Ginger Oil



Ginger-oil-bannerGinger oil is known as the “Oil of Empowerment” and is called in Ayurveda as Mahaushadha, meaning “universal medicine”, predominantly for its ability to heal the mind, body and soul, which are the three vital pillars of perfect health in Ayurveda.

Along with turmeric, galangal and cardamom, Ginger is yet another potent limb of the Zingiberaceae plant family. As a common culinary spice, Ginger is found in countless kitchens across the world and takes the pride of being used as a natural home remedy for addressing digestive and respiratory disorders.

Botanically named as Zingiber officinale, this powerful herb is called as Singara, Katubhadra and Srngaveram in Sanskrit. Ginger in any form, say fresh ginger, dried ginger or ginger extracts like juice, essential oil or powder has a bunch of absolute healing wisdom.

Ayurveda, the oldest healing system on earth prescribes Ginger as a remedy for indigestion, flatulence, nausea, loss of appetite, morning sickness, bronchitis, menstrual cramps, respiratory infections, arthritis, cancer and for enhancing the immune power. It is also recommended for treating fear, hopelessness, instability and for rekindling the inner fire for ultimatum.

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Historical importance of Ginger:

Ginger is one among the oldest of spices used for more than 4400 years across different cultures universally. With more than 1,200 species, Ginger has been proved scientifically for treating numerous health disorders. Its name is extracted from a Sanskrit word ‘srngaveram’, which means ‘horn root’.

According to the report by the University of Maryland Medical Center, “It has a long history of being used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions.” It has also been said that Ginger has been used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating toothache, nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea and certain other digestive disorders.

Ginger and its other extracts have been a vital part of the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for obesity, poor metabolism, abdominal pain, motion sickness, impotence, weak memory, arthritis, flu, menstrual pain and as a heart tonic. It has its name etched in the most respected epic of India, Mahabharata.

This aromatic spice was recommended by King Henry VIII of England in the 16th century for fighting against the great plague. Greeks used Ginger as to combat the harmful effects of poison.

It is said that the West African women in Senegal knit belts of Ginger to restore their partner’s reproductive potency. Even today, Ginger is used in various dishes across the world for granting the finesse flavor and taste of this miraculous spice with mammoth health benefits.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Ginger essential oil:

The major chemical components of Ginger essential oil are camphene, a-pinene, b-pinene, zingiberene, geraniol, borneol, neral, geranyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, citral, b-bisabolene, linalool, nerol, geranial and y-terpineol.

These components contribute to its healing properties like carminative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, analgesic, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, stimulant, antiseptic and emmenagogue.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil:

Nothing is as astonishing as Mother Nature and the best wonder in the world is the human body that works like a magic to keep one going on and on. Ayurveda states that human beings are a part of nature and their illness and health depends upon their harmony with nature.

It further lights up this thought by stating that nature is made up of five vital elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and space and to our wonder, it’s also been said that a human being also has all these five elements.

Where earth is the muscles and bones, water is the blood, fire is the energy for various vital functions, air is our breath and space is the soul that co-ordinates all other functions and keeps us living.

The concept of healing in Ayurveda solely depends upon nature as it says that all the other things on earth are made for making mankind happy and healthy. For example, earth has 92 elements like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron etc, and the human body also has all these 92 elements.

When a person lacks magnesium or calcium energy, he/she can take Ginger, which is rich in magnesium and calcium, whereas Ginger grows by absorbing the magnesium and calcium element from earth. How interesting it is, right?

Ayurveda regards every individual as a unique part of nature and suggests that the treatment should also be unique depending upon their individual constitution that is made up of three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Vata is a representation of air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha symbolizes earth and water. Vata controls respiratory and nervous functions, pitta takes care of metabolism and body temperature and kapha governs the structure, sustenance and movement of fluids in the body.

Balance between these three doshas indicates health, and imbalance due to unhealthy food habits and change in lifestyle symbolizes illness. Ayurvedic remedies aim at correcting these dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, yoga, meditation, physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, balanced diet and prayer.

Ginger essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata dosha and aggravate pitta dosha with its warming, spicy, rich, woody and drying energy and aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil are:

Ginger-oil-broucher1. Benefits to the digestive system:

Ginger is popularly known as Adrak in India and is a quick natural remedy for relieving indigestion, bloating, flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting, spasms, nausea, loss of appetite, piles and colic.

Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee, a renowned Ayurvedic Consultant says, “Ginger has many useful minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and few others. It is a wonderful carminative, anti-flatulent and stimulant.”

Ginger essential oil has the potential to increase pitta energy that is responsible for the digestive fire. Add 2 drops of Ginger essential oil to your diffuser or air freshener before meals and let it stay there till you complete your food.

Inhaling the warming aroma of this oil enhances the appetite and improves the process of digestion, supports absorption of essential nutrients by the body and aids in alleviating the toxic substances with its hot potency, but for which the toxins or ama may otherwise cause serious illnesses.

