Calamus Oil


Calamus-bannerOften acclaimed as an ideal herb for meditation and introspection, Calamus is recommended by saints, yogis and Ayurvedic philosophers for enhancing the functions of the brain, improving memory power, increasing intellectual capacity and for stimulating proper circulation to the brain.

The essential oil of Calamus is extracted from the root of the Calamus plant, scientifically known as Acorus Calamus or Sweet flag by steam distillation method.

The Sanskrit name of Calamus is Vacha, which means ‘speech’ and the primordial sages and religious Gurus have believed Calamus to facilitate human beings to articulate from their highest inner consciousness.

Ayurveda recommends Calamus herb for its power to fortify the adrenal gland and for its effectiveness in treating neuralgia, dysmennorhea or painful periods, memory loss, epilepsy, gingivitis, lack of stamina, lymphatic drainage, asthma, hysteria, deafness, sinusitis, lack of consciousness and trauma.

Purchase Calamus Essential Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

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Historical uses and importance of Calamus root and its essential oil:

Calamus is native to Asia and Europe and has been found growing across Australia, South Africa, North America, New Guinea and Reunion. It has its name mentioned in the Old Testament and was talked about in Exodus as an element of the sacred anointing oil of the Bible.

It was also denoted in the Chester Beatty papyrus VI, which approximately dates back to 1300 BC and Papyrus used Calamus with various other ingredients in preparing a bandage to appease stomach ailments.

Calamus has been a vital part of the traditional healing system of various countries for more than thousands of years in the treatment of numerous medical conditions.

The primeval Egyptians trusted Calamus root as a potent aphrodisiac for its effectiveness in augmenting the health of the reproductive system. Calamus was added to wine in Europe and it also forms a part of absinthe.

The Penobscot people believed that Calamus root helped in healing prolonged sickness that was plaguing the people for a long time. They also steamed all through the homes to ward off illnesses and the dried roots were strung together for preservation.

The people of the Potawatomi community used the dried Calamus root powder for treating catarrh. Indonesians use this aromatic root as a flavoring agent in the preparation of meat, sea foods and other vegetarian cuisines.

The warriors of Teton-Dakota applied the root paste on their faces for alleviating fear in the warfront. Calamus essential oil is also used in making perfumes mainly because of its therapeutic properties.

The traditional Turks used this herb for all kinds of infections and it is used in preparing cough drops. It is also been used in the Traditional Chinese medicine, Siddha and Ayurvedic healing systems for its carminative, laxative, sedative and diuretic properties.

Chemical constituents and healing properties of Calamus essential oil:

The primary chemical components of this oil are beta asarone, eugenol, calamusenone, corenone, alpha aselinene, camphone, alpha calacorene, shyobunone, beta gurjunene, calamendiol and iso shyobunine.

The therapeutic properties of Calamus oil are rejuvenative, circulatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-arthritic, cephalic, nervine, tranquilizing, stimulant, decongestant, anti-rheumatic, emetic, anti-periodic, memory boosting, carminative, stomachic, bactericidal and expectorant properties.

Calamus in Ayurvedic Preparations:

Numerous research reports have proved that Calamus is one the most commonly employed ingredient in plenty of Ayurvedic preparations, mainly because of the presence of essential oils in its rhizomes. Ayurvedic medications like kashayam, choornam, ghritham and tailam contain Calamus and are prepared by following the preparation methods mentioned in Sahasrayoga.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Calamus essential oil:

Calamus essential oil is habitually called as a tonic for the brain in Ayurveda. It has been mentioned in Vedas, the holy books as one of the exceptional medicines and Ayurvedic philosophers explored numerous healing benefits of Calamus apart from supporting the functions of the nervous system and brain, for which Calamus still exists as a vital part of various Ayurvedic medicines since 4,000 years.

Perfect health according to Ayurveda is a triangular structure with body, mind and soul as its edges. It is the oldest of all healing systems on earth and is the pioneer to other traditional and modern medicinal methodologies like Homeopathy, Siddha, Traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, Acupressure and Chiropractic.

The greatest thing about this ancient medicinal science is that its healing techniques are documented systematically since its first recordings in Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or the major sacred books of the Hindu mythology.

This ancient citation was followed by Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, known as Ayurvedic encyclopedias written by the most respected Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta respectively.

“The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides”, says Charaka Samhita. Ayurveda rightly means ‘the knowledge of life’ and this time-honored remedial method assists in providing the consciousness about life and health in every individual.

Ayurveda states that nature is made up of five fundamental elements namely water, earth, fire, air and space and it is also said that everything in nature is also built up with these five energies. When a person’s health is in balance with nature, absolute health prevails and imbalance with nature owing to food, climatic conditions and lifestyle changes causes illnesses.

Being a holistic curative system, where every person is regarded as a special part of nature with a unique individual constitution just like the fingerprints and it consists of three imperative dynamic energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha and are nothing but a representation of any two elements of nature.

Vata dosha is a combination of air and space, and is responsible for respiration, circulation and for the functions of the nervous system. Kapha signifies earth and water, and is in charge for sustenance, physical structure, movement of fluids in the system and the reproductive health.

Pitta symbolizes fire and water and is accountable for body temperature and metabolic functions like digestion, absorption and excretion. Stability between these three doshas signifies perfect health and inequality causes sickness.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, yoga, prayers, meditation, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma (Ayurvedic techniques for detoxification) and Ayurvedic massaging with natural essential oils.

