Cinnamon Oil



Cinnomon-banner“Cinnamon is empowering to the will and is one of the best oils for circulation especially during menopause”, says Light Miller in her book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. This oil also enhances blood circulation, supports the functions of the heart, augments sexual function, improves digestion, boosts sexual desire and controls diabetes.

The essential oil of Cinnamon is obtained from the dried inner bark of the Cinnamon tree, scientifically known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum (now called as Cinnamomum verum) by steam distillation method.

Cinnamon is a symbol of sovereignty and respect and was a prestigious gift to Gods and Monarchs in the history. Called as Darusita or Tvak in Ayurveda, Cinnamon has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine for treating malaria, diabetes, menopausal problems, headache, bad breath, digestive disorders, impotence, anemia, sinus congestion, dyspepsia, blood circulation, scabies, intestinal infections and gynecological problems (used even as a natural birth-control aid).

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Historical uses and importance of Cinnamon herb and its essential oil:

Cinnamon is a small bushy evergreen tree that is indigenous to South Asia, especially to Sri Lanka and India. It is credited as one of the three oldest herb known to the ancient world along with Myrrh and Frankincense. The oldest historical reference of Cinnamon is its description found in the ancient Jewish religious text Torah.

Biblical texts talk about Cinnamon and its esteemed uses in various places and the most noted among them is the command to Moses to make use of cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil.

Solomon describes the charm of his love by saying that her garments scented with cinnamon are like the smell of Lebanon. In various proverbs it’s been mentioned that the bed of the lovers is adorned with the aroma of cinnamon, aloes and myrrh.

The primordial Indians used Cinnamon as a condiment and in Ayurvedic healing before 8th century and the traditional Chinese physicians used Cinnamon as early as 2700 B.C.

It was also imported to Egypt in 2000 B.C. Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides, Galen and many other renowned herbalists have documented the therapeutic uses of Cinnamon.

Cinnamon was held high in the ancient period and was valued more than 15 times of silver (about 350 grams of Cinnamon was equivalent to that of 5 kgs of Silver in the 1st Century). The traditional Egyptians used Cinnamon and its essential oil in embalming dead bodies and in preserving meat. Ayurvedic system used Cinnamon for controlling the blood sugar level and for assisting digestive disorders. Its essential oil was used in pacifying the nerves and muscles.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine used this herb as an aid in treating painful and delayed menstruation, diarrhea, cold, cough and other respiratory problems.

Cinnamon was burnt as an offering in religious ceremonies and also for sanctifying the atmosphere. It was used by the primeval Romans attaining the healing powers for spiritual wellness.

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

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Cinnamon oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its distinct aroma, remedial values, consistency and superiority of this splendid oil. Among which, (E)-Cinnamaldehyde has the highest area with a proportion of about 76.8% of Cinnamon oil components.

Just click on:

(E)-Cinnamaldehyde

Eugenol

Cinnamyl acetate

Alpha-pinene

Linalool

Alfa-copaene

Beta-caryophyllene

I certainly trust that this information would help in having a clear picture about the major chemical constituents of Cinnamon oil.

The table crafted below elucidates the unique nature and therapeutic attributes of these biochemical constituents to the medicinal magnificence of Cinnamon essential oil.

cinnamon-tableTherapeutic properties of Cinnamon essential oil:

The remedial properties of Cinnamon essential oil are antioxidant, astringent, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-clotting, anti-fungal, cardiac, emmenagogue, stimulant, analgesic, antibiotic, vermifuge, tonic, aphrodisiac, stomachic, diaphoretic, diuretic, anti-parasitic, alterative, expectorant, antispasmodic and carminative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cinnamon essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest healing systems on earth that focuses on a holistic approach for healing, preventing and ensuring longevity for humanity. By the word holistic, Ayurvedic remedies aim at granting complete health including the physical, mental and spiritual health.

This is because, this traditional Indian methodology strongly believes that these three aspects of health are inter-related and the weakness of any of these aspects will directly or indirectly affect the other two.

This is explained in the Sutrasthana of Charaka Samhita, the oldest Ayurvedic encyclopedia as The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” Ayurveda is an absolute common sense science that stimulates proper functioning of the system, peaceful sleep, emotional tranquility, spiritual oneness and takes you a brand new world of energy and enrichment.

The exclusivity of Ayurveda lies in its individual attention for every person even if a group of 10 people are affected by the same illness.

The typical ‘one size fits all’ principle of the modern medical system never holds good for a natural healing technique like Ayurveda. Here every individual is considered as a unique part of nature, made up with the five elemental forces of nature. They are fire, earth, water, space and air.

These five elements represent themselves in the form of three biological energies known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. These 3 doshas join together to form an individual constitution, which makes every person unique with a specified set of physical, mental and spiritual attributes.

Vata is a combination of air and space and is in charge of respiratory functions, nervous system and the process of circulation. Pitta stands for fire and water and is responsible for body temperature and the process of metabolism. Earth and water put together forms kapha dosha and is accountable for structure of the body, functions of the fluids in the system and sustenance.

