Camphor Oil

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camphor-banner“Camphor increases prana, opens up senses and brings clarity to the mind, eases headache and awakens perception. It is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain”, says Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Botanically known as Cinnamomum camphora, Camphor is a member of the Lauraceae plant family and is extracted from the wood and bark of this evergreen tree.

Prevalently called as Karpura in Ayurveda, this sacred and aromatic herb is used in Ayurvedic healing for more than thousands of years in the treatment of bronchitis, insomnia, asthma, hysteria, whooping cough, epilepsy, dysmennorhea, sinus headaches, nasal and pulmonary congestion, delirium and gout.

No sacred or religious ritual in India gets fulfilled without Camphor and is also known in Ayurveda with other names like Chandra, Himavaluka, Ghanasara and Chandra Prabha.

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Historical uses and importance of Camphor and its essential oil:

Popularly called as ‘the tree that does not sleep’, Camphor has been an important natural remedy especially in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of various illnesses including nervous afflictions and other psychosomatic problems.

Indigenous to Formosa, Japan and China, this tree can grow up to a maximum height of 100 feet and the traditional Chinese used Camphor for its remedial uses and its wood was used in building temples and ships mainly due to its exuberant aroma and robustness. During the Tang dynasty (C.E. 618-907), Camphor was used in flavoring confectionery items like ice cream in China.

Camphor is an important part of Indian prayers, especially the religious ceremonies of the Hindu community since the traditional times. Burning camphor in the Pooja plate for deities is a part of every prayer in temples as well as homes and this sacred flame is calmly touched and its warmth feeling is passed on to the eyes. It is a part of the biggest spiritual celebration of the Hindus known as Mahashivratri dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans used Camphor as a fragrant wood, incense resin, flavoring agent and as fumigants for embalming. It was given as prestigious gifts by the Chinese emperors for other kingdoms including the Arabian treaties. Camphor was also used as a traditional remedy for plague in Iran and Persia.

The strong aroma of Camphor makes it an excellent agent for protecting against snakes and other poisonous reptiles. It was also used as an insect repellant as it is trusted to be toxic to insects. Camphor was also used in tool chests to guard tools against rusting.

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

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Camphor oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its unique aroma, therapeutic values and consistency of this oil. Among which, 1,8-Cineole is the key component with about 35.9% of Camphor oil.

Just click on:

I believe that this information would certainly help you in having a clear picture about the primary chemical constituents of Camphor oil.

The table crafted below explains the unique nature and therapeutic qualities of these biochemical constituents to the curative values of Camphor essential oil.

camphor-table

Therapeutic properties of Camphor essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are stimulant, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, decongestant, nervine, anti-phlogistic, analgesic, anti-arthritic and bronchodilator.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science known to the world for more than 5,000 years. The most prominent thing about Ayurveda is that its healing practices are recorded systematically in the form of literature.

Among the 4 major sacred books of the Indian Mythology, Atharvana Veda records the Ayurvedic therapies and about 114 verses of this sacred book shares the symptoms and diagnostic techniques of numerous health disorders.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system that treats the individual instead of the symptoms and traces the root cause of an illness. By this way, this ancient common sense science focuses on prevention of illnesses leading through healthy aging process to longevity.

Based on the Vedic references of Ayurveda, two ancient Ayurvedic texts were written by the legendary Ayurvedic physicians known as Charaka and Sushruta, who wrote Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

These Ayurvedic encyclopedias state that everything is a part of nature and the human body is a combination of the five elements known as Panchamaha Bhoothas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space.

Every person is made up of a unique individual constitution that consists of three dynamic energies known as doshas (vata-air & space, pitta- fire & water and kapha- water & earth), which are a combination of the elemental forces of nature.

For a person to be hale and healthy, these doshas should always remain in a specific ration as set by nature and any change in the functioning or the balance between these doshas cause illnesses. Imbalance of these biological energies mainly occurs due to food habits (mainly depending on the quality of the food taken), change in weather conditions and lifestyle changes.

