Oregano Essential Oil



oregano-bannerAcclaimed as ‘The Mediterranean Miracle’, ‘Mountain Joy’ and as the ‘Wonder Herb in Ayurveda’, Oregano has been aiding people all over the world and especially in the Mediterranean regions to maintain healthy living for numerous centuries.

The most popular Ayurvedic book, ‘Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine’ by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad says “Oil of Oregano is one of the most potent antiseptics known to man.

Botanically known as Origanum Vulgare, Oregano is yet another prestigious limb of the mint family, Lamiaceae and has its origin in the Mediterranean region and southwestern Eurasia. Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences used Oregano (known as Sathra) and its essential oil as a heating carminative to treat digestive disorders and was also used for treating toothache, skin problems, pain and inflammation.

Purchase Oregano Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE   

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Historical uses of Oregano essential oil and the herb:

Known as the staple herb of the Italian-American cuisine, Oregano is one among the best culinary herbs in the world used in a variety of Mediterranean cuisines, Mexican food, Italian dishes and is also used in making fried, roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, fish and much more food varieties. It is also a part of many Lebanese, Turkish, Palestinian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Syrian, Latin American and Egyptian cuisines.

Oregano essential oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant. This oil has been in use since the primordial times in various medicinal practices. The Traditional Chinese Medicine used Oregano for treating vomiting, fever and diarrhea. The fresh leaves were used in tea for strengthening the immune system and for dealing with infections.

Biblical texts denote Oregano as a cleansing tonic. The ancient Arabic medicine used this herb for food preservation and for treating gastrointestinal disorders. The natural medicinal system of Philippines used Oregano and its essential oil for treating cough and ear aches in children. It was also used in curing pain and given for women after childbirth for its emmenagogue properties.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and the father of western medicine used Oregano as an effective antiseptic and for treating respiratory and digestive ailments. History denotes that it was the Greeks who discovered the disinfectant and antimicrobial properties of this oil and they used it for treating skin infections, sore throat, wounds, viral infections and for protecting the body from the effect of harmful organisms.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Oregano oil:

Oregano essential oil is enriched with chemical constituents like carvacrol, cymene, thymol, borneol, terpinene, pinene, linalyl acetate, bisabolene, linalool, caryophyllene and geranyl acetate. The remedial properties of this oil are antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, antioxidant, emmenagogue, anti-allergenic, digestive, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil:

Ayurveda means ‘science of life’, the science that preaches the simple methodologies to prevent illness, stay healthy and for healthy aging that makes you independent in your 60s or 70s without relying upon anyone to assist your health conditions.

The philosophy of Ayurveda relates the life of an individual with the life of the Universe. Based upon this innate wisdom, Ayurveda further explains that the Universe is made up of five elements namely fire, water, earth, air and ether and it also states that an individual is also made up of the five elements of nature, which is also known as the building blocks of life.

Among these five elements water governs the movement of fluids in the body like blood, saliva, mucus and plasma. Fire determines the digestive power, intellectual skills and body temperature. Air controls the functioning of the heart, stomach, lungs, joints and intestines.

Ether is present in all parts of the human body where the presence of cavity and emptiness are witnessed like heart, nostrils, blood vessels, bladder etc. Earth represents vigor, braveness, constancy and steadiness.

The individual constitution comprises of three energy elements known as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Vata represents air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha stands for water and earth. Imbalance of doshas leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends the use of herbs, essential oils, healthy lifestyle, meditation and yoga to bring the body and mind back to balance. Oregano oil is known to enhance pitta deficiency and reduce kapha and vata excess.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Oregano essential oil are:

Oregano-broucher1. Protects the body from infections and allergies:

Oregano oil has been proved effective for treating numerous infections and allergic conditions with its antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.

The Georgetown University research on Oregano oil’s effectiveness against drug-resistant bacteria, proves that the presence of carvacrol component in Oregano oil lessen the infections as effectively as the traditional antibiotics.

A study conducted by the Mexican researchers on the effectiveness of Oregano to treat giardia, which is a water-borne bacterium that lives inside the intestines. Another study proves that Oregano oil is effective in killing giardia bacterium than the generally prescribed drug tinidazol. Oregano is a powerful anti-bacterial oil that wards off numerous pathogenic bacteria like E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Strep and protects one from typhoid, sores, cholera, infections in the colon, urinary tract and certain other skin infections.

Parasites like tape worms, round worms, mosquitoes, fleas, lice and bed bugs cause innumerable communicable diseases that affect the human body severely. Oregano essential oil has anti-parasitic properties that aids in killing parasites.

Viral infections like cold, pox, mumps and measles weaken your immune power and paves way for other harmful organisms to affect your health. Oregano essential oil is a powerful immune stimulant that strengthens your immune system, fight against viruses and makes your system resistant to other foreign bodies.

Fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm can be treated aromatically with the antifungal properties of this oil. Being an anti-allergenic oil, Oregano acts as a sedative and pacifies the hyper-sensitive reaction responsible for allergies.

A 2001 research on ‘Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms’ proved that among the 11 essential oils tested for effectiveness against microbes, Oregano essential oil showed the highest inhibitory rate against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. The carvacrol and thymol compounds in this oil are very effective in killing a microbe known as Candida, which is the reason behind eczema and psoriasis.

To guard yourself against such infections and allergies, you can either topically apply 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with olive oil on the affected area or add 2 drops of oil in your bath or skin care cream or lotions.

2. Promotes digestive health:

Oregano essential oil is a heating carminative oil that aids in increasing the pitta flow and promotes quicker digestion. Massaging your tummy with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with sesame oil can assist in treating slow digestion due to excess of mucous deposits in the stomach or fullness.

You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Oregano oil in warm compresses to help with stomach upsets, relieving gas, enabling the movement of food and for regularizing the entire process of digestion.

3. Assists respiratory problems:

As Oregano essential oil has warming effect, it can assist the body when it is cold and treat problems like cold, sinusitis, headache, mucous congestion, whooping cough, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Oregano essential oil is said to be one of the best essential oils for opening blocked sinus passages and treat congestion as a natural decongestant.

Light Miller in her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ says that Oregano essential oil is a warming diaphoretic oil that eliminates surface toxins, provoke perspiration, improve blood circulation and relieve headaches due to congestion or cold.

Add 2 drops of Oregano oil to steaming water and inhaling this medicated steam will aid in alleviating congestion, open blocked nasal passages and relieve pain due to cold and infection. You can also blend 2 drops of Oregano oil with coconut oil and gently massage the soles of your feet or apply on your chest and back or add it to warm bathing water for immediate relief from cold, sore throat and sinus problems.

4. Helps relieve pain and inflammation:

The anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant and warming diaphoretic properties of Oregano oil assist in eliminating toxins from the body, reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation and lessen pain and inflammation in rheumatic and arthritic patients.

Gently massaging the affected area with 2 drops of Oregano oil blended with coconut oil or adding it to your bath helps in reducing pain and inflammation in arthritis. Oregano essential oil has been proved by the Physiotherapy research to contain morphine-like properties that act as a perfect pain relief aid.

5. Fights against prostate cancer:

The University of Arizona research and the study by the Long Island University have proved that Oregano essential oil has antioxidant and anti-cancerous properties that fights against many types of human cancers.

Prostate cancer has been listed as the second important cause of cancerous death in American men. This study found that the presence of the active constituent, carvacrol in Oregano oil helps in the treatment of prostate cancer by stimulating apoptosis (programmed death of cells) in prostate cancer cells.

Other health benefits:

Oregano essential oil also helps in alleviating dysmennorhea, normalizing blocked menstruation and treating menopausal symptoms. This oil is also used for treating intestinal parasites, muscular pain, warts, vaginal candida and asthma.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils directly on the skin and always dilute it in suitable carrier oils as essential oils are highly concentrated solutions. Avoid using essential oils internally. Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Avoid using essential oils if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

Thought for the day:

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.    -Aristotle

Suggested Reading:

  1. Oregano – The Herb that Saved…My Life by Thomas Mayhew
  2. The Cure Is in the Cupboard: How to Use Wild Oregano for Better Health by Cass Ingram
  3. The Oregano Oil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  4. Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Reference Links:

  1. Oregano Oil May Protect Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria by the Georgetown University Researcher published in Science Daily
  2. Oregano by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms published in PubMed
  4. Oregano Active Constituent Kills Prostate Cancer Cells by Herbcyclopedia

Lavender Essential Oil



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

Mustard Essential Oil



‘Sarson ka tel’ or Mustard essential oil is a vital part of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian therapy where it is used for cleansing, stimulating and revitalizing the body. Besides all the controversies across the world, Mustard oil is popular and extensively used in India, Bangladesh and few other Western countries.

Though extracted from the same Mustard seeds, Mustard edible oil is totally different from Mustard essential oil by the method of extraction where the vegetable oil is extracted by cold compressing the seeds and the essential oil of Mustard is extracted by steam distillation of seeds that are soaked in water.

Mustard oil is to Asian countries just like Olive oil is to Mediterranean countries. Besides the myth of being banned in certain countries for internal use, Mustard is a legendary oil used for more than thousands of years in the world’s oldest mythologies like India, Rome and Greece.

Historical importance of Mustard and its oil:

Used as a spice, condiment, herb, cooking oil and medicinal agent, Mustard and its oil are said to have been found since the Stone Age settlements. Among the 40 species of Mustard plants, the most popular and the ones used for extracting essential and edible oils are Brassica nigra (Black mustard), Brassica hirta (White mustard) and Brassica juncea (Brown mustard).