Every individual has a unique combination of these doshas. Balance between these doshas indicates healthiness and imbalance due to lifestyle, food habits and other environmental factors lead to doshic imbalances causing illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends the use of natural remedies like herbs, yoga, essential oils, meditation, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and other Ayurvedic therapies according to the individual constitution of a person, so as to correct the imperfect balance of doshas.

Cinnamon essential oil is a perfect Ayurvedic essential oil to treat the surplus of vata and kapha doshas and the deficit of pitta dosha.

This makes Cinnamon oil a prime choice in treating digestive problems as it’s known to enhance the ‘agni or fire’ in the system that is responsible for metabolic functions.

It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cinnamon essential oil.

Cinnoman-broucher1. Boon to diabetics:

In an Ayurvedic perspective, diabetes is a disarray of kapha unevenness occurred due to weakened digestive fire. Cinnamon is a nature’s wonder herb for treating increased kapha dosha and enhance the flow of pitta energy. This is mainly because of its warming properties that help in encouraging Agni or the digestive fire that supports the balanced functioning of the digestive system.

Cinnamon is habitually prescribed for people with kapha dosha predominance and these people generally hold a wet, cold, heavy and slow mechanism of the body.

By this way, using Cinnamon essential oil either in a massage blend or in inhalation along with an Ayurvedic diet and Ayurvedic routine that includes healthy lifestyle changes, meditation, prayers, yoga and other simple physical exercises for controlling the blood glucose levels of the system, thus having a check on diabetes.

Cinnamon has been recommended by the American Diabetes Association in 2006 for controlling diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman quotes few important research works on diabetes including the study on ‘Complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes’ and states that “The bark of Cinnamomum trees contains phytochemicals that enhance insulin signaling and facilitate glucose uptake and storage by the body’s cells.”

A 2003 study on Cinnamon for diabetes established that taking Cinnamon supplements regularly for 40 days decreased blood sugar and level of cholesterol in type 2 diabetes patients.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Cinnamon essential oil blended with 5 to 7 ml sesame oil can help in regulating the blood sugar level with its pungent aroma and heating energy. The therapeutic properties of this oil enters the blood stream by penetrating through the skin cells and act directly on the cellular structure. It also aids in controlling the digestion of sugar and fatty substances, which helps in providing resistance of insulin in Type 2 diabetes.

A 2012 research on “Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model” by the Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka published in PubMed concluded that “Cinnamomum zeylanicum lowered blood glucose, reduced food intake, and reduced atherogenic LDL cholesterol.”

2. Nature’s most appealing aphrodisiac:

Cinnamon holds the honor of elating the senses of mankind for numerous centuries with its sweet, mesmerizing and rich aroma. In his book ‘Dangerous Tastes’, author Andrew Dalby quotes Cinnamon as “an aroma of divine worship and of sensual luxury.”

The warming, stimulating and aphrodisiac properties in Cinnamon help in increasing the body temperature and helps in arousing strong sexual desire in men and women.

Massaging your lower abdomen, genital parts and thighs with 5 drops of Cinnamon oil mixed with 2.5 ml virgin olive oil can help in improving sensual feelings, augmenting libido in both male and female, treat impotency and erectile dysfunction.

Inhaling the healing aroma of Cinnamon oil by adding 2 drops to your burner, vaporizer or diffuser along with this massaging can act as a great aid in strengthening the uterus muscles, relieving menstrual pain, regularizing blocked menstruation, washing out uterine congestion, and inducing labor pain.

This is due to the tendency of Cinnamon to stimulate the secretion of Oxytocin hormones responsible for increasing uterine contractions and enhancing the production of breast milk.

3. Aromatic treat to treat your digestive problems:

Cinnamon has an euphoric aroma that increases the secretion of digestive acids and gastric juices by enhancing agni or the digestive fire.

The slightly bitter and pungent taste of Cinnamon along with its hot potency aids in processing ama or the undigested toxic substances, reducing heaviness of the stomach, treating sluggish bowel movements and alleviating abdominal pain.

Inhaling the energizing aroma of Cinnamon oil by adding 2 to 3 drops of this oil in burner, vaporizer or your hanky along with a warming massage of your abdomen with 4 drops of Cinnamon oil blended with 2 ml of coconut oil can assist in treating colic, slow digestion, nausea, dyspepsia and diarrhea.

4. Relieves respiratory infections:

Ayurveda describes most of the respiratory disorders as kapha imbalance. This excess kapha stockpiles in the respiratory passages in the form of mucous and phlegm deposits and cause hindrance in the free movement of air to the lungs and nasal passages. This is why many or all of the respiratory illnesses are accompanied by breathing difficulties.

Cinnamon essential oil has kapha-reducing properties with its bitter, hot, pungent and penetrating qualities. The expectorant, decongestant and demulcent properties of this oil help in loosening the thick phlegm and mucous secretion in the nasal passages and the respiratory tract. The anti-tubercular activity of cinnamic acid present in Cinnamon oil also helps in treating tuberculosis, chronic cough and asthma.

Adding 3 drops of Cinnamon oil in steam inhalation can be extremely helpful in warming up the lungs, liquefying nasal and chest congestion and eliminating phlegm and mucous in the bronchial passages. 2 drops of this oil added to vaporub and massaged gently on the throat, chest and back can also assist in relieving stuffy nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion, headache and cough.