These remedies are prescribed in such a way to correct the unevenness between the doshas. Calamus essential oil is known to aggravate pitta and pacify kapha and vata dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Calamus oil are:

Calamus-broucher1. Triggers the mind and promotes positive thoughts:

Calamus herb and its essential oil have been witnessed by numerous herbalists and Ayurvedic physicians as an endlessly safe and useful natural remedy for activating the mind and improving the power of thinking.

It is popularly known as a boosting herb for meditating Yogis and Saints, where Calamus is said to help them stay focused and concentrated in their long lasting meditation known as yagna.

Calamus was used in the preparation of tea in the ancient period and was also used in neti pot as a powerful remedy for treating brain conditions. Adding 1 to 2 drops of Calamus essential oil in diffuser, vaporizer, burner or a tissue paper and inhaling the uplifting aroma of this oil can aid in opening the mind, promoting clarity, enhancing the concentration power, mental stability, attention, and the power of positive thinking along with organization of speech.

Learned Ayurvedic research scientist Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa says, “The yogic name, Vacha, means “speech” and refers to its action on the fifth chakra and its propensity to help you speak from your highest consciousness. The complementary energetics makes the combination suitable for a wide variety of people.”

Swami Thirtha calls Calamus as “one of the best mind herbs”, mainly for its effectiveness in fostering sadhaka pitta through which it fortifies the mind’s ability to obtain information and evoke from the memory. The essential oil of Calamus has an invigorating effect on the brain with its warm, woody and medicinal aroma with increasingly sweet after-tones.

Inhaling the therapeutic fragrance of this oil helps in activating the neural pathways and has also been proved powerful in treating neurotic problems. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water for refreshing your mind. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend Vacha oil to persuade positive thoughts.

2. Stimulates the nervous system:

Calamus falls under the ‘sattvic herb’ category in the Ayurvedic medicinal system. All the sattvic varieties are known to enhance and empower the ‘kundalini’ energy or the ‘vital life force’. By this way, Calamus and its essential oil acts as a revitalizing nerve tonic that augments the functioning of the brain.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Calamus oil mixed with 2 drops of Lavender oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil, 2 drops of Yarrow oil, 2 drops of Cinnamon oil and 2 drops of Patchouli oil along with 10 ml of Virgin Olive oil can aid in rejuvenating your brain and the entire nervous system. This assists in stimulating the cerebral functions, support self-expression and overall nervous health. This massage also assists in promoting peaceful sleep and treating insomnia.

Ayurvedic healing system describes this oil as a nervine tonic and a psychotropic remedy, mainly for its positive effects on learning, boosting memory, recovering from shock and treating depression and anxiety. Calamus herb and its essential oil are recommended by Ayurvedic physicians for confiscating the negative effects and toxic residues of drugs (including the heavy use of marijuana) from the fatty tissues left within brain, liver and the nervous system.

By strengthening the nervous system, this oil is also used in recovering from trauma, post-surgery effects, hysteric attacks, epileptics and certain other nervous problems. Due to its potential to contract the blood vessels and decrease pressure on the Ninth cranial nerve, Calamus oil is used in treating neuralgia.

3. Treats memory loss and augments the intellect:

For its memory-enhancing properties, Ayurveda prescribes Calamus oil as an effective psycho-pharmacological agent and the as one of the best natural remedies for treating epilepsy, mental retardation, syncope and stupor, while augmenting memory power and for retrieving people from traumatic problems.

Calamus is used in Ayurveda to counteract the side effects of hallucinogens. This essential oil has been proved to enhance blood circulation, stimulate neurons and nerves, aiding the body to attain steadiness and attentiveness.

4. Alleviates arthritic and rheumatic pain: According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, excess of kapha dosha is responsible for stagnation of toxic substances known as ama, water deposits, salt, uric acid and other fluids in the body, especially in the joints causing pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism. Calamus essential oil is a known Ayurvedic remedy for reducing excess kapha dosha and helps in lessening pain, inflammation and redness by eliminating stagnated fluids and toxic remains through urine and sweat.

Mix 2 drops of Calamus oil with 2 drops of Ginger oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil along with 3 ml of coconut oil and massaging it gently on the painful area helps in promoting blood circulation, alleviating pain, strengthening the muscles, stimulating the nerves and reducing swelling and other symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.

Few other notable health benefits:

With its pungent and bitter taste, Calamus oil is said to have excellent benefits to the respiratory system, nervous system and the digestive system. This oil strengthens the digestive system and treats intestinal worms, abdominal pain, flatulence, loss of appetite, chronic gas trouble and loss of taste. Vacha is used in many Indian homes to treat colic in newborn babies since the primeval times. Calamus essential oil effectively treats sinusitis, cold and bronchitis.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition. It is not directed as a substitute for any prescribed medication or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this data is shared only for the purpose of throwing light on the ancient healing wisdom or the knowledge of life known as Ayurveda.

Never use essential oils internally and ensure that you use them in a diluted form for external use, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and it is always recommended to do a small patch test on your skin with the diluted essential oil. Speak with your healthcare expert or your Ayurvedic physician before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution or prakriti and health condition.

