Mentha Oil

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Mentha-oil-broucherAre you a mint? I mean, are you a cool-headed person? Life would be simply stupendous if all of us remain as cool as mint leaves. Yes! This miraculous herb in any form would drive in extraordinary coolness, where the mere sight of mint leaves gives coolness to the eyes; eating fresh mint leaves or mint-based gums implants long lasting freshness in the mouth; applying Mint oil on your body revives and refreshes the skin; inhaling its enlivening aroma instills peace and happiness and just hearing the word ‘mint’ itself pleases the ears. (Aha! Mint benefits all the five senses of healing.)

Mentha or mint has a long association with Ayurveda and the other entire Alternative and complementary healing methodologies. With its sattvic (power to enhance purity and harmony) and prana (life force or vital energy) enhancing properties, Mentha and its essential oil is trusted to heal a range of health conditions including depression, anxiety, nervous tension, lack of self-esteem, asthma, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, lack of appetite, fever, rheumatic conditions, halitosis, dandruff, acne, flatulence, bad breath and the list never ends.

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Therapeutic attributes and chemical constituents of Mentha essential oil:

The essential oil of Mentha has antidepressant, stimulant, carminative, antiseptic, cholagogue, expectorant, antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, antioxidant, stomachic, antimicrobial, nervine, antifungal, analgesic, detoxifying, anti-pruritic, diaphoretic and anti-flatulent properties.

The major chemical constituent of Mentha essential oil is menthol and the other components that make Menthol oil as worthy as its weight in gold are a-pinene, b-pinene, flavonoids, menthone, methyl acetate, limonene, b-caryophyllene and camphene.

History and traditional uses of Mentha and its essential oil:

Mentha is a plant genus in the family of mints known as Lamiaceae. There are about 20 species of plants and hybrid mint varieties in the Mentha genus. The most popular among them are Peppermint, Spearmint, Japanese Peppermint, Banana mint, Penny royal, Garden mint, Apple mint, Orange mint, Water mint, Wild mint, Forest mint and Asian mint.

Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Mentha spicata are the most famous botanical (species) names of the Mentha family. Most often, all the members of this family share common chemical constituents and the corresponding remedial properties mainly due to the qualities acquired from the same genus Mentha (It’s parent).

Mint is the most friendly and quickly growing perennial plant and its origin has been referred to Asia and Europe. The history of ancient medicine has a handful of remedial references on Mentha and its varied significance.

The genus name Mentha has said to be obtained from Greek mythology, where Menthe, a nymph who was transmuted to a plant by Proserpine as a result of his jealousy on the love of Pluto for Menthe. Aha! Moment again and the credit goes to you ladies, as again like most of the tremendous plant varieties, Mint is also a female indeed!!

English physician, Dr. James Parkinson states “Mintes are sometimes used in Baths with Balm and other herbs as a help to comfort and strengthen the nerves and sinews. It is much used either outwardly applied or inwardly drunk to strengthen and comfort weak stomackes.”

“It is comfortable for the head and memory, and a decoction when used as a gargle, cures the mouth and gums, when sore. Garden Mint is most useful to wash children’s heads when the latter are inclined to sores, and Wild Mint, mixed with vinegar is an excellent wash to get rid of scurf. Rose leaves and mint, heated and applied outwardly cause rest and sleep”, says Nicholas Culpepper, the 17th century herbalist and physician.

The book Herball by the famous botanist John Gerard quotes Mint asthe smelle rejoiceth the heart of man, for which cause they used to strew it in chambers and places of recreation, pleasure and repose, where feasts and banquets are made.”

Pliny the elder, the Roman Natural philosopher says “The smell of Mint does stir up the minde and the taste to a greedy desire of meate. It will not suffer milk to cruddle in the stomach, and therefore it is put in milk that is drunke, lest those that drinke thereof should be strangled.”

Mint is a universal herbal remedy for various health problems, where the traditional Romans and Greeks used these miraculous leaves for treating indigestion, colic, pain and respiratory illnesses.

The primordial Europeans used Mint leaves for dealing with gall bladder disorders, flatulence, cough and other digestive mayhems. As a nourishing appetizer, Mint has been used in various mouth-watering dishes across the world including the cuisines of India, Asian subcontinent; Middle East, America and Britain.

Mentha leaves have been used in making traditional tea varieties in India, where mint tea is said to alleviate fatigue, anxiety and instill instant nourishment to the brain. Many research studies conclude that Mentha is a trusted remedy for irritable bowel syndrome.

The essential oil of Mentha has been used in the manufacturing of various things including soaps, dandruff shampoos, acne creams, skin care lotions, jellies, teas, candies, syrups, ice creams and beverages. Mentha is also a noted flavoring ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gums, perfumes, cosmetics, pain balms and vaporizing ointments.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha essential oil:

What is your thought about Ayurveda? What do you really think? Is your mind uttering that it is an ancient science, a traditional healing system, works slowly, needs patience during the healing tenure and at last you soothe stating that you don’t have much time to take up an Ayurvedic treatment.

Is Ayurveda still the “Road not taken” in your life? Then listen to me, you are not too far from attaining a healthy and harmonious life. More than just a medicinal system, Ayurveda is a complete and disciplined way of living. The word ‘Ayur + Veda’ simply means the knowledge of life.