5. Helps release anger and dependence:

The sweet smelling oil of Cinnamon has been found to boost memory power and cognitive functioning abilities of the mind. Many Ayurvedic schools have recommended Cinnamon for enhancing memory skills.

Cinnamon essential oil empowers the willpower and purifies the spirit. This aids in treating mental fatigue, anger, tension, anxiety, depression and other negative feelings. This oil affects the Solar plexus chakra, which connects our personal fire with that of the world revolving around us.

Fears of criticism, rejection and lack of self-confidence affect the functioning of this chakra. Using 2 drops of Cinnamon oil in bath or in diffuser or vaporizer can help in increasing one’s feelings of independence and promotes one to take risks with confidence and power.

6. Clears blood impurities and promotes blood circulation:

Cinnamon essential oil has blood purifying properties that are attributed to its stimulant and cleansing remedial values. It helps in eliminating the toxic substances in the blood through urine and sweat.

2 drops of Cinnamon oil added to diffuser during Pranayama, the technique of balanced breathing followed by a meditation can help in discarding the toxins in the blood through exhalation, enhancing Ojas or the vital energy for longevity, stimulating the cardiac functions and granting mental peace and improved blood circulation especially to the six chakras in the body.

7. Checks the effects of fungal and bacterial infections:

The essential oil of Cinnamon is an effective immune system booster by nature. It also has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties that curb the growth of disastrous micro-organisms in the system. Mixing 2 drops of Cinnamon oil with 1 ml of almond oil and applying it on the affected parts can help in healing wounds, burns, cuts, candida, boils, itches, athlete’s foot, and ringworm and prevents the wound from turning septic.

According to a 2006 study by the Saurashtra University, India, Cinnamon essential oil extracted from the bark of the Cinnamon tree got attained 42.5 out of 50 for its anti-fungal activity, whereas Hexaconazole, a popular fungicide often used in agriculture scored only 22.5 for 50. This witnesses the effectiveness of Cinnamon oil in treating fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot etc.

Another study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology proved that Cinnamon oil killed about 92% of gram negative and gram positive bacteria out of the 25 tested bacterial strains. Another source states that Cinnamon used in a blend with Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Clove and Lemon has the potent to kill about 99% of airborne bacteria in just 12 minutes.

Also used in:

Apart from all these health benefits, Cinnamon oil is used as a flavor in baked products, candies, desserts, soups, pickles, stews, beverages, meat and poultry etc. It is also used in skin care creams and lotions for enhancing the skin complexion and removing impurities and skin blemishes.

Thought for the day:

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.  -Charles Lindbergh

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes and is written purely in the interest of sharing the traditional wisdom of the Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences. It is not meant to treat, prevent or diagnose any health conditions or replace any kind of prescribed medicines or expert advice or a medical professional.

Never use essential oils internally. Do remember to dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it on the skin externally as pure and organic essential oils are the life essence of plants and are highly concentrated substances. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique constitution and health condition. Keep away from children, pregnant women and nursing moms.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Cinnamon oil.

Cinnamon Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

Besides being an indispensable spice and herbal remedy, Cinnamon is reported for negative effects including possible skin issues like allergic reactions, irritation of the skin, stimulating menstruation, contracting the uterine muscles, skin sensitization, dermatitis and burning sensation.

It is highly advisable to avoid Cinnamon oil during pregnancy as it may shrivel the uterine muscles, cause indigestion, pain in the abdomen, contribute to premature labor and is completely unsafe for the development of the fetus.

The major chemical components that are in charge for the potential skin problems and other adverse health conditions of Cinnamon oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. It may cause a burning sensation or irritation on the engaged parts when used in the form of skin care, oral hygiene (toothpastes and mouthwashes) and pain relieving products including ointments and rubs.

Cinnamon oil, with the presence of these constituents is said to cause subchronic and severe toxicity, when used beyond the prescribed level of use. The maximum recommended usage level of Cinnamaldehyde by The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 0.05%.

Though Cinnamon has GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status, The Council of Europe has fixed an ADI of 1.25mg/kg for Cinnamaldehyde, which is the same as an adult dosage of 115 mg of Cinnamon bark oil.

According to the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP) the presence of Cinnamaldehyde in any ready to use products should not surpass 0.1%

Essential oils are recommended only for dermal application and never ingest Cinnamon oil as it may cause toxic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic), kidney (nephrotoxicity) and the entire system. Diluted Cinnamon oil in appropriate carrier oils is prescribed safe and concentrated use may cause chronic allergies, irritation, dermatitis and chronic sensitization.

Studies witness severe burns in people due to the skin contact of undiluted Cinnamon oil and is commonly related to burning sensation in the skin, mouth, mucous membrane stomach and chest , intermittent blistering, nausea, dizziness and sensitization accounted to the presence of Cinnamaldehyde. This also applies to the use of Cinnamon oil in vapor therapy and dermal application.

Cinnamon oil is said to have mild phototoxic effects, control platelet aggregation (Do not use Cinnamon oil if you are taking anticoagulant and anti-diabetic medications). It may cause reproductive toxicity (when tested on pregnant mice, it decreased the count of nuclei and modified the embryo distribution).