You can also add 2 drops of Ginger oil to warm bathing water before going to bed or before starting a hectic day. This refreshing bath aids in promoting peaceful sleep, free from bloating, indigestion, gastric pain and other digestive disorders. If it is for the morning, Ginger has a handful of bright benefits like stimulating your nerves, rejuvenating your cells, improving your appetite and augmenting your mental power for facing your day to day challenges.

Ginger and its essential oil have been proven best for treating motion sickness even in children. Numerous studies have witnessed the effectiveness of Ginger is better than the effects of dimenhydrate, which is the most important ingredient in over-the-counter motion sickness and seasickness remedies like Dramamine.

It works by stimulating the flow of saliva and other digestive juices, pacifies the stomach, relieves pain due to gas and diarrhea, controls vomiting and supports easy discharge of stools. Mix 1 drop of Ginger essential oil with 10 drops of sesame oil and massage it gently on your stomach and abdomen for treating constipation and motion sickness.

2. Benefits to the mind:

Ginger essential oil is an effective natural remedy for treating emotional problems like fear, abandonment, and lack of self-confidence and of motivation. Using 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in diffuser, aromatic candles or in bath can help in improving memory power, treat mood swings, tendency to procrastinate, disconnectiveness, hopelessness, stress, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness and depression.

Ginger oil is an excellent stimulant to the mind, body and soul. The encouraging aroma of this oil rekindles the inner fire and grants the power and confidence to step ahead and lead with courage and confidence.

Massaging your upper and lower abdomen (the root, sacral and solar plexus chakra) with 2 drops of Ginger oil with 1 ml of coconut oil aids in eliminating fear and mental blocks, enhancing the sense of trust, mental strength and enlightening the divine power rested within.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system:

Ginger is simply hot to support your intimacy with your partner as it has enormous aphrodisiac properties that have been assisting in the treatment of impotency, loss of libido, loss of sexual interest and premature ejaculation.

Gill Farrer-Halls in his book ‘The Aromatherapy Bible’ states that Ginger oil is an effective aphrodisiac and acts as a mild stimulant also. 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil and 1 drop of Rose oil added to your diffuser can drive in the positive energy required both physically and mentally for a complete “we time” together, by toning up the sexual organs and pacifying your mood.

Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil can be of great help in treating the problems of the female reproductive system by regularizing blocked or irregular menstruation, relieving menstrual pain and treating other problems associated with menstruation like nausea, dizziness, fatigue and mood fluctuations. Inhaling the reviving aroma of Ginger oil can aid in treating nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.

4. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Ginger essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha. According to Ayurveda, excess of kapha energy is the main reason for respiratory problems like bronchitis, cold, sinusitis, asthma and congestion.

Ginger oil also has expectorant properties that aids in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits and with its antiseptic properties, it assists in curbing the growth of microbes that spread respiratory infections.

Researchers of the Columbia University have proved that the components in Ginger root have properties that help asthma patients to breathe easily. The post-doctoral research fellow in the Columbia University Department of Anesthesiology, Elizabeth Townsend says, “In our study, we demonstrated that purified components of ginger can work synergistically with β-agonists to relax ASM.”

Adding 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in steam inhalation can assist in reducing cough, clear chest and nasal congestion, relieving sinusitis and helping in treating cold and flu symptoms. You can also rub your chest, back and throat with your regular Vapor rub mixed with 1 drop of Ginger oil for quick relief. Even today Ginger tea is a delicious and healthy way to keep away from cold, cough and flu in the Indian kitchens.

5. Benefits to the muscular system:

Muscular pain is a common illness that most of us experience in our day to day lives. Headache, back pain, knee pain and pain all over the body after a strenuous work are not a surprise to many of us.

What we all do is, rush to the pharmacy and grab pain relieving creams and sprays that grant relief. Most of us fail to realize that these over-the-counter remedies give temporary relief only and force us to use them again when the pain peeps out even worse the next time.

Ginger essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and analgesic properties that make it an exuberant natural aid for treating muscular pain, migraine pain, rheumatic pain, back pain, headache, joint pain, arthritis and weakness.

Excess of vata and kapha energy in the body lead to swelling, water stagnation, accumulation of toxic substances, inflammation, sore muscles, weakened nerves and muscular tension.

With its potent to reduce vata and kapha dosha and increase pitta or the fire energy, 3 drops of Ginger essential oil blended with 1 teaspoon of almond oil massaged gently on the painful area, spreads warmth in the body, reduces swelling and inflammation by eliminating toxic substances and water deposits from the body through urine and sweat and relieves pain by causing numbness in the painful parts.

6. Benefits to the entire system:

Ginger and its essential oil also act as a heart tonic and helps in improved circulation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, few studies have proved that ginger has the potential to prevent blood clotting, lower cholesterol, prevent blood vessels from getting blocked, which may otherwise lead to stroke or heart attack.

Ginger essential oil has antioxidant properties that have been proved efficacious in the prevention and treatment of cancerous cells.  A 2011 study on ‘Antioxidant activity of the volatile oils of Zingiber officinale (ginger)’ published in Spatula-DD, A peer reviewed journal on complementary medicine and drug discovery says “Ginger extracts have reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids levels, as well as cellular cholesterol accumulation, reduce DPPH absorption, scavenge free radicals and it has potential to improve the histopathological lesion occurring in different layers of the arterial tissue. In other word it is effective in attenuating of atherosclerosis development.”

