Palmarosa Essential Oil



Palmarosa--bannerPalmarosa oil is an absolute skin supporter for its immense medicinal benefits to the skin. With a much similar aroma like rose, this oil is used for moisturizing the skin and pacifying the mind. Scientifically known as Cymbopogon martini, Palmarosa is indigenous to the Indian sub-tropical regions and is a member of the grass family Graminaceae.

The essential oil of Palmarosa is extracted by steam distillation method from the dried grassy leaves that are harvested before flowering. In her book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’, Light Miller says “Palmarosa is widely used in Ayurvedic skin care. It is good for all skin types because it is a cellular stimulator and supports all cell regulation. It’s highly antiseptic, calming, uplifting and anti-depressive.”

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Historical uses of Palmarosa oil:

The most popular historical use of Palmarosa oil is that it has been used as a substitute as well as to adulterate rose oil with its rosy aroma. This oil was also used in making incense blends in India and was traded from India to Persia after which the western use of this oil began slowly.

It was also prescribed by the Indian doctors to lower fever and fight against infections. The ancient Indians also used Palmarosa oil for treating nerve pain, fever, rheumatism and certain other infectious diseases.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Palmarosa oil constitutes of 14 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality. Of which, Geraniol contributes to the highest proportion of Palmarosa oil constituents with about 79.4% of its total composition.

Just click on:

I believe that this must certainly help you in getting to know the exclusive information about these prime chemical constituents of Palmarosa oil.

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

palmarosa-oil

Therapeutic properties of Palmarosa essential oil:

Palmarosa essential oil has regenerative, antiseptic, antibacterial, cytophylactic, febrifuge, aphrodisiac, stimulant, moisturizing, antiviral, hydrating and digestive properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Palmarosa essential oil:

The richness of Ayurveda lies in its holistic approach towards health and harmony. Ayurvedic texts state that illness is just an indication symbolizing that there is imbalance between the mind, body and spirit with nature. It illustrates that human body is made up of three energy components namely vata, pitta and kapha together known as doshas in Ayurveda.

Vata is a combination of air and space and promotes biological functions responsible for external and internal movements of the body. Pitta represents fire and water and is responsible for metabolic functions and certain psychological attributes.

Kapha is a blend of water and earth and governs the functions of tissues, retains the balance of water, fat and other fluids in the body. Imbalance of any one of these doshas or all the three doshas results in illness. Palmarosa essential oil is known to reduce the excess of vata, pitta and kapha flow.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Palmarosa oil are:

Palmarosa-Oil1. Fights against harmful organisms:

As an effective bactericide and antiviral oil, Palmarosa essential oil helps in killing harmful bacteria, viruses and other microbes. When applied topically after adding few drops of Palmarosa oil to ointments, skin care creams or lotions, this oil inhibits the growth of dangerous viruses that protect themselves by developing a hard cyst around them. Viral infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and prolonged itching can be treated effectively by applying this blend externally.

A 2009 study on ‘Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Palmarosa, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Tuberose’, proved that among these four tested essential oils, the essential oil extracted from Palmarosa reflected the highest activity against both gram negative bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and gram positive bacteria like Escherichia coli.

Staphylococcus aureus causes numerous infections like urinary tract infections, skin lesions, pneumonia and meningitis. Escherichia coli are generally present in human intestines and cause food poisoning. You can add 2 drops of Palmarosa oil in warm bathing water or blend it with jojoba oil and use it as a massage oil for inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

2. Heals wounds and skin rashes:

The antiseptic properties of Palmarosa oil makes it an aromatic remedy for healing your wounds, cuts, burns, rashes and other skin infections. Using it as an liniment after adding 2 to 3 drops of Palmarosa oil to your skin care cream or lotion, aids in mending your wounds as well as protect them from being septic.

This is mainly because Palmarosa oil has antibacterial properties that ward off gram negative bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that is wholly responsible for a wound to become septic. You can also use 2 to 3 drops of this oil in your bath for alleviating pain, spasms, convulsions and other skin infections.

3. Moisturizes and regenerates the skin:

Palmarosa oil is known as one of the best oils for treating problems with dry, dull and oily skin. It acts as a natural tonic to your skin and helps retain its moisture without allowing it to dry and turn lifeless.

Gently massaging your skin with 2 drops of Palmarosa oil and coconut oil will help in regulating the secretion of sebum, hydrating the skin, keeping it soft and supple and fighting against wrinkles and other symptoms of aging.