It is still trusted that Mustard was grown in the Indian subcontinent around 3000 B.C.E. Hippocrates used mustard seeds in the preparation of many poultices and medicines. The ancient Romans mixed ground mustard seeds to wine for its unique flavor and remedial values.  It was also used as a natural remedy to treat scorpion stings in the 6th century B.C. by Pythagoras, the renowned Greek scientist.

Mustard was used as a condiment in Greece and Rome for fermenting fish sauce known as garum. The love for mustard made Pope John XXII of Avignon create the post of ‘Grand Moutardier du Pape’ (Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope). Mustard oil has been a part of North Indian cooking for more than 4000 years and this oil has been the secret behind healthy and lustrous hair growth of Indian women.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Mustard essential oil:

The essential oil of Mustard has Allyl isothiocyanate, oleic acid, omega-6 linoleic acid, omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and erucic acid. These constituents contribute to the remedial properties including cordial, tonic, anti-rheumatic, stimulant, appetizer, antifungal, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, hair vitalizer, insect repellant and irritant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Mustard essential oil: Mustard oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing as a promising body massage oil for improving blood circulation, enhancing the texture of the skin, muscular development and to lessen the dryness of skin. Ayurveda meaning the knowledge of life skillfully explains the vibrant relationship between one’s mind, body and spirit and the way it relates to the world around.

The Ayurvedic approach of healing starts with an Ayurvedic consultation where your unique individual constitution, likes and dislikes, food habits and your medical history is thoroughly analyzed.

Your treatment starts with the tridosha concept as the guiding principle where Ayurveda believes that every individual is unique and is born with a unique fundamental constitution knows as prakriti. It is built up with 3 major biological energies known as doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

The dynamic balance between these three doshas determine one’s health and predominance of any one of these doshas is the deciding factor for one’s personality, behavior and attributes.

Ayurvedic remedies are always based on your individual constitution and to balance any one or all the three doshas that are out of rhythm. With its warming properties, Mustard essential oil is said to increase pitta dosha and pacify kapha and vata doshas. It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Mustard essential oil:

1. Benefits to the hair:

Ayurvedic Mustard oil is extremely good for hair. The essential fatty acids like linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and certain other components present in this oil makes it an effective natural remedy for treating hair loss, premature graying, dull and lifeless hair. Using Mustard essential oil on your scalp augments natural pigmentation and vitalizes your hair follicles by acting on the roots.

This way it prevents early graying and helps you in maintaining a natural dark hair even in your late 40s or early 50s. Indeed Ayurvedic Mustard oil is a long time secret of many grandmothers in India who still have healthy black hair.

Slightly heat 3 to 4 drops of Mustard essential oil blended with sesame oil and gently massage it on your scalp. Leave this blend for about an hour and wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo or shikakai for nourishing your scalp health, reducing hair fall, enhancing blood circulation, conditioning your hair, strengthening the roots, augmenting its natural shine and to lessen the more salt than pepper on your head.

2. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Mustard essential oil is generally used as a mucolytic in many parts of the world. Herbs and vegetables like wasabi, horseradish and nasturtium along with essential oils that are used as traditional mucolytics and are proved effective in breaking up mucous deposits and help sinus drainage in chronic sinusitis.

The antimicrobial property of Mustard essential oil assists in combating numerous pathogenic organisms and microbes that worsen sinusitis and certain other respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis.

A 2009 study on ‘Antimicrobial activity of Mustard essential oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi’ by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Korea states “Mustard essential oil affected the cell membrane of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi. It affected cell membrane integrity, resulting in a loss of cell homeostasis”.

On an Ayurvedic perspective respiratory problems like cold, cough, sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma are caused due to imbalance or increased kapha dosha responsible for fluid retention, congestion, phlegm and mucous deposits. Mustard essential oil is known to pacify and reduce kapha energy and it is used as an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for treating such respiratory problems.

Blend 2 drops of Mustard essential oil with little coconut oil and heat it. Massage this herbal blend on your chest, back and throat for loosening mucous deposits, removing phlegm from lungs and respiratory tract and to help trouble-free breathing. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Mustard essential oil in hot bathing water that can work wonders on respiratory ailments and certain other pulmonary problems.

3. Benefits to the skin:

Mustard essential oil is an effective antifungal, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, disinfecting and antimicrobial oil that protects the skin from infections, wounds from getting septic and heals minor skin problems like cuts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, insect bites, small lacerations, abrasions etc. Mustard essential oil has been in use for massaging for many centuries.

When gently massaged onto the skin after mixing 2 drops of Mustard essential oil with jojoba oil, it aids in increasing blood circulation with its warming properties, helps open the pores and supports in eliminating the toxins in the body through sweat. This essential oil has high level of vitamin E that promotes healthy skin, moisten the skin, protect the skin from harmful ultra-violet rays, and effectively treat blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines as well.

