Dill Seed Oil

Dill-seed-BannerDill…..a miraculous herb that spells the charm of lull and pulls you out of illness. Having its origin from the Norse word ‘Dylle’, which means ‘to soothe or to lull’, Dill seed oil is well known for its carminative properties that soothes the digestive system and is used in Ayurveda for the treatment of ulcers, fever, cardiac problems, bronchitis, spermatorrhoea, syphilis and menstrual disorders.

Called as Shatapushpa in Ayurveda, Dill seeds are one among the most promising culinary herbs used in the Indian tradition especially during childbirth. Botanically known as Anethum sowa, Dill seed essential oil is extracted from the dried seeds by steam distillation method. These magical little seeds and its essential oil are prescribed in Ayurvedic healing for treating dysentery, menses, diarrhea, inflammation and for mental disturbances.

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Historical importance of Dill and its essential oil:

Native to the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, Dill has been used worldwide as an aromatic spice and a healing herb. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered it as a sign of health and wealth and carried the twig of this herb in the belief that it would protect them from curses. Few sources state that a lot of superstitions prevailed in the medieval period that Dill was used to prepare potions for casting spells and protecting one from the ill effects of witchcraft and evil spirits.

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine used Dill seeds in his medications for oral cleansing. Ancient warriors applied the extract from Dill seeds and twigs onto burns for quick healing. Dill seeds have exclusive carminative properties. It is for this reason that Emperor Charles the Great ordered the presence of Dill on his banquet tables to benefit his guests who indulged too much.

The entire plant of Dill including the seeds, leaves and twigs are equally important and carry the same flavor and aroma. The well known antimicrobial properties of this herb compel the use of Dill seeds in this planet for the preservation of food and in the preparation of pickles.

Easily available to common man, Dill seeds are an aboriginal remedy for curing insomnia, cold, fever, respiratory illnesses, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence and a recent study has proved that it helps in preventing cancer.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Dill seed oil:

The proportion of the chemical constituents for all essential oils mainly depends upon the topography, seasons and various other attributes of its nativity. Dill is cultivated all over the world for its valuable benefits. Results of various researches state that Dill seed oil contains carvone, d-limonene, α-phellandrene, dihydrocarvone, eugenol, β-phellandrene, α-pinene, anethole, dillapiole, myristicin, carveol, arginine, β-caryophyllene, apiole, and others.

Antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant, carminative, digestive, disinfectant, anti-hyperlipidaemic, anti-hypercholesterolaemic, anti-fungal, aromatic, diuretic, galactogogue, sedative, stomachic and sudorific are some of the priceless therapeutic properties of this prized oil.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Dill seed oil:

Dill seeds and few other extracts from this plant including its essential oil is administered to people of all ages in Ayurveda, depending upon their nature of illnesses. Ayurveda means the ‘knowledge of life’ and it aims at longevity through prevention of diseases along with its healing. This ancient wisdom analyzes the root cause of an illness and progresses towards treating the root cause instead of the symptoms alone.

Ayurvedic philosophy states that nature is made up of five vital elements known as water, earth, fire, space and air. It also says that everything on earth is a part of nature so all these things are also made up of these five elements.

Each element represent various parts of the human system, where earth represents muscles and bones, water represents blood and other fluids, air keeps us breathing, fire is the internal force created for movements and various functions of the body and space or the cosmic energy is the soul or spirit dwelling within us.

Human body is considered as a temple in Ayurveda where the spirit lives in and Ayurveda recommends one to keep his mind and body clean and tidy just like a temple for leading a healthy and harmonious life.

Every individual is unique in terms of Ayurveda and this individuality is identified with the distinctive individual constitution comprising of three biological energies known as doshas, namely kapha, pitta and vata.

Vata is responsible for movement, nervous functions, blood circulation, creativity and transmission of air and other vital elements. Pitta energy deals with metabolic functions, decision making skills and body temperature. Kapha dosha takes care of structure, movement of fluids, love and sustenance.

Balance between these doshas indicates healthiness and imbalance causes illness. Ayurvedic remedies like yoga, herbs, meditation, essential oils, physical exercises, Abhyanga and Ayurvedic routine focus on striking absolute balance between these doshas.

Dill seed oil is known to reduce pitta and kapha dosha and has a neutral effect on vata dosha. A recent research highlights the uses of Dill in Ayurveda before thousands of years, which says, “The earliest reference to use of Dill seed in medicine goes back to (700 BC) in ‘Charak Samhita’ (ancient Ayurvedic text), where an infusion of it was given as a cordial drink to women after confinement, the leaves moistened with oil were used as a poultice for suppurative skin conditions.”

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Dill seed essential oil are:

Dill-seed-Broucher-new1. Your perfect partner for health in your kitchen:

Dill seeds have a unique aroma that simply adds up to the flavor of various cuisines. It is one among the primary herbs in a number of kitchens across the globe including Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Also known as Lao Coriander it is often used in pickles and in fish dishes due to the high concentration of carvone which is antimicrobial in nature.

As an aromatic compound, it possesses anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help in preserving the edible items for a long time. As a natural reducing agent of blood glycerides, Dill seeds have gained popularity as one of the most flavored and healthiest herbs of the Middle East.

Most of the European countries, especially Germany uses Dill seed oil to preserve cucumbers and pickles, affordable to poor people as well. A variety of dishes like soups, sauces, salads, pickles, vinegars, fish and rice become special with the touch of this enticing herb. It is also used in confectionery, cakes, bread and apple pie.

2. Nature’s powerhouse of calcium:

Dill seed oil is a good source of calcium, dietary fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium. The presence of arginine strengthens bones, teeth and helps in the prevention of bone loss that occurs after menopause and even after some severe problems like rheumatoid arthritis. Few reliable sources even state that Dill seed oil is effective for treating hiccups due to its high calcium content.

Skin is the largest organ of the body and any medications used on the skin easily penetrates through the skin. The therapeutic properties of Dill seed essential oil when used topically, enters the skin and reaches the blood stream and heals the system naturally.

The best way to acquire the calcium and other energy nutrients of Dill seed oil is to add 3 drops of this oil to bathing water and massage your body with 6 drops of Dill oil blended with 3 ml of olive oil. This assists in supplying the essential calcium, iron, fiber, magnesium and other nutrients to the body.

3. Promising carminative with handful of digestive benefits:

β-phellandrene, α-pinene and other constituents of Dill seed oil attribute to the carminative property of the oil that helps in preventing the formation of gas in your intestines as well as aid in the expulsion of gas. It helps in the secretion of bile, a fluid produced by liver that aids in digestion. Dill seed oil is also stomachic in nature and assists in curing stomach pains that occur during menstrual cycles. It fights against flatulence, constipation, hiccups and colic in infants.

As an exclusive antimicrobial, antispasmodic and antifungal oil, Dill seed essential oil is recommended for treating dysentery, diarrhea and food poisoning. It fights against infectious microbes, soothes the digestive system and protects from infections and indigestion.

A recent research on ‘Seasonal differences in essential oil composition on Dill seed oil and Parsley oil’ has proven that the antimicrobial compounds like α-pinene, cineole and limonene in Dill seed oil have been proved effective against food-borne pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, and Campylobacter jejun. Dill seed oil fights best against the microbes Aspergillus niger and the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans.

Mix 2 drops of Dill oil with 1 ml of sesame oil and gently massage on the stomach and abdomen for treating dysentery, diarrhea, flatulence, hiccups and constipation. In case of infant use, blend 1 drop of Dill oil with 2 ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on their tummy in slow circular movements. You can also add 1 to 2 drops of Dill oil in warm bathing water or in diffuser for relieving from digestive disorders.

4. Helps in combating free radicals and preventing cancer:

Dill seed oil is rich in monoterpenes, which activate the secretion of the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase. This enzyme helps in putting together the anti-oxidant molecule glutathione to the oxidized ones thus helping in prevention of cancer. It is also an excellent neutralizing agent of carcinogenic substances like benzopyrenes found in cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators.

The anti-oxidant property of Dill seed oil is applied in treating mimic wrinkles around the eyes since it fights against free radicals responsible for various symptoms of aging including wrinkles. Mix 2 drops of Dill seed oil with 1 ml of Jojoba oil or with your regular skin care cream or lotion and gently apply it on your face and other wrinkles prone area for visible results. This massage aids in refreshing and soothing the skin surface.

5. Reduces the level of cholesterol in the body:

A recent study on Dill seeds have been proved to possess antihyperlipidaemic and antihypercholesterolaemic effects. It fights against hyperlipidemia that describes a condition of elevated levels of lipid formation and hyper cholesterol, which is nothing but increased cholesterol level in the body.

Maintaining the level of the fat soluble molecules called lipids and cholesterol in healthy standards yields fitness at all ages especially when you grow older. Massage your body with 6 drops of Dill essential oil blended with 3 ml of coconut oil, followed by hot bath where 2 drops of Dill oil is added to bathing water as well. This aids in decreasing the level of cholesterol and enables to feel light and fit.

6. Insomniates? Then here’s your lovable lullaby:

The soothing, calming and refreshing effects of flavonoids and group B vitamins in Dill seed oil helps in regulating the secretion of hormones and enzymes in our body that pacifies the nervous system. It is generally recommended for people suffering from insomnia and nervous disorders.

Placing cold to warm bags immersed in water with Dill seeds allowed to soak for few minutes, on closed eyelids will help you in experiencing a calming effect. You can also add 2 drops of Dill oil every night in your diffuser, burner or vaporizer for promoting peaceful sleep throughout the night.

7. Helps treat allergies and inflammation:

Dill seed oil fights against inflammation and allergies. People with oral inflammation in the throat and mouth are administered with this oil. Monoterpenes and flavonoids help in cleansing the respiratory system in case of allergies. Add 2 drops of Dill oil in steam inhalation and inhaling this medicated aroma helps in alleviating respiratory infections and allergies.

Aggravated kapha dosha is responsible for causing inflammation due to excess water deposits, salt, uric acid and other toxic substances in the system.  Dill essential oil has the efficiency to reduce increased kapha dosha and its anti-histamine properties helps one in getting rid of inflammation and other infections associated with it. Massage the inflamed and painful parts with 2 drops of Dill oil mixed with 1 ml olive oil for lessening pain, swelling and inflammation.

8. Fights against microbes:

Since Dill seed oil is rich in antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties it acts as a disinfectant and helps in killing the disease causing germs and micro organisms. This oil also acts as a mouth freshener by killing the microbes and fighting against the free radicals that affect the gums and teeth with its antioxidant effects. Add 1 drop of Dill oil in a cup of warm water and use it as a mouthwash for battling against harmful microbes causing oral infections.

Bacteria, fungus, virus and other micro organisms are the root cause of many diseases. Dill seed oil protects you against these infections and is a valuable remedy for cold, cough, flu, fever, bronchitis, spasms, respiratory tract diseases and healing wounds.

Other health benefits of Dill seed oil:

The diuretic property of this oil assists in treating urinary infections and regulates the excretion of urine without any difficulties. Since it induces the secretion of certain enzymes and hormones, Dill seed oil is used to regulate the menstrual cycle, increase the quantity of breast milk, and prevent early ovulation by acting as a natural contraceptive. Dill seed oil is also used in perfumery and cosmetic industries.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to diagnose or replace any prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Always use essential oils externally in a diluted form, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and can cause adverse effects if used directly on the skin.

Never ingest essential oils unless it is recommended safe by your medical expert. Remember to consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and health condition.

Thought for the day:

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.
-Henry David Thoreau

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) (Herb of the Year 2010) from International Herb Association
  2. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt
  3. The Nursing Mother’s Herbal (The Human Body Library) by Sheila Humphrey
  4. A Mother’s Guide to Raising Healthy Children—Naturally by Sue Frederick
  5. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Dill by Wikipedia
  2. Composition, quality control, and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of long-time stored dill (Anethum graveolens L.) seeds by PubMed.
  3. Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) and Parsley (Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss) from Estonia: Seasonal Differences in Essential Oil Composition by R. Vokk, T. Lõugas, K. Mets and M. Kravets of Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, EE19086, Tallinn, Estonia
  4. Chemical Constituents of Essential Oil from Anethum Sowa Kurz Seed by Sumitra Singh, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, India, published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research

Nagarmotha Essential Oil

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

Ginger Oil

Ginger-oil-bannerGinger oil is known as the “Oil of Empowerment” and is called in Ayurveda as Mahaushadha, meaning “universal medicine”, predominantly for its ability to heal the mind, body and soul, which are the three vital pillars of perfect health in Ayurveda.

Along with turmeric, galangal and cardamom, Ginger is yet another potent limb of the Zingiberaceae plant family. As a common culinary spice, Ginger is found in countless kitchens across the world and takes the pride of being used as a natural home remedy for addressing digestive and respiratory disorders.

Botanically named as Zingiber officinale, this powerful herb is called as Singara, Katubhadra and Srngaveram in Sanskrit. Ginger in any form, say fresh ginger, dried ginger or ginger extracts like juice, essential oil or powder has a bunch of absolute healing wisdom.

Ayurveda, the oldest healing system on earth prescribes Ginger as a remedy for indigestion, flatulence, nausea, loss of appetite, morning sickness, bronchitis, menstrual cramps, respiratory infections, arthritis, cancer and for enhancing the immune power. It is also recommended for treating fear, hopelessness, instability and for rekindling the inner fire for ultimatum.

Purchase Ginger Oil – Retail – 1 oz – CLICK HERE

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Historical importance of Ginger:

Ginger is one among the oldest of spices used for more than 4400 years across different cultures universally. With more than 1,200 species, Ginger has been proved scientifically for treating numerous health disorders. Its name is extracted from a Sanskrit word ‘srngaveram’, which means ‘horn root’.

According to the report by the University of Maryland Medical Center, “It has a long history of being used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions.” It has also been said that Ginger has been used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating toothache, nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea and certain other digestive disorders.

Ginger and its other extracts have been a vital part of the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for obesity, poor metabolism, abdominal pain, motion sickness, impotence, weak memory, arthritis, flu, menstrual pain and as a heart tonic. It has its name etched in the most respected epic of India, Mahabharata.

This aromatic spice was recommended by King Henry VIII of England in the 16th century for fighting against the great plague. Greeks used Ginger as to combat the harmful effects of poison.

It is said that the West African women in Senegal knit belts of Ginger to restore their partner’s reproductive potency. Even today, Ginger is used in various dishes across the world for granting the finesse flavor and taste of this miraculous spice with mammoth health benefits.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Ginger essential oil:

The major chemical components of Ginger essential oil are camphene, a-pinene, b-pinene, zingiberene, geraniol, borneol, neral, geranyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, citral, b-bisabolene, linalool, nerol, geranial and y-terpineol.

These components contribute to its healing properties like carminative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, analgesic, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, stimulant, antiseptic and emmenagogue.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil:

Nothing is as astonishing as Mother Nature and the best wonder in the world is the human body that works like a magic to keep one going on and on. Ayurveda states that human beings are a part of nature and their illness and health depends upon their harmony with nature.

It further lights up this thought by stating that nature is made up of five vital elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and space and to our wonder, it’s also been said that a human being also has all these five elements.

Where earth is the muscles and bones, water is the blood, fire is the energy for various vital functions, air is our breath and space is the soul that co-ordinates all other functions and keeps us living.

The concept of healing in Ayurveda solely depends upon nature as it says that all the other things on earth are made for making mankind happy and healthy. For example, earth has 92 elements like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron etc, and the human body also has all these 92 elements.

When a person lacks magnesium or calcium energy, he/she can take Ginger, which is rich in magnesium and calcium, whereas Ginger grows by absorbing the magnesium and calcium element from earth. How interesting it is, right?

Ayurveda regards every individual as a unique part of nature and suggests that the treatment should also be unique depending upon their individual constitution that is made up of three doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha.

Vata is a representation of air and ether, pitta stands for fire and water and kapha symbolizes earth and water. Vata controls respiratory and nervous functions, pitta takes care of metabolism and body temperature and kapha governs the structure, sustenance and movement of fluids in the body.

Balance between these three doshas indicates health, and imbalance due to unhealthy food habits and change in lifestyle symbolizes illness. Ayurvedic remedies aim at correcting these dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, yoga, meditation, physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, balanced diet and prayer.

Ginger essential oil is said to pacify kapha and vata dosha and aggravate pitta dosha with its warming, spicy, rich, woody and drying energy and aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Ginger essential oil are:

Ginger-oil-broucher1. Benefits to the digestive system:

Ginger is popularly known as Adrak in India and is a quick natural remedy for relieving indigestion, bloating, flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting, spasms, nausea, loss of appetite, piles and colic.

Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee, a renowned Ayurvedic Consultant says, “Ginger has many useful minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and few others. It is a wonderful carminative, anti-flatulent and stimulant.”

Ginger essential oil has the potential to increase pitta energy that is responsible for the digestive fire. Add 2 drops of Ginger essential oil to your diffuser or air freshener before meals and let it stay there till you complete your food.

Inhaling the warming aroma of this oil enhances the appetite and improves the process of digestion, supports absorption of essential nutrients by the body and aids in alleviating the toxic substances with its hot potency, but for which the toxins or ama may otherwise cause serious illnesses.

You can also add 2 drops of Ginger oil to warm bathing water before going to bed or before starting a hectic day. This refreshing bath aids in promoting peaceful sleep, free from bloating, indigestion, gastric pain and other digestive disorders. If it is for the morning, Ginger has a handful of bright benefits like stimulating your nerves, rejuvenating your cells, improving your appetite and augmenting your mental power for facing your day to day challenges.

Ginger and its essential oil have been proven best for treating motion sickness even in children. Numerous studies have witnessed the effectiveness of Ginger is better than the effects of dimenhydrate, which is the most important ingredient in over-the-counter motion sickness and seasickness remedies like Dramamine.

It works by stimulating the flow of saliva and other digestive juices, pacifies the stomach, relieves pain due to gas and diarrhea, controls vomiting and supports easy discharge of stools. Mix 1 drop of Ginger essential oil with 10 drops of sesame oil and massage it gently on your stomach and abdomen for treating constipation and motion sickness.

2. Benefits to the mind:

Ginger essential oil is an effective natural remedy for treating emotional problems like fear, abandonment, and lack of self-confidence and of motivation. Using 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in diffuser, aromatic candles or in bath can help in improving memory power, treat mood swings, tendency to procrastinate, disconnectiveness, hopelessness, stress, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness and depression.

Ginger oil is an excellent stimulant to the mind, body and soul. The encouraging aroma of this oil rekindles the inner fire and grants the power and confidence to step ahead and lead with courage and confidence.

Massaging your upper and lower abdomen (the root, sacral and solar plexus chakra) with 2 drops of Ginger oil with 1 ml of coconut oil aids in eliminating fear and mental blocks, enhancing the sense of trust, mental strength and enlightening the divine power rested within.

3. Benefits to the reproductive system:

Ginger is simply hot to support your intimacy with your partner as it has enormous aphrodisiac properties that have been assisting in the treatment of impotency, loss of libido, loss of sexual interest and premature ejaculation.

Gill Farrer-Halls in his book ‘The Aromatherapy Bible’ states that Ginger oil is an effective aphrodisiac and acts as a mild stimulant also. 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 drop of Sandalwood oil and 1 drop of Rose oil added to your diffuser can drive in the positive energy required both physically and mentally for a complete “we time” together, by toning up the sexual organs and pacifying your mood.

Massaging your lower abdomen with 2 drops of Ginger oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil can be of great help in treating the problems of the female reproductive system by regularizing blocked or irregular menstruation, relieving menstrual pain and treating other problems associated with menstruation like nausea, dizziness, fatigue and mood fluctuations. Inhaling the reviving aroma of Ginger oil can aid in treating nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.

4. Benefits to the respiratory system:

Ginger essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha. According to Ayurveda, excess of kapha energy is the main reason for respiratory problems like bronchitis, cold, sinusitis, asthma and congestion.

Ginger oil also has expectorant properties that aids in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits and with its antiseptic properties, it assists in curbing the growth of microbes that spread respiratory infections.

Researchers of the Columbia University have proved that the components in Ginger root have properties that help asthma patients to breathe easily. The post-doctoral research fellow in the Columbia University Department of Anesthesiology, Elizabeth Townsend says, “In our study, we demonstrated that purified components of ginger can work synergistically with β-agonists to relax ASM.”

Adding 2 drops of Ginger essential oil in steam inhalation can assist in reducing cough, clear chest and nasal congestion, relieving sinusitis and helping in treating cold and flu symptoms. You can also rub your chest, back and throat with your regular Vapor rub mixed with 1 drop of Ginger oil for quick relief. Even today Ginger tea is a delicious and healthy way to keep away from cold, cough and flu in the Indian kitchens.

5. Benefits to the muscular system:

Muscular pain is a common illness that most of us experience in our day to day lives. Headache, back pain, knee pain and pain all over the body after a strenuous work are not a surprise to many of us.

What we all do is, rush to the pharmacy and grab pain relieving creams and sprays that grant relief. Most of us fail to realize that these over-the-counter remedies give temporary relief only and force us to use them again when the pain peeps out even worse the next time.

Ginger essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and analgesic properties that make it an exuberant natural aid for treating muscular pain, migraine pain, rheumatic pain, back pain, headache, joint pain, arthritis and weakness.

Excess of vata and kapha energy in the body lead to swelling, water stagnation, accumulation of toxic substances, inflammation, sore muscles, weakened nerves and muscular tension.

With its potent to reduce vata and kapha dosha and increase pitta or the fire energy, 3 drops of Ginger essential oil blended with 1 teaspoon of almond oil massaged gently on the painful area, spreads warmth in the body, reduces swelling and inflammation by eliminating toxic substances and water deposits from the body through urine and sweat and relieves pain by causing numbness in the painful parts.

6. Benefits to the entire system:

Ginger and its essential oil also act as a heart tonic and helps in improved circulation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, few studies have proved that ginger has the potential to prevent blood clotting, lower cholesterol, prevent blood vessels from getting blocked, which may otherwise lead to stroke or heart attack.

Ginger essential oil has antioxidant properties that have been proved efficacious in the prevention and treatment of cancerous cells.  A 2011 study on ‘Antioxidant activity of the volatile oils of Zingiber officinale (ginger)’ published in Spatula-DD, A peer reviewed journal on complementary medicine and drug discovery says “Ginger extracts have reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids levels, as well as cellular cholesterol accumulation, reduce DPPH absorption, scavenge free radicals and it has potential to improve the histopathological lesion occurring in different layers of the arterial tissue. In other word it is effective in attenuating of atherosclerosis development.”

This dominant herb has also been witnessed effective in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A 2006 study by the University Of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center presented in the annual meeting of the American association for Cancer Research stated that using Ginger solution (made with Ginger powder and water) on ovarian cancer cells ended up in their death. These cancerous cells died either due to autophagy (attacked/digested themselves) or due to apoptosis (committed suicide).

The book “A Complete Guide To Understanding and Using Aromatherapy For Vibrant Health and Beauty,” says that Ginger essential oil is effective in treating varicose veins and cellulites.

With rich vitamin C, Ginger oil can also help in treating scurvy. Mix 1 drop of Ginger oil with 10 drops of jojoba oil and apply it on the affected area for enhancing the skin health and reducing the symptoms of aging with its antioxidant properties.

Other health benefits:

Ginger essential oil can also assist in treating rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, loss of libido, problems of the lymphatic system, sore throat, chills, disconnectiveness, improper blood circulation, increased blood sugar levels, back pain and mood swings.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant for treating or replacing any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique health condition and individual constitution.

Never use essential oils internally and always use essential oils in a diluted manner as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used directly on the skin. Care should be taken, if you are a pregnant or nursing woman.

Thought for the day:

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.
-Theodore Roethke

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug by Paul Schulick
  2. A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens by Nina Simonds
  3. The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook: Forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health by David Simon M.D., Deepak Chopra M.D.
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  5. Ginger Recipes: 33 Mouth-Watering Recipes Using Natures Super Spice for Weight Loss, Health, and Beauty. (The Simple Recipe Series) by Ready Recipe Books

Reference Links:

  1. Ginger by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Ginger Beats Drugs in Defeating Cancer, Motion Sickness and Inflammation by Health Impact News Daily
  3. Ginger is a powerful aphrodisiac and increases sexual prowess by Namini Wijedasa published in infolanka.com
  4. What are the benefits of Ginger? By Medical News Today
  5. Ginger – Ayurveda’s Root To Good Health by Ayurveda Acharya