With its cytophylactic properties, Palmarosa essential oil assists in generating the growth of new skin cells and restores skin health by repairing the damaged skin cells due to environmental conditions, ageing and lack of moisture.

It enhances the defensive mechanism of the cells in the body and strengthens the immune system. The anti-inflammatory and cooling mechanism of this oil aids in treating eczema, psoriasis, boils, dermatitis, inflamed skin and wrinkles.

2 drops of Palmarosa essential oil can drive in the magical remedy for your skin. You can use it as a massage oil by blending it with jojoba oil or add it to your bath tub or to your skin care cream and lotions for visible results.

Palmarosa oil is also said to cure candida, shingles, rashes, acne and blemishes. It is also known for treating acne scars and for reducing the appearance of broken capillaries.

4. Calms the mind:

Palmarosa essential oil has a gentle, misty and lemony-rose fragrance that is comforting and calming to the mind and body. Adding 2 to 3 drops to your diffuser, air freshener, burner, vaporizer, linen or to your pillows grant a feeling of contentment, sense of security, adaptability to the existing situation, rekindles the aura, clarifies thoughts and augments the trust in the sacred stream of life.

Palmarosa oil also aids in treating nervousness, anger, anxiety, fear, possessiveness, jealousy, insomnia and resentment.

Other health benefits:

Palmarosa essential oil has been in use since the primordial times for cooling down fever with its triple healing power of being an antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic oil.  It is also effective in treating digestive disorders, intestinal problems, stiff and sore muscles, bruising, heart palpitations and for strengthening the heart yin.

Disclaimer:

Always use essential oils for topical application and for aromatherapy uses only. Never ingest essential oils without the proper guidance of your healthcare provider. Keep away from children and do not use essential oils if you are pregnant. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using specific essential oils for your unique health condition.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Palmarosa oil.

Thought for the day:

Beauty is only skin deep. I think what’s really important is finding a balance of mind, body and spirit.    Jennifer Lopez

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care: Choosing Botanicals, Oils & Extracts for Simple & Healthy Beauty by Hélène Berton
  2. The Book of Beauty: Making Natural Skin Care Products with Aromatherapy and Ayurveda by Samyukta Blanchet
  3. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann Worwood

Reference Links:

  1. Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Palmarosa, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Tuberose published in PubMed
  2. Palmarosa Oil by The Ananda Apothecary
  3. Health Benefits of Palmarosa Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. Palmarosa Essential Oil by Tracesetc.com

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Babchi Oil



babchi-bannerBabchi is honored as ‘Kustanashini’ in Ayurveda, meaning ‘leprosy destroyer’. As the most trusted Ayurvedic herb for blood purification and skin health, Babchi enjoys the sovereignty as a celebrated natural remedy in Ayurveda, Siddha and Homeopathic medicine for treating leucoderma, genital health, bone disorders, leprosy, psoriasis, lumbago, impotence, intestinal worms, lower backaches, psoriasis and vitiligo.

Babchi is a commercial Hindi name for Psoralea corylifolia and the Sanskrit name is Bakuchi. It is a part of the Fabaceae plant family. The essential oil of Babchi is extracted from its seeds by steam distillation method.

It is used as a cardiac tonic, pigmentor and vasodilator in Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years. The fruits and seeds of this plant have been talked about in Sushruta Samhita, the most renowned Ayurvedic encyclopedia by Acharya Sushruta for treating various health conditions including leucoderma, leprosy, stress, vitiligo and reproductive problems.

Historical uses and importance of Babchi and its essential oil:

With a longer historical use in various traditions across the world, Babchi or Psoralea corylifolia is gaining popularity even in the manufacturing of modern medications for its promising historical use, improved patient tolerance, varied health benefits and comparatively lower side effects.

Held high as the key herb in China and Japan, Psoralea is known as Bu gu zhi in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it simply means “tonify bone resin”. The Japanese and Chinese herbalists recommend the use of this herb for improving bone calcification, augmenting the bone strength and for treating vitiligo, hair loss, osteoporosis, lower back pain, impotence, bed wetting and bone fractures.

Babchi was prescribed in the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for tonifying the kidneys, especially kidney yang and essence. Indigenous to India, the land of rich traditional values, Babchi is a vine-like plant that grows up to 3 feet height. It is also found growing in China and other Asian countries. This medicated plant bears purple or blue colored flowers followed by black color fruits that contain a single seed.

Almost all the parts of this plant have therapeutic values but the essential oil is extracted from the seeds of this plant. The leaves of this plant has been used for treating diarrhea, the bitter fruits are recommended for treating piles, anemia, bronchitis, vomiting and dark complexion, whereas the roots are prescribed for relieving tooth decay and osteoporosis.