This dominant herb has also been witnessed effective in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A 2006 study by the University Of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center presented in the annual meeting of the American association for Cancer Research stated that using Ginger solution (made with Ginger powder and water) on ovarian cancer cells ended up in their death. These cancerous cells died either due to autophagy (attacked/digested themselves) or due to apoptosis (committed suicide).

The book “A Complete Guide To Understanding and Using Aromatherapy For Vibrant Health and Beauty,” says that Ginger essential oil is effective in treating varicose veins and cellulites.

With rich vitamin C, Ginger oil can also help in treating scurvy. Mix 1 drop of Ginger oil with 10 drops of jojoba oil and apply it on the affected area for enhancing the skin health and reducing the symptoms of aging with its antioxidant properties.

Other health benefits:

Ginger essential oil can also assist in treating rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, loss of libido, problems of the lymphatic system, sore throat, chills, disconnectiveness, improper blood circulation, increased blood sugar levels, back pain and mood swings.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant for treating or replacing any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Never use essential oils internally and always use essential oils in a diluted manner as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Care should be taken, if you are a pregnant or nursing woman.

Thought for the day:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.
-Theodore Roethke

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug by Paul Schulick
  2. A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens by Nina Simonds
  3. The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook: Forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health by David Simon M.D., Deepak Chopra M.D.
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  5. Ginger Recipes: 33 Mouth-Watering Recipes Using Natures Super Spice for Weight Loss, Health, and Beauty. (The Simple Recipe Series) by Ready Recipe Books

Reference Links:

  1. Ginger by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Ginger Beats Drugs in Defeating Cancer, Motion Sickness and Inflammation by Health Impact News Daily
  3. Ginger is a powerful aphrodisiac and increases sexual prowess by Namini Wijedasa published in infolanka.com
  4. What are the benefits of Ginger? By Medical News Today
  5. Ginger – Ayurveda’s Root To Good Health by Ayurveda Acharya

Cassia Oil



Cassia-banner“Cassia does everything Cinnamon does, but better!” say many Doctors. Cassia owns the glory of being born in the heart of China and has been in use for more than 4,000 years for culinary and medicinal purposes. This ancient herb has been trusted to enhance energy, life force, vitality and blood circulation.

Ayurveda prescribes Cassia for the treatment of menstrual problems, nausea, respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal problems, depression, loss of libido, rheumatism, diabetes and indigestion. Cassia is botanically called as Cinnamomum cassia and is a member of the Lauraceae plant family.

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Historical uses and importance of Cassia oil:

Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon or Chinese cassia finds its origin in South China. This tree serves several purposes and is hence widely cultivated in India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With its celebrated use in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cassia is regarded as one among the 50 fundamental herbs of China.

Cassia finds its importance in the United States too, and is marketed under the name of “Cinnamon” for culinary purposes. The Indians take a liking to the buds on the tree as well and also use it in their food; this is an ancient ingredient for soul food used by the Romans as well.

This tree grows to a height of 10–15 m, which has a grayish bark with leaves that are hard and elongated and a warping of 10-15 cms in length with a pretty red color when young.

The bark of the tree finds its uses in the kitchen, while the leaves and the twigs of this tree are sometimes used in the production of Cassia oil. The oil extracted from the Cassia tree, finds immense importance in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine including Ayurveda.

It is useful as a medicine, for beauty care, for cooking, as a health tonic and also as a stimulant. Cassia oil is brownish to yellowish in color, and the refined oil is colorless with a pale yellow tint when held up to the sunlight.

The aromatic bark of Cassia has been in use as a medicinal spice in various traditions across the world.  In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon has been used for treating diarrhea, cold, nausea, painful menstruation and flatulence.

It was also used to boost immunity, treat fever, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney infections, candida, nail fungus, atherosclerosis, cataract and even cancer, with its natural antioxidant properties.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Cassia oil constitutes of 12 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this super aromatic oil. Of which, (E)-Cinnamaldehyde contributes to the highest proportion of Cassia oil constituents with about 81.3% of its total composition.

Just click on:

(E)-Cinnamaldehyde

o-Methoxy-Cinnamaldehyde

Cinnamyl acetate

I believe that this must surely help you in learning about the major chemical constituents of Cassia oil.

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these biochemical constituents to the healing brilliance of Cassia essential oil.

cassia-oil

Therapeutic properties of Cassia essential oil:

The remedial properties of Cassia oil are fungicidal, antimutagen, stimulant, anticoagulant, antiviral, antibacterial, circulatory, anti-diarrhea, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, carminative, anti-galactogogue, anti-rheumatic, emmenagogue, anti-depressant, febrifuge, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-emetic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia essential oil:

Ayurveda is a righteous remedial practice that indicates that everything on earth should follow a disciplined order of living for leading a healthy and progressive life.