All it needs to take up Ayurveda in your life is to do a thorough self-examination, for understanding your individual constitution (the innate rhythm of your system with nature) contributing to your physical set up, psychological attributes, spiritual element and your behavioral patterns.

You can take the help of an Ayurvedic expert to learn about your doshas and then frame your way of living that strikes absolute balance with nature. Ayurveda recommends Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine, things to follow in your day-to-day living for prevention of illnesses and increased life span.

The rich historical reference of Ayurveda vests with India for about 5,000 years, where it is believed to be a gift of the Lord of Creation (Brahma) to the Lord of Medicine (Dhanvantari). This sacred science of healing was taken to the next level by the Ayurvedic philosophers Acharya Charaka and Acharya Sushruta, the masterminds behind the Ayurvedic encyclopedias Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is unique with a distinct individual constitution, likewise their health conditions should also be treated in a unique manner even if it is for the treatment of the same sickness.

The first Ayurvedic consultation with your Ayurvedic practitioner helps you to identify your medical history, Prakriti (unique individual constitution – combination of 3 doshas) and the most suitable treatment methodologies exclusively for your physical, emotional and spiritual conditions.

Ayurvedic essential oils (prana or the life force of plants), herbal medications (fresh, dried herbs or herbal infusions), yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, prayers, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), and Pranayama (balanced breathing), Panchakarma (detoxification techniques) are the major Ayurvedic remedies prescribed often.

These medications aim at balancing the doshic irregularities due to changes in lifestyle, code of conduct, food habits, weather and work conditions. Ayurveda recommends the use of Mentha and its essential oil for aggravating vata dosha and pacifying pitta and kapha energies.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha essential oil are:

  1. By far the best remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders:
  2. Magical spell for relieving pain and inflammation:
  3. Depression or fear of failure? Embrace Mentha for sure:
  4. Say goodbye to bad breath and other oral problems:
  5. Breathe easy – Mentha for your respiratory woes:
  6. Share the joy of healing skin problems:

Mentha-OIl1. By far the best remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders:

Pitta dosha is combination of fire and water. This dosha is responsible for metabolic functions, body temperature and cognitive abilities. Pitta dosha is often associated with the stimulation of Agni or the digestive fire.

Pitta vitiation ends up in excessive secretion of gastric juices, digestive acids and other digestive enzymes, which in turn rest on the stomach or intestinal lining. This ends up in gastric ulcer, irritation of the bowel and intestines.

Mentha is known for its potent to pacify pitta or the digestive fire with its cooling and soothing effects. It is for this reason; Mentha and its essential oil are used for treating irritable patterns in the intestines and bowels.

Michael T. Murray, Naturopath and the known author of “The Encyclopedia of healing foods” says that Mentha oil calm down the muscles and walls of the stomach and intestines, which aids in alleviating indigestion, abdominal cramps and pain associated with irritation and irregular bowel movements.

The stimulating, refreshing and energizing aroma of Mentha oil makes it an effective remedy in controlling vomiting (for which it is called as vatihari in Ayurveda, means one that prevents vomiting), bloating and nausea especially during travel. Wearing 2 drops of Mentha oil to your hankie or a tissue and inhaling the uplifting aroma while travelling can pacify the digestive system and protect you from the inconveniences of puking on the go.

A 2010 study published in the “Digestive diseases and sciences” journal has concluded that Mint oil considerably lessened pain in the abdomen and enhanced the lives of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

Massaging your abdomen with 4 drops of Mentha oil, 2 drops of Marjoram oil and 2 ounces of coconut oil can assist in relieving flatulence, bloating, motion sickness, belching, heartburn, abdominal spasms and peristalsis with its stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, stomachic and anti-flatulent properties.

2. Magical spell for relieving pain and inflammation:

Mentha is absolutely one among the top 10 essential oils for its ability to discard all forms of stagnation in the system including lungs, stomach, gall bladder, kidneys, lymphatic tissues and blood.

According to Ayurveda, stagnation or retention of fluids, toxic remains, salt, uric acid, and fat deposits invite numerous foreign bodies and the corresponding disorders by deteriorating the functions of the system.

Fluid retention is a kapha disorder and is the key to rheumatic conditions, edema, joint pain, obesity, low level of insulin resistance, fibroids, increased blood pressure and heart problems.

With its power to reduce kapha imbalance, Mentha oil assists in treating pain, inflammation and flushing out excess fluids and toxic remains in the system. These remedial benefits are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and diaphoretic properties.

A gentle massage with 5 drops of Mentha oil, 3 drops of Ginger oil with 4 ounce of Evening primrose oil can assist in reducing pain by causing numbness in the aching area, eliminating toxic remains and surplus fluids by promoting frequent sweat and urination and soothing the tensed muscles and nerves.

3. Depression or fear of failure? Embrace Mentha for sure:

Stress, depression, anger, fear of failure, feelings of loneliness and other mental worries eats up your intellect and your power to fight back and triumph.

Mentha essential oil has an extraordinarily soothing, invigorating, heartening and reviving aroma that grants you the perfect power of resisting your mental maladies, encouraging your power to rise up, augmenting your intellectual abilities, clearing the mental blocks, calming your nerves and your entire system from within.