Babchi seeds are the powerhouse of its remedial properties and the source of its essential oil. The seeds, its essential oil and other extracts are used in various holistic healing methodologies since the ancient period in the treatment of leprosy, cardiovascular problems, leucoderma, liver inflammation, jaundice, uterine hemorrhage, premature ejaculation, asthma, alopecia areata, menstrual discomforts, skin pigmentation problems and various other health conditions.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Babchi oil:

The major chemical constituents of Babchi oil are psoralen, bakuchiol, limonene, linalool, angelicin, α-elemene, isopsoralen, bavachalcone, bavachin, 6-prenylnaringenin, corylifol, isobavachalcone, corylin, psoralidin, corylifolin, methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, bavachromanol and neobavaisoflavone.

These components contribute to its healing values like antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-tumor, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic, antiviral, anti-hyperglycemic, astringent, cytotoxic, diuretic, cardiac, tonic, anthelmintic, deobstruent and laxative.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Babchi essential oil:

This medicated plant is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for addressing extensive range of illnesses including skin disorders and reproductive problems. With Bakuchi and other Sanskrit names, Babchi oil has a bundle of other regional names to it.

Being the oldest of all medical systems in the world, Ayurveda insists on living a disciplined life for absolute health and longevity. Unlike the modern medicinal practices, Ayurveda defines health as a combination of physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental aspects.

Charaka Samhita states this as, The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” The uniqueness of Ayurveda stays in its holistic system that treats the root cause of an illness instead of the symptoms alone. This helps in curing the disease as well as preventing it in the future as well.

According to Ayurveda, all things on earth are a part of nature and Mother Nature has all the remedies for humanity and other beings on earth. It further states that sickness occur when there is imbalance between an individual and nature. With this strong trust, Ayurvedic healing revolves around Nature and its natural remedies for treating mankind.

Ayurveda is also called as the Mother of all other healing sciences on earth including Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Allopathy, Acupressure, Naturopathy, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and many other systems.

The beauty of Ayurveda is that its healing methodologies are documented well and the first Ayurvedic reference is in Atharvaveda, one among the 4 sacred books of the ancient Indian mythology with 114 verses explaining numerous health conditions and the respective traditional remedies of Ayurveda.

The 3 Ayurvedic encyclopedias including Charaka Samhita by Acharya Charaka – the father of medicine, Sushruta Samhita by Acharya Sushruta – the father of surgery and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita added glory to the world of Ayurveda.

These priceless Ayurvedic texts have shared various thoughts on all the basic principles of Ayurveda, numerous types of illnesses and its comprehensive healing techniques. These books contain Ayurvedic remedies for innumerable diseases including cancer.

Ayurveda never trusts on the principle of “one size fits all”. It strongly says that every individual is a unique part of nature and the remedy for their illnesses should also be unique based upon their unique individual constitution.

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

According to this principle, every human being has a dominance of any one of these doshas, which decides the physique, behavioral patterns, traits, personality and mental structure. Perfect balance between these doshic types signifies health and imbalance between these doshas lead to sickness.

Ayurvedic philosophy recommends natural remedies like herbs, plant essential oils, meditation, simple physical exercises, yoga, Ayurvedic routine, Pranayama, prayers and other Ayurvedic techniques including Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging using Ayurvedic oils, Panchakarma or the detoxification therapy and many other holistic treatments.

Babchi essential oil is prescribed in Ayurvedic healing for enhancing pitta dosha and balancing kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Babchi oil and its use in the healing of various health problems:

babchi-broucher1. Fights skin diseases and supports skin health:

Babchi seeds and its oil are called as Kushtaghni in Ayurveda, which means remedy for treating skin diseases. It is also called as Kustanashini, meaning leprosy demolisher. Since the primordial times, Ayurveda prescribes Babchi herb and its various extracts in the treatment of skin problems including eczema, dermatitis, skin eruptions, boils, leucoderma, scabies, vitiligo and ringworm.

Celebrated as a promising ancient remedy for vitiligo or leucoderma, Babchi oil has been used even in the modern medicine for treating such skin conditions. Vitiligo is an upsetting skin condition, which occurs due to the loss of melanin pigments or the death of melanocytes cells in skin, leading to white patches. Often, this skin condition is said to occur due to problems in the immune system.

The white patches appear smaller in the beginning and have the tendency to enlarge or increase in size. These patches are often seen on the hands, face, wrist, eyes, umbilicus and genitalia. Vitiligo patients also undergo depression due to the ugly look of these patches on their visible skin.

