Melissa Essential Oil

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

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

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

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Historical uses and importance of Melissa and its essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Melissa essential oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Calms the digestive system:

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

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

3. Pacifies your emotional instabilities:

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

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

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

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

4. Boosts your brain power:

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

5. Helps mitigate womanly problems:

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

Other health benefits:

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

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

  1. Lemon Balm by University of Maryland Medical Center

  2. Melissa officinalis by Boston University School of Medicine

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

  4. Melissa officinalis by Wikipedia

Spearmint Essential Oil

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Spear-mint-bannerA refreshing, tasty, enriching and minty Spearmint gum has the potential to turn over a new leaf on your dull depressing day. Just the aroma of Spearmint is not responsible for this revolution but this cool herb has enormous health benefits that energize your system and revitalize your brain functions. Scientifically known as Mentha spicata, this herb belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae.

Spearmint is an excellent cooling diuretic that has the potent to reduce the heat in the body due to fever and inflammatory conditions. It’s proven pharmacological effects and enormous cooling values, gently cools the liver and protects from chronic health conditions like inflamed liver.

Popularly known for its culinary and traditional medicinal uses, the essential oil extracted from the leaves of Spearmint plays a vital role in Ayurvedic medicine where this herb was locally known as Putiha and Pahari Putida. It has been in use for more than hundreds of years as a trusted carminative for treating digestive disorders, morning sickness in pregnant women and colic in infants.

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Historical uses of Spearmint and its essential oil:

This herb and its essential oil has been used in almost all the oldest traditions of the world including Ayurvedic medicine, Biblical healing, Chinese medicine, Greek mythology and the European healing system.

The antique cities of historical importance like Greece, Rome and Egypt have recorded the use of Spearmint as a natural fragrance agent for the body, digestive aid for treating gastrointestinal disorders, natural remedy for sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, as a sedative for treating insomnia and other sleeping disorders, for treating bad breath and dandruff. The most popular use of Spearmint oil was that it was used in baths for its cooling and refreshing properties.

Spearmint was used in the Ayurvedic healing system for treating fever, bronchitis, pain and other digestive ailments. The European medicinal practices made use of this herb for enhancing memory power and cognitive performance.

Known as ‘Yerba Buena’ in the primordial Mexican culture, Spearmint was a natural remedy for handling menstrual cramps, vomiting, flatulence and indigestion. The milder effects of this herb made its use preferable for children than the Peppermint herb.

Biblical texts talk about the effectiveness of Spearmint for treating severe headaches. Spearmint is an important ingredient of the herbal tea known as ‘Zahraa’ according to the ancient Unani medicine. This tea is widely consumed in Syria and Damascus for its stimulating and uplifting values.

A popular research by the Latin American medicine system proved that the Latino children had a stronger preference towards Spearmint than Peppermint and it was used as a natural expectorant for treating common cold and cough.

The modern Western medicine also used Spearmint essential oil as a flavoring agent in chewing gums, candies, toothpaste, mouthwash, soaps, teeth whiteners and certain other personal hygiene products.

This herb is also used in treating common cold, nasal congestion, motion sickness, influenza, irritable bowel syndrome, colic and few other respiratory problems.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Spearmint essential oil constitutes of 3 chemical components that contribute to its unique fragrance, remedial properties and quality. Spearmint oil is enriched with about 69.1% of Carvone constituent.

Just click on:

For learning more about the detailed information of these key constituents of Spearmint oil.

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 Spearmint oil.

Spearmint-OilTherapeutic properties of Spearmint essential oil:

This oil has antispasmodic, carminative, stimulant, antiseptic, emmenagogue, restorative, cephalic, decongestant, insecticide, disinfectant, diuretic, sedative, anesthetic and expectorant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Spearmint essential oil:

Ayurveda is celebrated all over the world for its simple and easy to tag on medicinal practices. This spiritual healing methodology trusts that human body is a temple where the eternal spirit lives within. It is because of this trust Ayurvedic healing encompasses physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellness when dealing with the health of humanity.

