Melissa Essential Oil

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Mlissa-bannerMelissa………., the name that sounds sweet, smells great and means ‘honeybee’ in Greek is claimed as one of the rarest essential oils just because it requires about 12,000 pounds of Melissa leaves to obtain 1 pound of its essential oil.

Scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, this herb is also known to the world as Lemon balm, Life’s elixir, Cure-all, English balm, Sweet balm, Blue balm and Honey plant and is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae.

This herb is trusted to enhance cognitive performance, treat Alzheimer’s disease, venomous bites and fight against viral attacks like herpes in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing systems in the world. Melissa essential oil is also used in treating insomnia, depression, nervous headache and known to clear one’s mind for right decision-making.

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Historical uses and importance of Melissa and its essential oil:

Wow!!! Is all I have to say when I read about a handful of pages about the history of Melissa herb and the way its medicinal importance have travelled all around the universe. From America to Australia, from Arabia to India, Melissa has not left any part of this world unhealed.

Lemon balm has been in use for more than 2000 years and few sources state that its use was recorded in Theophrastus’ Historia Plantarum around 300 B.C. and was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. French Emperor King Charles V and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V are said to have taken Melissa beverages for augmenting their health.

Pliny The Elder, the renowned Roman naturalist have said that planting Lemon balm near bee hives will attract bees to return to their hives and “causeth the Bees to keep together and causeth others to come unto them” said English herbalist Gerard denoting that rubbing the leaves of Melissa on bee hives will encourage the bees to come back.

An Arabian proverb quotes Lemon balm as “Balm makes the heart merry and joyful” and the Arabian physician Avicenna (11th century) used Melissa in the treatment of melancholy and depression. Called as the ‘heart’s content’ in southern parts of Europe, Lemon balm tea was the most famous morning tea after it was taken along with honey after breakfast by the Princes of Sydenham and Glamorgan who lived 116 and 108 years respectively.

Paracelsus, the Swiss alchemist and physician called Melissa as “the elixir of life” for he trusted that this magical herb has the power to augment strength and pave way for longevity. Lemon balm was regarded as a sacred herb in the temple of Diana, the ancient Roman Goddess.

Greek physician Dioscorides used Lemon balm for treating toothaches, dog bites, scorpion stings, blocked menstruation, toothache and gout. Popular herbalist Nicholas Culpeper said that Melissa is effective in treating melancholy and boils and is good for the mind, spleen, heart and liver. Melissa has been associated with moon, water and feminine.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Melissa essential oil: The essential oil of Lemon balm has effective chemical constituents like geraniol, β-caryophyllene, citronellal, geranial, caryophyllene oxide, trans-ocimene, methyl heptenone, linalool, neral, 3-octanone, cis-ocimene, a-humulene, geranyl acetate and certain other components.

Antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, tonic, nervine, antidepressant, sedative, bactericidal, antiviral, stomachic, cordial, hypotensive, carminative and febrifuge are its therapeutic values.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil:

Lemon balm essential oil is regarded as one of the most potent remedial essential oils in all of the oils used in Complementary and Alternative medicine system, amongst which Ayurveda is the oldest healing science. Melissa herb and its essential oil has been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various illnesses associated with various tissues of the body like blood, spleen, nerve, organ tissue and lymphatic muscle.

The book on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Bryan Miller and Light Miller talks about certain important health indications where Lemon balm essential oil is used in Ayurveda as a natural remedy for treating menopause, fever, melancholy, depression, infant and child afflictions, cold and flu.

Ayurveda strongly believes that human beings are a significant part of nature. It phenomenally states that every individual is unique and their individual constitution is made up of three vital biological energies known as doshas.  They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every human being according to Ayurveda has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determines their physical, mental and spiritual set up.

Balance between these doshas indicates that the person is healthy and imbalance due to environmental factors, food habits, emotional factors and behavioral patterns cause illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies aim at bringing balance between the doshas with its natural healing methodologies.