Every human being is a part of nature according to Ayurveda and one’s illness and wellness depends upon an individual’s balance with nature. Ayurvedic healing trusts and depends upon Mother Nature and its natural remedies for treating humanity.

This 5,000 year oldest healing methodology is the pioneer for all other medicinal practices including Homeopathy, Siddha, Unani, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Allopathy, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and much more. The first Ayurvedic record refers to Atharvaveda, one of the 4 sacred books of the Indian mythology with 114 verses talking about numerous diseases and the corresponding traditional remedies of Ayurveda.

This was further enhanced by the 3 most important Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita (Charaka – the father of medicine), Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta – the father of surgery) and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita. These books have talked on all the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, various kinds of illnesses and their comprehensive medicinal practices. This includes Ayurvedic remedies for almost all kinds of diseases including the chronic cancer.

According to Ayurveda, health is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness and Charaka Samhita quotes this as, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

The distinctiveness of Ayurveda lies in its holistic approach that treats the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms. This paves way for treating the sickness as well as preventing it in future.

Instead of prescribing the same medicines for everyone, Ayurveda recommends unique remedies for every individual according to their unique individual constitution, even if it is for the same illness. This is because Ayurveda identifies every individual as a distinctive part of nature and considers that their illnesses should also be treated with accordance to it.

The unique individual constitution or prakriti is an arrangement of three biological energies called as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a combination of the five elements of nature including fire, earth, space, air and water.

Vata (air and space) controls the functions of the nervous system, circulatory system and the respiratory system. Pitta (fire and water) governs the metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha (earth and water) is in charge for the movement of fluids in the system and the functions of the reproductive system.

Every person has a dominance of any one these doshas and it determines the physical appearance, personality, behavioral patterns and mental makeup. Absolute balance between these doshic elements symbolizes healthiness and disparities of these biological factors lead to diseases.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and certain Ayurvedic techniques like Panchakarma or the detox therapy, Abhyanga or the skill of Ayurvedic massaging using Ayurvedic oils and much more.

With its warming and stimulating properties, Cassia essential oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing for increasing pitta dosha and decreasing kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia oil and its use in the treatment of various health conditions:

cassia-broucher-info1. Treats psychological problems:

Cassia oil has been used in the treatment of depression. This is mainly attributed to the presence of its constituent known as Cinnamaldehyde, which helps in uplifting the mood, inducing positive thoughts and combating depression. It helps in relieving one from negative feelings.

Ayurveda recommends Cassia oil especially during meditation, yoga and Pranayama for supporting the perfect harmony of the mind, body and the soul. Adding 2 drops of this oil in vaporizer, burner or diffuser particularly during prayers, meditation, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing and yoga practices can help in augmenting mental clarity, boost self-confidence, enhance memory skills and to face the challenges of life with original sense of improved independence.

A 2011 study proved that an isolated substance (CEppt) in the cinnamon plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. CEppt, an extract of the cinnamon bark, was used to resolve the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2013 study by Dr. Mercola on ‘Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s’ brings out the results of a study published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’, which states “Cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, two compounds found in cinnamon, have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of a particular protein called tau. Tau plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons. Both compounds were found to protect tau from oxidative damage that can lead to dysfunction.”

It is also said that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of brain diabetes and is also explored that there is a connection between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because “Insulin and insulin receptors in your brain are crucial for learning and memory, and it’s known that these components are lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease”, says Donald Graves, professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Cassia cinnamon proves effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease mainly with its potent to control blood glucose level in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

2. Checks diabetes:

Diabetes is one among the most common health condition that about 60% of the earth’s population battles everyday and it is often regarded as a bane to humanity.

Treatment of diabetes through Allopathic medicine has not gone a very long way. Studies show that Cassia oil can be used in the treatment of diabetes especially in type2 diabetes where patients suffer with malfunctioning of insulin in the body.

Cinnamon oil helps lower the level of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes; this is made possible through the abundant presence of a Polyphenol compound in Cinnamon that is soluble in water. A 2003 study published in the Diabetes Care journal states that Cassia Cinnamon helped in reducing blood glucose levels, a blood lipid known as triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

Relax your system by adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to warm bathing water in the morning and you can also add 1 drop of this oil to your handkerchief and stay refreshed throughout the day.

In addition to that you can invigorate yourself by an Ayurvedic massage in the weekend with 5 drops of Cassia oil blended with 5 drops of Nutmeg oil, 5 drops of Fennel oil and 10 ml of coconut oil, followed by a warm bath can aid in controlling your blood glucose levels and bad cholesterol levels by penetrating through the skin and passing commands to the bloodstream.

3. Boosts circulation and alleviates rheumatic problems:

Rheumatism is an auto-immune disorder that occurs mainly due to the buildup of toxins or ama in the body caused due to the inequality of digestive fire in the body.

Ayurveda states that ama or the toxic substances in the body has the hazardous power to obstruct the functions of the vital organs in the system. These substances reach the kapha subjugated parts of the body including joints, chest, stomach, fingers, brain and certain other parts.