Calamus Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

The essential oil of Calamus should be strictly avoided during pregnancy as it has the potent to stimulate contractions in the uterine cavity and induce menstruation, being an emmenagogue and might lead to miscarriage or abortion. It is also advisable to restrict the use of Calamus oil during breastfeeding.

Many studies suggest that Calamus oil may have carcinogenic or cancer causing effects and might be toxic when used in excess. The prime chemical constituents responsible for its adverse effects are β-asarone (about 78.4%), α-asarone (about 6.8%) and methyleugenol (about 2%) in Acorus Calamus oil, which is of Indian origin. Various in vivo and in vitro studies have witnessed the negative potent of β-asarone in inducing the growth of malignant tumors.

The European Council files β-asarone as “substances which are suspected to be genotoxic carcinogens and therefore no MDI can be set”. According to the 1988 European Community Council, both the European Union and the United Kingdom ‘Standard Permitted Proportion’ of beta-asarone in food flavorings must be 0.1mg/kg.

IFRA (International Fragrance Association) suggests that beta-asarone and alpha-asarone should not be used as fragrance ingredients and the safe level of use of Calamus oil in consumer products should not exceed 0.01%. It also recommends that the highest concentration of methyleugenol in leave-on products like body lotion should not exceed 0.00004%.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and must be used in a diluted condition with safe carrier oils like coconut oil. It is meant only for topical application and it is not recommended to take essential oils internally.

Ingestion of Calamus oil may end up in creating hallucinations, convulsions and potent toxicity. Acorus Calamus is one among the 30 unsafe herbs listed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

According to the studies conducted in 1976 and 1977, Calamus oil is non-phototoxic and non-sensitizing when tested (patch testing with 2% Calamus oil) on 200 consecutive patients with dermatitis.

This warning is relevant to leave-on skin care products like creams, body lotions, massage oils and balms and not for wash-off items like shampoos and soaps.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Calamus Oil:

  1. Acorus Calamus: Scientific Validation of Ayurvedic Tradition from Natural Resources Pulok Kumar Mukherjee, Venkatesan Kumar, Mainak Mal & Peter J. Houghton, published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology
  2. MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF ACORUS CALAMUS Kumar Amit, Vandana, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, published in the Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics
  3. Acorus Calamus by Examine.com
  4. Effects of asarone and β-asarone on conditioned responses, fighting behaviour and convulsions by P. C. Dandiya and M. K. Menon, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy
  5. Calamus by Drugs.com
  6. Toxicity of Acorus calamus rhizome powder from Eastern Nepal to Sitophilus granarius (L.) and Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) by R.B. Paneru , G.N.J. le Patourel , S.H. Kennedy published in Science Direct
  7. Acorus Calamus: An overview R. Balakumbahan*, K. Rajamani and K. Kumanan, Horticultural Research Station, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Pechiparai, TN,  India, published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
  8. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.  

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization by Dr. David Frawley
  2. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc.-Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution by Gazmend Skenderi
  3. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications
    by Christian Ratsch, Albert Hofmann
  4. The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World’s Oldest Healing System by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Michael Tierra
  5. New Choices in Natural Healing: Over 1,800 of the Best Self-Help Remedies from the World of Alternative Medicine by Doug Dollemore

Reference Links:

  1. Acorus Calamus by Wikipedia
  2. Detection of Acorus Calamus in Ayurvedic preparations by Europe PubMed Central
  3. Vacha: Brain Tonic by Dr. R. Vatsyayan, Ayurvedacharya
  4. Clarify Your Communication with Calamus by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa published in 3HO
  5. Herb of the season, Vacha (Calamus, Acorus calamus) by Sai Ayurvedic College
  6. Vacha (Acorus Calamus Linn.): A Valuable Medicinal Plant, published in the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research


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Brahmi Oil


Fêted as the ‘herb of grace’ and ‘the thinking person’s herb, Brahmi oil gifts you mental clarity by alleviating all kinds of mental ailments with its neuro-pharmacological effects.

Brahmi-bannerBeing the second highest ranked herb in Ayurveda, Brahmi oil is the main component of numerous traditional and folklore medicines in dealing with Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), weak memory, stress, anxiety, fear, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Commonly called as ‘Brahmi’ in Ayurveda, “it is known as the rejuvenator for all systems in the body and is one of the most commonly used medicated oils”, quotes the book on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. As a cognitive enhancer, stress buster and neurological tonic, Ayurveda widely uses Brahmi oil for its nootropic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, antipyretic, cardio-tonic and analgesic attributes.

The oblong juicy leaves of this herb, when put under steam distillation yields Brahmi Oil, which is known for its stimulating properties used for enhancing the efficiency of the brain in terms of accuracy, intelligence and attention and mostly prescribed for children to make them more studious, active and attentive.

Purchase Brahmi Essential Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

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Historical uses and importance of Brahmi and its essential oil:

Bearing India as its origin, Bacopa monnieri has numerous vernacular names, the most common of which is ‘Brahmi’ as it is called in Ayurveda which is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Brahma’, the creator of the Universe as per the Hindu mythology. This creeping herb is botanically named as ‘Bacopa monnieri and it commonly grows in countries like Southern India, Europe, Australia and North and South America.

With extensive utilization in Ayurveda, proof of the existence of Bacopa monnieri in literature dates back to the 6th Century A.D where it is mentioned in the Vedas or the sacred books of the Hindu religion and in Charaka Samhita as well as Sushruta Samhita, the Ayurvedic Encyclopedias.

