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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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

Cade Oil

Cade-oil-bannerWell known in ancient India as one of the best natural remedies for dandruff, damaged hair due to bleaching, dyeing etc, and hair fall, Cade oil is a significant Ayurvedic oil for treating skin and hair problems. It is also called by other names like Juniper tar, Prickly cedar, Sharp cedar, Cade Juniper and Prickly Juniper and is scientifically known as Juniperus oxycedrus. This small tree is a member of the Cypress family, Cupressaceae.

Cade essential oil is extracted from the branches and heartwood of the tree by steam distillation method. Ayurveda recommends Cade and its essential oil in the treatment of various skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, scabies and skin eruptions along with burning hair problems like hair fall, dandruff and other hair damages.

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Historical uses and importance of Cade and its essential oil:

Ancient people of various traditions in the prehistoric times believed that Cade helped them in keeping away from sickness, depressing emotions, negative thoughts and from evil spirits as well. Cade was also used in pagan rituals in Sumeria and Babylonia as a sacrifice to the Gods, while Inanna and Ishtar considered this herb to be holy. The Europeans however considered Cade as a medicinal plant and used it to protect life stock.

The word ‘oxycedrus’ means “sharp cedar” and this particular species is considered to be the Cedrus or the original Cedar of the ancient Greeks. Cade is said to have been originated in the Mediterranean region across Portugal and Morocco, south to Lebanon and Israel, east to westernmost Iran and France and grows up to a height of 1600 m altitude above the sea level on rocky areas.

The Native Americans used it to treat ailments in animals. Many experts refer to the Juniper tree as a source of protection with perfect loveliness and succor, which are the terms derived from the plant language. Towards the 19th century, the French adopted Cade as well and began the use of the same in the treatment of lice, leprosy, skin infections, snake bites and toothaches.

As of today, modern aromatherapy use Cade oil to treat various kinds of skin infections like dandruff, scalp infections accompanied by hair loss, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin irritations/eruptions. Due to its skin and hair benefiting properties that help in treating scalp and skin problems, Cade is used in the manufacturing of soaps, lotions, creams and perfumes, and of course these products do have a wonderful aroma as well.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cade oil:

Cade oil is said to contain cadinene, creosol, cadinol, p-creosol, terpenes and guaiacol. The major healing properties of this oil are antiseptic, analgesic, antimicrobial, antipruritic, disinfectant, anti-parasitic, vermifuge and vulnerary.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cade essential oil:

The word Ayurveda (Ayur + Veda) means ‘the knowledge of life’ (Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge). Celebrated across the globe as the world’s oldest healing methodology, Ayurveda is lovingly beckoned as the mother of all healing sciences and the most popular medicinal practices that followed Ayurveda are Homeopathy, Siddha, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Allopathy, European Traditional medicine, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Unani.

The most inspiring reason behind the progressive lead of Ayurvedic medicine is its holistic healing approach that states that health is a combination of the physical, mental and spiritual well-being. This noble fact has been highlighted in Charaka Samhita, one among the oldest Ayurvedic encyclopedia as ““The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

Ayurvedic medicine rooted the principles of natural healing by treating the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms and aims at prevention of diseases by helping to lead a disciplined lifestyle and by maintaining perfect balance with nature. According to Ayurveda, everything on earth is a part of nature and nature by itself is made up of five vital elements namely water, earth, space, air and fire.

Earth represents bones and muscles, water stands for blood and other fluids in the body, fire is responsible for metabolic functions and body temperature, air aids in breathing and space is the spirit that keeps us alive.

Every human being on earth is a unique creation built up with a unique individual constitution just like our fingerprints. This constitution comprises of three dynamic energies called as doshas, which are an arrangement of the five vital elements of nature.

Vata dosha stands for air and space and takes care of respiration, circulation and nervous functions of the body. Pitta dosha symbolizes fire and water and is in charge of metabolic functions and body temperature.

Kapha represents water and earth and is responsible for physical structure, sustenance and reproductive health. Every individual has a predominance of any one dosha, which decides their personality, traits and behavioral attributes.

Perfect balance between these doshas as per nature’s law signifies health and doshic imbalances cause illnesses.Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, prayer, Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma, Pranayama and other Ayurvedic techniques for fostering natural balance between these doshas.

Cade oil finds its use in Ayurveda for treating vata imbalances including skin disorders and hair problems and kapha problems like bronchitis and congestion. It serves good for the treatment of itching, pneumonia, diarrhea, diabetes, peptic ulcer, high blood pressure, bronchitis, and many more.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Cade oil are:

cade-oil-broucher1. Excellent benefits to the skin and hair:

Cade oil has numerous benefits to the skin and hair for which it has been used since the ancient period for treating health problems including dermatological cancers, eczema, psoriasis, skin eruptions, parasitic and fungal infections on the skin, chronic rhinitis and other skin infections.

Cade oil is also a proven remedy for treating alopecia or excessive hair loss, dandruff and other scalp problems. It is for these reasons, Cade oil is used as an effective formula in making ointments for treating wounds, psoriasis, eczema, and the treatment of fungal, viral and bacterial conditions of the scalp.

Numerous studies have proved the potential effects of Cade oil and its use in medicinal manufacturing of skin creams, ointments, and anti- dandruff shampoos as well. Cade essential oil is used as an ingredient in liniments and ointments for chronic skin diseases and problems of the scalp.

Mixing 4 drops of Cade oil blended with 4 drops of Rosemary oil, 4 drops of Thyme oil, 4 drops of Cedarwood oil with 20 ml coconut oil can be used as an effective massage blend for the body for treating all kinds of skin problems, allergies, microbial infections and hair problems as well. This massaging helps in fighting against dead skin cells, promoting quicker healing of wounds, and its disinfectant properties fights against microbes that worsen skin infections.

