Brahmi Oil

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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.

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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

Neroli Essential Oil

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Neroli, the less known secret behind the unsurpassed creativity and the magnanimous works of the legendary archetype of the Renaissance Man, Leonardo Da Vinci who loved to be in the midst of perfumes and aromatic oils always.

Neroli-bannerNeroli essential oil was his all-time favorite and he used it to instigate his intellect and contemplation while creating celebrated piece of artworks. Neroli oil also known as ‘Orange Blossoms’ is the prized ingredient of the classic Eau-de-Cologne since the 17th century. The essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the Bitter Orange tree, Citrus aurantium through steam distillation method.

Neroli has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years and it is said that the name ‘Neroli’ is extracted from the Sanskrit word ‘Nagaranj’. Bryan and Light Miller in their book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ quote Neroli as “one of the most intense-smelling oils.

It gives confidence and strength to the mind, has relaxing properties which help with sleeplessness, and can be an ally during times of stress.”  Ayurvedic uses of Neroli are for treating aging skin, anxiety, insomnia, headache, emotional instability, PMS and for certain other health disorders.

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Historical importance of Neroli:

History lists a number of myths about the origin of its name. There are line of differences between the east and west on this commendation. Indigenous to the Far East, few say that the name ‘Neroli’ is derived from Anne-Marie of Nerola, the Italian princess during the 16th century.

She used Neroli perfume everyday and set an example for other noble women to follow the same tradition. Certain other sources say that Neroli was named after Nero, the Roman Emperor while some say it was derived from the name of ‘The Duchess of Tremoille’, the 17th Duchess also known as ‘la Nerola’.

Neroli and its essential oil were highly regarded as a symbol of virginity and sexual purity. Neroli was worn by the bride to assert her virginity and it was also a part of the bride’s bouquet to signify happiness, good luck, fertility and prosperity to the newly-married couple. As an aphrodisiac, Neroli was also spread on the bed of the newly-wedded couples to enhance their intimacy and calm their nervous apprehension.

Known as the ‘queenly elixir’, the essential oil of Neroli was held high by the primeval Egyptians for its power to cure the mind, spirit and the body and for its blissful properties. Neroli was also used in bathing water to soothe the nerves, calm the mind, relax the muscles and instill positive feelings.

The Yogic tradition of India trusted Neroli for its relaxing, tranquilizing and sleep inducing properties. The Traditional Chinese Medicine use Neroli to organize chi (aura or the life force).

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Neroli essential oil:

The remedial properties of Neroli oil are aphrodisiac, carminative, antidepressant, emollient, cicatrisant, disinfectant, antiseptic, deodorant, tonic, cytophylactic, anti-infectious, cordial, sedative, bactericidal, antispasmodic and digestive.

The chemical constituents that contribute to these therapeutic values are nerol, a-pinene, a-terpinene, farnesol, nerolidol, geraniol, b-pinene, neryl acetate, camphene, linalyl acetate, methyl anthranilate, indole and linalool.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Neroli essential oil:

Ayurvedic healing have a high regard for Neroli because of its cheering, encouraging, soothing, strengthening and invigorating properties that can benefit anyone who wears its exceptional fragrance.

Ayurveda being the oldest of all remedial systems in the world has been much-admired and accepted all over the universe for its immaculate wisdom and the sense of personal care and touch it renders without fail.

Ayurvedic philosophy believes that every human being is unique with specific physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and environmental attributes. Similarly the treatment for each one of them should also be unique based on their individual constitution, which is nothing but the combination of bio-energies or energy elements known as doshas.

The predominant Ayurvedic body types or doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. Food, lifestyle changes and numerous other factors have an impact on our health and it is for this reason Ayurveda suggests Ayurvedic routine, healthy and balanced diet, essential oils, herbs, physical exercises, meditation, yoga and Ayurvedic massage techniques based upon on your doshas and treat imbalances systematically.

Neroli oil aids in lessening increased vata and pitta and in increasing kapha deficit.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Neroli essential oil.

neroli-broucher1. Excellent oil for female problems:

Neroli oil is said to “have a special affinity for the female immune system, and is part of all our female immune regulatory formulas” says Light Miller in her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’. She also states that Neroli essential oil aids women in every stages of transition including menstruation, menopause, irritation, anxiety, depressive thoughts, negative feelings and heart health.

Neroli essential oil is known as women’s best pal throughout her life especially in every maturing year by assisting menopausal problems, fighting against wrinkles and supporting the generation of new skin cells. It acts as maturing woman’s best friend by combating wrinkles and improving the skin texture with aging and acts as a promising anti-aging agent.

Blending 2 drops of Neroli oil with coconut oil or jojoba oil can aid you as a great massage blend followed by a warm bath enriched with 3 to 4 drops of Neroli oil can relax your system, reduce pain, promote good sleep and lessen stress and depression especially during menstrual discomforts and menopausal symptoms.

You can also add 2 drops of this oil to your diffuser or wear it on your wrist to keep you calm throughout the day. Mixing 2 drops of Neroli oil in your mild skin care cream or lotion aids in combating the effects of aging on your skin.