Sushruta, the father of surgery calls Brahmi by the name samjna sthapana which means ‘ that which brings back consciousness’ and medhya rasayana, meaning its application to make one intellectual with less mental deficits. Allegedly used by the primitive Vedic scholars in aiding them to memorize the sacred hymns and scriptures, Brahmi oil played a major role in treating neural disorders in Indian as well as Japanese traditional medicine.

Being in use for almost 3000 golden years in the Ayurvedic healing system, Brahmi oil is a traditional cure for all kinds of nervous disorders, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, hair loss, premature aging and skin diseases. With natural phyto-chemicals that rejuvenate the brain and the nerves, Brahmi oil plays the role of a healthy tonic stimulating and strengthening the nerves and the cardiac system.

Along with the other renowned Ayurvedic herbs such as Jatamansi and Ashwagandha, Brahmi essential oil is taken along with ghee which itself has numerous medicinal benefits, to treat cough, circulatory disorders and even function as a laxative.

Traditionally administered to children for active functioning and improved intelligence, Brahmi oil is paired along with Centella Asiatica and given to pregnant women along with milk to facilitate childbirth. It was also used as a laxative to treat constipation, flatulence and to treat tumors, inflammations and even as an antidote to snake bites.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Brahmi Oil:

Widely recognized as a neural tonic, Brahmi oil owes its tribute to the presence of saponins in particular bacoside A and B. The other chemical components include alkaloids and sterols such as bacopasides, brahmine, herpestine, d-mannitol, hersaponin, monnierin, betulic acid, beta sitosterol, bacosine, luteolin, quercetin, apigenin and nicotine.

The therapeutic properties of Brahmi oil are cardio-tonic, nootropic, antipyretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-aging, expectorant, sedative, stomachic, antiepileptic, carminative, astringent and cognitive.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Brahmi oil:

Ayurveda is a 5,000 years old traditional healing methodology that has its roots deeply vested with the Indian mythology, the country with the world’s oldest history. Ayurvedic writings were first said to have been a part of Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or the sacred books of Hinduism.

Furthermore numerous other diseases and their Ayurvedic remedies were written by the greatest Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta in the books Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Ayurvedic healing recommends natural remedies for treating humanity since it trusts that the whole thing on earth is a part of nature and Nature by itself has inherent medicines for healing various health conditions.

As per this ancient science, a person is said to be healthy when his/her body, mind and soul are in absolute balance with nature.  Sickness or disease as per the Ayurvedic philosophy is a fruitful opportunity to find, treat and reinstate perfect health and to help in being in harmony with nature.

Mother Nature is made up of five vital elements. They are water, fire, earth, space and air. Being a part of nature, human body is also made up of these five elements represented in the system in the form of three dynamic energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha, and pitta doshas.

These 3 doshas join together to form the unique individual constitution or prakriti of a person and the order of these biological energies are determined by nature itself.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas and it has an upper hand in determining the character, personality and other behavioral attributes of a human being. Perfect balance between these doshas indicates robustness and imbalance leads to illnesses.

Every Ayurvedic treatment begins with the effort to identify the unique individual constitution of a person. This assists in finding the mental and physical attributes along with the part of doshas present in an individual.

Ayurveda prescribes unique remedies for every individual as per their individual constitution, even if it is for the same disease.

The Ayurvedic healing system aids in preventing illnesses in the future and lead to longevity through healthy aging, mainly by treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms alone. The chief Ayurvedic remedies are essential oils, herbs, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, Pranayama, prayers, Ayurvedic massaging, Ayurvedic routine, and Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detox techniques.

Brahmi essential oil is said to pacify vata, pitta and kapha imbalances.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Brahmi essential oil are:

Brahmi--broucher--info1. Alleviates the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:

As a divine blessing to numerous diseases related to the brain and nerves, Brahmi essential oil is indeed one of the most effective natural cure for Alzheimer’s disease and is often portrayed by neuropsychiatric and behavioral changes where a person suffers from memory loss along with losing the ability to think and speak, completely reliable on caregivers in the most advanced stage. With no accurate cure, the symptoms worsen with the progress of the disease and it eventually leads to the death of a person.

With natural sulfhydryl and polyphenols, Brahmi oil possesses endogenous antioxidant and anti-cholinesterase attributes with the help of which it inhibits the acetyl cholinesterase enzyme and reverses the symptoms of amnesia, enhances cognition and acts as a neuroprotectant against Alzheimer’s disease.

Moreover, researches have proved the efficiency of Brahmi oil in reducing the beta-amyloid deposits found in the brain of rats with Alzheimer’s disease induced by anti-cholinergic drugs. The presence of saponins helps in increasing the level of serotonin while decreasing that of dopamine widely aiding in memory retention.

With its anti-oxidant properties, Brahmi oil reduces the reactive oxygen scavengers, divalent metals, suppresses the lipoxygenase activity and decreases the formation of lipid peroxides thus greatly helping in alleviating various hazardous symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the long run.

Meditating by focusing the mind on Agna or the point below the center of the forehead, appropriately in between the eyebrows, is the best way to improve concentration, activate the brain cells, enhance memory power, grant increased sense of awareness, provide absolute control over senses, and promotes the power of concentration.