Numerous researches state that the presence of furanocoumarins, containing psoralens in Babchi oil promote pigmentation and support the stimulation of melanin pigments in the skin structure. Scientific studies have also proven that psoralen in Babchi oil shores up residual pigmentation and improves skin health.

A 2008 study on “Antipsoriatic microemulsion gel formulations for topical drug delivery of Babchi oil (Psoralea corylifolia)” published in PubMed states that Babchi oil contains a chief constituent psoralen, which is a “photoactive furocoumarin that binds to DNA when exposed to UV light to form photoproducts with pyrimidine base.” It further states “this action inhibits DNA synthesis and causes decrease in cell proliferation.” It is concluded that Babchi oil is helpful in the treatment of psoriasis by topical usage.

Many Ayurvedic physicians state that Bakuchi is predominantly the only oil that is known for its dual action on both melanoblastic cells and the Rouget’s cells in the human skin, whereas leucoderma occurs due to the improper functioning of the melanoblastic cells. These cells are stimulated by the oil and sebum secretion in the skin and leads to the formation of pigment, which later diffuse into discolored skin surface.

Mix 2 drops of Babchi oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Orange oil and 1 drop of Frankincense oil along with 2.5 ml of Jojoba oil and applying it on the affected parts helps in  treating itching, ringworm, scabies, skin eruptions, edematous skin conditions, vitiligo, inflamed skin nodules, eczema, red papules, discolored dermatosis and much more.

This blend works by promoting blood circulation, purifying the blood, supporting the production of melanin pigments and thus improving the color of hair, skin and nails naturally. It is for these reasons Babchi oil is called in Ayurveda as Tvachya, means beneficial for skin and Keshya, means enhances the luster and health of hair.

2. Strengthens bones and teeth:

Bones and muscles are a representation of the element ‘Earth’ among the five fundamental elements of nature. Babchi essential oil is known to pacify excess of kapha dosha, which is a combination of water and earth elements. This aids in strengthening the bones by improving bone calcification.

Babchi oil is a rich source of calcium and massaging your system with 5 drops of Babchi oil, 2 drops of Black Cumin oil, 2 drops of Birch oil along with 10ml of sesame oil can assist in strengthening your bones, enhance calcium in the system, help recover from dislocation of bones or fractures and boost women’s health in case of osteoporosis.

The essential oil of Babchi also has antibacterial, astringent, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that aid in the treatment of plaque, weak gums, halitosis or bad breath, bleeding gums and other oral conditions.

A cup of warm water with 1 drop of Babchi oil and 1 drop of Clove oil can work like a magic on your teeth, gums and mouth, when used as a gargle in the morning and night. This aids in strengthening your gums and teeth.

3. Excellent aid for respiratory problems:

With its power to balance excess of kapha dosha, which is responsible for accumulation of phlegm and mucus deposits in the lungs and respiratory passages, Bakuchi and its essential oil is quoted as Shleshmahara, Jwarahara and Shwasahara.

Shleshmahara is an Ayurvedic aid that pacifies imbalanced kapha and Shwasahara means an effective remedy for treating asthma, dyspnoea, bronchitis and other severe respiratory disorders. Bakuchi oil is also powerful in reducing chronic fever for which it is called as Jwarahara.

2 drops of Bakuchi oil along with 1 drop of Peppermint oil added to steam inhalation can aid in relieving nasal congestion, bronchitis, cold, whooping cough, headache, sinusitis, asthma and breathing difficulties. Massaging your throat, chest and back with 1 drop of Babchi oil added with your vaporizing ointment can help in improving your health condition in case of respiratory problems.

Adding 2 drops of Babchi oil to warm bathing water can assist in keeping away from infectious micro-organisms that worsen respiratory infections. Gently massaging your foot soles with 2 drops of Babchi oil mixed with 1 drop of Cajeput oil and 1 drop of Basil oil along with 2 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing the temperature even in case of high fever.

4. Supports reproductive health:

Babchi oil has natural aphrodisiac properties that help in supporting reproductive problems both in men and women. Ayurveda and the Traditional Chinese Medicine recommend Babchi and its essential oil as an excellent tonic for the entire system and were trusted to enhance vitality and absolute health in general.

For these special reasons, Babchi oil was prescribed for treating problems of the reproductive system including the genital organs in both the genders. The powder of the Babchi fruits and seeds along with its essential oil were prescribed in Ayurveda for treating incontinence, impotence, premature ejaculation, frigidity and lack of sexual interest.