Always do a patch test before using Cinnamon oil on your skin.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cinnamon Oil:

  1. Cinnamon: An Imperative Spice For Human Comfort by Raaz K Maheshwari, AK Chauhan, Ayushi Gupta, Shobha Sharma published in The International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Bio-Science
  2. Cinnamon: Mystic Powers of a Minute Ingredient by Pallavi Kawatra and Rathai Rajagopalan, published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research
  3. Medicinal Properties of ‘True’ Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylancium): A Systematic Review by The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, published in Bio Med Central, Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  4. 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
  5. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  6. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Cinnamon Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  2. Natural Cinnamon And Honey Cures: Cinnamon Health Benefits, Cures, Remedies, Treatments and Recipes. Boost Energy, Control Diabetes, Cure Arthritis, Prevent Alzheimer’s, Colds, even Weight Loss! by Patricia Gardner
  3. Cinnamon Oil Aromatherapy (Group 3 Card 9) by Alternative Therapies
  4. God’s Healing Herbs by Dennis Ellingson
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamon by Wikipedia
  2. Choosing the right Cinnamon by Dr. Fuhrman
  3. Cinnamon plant profile by Sacred Earth (Ethnobotany and Ecotravel)
  4. Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model by Priyanga Ranasinghe, Sanja Perera, Mangala Gunatilake,1 Eranga Abeywardene, Nuwan Gunapala, Sirimal Premakumara,Kamal Perera, Dilani Lokuhetty,and Prasad Katulanda, Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  5. Medicinal properties of ‘true’ cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review by Department of Pharmacology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


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Heeng Oil (Asafoetida)



Heeng-bannerAsafoetida is seen as an archaic remedy for flatulence, colic and other digestive disorders but the truth is that this ‘Food of Gods’ is still boasting its potent of treating various disorders from toothache to impotency for more than 5,000 years, where it’s use has been documented in Ashtanga Hridaya, which is one of the ancient text of the world’s oldest healing science known as Ayurveda.

Highly carped for its pungent aroma, Asafoetida has never failed in adding that extra spice to numerous traditional dishes in various countries including India, Europe, North Africa and the United States.

Known as Rāmaha, Badhika and Sahasravedhi in Sanskrit, Heeng and its essential oil has been prescribed in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating flatulence, whooping cough, painful menstruation, premature ejaculation, impotency, diabetes, asthma, intestinal worms and toothache.

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Historical importance of Heeng (Asafoetida):

Asafoetida is native to Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Botanically known as Ferula assa-foetida, it is a member of the Apiaceae plant family and the commercial part used is the oleo-gum resin extracted from the thickened roots and rhizomes. It is also known by other famous names like hing, narthex, heeng, food of Gods, devil’s dung, haltheeth, giant fennel, ting and stinking gum.

Ayurveda quotes “Asafoetida is a grounding herb that can therefore balance an overactive, over emotional, turbulent system“. It was one among the common herbs prescribed for the treatment of hysteria. It was used in 1918 to combat the Spanish influenza pandemic. It was also used as a topical remedy for relieving abdominal injuries.

Heeng is a popular spice all over the world and is used as a digestive aid, flavoring agent and as a condiment in food varieties and in pickles. It is used in daily food preparations in India especially by the followers of Vaishnavism, Jainism and by the merchant caste. Asafoetida was the most prevalent folk remedy for treating flatulence, colic and cold in children and as a contraceptive medicine.

The Arabian pharmacists and scientists like Avicenna, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi and Ibn al-Baitar have talked about the positive effects of Asafoetida on digestive system and the respiratory system. It is used in magic spells in the African-American Hoodoo tradition for its power to protect as well as to curse.

Asafoetida is also used in the Jamaican culture for protecting babies from evil spirits. The Jewish literatures like Mishneh Torah and Mishnah have also talked about this spice.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Heeng oil:

The remedial properties of Heeng essential oil are nervine, carminative, aphrodisiac, vermifuge, abortifacient, antispasmodic, stimulant, anti-flatulent, antimicrobial, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-epileptic, fertility enhancer, contraceptive, anthelmintic, expectorant, bronchodilator and emmenagogue. The major chemical constituents are phellandrenes, α-pinene, hendecyl-sulphonyl acetic acid, ferulic acid and ethers of sesquiterpenes with coumarines like farnesi feroles.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Heeng (Asafoetida) oil:

Asafoetida is a promising Ayurvedic remedy for treating digestive and respiratory disorders for thousands of years. Known as the oldest of all the healing systems on earth, Ayurveda is the mother of all medicinal practices in the world having its roots deeply vested with India, the world’s oldest historical tradition.

Ayurveda is considered as the only healing methodology that considers human body as a temple where the real soul dwells in. It also states that Mother Nature is made up of five vital elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether. Being a part of Nature, human beings are also made up of these five fundamental elements that pair together and form the biological energies called as doshas.

Just like an individual’s fingerprints, each one of us on earth has a unique individual constitution that comprises of these three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. Vata is a representation of air and space and is responsible for respiration, nervous functions, circulation, excretion and creativity.