Ayurveda turns towards nature for treating humanity and using essential oils is one of the most effective remedy that has been a part of this ancient wisdom. Ayurvedic texts claim that essential oils are the prana or life force of plants. Melissa essential oil is said to alleviate pitta and kapha while improving vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil.

Melissa-brouchre1. Treats bacterial, viral and certain other infectious disorders:

Lemon balm essential oil is an excellent natural aid for treating all kinds of infections and health disorders that are associated with the infestation of micro organisms like bacteria and viruses. Numerous scientific evidences have witnessed that the antibacterial effects of this oil is due to the presence of eugenol and its ability to fight against virus is mainly because of tannins present in it.  

Bacteria and virus cause cold, flu, fever, infections in the intestine, kidneys, urinary tract and colon, skin problems like acne, rashes, herpes, allergies, severe itching and certain other respiratory infections.

Lemon balm essential oil has febrifuge, sudorific and diaphoretic properties that fights against bacteria, virus and other harmful microbes causing fever. Gently massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Melissa oil with 20 drops of coconut oil will aid in reducing the temperature of your body by promoting sweat through which the destructive toxins are expelled.

Blend 2 to 3 drops of Lemon balm oil with 15 to 20 drops of olive oil and apply topically on pimples, boils, cuts, herpes, cold sores, ringworms, athlete’s foot, wounds, allergies, black heads, rashes and itches for effective remedy. This application also aids in preventing the wounds from getting septic as it combats bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that are responsible for the wound becoming septic and defenseless.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that the topical application of ointments containing Lemon balm essential oil aids in healing cold sores caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). It witnesses this effect by quoting several studies and one among them is the vast study that involved 1 dermatology clinic and 3 German hospitals where Lemon balm was used in treating the primary infection of HSV I. The cream with Lemon balm formula was proved to lessen the healing time of oral as well as genital herpes.

Certain other studies proved the effectiveness of Lemon balm oil when applied to lip sores, herpes lesions and it also exhibited a concentration-dependent activity and improved effect against HIV infection. You can also add 2 drops of Melissa oil to steaming water and steam inhalation aids in treating cold, headache, sinus pain and flu by pushing out excessive fluids and toxic substances in the body through sweat.

2. Calms the digestive system:

Melissa essential oil has carminative and stomachic properties that assist in expelling gases in the stomach and intestines without any pain in the abdominal muscles and by promoting proper flow of bile and other digestive juices.

Applying 2 drops of this oil blended with 15 drops of sesame oil on your stomach and abdomen assists in treating flatulence, colic, dysentery, vomiting, intestinal spasms, dyspepsia, convulsions and also helps in strengthening the digestive system with its tonic and antispasmodic properties. You can also add 3 drops of Lemon balm oil to warm bathing water to stimulate your digestive process.

3. Pacifies your emotional instabilities:

Lemon balm and its essential oil has been held high as a perfect remedy for treating melancholy, mental disturbances, depression, hopelessness, negative emotions and lack of confidence. The uplifting, energizing, refreshing and revitalizing aroma of this oil helps in driving away mental agony, feelings of loneliness, fear, emotional shock, anxiety and anger.

The calming and encouraging touch along with the presence of terpenes in this essential oil is said to grant soothing effects on the mind and drive in understanding, self-confidence, hope and acceptance to proceed with life’s challenges. It helps in balancing your emotions and few popular studies have proved its effects in lessening agitation and have considerable quality-of-life effects.

It is because of these reassuring and comforting properties, Melissa essential oil is lovingly called as the ‘Nectar of life’ or ‘The elixir of life’. Dr. Hill recommends diffusing few drops of Lemon balm oil at night to treat depression, insomnia and restlessness. Add 2 to 3 drops of this oil your diffuser, burner or vaporizer to relieve from worries and treat emotional blocks.

You can also massage your body with 2 drops of Melissa oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil blended with a small cup of coconut oil to ease tension, stress and fatigue and for relaxing the nerves and muscles.