Ayurvedic remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, prayers, Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the detox technique and Ayurvedic routine are recommended based on the Prakriti or the unique individual constitution of a person and for correcting the imbalances of doshas.

Camphor essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil are:

Camphor-broucher1. Relieves severe pain, spasms and inflammation:

Camphor essential oil has antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that render itself as a promising pain reliever. The stimulating and counter-irritant effects of this oil relieve even severe muscular and joint pains.

With its anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic attributes, Camphor essential oil assists in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic deposits in the joints and the entire system through urine and sweat and supporting the functions of the circulatory system. Ayurveda states that rheumatic problems mainly occur due to excess of kapha dosha leading to surplus deposits of water, toxins, salt and uric acid in the system, especially in the joints.

Camphor essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha and help in discharging ama or toxins in the system along with excess water content in the body. This oil works by anesthetizing the sensory nerves of peripheral nervous system, thus reducing inflammation.

Massaging the affected or painful parts with 2 drops of Camphor oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 4 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing inflammation, swelling, painful muscles, redness and stiffness associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

This massaging can also help in relieving cramps, abdominal spasms and stiff joints. Adding 2 drops of Camphor essential oil to bathing water can bring in a feeling of newness, coolness and tranquility, especially during the summer season and can also help in alleviating pain and inducing peaceful sleep at night by relaxing the muscles, calming the nerves and cooling the senses.

2. Combats microbes and skin infections:

The essential oil of Camphor oil has been a prominent ingredient in numerous ointments and medications for treating skin infections caused by bacteria, fungi and other microbes. This is attributed to the germicide, disinfectant, anti-microbial and insecticide properties of Camphor oil. 2 drops of Camphor oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil can be applied on minor burns, itches, wounds, rashes, insect bites, nail fungus, cold sores, eczema, acne, chapped lips, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Camphor is an excellent cleanser that helps in disinfecting the system when added to the bath tub (about 2 to 3 drops). 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil added to your shampoo can help in treating dandruff and lice. This also helps in granting a cooling effect on the scalp and prevent unnecessary hair fall due to dandruff and lice.

3. Supports digestive functions:

Being a carminative, Camphor oil works wonders in relieving gas and flatulence. Gas in the intestines and stomach, when left unnoticed raises above slowly and causes sharp and severe pain in the chest, which may even lead to difficulty in breathing. Using Camphor oil assists in relieving gas and prevents the formation of gas.

Along with this, the diaphoretic effects of this oil aids in normalizing metabolic functions, enhancing circulation, improving sluggish digestion and controls the appetite. Mix 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Juniper oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on your abdomen for expelling gas and supporting the functions of the digestive system.

4. Pacifies the nervous system:

Camphor oil treats nervous afflictions and pain in the nervous system by causing numbness. This is attributed to its anesthetic effects. It is a proven remedy for treating neuralgia, which is a relentlessly painful condition caused due to the force on the Ninth Cranial nerve created by the swollen blood vessels surrounding it.

Gently massaging the system with 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil and 2 drops of Wintergreen oil blended with 5 ml of almond oil can help in reducing inflammation and lessen the pressure on the Ninth Cranial nerve, thus treating neuralgia. This can also assist in lessening the negative effects of epileptic attacks, nervous convulsions, chronic anxiety and nervousness.

5. Alleviates cold and other respiratory problems:

Camphor essential oil has a sharp, strong and medicinal aroma that makes its presence vital in numerous decongestant ointments and vaporubs. Vicks vaporub, the most popular decongestant has Camphor as one among its therapeutic formula. Camphor oil has been in use since the traditional times mainly for its effectiveness in treating respiratory ailments.

Excess kapha is the major reason behind the built up of mucus and phlegm deposits causing congestion and other respiratory problems. Camphor oil lessens kapha dosha and discharges mucus and phlegm in the respiratory and nasal passages.

Massaging your chest, throat and back with 1 drop of Camphor oil mixed with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 ml of olive oil along with 2 drops of Camphor oil added to steam inhalation assists in relieving congestion in the respiratory tract, nasal passages, bronchial tract, pharynx and larynx.

Adding to 1 to 2 drops of Camphor oil to warm bathing water can also help in loosening the mucus and phlegm and clear the respiratory system. It is being used as an excellent cough suppressant since the primordial period. The powerful decongestant and bronchodilator properties of Camphor oil makes it an excellent remedy for treating asthma, sinusitis, pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, whooping cough, common cold, chest congestion and cough.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace any prescribed medication or professional medical advice or to cure, treat or prevent any illnesses. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the idea of enlightening the mass with the traditional healing values of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old medical system.

Do not use essential oils internally unless it is prescribed by your medical professional. Dilute essential oils before using it for topical purposes as organic and pure essential oils are very concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before picking up the perfect essential oils for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Ensure that you use very less amount of Camphor oil as prescribed by your medical expert, as excess use of Camphor can act as a narcotic poison.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Camphor oil

Camphor Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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Camphor oil has been acclaimed as lethal and highly toxic in various studies, when used in excess of the prescribed quantity. According to the safety report, the acute toxicity of Camphor oil is said to be exhibited by contact with the skin, eyes, inhaling and ingesting, however ingestion of Camphor oil should be avoided strictly mainly due to its chronic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic – toxic to the liver).

The major chemical constituents in Camphor oil, responsible for its skin sensitization, allergic reactions, irritation and autoxidation are camphene, 1,8-cineole (abnormal respiration and CNS depression, epigastric pain and cold sweats), limonene and a-pinene. Oils with limonene and a-pinene are responsible for oxidation and oxidized oils cause sensitization and irritation of the skin.

Using Camphor oil topically might also cause skin sensitization, irritation, skin allergies like hives, itching, rashes, swelling of the face and lip dryness. Camphor oil used as direct contact with the skin without any dilution in appropriate carrier oils is considered as a dangerous skin irritant. Never use Camphor oil on cuts, broken or peeled skin.

It is highly recommended to avoid Camphor oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it gets quickly absorbed by the placenta and may cause physical and neurological damage to the developing fetus and in nursing mothers there are possibilities of Camphor being absorbed through skin cracks and pass on to infants through milk (might cause damage to the infants’ liver and central nervous system).

Do not use Camphor oil on patients with bronchitis, asthma, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, as it can cause convulsions, increase spasms, seizures (by accounting to chemical disparity in the brain) and worsen the situation. It is also not recommended for high blood pressure patients as it is frequently used in the treatment of low blood pressure.

The safe level of use of Camphor is up to 3% dilution in case of liniments. As per the Dutch Information Medicamentorum, the safe usage level of Camphor is 20 to 100 mg/g for chest rubs, 0.15 mg/ml for nasal sprays, 20 to 50 mg/g for nose ointments, 1 to 70 mg/g for pruritus lotion and 40 to 250 mg/g in oils for muscular pain.  However 11% is regarded as the maximum level of safe usage in all kinds of dermal applications.

Camphor, according to the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety states that the major risks of ingestion of Camphor are renal damage, colic, anxiety, convulsions, nausea, delirium, gastric irritation, irritation of the mucous membrane, asystole, apnoea, chronic post-convulsive coma and difficulty in breathing occur after ingesting about 2 grams of Camphor (acute toxicity level) and 4 grams are possibly lethal for adults and 1 gram for children and may cause death.

This report also denotes that the major target organs for Camphor damage are the upper respiratory tract, liver, kidneys and the central nervous system. Certain studies witness the immediate collapse in infants soon after the application of Camphor to their nostrils.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Camphor Oil:

  1. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet of Camphor by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Toxicity Summary of Camphor by Toxnet, National Institutes of Health
  5. Camphor topical Side Effects in Detail by Drugs.com
  6. Camphor by the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety

Thought for the day:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Tree That Does Not Sleep:: Phytochemistry, Allelopathy and the Capability Attributes of Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.) by John Schenk
  2. Camphor; A Pharmaceutical and Pharmacognostical Study by U. S. Government
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  5. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Camphor by Wikipedia
  2. History of Camphor oil by eHow
  3. Health benefits of Camphor essential oil by Organic Facts
  4. Camphor by Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy
  5. Camphor benefits – A multipurpose plant by Greenchedy


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Oregano Essential Oil

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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.