Pitta stands for fire and water and is accountable for digestion, absorption, metabolism and thinking capacity. Kapha represents water and earth and is in charge for structure, movement of fluids, sustenance and love.

Every individual has a dominance of any one of these doshas and it determines their characteristics, temperament and behavioral attributes. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in a such a manner to set right these doshic imbalances.

Heeng and its essential oil in Ayurveda is said to increase Pitta energy and balance vata and kapha dosha with its pungent taste and enormous healing properties. In the Ayurvedic text Ashtanga Hridaya Su Chapter l it is mentioned that “Asafoetida mitigates vata and kapha, relieves flatulence and colic pain. It is pungent taste and at the end of digestion. It aggravates pitta, enhances appetite, taste and digestion. It is easy to digest”.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Heeng oil are:

Heeng-broucher

1. Benefits to the digestive system:

Just by hearing the word ‘Asafoetida’ anyone in India would just say that it is the best natural remedy for treating flatulence, colic and indigestion in children as well as elderly people. With its anti-flatulent, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Heeng essential oil aids in relieving from abdominal gas, stomach pain, intestinal gas and bloating.

It cleanses the intestinal flora and augments the digestive fire. By this way it eliminates all kinds of stagnation in the gastrointestinal tract, relieves cramping and drives out intestinal gas. The strong herbaceous aroma of this oil assists in soothing the lining of the stomach and intestines, reducing distention, treating spasms and increasing the appetite.

Gently massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Asafoetida oil blended with 1 ml of sesame oil will be of great help in treating all types of stomachic and intestinal problems in a comforting manner.

You can also add 1 drop of Heeng oil to warm bathing water or to diffuser in the dining hall to stimulate the process of metabolism and for enhancing the stamina, as this oil is known to nurture the earth element that is responsible for strength and vigor.

Asafoetida is used as a traditional medicine for treating constipation and flatulence in 60% people of Jammu and Kashmir, India and this wonder herbal medicine lessens the development of indigenous microflora in the gut, thus helping in reducing flatulence. It has also been used in western medicinal system as a topical remedy for treating abdominal injuries since the 18th century.

2. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Heeng and its essential oil is an ancient folk remedy for treating cold especially in children. This is mainly due to its antimicrobial and expectorant properties along with its ability to reduce kapha dosha, which is responsible for excess phlegm and mucous deposits causing cold and other respiratory problems.

Add 2 drops of Heeng oil to steam inhalation or to vapor rub and massage it on your chest, neck and back for expelling mucous and phlegm deposits in the bronchial, nasal and respiratory passages. Asafoetida has antimicrobial values that arrest the growth of infectious organisms that worsen cold and cough and pave way for chronic respiratory conditions.

It has been proven effective in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, whooping cough and other respiratory problems. There are numerous home remedies with Asafoetida for treating respiratory disorders and various other health conditions.

One popular home remedy with Heeng is mixing half teaspoon of asafoetida powder with fresh betel leaf juice and white onion juice along with honey every day for treating whooping cough, bronchitis and asthma.

A 2009 study on ‘Influenza A (H(1)N(1)) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida’ have proved the effectiveness of Asafoetida in combating the harmful effects of H1N1 virus with its antiviral and cytotoxic elements. This study concluded that Asafoetida exhibited greater potency against influenza A virus and against HepG2, Hep3B, and MCF-7 cancer cell lines, correspondingly.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system:

Asafoetida addresses male and female reproductive problems in a natural way. It is known to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea in men by increasing the libido and it also acts as an effective aphrodisiac.

Mix 2 drops of Heeng oil with 1 ml of olive oil and gently massage on your lower abdomen or add 1 drop of this oil to your bathing tub before going to bed. Regular use of this therapy can show effective results as the therapeutic molecules present in this oil penetrate deeply into the system through the skin and stimulate the male reproductive system.

Heeng as a powerful herb and a strong essential oil has emmenagogue properties and has been in use as a natural contraceptive. It will be of great assistance in treating dysmennorhea or painful menstruation, excessive bleeding, irregular or delayed periods, leucorrhea, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and other symptoms associated with menses.

The best way to use Heeng oil for menstrual discomforts is by massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of this oil mixed with 1 ml sesame oil or add it in a hot compress for improved results.

As a contraceptive or abortifacient, Heeng oil can be used in treating unplanned abortion, sterility in women and premature labor. It is also effective in improving the quality and quantity of breast milk in nursing women. Using Asafoetida in post-pregnancy period is recommended for relieving colic, indigestion and other digestive difficulties in both the mother and the baby.

4. Benefits to oral health:

Human mouth has the highest possibilities of being affected by millions of micro-organisms that not only cause hazards to oral health but also to the entire body. Heeng essential oil has potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that aids in treating toothache, bleeding gums, bad breath or halitosis and harmful cavities.

Add 1 drop of Heeng oil in a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle for getting rid of various oral problems. You can also add 1 drop of this oil to a piece of cotton and dab it on your aching tooth for immediate relief.

5. Benefits to the entire system:

Asafoetida and its essential oil are beneficial to the entire system in a number of ways. It has been proven effective in stimulating the pancreatic cells to secrete more insulin as improved insulin levels are known to bring down the blood sugar levels to normal.