4. Boosts your brain power:

Lemon balm essential oil is known to enhance brain power and improve the cognitive performance. Certain studies witness that Lemon balm aids in enhancing cognitive function and reduce agitation in people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Lemon balm has been approved by the German Commission E for treating nervous disorders, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems. Diffusing 2 drops of Lemon balm oil and 1 drop of Rosemary oil during the day or at night can help in treating dementia, cognitive impairments and Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Helps mitigate womanly problems:

With its emmenagogue properties, massaging 2 drops of Melissa oil blended with 15 drops of sesame oil will promote blocked menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, nausea, irritability and mood fluctuations during menstruation. This herb was also used in the traditional medicine to treat depression during menopause, to grant strength during and after childbirth.

Other health benefits:

Melissa essential oil is also used to treat hair loss, baldness, nervous disorders, trauma, inflammation, high blood pressure, insect stings, hyperactive thyroid, phobias and palpitations. It is also used as a culinary herb and as a flavoring agent in various products.

Kurt Schnaubelt in his book Advanced Aromatherapy quotes Melissa oil as “The way in which Melissa oil combines an excellent antiviral component with a soothing but pervasive sedative power is difficult to imagine; it has to be experienced. In its complexity, power, and gentleness, Melissa oil perfectly illustrates how nature time after time works better than one-dimensional synthetic medicines.”

Disclaimer: Never use essential oils internally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and always remember to use it in a diluted form. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the right essential oil for your health condition and unique individual constitution. This article is meant only for informational purpose and is not meant to diagnose or replace any prescribed medications or expert advice.

Thought for the day:

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.  John Burroughs

Suggested Reading:

  1. Melissa Extract: The Natural Remedy for Herpes by Jan de Vries
  2. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  3. Effects of chronic administration of Melissa officinalis L. extract on anxiety-like reactivity and on circadian and exploratory activities in … Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology by Alvin Ibarra, Nicolas Feuillere, Marc Roller, Edith Lesburgere, Daniel Beracochea
  4. Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2.: An article from: Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology by A. Allahverdiyev, N. Duran, M. Ozguven, S. Koltas

Reference Links:

  1. Lemon Balm by University of Maryland Medical Center

  2. Melissa officinalis by Boston University School of Medicine

  3. Lemon Balm: An Herb Society of America Guide by Herb Society

  4. Melissa officinalis by Wikipedia

Lavender Essential Oil

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Lavender-bannerAyurveda beckons Lavender as a Medhya herb for its exquisite and energizing ability to empower the mind and stimulate the brain functions. It has been proven to treat anxiety, irritability, migraine, low self esteem, insomnia, nervousness, anger, stress, palpitations, loneliness and the feelings of being neglected.

It is a spectacular flower variety that is held high for owning 167 proven medicinal uses says author Susanne Fischer Rizzi and the popular Ayurvedic book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ states that Lavender is the most important oil to have in the first aid kit especially during traveling. This oil has such a magnificent, mind-blowing, magical and mystical fragrance within it to splash our senses with a never before energy.

Lavender and its essential oil is used in Ayurveda for reviving the senses, harmonizing the mind, curing numerous illnesses ranging from burns to boils, headache to high blood pressure, insomnia to irritability, stress to skin disorders and for balancing the entire human system.

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Purchase Lavender Bulgarian Oil – 5% Dilution in Pure Jojoba Oil – 4oz – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Lavender and its essential oil:

Indigenous to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean areas, Lavender is also grown throughout the world including the United States, Australia, Southern Europe, France, India and other parts of Asia.

You would be amazed if I say that the name ‘Lavender’ was extracted from the name of a Latin root ‘Lavare’, which carries the strong meaning ‘To Wash’. This is more than enough to claim that Lavender is the perfect herb and its essential oil is the ideal solution for cleansing the mind, body and the ailments allied with them.

Lavender and its enriching essential oil have it’s roots deeply vested in the historic healing of human beings. It has been in use for more than 2500 years for it therapeutic, culinary and for beauty benefits in the cosmetic and personal hygiene industry.

