Eucalyptus Oil



Eucalyptus-oil-bannerAustralian Fever tree is what Eucalyptus is lovingly called as, for its therapeutic values of treating fever and respiratory infections.

As one among the most universally used essential oils, Eucalyptus grants excellent relaxing effect on the mind and relieves excruciating pain in the body as well. With more than 700 varieties of Eucalyptus, the most preferred essential oil of Eucalyptus is extracted from the aromatic leaves of the Eucalyptus globulus tree by steam distillation.

Eucalyptus is known with different names in Sanskrit like Tailapatra, Sugandhapatra and Tailaparna. This tree belongs to the Ayurvedic family lavang kul. It is popularly known in India as ‘Nilgiri taila’ as the most aromatic and healing variety grows in Nilgiris hills in south India.

Ayurvedic preparations make use of Eucalyptus oil for the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchitis, cold, cough, asthma, sinusitis, fever, throat infections and certain other respiratory ailments along with mental fatigue, sluggishness, rheumatism, kidney infections, malaria, neuritis, dandruff, acne, insect bites, herpes simplex and muscular problems.

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Historical uses and importance of Eucalyptus oil:

Indigenous to Australia, Eucalyptus oil is the instant home remedy for everything ranging from headache to muscular pain and this tree is widely spread across India, New Zealand and Australia.

Initially, this oil was used in the native topical ointments in primordial Aboriginal medicines for treating severe wounds, sinus congestion, fungal infections and cough. Now this oil is widely used in all facets including industrial, medicinal and perfumery.

Historical references state that it was Captain James Cook with Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks who found various species of Eucalyptus in Endeavour River, Northern Queensland, and Botany Bay in 1770. Until this time none of the collected Eucalyptus species E. gummifera and E. platyphylla were named and it was named only in 1777 when the Eucalyptus variety found in Bruny Island, Tasmania was taken to the British Museum in London.

The French Botanist L’Heritier named it as Eucalyptus obliqua, where all the species of the Eucalyptus family share a common feature of having oblique leaves, which indicates the leaves that have leaf blades of unequal length and do not meet up the petiole in the same situate.

Eucalyptus is a famous food for the koala bears and an extensive source of food for wildlife in many countries across the globe. Australians used Eucalyptus leaves in preparing tea or infusions for treating fever, sinus congestion, cold and rheumatic pain. This oil was used in the English hospitals for cleaning urinary catheters in the 19th century.

The export of Eucalyptus oil ruled the global market in 1870 and various Surgeons during 1880s used Eucalyptus oil at the time of surgery as an antiseptic. The curative benefits of Eucalyptus oil then quickly spread to other alternative and complementary medicinal practices like Greco-European and the Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Eucalyptus oil constitutes of 11 chemical components that contribute to its distinctive fragrance, remedial properties and quality. Eucalyptus oil is enriched with about 79% of 1,8-Cineole constituent.

The major chemical components are listed and linked below for your reference:

The major constituent that contributes to the healing property of Eucalyptus essential oil is eucalyptol (promising antiseptic), which is another name for cineole. It also contains flavonoids (antioxidants that are plant-based), tannins (aids in reducing inflammation) and other volatile oils.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the principal chemical constituents and its role in granting the therapeutic and other attributes to Eucalyptus oil.

Eucalyptus-oilRemedial properties of Eucalyptus oil:

These components are responsible for the remedial properties of Eucalyptus oil including antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, decongestant, mucolytic, mental stimulant, regenerative, diuretic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, germicidal, deodorant, alterative, anti-diabetic, disinfectant and insect repellent.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Eucalyptus essential oil:

Every human being is born with all physical and mental faculties in palpable order and all that he/she needs to do is to understand the ways of using them perfectly to lead a serene life. This understanding of life is known as ‘Ayurveda’ and the very word means ‘knowledge of life’ (Ayur-life and Veda-knowledge).

This traditional wisdom has its name etched in the history before 5,000 years and is said to be in existence before 1500 B.C. The principles of Ayurveda have been documented in the Atharvaveda, one among the 4 major Vedas (sacred books) of the Hindu Mythology. Nearly 114 poems in this Vedic literature depict the causes, effects and the remedies of various diseases of mankind.

Ayurvedic system strongly believes that everything on earth is a part of nature and is made up of the five vital elements of nature including fire, water, earth, space and air. Earth is said to represent bones and muscles, fire stands for the biological reaction and metabolism of the body, air aids in breathing, water is the blood and space is the soul or spirit that lives within.

The philosophy of Ayurveda states that every individual is made up of a unique individual constitution comprising of three vital biological energies known as doshas. These vital energies are nothing but a representation of the five vital elements of nature.

According to Ayurveda, sickness is a symbol that the human body is in disharmony with nature and there is imbalance of any one or all of the three doshas.

Ayurveda says that disease is an opportunity to know the imbalances of the system. It believes in identifying the root cause of an illness instead of treating the symptoms alone.

Ayurvedic remedies vary from individual to individual even for the same medical condition as it trusts that every individual is a unique creation and the treatment for their illnesses should also be unique.

The major Ayurvedic remedies are essential oils (the life-force of plants), herbs, Abhyanga (the art of Ayurvedic massaging), yoga, meditation, prayers and following an Ayurvedic routine. These remedies are prescribed in such a way that they treat the imbalances of doshas and help to live in harmony with Mother Nature.

Eucalyptus oil is known for increasing pitta dosha and pacifying kapha and vata dosha with its unique medicinal, warm and camphoraceous to lemony aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Eucalyptus oil are:

Eucalyptus-oil-broucher-new11. Excellent lung cleanser that alleviates respiratory problems:

The oil of Eucalyptus has been held-high for more than thousands of years for its natural potent of treating fever, respiratory problems and lung ailments. Light Miller claims Eucalyptus as “one of the three best oils for any respiratory tract problem because the component eucalyptol is mucolytic (it relaxes the flow of mucous) and it excretes the eucalyptol out through the lung surface.”

Adding 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil in steam inhalation instills a relaxing effect on the mucous membranes, cleans the nasal passages, expands the blood vessels and permits more oxygen intake by the lungs, thus assisting trouble-free breathing and cleansing of lungs.

This oil have been used since the traditional times in the treatment of sinusitis, bronchitis, nasal and chest congestion, cold, sore throat, asthma, tuberculosis, runny nose and throat infections.

A study on ‘Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices’ by Sadlon AE, Lamson DW published in 2010 Alternative Medicine says that, “Surprisingly, there are also immune-stimulatory, antioxidant, and spasmolytic effects. Of the white blood cells, monocytes and macrophages are most affected, especially with increased phagocytic activity. Application by either vapor inhalation or oral route provides benefit for both purulent and non-purulent respiratory problems.”

Eucalyptus oil has excellent decongestant, expectorant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties that make its use vital in many cold rubs, ointments and other oral preparations for respiratory problems.

The study on Eucalyptus oil extracted from the aromatic Eucalyptus tree of the Nilgiri hills, India by the Medical Department, Government of Madras, India has proved that Eucalyptus oil works as an effective expectorant and relaxes phlegm and mucous deposits in the nasal and respiratory passages.

The presence of phenolic compounds, the plant based antioxidants in Eucalyptus oil helps in fighting against respiratory infections by strengthening the immune system during flu, cough, cold and other illnesses. 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to cold compress or applied to foot soles helps in reducing fever. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in ointments or rubs and massage it gently on the chest, throat and back for relieving nasal and chest congestion.

2. Relieves pain effectively:

Whenever headache hits us badly, the first thing that comes to most of our minds is Eucalyptus oil. Yes! This powerful pain-relieving oil has analgesic and natural pain relieving qualities.

A recent double blind study have illustrated that Eucalyptus oil and Peppermint oil applied together on temples and forehead proved better in relieving headache better than pharmaceutical aspirin and acetaminophen.

A 1991 study on the ‘Effects of a topically applied counter-irritant (Eucalyptamint) on cutaneous blood flow and on skin and muscle temperatures. A placebo-controlled study.’ By the University of California Irvine Medical Center suggested that “Eucalyptamint, produced significant physiologic responses that may be beneficial for pain relief and/or useful to athletes as a passive form of warm-up.”

Eucalyptus essential oil alleviates pain by spreading its warming effect on the skin, causing numbness on the painful parts and relieves pain quickly. Its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and diuretic properties assists in relieving muscular pain, rheumatic pain, joint aches, arthritic pain, lumbago, stiff muscles, fibrositis, nerve pain and migraine pain.

A 2013 study on ‘Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial’ by the Department of Basic Nursing Science, School of Nursing, Korea University have stated that, “Eucalyptus oil inhalation was effective in reducing patient’s subjective pain and blood pressure after surgery. These findings suggest that the inhalation of eucalyptus oil might be a valuable nursing intervention for pain relief after TKR (Total Knee Replacement).”

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil mixed with 1 drop of Peppermint oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can help in lessening pain and reducing swelling by eliminating the excess water deposits, salt , uric acid or other toxic substances causing inflammation in case or arthritis or rheumatism. You can also add 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil in warm bathing water and go for a re-energizing bath to calm your aching muscles and nerves.

3. Keeps away oral problems:

The essential oil of Eucalyptus oil is rich in 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol), which is an effective antiseptic that eradicates bacteria and other harmful microbes that can cause bad breath and other oral problems.

It is also said that the antibacterial effect of this oil assists in fighting against periodontopathic bacteria and cariogenic bacteria, which is responsible for causing decay of tooth.

A 2008 study on ‘Effect of eucalyptus extract chewing gum on periodontal health: a double-masked, randomized trial.’ By the Department of Preventive Dentistry, Osaka, Japan witnessed the effectiveness of Eucalyptus oil by stating that “Eucalyptus extract chewing gum had a significant effect on Plaque accumulation (PLA), gingival index (GI), bleeding on probing (BOP), periodontal probing depth (PD). The use of eucalyptus extract chewing gum may promote periodontal health.”

The best way to used Eucalyptus oil for combating germs and bacteria causing oral problems is to add 1 drop of this oil in a cup of water and use it as a gargle twice a day. This is the major cause for the use of Eucalyptus formula in various mouthwashes and other oral cleansers to fight cavity, gingivitis, halitosis and plaque.

4. Mitigates mental exhaustion:

Eucalyptus essential oil instills a cooling effect on the mind and helps repair and rejuvenate negative feelings and subtle emotions. Numerous studies have proved that this oil has been effective in alleviating stress, mental fatigue, depression due to illness, lack of concentration, mental aversion and other strong emotions.

1 drop of Eucalyptus oil mixed with 1 drop of Lemon oil and added to your vaporizer or diffuser can grant mental clarity quotes the book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ by Bryan Miller and Light Miller. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in your bathing water in the morning or before going to bed to calm your nerves, soothe your senses and leave you invigorated and balanced.

You can add 10 drops of Eucalyptus oil to your 2.5 ounce spray bottle and spray it in your work station to assist in clarity of thoughts, improved concentration, logical thinking, increased intellectual power and focused approached even towards the most complex task of the day.

5. Heals wounds and infections quickly:

The effective germicidal and antiseptic properties of Eucalyptus oil promotes quicker healing of burns, infectious wounds, abrasions, skin ulcers, cuts and dry itchy patches. Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and germicidal effects that curb the growth of perilous bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli and a 2004 research on ‘A study of the antimicrobial activity of oil of Eucalyptus’ proves this effectiveness.

Apply 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil mixed with 1 ml of jojoba oil and apply on the wounds, acne, candida, blisters, boils (it is safe on chicken pox boils also), shingles, herpes simplex and other skin infections for visible results.

It is also said that Eucalyptus oil was effectively used for treating childhood infectious diseases like typhoid, cholera, mumps, measles and scarlet fever. You can add 2 drops of this oil warm bathing water or mix it with 1 ml of coconut and massage it gently on foot soles to reduce fever and other infectious health conditions.

6. Promising insect repellent:

Eucalyptus essential oil is a potent insecticide and pesticide. It is a renowned formula in many insect repellents in the market and the oil of Eucalyptus mixed with lemon oil is said to keep away ticks.

The Australian Aborigines used Eucalyptus oil as an effective insect repellent to protect them from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Using this oil can assist in preventing critical diseases like malaria, Lyme disease, West Nile virus and Rocky mountain spotted fever.

Add 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil to 2 ml of coconut oil and gently massage it on your scalp to get rid of lice and dandruff (anti-fungal). Mix 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil with 1 ml of olive oil and apply it on insect bites to get rid of rashes, reduce itching and redness of the skin. You can also apply this mix before going to bed to protect yourself from mosquitoes. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to your air freshener or diffuser can give you a bug-free sleep at night.

Other health benefits:

Eucalyptus oil is also effective in treating other disorders like bladder infections, skin blemishes, sluggishness, fatigue, emotional pressure, dysentery, loss of appetite, laryngitis, intestinal worms, wounds and loss of appetite.

Disclaimer:

This article is restricted to educational use only and is not for substituting any prescribed medication or professional medical advice. Speak with your Ayurvedic healthcare expert before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your specific health condition and unique individual constitution.

Always use essential oils for topical use in a diluted manner as certified and organic essential oils are highly concentrated extracts and may cause allergic conditions when used on the skin directly. Eucalyptus oil is safe as it comes under GRAS (generally regarded as safe) oils but never use it internally.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Eucalyptus oil.

Thought for the day:

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.     

-Hal Borland

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Power of Eucalyptus for Health & Healing by Jack Malloy
  2. How to Use Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Aromatherapy) by Miriam Kinai
  3. Eucalyptus Leaf Oils Use Chemistry Distillation and Marketing by Boland
  4. HEALING POWERS OF EUCALYPTUS Pure Essential Oil – Respiratory Healer (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles
  5. Eucalyptus: The Genus Eucalyptus (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) From CRC Press

Reference Links:

  1. Eucalyptus by Wikipedia
  2. Eucalyptus By The University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. The Lung Cleansing Benefits of Eucalyptus by Global Healing Center
  4. Effect of eucalyptus extract chewing gum on periodontal health: a double-masked, randomized trial.’ By the Department of Preventive Dentistry, Osaka, Japan published in Pubmed
  5. Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial’ by the Department of Basic Nursing Science, School of Nursing, Korea University published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2013


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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

Birch Oil



Well identified as the ‘Shining Tree’, Birch tree sets a remarkable note in the field of ancient and modern medicine for its preventive and defensive actions against rheumatism, skin disorders, circulatory problems and dental mayhems.

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Scientifically called as Betula Alba, Birch tree bears its origin to the Indian subcontinent, especially in the cold and temperate climates, in particular the northern part of India, which has been the safe haven for numerous saints, sages and Rishis since the pre-historic period for attaining divinity through meditation.

Birch tree is well known for its silvery white bark, from which the Birch essential oil is extracted by dry distillation method. It is called as ‘bhurja’ in Sanskrit, which means ‘a tree whose bark is used for writing upon’, and few sources also state that this name is extracted from the Sanskrit word ‘bhura’, which means ‘shining tree’.

Birch tree is highly rich in flavonoids and saponins. For its enormous medicinal and curative attributes, this tree and its essential oil are being used in Ayurveda for treating obesity, fluid retention, kidney stones, arthritis, colitis, indigestion, cholesterol and respiratory disorders.

Historical uses and importance of Birch and its essential oil:

Being a priceless tree of the ancestral origin, Birch and its essential oil were widely utilized since the primitive times, dating back to the Paleolithic and the Mesolithic era as an adhesive and for various other uses. Adhering to the meaning of its name (tree which is used for writing purposes), Birch has been extensively used for preparing manifold documents in olden days, which are now termed as Birch Bark Manuscripts.

Fulsome with spiritual and cultural importance, Birch tree is crowned as the National tree of Russia and Finland. The most special fact about Birch tree is that it resists all kinds of adverse soil and climatic conditions. The bark of this tree has been used for numerous purposes such as construction, writing and medicinal applications. This tree was also called as ‘Lady of the Woods’, for its elegance, charm, lightness and the mesmerizing aroma after rain.

The Native Americans used Birch in their folklore remedies, where it was taken along with beverages to deal with various health conditions associated with the stomach including dysentery, diarrhea and indigestion.

The essential oil obtained from the bark of this tree has been used in hair care and skin care products to drive away dandruff, hair fall, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. The sap of the inner bark is a rich source of nutrients and was used in making cakes and is predominantly known to the world as a famine food for its ability to satiate hunger as a last choice if not anything is accessible.

Birch essential oil has been used as a disinfectant, powerful insect repellent, and also in the treatment of skin infections, fever, kidney stones, eczema and rheumatism. It is also a key ingredient in various perfumes including the most popular Russian Leather fragrance and Iceland Wintergreen.

In various folk medicines, Birch was used in transfer magic remedies for alleviating rheumatic pain and other associated symptoms. The aromatic leaves of this tree were also used in making Birch tea, which was used as an effective remedy for dissolving kidney stones, alleviating pain, gout, dropsy and rheumatism.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Birch Oil:

The remedial properties of Birch essential oil are anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, febrifuge, diuretic, astringent, detoxifying, analgesic, depurative, antiseptic, stimulant, germicide, tonic, insecticide, and anti-depressant. The major chemical constituents contributing to its therapeutic properties are betulene, methyl salicylate, betulenol, creosol, salicylic acid, and guaiacol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Birch essential oil:

The word ‘Ayurveda’ has become the most common terminology in this contemporary living as many are becoming conscious about their health. When absolute health is the need of the hour, then natural remedies and chemical-free medications come along without any say and this where Ayurveda comes into picture.

Besides being a natural healing methodology, Ayurveda is a holistic system that helps in leading a disciplined life, including guidelines for a balanced diet to a modest lifestyle.

Ayurveda is the oldest of all medicinal systems on earth and it completely trusts that Mother Nature has the cure for all ailments including physical disorders and mental mayhems.

It is also said that living in harmony with Nature gifts a disease-free, harmonious and healthy life. According to this philosophy everything on earth is a combination of the 5 fundamental elements of nature. They are fire, earth, water, space and air.

For a better understanding, it is clearly depicted that earth is the representation of the bones and muscles, fire is the heat energy generated in the body for many vital functions of the system like metabolism, water stands for blood and other fluids, we breathe air and space is the representation of our soul that harmonizes all the other functions of the human body and keeps us alive.

Ayurvedic healing relies upon nature and it strongly states that all the other things on this planet are being created just for the happiness of mankind. You can identify this with the following example; Mother earth has 92 elements, including magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium etc, and the human system also has all these 92 constituents.

When a person is ill due to the deficiency of any of these elements, say iron, he/she is advised to take dates, which is rich in iron and to our astonishment dates grow by engrossing iron content from the earth. Simply brilliant, isn’t it?

Every human being is regarded as a unique part of nature in Ayurveda and it is also recommended that the remedial measures should also be unique based upon their unique individual constitution, which comprises of three biological energies called as doshas (also known as Tridosha) namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Pitta represents fire and water, vata is a combination of air and ether, and kapha signifies earth and water. Pitta energy is responsible for body temperature and metabolism, kapha controls the physical appearance, movement of fluids in the system and sustenance and vata dosha regulates the functions of the nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems.

Your first Ayurvedic consultation will help you in identifying your unique individual constitution and your predominant dosha type, which has an upper hand in determining your physical and mental makeup. Perfect balance between these doshas signifies well-being and disparities due to unwholesome food habits, change in climatic conditions, lifestyle and immoral behaviors leads to sickness.

The most significant Ayurvedic remedies that focus on treating doshic imbalances are herbs, plant essential oils, meditation, simple physical exercises, yoga, Pranayama or balanced breathing practices, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and a balanced diet.

Birch essential oil is known to pacify vata and kapha dosha and intensifies pitta dosha. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Birch essential oil are:

Birch-broucher1. Nature’s gift for treating rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism is generally regarded as a medical condition caused due to excess deposits of fluids in the system along with the built up of toxic substances and improper blood circulation that lead to inflammation, pain, redness, stiffness and irritation.

According to Ayurveda, rheumatism is majorly a kapha imbalance disorder and can be treated with Ayurvedic remedies that reduce kapha vitiation. Birch oil has anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties that aids in alleviating these agonizing conditions and reduces excess kapha dosha.

Birch essential oil is known as an effective pain reliever with the presence of the salicylate component that is present in aspirin based medications. This compound helps in lessening pain, swelling and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other pain in the joints and muscles. It works by arresting the body’s production of prostaglandins hormones, which are responsible for pain, inflammation and other similar conditions.

Along with these attributes, the essential oil of Birch also has detoxifying, diuretic and depurative properties that assist in eliminating toxins from the body, discarding salt, uric acid and excess fluid deposits in the body by promoting sweat and frequent urination and by purifying the entire system. Being a circulatory agent, this oil also helps in promoting proper circulation of blood and lessens the severity of circulatory disorders like rheumatism and edema.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Birch oil, 2 drops of Ginger oil and 2 drops of Tea tree oil along with 3 ml of coconut oil can help in reducing pain, inflammation, redness and promote proper blood circulation that helps in treating rheumatic and arthritic conditions. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Birch oil in warm compress and in warm bathing water that can help in improving your medical conditions related to rheumatism and other muscular and circulatory problems.

2. Alleviates congestion and other respiratory infections:

Birch essential oil is always one among those best natural remedies that assist in relieving severe congestion, long-term allergies and other respiratory infections. With its expectorant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, Birch essential oil supports the system in fighting against chest congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, pneumonia and bronchial congestion.

Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth elements and imbalance of kapha dosha leads to excess level of water deposits, amassing of mucus and phlegm deposits and building up of toxic substances worsening respiratory problems.

Birch essential oil is used in Ayurvedic healing for correcting kapha imbalance by generating heat in system and discarding mucus and phlegm deposits in the lungs and the respiratory passages.

Adding 2 to 3 drops of Birch oil in steam inhalation can aid in loosening mucus accumulation, treating stuffed nose, nasal, chest and bronchial congestion and combats the effects of toxins and microbes in the body.

You can mix 2 drops of Birch oil, 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with your regular vaporizing ointment and massage in gentle movements on throat, chest and back for quick relief. A hot compress with 2 drops of Birch oil, following this massage on the back and chest can help improve respiratory conditions at ease.

3. Lessens pain and heal wounds rapidly:

Birch is such a magical oil that can relieve severe pain in a matter of minutes. With the presence of the salicylate component in aspirin and other pain-relieving pills, Birch oil aids in lessening pain by causing numbness on the painful area and uplifts the nerves and muscles.

Along with the Alternative and Complementary medicinal practices, the Allopathic doctors also recommend Birch oil for relieving severe pain, preventing the joints from swelling in cases of dislocation of joints or fractures.

Gently massaging the painful parts with 2 drops of Birch oil and 2 drops of Lemongrass oil along with 2 ml of olive oil can aid in easing muscular pain and stiffness. It also helps in alleviating muscular spasms and bout. 3 to 4 drops of Birch oil combined with 4 drops of Helichrysum oil and 4 ml of coconut oil massaged on the affected parts will work like a fascination especially on carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mix 2 drops of Birch oil with 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil along with 3 ml of Sweet almond oil and apply it on wounds, cuts, skin rashes, cellulites, ringworm, eczema, itches and insect bites for quick relief. This formula works with the disinfectant, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and germicide properties of Birch oil that kills infectious micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi in skin infections and wounds and promotes quicker healing.

4. Cures oral problems:

There’s no wonder that an admirable essential oil like Birch has the therapeutic effects for treating oral problems with its anti-bacterial, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent and germicide properties. These remedial values help in treating oral problems like weak gums, cavities, bacteria, painful gums, plaque and halitosis or bad breath.

1 drop of Birch oil along with 1 drop of Spearmint oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a natural gargle formula for combating germs and bacterial growths in the mouth, strengthening the gums as an astringent, protecting the teeth and gums from infections as an antiseptic and also for keeping away from bad breath by refreshing the mouth throughout the day. This therapy can be followed twice a day in the morning and night.

5. Promotes hair growth and treats hair problems:

Birch is yet another nourishing oil for controlling loss of hair, maintaining those beautiful locks, preventing dandruff, enriching the scalp and promoting growth of hair naturally.  Just 1 drop of Birch oil in your regular shampooing can aid in healing your hair problems and deliver quick results in re-establishing your hair growth.

Massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Birch oil mixed with 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil, 3 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil along with 7 ml of Virgin olive oil can help in moisturizing the scalp, controlling dandruff with its anti-fungal properties, strengthening the hair follicles with its astringent properties, promotes hair growth and grants the natural lustrous, shiny and glossy look of your hair. Follow this massage with 2 drops of Birch oil added to your mild shampoo for promising results.

Other health benefits:

A 1994 study at the University of North Carolina concluded that “the chemicals found in white birch bark slowed the growth of HIV”. Various other studies conducted on the betulinic acid present in Birch essential oil have been proved to possess anti-tumor properties and kill cancerous cells. Birch essential oil is also used in the treatment of colitis, bladder stone, gout, headache, candida, multiple sclerosis, depression and urinary disorders.

Disclaimer:

This editorial is meant only for the use of education and information. It is not in anyways intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition or replace any prescribed medication or medical advice of a healthcare expert. We are medical professionals and this information is shared only with the concern of bringing out the importance of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing systems on earth.

Make sure that you speak with an Ayurvedic expert before using the perfect essential oil for your prakriti or individual constitution and state of health. Do not ingest essential oils or use it for internal purposes and ensure that you always employ essential oils in a diluted form, as 100% pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may cause allergic or hazardous reactions, if used directly for topical application. Keep essential oils out of reach of children.

Thought for the day:

All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God. -Thomas Browne

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann
  3. Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink
  4. The Healing Power of Essential Oils: The Original Liquid Copals by Bevonne Birch Crookston
  5. American Indian Medicine (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Virgil J. Vogel

Reference Links:

  1. Birch Tar by Wikipedia
  2. Health benefits of Birch essential oil by Organic Facts
  3. White Birch by the American Cancer Society
  4. Birch Tree: Natural Medicine in your Backyard by Mother Earth News