Massaging your lower back, lower abdomen and genital organs externally with 2 drops of Babchi oil, 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Cinnamon oil blended with 3 ml of Jojoba oil can help in enhancing your mood, relaxing your nerves, uplifting your senses, augmenting your libido and sexual feelings, stimulating the reproductive organs and support in having a great time together with your partner.

You can also add 2 drops of Babchi oil with 1 drop of Rose oil and 1 drop of Sandalwood oil in warm bathing water before going to bed for elevating your mood.

5. Helps in the treatment of cancer:

Numerous research studies support the effectiveness of Babchi oil in treating various types of cancers including lung cancer. Studies report that the presence of chemical components like corylfolinin, psoralen and bavachinin arrest or slower down the quicker growth of lung cancer cells and osteosarcoma.

A 2013 study on “Compounds isolated from Psoralea corylifolia seeds inhibit protein kinase activity and induce apoptotic cell death in mammalian cells published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” states that certain compounds extracted from P. corylifolia exhibited a high potential to treat oxidative stress, apoptosis or programmed cell deaths and other cellular damage in cancer patients with its immune stimulant and chemoprotective effects.

Other health benefits:

Babchi and its essential oil is also helpful in the treatment of inflamed nodules, diabetes, urinary tract disorders, kidney problems, cardiac problems, bleeding disorders, worm infestation, constipation, anemia and inflammation.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the purpose of information and is not intended for diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any medical condition. Do not use this as a substitute for prescribed medicines or any professional medical advice. We are not healthcare experts and this information is shared only with the view of enlightening the long-established prosperity of Ayurveda, the oldest healing sciences in this universe.

Never use essential oils internally and ensure that you use them in a diluted form for dermatological uses only.  This is mainly because organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner or medical expert before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution or prakriti and your health condition.

Do not go out in sun immediately after the use of Babchi oil on skin as direct exposure to the sun might cause allergies and keep away this oil from your eyes and children.

Thought for the day:

Mother Nature made me the way I am, and I should be happy. -Karolina Kurkova

Suggested Reading:

  1. My Victory against Vitiligo: A Successful Story and a Practical Guide to Treatment by Xichao Mo
  2. Aphrodite: Stimulate Sex Life, Libido, Erection and Orgasm Naturally with Aphrodisiacs by Mr. Stig Fröberg
  3. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice, 1e by Sebastian Pole LicOHM AyurHC
  4. Anti-Aging, Memory and Sleep Improving Herbs and Foods by Mr Stig Fröberg
  5. Increase Endurance, Strength, Hormones and Sex with Adaptogenic Herbs and Foods by Mr. Stig Fröberg

Reference Links:

  1. Psoralea corylifolia by Wikipedia
  2. Antipsoriatic microemulsion gel formulations for topical drug delivery of Babchi oil (Psoralea corylifolia) by Ali J, Akhtar N, Sultana Y, Baboota S, Ahuja A, published in PubMed
  3. Psoralea corylifolia Linn.—“Kushtanashini” by P. S. Khushboo, V. M. Jadhav and N. S. Sathe, Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Pharmacy and Y. M. T. Ayurvedic Medical College, India published in PubMed
  4. Compounds isolated from Psoralea corylifolia seeds inhibit protein kinase activity and induce apoptotic cell death in mammalian cells published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Basil Oil



‘The Elixir of life’ and ‘Mother medicine of Nature’ are the most popular historical references of Basil for its enormous healing values to the mind, body and soul.

Basil-oil-bannerIt has marked its presence significantly in various medicinal systems in the world including Ayurveda and Homeopathy for treating diabetes, renal colic, epileptic attacks, painful breasts, congestion, asthmatic attacks, diarrhea, numbness, migraine, nervous exhaustion and insomnia.

Scientifically known as Ocimum canum, Basil is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae. This traditional medicinal herb is widely distributed in India, especially Tamil Nadu and is called as Nai Tulasi in Tamil. Besides numerous therapeutic properties, the most noteworthy remedial effects of Basil and its essential oil are its functions as a cancer chemoprotective agent and anti-diabetic agent for reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Historical uses and importance of Basil oil:

Basil is said to have its origin in India, the land of rich traditional values. The healing, culinary and aromatic attributes of this sweet-smelling plant have been talked about in many classical herbal writings including Charaka Samhita (ancient Ayurvedic text) and the works of renowned herbalists like Dioscorides, Gerard, Culpeper and Parkinson.