Called as Sugandhi patra for its inspiring aromatic leaves, Ayurveda states that Mentha oil has a positive impact on:

  • Throat chakra or Visukthi (genuineness and the power to communicate bravely).
  • Solar plexus chakra or Manipuragam (self-esteem and self-confidence).
  • Sacral chakra or Svathishtanam (pleasure, abundance and well-being).
  • Root chakra or Moolatharam (power of survival).

Adding 2 drops of Mentha oil, 1drop of Vetiver oil and 1 drop of Patchouli oil in your vaporizer, burner or diffuser especially during Pranayama, meditation and prayers can grant in opening, relaxing, clearing and activating all the associated chakras or the points of subtle energy.

This rewards the power of overcoming loneliness, negative emotions and helps in exhibiting the supremacy of being a self-confident, legitimate, intellectual, cool-headed, fearless and productive person. This also helps in enhancing your concentration power, treat memory loss and vent out your hatred feelings and jealousy.

You can also add this blend in your bath or in your aromatic candles before bedtime.

4. Say goodbye to bad breath and other oral problems:

Bad breath or halitosis is not just a symbol of poor oral hygiene. Instead, the common underlying causes are poor digestion and retention of ama or toxic remains in the body.

Mentha essential oil has disinfectant, antimicrobial, cooling, energizing and refreshing attributes that helps in killing germs and microbes responsible for oral problems like gingivitis, cavities, mouth ulcers and bad breath.

Mixing 2 drops of Mentha oil and 1 drop of Lemon oil in a cup of warm water for gargling, preferably twice (morning and night) in a day after brushing can help in healing mouth sores and bleeding gums. It also assists in refreshing the breath and treat cavities, gingivitis (gum inflammation) etc.

5. Breathe easy – Mentha for your respiratory woes:

Trouble-free breathing is a gift to mankind as the healing powers and the life force or prana of Mother Nature enter the system through breathing in and toxins in the system are purged through breathing out.

The essential oil of Mentha has excellent decongestant (attributed to the presence of menthol), expectorant and stimulant properties that help in treating asthma and other breathing difficulties caused due to respiratory conditions.

Steam inhalation with 2 drops of Mentha oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil followed by a gentle massage with this blend added to your mild vaporizing cream can help in opening up blocked nasal and bronchial passages, clearing congestion by loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits, relieving headache associated with sinusitis and migraine and in relieving fever, runny nose, itchy eyes and other associated symptoms of cold.

6. Share the joy of healing skin problems:

Pimples???? No more panics as Mentha promises in clearing excess oil, sebum, dirt and other harmful microbes in the sebaceous glands. It controls the secretion of sebum and allows the skin to nurture from within.

Skin impurities are again a symbol of ama or toxic deposits in the system. Ayurveda states that about 70% of the toxic elements in the body are discarded through exhalation. Wow! Amazing news right!

Just rush to add 2 drops of Mentha oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil in your burner in the early hours of the day during your Pranayama or the technique of conscious breathing.

As it penetrates deeply with its light and subtle qualities, the therapeutic values of Mentha oil pass through the nasal passages in the form of aromatic molecules and reach the limbic system (control center of the brain).

You can experience the difference in the texture of skin after regular practice of Pranayama with Mentha magic, as all the microbes and toxic substances are washed out during slow and steady exhalation.

You can also add 2 drops of Mentha oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 1 ounce of Jojoba oil and dab externally for treating wounds, pimples, cuts, abrasions, itching, candida and other inflammatory conditions of the skin.

Other health benefits:

Mentha and its mystical essential oil are also used in the treatment of dandruff, wrinkles, cancerous growths, cough, insect bites, impotence, hay fever and more.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education. It is not meant for curing any health condition or for replacing any prescription medicines or advice of medical experts. We are not health professionals and this article focuses on widening the horizons of Ayurveda, the mother of all remedial science on earth.

Mentha essential is meant only for topical use. This is due to the fact that pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause adverse allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Do take ingest essential oils.

Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your individual constitution and health condition. Care should be taken in using essential oils if you are pregnant or nursing. Keep essential oils away from children.

Thought for the day:

Learn character from trees, values from roots and change from leaves.

-By Tasneem Hameed

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mint: The Genus Mentha (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from Brand: CRC Press
  2. Mentha by Dinesh Kumar Singh, Prasann Kumar, Pankaj Kumar Mishra
  3. Growing and Cooking with Mint: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-145 by Glenn Andrews
  4. Teas for Life: 101 Herbal Teas for Greater Health by Diane Kidman
  5. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice by Sebastian Pole

Reference links:

  1. Mentha by Wikipedia
  2. Mint: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks by Medical News Today
  3. Mints by Botanical.com
  4. What are the benefits of Mint leaves? By Tracey Roizman, Demand Media
  5. Studies on activity of various extracts of Mentha arvensis Linn against drug induced gastric ulcer in mammals by Ramesh L Londonkar and Pramod V Poddar, published in PubMed

Cardamom Oil

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Cardamom, the ‘Queen of spices’, stimulates the heart and mind and brings in enormous joy and clarity of thoughts. It has been in imperial use since the primordial times for its mammoth healing benefits that serve as a phenomenal tonic, expectorant, cephalic, antispasmodic, stimulant and as a promising digestive agent.