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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

Coriander Oil Indian

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Coriander is a divine herb that makes us feel the touch of nature’s magnificence with its tiny little seeds that possess mammoth benefits for various medical conditions including the chronic cancer and durable diabetes. Extracted from the seeds of the Coriandrum sativum plant by steam distillation, organic Coriander essential oil is a proven natural remedy for treating migraine, arthritis, neurological inflammation, urinary tract infections, fever and indigestion.

Coriander is said to have its name etched in numerous Sanskrit texts dating more than 7000 years. This herb is known in Ayurveda as Dhanyaka or Dhaniya and is a member of the Ayurvedic family Shat pushpa. Coriander and its essential oil is also recommended in Ayurveda for relieving menstrual problems, fever, hepatitis C, parasitic worms, kidney disorders, mouth ulcers, high cholesterol level, colitis, urticaria, hay fever, loss of memory, rheumatism, impotence etc.,

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Historical uses and importance of Coriander and its essential oil: It is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and has been used throughout the history of various traditions both for culinary and medicinal purposes. It was prevalently used for indigestion, stomach ache, nausea and other gastrointestinal disorders.

The traditional Ayurvedic text, Sushruta Samhita states Coriander as Kustumvari and used it as a demulcent aid for treating thirst and burning sensation of the skin. It was initially blended with other aromatic herbs such as anise, caraway, cardamom, fennel and cumin and used in the treatment of numerous diseases. Coriander is known for its natural high content of volatile oils and was prescribed for treating cancer, skin conditions, blood impurities, liver disorders and sore throat.

The primordial Romans used Coriander seeds and its leaves for preserving and flavoring meat and meat products. This is mainly due to the antioxidant property that curbs animal fats from becoming rancid and the effectiveness of Coriander in combating meat-ruining fungi and bacteria. These concrete reasons make the use of Coriander leaves and seeds in the preparation of various lip-smacking cuisines across the world even in this contemporary world.

Chinese believe that Coriander disciplines the Qi or the vital life energy. Certain herbal texts of the Han Dynasty quote Coriander as a powerful herb for making humans immortal. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used this herb for treating hernia, piles, dysentery, flatulence, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, stomach pain, nausea and measles.

The powder extracted from the seeds was also used in treating worms in children. Greeks used Coriander for supporting weight loss, weak memory and impotence. The Iranian folklore medicine use Coriander for relieving insomnia and anxiety in women.

In the modern medicinal practice, Coriander has been used as a vital part of the dietary intervention program for regulating deficiency of vitamin A in children. It is listed as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) in FDA (Food and Drug Administration, United States). The German Commission E approves Coriander as a natural aid for treating gastrointestinal conditions like loss of appetite and dyspepsia.

Remedial properties and chemical constituents of Coriander essential oil: The major chemical components responsible for its healing values are cineole, coriandrol, borneol, cymene, terpineol, geraniol, camphor, anethole, carvone, pinene, dipentene, terpinolene, phellandrene and linalool. The therapeutic benefits of Coriander essential oil are carminative, aphrodisiac, digestive, antispasmodic, lipolytic, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, stimulant, deodorant, alterative, depurative, diuretic, fungicidal, stomachic and diaphoretic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Coriander essential oil: Ayurveda, the complete healing system considers that health is based on its three pillars including the physical health, mental health and a healthy soul. With this concept as its chief belief, Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the root cause of the illnesses by prescribing herbs, Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), prayers and meditation. It paves way for attaining longevity through healthy aging and prevention of illnesses.

The matchlessness of Ayurveda lies in its methodology of treating sicknesses in a unique manner for every individual as it trusts that every person is a unique part of nature with a specific individual constitution that comprises of three vital biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas represent the five elements of nature, which every creation on earth is trusted to be built with. They are fire, water, earth, space and air.

Vata energy is a combination of space and air and is responsible for circulation, respiration, movement and nervous functions of the body. Pitta dosha is a representation of fire and water and it controls all kinds of metabolic functions including digestion, absorption and elimination.

Kapha symbolizes earth and water and is in charge of muscular development and fluid retention in the body. Every human being has a unique combination of these three doshas with a predominance of any one dosha, which determines the personality, character and behavioral attributes.

Balance between these three doshas indicates absolute state of health and imbalance due to lifestyle, food habits and other environmental changes causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in such an efficient manner that brings back the perfect rhythm between the doshas in accordance with the individual’s prakriti (constitution) and medical condition.

Coriander Oil Indian is known to have a positive effect on all the three doshas and helps maintain optimal levels by acting as an excellent suppressant. Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Coriander essential oil by its usage methods.

1. As an exceptional Ayurvedic massage oil or bath oil: The art of Ayurvedic massaging is called as Abhyanga, where the palms, feet, elbows and other traditional massaging equipments are used for maneuvering muscles, nerves and the entire human system.

By using Ayurvedic essential oils in massaging, this traditional healing methodology ensures that the therapeutic properties of the essential oils are passed on to the blood stream by penetrating through the skin cells and thus transmitting the corresponding healing benefits to various parts of the body.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Coriander oil blended with 5 ml of sesame oil helps in alleviating muscular pain, arthritis, rheumatic pain, stomach ache, indigestion, vomiting, flatulence, heartburn and other digestive problems.

a) Eases digestive disorders: Coriander oil has carminative, stomachic and digestive properties that stimulate the process of metabolism and influence proper secretion of bile, gastric juices and other acids responsible for trouble-free digestion. This oil improves digestion by regulating pitta dosha, which is responsible for digestion and other metabolic functions. It helps in relieving gas built-up in the stomach and intestines and it also prevents the formation of gas. English Herbalist John Gerard wrote, “Coriander seeds well prepared and covered with sugar as comfits, taken after meat, helpeth digestion”

According to the 2009-10 report by the Food Standards Agency, about 1 million people in the UK are suffering from food poisoning, contributing to 500 deaths and around 20,000 cases requiring medical care. Recent researches have proved that the use of Coriander oil helps in fighting against harmful bacteria causing food poisoning and other infections in the stomach and intestines.

A 2011 study on the combating effect of Coriander oil against 12 bacterial strains were tested in the lab, including Bacillus cereus, E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Salmonella enteric by Dr. Fernanda Domingues and her team from the University of Beira Interior, Portugal. This study witnessed that 1.6% or less than that quantity of Coriander oil killed or reduced the growth of all the harmful bacteria tested. It also discards parasites in the body.

Dr. Domingues also said that “Coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell. This disrupts the barrier between the cell and its environment and inhibits essential processes including respiration, which ultimately leads to death of the bacterial cell. ‘It could become a natural alternative to common antibiotics.” She also said that Coriander oil can be used in lotions or oral rinses for treating food poisoning and fighting against multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.

b) Discharges toxic substances from the body: Coriander essential oil has diuretic, analgesic, depurative and antioxidant properties that assists in eliminating harmful toxic substances or ama from the body along with excess salts, uric acids and cholesterol in the blood by promoting the frequency and quality of urination. By this way it reduces inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.

c) Controls diabetes and the level of cholesterol: Numerous studies have proved the effectiveness of Coriander and its essential oil in controlling the levels of cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol like VLDL or LDL and increased the level of HDL (good cholesterol).

Coriander has also been suggested in controlling blood glucose levels and regularly checks the process of glucose getting converted into glycogen, causing diabetes. A 2011 study on ‘Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract’ published in PubMed states “C. sativum seeds not only possess antihyperglycemic properties but antioxidative properties also. Increased dietary intake of coriander seeds decreases the oxidative burden in diabetes mellitus.”

d) Lessens menstrual pain and excess flow: Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of Coriander oil mixed with 1 ml olive oil helps in regulating excessive menstrual flow and alleviates dysmennorhea or severe menstrual pain. The Arabians used Coriander for lessening menstrual pain and pain during childbirth.

e) Natural aphrodisiac: Coriander oil is also an excellent aphrodisiac that has been used in various traditions across the world. It is also mentioned in the famous Arabian tale, ‘A Thousand and One Nights’ as an effective aphrodisiac for arousing sexual passion naturally. This quality is attributed to the presence of phyto-estrogen content in Coriander seeds. Using it in massage, followed by a warm bath with 2 drops of Coriander oil diluted in bathing water preferably before going to bed can aid in enhancing the libido, treat frigidity in men and women, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunctions.

2. In burners or vaporizers: Coriander essential oil has a sweet, warm and slightly spicy aroma that instills a positive effect on the blood, plasma and the nervous system. Adding 2 to 3 drops of Coriander oil in burner, vaporizer or diffuser helps in refreshing the mind, regenerating the glandular system, treat mood fluctuations, improve memory power, lessen anxiety, mental fatigue, nervous weakness, tension, loss of sexual interest and lack of concentration.

Inhaling the remedial aroma of this oil is said to create a warming effect on the stomach and intestines and ease cramps and spasms. It uplifts the spirit and boosts the confidence level. Coriander oil permits more spiritual bonding to pass through the body and helps expanding the heart chakra, responsible for love and affection for self and others.

3. In steam inhalation: Coriander essential oil is known for lessening excess of kapha dosha, which is in charge of respiratory problems like cold, cough, sinusitis and nasal congestion. 2 drops of Coriander oil added to steam inhalation can be a great aid in alleviating cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, cold and sinusitis. It is also helpful in reducing the temperature especially with conditions like hay fever along with the massage of 1 drop of Coriander oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil in the foot soles.

4. In compresses, creams or oral rinses: 2 drops of Coriander oil mixed with 1 ml of jojoba oil or mild skin care cream or lotion and applied on the affected parts helps in clearing pimples, blackheads, athletes foot, ringworm and acne with its anti-bacterial and  fungicidal properties. Adding 1 drop of Coriander oil in a cup of warm water and used as an oral rinse assists in treating bad breath, plaque and discards harmful micro-organisms in the mouth. Using 2 drops of Coriander oil in hot or cold compress helps in treating muscular spasms, joint pain, migraine and arthritis.

Coriander seed oil has been proved and published in the European Food Safety Authority Journal as a safe and novel food ingredient, where the committee concluded stating “the novel food ingredient, coriander seed oil, is safe under the proposed uses and use levels.” The book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes Coriander oil as “an antidote to hot food, very decongesting to the liver, and is a great reducer of fire and heat in the body. It is thought to be an aphrodisiac because of its phyto-estrogen content. It’s also a carminative, stimulating digestion.”

Disclaimer: This is only for the purpose of information and is not intended to substitute any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause harm if used directly on the skin, so it always good to dilute essential oils before topical use. Never take essential oils internally without consulting your Ayurvedic practitioner and upon his/her expert advice, choose the most appropriate essential oil for your prakriti (unique individual constitution) and medical condition. Please avoid this oil during pregnancy.

Thought for the day:

Every Flower Is A Soul Blossoming In Nature.     -Gerard De Nerval

Suggested Reading:

  1. Coriander – Coriandrum Sativum L. by Axel Diederichsen, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
  2. The 50 Miracle Cures of Coriander by Dr. Awad Mansour
  3. Protective Effect of Cumin and Coriander on Profenofos: Antidote effect of Cumin and Coriander by Arun Kumar, Ranjit Kumar, Mohammad Ali
  4. Cumin & Coriander: A celebration of everyday North Indian cooking by Archana Nirad
  5. The Miracle Cures Of Diabetes: How To Beat Your Diabetes For Good by Prof Awad Mansour

Reference Links:

  1. Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract’ by Anuradha CV and Deepa B, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Annamalai University, India, published in PubMed
  2. The natural remedy for superbugs? Coriander oil could be used to cure food poisoning and MRSA by Health column in Daily mail UK
  3. Medicinal Uses of Coriander by Natural Standard, the Authority on Integrative Medicine
  4. Scientific Opinion on the Safety of ‘Coriander Seed Oil’ as a Novel Food Ingredient published in the European Food Safety Authority Journal