Parkinson has quoted that Basil’s scent “fit for a King’s house”, denoting its royal aroma and has also said that Basil can be used “to procure a cheerful and merry heart.” Gerard and Culpeper has mentioned that Basil is an excellent remedy for melancholy and is a natural antidote for insect bites including scorpion stings, mosquito bites and bee stings.

The word ‘Ocimum’ (generic name) is derived from the Greek word ‘okimon’, which means smell. This indicates one among those reasons behind the unforgettable fragrance of the Basil variety. Basil plays a vital role in various religious practices across the world, where it has been considered as a sacred herb in Hinduism and said to have grown at the place of Christ’s crucifixion.

Basil plant has also been associated as a symbol of love, protection, courtship, truthfulness, courtship, death and luck. This plant has been a significant part of various religious ceremonies, where the smoke from burning this herb is said to calm the mind and augment the spiritual power.

Ocimum canum has been used in the traditional medicine for treating oral problems, fever, insect bites, constipation, parasitic infestations, cold, inflammation, headache, joint pain and dysentery. This plant was burnt in the homes as incense and for protecting from insects. Basil leaves were also used to guard the crops post harvesting from the damages of insects.

This herb is much remembered in various traditions across the world in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Basil and its essential oil are also used as a flavoring agent in soft drinks, shampoos, cuisines, body lotions, teas, candies, dairy products, toothpastes and cosmetics.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

The essential oil of Basil has about 36 chemical components and is a rich source of camphor, eugenol, β-caryophyllene, a-pinene, limonene, myrcene, camphene, naphthalene, caryophyllene and valencene.

These components contribute to its therapeutic properties like antiemetic, anti-stress, antiviral, antibacterial, rubefacient, antidiabetic, antiasthmatic, antimicrobial, anticancer, insecticide, anti-fertility, anti-fungal, anti-malarial, antioxidant, expectorant, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil:

Ayurveda is a complete medicinal practice which stands on the three pillars of health, including physical, mental and a hearty soul. For attaining this holistic healing, Ayurveda focuses on treating the root cause of an illness instead of treating the symptoms. This aids in curing the sickness initially and preventing it in the future as well.

The principle of Ayurveda strongly believes that every individual is a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which consists of three dynamic energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a representation of the five fundamentals elements of nature. They are water, fire, earth, space and air.

Vata dosha is an arrangement of air and space and is in charge for circulatory, respiratory, and nervous functions of the system. Pitta energy is a combination of fire and water and it takes care of body temperature and metabolic activities including digestion, absorption and elimination. Kapha is a representation of earth and water and is responsible for reproductive functions, movement of fluids and muscular development of the body.

Ayurvedic texts state that every person should be treated in a unique manner according to the predominance and balance between the 3 doshas. This doshic structure determines a human’s physique, character and behavioral attributes.

Imbalance between these doshas is said to happen based on an individual’s balance with nature, which is said to deviate depending on a person’s change in food habits, lifestyle changes, environmental factors and climatic conditions.

Doshic imbalances lead to illnesses and is best treated in Ayurvedic medicine by recommending natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, prayers, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing, simple physical exercises, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging), Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) techniques.

These remedies help in correcting the imbalance between these doshas and aid in healing the illness initially and preventing it in the future as well. Basil oil is said to reduce kapha dosha predominantly, pacify vata and enhance pitta dosha with its warming effect on the system.

Let’s look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil based on its usage:

Basil-oil-broucher1. Benefits as a bathing or massaging oil:

Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging is an ancient healing technique and is one among the friendliest remedy for treating various medical conditions.  Massaging in Ayurveda means the use of palms, elbows, feet and other conventional massaging tools and equipments for maneuvering nerves, muscles and the whole body.

Ayurveda prescribes the use of Ayurvedic essential oils in massaging technique after analyzing the individual constitution and the state of health. By this way, the medicinal properties of the essential oils pass on to the blood stream and then to the skin, where it transforms the respective health benefits to the related parts of the system.

The largest organ of the human body is skin. Using Ayurvedic essential oils in topical application, aids in passing on the healing values to the system by penetrating through the skin cells. This traditional massaging technique helps in enhancing the blood circulation and augments the red blood cells count.