The symptoms being improper blood circulation, swelling of joints, inflammation, loss of energy, fatigue, inflammation, insomnia, burning and itchy eyes, indigestion, redness, morning stiffness and much more.

Being a circulatory, anti-rheumatic, analgesic oil and controller of excess kapha dosha proves Cassia as an excellent natural remedy for treating rheumatism, arthritis and its associated symptoms.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Nutmeg oil and 3 ml of sesame oil can help in enhancing blood circulation, augmenting warmth feelings to the joints, alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, promoting frequent urination through which toxins are eliminated and relieving from other related symptoms as well.

Along with this, yoga and Pranayama can help in relieving rheumatism and arthritis quicker than you think. A research by the scientists of the Baltimore John Hopkins University published in the Arthritis Foundation website states that “yoga has absolutely been helpful for treating people with rheumatoid arthritis.”

4. Relieves digestive and respiratory disorders:

The carminative and stomachic properties of Cassia oil help in treating gastro-intestinal problems and other digestive problems including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and infections in the stomach and intestines. For treating digestive problems, you can massage your abdomen with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Nutmeg oil along with 2 ml of avocado oil.

Respiratory infections like cold, cough, influenza and congestion occur due to vitiated kapha dosha causing excess fluid deposits leading to accumulation of phlegm, mucus and other microbes in the nasal, respiratory and bronchial passages.

Cassia essential oil has anti-microbial, anti-viral and expectorant properties along with its potent to regularize the functions of kapha dosha. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil in steam inhalation along with a gentle massaging of your throat, chest and back with 1 drop of this oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment can grant quicker relief from all kinds of respiratory problems. You can also practice Pranayama (Ayurvedic breathing exercises) for relieving from chronic respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis etc.

5. Benefits to the female reproductive system:

Cassia oil is a proven natural medicine for treating menstrual pain, spasms, irregular periods, and blocked menstruation. This oil has emmenagogue properties that induce menses and is a boon to women suffering from blocked or irregular menstruation. The analgesic or pain-relieving properties of Cassia oil help in reducing menstrual pain or dysmennorhea.

Massaging your lower abdomen and thighs with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 1 ml of sesame oil can help in alleviating painful menstruation, delayed periods and menstrual spasms. Adding 2 drops of this oil in warm bathing water can help in reducing anxiety, fatigue, nausea, restlessness and loss of energy associated with menstruation.

Cassia and its oil have been used since the ancient Chinese tradition for preventing childbirth and for controlling milk in breastfeeding mothers with its anti-galactogogue properties.

6. Benefits to hair and skin:

Cassia oil finds its uses in cosmetic and hair care products as well. When used with Chamomile tea, Cassia oil can act as a hair dye, and when mixed with lemon juice in right proportions it gives a good strawberry blonde hue for your hair. Shampoos and conditioners that contain Cassia oil can help in the nourishment of your hair from within.

Cassia obovata when made into a mixture with hot water can be used as a hair mask. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to 10 ml of your mild shampoo can help in fostering hair growth, treating damaged hair, strengthening hair follicles and aid in retaining the natural moisture in the scalp.

When it comes to skin care, powdered Cassia and its essential oil are used since the primeval times for treating a wide range of skin problems including acne. This oil works well as an anti-viral and anti-fungal agent and highly helps in treating fungal and viral infections of the skin.

Mixing 2 drops of Cassia oil with 1 drop of Orange oil and 1.5 ml of olive oil and applying it gently on the affected parts can assist in treating pimples, blackheads, ringworm, athlete’s foot, itching, wounds and other skin infections. Massaging your facial skin with this blend can also help in eliminating dead skin cells and controlling excessive secretion of oil causing acne.

Other Uses:

Cassia also finds its use as anti-emetic oil by preventing nauseating sensations and also relieves one from vomiting. You can wear 1 drop of Cassia oil on your wrist or add it to your handkerchief or a tissue and inhale the medicated aroma to help you prevent from vomiting and enhance your appetite, especially during travelling. Cassia oil seems to speed up the functioning of the kidneys and is also known for affecting the libido due to its aphrodisiac qualities.

In food, Cassia oil is used for its wonderful aroma and its sweet flavor that gives the dish an additional taste. The delicate scent of Cassia essential oil plays a major role in reducing drowsiness, irritability, pain, frequency of headaches, and more. So adding 1 to 2 drops of this oil to your diffuser or air freshener and inhaling the light scent of this oil in your room can gift you an amusing atmosphere. Cassia oil also helps in relaxing tight muscles and spasms.

Disclaimer:

This article is completely for the purpose of information and education.  It is not meant to cure, diagnose or put a stop to any medical condition or substitute any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is published only with the concern of sharing the conventional principles and therapeutic uses of Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences in the universe.

Do not take essential oils internally and always keep in mind that you dilute essential oils before using it for topical application. This is because organic and pure essential oils are greatly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Make certain that you consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare practitioner prior to choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Avoid Cassia oil if you are pregnant or nursing your baby.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Cassia oil.