Lavender oil and the herb as such had traveled all over the world and was almost used by most of the prominent groups like the Egyptians, Romans, Phoenicians, Europeans, Americans, Arabians, Australians, Asians and people in other parts of the world.

According to De Materia Medica, Dioscorides, the renowned Greek physician suggests the use of Lavender for treating the ‘grief’s of the thorax’ and for relieving headache, sore throat, indigestion, burns, wounds and other skin problems.

Famous herbalist Maude Grieve recommends Lavender as an excellent nervine and carminative. She also states that this herb assists in treating memory loss, snake bites, depression, headache and fatigue.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report (GC) for Lavender oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lavender oil constitutes of 16 chemical components that contribute to the aroma, therapeutic values, consistency and quality of this essential oil. Of which, Linalyl acetate contributes to the highest percentage of Lavender oil constituents with about 36.8% of the total composition.

Just click on Linalyl acetate, Linalool, Camphor, 1, 8-Cineole and Lavandulyl acetate for getting to know the exclusive information about these prime constituents of Lavender oil.

Each and every component contributes to the various attributes and remedial properties of Lavender oil. The table crafted below clearly depicts those special contributions to the healing magnificence of Lavender essential oil.

Lavender OilTherapeutic properties of Lavender essential oil:

Lavender can be called as an elixir as it has immense remedial properties.

The most prominent among them are anti-depressant, sedative, antiseptic, nervine, bactericide, analgesic, sudorific, antiphlogistic, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, decongestant, deodorant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-spasmodic, rubefacient, cholagogue, vulnerary, hypotensive, antiviral, cytophylactic, anticonvulsant, hormonal balancing and diuretic properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Lavender essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest of all healing systems on earth and is engaged in addressing the health concerns of human beings for more than 5000 years.

Ayurvedic healing aims at longevity by focusing on prevention of illnesses by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing an Ayurvedic routine, yoga, meditation, simple physical exercises and using of natural remedies like herbs and essential oils for treating illnesses.

According to Ayurveda, sickness is an opportunity to know the imbalances of the body with nature and to know the actual root cause of the illness. This noble science suggests and trusts in treating the root cause of a disease instead of diagnosing the ailment alone.

Treating individuals instead of diseases is the prime factor that makes Ayurveda superior than other contemporary medicinal practices.

Everything that is a part of nature and that which is believed to heal humanity falls under Ayurveda as it is the ancient medicinal science existing in this world and has its age double the times of Lavender.

Ayurvedic philosophy states that every human being is distinctive with a unique individual constitution, which is made up of three vital biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha.

Lavender essential oil is beneficial for all the three constitutional types of Ayurveda. With its extremely soothing, calming, cooling and tranquil energy, Lavender essential oil pacifies kapha and pitta doshas and aggravates vata dosha.

The splendid Ayurvedic healing benefits of Lavender essential oil are:

Lavender-broucher1. Enhances strength and immunity:

Ayurveda considers Lavender essential oil as the chief oil in assisting and strengthening the immune system by protecting the body from harmful virus and bacteria causing ailments such as flu, cough, cold, fever and many other infections.

Lavender oil is trusted to enhance prana or the vital life force, which in turn increases the body’s natural disease-resistant ability and the mechanism of fighting against harmful microbes and pathogens.

Gently massaging 2 drops of Lavender essential oil mixed with 1ml of Jojoba oil in the upper part of the sternum, over the heart and the thymus gland is said to uplift the vital essence known as Ojas in Ayurveda, which is completely responsible for vitality and immunity at all the levels of the body.

A 2010 study on ‘Chemical Composition of Lavender Essential Oil and its Antioxidant Activity and inhibition against rhinitis-related bacteria by Lu Hui, Li He, Lu Huan, Li XiaoLan and Zhou AiGuo’ proved that the presence of about 47 compounds in Lavender essential oil exhibits potent antioxidant effect against lipid peroxidation in a linoleic acid model system and extensive activity against bacteria like Escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, proteus vulgaris and micrococcus ascoformans.