Massaging your system with 10 drops of Basil oil blended with 5 drops of Clove oil, 5 drops of Lavender oil and 5 drops of Lime oil along with 15 ml of coconut oil can assist in treating respiratory infections, skin problems, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, headache, arthritis, rheumatism, dandruff, kidney stones, urinary infections and digestive disorders like indigestion, heartburn, vomiting and other stomach disorders.

a) Relieves pain and eliminates toxic substances:

Basil essential oil has detoxifying, diuretic, antioxidant and analgesic properties that help in discarding toxic remains from the system by promoting frequent urination. This also aids in reducing the level of uric acid and salt deposits, which may otherwise lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Improper blood circulation, stagnation of water deposits and amassing of toxic remains or ama (left due to indigestion) are the major causes for rheumatic conditions, arthritis and pain leading to stiff joints, inflammation, painful muscles, soreness, redness, irritation, fatigue and difficulties in performing routine tasks.

Gently massaging the painful and affected parts with this Ayurvedic massaging blend can be of great assistance in reducing inflammation, redness, irritation, pain and it also supports in promoting blood circulation in the painful areas. The therapeutic values of Basil oil along with other Ayurvedic oils in this massage blend promotes the frequency and quality of urination through which the toxic remains in the system are eliminated.

Homeopathy medication prescribes the use of Ocimum canum in the treatment of diseases associated with the kidneys, urethra and bladder. The most common health disorders treated with Basil in Homeopathic medicine are cramps and pain in kidneys and ureters, urinary problems like formation of high acidity or spike crystals of uric acid, renal colic, swelling and other symptoms of renal calculus.

b) Skin disorders and hair problems:

The essential oil of Basil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties that help in healing numerous skin disorders including acne and dermatitis. 3 drops of Basil oil blended with 3 drops of Lavender oil and 3 ml of coconut oil can be applied on acne, marks, ringworm, eczema, athletes’ foot, leucoderma, itches and insect bites for improved results.

Basil oil also helps in clearing away skin blemishes and marks left behind by acne and wounds. Fresh juice extracted from Basil leaves mixed with honey is a traditional remedy for treating acne in Ayurveda. With its antifungal properties, Basil oil is said to be an excellent remedy for clearing dandruff, hair fall, dry and itchy scalp conditions.

A 2012 study on Antifungal activity of Ocimum canum Essential oil against Toxinogenic Fungi isolated from Peanut Seeds in post-harvest in Benin, published in the International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, concluded that the essential oil of Basil is used as an antifungal agent in protecting peanuts post harvest in Benin against the toxic strains of fungi like Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus.

This study justifies the use of the Basil leaves in the traditional medicine for treating numerous ailments and also reports “the essential oil of fresh leaves of O. canum as aflatoxin inhibitor and fungal growth suppressor. Based on these potentials, essential oil of Ocimum canum may be recommended as preservative of stored food commodities from fungal and aflatoxin contamination in storage system.”

Slightly heat 5 drops of Basil oil with 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 3 drops of Lemon oil along with 10 ml of sesame oil and massage it soothingly on your scalp. Leave this blend to rest on your scalp for 30 minutes. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo blended with 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil for treating dandruff, rough hair and split ends. This also aids in controlling hair fall and supports shiny, lustrous and thick hair.

c) Controls diabetes and reduces the level of cholesterol in the system:

Just like Clove oil, Basil oil is also a rich source of eugenol, caryophyllene and methyl eugenol. The high level of antioxidants along with these chemical constituents helps in supporting the proper functions of the pancreatic beta cells. These cells are responsible for storing and releasing of insulin in the system.

Massaging your system with this medicated blend will be a great aid in increasing the sensitivity to insulin and can help in controlling the level of blood sugar and insulin. This also helps in treating oxidative cellular stress and damage, thereby reducing the increased level of cholesterol and high blood pressure. You can also add 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Clove oil in your bathing water daily for obtaining these benefits.

A 2002 study on “Extract of Ocimum canum lowers blood glucose and facilitates insulin release by isolated pancreatic beta-islet cells” by Nyarko AK, Asare-Anane H, Ofosuhene M, Addy ME, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon studied the use of the aqueous extract of Ocimum canum in the traditional Ghanaian medicine for treating diabetes mellitus.

This study concluded that the use of Ocimum canum extracts on animal models “inhibited insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta-islet cells and fasting blood glucose levels and body weight decreased significantly.”

d) Reduces fever:

Basil oil is a known Ayurvedic remedy for treating fever, including viral and malarial fever. With its febrifuge, antibacterial, antifungal, insecticide and antimicrobial properties, Basil and its essential oil assists in reducing the body temperature even in cases of high fever.

Massaging your foot soles with 2 drops of Basil oil along with 2 drops of Coriander oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing fever significantly as all the nerves in body end up in foot soles and passing the therapeutic properties of these essential oils through the foot soles grants instant relief.