4. Benefits to the entire system:

The essential oil extracted from Mustard seeds is beneficial to the entire system with its tonic and stimulating properties that foster trouble-free functioning of the body. The pungent aroma of this oil increases hunger by stimulating the digestive juices and by increasing the appetite.

Massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Mustard oil mixed with sesame oil can help in burning the excess fat, promotes quicker digestion by encouraging the secretion of digestive juices and assists in treating constipation, flatulence and intestinal gas.

Mustard essential oil penetrates deeply into the skin and is a powerful Ayurvedic remedy for treating excess vata based nervous problems and kapha based problems like inflammation and retention of fluids. Mix 2 drops of Mustard oil with coconut oil and gently massage in circular movements on the affected areas to treat rheumatism, lumbago, back pain, headaches and inflammation.  Adding 1 drop of this oil to a cup of warm water can serve as an exceptional gargle for protecting your teeth and gums from germs.

This is an excellent massaging oil especially during winter to keep the body warm, trigger the functioning of the muscles and to treat numbness with its irritant properties. This oil is also said to slow down the process of aging naturally and aids in preventing cancer.

Disclaimer:

Never take essential oils internally. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might cause adverse effects on the skin and system. Always remember to use it after diluting in baths or suitable carrier oils. Ensure that you do a patch test on the skin before using essential oils for massage. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner for choosing the right essential oil that is apposite for your individual constitution and health condition.

Mustard Essential Oil Possible Skin Issues:

mustard-new

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

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Mustard oil is regarded as one of the most unsafe essential oils mainly due to the presence of Allyl isothiocyanate and erucic acid (a toxic monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid). According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubChem), Allyl isothiocyanate compound is poisonous by skin penetration and ingestion. It is also known to emit toxic fumes when exposed to high temperature.

The European Union has prohibited Mustard oil as a cosmetic ingredient and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has forbid the use of this oil in fragrances. Allyl isothiocyanate in Mustard oil is not recommended for therapeutic use, primarily due to its toxicity, irritating nature and rigorous lachrymatory effect (potent to produce tears) that draw a question mark on the safe use of this oil in the healthcare industry.

Generally, essential oils are listed with possible safe levels for therapeutic purposes but there is no viable information on the safe levels for the use of Mustard oil.

The immune system of mammals reacts excessively to allergens thus generating antibodies known as IgE (Immunoglobulin). Allergic reactions are further caused when these antibodies move to cells that discharge chemicals.

The most prominent adverse skin effects of Mustard oil are allergic reactions due to IgE, itchiness, redness, severe skin irritation, followed by blistering and irritation of the mucous membranes as well.

Prolonged use of Mustard oil on skin might interfere the function of the skin, thus augment the loss of water of epidermis and subsequently modifying the epidermal keratinocytes structure.

Few sources also state that inhaling of Mustard oil might end up in irritation of the eyes, nose, mucous membrane, respiratory system along with an obnoxious sensation in the head.

Certain studies state that the topical use of Mustard oil can cause irritant contact dermatitis and other allergic reactions. It is also evidenced that this oil is linked to the development of pityriasis rosea-like skin eruption (cutaneous lesions), which was proved by patch testing.

Tests on Chinese hamster cells proved the genotoxic effects of Allyl isothiocyanate and is also said to cause transitional cell papillomas and hyperplasia, when tested on male rats.

Mustard oil should be strictly avoided by pregnant women as it has the potent to induce uterine contractions and may lead to unusual bleeding and miscarriage and safety measures for using this oil during nursing is also not witnessed.

Mustard oil has the tendency to lower the levels of blood sugar and might interfere with your regular medications for diabetes and low blood sugar may obstruct surgical procedures, thus it is recommended to avoid Mustard oil for about 2 weeks before and after your scheduled surgery.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Mustard Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Pityriasis rosea-like eruptions due to mustard oil application by Zawar V, Nashik, India, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
  3. Dermatoses Due to Indian Cultural Practices by Divya Gupta and Devinder Mohan Thappa, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology and PubMed
  4. Black Mustard Side Effects and Safety by WebMD
  5. Allyl Isothiocyanate by U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubChem)
  6. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed

Thought for the day:

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.  -Walt Whitman

Suggested Reading:

  1. Mustard Seeds: The Tiny Seed That May Save Your Life! (Plant & Seed Legacy Series) by Mary Jo Montanye
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar, Urmila Desai
  4. Traditional Systems of Medicine by M. Z. Abdin

Reference Links:

  1. The History of Mustard – From Prehistory to Modern Times by The Nibble.Com
  2. Mustard Oil by Wikipedia
  3. Antimicrobial activity of Mustard essential oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhi by the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Korea published in Science Direct.com
  4. What are the benefits of Mustard oil for Sinusitis? By Livestrong.Com

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