This study also stated that Lavender oil can be used as a potential natural remedy in treating rhinitis patients.

2. Nurtures the health of hair and skin:

Lavender essential oil is an admirable skin-friendly oil as the topical application of this oil treats skin disorders like psoriasis, cuts, burns, abrasions, itches, eczema, rashes, acne, pimples, athlete’s foot, sunburns, wounds and acts as a good mosquito repellent.

For being gentle and effective on the skin and hair, Lavender oil is called as Twachya, keshya and kusthaghna, where Twachya is the natural skin remedy for augmenting the health of the skin by nourishing the cellular structure; keshya is its ability to foster hair growth and boost the strength of hair follicles and kusthaghna for its potent to heal and treat various skin conditions.

It is also called as Sookshma and Teekshna, for its potent to penetrate through the tiny channels of the skin, thus upkeep the damaged skin cells.

All you need to do to regain your skin health is to apply 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil and apply it on the affected area or massage gently for visible results. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in your regular skin care cream or body lotion and use it daily for protecting and pampering your skin.

Ayurvedic Physicians and the contemporary Dermatologists suggest the use of Lavender essential oil for treating numerous skin problems including acne and few other bacterial and fungal infections.

Lavender essential oil has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties that assist in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi and other micro organisms responsible for acne and other skin problems.

Lavender essential oil is also an effective remedy for treating hair problems like hair loss, baldness, lice, nits and dull hair. With the combination of few other curative essential oils like Rosemary, Lavender oil has been proved to promote hair growth in a study conducted with 86 people, who were affected by an autoimmune disease known as Alopecia areata.

5 drops of Lavender oil mixed with 3 drops of Rosemary oil and 5 ml of Almond oil when massaged onto the scalp assists in strengthening the hair follicles, promoting the growth of hair, preventing hair fall and nourishing the scalp.

3. Relaxes the nerves and calms the mind:

Lavender is certainly an excellent remedy for treating fear, fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression. The soothing aromatic molecules of this oil penetrate the mind and body through the nasal passages and reach the Limbic system, known as the control center of the human body.

With its anti-depressant, hormonal balancing and sedative properties, Lavender essential oil is proven to ease stress and induce good sleep by checking the health disorders related with insomnia.

3 to 4 drops of Lavender oil blended with 2 ml coconut oil or sesame oil can help in soothing the senses, calming the nerves and granting peace to the mind and body. You can also add 2 drops of Lavender oil to warm bathing water for promoting peaceful sleep and alleviating stress and fatigue after a tiring day.

Lavender essential oil is used in various Ayurvedic treatments and the most prominent among them is Shirodhara, which is a celebrated oil-dripping treatment in Ayurveda with the use of medicated sesame oil with herbal values. It is proven to induce an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and anxiolysis.

According to a 2008 research by the University of Toyama, the use of lavender essential oil along with sesame oil in Shirodhara treatment proved to have a positive pharmaco-physio-psychologic effect, where the relaxing effects of lavender essential oil transferred through the olfactory nerves was proved to improve the entire condition of the system.

It also witnessed a significant result that Lavender Shirodhara is better than the normal one and the intricate pharmaco-physio-psychologic feat in Ayurvedic treatment is a constructive model for pharmaco-physio-psychotherapy in the future.

4. Relieves digestive disorders:

Lavender essential oil augments the pranic (vital life force) energy, while steadily supporting the functions of the respiratory tract also. Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 1ml sesame oil aid in promoting the secretion of gastric juices, bile and other digestive enzymes.

By this way, Lavender essential oil regularizes the process of digestion and absorption. It also helps in treating flatulence, diarrhea, colic, vomiting, stomach pain and indigestion.

An aromatic bath with 2 to 3 drops of Lavender essential oil can promote blood circulation, treat depression, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, respiratory infections, urinary infections, bladder problems, whooping cough, nasal congestion, migraine, panic attacks, asthma, muscle soreness, headache, joint pain, bee stings and many other problems.