2 drops of Cade oil added to bathing water or to 10 ml of mild shampoo can act as a potent remedy for treating psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, seborrhea, wounds, herpes, dandruff, lice, loss of hair and other scalp problems as it works by nourishing the skin and scalp, promoting the growth of hair by enriching the hair follicles and support the growth of healthy hair by combating the growth of infectious microbes.

Cade oil hair mask for dandruff: To start with, try it out only for few applications and check the results. Make the mixture using the following ingredients, 1tsp castor oil, ½ tsp soya oil, 10 drops of Cade oil and 2 drops of wheat germ oil. Now mix all the ingredients and store in a dark bottle. Massage this oil deeply into the scalp as required.

Leave it at least for 2 hours and wash it off using a mild shampoo. Try it twice a week and do check with your medical expert on your diet, as hair loss and other scalp disorders can also be related to other dietary and other lifestyle changes.

2. Fights against microbial infections:

The essential oil of Cade is a well-known anti-microbial oil and the antimicrobial activity of Juniperus oxycedrus oil was studied through aqueous and methanol extracts of its leaves in the Pelitli Village of Gebze, Kocaeli, in the Marmara region of Turkey, where Cade was extensively used by the people of the same terrain for the treatment of numerous diseases. The effects of the extracts from the tree were employed in its research in the field of medicine.

Cade essential oil is dark, aromatic and smells like smoke. This oil is also used as mixtures in cosmetics and creams employed in medicinal applications for skin problems. A 2003 study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L,’ was conducted on the laboratory strains belonging to 56 bacterial species, and 31 isolates of 5 fungi species.

This study proves that the methanol extract of Cade oil proved promising in the inhibitory effects on the growth of 57 strains of 24 bacterial species in the genera of PseudomonasStaphylococcus, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Brucella, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Micrococcus and Xanthomonas.

Another Egyptian study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity/Cytotoxic activity of essential oils of leaves and berries of Cade oil’, witnessed that Cade oil showed major activity against most of the tested strains including gram positive bacteria like Enterobacter cloacae and Staphylococcus aureus, and gram negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas syringae etc.,

The best way to use Cade oil for fighting against bacteria, fungi, virus and other microbial infections is to add 3 to 4 drops of Cade oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil in bathing water to fight against existing microbial infections and to guard you against the effects of harmful microbes throughout the day. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to 1 ml of olive oil and apply it gently on the affected area.

3. Combats fungal growths and infections:

With its antifungal effects, Cade oil fights against the growth of fungus and checks various fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, dandruff etc.,. This property is attributed to its presence of chemical constituents tested by GC-MS and its 42 compounds that represent 96.73% of total oil, α-pinene (39.63%), manoyl oxide (12.34), Z-caryophyllene (4.1%) and extensively high amounts of monoterpenes hydrocarbons and sesquiterpenes. The existence of these strong properties makes the oil prove best in its antifungal activities.

A 2013 study on the ‘Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus’ states “the antifungal testing by in vitro contact assay showed that the oil significantly inhibits the growth of nine plant pathogenic fungi.” Applying 2 drops of Cade oil mixed with 1 ml of sweet almond oil on the infected parts can help in reducing the severity of the infection and prevent the infestation of new microbes as well.

4. Spiritual upliftment:

Cade is an amazing Ayurvedic remedy that has been used in incense and utilized especially during prayers, meditation and Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing. The most inspiring reason is the enormous spiritual benefits of Cade oil.

Adding 2 drops of this oil in your diffuser, room freshener, vaporizer or aromatic candles during prayers and meditation can be of great assistance in helping you forget the pain of being abused, quit addiction, fear of being neglected, alleviate negative emotions and re-align the spiritual and emotional elements of the system. Regular meditation, simple physical exercises, prayers and Pranayama assisted with Cade oil can aid in augmenting your spiritual quotient and elevate your bonding with the divine.

Other health benefits:

Cade essential oil have also been in use since the ancient times in the treatment of pain, joint aches, leprosy, toothaches, snake bites, lice, dandruff, cancer, peptic ulcer, pneumonia, high blood pressure, skin irritation, bronchitis, diarrhea, itching and few other infections.

Disclaimer:

This article is for educational uses only. We are not medical professionals and this information is not directed to diagnose, cure or prevent any medical conditions or to substitute any prescribed drugs or professional medical advice. This info is shared with the motive of spreading the Ayurvedic healing wisdom, which is the world’s oldest medicinal system.

Care should be taken while using essential oils topically, as pure and organic oils are highly concentrated liquids and should always be used in a diluted form. Never use essential oils internally and keep them out of reach of children.

Make certain that you talk with your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oil for your individual constitution and medical condition. This oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breast feeding and do not use it directly on broken or inflamed skin.

Thought for the day:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Junipers of the World: The Genus Juniperus, 4th Edition by Dr. Robert P. Adams
  2. Morphological variation of Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus (Cupressaceae) in the Mediterranean region [An article from: Flora] by M. Klimko, K. Boratynska, J.M. Montserrat, Didukh
  3. Arthritis – The Botanical Solution: Nature’s Answer to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout and Other Forms of Arthritis by Case Adams PhD
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  5. Healthy Hair Care Tips: Natural Hair Care Tips For All Hair Related Problems by Jimmy King

References:

  1. Juniperus oxycedrus by Wikipedia
  2. Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L by Karaman, Sahin, Gulluce and Sengul published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology
  3. Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus L., Ismail Amri, Lamia Hamrouni, Samia Gargouri, Mohsen Hanana, Bassem Jamoussi published in Research Gate
  4. Cade by Daniele Ryman for Aromatherapy Bible

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:

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

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

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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