According to certain studies, the antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of Asafoetida curbs the growth of malignant cells causing cancerous tumors. Since the ancient times, this condiment has been used as a powerful antidote for opium as it is identified to counter the effect of the ingested drug.

Asafoetida is defined as ‘Tamasic’ in Ayurveda for its properties of resistance, dullness, inertia and darkness on the mind and it can balance the over emotional, hyperactive and chaotic system.

This condiment is also used as a pesticide and insecticide for protecting crops from pests and for repelling mosquitoes and certain other insects.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational purpose and is not directed to diagnose or replace any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Never take essential oils internally and always dilute essential oils before using it topically. This is because organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and can cause allergic reactions if used in an undiluted manner.

Remember to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the most suitable essential oil for your unique constitution and health condition. Avoid using Heeng oil if you are a pregnant woman as it has strong abortifacient properties.

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Ayurvedic Healing Cuisine by Harish Johari
  3. Herbs: An Inside Look Into The World of Alfalfa, Basil, Asafoetida, Burdock, Catnip and More by Vanesa Payne
  4. The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by David Frawley, Vasant Lad
  5. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide by Burton Goldberg Group

Reference Links:

  1. Asafoetida by Wikipedia
  2. Asafoetida (Hing) Benefits by Speedy Remedies.com
  3. Asafoetida by The Spices Board India
  4. Asafoetida – A Grounding Herb by American Botanical Council
  5. Influenza A (H(1)N(1)) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida by Lee, CL; Chia-Lin Lee, Lien-Chai Chiang, Li-Hung Cheng, Chih-Chuang Liaw, Mohamed H. Abd El-Razek, Fang-Rong Chang, Yang-Chang Wu, College of Pharmacy, China published in PubMed

Pumpkin Seed Oil



Pumpkin-bannerThere’s no Halloween without Pumpkin and there are no Pumpkin seeds without enormous healing values. These seeds are highly nutritious and the oil extracted Pumpkin seeds are often celebrated for its amazing remedial benefits to prostate problems like benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, diabetes, arthritis and kidney disorders.

Widely known as Pepitas, Pumpkin seeds and its oil are used and recommended in Ayurvedic healing for treating urinary problems, low bone density, arthritis, bed-wetting, joint pain, vascular diseases, controlling cholesterol levels (LDL) and for supporting the functions of the kidneys and prostate.

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Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Pumpkin Seed Oil:

Palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, myristic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, linolenic acid and behenic acid are the major chemical components of Pumpkin seed oil. It also contains carotenoids like β-carotene and lutein and tocopherols including ϒ- gamma, β- beta and delta tocopherols.

Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of zinc, proteins, magnesium, tryptopan (serotonin), thiamine and manganese.

The remedial values of Pumpkin seed oil are antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, alterative, antimicrobial, detoxifying, anti-hypertensive, emollient, nutritive, anti-inflammatory, sedative, moisturizing and tranquilizing.

Historical uses and importance of Pumpkin Seed and its oil:

Pumpkins are one among the most popular staple food and are said to have been originated in America. The term ‘Pumpkin’ is extracted from the Greek word Pepon and the meaning is ‘large melon’. Pumpkin seeds are also known as Pepitas and the Mexican Spanish term ‘pepita de calabaza’ simply stands for ‘little seed of squash’.

These petite but powerful seeds are said to have been discovered in the Mexican caves in 7,000 BC. The tribal populace of Native America, including the Aztec cultures (1300 to 1500 AD) has used Pumpkin and its seeds for food and medicinal purposes.

The greatest news is that Pumpkins have been planted in about 100,000 acres across U.S and Illinois is the leading producer of Pumpkins. China is the largest producer of Pumpkins in the world followed by U.S, India, Mexico, Ukraine and Russia.

The United States pharmacopoeia listed Pumpkin seeds as an effective medicine for treating parasites and these seeds have been used in the traditional and alternative medicinal practices for treating gastric disorders, urinary illnesses, prostate problems, tapeworms and intestinal parasites.

Pumpkin has been an excellent food for Pilgrims, especially for its high nutritious profile and its potent to stay fresh. This pilgrim verse written in circa 1633 utters all that is vital about Pumpkins.

“For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
 Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
 We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
 If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.”

Even today Pumpkins and its seeds are used as a wholesome food by the pilgrims and have been employed as an essential part of everyday cooking across the world, including the Asian, European and Mediterranean countries.

Pumpkin seeds are loved and recommended as a healthy snack across the globe for numerous reasons and you can bank upon them during your next munch.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Pumpkin Seed oil:

Pumpkin seed oil is said to have a positive effect on all the three doshas or the fundamental energies of life.

Botanically called as Cucurbita pepo, Pumpkin like all other members of the Cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae, it is trusted as an excellent detoxifying agent in Ayurvedic healing. Thus Pumpkin and its nutrient seeds and oil are prescribed for discarding ama or toxic deposits in the system.

Ayurvedic texts prescribe its use in cleansing the bladder and other adjoining organs of the body.

The most awe-inspiring fact is that Pumpkin seeds are extremely rich in an amino acid called as tryptopan that assists in eliminating the toxins in the mind, thus assisting the treatment of stress, anxiety, trauma, anger and is also proven to enhance your cognitive abilities and tranquilize the nervous system.