Lavender essential oil with its innumerable health benefits is a must-to-have oil in your medicine cabinet and a drop of oil added to your handkerchief or worn on your wrist everyday will rejuvenate your senses and give you a never before freshness, clarity of mind and absolute peace.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not in any way meant to be used for diagnosis or as a substitute for any prescribed medications or the professional advice of your Doctor. We, at Essential Depot are not healthcare experts and this article is written only with the intention of sharing the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.

Essential oils are meant for topical use only and not for ingestion, as pure and organic essential oils are the life force of plants and are highly concentrated substances. Seek the advice of your Ayurvedic expert or healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC) of Lavender oil.

Thought for the day:

                           Come forth into the light of things,

                           Let Nature be your teacher.

-By William Wordsworth

Suggested reading:

  1. Lovely Lavender: The Many Applications and Uses of Lavender Essential Oil (Essential Oils and Aromatherapy) by Rashelle Johnson
  2. Lavender Oil: The New Guide to Nature’s Most Versatile Remedy by Julia Lawless
  3. The Magic and Power of Lavender: The Secret of the Blue Flower, It’s Fragrance and Practical Application in Health Care and Cosmetics by Maggie Tisserand, Monika Junemann
  4. Lavender: Nature’s Way to Relaxation and Health by Philippa Waring
  5. HEALING POWERS OF LAVENDER Pure Essential Oil – The Universal Healer (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles

Reference Links:

  1. Lavender by University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Pharmaco-physio-psychologic effect of Ayurvedic oil-dripping treatment using an essential oil from Lavendula angustifolia PubMed.gov
  3. Lavender: An Ayurvedic View by Gurukula Blog
  4. Chemical Composition of Lavender Essential Oil and its Antioxidant Activity and inhibition against rhinitis-related bacteria by Lu Hui, Li He, Lu Huan, Li XiaoLan and Zhou AiGuo published in the African Journal of Microbiology Research

Mentha Piperita Essential Oil

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Mentha-pepperita-bannerThe 3 greatest chronicles of my visit to India are the monumental Taj Mahal (one that you can see on my Facebook profile pic) that enthralled my sight, the deep-rooted cultural differences within a single country that moved my heart and finally the lip-smacking Samosas (the most popular Indian snack) pairing its pride with the mouthwatering mint chutney that are still deeply vested within my taste buds.

Power-packed with immeasurable health benefits, mint leaves botanically known as Mentha arvensis has a distinct aroma that’ll uplift you instantly. Mentha oil or Mentha Piperita oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant by steam distillation.

Known as Pudina or Podina, the fresh and dried leaves along with its essential oil have been in use in Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences for more than thousands of years. The most popular Ayurvedic uses of this herb are for treating digestive disorders, respiratory problems, menstrual discomforts and skin problems like acne, itching and rashes.

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Historical importance and uses of Mentha piperita:

The history of Mentha piperita dates back to 3,000 years and is still trusted to be cultivated first in the temperate climate of Europe, after which it was slowly spread to Asian countries like India, Japan and China along with certain other countries in Africa and North America. Currently India is the largest producer and exporter of Mentha oil contributing to 80% of the world’s total production.

Among many other members of the mint family Lamiaceae, Mentha arvensis is the only member that thrives well in subtropical areas. It is also known to the world with other names like Japanese mint, Corn mint, Wild mint, Field mint and Pudina.

This herb was used by the Aztecs to promote perspiration, treat stomach pain, flatulence and colic. Mentha oil was also used in treating pain, headache and oral problems. The herbal infusion prepared with these leaves was really effective in treating insomnia and sleeping disorders.

Mentha Arvensis was also used by the Native Americans for treating pain, inflammation and stomach ache. The traditional Europeans used mint as a remedy for cough, gastrointestinal disorders, flatulence and gall bladder problems. There are numerous home remedies using fresh mint leaves.