Cardamom-bannerBotanically named as Elettaria Cardamomum, Cardamom is well identified by its small seed pods with an outer shell enclosing the small black seeds from which its essential oil is extracted by steam distillation.

Lovingly called as Ela and Truti in Sanskrit, Cardamom has been widely used in Ayurveda for its aromatic and medicinal attributes in the treatment of impotence, bronchitis, indigestion, hoarse voice, vomiting, asthma, blood pressure, poor absorption, cold, cough, bad breath, loss of taste, nervous digestive upset and mood fluctuations.

As an invigorating agent for the central nervous system, Cardamom essential oil induces a sense of harmony and supports absolute fitness.

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Historical uses and importance of Cardamom and its essential oil:

Owing its origin to the Asian countries such as India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, Cardamom is a universal spice and is a member of the powerful Ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Rich in nutritional and healing properties, Cardamomis the third most expensive spice in the world standing next to saffron and vanilla.

It is crowned as a medicinal herb in the Indian Ayurvedic healing methodology, dating back to 4th century B.C; Cardamom has carved its name in Charaka Samhita – the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, for its application in the preparation of various medicaments.

Cardamom was an important part of the Roman and Greek trade and has numerous historical accolades. Believed to have been grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon, Cardamom has been mentioned in the works of Dioscorides, Theophrastus and even in the ancient Indian sacred books known as Vedas.

Arabic medicine portrays Cardamom seeds as the best aphrodisiac and mood elevator while the Chinese medicine predominantly used Cardamom for intestinal infections, stomachic problems, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation and dysentery.

In folklore medicine, digestive disorders were treated with a herbal drink made by boiling roasted Cardamom seeds along with betel nuts. Being an active ingredient in cough drops, Cardamom was administered nasally along with camphor and neem to treat cold. It is a natural mouth freshener.

Cardamom is an antidote to caffeine and it detoxifies the caffeine in coffee and is used in making tea to relieve the symptoms of headache and stress and these seeds were taken along with honey to improve the eyesight.

The traditional Indians used Cardamom as an antidote for poisonous bites like scorpion stings and venomous snake bites. These seeds and its oil were also used for treating respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation of the eyelids and oral infections.

Being transported from East to Europe, Cardamom was highly valued as a tonic and as an aphrodisiac agent, which was used in love potions. The western world uses Cardamom for its unique aroma and sedative properties.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil:

Consisting a majority of monoterpenes with the predominant one being 1, 8-cineole, Cardamom essential oil also comprises of esters, alcohols and sesquiterpenes that includes limonene oxide, α-terpinene, neryl acetate, formic acid, α-pinene, camphene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, β-pinene, sabinene, citronellal, α-terpineol, cis-ocimene, geranyl acetate, linalool, isomenthol, 4-terpineol, nerol, thymol, α-terpinyl acetate, α-guaiene, β-myrcene.

The therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil are carminative, digestive, antiseptic, stimulant, tonic, antispasmodic, cephalic, diuretic, stomachic, analgesic, expectorant, antifungal, astringent, antibacterial, aromatic, diaphoretic, antioxidant, cooling, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-hypertensive and aphrodisiac. 

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Ayurveda is a virtuous medical discipline that believes that every being on earth is a part of Mother Nature and it states that one’s wellness indicates absolute balance with nature and sickness symbolizes imbalance with nature. Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old healing system that has its medicinal practices recorded in Atharvana Veda, one among the 4 sacred books of India, where about 114 verses in this book talk about various illnesses and their Ayurvedic remedies.

Charaka, the father of medicine and Sushruta, the father of surgery were the most famous Ayurvedic physicians and they wrote the Ayurvedic texts namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Charaka says “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” According to Ayurveda, human body is a temple where the spirit lives in. It strongly recommends on keeping the body, mind and spirit pure and tranquil just like maintaining a place of worship.

Ayurveda is called as the mother of all the other healing sciences on earth and is a holistic system that states ‘perfect health is being fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.’

Every individual is approached in a unique manner even if they are affected by the same illness because Ayurvedic philosophy recognizes every human being as a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which comprises of three dynamic biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta.

Ayurvedic doshas administer various functions, where vata governs the functions of the circulatory system, nervous system and respiratory system, kapha is responsible for the activities of the reproductive system, movement of fluids in the body, physical build up and sustenance and pitta dosha controls the body temperature and metabolic functions.

Every individual has a predominance of any one these doshas, which decides one’s figure, personality, mental attributes and behavioral patterns. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance of these biological energies pave way to diseases. Ayurvedic remedies focus on correcting the dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, prayers, meditation and Pranayama.

Ayurveda prescribes Cardamom to treat cardiovascular problems, bronchial disorders and digestive problems. Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy say “Cardamom is good for treating high vata, as it kindles Agni or digestive fire and removes excess kapha from the stomach and lungs.

Its quality is sattvic and it is particularly good for opening and soothing the flow of the pranas in the body”.

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

Cardamom-broucher1. Combats against infections with strong anti-microbial properties:

With the increase in the food borne diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, there is an increase in the urge for searching natural antibacterial agents with maximum benefits and minimum side effects.

With monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and flavonoids, Cardamom essential oil possesses strong antimicrobial activity inhibiting the growth of numerous harmful micro organisms that cause spoilage of food. Many researches on the anti-microbial attribute of Cardamom essential oil states that it shows significant inhibitory activity against various common pathogens when compared to Fluconazole and tetracycline.

The aqueous and the methanolic extracts of Cardamom essential oil inhibited the growth of gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus pyogenes and Bacillus cereus.

It has been proved effective to use the essential oil of Elettaria Cardamomum in treating various infectious ailments caused by the harmful pathogens. This attribute is also applied in preserving the food items, thus proving greatly beneficial to the manufacturers of stored food products.

Terpinen-4-ol contributes to the effective antifungal attribute of Cardamom essential oil making it active against various infectious fungi that include Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, A.flavus and A.fumigatus, thus proving effectual in treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

It has been proved that Cardamom essential oil results in yielding satisfactory results in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and viruses when compared to the other antifungal pharmaceuticals. 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil added to warm bathing water or 2 drops of this oil mixed with 2 drops of Neroli oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be applied on the affected parts for quick relief.

2. Rich source of antioxidant to fight against cancer:

Free radicals are always hazardous in a number of ways, leading to premature aging and even some fatal diseases including cancer. With natural phyto-chemicals such as di-indolylmethane and Indole-3-carbinol, Cardamom essential oil helps in augmenting the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant found in human body. Moreover it helps in combating against cancers responding to the hormone regulation such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

It possesses chemo-preventive quality, resulting in a significant reduction in the weight and diameter of the tumor, tumor yield, cumulative number of papillomas and the values of tumor incidence and considerable elevation in the level of glutathione in mice with chemically induced skin carcinogenesis serving as the best anti-tumor and anti-cancer agent.

In addition to the phyto-nutrients, Cardamom essential oil is rich in vitamins B, C, protein and iron that make it a complete scavenger of free radicals resisting the aging process right from the cellular level and enhances the immunity.

It possesses anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anticancer qualities, helping in significantly reducing the production of nitric oxide by macrophages that act as one of the primary inflammatory mediators. Moreover, it enhances the cytotoxic activity of the natural killer cells found in the human body, building up a preventive shield against cancer.

Few valuable sources also state the positive outcome on using Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the cell proliferation in Swiss albino mice with chemical induced colon carcinogenesis proving its efficacy in treating colorectal cancer. Mix 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil with 2 drops of Orange oil along with 2ml of jojoba oil and massage it gently on wrinkles and other aging symptoms caused due to free radicals.

You can also massage your system with 5 drops of Cardamom oil along with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil blended with 5 ml of Olive oil to combat free radicals, reduce the size and severity of existing malignant tumors and invigorate the cellular structure.

3. Natural insect repellent:

With high concentrations of monoterpenes such as cineol and terpineol, Cardamom essential oil serves as an effective natural repellent for insects and pests. As per a 2011 research article, this oil was found to possess strong repellent, ovicidal, biocidal and anti-feeding attributes against the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, the bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculates and the flour moth, Ephestia Kuehniella, all of which target the stored products.

Moreover Cardamom essential oil is highly toxic to the adults of T.castaneum and Sitophilus zeamais, which attack the food grains such as wheat. It restrains the egg hatching and the larval stage of T.castaneum proving its ovicidal attribute. This volatile oil also actively prevents the oviposition of C.maculates in mung seeds. Few notable sources mention the acaricidal effect of Cardamom oil with 100% mortality rate against Dermanyssus gallinae, the poultry red mite.

The power of Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the development of adults from the treated eggs remains as the major factor behind its insecticidal quality. Cardamom essential oil serves as a natural source of insect repellent devoid of hazardous side effects, used in protecting the food grains stored in enclosed rooms, storage bins etc.

4. Alleviates stomachic and gastro-intestinal disorders:

Cardamom essential oil is a natural digestive aid since antiquity. It acts as an excellent appetizer, eminent stomachic agent during meal and a great mouth freshener after meal. A herbal tea made of Cardamom, ginger and fennel serves as a natural digestive tonic and a great cure for indigestion.

As an excellent digestive enhancer of all types of food, it produces an energizing effect in the body helping in the stimulation and habitual excretion of gastric juices and other acids in the stomach that aids in alleviating heartburn by balancing the acid level. Cardamom essential oil kills the bacteria in the mouth and prevents one from bad breath and treats the symptoms of flatulence and gastric disturbances.

With its antispasmodic attribute, it relives you from hiccups and alleviates the intestinal cramps caused due to involuntary muscle spasms. With natural phyto-nutrients, it helps in overcoming the effect of overeating and aids you in fighting against the outcomes of gluten intolerance benefiting those with celiac disease. Cardamom essential oil showed significant results in inhibiting the gastric lesions induced by aspirin and ethanol in rats. It protects the mucus wall and aids in maintaining normal levels of gastric acid.

2 drops of Cardamom oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a gargle especially in the morning or before going to bed or even after heavy meals to completely kill microbes in the mouth and grant refreshing breath. 2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Ginger oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil can be massaged on your abdomen for getting rid of gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, headache, nervous digestive upsets, morning sickness, colic and vomiting.