Cassia Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

The adverse skin reactions of Cassia or the Chinese Cinnamon oil are dermal irritation, mild to severe skin sensitization, irritation of the mucous membrane and dermatitis. Cassia oil is said to exhibit no phototoxic effects but is emmenagogue in nature and might cause contraction of the uterine muscles, which is hazardous to the wellness of the fetus and the pregnant women.

The key chemical constituents that are responsible for the possible skin and other undesirable health issues of Cassia oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. These components have been studied for causing acute and subchronic toxicity.

Studies state that Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions, irritation, sensitization and dermatitis when the skin is in contact with products like liniments, mouthwashes, toothpastes and creams.

It may provoke debility, itching, irritation, insomnia, and depression in some people. This mainly occurs when the use of Cinnamaldehyde exceeds the maximum safe level of usage. The highest recommended level by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) for Cinnamaldehyde is 0.05% for most of the products.

When used in vapor therapy and topical application beyond the recommended usage level, Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol are said to contribute to the irritation of mucous membrane and are accounted for hepatotoxicity (toxic, irritant and might cause damage to the liver), mutagenic (alteration in the structure of DNA), reproductive toxicity (research supporting significant fall in the number of nuclei and changes in the allotment of embryos in pregnant mice) and restrain platelet aggregation, a vital part of the blotting clotting process.

Undiluted or concentrated Cassia oil have been proved to cause severe irritation in rabbits in certain studies and few other studies involving consecutive patients with dermatitis, few people were sensitive to 2% Cassia oil on patch testing.

Always ensure to dilute Cassia oil in appropriate carrier oils before topical use and never ingest essential oil as they may be toxic to the system.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cassia Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  3. A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients by The RIFM expert panel, published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology
  4. Cassia bark oil: The Chinese Cinnamon oil by Mercola.com
  5. Fragrance material review on cinnamyl acetate by S.P. Bhatia, G.A. Wellington, J. Cocchiara, J. Lalko, C.S. Letizia, A.M. Api, Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc., Manheimer Fragrances, Teterboro NJ, USA, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology Review and Science Direct

Thought for the day:

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.  -Paracelsus

Suggested Reading:

  1. Cinnamon and Cassia: The Genus Cinnamomum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda B.A.M.S.
  3. The Complete Guide to Natural Cures: Effective Holistic Treatments for Everything from Allergies to Wrinkles (Lynn Sonberg Books) by Debora Yost
  4. The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices by Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling
  5. Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth by Sharol Marie Tilgner

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamomum cassia by Wikipedia
  2. Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s by Dr. Mercola
  3. Can Cinnamon help you control your diabetes by Amy Campbell published in Diabetes Self-Management.com
  4. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and Cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume by Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE published in PubMed


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Caraway Oil



Caraway-bannerWhich Ayurvedic oil ‘warms the kidneys’ and ‘moves the liver’? Ah! Wait! Wait! Don’t panic, it is Caraway essential oil that has the potent to cleanse the liver, detoxify the system and discharge toxins, salt, uric acid and excess fluid deposits in the system through urine.

Also known as Persian cumin, Meridian fennel and Shahi jeera, Caraway is one among the 3000 species of plants of the Umbelliferae family dispersed throughout the world. The essential oil is extracted from the dried seeds through steam distillation method.

The Sanskrit name of Caraway is karavi and it is one among the oldest culinary herb used in Ayurvedic healing since the Stone Age. Caraway and its essential oil is being used in Ayurveda for treating diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, morning sickness, colic, dyspeptic headache, bloating, cold, cough, rheumatism, inflammation, delayed menstruation, genitourinary problems, anemia, obesity and hormonal imbalances.

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Historical uses of Caraway and its essential oil:

Indigenous to Western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa, Caraway is botanically called as Carum carvi. The roots of the Caraway herb were mixed with milk and used in the preparation of Chara – the bread that was taken by Julius Caesar and his soldiers of Valerius.

Caraway has been carved in the ancient scriptures and gained esteem during the middle ages. The recent research from Arabic regional studies recommend “Carum carvi use as an endocrine function support agent, specifically related to thyroid disorders and auto immune disease.”

Parkinson mentions its healing attributes in one of his works which quotes Caraway ‘is much used to be put among baked fruit, or into bread, cakes, etc., to give them a relish. It is also made into comfits and taken for cold or wind in the body, which also are served to the table with fruit.’

It was a tradition to serve a saucer full of Caraway with roasted apple and is still kept in Trinity College, London. Caraway seeds were used as the best condiment in Greece, Rome, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Caraway essential oil is used as an active ingredient in the preparation of alcoholic liquors. It is also used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating hiccups, hernia, lower back pain, lack of appetite and nausea.

The Ebers Papyrus of the African medicine, dated 1500 B.C. prescribe Caraway for treating gastrointestinal problems. People in the primeval period believed that the presence of Caraway in any object will be protected from theft. It was also used in love potions to keep the lovers away from wandering and was given to pigeons and other fowls to keep them away from straying.