The Ojibwa community uses this plant in sweat-bath, whereas it is a part of the Sun Dance ceremony of the Northern Cheyenne Indians of Montana. This medicinal plant is also a part of Ayurveda, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and various other contemporary healing methodologies.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components of Mentha piperita essential oil:

This oil consists of about 95% menthol and other active ingredients are isomenthone, methyl acetate, menthone, alpha-pinene, camphene, beta-pinene, piperitone, flavonoids, limonene, beta-caryopyllene, neomenthol and tannins.

The healing properties are carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antimicrobial, cholagogue, anti-fungal, expectorant, stimulant, tonic, antiphlogistic, antidepressant and nervine.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha piperita essential oil:

Pudina is an incredible kitchen herb in India and many other Asian countries for its tempting and refreshing aroma along with its excellent medicinal values. Ayurveda aged for about 5000 years is a holistic medicinal practice that considers every human being as a part of nature.

Ill-health and good health according to Ayurvedic texts depend upon nature and natural remedies are the best way to treat it. Based upon this principle, Ayurvedic remedies encompass nature’s gifts like herbs and essential oils along with a balanced lifestyle, yoga, meditation and simple physical exercises that can assist in preventing diseases and pave way for longevity.

Every human being is considered as a unique creation and just like Hippocrates words ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison’, Ayurvedic treatments differ from individual to individual even for the same disease. This uniqueness is identified by one’s individual constitution that is made up of three bio-energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta doshas.

Perfect balance between all the three doshas with the predominance of any one of the dosha determines a human’s health, attributes along with his physical and mental set up. Imbalance of doshas end up in illness and Ayurvedic treatments often prescribe remedies that can stabilize dosha disparities. Mentha and its essential oil are said to pacify pitta and kapha doshas and aggravate vata dosha with its easy, clear, dry and light properties.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Mentha piperita essential oil are:

Mentha-pepperita-broucher1. Soothes the digestive system:

Mentha arvensis is a natural carminative that speeds up sluggish digestion, treats indigestion, motion sickness, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, food poisoning, nausea, intestinal peristalsis and gas.  The active ingredients present in Menthol essential oil pacifies the inner lining of the stomach and intestines and its cooling property aids in treating ulcers as well.

The stomachic and digestion promoting properties of mint has made it a vital ingredient in many lamb and other meat dishes in the Middle East, America, Great Britain, Asia and Africa. Ancient people also used mint for preventing coagulation of milk.

All you need to do to treat your digestive chaos is to add 3 to 4 drops of Mentha piperita oil in warm bathing water and let that warmth and refreshing energy of the medicated bathing water treat your digestive difficulties. You can also gently massage your abdomen and tummy with 2 drops of this oil blended with sesame oil for assisting your digestive problems.

The simplest way to treat nausea (especially while traveling), morning sickness and loss of appetite is to add 1 drop of Mentha oil to your hanky or tissue and inhale its invigorating aroma that can put an end to your giddiness and nostalgic feeling just like that.

A 2010 study on ‘Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials’ state “The essential oil of mint may be exploited as a natural source of bioactive phytochemicals bearing antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials that could be supplemented for both nutritional purposes and preservation of foods.”

2. Emancipates all forms of stagnation:

Mentha piperita essential oil is known to clear all forms of stagnation in the body causing sickness and affecting the body’s normal functioning. It alleviates excess kapha energy that is responsible for stagnation of excess fluids in the body leading to obesity, rheumatism, respiratory problems etc.,

(i)Treats respiratory problems:

Inhaling the healing aroma of Mentha oil by adding 2 drops to steam inhalation assists in treating respiratory problems like cold, asthma, bronchitis, sinus congestion, blocked nasal passages and congestion of lungs and bronchi.

Adding 2 drops of this oil to your cold rub and gently rubbing it on your chest, throat, back and forehead can aid in relieving headache, sore throat, chest congestion and runny nose. This speedy action is due to the presence of menthol, which is a primary ingredient in all the popular vaporub and balms in the market.