This point is connected to the pituitary gland and is associated with the life-force. Adding 2 drops of Brahmi oil in diffuser or vaporizer during Agna meditation helps in treating Alzheimer’s disease and is a boon to people suffering from all kinds of brain disorders.

2. Enhances the memory power:

Brahmi oil is Mother Nature’s gift for supporting cognitive enhancement and neuro-protective attributes. This is attributed to the rich content of saponins such as Bacoside A and B. It actively influences in regulating the levels of dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters released by the nerve cells that pass on signals to other nerve cells that help in motor control, secretion of hormones and is the contributor of feeling of well being and happiness that makes you feel secure and complete.

With its antioxidant properties, it induces cell transport, metabolism of 5-HT and Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2) resulting in providing a protective environment for the cells and promoting the neuron communication. It helps in increasing the branching points in the neurons and the dendritic intersections that results in the neuronal growth in hippocampus, the area in brain associated with enhancing memory retention and improvement in the learning performance.

This also results in increasing the encoding of information in the brain with increased retention speeds, improving delayed recall and verbal learning. All these aspects of Brahmi essential oil make it an excellent aid when administered along with Ashwagandha, Centella Asiatica and Melissa Officinalis for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is for this reason, Brahmi oil has been in existence since primordial times in the field of holistic healing as a powerful memory enhancer to increase the speed of processing information and cognition and decrease the performance time, reaction time and error incidence for people of all ages especially children for good progress in the field of academic learning.

Adding 2 drops of Brahmi oil to a cotton ball and keeping it besides you during the study time or during your classes can aid in improving your memory power, enhancing concentration and helping you focus on things that you work upon without any deviation.

3. Alleviates epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease:

Often characterized by undetectable periods of vigorous shaking, epilepsy is a group of long-term neurological disorders. With Bacoside –A as the major component, Brahmi essential oil is often paired with Ghee in Ayurveda to treat epilepsy by reducing the occurrence of convulsion.

It induces changes in specific parts of the brain such as striatum and the hippocampus to mediate the reducing activity of the epileptic seizures. Brahmi oil greatly influences the expression of mGluR8 receptors which possess protective mechanism against excito toxicity and hyper excitation.

Additionally, Brahmi oil prevents the depletion of dopamine and serotonin and greatly reduces the death of cells in the midbrain that generate dopamine, which remains as one of the causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Numerous researches carried out in this regard confirmed the positive reduction of the depletion of serotonin and dopamine in rats subjected to chronic stress and supplemented with Bacopa monnieri. It has also been proved that the presence of Brahmi oil prevented the depletion of dopamine even in cases of neurotoxicity induced with rotenone and caffeine.

4. Relieves you from stress and its adverse effects:

Stress simply leads to mental and physical exhaustion, while it drains out all our energy and confidence. Having all the beneficial saponins and phyto chemicals in possession, Brahmi oil acts as a natural adaptogen actively preventing the biochemical effects of stress and blocking the stress response in the body.

It effectively reduces the expression of HSP70, a biomarker of stress in almost all the regions of the brain in particular the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Brahmi oil also increases the anti-oxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxide in the brain protecting it from oxidative damage and other stress related factors.

It aids in overcoming acute and chronic stress. In addition to that this oil for the mind helps one in overcoming addiction to ill habits such as drug dependence, smoking, alcoholism etc. Furthermore, Brahmi oil assists in reducing the inflammation in the nerves and possesses neurological anti-aging effect.

With the presence of bacopaside I, bacopaside II and bacopasaponsin C, Brahmi oil naturally alleviates depression and anxiety. Just a gentle massage with Brahmi oil effectively relieves you from tension and fear and provides you a peaceful sleep. It lifts up your spirits and soothes your mind by calming down the nerves with a promise to provide you an eternal elevation.

The best way to alleviate stress is to blend 5 drops of Brahmi oil with 5 drops of Sandalwood oil, 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil with 10 ml of Virgin olive oil and massage your system followed by a warm bath diluted with 3 drops of Brahmi oil especially before going to bed can help you in relaxing your nerves, soothing your muscles, alleviating fatigue mentally and physically and grant you the determination to fight stress and its ill effects.

5. Effective in hair care and skin care:

Healthy hair and skin are indeed the lustrous assets of every human being. With natural antioxidants, Brahmi oil rejuvenates the hair follicles and strengthens the hair from the roots. It acts as a cure to numerous problems related to hair and scalp such as dandruff, split ends, itchiness in the scalp and formation of flakes.

Brahmi is excellent for hair growth and the prevention of baldness”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. With its nourishing properties, Brahmi oil aids in lessening hair fall and promotes hair growth aiding in the treatment of Alopecia Areata. In combination with Amla, it promotes the blood circulation in the scalp; it aids in restoring the natural color of the hair and prevents premature graying.

Massaging your scalp and hair with 2 drops of Brahmi oil along with 2 drops of Jatamansi oil, 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 drops of Tea tree oil with 5 ml of Almond oil followed by regular shampooing with 1 drop of Brahmi oil to your mild shampoo, can assist in controlling hair loss, clear dandruff, nourish the scalp, strengthen your hair from the roots and gift you with long, lustrous and shiny locks.

The antioxidant attribute of Brahmi oil mainly due to the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins also contribute to the utilization of this essential oil in the field of skin care as a revitalizing agent. It helps in tightening the pores and keeps the cells in tact by preventing the formation of wrinkles and treats numerous skin problems such as boils, psoriasis, abscess, eczema and pimples.