Alleged to be first used by the ancient Arabs, Caraway seeds are used in Arabic medicine as a carminative for children and to treat psychological conditions such as hysteria. It is used as a diuretic to treat hypertension and diabetes in Moroccan traditional medicine. Caraway water is used as a medium for pediatric medicines and vapors obtained from Caraway seeds is trusted to alleviate rheumatism and lumbago.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Caraway essential oil:

Owing major similarities to the other members of the Apiaceae (also known as Umbelliferae) family, Caraway essential oil have carvone and limonene as its major components and the other constituents are carvacrol, α-pinene, γ-terpinene, linalool, furfurol, thujone, carvenone, and p-cymene.

Caraway also serves as a rich source of fatty acids, lignin, vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, triacylglycerols and numerous minerals such as copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, selenium, zinc and iron.

Caraway essential oil has been in use since antiquity for its countless therapeutic properties like carminative, astringent, antispasmodic, eupeptic, antihistaminic, antiseptic, aperitif, antimicrobial, disinfectant, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, digestive, insecticide, diuretic, galactogogue, cardiac, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-stress and vermifuge.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Caraway essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest healing sciences known to the world and is said to have been in practice for more than 5,000 years. The most notable thing about Ayurveda is that its healing practices are recorded systematically in the form of literature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caraway essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha, making its use inevitable in the treatment of respiratory problems, skin disorders, spasms, cramps, bloating and other digestive disorders.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Caraway essential oil are:caraway-broucher-info1. Combats the growth of free radicals:

Caraway essential oil serves as an effective antioxidant with its rich content of monoterpene alcohols, linalool, flavonoids and other polyphenolic compounds. This helps in destroying and inhibiting the growth of free radicals, which are responsible for cellular oxidation.

Certain scientific studies conclude that the dietary supplementation of Caraway to rats induced with colon cancer suppressed the crypt foci development and decreased the level of fecal bile acids and alkaline phosphatase which affects the epithelial cells of the colon and the rectum if not kept under control. The presence of carvone and limonene helps in reducing the lipid peroxidation products of the intestines and the colon.

Moreover the chemical compounds such as anethofuran, carvone and limonene are potential cancer chemo-preventive agents that build a protective shield against various mutagens such as dimethylnitrosamine, nitrosodimethlyamine, methylazoxymethanol acetate and inhibit the development of stomach cancers in mice induced by diethylsitosamine.

The antioxidant property of Caraway essential oil also makes it an efficient anti-carcinogenic, apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-mutagenic agent. As an apoptotic, Caraway essential oil proves fruitful against human leukemia cells and it also anti-proliferates the tumor cells.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Caraway oil blended with 5 ml of Coconut oil can help in controlling the growth of free radicals and enhance the immune power of the system to shield against the harmful effects of the cancerous cells.

2. Makes you free from toxins:

Caraway essential oil serves as an excellent detoxifier, which assists in promoting active metabolism and excretion of harmful toxins or ama in the body. A 2007 research on the diuretic effect of Caraway essential oil on normal rats states that it increased the frequency and quantity of urine in a 24 hour period. It increased the level of sodium and potassium in the urine while that of the plasma remained unchanged.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Caraway oil in warm bathing water or in a massage blend with 10 drops of this oil mixed with 5 ml of olive oil helps in excreting the toxins, fats, uric acid, salt and excess fluid deposits with ease. By this way, Caraway oil aids in alleviating hypertension, promoting weight loss and treating inflammation caused due to water retention.

Ayurvedic texts adore Caraway seed oil as a liver-friendly oil that support in protecting the liver from the encountering of highly toxic substances. In addition to this, its antimicrobial attribute clears out urinary tract infections. Caraway essential oil is a great source of dietary fiber.

3. Aids in proper digestion:

Caraway essential oil has been in use since the prehistoric period for its pitta-enhancing properties that stimulates the Agni or digestive fire, secretion of gastric and digestive juices. This attribute is responsible for the carminative, digestive and stomachic properties of Caraway oil. Its flavonoids, fatty acids and triacylglycerols help in reducing inflammation in the intestines and relieving smooth muscle contractions induced by spasmogens.

With flavonoids and monoterpene alcohols acting as natural stimulants, Caraway essential oil regulates the secretion of the digestive enzymes and its rich mineral content aid in complete absorption of the dietary nutrients. It raises the temperature of the body and speed up the process of metabolism thus preventing constipation and it helps in regulating the bowel movements.

A 2011 study on the various healing attributes of Caraway essential oil proves the antibacterial activity of this oil against gram negative bacteria such as helicobacter pylori which is identified as the primary etiological factor associated with the onset of various gastrointestinal ailments such as gastric carcinoma, gastritis and peptic ulcer. It blends well with Peppermint oil in treating non-ulcer dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Inhaling the refreshing aroma of Caraway oil by adding 2 drops of this oil in diffuser or burner along with massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Caraway oil blended with 2.5 ml of sesame oil can effectively treat diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, morning sickness, dyspepsia, heartburn due to indigestion, gastrointestinal disorders, stomachic ulcers, intestinal worms and parasites and colic.