5. Naturally detoxifies the body:

Cardamom essential oil is an effective diuretic and detoxifier that protects human beings from the ill effects of toxin accumulation in the entity resulting to various simple and serious impacts such as premature aging, rheumatism, improper functioning of the organs and some fatal ailments like cancer.

With its natural antioxidants, monoterpenes and flavonoids, this oil is an eminent diuretic helping in releasing the excess water deposits in the body through sweat and urine. It promotes the process of urination and increases the urine output creating a channel to get rid of toxins such as water, fat, acids, calcium deposits, urea and sometimes stones to build a combative cover against obesity due to water stagnation and its risk factors such as hypertension, blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders.

Cardamom detoxifies the caffeine element in coffee and this combination of Cardamom and coffee is called as ‘gavah’ and is of renowned importance in the Arabian culture, where it is considered as a symbol of warmth and generosity. This aromatic oil warms up the body, aids in opening the sweat pores and maintaining the normal body temperature.

The removal of excess toxins with ease and comfort poses fewer burdens on the vital organs such as kidney and liver. It leads to perspiration and its high fiber content along with the detoxifying quality helps in significantly lowering the blood pressure.

Blend 5 drops of Cardamom oil with 5 drops of Jatamansi oil along with 5 ml of coconut oil and gently massage your system, followed by a warm bath diluted with 2 drops of Cardamom oil for eliminating the toxic substances in the body, reducing uterus inflammation, combating the infections in the urinary tract, strengthening the bladder in addition to treating involuntary urination and bedwetting in children and elderly people.

6. Relieves respiratory problems:

Cardamom essential oil works wonders in regulating the blood circulation and rejuvenating the entire system. Traditional healing therapies used Cardamom essential oil in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma for it is known to improve blood circulation in the lungs.

As a natural expectorant with balsamic aroma, it helps in breaking up even the heavy deposits of mucus and phlegm and relieves you from congestion in the lungs and sinuses.

Just inhaling the vapors of Cardamom oil by adding 3 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can alleviate the symptoms of congestion, cold, chest infections, flu, chronic cough and headache. 1 drop of Cardamom oil along with 1 drop of Cinnamon oil added to gargle relieves you instantly from sore throat and pharyngitis.

The anti-mucus action of this oil helps in rejuvenating the spleen and makes it an active component of medicaments for congestion. With this property, Cardamom pods are often included in milk products for its ability to counteract the mucus forming attribute of milk.

7. Lessens tension:

Cardamom oil has cineole, which is a central nervous stimulant aids in soothing the nervous system, calming down the muscles, alleviating tension and instilling mental peace and clarity. Just adding 4 drops of Cardamom oil to the bathtub relieves you from stress, depression and combat body aches and discomfort. It enhances the potency of the nerves and relieves you from physical and emotional discomforts thus rejuvenating the inner spirit and inducing a serene state of mind by lifting up the spirits.

Cardamom essential oil has been proved as an anti-depressant agent owing to its sedative effect in humans. With limonene as a mild tranquilizer, it diverts the mind and helps one to quit the addictions to awful habits such as tobacco chewing, alcohol and smoking.

Cardamom essential oil has gained global recognition for its sweet aroma and positive effects on the brain and the nervous system. Inhaling the aroma of 1 drop of Cardamom oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Neroli oil added to diffuser or vaporizer can assist in relieving one from anxiety, fear, nervous wreck down and lethargy. It is highly recommended to students for its potent to increase the concentration and improve intellectual power.

8. Rich source of nutrition for the total system:

With its enormous healing attributes, Cardamom essential oil is a valuable source of iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin and Vitamin C. All these vital components help in boosting up the overall health of a person.

It boosts up the immune system, helps in the generation of red blood corpuscles, and initiates the cellular energy metabolism, aids in maintaining the cardiovascular health and in promoting healthy heart rate, blood pressure and fluid levels in the body. Moreover, its rich nutrients contribute in maintaining healthy skin and hair.

2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil added to your bath daily can aid in maintaining healthy skin. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties cleanse the skin naturally and help in treating various skin infections. It rejuvenates the skin, opens up the pores and prevents the onset of acne and pimples.

Other health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Cardamom essential oil acts as a natural oral aid treating mouth ulcers, halitosis, oral infections of teeth and gums and toothaches. Vocalists use Cardamom oil to tone up their voice. This oil can keep you away from scalp infections, dandruff and maintain a healthy, lustrous hair.

It can act as a peroxide booster along with honey and Cinnamon in distilled water to lighten the skin without any side effects. It prevents platelet aggregation and aids in preventing blood clots that can be dangerous in certain cases. Cardamom oil is also used as an aphrodisiac alongside pepper, onion and nutmeg to alleviate impotence and other sexual concerns.