Mix 1 drop of Brahmi oil with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil, 1drop of Rose oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil with 2 ml of coconut oil and massage it on your facial skin in gentle circular movements for visible results. It also promotes the growth of nails.

Other health benefits of Brahmi oil:

Brahmi oil possesses stomachic properties that assist in protecting against ulcers by repairing and preventing the lining of the stomach from the advent of acids and enzymes.

It aids in protecting against the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases by helping in oxidizing the fats in the body. Brahmi oil also acts a diuretic and helps in removing excess toxins from the body in the form of urine and sweat. It acts as a cardio-tonic, nerve tonic and as an analgesic helping you to relieve from pain.

Disclaimer:

This article is just for educational uses and is not destined to check, treat or diagnose any medical condition or replace with any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this data is shared only with the idea of throwing light on the significance of Ayurveda, the time-honored wisdom of holistic healing.

Internal use of essential oils is strictly restricted except under medical supervision. Make certain that you dilute essential oils before using it topically because pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and direct application on the skin may cause allergic reactions. It is always recommended to speak with your Ayurvedic expert/ healthcare professional before choosing the suitable essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and your medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Suggested Reading:

  1. Brahmi – the brain tonic by Brijesh Regal
  2. Nutrient Management in Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri L.) by Vineeta Rathore, Kuldeep Singh, Vandana Rathore
  3. Ashwagandha & Brahmi – Withania somnifera and bacopa monnieri – The most powerful brain-boosting herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine by James Lee
  4. Ayurveda and the Mind: The Healing of Consciousness by Dr. David Frawley
  5. Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease by Robert Rodgers

Reference Links:

  1. Bacopa monnieri by Wikipedia
  2. A research article on ‘Bacopa monniera -a Future Perspective’ by the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research
  3. Enhanced dendritic arborization of hippocampal CA3 neurons by Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats published in PubMed
  4. Bacopa monniera on stress induced changes in plasma corticosterone and brain monoamines in rats published in PubMed

Cananga Oil


Bejeweled as the “Poor man’s jasmine”, Cananga is a relative of the most mesmerizing Ylang Ylang flowers. Although its floral note resembles that of Ylang Ylang oil, Cananga is comparatively less aromatic as it is regarded much greener than the Ylang Ylang tree and is its cost-effective alternative.

cananga-bannerCananga has been a vital part of the remedial regimen since the traditional times in the treatment of depression, anxiety, impotence, insect bites and high blood pressure.

Known as Lanji and Vanachampaka in Sanskrit, Cananga and its essential oil have been recommended in Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy, hair growth, balanced sebum secretion, stress, malaria, insomnia, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, frigidity and nervous conditions.

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Historical uses and importance of Cananga oil:

Cananga is a vibrant member of the sugar apple family, Annonaceae. Indigenous to the tropical parts of Asia, Cananga oil is distributed throughout the world from India, Malaysia, Moluccas islands, Philippines and Java.

Cananga oil is extracted by steam distillation from the freshly picked up, bright yellow flowers those look similar to that of the Ylang Ylang flowers. Few sources state that the first person to distill the essential oil of Cananga Odorata was Albert Schwenger in 1860.

The English Botanist, John Ray explained this tree as ‘Arbor saguisen” and it was also called as Unona odorata and Borga Cananga by few other explorers. The dazzling and fragrant yellow flowers were used for ornamental purposes initially, slowly after which its enormous healing benefits were explored by the traditional folklore people.

The fresh flower petals were used as an effective remedy for asthmatic attacks, where as the dried flowers were used as a treatment for malarial fever. Numerous research studies have proved the effectiveness of Cananga against intestinal infections, rapid heartbeat, typhus, malaria and certain respiratory conditions. Cananga oil is also used in candies, soaps, shampoos, baked goods, perfumes, lotions and skin care creams.

The sea star shaped flowers are the distinctive source of the mesmerizing Cananga essential oil for which it was used on hair for decoration and was scattered on the beds of newly married. Cananga oil is a secret ingredient behind the growth of thick, lustrous and healthy hair.

Cananga was also used as a natural skincare agent, where the leaves and flowers were rubbed on to the skin for nourishing skin health, moisturizing dry skin, alleviating itches, treating insect stings and bites and for balancing the secretion of sebum. It was also employed as natural infusion in bathing.

History reveals that the Victorians along with the Indonesians, Malaysians and other traditional folklore populace used Cananga flowers as a formula in their hair oil for influencing natural hair growth, enhancing the glossy look of the hair, preventing split ends and for moisturizing the dry and itchy scalp, thus preventing from dandruff and other scalp conditions.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Cananga oil:

In general, the ratio of chemical components of essential oils is mainly based on the origin, growth, seasonal differences and topography. The major chemical constituents of Cananga oil are germacrene, pinene, methyl benzoate, benzoic acid, caryophyllene, cadinene, farnesol, cresol, geranyl acetate, borneol, eugenol, linalyl acetate, isoeugenol, linalyl benzoate, geraniol, linalool and other sesquiterpenes.