Every individual on this earth is unique according to Ayurveda and it strongly says that every one of us are made with a specific set of 3 vital energies known as doshas.

The predominance of any one of these 3 doshas determines the physical balance, emotional stability and the behavioral traits of an individual. It is for this reason Ayurveda prescribes specific medications that is suitable for an individual and not for the illness as such.

The most predominant Ayurvedic remedies include Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing, meditation, herbs, herbal decoctions and certain other Ayurvedic techniques including Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the Ayurvedic detox technique, Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine etc.,

Ayurvedic physicians generally prescribe medications that are specific to the health condition and the unique individual constitution of a person. These remedies along with the disciplined Ayurvedic lifestyle practices aim at striking perfect balance between these doshas and with Nature.

With its cooling and stimulating properties, Spearmint essential oil benefits the Pitta and Kapha predominant individuals.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic healing benefits of Spearmint essential oil according to their prescribed uses:

Spearmint-broucher1. Excellent oil for treating fever, cold and respiratory disorders:

Spearmint oil has the power to pacify excess pitta that is responsible for body temperature, inflammatory conditions and heated emotions like anger, rage and irritation.

With its febrifuge, spasmolytic, antitussive, diaphoretic, cough suppressant, antiviral, bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties, Spearmint is a champion oil in treating fever, chronic cough, chest congestion, breathing difficulties, bronchial congestion and headache.

For its fever-reducing attribute, Spearmint is called as Jwarahara in Ayurveda. The antiviral properties of this oil assist in arresting the spreading of harmful viral organisms and preventing its growth, which is responsible for flu and fever.

When compared to Peppermint oil, Spearmint oil has a lesser Menthol component and is considered safe for children as well. Inhaling the restorative aroma of this oil aids in opening the blocked nasal passages. Massaging your foot soles with 2 drops of Spearmint oil blended with 10 drops of coconut oil can assist in reducing the body temperature.

Using 2 drops of this oil in steam inhalation is said to grant considerable relief from headache, nausea, nervous conditions, flu, fever, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, congestion, cough, migraines and breathing problems.

2. Excellent relaxant that can help in alleviating muscular tension and stress related conditions:

For immediate relief from fatigue, fever and muscular pain, add 2 to 3 drops of Spearmint oil to your bath tub. This warm and soothing bath encourages relaxation, soothes your tensed muscles and nerves.

The cooling and encouraging aroma of Spearmint can support in lessening fear, anxiety, fatigue, nervous afflictions and tensed muscles, especially after workouts.

3. Promotes estrogen secretion and aids in treating menstrual mayhems:

Spearmint oil has the power to promote the estrogen secretion and support in fostering delayed or blocked menses. Menstrual difficulties are often associated with hormonal fluctuations, especially the female hormone estrogen.

With its abortifacient and emmenagogue properties, Spearmint oil does the magic for you by treating abdominal pains, menstrual cramps and blocked menstruation.

A 2007 study on ‘Effect of Spearmint Teas on Androgen Levels in Women with Hirsutism’ have concluded that Spearmint can be a potent substitute anti-androgenic treatment in cases of mild Hirsutism.

Massaging the affected parts with 4 drops of Spearmint essential oil blended with soothing carrier oils like Evening primrose oil can support in relaxing muscles after exercise, treating digestive disorders, expelling gas formed in the intestines and stomach, relieving from stress and fatigue, easing abdominal pain due to menstruation, improving concentration, relaxing contraction of muscles and nerves and in enhancing blood circulation.

The diuretic property of this oil aids in cleansing the system by sending the toxic substances of the body through urine. The study on ‘Effect of Spearmint oil on inflammation, oxidative alteration and Nrf2 expression in lung tissue of COPD rats’ published in PubMed proved that Spearmint oil augments pulmonary inflammation and has a protective effect on lung injury in rats affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4. Grants a cooling effect on the brain and enhances the memory quotient:

Whenever you feel like regaining your strength, enhancing your brain power and improving your memory skills, all you need to do is to 3 few drops of Spearmint essential oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil to your diffusers or burners.