Ayurveda beckons Pumpkin and its seeds as livotonic, means a tonic for the liver that helps in strengthening the liver, regulates its normal functioning and support in the treatment of hepatitis, degeneration and inflamed liver conditions.

None of us can deny that every day is a new day and a new birth in your life and it’s appropriate to call it as a newer opportunity and a souvenir indeed.

The fruit of pessimism can suppress you while the seeds of optimism can impress your living. In a much similar way, disease is not a matter of agony and is instead a blessing to be happy about.

Ayurveda regards disease or sickness as an opportunity to discern the imbalance in your system. Treating the root cause of an illness can save your head now and prevent such conditions in the future as well.

Nature is the best medicine and everything present in nature is made up of five fundamental elements of Nature like earth (muscles and bone), fire (digestive fire and body temperature), water (blood and other vital fluids), air (all that we breathe) and space (spirit and soul).

Being a part of nature, any illness is an indication of being of out of balance with nature. Using natural medications can certainly assist in permanent remedy of a disease and support in leading a balanced and hearty living.

Ayurveda prescribes natural medications like herbal remedies, Ayurvedic essential oils (life force of plants), yoga (sister science of Ayurveda), meditation (tonic to the soul), Pranayama (conscious breathing technique), Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), Panchakarma (detoxification practices), Dinacharya (Ayurvedic routine) and more.

Here’s the heart of this article and you’re right. Pumpkin seed oil can assist in the treatment of the following health conditions:

Pumpkin-Seed-Oil1. Supports in the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and certain other prostate problems:

Pumpkin seeds are the most favorite snack of men in Bulgaria, Ukraine and Turkey. These seeds are loaded with high zinc content and are responsible for supporting prostate health and aids in decreasing the size of prostrate.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is a medical condition in men, which is characterized with enlarged or inflamed prostates. Even though it is non-cancerous in nature, BPH requires prompt medical attention. This in general enlarges in middle-aged and elderly men along with age.

Recent studies witness that the presence of cucurbitacins, a chemical component in Pumpkin seeds assist in thwarting testosterone (male hormone) into dihydrotestosterone (an associated element) that is said to encourage the production of prostrate cells.

The celebrated book ‘An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods’ by Elise Marie Collins describes that Pumpkin seed oil have been proved as an alternative remedy for treating benign prostate enlargement and its varied symptoms. Marie also suggests that the use of Pumpkin seed oil along with other natural medications like Saw Palmetto for effective treatment of prostate conditions.

What is all in Pumpkin seeds that can help in the treatment of BPH? The presence of zinc, lignans and phytosterols in these tiny little seeds has been effective in reducing the risk associated with BPH.

Various research analysis reports on the phytosterol components in Pumpkin seeds, including sitostanol, beta-sitosterol, avenasterol, campestanol, stigmasterol and campesterol are responsible for its efficacy in the diagnosis of BPH.

Ayurveda calls Pumpkin seed as Basti Shoda, which means a remedy for cleansing the bladder and the adjacent parts of the body.

Pumpkin seeds and its oil were also prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for increasing sperm count and for treating impotence and premature ejaculation, for which it is known as ‘Virya Vardhak’, which enhances intense power and vitality.

2. Combats against cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol levels:

Pumpkin seeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in preventing the growth and spread of cancerous cells and support the recovery of patients during their treatment tenure and healthy cardiovascular system.

The presence of phytosterol compounds in Pumpkin seeds has been associated with controlling the level of cholesterol in the system. Phytosterols work by restraining the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine and enhance the level of HDL cholesterol.

A 2011 study on ‘The effect of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L) seeds and L-arginine supplementation on serum lipid concentrations in atherogenic rats’ published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, states that about 37 days of regular supplementation of Pumpkin seeds on rats that are on atherogenic diet-induced atherosclerosis showed a 78 % fall in LDL (bad) cholesterol and 47% reduction in total levels of cholesterol and a promising increase in defensive HDL cholesterol (imperative for healthy heart functions).

A 2013 study on ‘Effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from pumpkin seeds on estradiol production and ER/PR expression in breast cancer and trophoblast tumor cells’ by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Rostock, Germany states “Phytoestrogens have a controversial effect on hormone-dependent tumors” and it concludes by reporting that the presence of lignans in Pumpkin seed are effective in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

Numerous researches suggest that the presence of omega-3 fatty acids like α-linolenic acid in Pumpkin seed oil might aid in reducing inflammation and the occurrences of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, cancer and heart diseases, quotes the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Pumpkin seeds are alkalizing in nature to the body’s natural pH levels, where most of the snack foods might cause acidity, pain and even cancer. Pumpkin seed oil is also effective in reducing the oxidative stress responsible for cancer, diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

A research study led by Tao Xia in the East China Normal University have concluded that certain compounds in Pumpkin extracts are known to encourage regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells, thus enhancing the levels of insulin in blood.

3. Assists in diagnosing osteoporosis, bone disorders and low immunity:

The most promising attribute that makes Pumpkin seed oil as an armament against osteoporosis is its high zinc, phosphorous and magnesium content, where insufficient consumption of zinc, magnesium and certain other minerals are often associated with weak bones and increased rate of osteoporosis.