The therapeutic attributes contributing to its colossal remedial values are relaxant, hypotensive, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating, tonic, anti-depressant, sedative, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, cardio tonic, emmenagogue, calmative, nervine, anti-infectious and antiseborrhoeic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga oil:

Ayurveda is the ancient remedial system that prescribes the use of herbal medications including herbs and spices, essential oils, yoga, meditation and other Ayurvedic healing techniques like Pranayama (balanced breathing), Ayurvedic routine (Ayurvedic regimen for healthy living), Panchakarma (detoxification technique) and Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging).

With the profound meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda is a common sense science that treats illnesses based on its root cause and not by just relying on its symptoms. This traditional healing methodology dates back to 5000 years, where the ancient sages and gurus who practiced Ayurveda lived for more than a 100 years.

Journey towards longevity with the treatment and prevention of illnesses in a natural way is the mantra of Ayurveda. According to this antique science, everything in nature including human beings is made up of five fundamental elements namely fire, earth, water, space and air.

All these vital energies symbolize different parts of the human body, where water stands for blood and fluids in the system, fire is a symbol of the body temperature and Agni (the digestive fire for metabolic functions), earth is a representation of bones and muscles, air is for respiration and ether or space is the eternal soul.

Every person is regarded as a unique entity of Nature with a unique individual constitutional set up known doshas. These three biological forces namely vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth) are a combination of the five elemental energies.

Vata dosha is in charge for nervous functions, movement of the system, creativity quotient, circulation of blood and air. Pitta takes care of metabolism, body temperature, leadership qualities and decision making abilities. Kapha dosha is responsible for the physique, fluid retention, sustenance, love and natural bonding.

Ayurveda in many ancient texts, denote human body as a temple, where the soul dwells in. It is for this reason it recommends maintaining harmony between the mind, body and soul. Every individual is treated in a unique manner based upon their distinct individual constitution, where absolute balance between these doshas as per Nature’s law indicates health and imbalance due to lifestyle changes, climatic conditions, moral values and lack of physical and psychological activities lead to sickness.

Cananga oil is recommended for balancing vata and pitta dosha and for stimulating kapha energy.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga essential oil are:

Cananga-broucher1. Fights hard with negative emotions:

Negativity or pessimism is a highly contagious health condition that spoils your mental and physical well-being along with those around you. The ability to think right is the basis for progress in all kinds of chores that you undertake.

Off-putting thoughts or negative thinking drains your mind and soul. Ayurveda beckons mind as the limb of consciousness and negative energies like fear of failure, loneliness, lack of self-confidence, annoyance, disgust, worries, frustration, anxiety, inferiority complex or lower self-esteem, depression, stress and possessiveness would often cause serious harm to the mind.

Ayurvedic essential oils along with Ayurvedic techniques like abhyanga, meditation and Pranayama have the potent to rejuvenate your mind and nurture your soul for enhanced thinking and better quality of life.

Cananga oil has such an enriching aroma that could stimulate the mental faculty with precision and positive thinking. The essential oil of Cananga has the power to fortify the heart chakra, which is responsible for self-love, self-confidence, trust and love for others, focused thoughts and spiritual consciousness.

2 drops of Cananga oil with 2 drops of Vetiver oil added to your diffuser or vaporizer during meditation or Pranayama (the Ayurvedic way of balanced breathing) can help in elevating your inner consciousness, promoting positive thoughts and hope, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, instilling peace of mind, lessening anxiety, reducing depression and enhancing your creativity quotient and leadership traits with its power to augment vata and pitta doshas.

Cananga oil when added to warm bathing water before going to bed can help in alleviating fatigue, anxiety, stress, nervous depression and other psychological traumas. It also helps in promoting peaceful sleep and ensures a feel-fresh morning at the rise of every new-fangled day.

Ayurvedic massage blend with 5 drops of Cananga oil, 5 drops of Bergamot oil and 5 drops of Rose Geranium oil with 20 ml of Jojoba oil relaxes the tensed muscles, soothes your nerves and brings in complete tranquility to the mind and the soul. You can take up this revitalizing regimen every weekend for kick starting your routine in the next week.

2. Absolute rescuer of a range of skin conditions:

Skin is often the most revealed part of the body and any kind of stressful situations or other health problems affects the skin health and is mostly reflected on the facial skin and the scalp. For example acne, dandruff and wrinkles are most frequently associated with depression, stress, worries and related hormonal fluctuations.

Cananga is a Kushtanut in Ayurvedic philosophy, which is a promising remedy for certain skin diseases. With its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, Cananga is Dushta Vranashodhana for its excellent cleansing qualities of wounds, cuts and infections and is Krumihara for fighting against bacterial and microbial growths in such skin infections.

Applying 1 drop of Cananga oil with 5 drops of coconut oil on wounds, cuts, abrasions and other skin infections can foster quicker healing by curbing the growth of microbes and disinfecting or sanitizing the wounds from within.

With its anti-inflammatory and anti-seborrhoeic values, Cananga is a proven natural remedy for seborrhea, eczema, inflammation, irritation, soreness and redness of the skin. It regularizes the functions of the sebaceous glands, where the sebaceous glands are defined as “microscopic exocrine glands in the skin that secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair of mammals.”

This assists in keeping the skin and scalp moist and smooth. Mixing 1 drop of Cananga oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil and 1 drop of Orange oil and 2ml of coconut oil and gently massaging your skin surface can help in regularizing sebum secretion. You can remove this pack by wiping off your face with a warm towel. This also relieves from clogged pores and helps relieve acne and fight against wrinkles and other aging symptoms.