2. Enormously skin-friendly:

Neroli is indeed a great oil for managing your skin problems effectively. It guards your skin from harmful bacterial infections causing acne and other skin problems with its antiseptic and disinfectant properties. Applying 2 drops of Neroli oil mixed with coconut oil can help in fighting against bacteria and other harmful organisms while protecting wounds and other skin conditions from infections and tetanus.

Neroli essential oil has cytophylactic effects that supports in maintaining the health of existing skin cells and promoting the formation of new cells. This aids in augmenting the elasticity of skin, making it supple, reducing wrinkles and treating varicose veins. Being a cicatrisant, Neroli oil helps in fading away scars, stretch marks and other marks let by acne, pox, accidents and wounds.

Use 2 drops of Neroli oil in vaporizer aids you in clearing the clogged pores and purify the skin surface. Adding 2 to 3 drops of this oil to your regular skin care cream or lotion aids in treating wrinkles, scars, control excess oil in the skin, retain its natural moisture, clear blemishes, curtail enlarged pores and leave it glow naturally just like the ‘Orange blossoms’.

3. Boosts your mental capabilities:

Neroli has been behind the glorious works of the great icon of art, Leonardo Da Vinci. He trusted that the enlivening fragrance of this oil augmented his concentration, granted calmness to the mind and paved way for deepening his creative powers.

It is said that the refreshing and intense aroma of this oil improves your memory, enhance your mental power, helps in self-purification, filters negative feelings and support you in bringing out your fullest potential in studies and at work. Charge your mind by adding 2 drops of Neroli oil in your room freshener and start exploring your excellence right away!

4. Calms your mind:

The enriching, energizing, encouraging and stimulating smell of Neroli essential oil drives away depression, inculcates positive thoughts, boosts your confidence and energy level and has a direct impact on your mood and behavioral patterns. One of the studies by the Brown University on the physiological effects of aromatherapy oils like Neroli proved that such aroma persuade temper and actions.

A study by the Stem Cell Medical Research Center and Department of Applied Cosmetology of Hung Kuang University, Taiwan on ‘Inhalation of Neroli essential oil and its anxiolytic effects in animals’ proved that the inhalation of essential oils like Neroli and Lavender can activate the limbic system of the brain granting the corresponding beneficial effects. This study also concluded that inhaling Neroli oil exhibited effectiveness and improvements in the potential treatment of anxiety.

Using Neroli for depression and distress is a traditional method for staying calm and collected. You can involve in self-massaging with 4 drops of Neroli added to one cup of almond oil or add it to warm bath or to your diffuser for recovering your mind from hopelessness, uplifting your mood and enjoying the feeling of warmth and relief naturally.

5. Adds spice to your love life:

Orange blossoms and its essential oil are celebrated for years together for its natural aphrodisiac and arousal properties. The profound and long-lasting aroma of Neroli acts as a tonic for the nervous system, reproductive system and the cardiac system.

This aids in paving way for intimacy and a quixotic time together for the couples even in their late 30s or 40s when loss of sexual interest can ruin one’s sex life. Using 2 drops of Neroli oil in the room freshener or in the bath tub or in massaging with jojoba oil aids in augmenting your sexual interest, improve libido in both men and women, treat erectile dysfunctions, impotence and  frigidity.

6. Assists digestive and sleeping disorders:

Neroli essential oil is claimed as one of the best massaging essential oils for treating numerous health disorders like insomnia and depression. Massaging with 3 drops of Neroli oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with wheat germ oil can assist in relieving anxiety and tension, generate a soothing effect on the nervous system and enhance blood circulation. All these actions will help in promoting a peaceful sleep without any kind of mental disturbances.

Neroli oil has been used in the traditional and folklore medicine as a natural aid for gastrointestinal problems. It is still used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of anorexia and vomiting.

With its carminative and digestive properties, this oil assists in expelling unwanted gas in the intestine and stomach, increasing the appetite, promoting digestion, regulating the metabolic process and leaving you feel light and refreshed.

Other health benefits:

Neroli oil has been approved by the German Commission E for safe use. It is also used in treating cramps, spasmodic coughs, neuralgia, diarrhea, kidney and urinary tract infections, cold, headache and hysteria.

Neroli oil is also said to have anti-cancer effects with the presence of farnesol that has been proved effective in inhibiting the growth of tumor especially in lung cancer, causing death of the cancerous cells or stimulate apoptosis. This oil is also used as an insect repellant with the presence of components like geraniol and farnesol.

Disclaimer:

Never take essential oils internally. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and always use it after diluting in suitable carrier oils. This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to diagnose or replace any prescribed medication or professional advice. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the suitable essential oil for your unique individual constitution and health condition.

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice, Second Edition by Jane Buckle
  3. Citrus Essential Oils: Flavor and Fragrance from Wiley
  4. Mental Health, Naturally: The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body by Kathi J. Kemper

Reference Links:

  1. Neroli/Citrus aurantium var. amara in History, Myths and Legends of Aromatherapy Part 2 by Aromaticamedica
  2. Inhalation of Neroli essential oil and its anxiolytic effects in animals by the Stem Cell Medical Research Center and Department of Applied Cosmetology of Hung Kuang University, Taiwan
  3. Neroli by Wikipedia
  4. Molecular mechanisms involved in farnesol-induced apoptosis published in PubMed

Cananga Oil

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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.

Purchase Cananga Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Purchase Cananga Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE

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