Zinc plays a vital role in cellular growth, immune power, sensory functions and sleep patterns. Deficiency of zinc is characterized by acne, frequent cold and cough, depression, fatigue, poor cognitive abilities and more.

Low levels of blood of the trace mineral and osteoporosis diagnosed at the spinal and hip area were reported due to the deficient levels of zinc in the diet, states a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with 400 men in the sample group.

4. Alleviates stress, depression and sleeping difficulties:

Pumpkin seed oil contains numerous amino acids like tryptophan, which gets transformed to niacin and serotonin (neuro-transmitter in the brain for stirring your mood). These compounds have been proved universally for its ability to assuage stress levels, social anxiety turmoil, and depression along with fostering a tranquilizing sleep.

Sleep is nature’s medicine for repairing, healing and renovating the physical, emotional and spiritual throbbing and damages. Stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue often curtail natural sleep patterns that agonize your nights and ruin your days throughout.

By promoting a peaceful sleep at night, Pumpkin seed oil pacifies the mind, body and the soul. Stress, anxiety and depression are often the factors behind excessive loss of hair. With its potent to alleviate stress, depression and fatigue, Pumpkin seed oil can control stress related hair loss conditions like Alopecia Areata, Trichotillomania, and Telogen Effluvium.

Pumpkin seed oil promotes hair growth by augmenting the follicular strength, and natural sheen says Marnie Nussbaum, celebrated Cosmetic dermatologist. She also states that Pumpkin Seed oil curtails 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This enzyme has been proven to delay and impede the growth of hair.

Pumpkin seeds are packed with rich nutrients including vitamins A and B, zinc, protein, iron and omega-6 fatty acids that are extremely beneficial for the growth of healthy hair, nourishment of dry and scaly scalp conditions.

5. Helps mitigate kidney disorders and inflammatory conditions:

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are proved in treating inflammatory problems by reducing inflammation, particularly in joints without any negative effects (According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology Research). It is mainly for this reason; Pumpkin seed oil is recommended for treating arthritis.

Frequent urination and the excess pressure to urinate recurrently are among the few symptoms of an overactive bladder. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent remedy for supporting the overall health of the excretory system and treats overactive bladder and other urinary problems effectively (With reference to the Journal of Traditional and Complementary medicine – 2014 study).

BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia) might also pave way for stones or calculi in the bladder and frequent infections in the urinary tract.

The presence of B vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins in Pumpkin seeds are also proved to maintain regular functions of the kidneys, bladder and urinary tracts by restraining surplus levels of DHEA (dihydro epi-androstenedione).

Best ways to use Pumpkin Seed oil:

The best possible ways to use Pumpkin seed oil for enhancing your health condition is to use it in an enriching massage blend with your favorite essential oils like Peppermint oil, Mace oil, Lavender oil, Patchouli oil, Ashwagandha oil, Orange oil and more, as the great news is………….. Pumpkin seed oil blends well with all the oils.

Other health benefits:

Ayurveda suggests the use of Pumpkin seeds and its oil for balancing excess vata and pitta doshas, especially during the fall season and discarding toxic remains in the system. Pumpkin seeds in general are known to strengthen the functions of the lungs and intestines.

The potent to relieve excess sogginess in the body, makes Pumpkin seeds a friendly all time snack for supporting human health in general. It is also used in eliminating parasites and tapeworms.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the purpose of information and is not indented for the treatment of any health conditions or as a replacement for any prescribed medicines or the advice of a medical expert. We, at Essential Depot are not healthcare professionals and this information is shared only with the view of cascading the traditional wisdom of Ayurvedic healing.

Essential oils are prescribed only for topical use. This is due to the fact that 100 percent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions when used internally.

Always speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Extra care should be taken in using essential oils if it is for children, elderly populace, nursing and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.

– Taylor Swift

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dr. Katz’s Guide to Prostate Health: From Conventional to Holistic Therapies by Aaron E. Katz
  2. Pumpkin, a Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel
  3. Pumpkin Seed Flour and its Micro-nutrient levels: Production of Pumpkin Seed Flour and Evaluation of its Potential to Enhance Vitamin A and Iron Levels of Maize Flour by Twinamasiko Andrew
  4. How Does A Pumpkin Grow?: Discover the secrets about how pumpkins grow! Be inspired to plant a seed and watch the beauty unfold in your own backyard. (Country Garden Book 2) by Renae Smith
  5. Pumpkin Seeds :Healthy and Easy Homemade for Your Best Friend by Heviz’s

Reference Links:

  1. Pumpkin seed oil by Wikipedia
  2. What’s new and beneficial about Pumpkin seeds? by The World’s Healthiest Foods
  3. Effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from pumpkin seeds on estradiol production and ER/PR expression in breast cancer and trophoblast tumor cells’ by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Rostock, Germany, published in Nutrition and Cancer Journal and PubMed
  4. The True Potency of the Pumpkin Seed by Life Extension Magazine
  5. Amazing health benefits of Pumpkin Seeds by Dr. Mercola