Disclaimer:

This is only for information and educational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any health condition or replace with any prescribed medications or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this data is shared only with the interest of spreading the traditional values and curative benefits of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and do remember to dilute them with appropriate carrier oil before using it on the skin externally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might have a tendency to cause allergies if used directly on the skin. Make sure that you consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare expert before choosing the correct essential oil for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

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. The Magic of Cardamoms For Cooking and Health (Health Learning Series) by John Davidson, Dueep J. Singh
  2. Aushadh Rahasya: The Secret of Ayurvedic Herbs and Disorders of the Mind by Rodney Lingham
  3. Cardamom: The Genus Elettaria (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  4. Cardamom Tea, A Secret to Longevity (Chinese Edition) by shu xin cheng
  5. Living Well With Cancer by Katen Moore, Libby Schmais

Reference Links:

  1. Cardamom by Wikipedia
  2. Fumigant toxicity and oviposition deterrency of the essential oil from Elettaria Cardamomum, against three stored-product insects published in PubMed.
  3. The In Vitro evaluation of antibacterial potential of dry fruit extracts of Elettaria Cardamomum published in PubMed.
  4. A 2010 research article on the in vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum)

Chironji Oil

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Often used as a substitute for almonds, Chironji is an almond-flavored nut with blood purifying and life force enhancing qualities. Called as Charoli or Chironji in Ayurveda, these dried modest seeds have been in use in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating digestive disorders like diarrhea, ulcers and irregular bowel movements.

Chironji-bannerIt was also recommended to enhance the secretion of semen, increase vigor and vitality, reduce fever, clear acne, skin blemishes, cold and blood disorders. Chironji oil is extracted from the dried seeds by steam distillation method and is scientifically called as Buchanania lanzan.

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Historical importance and uses of Chironji:

Chironji is a medium-sized evergreen tree that grows up to 15m height. This tree is indigenous to India and is found growing widely in Nepal, Malaysia and Burma. The dry forests of Madhya Pradesh, Mirzapur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh are the natural Chironji growing hubs of India. It is a member of the Anacardiaceae plant family and is also known as Almondette tree. Chironji is also called with other names such as ‘Cuddapah almond, Charooli, and Chirolo.’

The seed kernels of this tree contribute to about 52% of oil and are often used as a substitute for almond oil and olive oil. Chironji nuts gained favorable demand in the foreign market and has been nurtured by the Indian government as a reliable source of earning foreign exchange.

Ayurvedic medicine uses all the parts of this tree including its bark, fruits, roots, leaves, nuts and kernels for its varied medicinal properties in treating cold, bowel disorders, premature ejaculation, fever and rheumatism.

Charoli seeds are a popular ingredient in Indian sweets (Chironji ka Barfi, piyush, shrikhand, kheer and halwa), meaty kormas, lamb pepper with Chironji, Gajar ka Meetha, Hyderabadi Haleem, Charoli mutton, Malai kofta and as a flavoring for batters and sauces.

The gum extracted from the bark of this tree and powder of the roots and dried leaves mixed with buttermilk is a traditional remedy for treating diarrhea.

In the folklore medicine of Andhra Pradesh, Chironji gum was mixed with cow’s milk for relieving rheumatic pain and they also used the leaves as a tonic for supporting cardiac functions. The leaf powder was also used in encouraging quick healing of wounds.

Powdered seeds blended with milk and turmeric powder is used in India since as a natural face pack for augmenting the glow, complexion and suppleness of the skin. The juice or the decoction of the Chironji leaves is being used in Unani medicine for purifying the blood, treating loss of libido, impotency and also as a tonic for the digestive system.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Chironji oil:

The major therapeutic values of Chironji oil are carminative, expectorant, diuretic, aphrodisiac, relaxant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and stimulant. The chemical components of this oil are camphene, a-pinene, y-terpinene, b-pinene, myrcene, 8-cineole, sabinene and triglycerides like triolein, dipalmitoolein and dioleopalmitin.

Chironji seeds are a powerhouse of various nutrients like proteins, fiber, vitamin C, B1 and B2, carbohydrates, amino acid, iron, maleic acid, cardanol, linoleic acid, niacin, calcium and few water soluble extracts.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Chironji oil:

Ayurveda means ‘the knowledge of life’ and the greatest thing that has made this science as an admiration to the entire world is its disciplinary approaches that tend to mold the individual on all aspects of life including the physical, mental and attributes of the soul.

The most celebrated Ayurvedic Physician Mr. Vasant Lad says in his Textbook of Ayurveda as, “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.”This clearly depicts that Ayurveda is a holistic healing science that deals with an individual and not just with his ailments.

It follows nature’s system of handling health and harmony leading to disease-free living, healthy aging and expanded life span. Ayurvedic healing identifies the root cause of an illness for preventing it in future and never believes in treating the symptoms alone. The National Institute of Health rightly quotes “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.”

Ayurveda respects every individual as a unique creation and a vital part of nature. This makes the Ayurvedic treatment methods different for every individual even if a group of people are affected by same sickness.

The ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita say that all things in the universe are made up of five elements of nature namely water, earth, space, fire and air and every human being is distinct with a unique individual constitution, which comprises three biological energies known as doshas. These dynamic forces (doshas) are an arrangement of these vital elements.

Pitta dosha is a representation of fire and water and takes care of metabolism, cognitive functions and body temperature. Vata is a grouping of air and space and controls the working of the respiratory system, circulatory system and nervous system. Kapha dosha represents water and earth and is in charge of movement of fluids in the system, physical set up and nourishment.