(ii) Alleviates fever and neuralgia:

The febrifuge and diaphoretic properties of Mentha essential oil helps in reducing fever by releasing the heat of the body through sweat. The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of this oil assist in curbing the growth of harmful microbes causing fever and other respiratory infections.

2 drops of Mentha oil can be added with coconut oil and applied on the soles of your feet to reduce your body temperature and treat neuralgia as the vital points of all the parts of your body are connected to the soles.

(iii) Regularizes menstruation:

The power to emancipate all types of stagnations in the body makes Mentha essential oil as a promising remedy for treating menstrual pain and blocked menstruation. Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 to 3 drops of Mentha oil along with sesame oil helps in regularizing your menstrual cycle, treat dysmennorhea, nausea and other painful symptoms of menstruation by balancing the level of estrogen.

3. Nurtures the skin:

Undoubtedly, Mentha essential oil is a natural antiseptic that aids in healing wounds and treating numerous skin problems. It acts as a protective shield on the skin and guards against the infections of micro organisms like bacteria, fungi and other microbes.

A 2008 study on ‘Enhancement of the Antibiotic activity against a Multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha Arvensis L. and Chlorpromazine’ has proved that the extracts of Mentha Arvensis can be used as natural weapon for bacterial resistance.

This oil has excellent skin cleansing properties. Adding 2 drops of Mentha oil to your skin care cream or lotion supports in treating pimples, blackheads, blemishes and dark circles. This oil also has anti-pruritic effect that can be effective in treating itching, rashes and insect bites.

4. Relieves pain and inflammation:

The rich menthol content in Mentha piperita oil helps in relaxing the muscles, treat muscular spasms, reduce pain, alleviate inflammation and promote blood circulation. Massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Mentha oil blended with coconut oil can aid in relieving pain, rheumatism, arthritis, numbness, soreness and irritation.

5. Grants absolute tranquility:

No one can deny the fact that mint has an enlivening aroma that can drive us straight to a whole new world of freshness and fragrance. Inhaling the aroma of Mentha oil by adding 2 drops to your aromatic lamp or diffuser or air freshener can trim down your fatigue, stress, depression, nervous tension and anxiety after a long tiring day.

The aromatic molecules of this tranquilizing oil travel through your nasal passages and reach the limbic system of the brain, which is the body’s control hub of feelings and emotions. By this way Mentha oil motivates, pacifies, rejuvenates and replenishes your senses and augments your mental power by boosting your confidence.

Other health benefits:

Mentha piperita essential oil is also used in lotions, toothpastes, gargles, cough drops, analgesic balms, perfumery, pharmaceuticals, mouth fresheners, shampoos, tobacco products and as a flavoring agent in numerous other products. You can also use this oil as a natural oral cleanser by adding 1 drop of Mentha oil to a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle in the morning and at night. This assists in killing germs, restricting bacterial growth, refreshing your breath, strengthening your gums and whitening your teeth.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not meant to treat or diagnose any health condition or to substitute any prescribed medications or expert professional advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this information is shared with the idea of spreading the significance of Ayurveda, the oldest holistic healing system on earth.

Never use essential oils internally. Ensure that you dilute them in appropriate carrier oils before using it for external purposes as pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and undiluted use on the skin might cause allergic reactions. It is highly recommended to speak with your Ayurvedic expert/ healthcare professional prior to choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health.

Thought for the day:

Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.  -Thomas B. Macaulay

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mint: The Genus Mentha (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Cultivation of Mentha arvensis and production of menthol in India by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (India)
  3. ISO 9776:1999, Oil of Mentha arvensis, partially dementholized (Mentha arvensis L. var. piperascens Malinv. and var. glabrata Holmes) by ISO TC 54
  4. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Mentha Arvensis Piperascens by Boston University School of Medicine
  2. Enhancement of the Antibiotic activity against a Multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha Arvensis L. and Chlorpromazine University of the Region of Cariri, Crato and Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil
  3. Protective effects of bioactive phytochemicals from Mentha piperita with multiple health potentials published in PubMed