Being a tonic to the skin, Cananga nourishes the skin surface with its moisturizing and cooling properties and has been recommended for all types of skin including dry skin, stressed skin, oily skin, aging skin and combination skin.

3. Zings your vitality:

Cananga and its closest pal Ylang Ylang are assured solutions for greeting ahead the zing in your intimacy. Held high as the most popular traditional tonic for treating impotence, premature ejaculation, loss of libido and loss of interest in being together, Cananga with its bracing fragrance is a trusted cure for reproductive conditions both in men and women.

Cananga essential oil has a long-lasting intense floral and sensual aroma that helps in treating mood fluctuations, lack of sexual interest, erectile dysfunctions and intimacy problems due to stress or pre-occupied mind.

The enriching fragrance of Cananga oil reaches the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages. It is the control center of the system and passes on the therapeutic values in the form of molecules to the nerve impulses and the corresponding parts of the body, thus supporting the secretion of positive hormones.

Adding 2 drops of Cananga oil along with 2 drops of Tuberose oil and 1 drop of Aswagandha oil to your air freshener in the evening can turn them quixotic by spreading its magical aroma. 3 drops of Cananga oil to your bathing tub before bedtime can also help in spicing up your vim and vigor.

4. Foe for feminine maladies:

The book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Light Miller and Bryan Miller quotes Cananga odorata oil as “A balancer to the female immune system, it reduces tension, cramps, negative emotions and headaches. It brings out warmth, self confidence, the feminine side and sensitivity.” It also states that this oil is excellent for the skin, reproductive system and nerves.

With its effectiveness to treat hormonal imbalances along with its balancing attributes, Cananga oil is a proven cure for treating problems associated with menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Massaging your lower abdomen, inner thighs, lower back, and around your genital area with 3 drops of Cananga oil, 2 drops of Vetiver oil, 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 15ml of Olive oil can help in balancing estrogen hormones and regularize irregular menstruation, relieve dysmennorhea or painful periods, cramps, headache, mood swings, anxiety, irritability and sleeping difficulties. This can also help in treating frigidity and loss of sexual interest.

Wearing 1 drop of Cananga oil to your wrist or to your handkerchief can help in keeping your mind and nerves calm throughout the day. Cananga is an exceptional skin-friendly oil and has enormous benefits for hair growth as well. These advantages are attributed to its sebum-controlling potential and its ability to promote proper blood circulation in the system.

Adding 2 drops of Cananga oil in your regular shampoo for hair or gently massaging your scalp with 10 drops of Cananga oil along with 5 drops of Citriodora oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil and 50ml of Coconut oil (slightly heat this blend before massaging) can support in controlling dandruff, moistening dry, itchy and scaly scalp, encouraging the growth of hair by promoting good circulation in the scalp, have power over split ends and can help in adding the glossy and natural shine to your hair.

5. Boosts the functions of the nervous system:

Cananga oil has the power to relax and soothe the central nervous system and controls the function and flow of adrenaline, which helps in pacifying negative emotions like rage, shock, panic, fear or anger. These feelings in turn lead to high blood pressure, nervousness, tension and insecurity.

Cananga and its essential oil have been celebrated for its ability to lessen anxiety and tension, thus improving the level of blood pressure and treating increased heartbeat and rapid breathing. It has tranquilizing and soothing effect on the nervous system.

Numerous studies have substantiated the effect of Ylang Ylang oil on people with high blood pressure and nervous tension. One study published in Planta Medica concluded that Ylang Ylang oil helped in reducing high blood pressure and increased pulse rate along with a boost in attentiveness and alertness.

Few other studies conducted with a group of people with hypertension, where the group was facilitated to inhale the aromatic blend with essential oils like Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, Lavender and Neroli for about 24 hours, concluded that “essential oils may have relaxation effects for controlling hypertension and in reducing systolic blood pressure.”

Cananga oil, when added to your bathing water can also help in augmenting self-confidence and alleviating the feelings of fear, failure, obstinacy and feelings of loneliness along with stress and depression.

Other health benefits:

Apart from these health benefits, Cananga oil is also recommended for enhancing metabolic functions, flatulence, tastelessness, epilepsy, chest infections, intestinal infections and physical exhaustion.

Disclaimer:

This article is only educational purposes and is not destined for substituting professional medical advice or prescribed medications or for treating any medical conditions. We are not healthcare experts and we take up a shared interest to spread the knowledge of Ayurveda, the oldest and the Mother of all remedial practices in the world.

Do not use essential oils internally and dilute them in suitable carrier oils like Coconut oil before using it for topical application. This is due to the fact that 100% organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and speak with your Doctor if you are a pregnant or nursing mom.

Consult your healthcare professional or Ayurvedic practitioner ahead of choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul. – Luther Burbank.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dealing with Depression Naturally by Dr Miriam Kinai
  2. Listening to Scent: An Olfactory Journey With Aromatic Plants and Their Extracts by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Natural Depression Cure: Holistic Depression Treatment by Dr Marion King

Reference Links:

  1. Cananga Odorata by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants – Cananga Odorata by Toxicology Centre
  3. Health Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. Composition of the essential oil of Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata Hook Fil. et Thomson forma genuina) from Madagascar by Emile M. Gaydou, Robert Randriamiharisoa, Jean Pierre Bianchini, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry