual feast of the God Baal in the Assyrian civilization.

Since ancient times, Frankincense is burnt in homes for keeping away from insects, cleansing the atmosphere, warding off sickness and evil spirits and to help reach one’s prayers to the Divine. This holy herbal medicine is burnt even today in numerous Indian homes during the dusk to fulfill their special prayers and guard against bad spirits and harmful insects.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report of Frankincense oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Frankincense oil consists of 9 major chemical components that contribute to its unique fragrance, therapeutic properties and quality.

Just click on:

For learning more about the extensive information of these chief constituents of Frankincense oil.

Alpha-thujene is the predominant constituent of Frankincense with about 53 % area.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the principal chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic and other attributes to Frankincense oil.

Frankincense-OilStudies on the chemical composition of Frankincense oil reveal that it contains monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes such as a-pinene, b-pinene, isoterpenolene, a-phellandrene, b-phellandrene, sabinene, linalool, octanol, octyl acetate, bornyl acetate, incensole and incensyl acetate in different ratios depending upon the species of the Boswellia trees from which the resins are obtained.

Therapeutic properties of Frankincense oil:

Frankincense oil is commonly used for its aromatic, antiseptic, astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-tumor, immune stimulant, disinfectant, carminative, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, tonic, uterine, vulnerary and expectorant properties.

Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Frankincense Oil:

Ayurveda is an ancient healing science that focuses on longevity and healthy aging through prevention of diseases and a balanced lifestyle that assists in being in harmony with nature.

Ayurvedic healing methodologies were strongly implanted to the human civilization by the powerful Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Charaka Samhita enlightens Ayurveda as a discipline that heals the mind, body and soul and says, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

With this thought, Ayurveda regards human body as a temple, where the spirit dwells in and keeping the mind and body clean without any physical illnesses or mental chaos is the way to harmonious living.

The science of Ayurveda rests on the principle of five elements of nature namely fire, water, earth, air and space. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, everything in the universe is a part of nature and contains all these five elements in it.

Human body also consists of these elements in the form of biological energies known as doshas, in various forms so as to represent a unique individual constitution.

Vata dosha represents air and space and is responsible for circulation, nervous functions, respiration and movement. Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth and is in charge of the structure of the body along with its sustenance. Pitta symbolizes fire and water and is responsible for body temperature and metabolic functions. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies like essential oils, herbs, yoga, physical exercises, healthy balanced diet, Ayurvedic routine, meditation and prayers in order to treat these doshic imbalances and treat the illnesses by analyzing its root cause instead of diagnosing its symptoms.

Frankincense is said to have a sattvic or cleansing effect on the mind as well as the nervous system. It assists in burning impurities in the subtle nerve channels. The essential oil of Frankincense clears excess kapha and pacifies vata and pitta doshas.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Frankincense essential oil are:

frankinsence-broucher1. Strengthens your immune system:

Frankincense essential oil is an exceptional gift of nature that serves as an antiseptic, disinfectant and immune stimulant. Just inhaling the invigorating aroma of this supreme oil by adding 2 drops of this oil to your burner or diffuser, helps build a protective aura around yourself and acts as a shield in fighting against germs and disease causing microorganisms.

A 2002 study on the chemistry and immunomodulatory activity of Frankincense oil conducted by the department of Pharmacognosy of Mansoura University, Egypt states that Frankincense oil exhibited immuno-stimulant activity in addition to its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti- leukotriene properties. This study encourages the utilization of Frankincense essential oil for several auto-immune disorders.

The number of leukocytes in the human body determines the strength of the immune system of an individual. Inhaling the fragrance or using Frankincense essential oil in a massage blend (5 drops of Frankincense oil added with 2.5 ml coconut oil) increases the production of leukocytes in the body with its cytophylactic property.

2. Fights against cancerous cells:

Frankincense essential oil has anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties, the attributes of monoterpenes that effectively helps in fighting against the cancerous tumors.

A 2012 research on Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydro distillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins has proved that this oil induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures. It also reverses tumor growth in a heterotopic xenograft mouse tumor model. Studies have also reported that cultured human bladder and breast cancer cells are more sensitive to Frankincense essential oil and yield good results.

3. Pacifies your digestive system:

As a very good source of β-phellandrene and α-pinene, Frankincense essential oil acts as an effective carminative and helps in preventing and expelling the formation of gas in the stomach and intestines. It also acts as a natural antacid and promotes the secretion of bile and other digestive juices.

Mix 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 1 ml sesame oil and massage this blend on your abdomen for relieving flatulence, constipation and other gastro-intestinal problems including stomach pain, feelings of discomfort in the chest and abdominal area.

4. Combats oral infections:

The antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties of Frankincense oil acts as a defensive shield that protects one from germs, bacteria, pathogens and fungi. This defensive mechanism of Frankincense essential oil makes its presence vital in making dental care products like toothpaste, mouthwash, mouth freshener etc.

Add 1 drop of Frankincense oil in a cup of warm water and use it as a natural gargle to keep away from oral problems like toothache, bad breath, cavities, mouth sores and few other oral infections.

5. Pampers your skin health:

Frankincense essential oil often evolves as a perfect rescuer in case of skin problems as it acts as an effective astringent, which helps in retrieving its natural beauty. This oil works on wrinkles and other aging symptoms with its ability to shrink the body tissues and bring it back to its original shape and assist in tightening the skin.

As a cicatrisant, it helps in the formation of scar tissue and yields excellent results in treating scars, fading the after marks of acne, pimples, boils, pox, stretch marks and fat cracks due to pregnancy and childbirth. Add 2 drops of Frankincense essential oil with 1 ml of jojoba oil or to your regular skin care cream and apply it in circular movements to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, marks and micro-wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks.

As an anti-aging agent it helps in the regeneration of healthy cells while keeping the existing ones healthy. Because of its firming and toning activity it strengthens the gums and hair roots and contracts the muscles, intestines and blood vessels that loosen with aging. Frankincense oil acts as a coagulant and helps in preventing blood loss in case of wounds and cuts. It also assists in healing wounds and other skin infections speedily.

6. Helps treat womanly problems:

Frankincense oil acts as an emmenagogue that stimulates the flow of blood in the pelvic area and the uterus, thus regulating the menstrual cycle and functions of the female reproductive system.

It is also uterine in nature and regulates the secretion of estrogen hormone in the appropriate level, thus reducing the risk of cyst formation or uterine cancer in women.

Add 2 to 3 drops of Frankincense essential oil with 1 ml of Evening primrose oil and massage it slowly on your lower abdomen for relieving problems associated with menstruation like abdominal pain, nausea, digestive disorders, restlessness and mood swings. You can also add 2 drops of Frankincense oil in warm bathing water for calming your nerves and promoting peaceful sleep.

7. Relieves respiratory illnesses:

Stagnation of water, toxic substances and infectious micro-organisms in the body pave way for respiratory problems. This is mainly due to excess of kapha dosha and Frankincense essential oil lessens excess kapha.

This oil also has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that protect one from infectious microbes and helps reduce phlegm deposits in the respiratory tract and inflammation of the nasal and respiratory passages.

2 drops of Frankincense oil added to steam inhalation or mixed with vaporub and applied on the chest, back and throat aids in easing cough, cold, bronchitis, laryngitis, breathing difficulties, asthma and certain other respiratory ailments.

8. Helps in fighting against arthritis:

Frankincense oil has been used since ancient times to treat arthritis, rheumatism and muscular pain. With its anti-inflammatory, diuretic and kapha reducing qualities, this oil also aids in eliminating excess water deposits, salt, uric acid and toxic substances in the body causing pain, swelling and inflammation.

A valuable source states that this oil possesses potent anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic effect that actively treats arthritis, osteo arthritis and pain in muscular joints. Mix 4 drops of Frankincense oil with 2 ml of coconut oil and massage it gently on the painful area or you can also add 2 to 3 drops of this oil to hot compress for quick relief.

9. Alleviates stress and anxiety:

Frankincense essential oil awakens insight, soothes anxiety and frees one from all sorts of worldly pressure that affect the mind and the body. Various studies have proved that incensole acetate in Frankincense oil is an effective anti- depressant and reduces abnormal behaviors due to anger, stress and anxiety.

Adding 2 drops of Frankincense oil in your vaporizer, burner or diffuser assists in attaining spiritual enhancement that balances the mind, body and soul to experience eternal happiness. This healing effect can also be attributed to the presence of carbon based compounds like sesquiterpenes that directly act on the limbic system, known as the control center of the human brain.

Other health benefits:

Frankincense essential oil is also used in the manufacture of soaps, disinfectant cleansers, incense sticks, cosmetics, perfumes, body lotions, oral hygiene products and much more.

Disclaimer:

This article is for the purpose of education only and is not intended for treatment or for replacing any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils for internal use and always use externally in a diluted manner, as organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin.

Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your unique individual constitution and health condition.

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

Gas Chromatography Report of Frankincense oil.

Thought for the day:

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.
-Beverley Nichols

Suggested Reading:

  1. Frankincense & Myrrh by Martin Watt, Wanda Sellar
  2. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  3. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  4. Holistic Cancer Protocols with Essential Oils by Dr. Deborah McFarland

Reference Links:

  1. Frankincense by Wikipedia
  2. Frankincense in Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Vishnu Dass, Ayurvedic Herbology
  3. Chemistry and Immunomodulatory Activity of Frankincense Oil by Botros R. Mikhaeil, Galal T. Maatooq, Farid A. Badria, and Mohamed M. A. Amer Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt, published in Naturforsch
  4. Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine


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