Every person has a predominance of any one dosha, which decides their individuality and behavioral traits. Perfect balance between these doshas as per the natural set up denotes health and imbalance due to improper food habits, change in lifestyle and climatic conditions leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, simple physical exercises, prayers, Ayurvedic massage, meditation and Panchakarma (detoxification therapies) based on the individual constitution to treat imbalance of doshas. Chironji oil is said to pacify kapha and vata and has a neutral effect on pitta dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Chironji oil:

chironji-broucher1. Proven remedy for diarrhea and other digestive problems:

Diarrhea is called as Atisara in Ayurveda and it can also be caused due to toxins and psychological factors. Generally, accumulation of dampness caused by pitta instills a mild tendency on the colon and causes diarrhea. Ayurveda states that diarrhea may also be due to high toxic deposits or ama in the system, accumulation of water and increased vata or air in the body.

Chironji oil has the tendency to reduce kapha and vata and helps in eliminating the toxins or ama in the body, excess air and water retention. Adding 3 drops of Chironji oil in cool bathing water can help in relaxing the lining of the stomach and intestines, binding the stools and regularizing the bowel movements.

Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your diffuser or vaporizer can aid in overcoming loss of appetite. Massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Chironji oil mixed with 2.5 ml of coconut oil can improve metabolism by acting as a tonic for digestion. Drinking a glass of buttermilk seasoned with 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and coriander leaves can be of great assistance in treating all kinds of digestive woes.

2. Alleviates cold and other respiratory disorders:

Common cold and respiratory problems in general occur due to the vitiation of kapha dosha, which is responsible for stagnation of water in the body, toxic deposits and development of phlegm and mucous in the system.

Chironji oil has expectorant properties with its power to decrease kapha energy. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to steam inhalation and massaging your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Chironji oil mixed with your vaporub can help in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits, relieving chest congestion, nasal congestion and common cold accompanied with runny nose and watery eyes.

3. Supports the reproductive system:

Chironji oil is a time-honored remedy for treating problems associated with sexual and reproductive functions. These seeds have aphrodisiac properties that help in treating impotence, loss of libido, lack of sexual interest, premature ejaculation and boost strength. Chironji seeds are being used in Maharashtra, India in preparing sweets and nutritious drink for the newlywed couples to maintain vitality and enhance their reproductive ability.

Massaging your body with 20 drops of Chironji oil with 3 drops of Cinnamon oil and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil can help in augmenting your sexual interest, grant lasting pleasure, and treat premature ejaculation and impotency by increasing vigor and the count of blood cells.

Adding 3 drops of Chironji oil to your bathing water and 2 drops of Chironji oil with 2 drops of Rose oil put in your diffuser can grant peace, reduce fatigue and treat mood swings.

4. Purifies the blood:

Chironji is used in Unani medicine as a blood cleanser. It has a positive effect on the mind and body and enhances proper blood circulation. Stress and metal worries also contribute to building up of toxins by stimulating the secretion of cortisol, also known as stress hormone in the bloodstream.

A 2012 study on ‘Adaptogenic activity of methanolic extract of Buchanania lanzan’, an experimental study in the rat model concluded that Chironji has antistress or adaptogenic activity. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Chironji oil blended with 5 drops of Lavender oil and 10 ml of coconut oil helps in augmenting the count of blood cells, enhancing positive feelings, calming the mind and eliminating toxic substances in the blood.

5. Relieves rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism is caused by kapha aggravation leading to sluggishness, water stagnation, building up of salt, uric acid, fatty substances and toxins especially in the joints causing swelling, pain, redness and irritation. Chironji oil reduces kapha dosha and assists in discharging excess deposits of water, uric acid, salt and toxins in the body through urine.

Its diuretic properties promote the quality and frequency of urination and its anti-inflammatory along with its analgesic attributes aid in reducing swelling and pain associated with rheumatism. Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Chironji oil, 2 drops of Peppermint oil along with 4 ml of sesame oil can assist in alleviating rheumatic problems.

Other health benefits:

Chironji oil is also used in treating wounds, fever, ulcers, pimples, skin blemishes, glandular swelling of the neck, itching, exhaustion and biliousness.

Disclaimer:

This piece of writing is only for the purpose of education and is written wholly in the concern of sharing the long-established insight of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences. It is not intended to prevent or diagnose any disease or health conditions or to substitute any kind of expert medical advice or prescribed medications.

Do not use essential oils internally. Always ensure that you dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it for topical application, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Consult your healthcare professional/Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. -Lao Tzu

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Secret to Great Health – The Vedic Health Code by Swami Ram Charran
  2. The Modern Ayurveda: Milestones Beyond the Classical Age from CRC Press
  3. Handbook of Nuts: Herbal Reference Library by James A. Duke
  4. Unsaponifiable Matter in Plant Seed Oils by Didier Fontanel

Reference Links:

  1. Buchanania lanzan by Wikipedia
  2. Charoli by Only Foods.net
  3. Diarrhea by Baidyanath Ayurveda
  4. Chironji nut (Buchanania lanzan) processing, present practices and scope by the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, West Bengal published in the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
  5. Adaptogenic activity of methanolic extract of Buchanania lanzan leaves an experimental study in rat model by Shalini Kapoor Mehta, Navpreet Bains and Naira Nayeem, GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Ludhiana published in Pelagia Research Library