2. In steam inhalation:

Basil essential oil has been proven for its remedial effects in reducing excess of kapha dosha, which is responsible for respiratory infections including flu, common cold, nasal congestion, sinusitis, bronchitis, chest congestion, whooping cough and breathing difficulties.

Adding 2 drops of Basil oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil in steam inhalation can help in relieving cold, cough, nasal congestion, sinusitis, sore throat, watery eyes and difficulties in breathing due to excess of mucus and phlegm deposits in the nasal and bronchial passages.

3. In burners or vaporizers:

Aroma plays a significant role in the natural healing methodologies and is one among the five types of remedial measures in Ayurveda. The sense of smell in Ayurveda states that an encouraging, energizing and tranquilizing fragrance has a positive effect on the entire system. This is the major reason for the use of incense sticks, flowers and aromatic candles during prayers and other spiritual gatherings.

Basil essential oil owns a warm, sweet, herbaceous and invigorating aroma that implants an encouraging effect on the plasma, nervous system and the circulatory system. When inhaled the therapeutic properties of this oil reach the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages. Limbic system is the control center of the human brain that controls the feelings, emotions and attributes of a person.

2 drops of Basil oil with 1 drop of Neroli oil and 1 drop of Clary Sage oil added to the burner, diffuser, aromatic candle or vaporizer during meditation or Pranayama can assist in treating anxiety, mood fluctuations, stress, fatigue, nervous weaknesses and stressful conditions. This also assists in enhancing memory power, concentration, sexual interest, self-confidence and spiritual oneness.

Being a sacred oil, Basil is known for its power in uplifting the spirit and supporting improved spiritual bonding. This also helps in expanding the heart chakra, which is responsible for self-confidence, self-love, self-respect and love for others. Inhaling the curative aroma of this oil is said to generate a soothing effect on the intestines and stomach and alleviates spasms and cramps.

4. In oral rinse and compresses:

Basil essential oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that work as a protective shield against germs causing tooth decay, bad odor and gum problems.1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Clove oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as an oral rinse for relieving plaque, tooth pain, bad breath and protecting from damaging germs and other micro-organisms. This gargle can also aid in strengthening the gums and lessening toothache due to sensitivity.

2 drops of Basil oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Bergamot oil in warm or cold compress aids in relieving joint pain, headache, muscular spasms, arthritis, stomach ache, rheumatic pain and migraine.

5. Other uses:

Basil and its essential oil is also effective in the treatment of intestinal worms, indigestion, cancer (attributed to its antioxidant and cytotoxic activities), eye irritation, epileptic attacks, renal colic, vomiting, painful kidneys, epileptic convulsions, painful urination and weak immune system.

Disclaimer:

This article is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not in any way recommended for substituting prescription drugs or expert medical guidance. We are not professionals in healthcare and this information is shared purely based on the interest of spreading the fragrance of Ayurvedic healing, the world’s oldest medical system on earth.

Never use essential oils internally and make sure that you dilute essential oils before using it for external application. This is because 100 percent organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly.

Talk with your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare expert before selecting the most suitable essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and state of health. Please avoid using Basil oil if you have sensitive skin or during pregnancy.

Thought for the day:

By bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility.  -Richard Louv

Suggested Reading:

  1. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, Steven Maimes
  2. The Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner
  3. Basil Recipes: Cooking with the King of Herbs (Quick and Easy Series) by Dogwood Apps
  4. Essential Oils for Weight Loss: If You Are Not Using These Essential Oils You Are Missing Out On Weight Loss Success (Essential Oils for Beginners – … Need to Accomplish Your Weight Loss Goals) by Sophie Hart
  5. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha

Reference Links:

  1. Basil: An Herb Society of America Guide by the Herb Society
  2. Extract of Ocimum canum lowers blood glucose and facilitates insulin release by isolated pancreatic beta-islet cells by Nyarko AK, Asare-Anane H, Ofosuhene M, Addy ME, published in PubMed
  3. Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of essential oil of Ocimum canum Sims. from India by Tamil Selvi, Thirugnanasampandan, Sundarammal published in the Journal of Saudi Chemical Society
  4. Antifungal activity of Ocimum canum Essential oil against Toxinogenic Fungi isolated from Peanut Seeds in post-harvest in Benin by Adjou Euloge S., Kouton Sandrine, Dahouenon-Ahous, Si Edwige, Sohounhloue Dominique C.K., Soumanou Mohamed M published in the International Research Journal of Biological Sciences