Carvone which owes the credit of the anti-inflammatory attribute of Caraway essential oil actively reduces the production of prostaglandin and increases the production of leukotriene thus helping in alleviating colic for which reason Caraway seeds boiled in hot water was used in treating infants with colic. As an effective antimicrobial agent, Caraway oil destroys the harmful microbes in the stomach and inhibits the growth of intestinal pathogens.

4. Alleviates menstrual discomforts and other womanly problems: 

Caraway essential oil has reproductive and estrogenic parameters due to the presence of flavonoids and apigenin. It increases and regulates the secretion of estrogen. Moreover it’s rich iron, calcium and vitamin content stimulates the secretion of hemoglobin and regulates  blood flow to the uterus.

Massaging your lower abdomen, genital area and thighs with 5 drops of Caraway oil blended with 2.5 ml of Almond oil aids in opening up blocked menstruation and alleviates menstrual irregularities, dysmennorhea, menstrual cramps and associated mood swings. It relaxes the uterus and helps in its contraction facilitating the process of child birth before delivery.

Furthermore this oil possesses galactogogue properties, where the mammary glands are induced and the secretion of milk in lactating mothers is increased. Nursing mothers who use Caraway essential oil benefits their baby as well from colic and other stomachic discomforts.

5. Relieves common cold and other respiratory infections:

Common cold and certain other respiratory problems are often known as the most annoying ailments of mankind of all ages.

According to Ayurveda, excess of Kapha element in the body cause water retention, formation of mucus and phlegm deposits in the body. As a natural kapha reducing agent, Caraway essential oil can help in clearing off the phlegm and mucus secretion that often obstruct the nasal passages and block the respiratory tract.

Being a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, Caraway essential oil destroys all the harmful microbes that cling onto the respiratory tract resulting in infections and huge deposits of mucus and phlegm. Carvone, limonene and linalool play a major role in destroying the infectious microbes and hold antihistamine properties that calm down the muscles causing coughing spasms.

2 to 3 drops of Caraway oil added to steam inhalation along with the gentle massaging of your chest, throat and back with 2 drops of this oil mixed in your regular decongesting ointment or rub can help in loosening the deposits of mucus and phlegm, aid in its excretion and reduce the symptoms of bronchitis, laryngitis and sore throat.

6. Alleviates skin disorders:

Caraway essential oil is a powerful antiseptic that helps in treating acne, boils, scabies and itches. It is used in cleansing the wounds as it destroys the presence of micro-organisms and prevents it from spreading and becoming septic, thus protecting one from the onset of tetanus with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Carvone and limonene components present in Caraway oil have enormous anti-oxidant properties that strengthen the connective tissues and confer potent effects on aging symptoms and clears out wrinkles, lessens the sagging of skin and aids in tissue regeneration. This oil is also used in the manufacturing of skin care lotions, creams and ointments for reducing wrinkles and acne.

Rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc, Caraway essential oil helps in regulating the growth and development of cells and aids in improved natural complexion of the skin. Mix 2 drops of Caraway oil with 1 ml of Coconut oil or your mild skin care cream or lotion and gently massage on your skin in circular movements for visible results.

7. Instills tranquility:

Caraway essential oil serves as a boon to mankind with its pleasing aroma and its therapeutic compounds that have a soothing effect on the mind and instills feelings of trust and harmony. It acts as a tonic for the nerves and encourages positive thoughts in a person and eases the mental strain while making one to feel full of life and energy.

The best way to use Caraway essential oil for emotional benefits is to add 2 drops of this oil in burner, vaporizer, diffuser, aromatic candles or your pillow cover for boosting up your system and revitalizing you from within.

Other health benefits of Caraway oil:

Caraway essential oil is also used in treating rheumatism, toothaches, eye infections and inflammations. It is used as a flavoring agent in mouth-wash, gargle preparations, toothpastes, soaps, lotions, perfumes and incense sticks. It also serves as an insecticide and a potential natural fumigant for stored products. With its strong yet pleasing aroma it refreshes your breath and hence used in the manufacturing of mouth fresheners, toothpastes and other oral care products.

Disclaimer:

This is only for educational use and is not meant to prevent or diagnose any health condition or substitute any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. This information is shared only with the concern of highlighting the importance of Ayurvedic healing, the traditional wisdom of holistic remedy and we are not medical professionals. Do not use essential oils internally.

Ensure that you dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it externally on the skin as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. It is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic professional/ healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift. -Albert Einstein

Suggested Reading:

  1. Caraway: The Genus Carum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Aromatherapy for the Soul: Healing the Spirit with Fragrance and Essential Oils by Valerie Ann Worwood
  3. The Nursing Mother’s Herbal (The Human Body Library) by Sheila Humphrey

Reference Links:

  1. Caraway by Wikipedia
  2. Essential oil content in Caraway species (Carum carvi) by J.Sedlakovai, B. Kicourkova, L. Lojkovai and V.Kubani of the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Czech Republic
  3. Cuminum Cyminum and Carum carvi by R.K. Johri published in PubMed
  4. The effects of Carum carvi L. (Caraway) extract and essential oil on TNBS-induced colitis in rats published in PubMed