Being a Medhya herb or one which has the power to nurture the functions of the brain, Spearmint oil can potentially uplift your spirits, grant a cooling effect on your brain, boost your immune power, normalize the metabolic functions and promote peaceful sleep with its encouraging and invigorating aroma.

5. Inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and other harmful foreign bodies:

Spearmint oil can be termed as a Krimighna, which means effective remedy for destroying harmful microbes and Kusthaghna, an Ayurvedic remedy for healing wounds and treating various skin conditions.

The antiseptic, disinfectant and antispasmodic properties of this oil aids in quicker healing of wounds and inhibit the growth of harmful organisms that are responsible for most of the skin problems.

Adding few drops of Spearmint essential oil to your skin care cream or lotion will aid in treating scabies, itches, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, acne, syphilis, insect bites, wounds and skin ulcers. Diffused Spearmint oil can also be used in treating headache, spasms and as a rub in treating cold and cough.

A 2001 study by the Central Laboratory, Lotte Company Ltd, Urawa, Saitama, Japan proved the effectiveness of Spearmint essential oil in inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria with its potential antibacterial agents. A 2011 study on ‘Antifungal activity of Spearmint essential oil’ talks about its effectiveness in treating fungal infections.

Other health benefits:

Spearmint oil is also an excellent oil for treating bad breath, vomiting, loss of appetite, gum problems, spasmodic cholera, ulcers and in treating excessive or unwanted hair growth in women.

Disclaimer:

This original piece of information is meant only for the purpose of education and is not recommended to diagnose, prevent or to treat any medical conditions. It is neither meant to replace any prescribed medicines or the advice of a healthcare professional. We, the team of Essential Depot are not experts in Traditional medicine and these facts are shared only for unveiling the myths of Ayurveda and for spreading its glory in healing humanity across the globe.

Essential oils are not recommended for internal use and remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it for topical applications. This is because absolutely pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions, when used on the skin without dilution.

Pregnant and nursing women, please excuse as Spearmint has abortifacient and emmenagogue properties and may end up in miscarriage. Speak with your Ayurvedic expert or medical professional before choosing the suitable essential oils as per your state of health and unique individual constitution. And the final friendly advice is to do a patch test on your skin before enjoying its complete benefits.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC) of Spearmint essential oil.

Thought for the day:

Use plants to bring life.

Douglas Wilson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. Aromatherapy for Everyone: Discover the Scents of Health and Happiness with Essential Oils by P. J. Pierson, Mary Shipley
  3. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar

Reference Links:

  1. Medicinal Uses of Spearmint by Natural Standard The Authority on Integrative Medicine
  2. Inhibition by the essential oils of peppermint and spearmint of the growth of pathogenic bacteria, published in PubMed
  3. Effect of Spearmint oil on inflammation, oxidative alteration and Nrf2 expression in lung tissue of COPD rats by Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  4. Effect of Spearmint Teas on Androgen Levels in Women with Hirsutism, published in Wiley InterScience.

Nagarmotha Essential Oil

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How can the ‘world’s worst weed’ embrace innumerable health benefits to mankind!!? That’s the magnitude and immaculate love of ‘Mother Nature’. Besides being regarded as the most invasive weed in the world, Nagarmotha has its name etched in the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Charaka Samhita (ca. 100 CE) as an excellent natural remedy for treating digestive disorders, fevers, dysmennorhea and certain other health conditions. This herb has also been an incredible part of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) where it is highly regarded as the primary qi (prana or life force) regulating herbal medicine.

The essential oil steam distilled from the rhizomes of this plant has been documented for treating numerous health conditions ranging from Hepatitis B to stress related degenerative diseases. Nagarmotha is the Hindi name of the plant and it is also known as ‘Nut Grass and Cypriol in English, Musta or Mustak in Sanskrit, Shacao in Chinese and Motha in Gujarati.

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Historical importance Nagarmotha: Indigenous to India, it has been said that Nagarmotha essential oil is extracted from the roots of Cyperus scariosus or Cyperus rotundus plant. Nagarmotha is given 8th rank among 250 potential anti-fertility plants in China. It is also said that this herb has been recorded in the ancient Chinese medicinal book around 500 A.D.

Popularly known as a qi-in-blood medicine in China, Nagarmotha is trusted to penetrate the blood stream and treat irregular menstruation, dysmennorhea or menstrual pain, overdue periods and depression in women mainly during menstruation. Numerous Islamic and Western herbalists like Avicenna, Serapion, Dioscorides, Rhazes, Galen, Charles Alston and Paulus Aegineta have denoted Nagarmotha as deobstruent, stomachic and emmenagogue.

The decoction extracted from the tuber of this plant is used in India for washing hair mainly for its hair strengthening and scalp rejuvenating properties. The ethnic communities of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, India use the rhizome of this herb as an antidote to venomous snake bites. It was also used as a home remedy in treating gastroenteritis and fever.

Nagarmotha essential oil is a part of the ancient art of Vashikarana, where it is trusted that the person who applies this oil on their forehead is certain to enjoy the privilege of a long-lasting string of thriving love affairs. This oil is famous even today in many parts of India as a renowned perfume for scenting saris and other traditional outfits. It has been in use in the production of perfumes, attars, incense sticks, soaps, compounds, hair treatments and in flavoring tobacco products.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties: Nagarmotha essential oil contains about 27 chemical constituents that make it extremely effective in treating numerous health disorders. The major chemical constituents are cyperine, pinene, cyperol, cyperone and isocyperol and sesquiterpenes like patchouleneone, rotundene, cyperotundene, kobusone, a-cyperone, isokobusone, sugeonol and b-selinene. The remedial properties of this oil are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antipyretic, diuretic, astringent, decongestant, anthelmintic, emmenagogue, antimicrobial, stimulant, tonic, stomachic, hypotensive, diaphoretic and cordial.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Nagarmotha essential oil: The essential oil of Nagarmotha is illustrated in Ayurveda as a natural enhancer of the biological fire and is an effective digestive aid.  This ancient natural healing system trusts that every human being is unique and their illnesses should also be treated in a unique manner according to their individual constitution. According to Ayurveda, every individual is made up of three energy elements known as vata, pitta and kapha. Predominance of any one of these doshas determines the personality, traits and characteristic features of a person and dosha imbalances cause sickness.

Ayurvedic therapies mainly focus on treating the pathogenesis or the root cause of the illness rather than just treating the disease for the time being like the contemporary medical practices. The root cause for many illnesses including autoimmune disorders according to Ayurvedic texts is the invasion or the deposits of the toxic substances in the body known as ‘ama’. Ayurveda illustrates Nagarmotha as a detoxifying herb and as the best ama-pachaka (eliminator of endo-toxins).

Nagarmotha essential oil is known to pacify pitta and kapha energies. Let’s take a look at the prominent Ayurvedic health benefits of Nagarmotha oil in accordance to their usage.

1. As an Ayurvedic massage oil: Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging grants numerous benefits to the mind, body and the spirit. Massaging is known as the best technique to transform the energies of the essential oils extracted from the herbs to the human body and soul. This is because the therapeutic properties of the oil deeply penetrate through the skin and enter the bloodstream. Maneuvering the affected parts of the body with 3 drops of Nagarmotha essential oil blended with coconut oil assist in treating numerous health disorders.

As an effective carminative and stomachic oil, Nagarmotha when massaged on to the abdomen aids in promoting the process of digestion by augmenting digestive fire, kills intestinal worms, binds stool, controls nausea, treats dysurea, irritation of the bowel and soothes upset stomach. The diuretic properties of this oil also help in eliminating the toxic substances from the body through sweat and urine, making it useful in reducing inflammation as well. Gently massaging the painful areas can help in treating dysmennorhea and rheumatoid arthritis.

The decoction of the rhizomes has been in use for hundreds of years as a natural hair wash. Massaging your scalp with this nourishing blend aids in opening the small capillaries on the scalp, work efficaciously on the sebaceous glands and fortify the hair from the roots by stimulating its strength naturally.

2. In vaporizers and burners: The spicy, earthy, woody, lingering, smoky and camphoraceous aroma of Nagarmotha oil acts as a tonic for the nervous system and influences the regular functioning of the body. Adding 2 drops of this oil in steaming water and inhaling this medicated steam helps in reducing respiratory congestion, cough, bronco-pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, loosening the mucus and phlegm deposits and comforts the digestive system.

The magical aroma of this oil aids in alleviating stress, relieve tension, tone the system and regain your lost energy especially after a long day in the sun. Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your burners or diffusers will assist in building up the nervous system and treating digestive disorders like stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

3. In baths and compress: Using 4 drops of Nagarmotha essential oil in warm bathing water helps in calming down a nervous stomach, check weight gain, discard toxins from the body, relieves menstrual pain and discomfort, reduces rheumatic pain and treats inflammation and anorexia.

A 2007 research on ‘Administration of Cyperus rotundus tubers extract prevents weight gain in obese Zucker rats’ state “Cyperus rotundus tubers extract prove to be a new herbal supplement for controlling body weight preferentially in beta3-AR sensitive species”. This oil can also be used in hot or cold compresses for treating stomach pain, fibromyalgia, muscular aches, kidney stones, abdominal pain, fever and colitis.

4. In cream and lotions: Nagarmotha essential has natural tonifying properties that make its use inevitable in many skin care formulations. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to your mild skin care cream or lotion can help in curtailing the growth of harmful microbes that affect the skin health. Gently applying this blend on the inflamed parts will help in reducing inflammation and augment blood circulation. Add 4 to 5 drops of Nagarmotha essential oil to unscented cream to lessen skin irritability and other discomforts due to heat.

The research on ‘In Vitro Antioxidant activity and Total Polyphenolic Content of Cyperus rotundus Rhizomes’ by the Department of Siddha Medicine, Tamil University, India have proved that the rhizome extracts of “Cyperus rotundus show free radical scavenging, reducing power and metal chelating activity” with its polyphenolic content and other phytochemicals constituents contributing to its antioxidant properties, which aid in preventing age related oxidative stress associated degenerative diseases.

A 2006 study on ‘Natural composition for curing hepatitis-B, methods for making the same and pharmaceutical formulations thereof’ have proved that a natural antiviral composition with extracts of Cyperus rotundus or Cyperus scariosus and pharmaceutically acceptable carrier aids in treating disorders related to chronic and acute hepatitis B and certain other viral diseases of the liver. This is mainly due to the herb’s positive effect on the liver, easing its detoxification and healing.

Other benefits: Nagarmotha essential oil is said to add a distinguishing and appealing aroma to masculine perfumes. Tom For Men is known as the first perfume to use this herbal formula, followed by other perfumes like Eau d’Issey pour Homme, Xeryus and numerous other popular brands in the market for men. It is also used in making soaps, potpourri, air fresheners, scented candles and certain other aromatherapy products.

Disclaimer: Do not take essential oils internally. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it topically as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Avoid using Nagarmotha essential oil on children, epileptics, pregnant or nursing women. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using any essential oil to check whether it would suit your present health condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.              -John Burroughs

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Natural Remedy Bible by John Lust, Michael Tierra
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine: Traditional System, Ethics, Safety, Efficacy, and Regulatory Issues by Bashar Saad, Omar Said

Reference Links:

  1. Nagarmotha: A detoxifying herb by Dr. R. Vatsyayan, Ayurvedacharya published in The Tribune
  2. Nagarmotha by Planet Ayurveda
  3. Cyperus scariosus or Cyperus rotundus, an old famous Sedge from ancient Egypt and China published in MDidea
  4. In Vitro Antioxidant activity and Total Polyphenolic Content of Cyperus rotundus Rhizomes by Nagulendran, Velavan, Hazeena Begum and Mahesh from the Department of Siddha Medicine, Tamil University, India published in e-Journals.net