Calendula Oil

Calendula-bannerIf and only if ‘the power of a flower can shower one forever’ with enormous benefits for the skin, then it cannot be anything less than Calendula, the one and only ‘on the dot’ flower that blooms probably on the first of the calendar month. Calendula and its oil has always been one among the best natural aid for treating numerous skin problems ranging from eczema to cracked foot.

While it looks resemble Marigold, this magical Pot Marigold called as Zergul in Hindi and Chin Chan Ts’ao in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) has been used in Ayurveda and other Complementary and Alternative Medicinal practices for treating wounds, insect bites, sunburns, vaginal infections, varicose veins, acne, warts, calluses, scabies, corns, gastritis and conjunctivitis.

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Historical uses and importance of Calendula oil:

Lovingly called as ‘pot marigold’, Calendula officinalis is an arm of the daisy family, Asteraceae. Indigenous to southwest Asia and West Europe including the Mediterranean and Macaronesia, Calendula is also called as Garden marigold and Scottish marigold.

There are many misunderstanding facts between other Calendula and Marigold varieties like marsh marigold, corn marigold and desert marigold that belong to the Tagetes genus and not the Calendula genus.

The word ‘Calendula’ is extracted from the Latin word ‘calendae’, which means ‘little calendar’, ‘little weather-glass’ or ‘little clock’, mainly due to its promptness in blossoming on the new moon or on the beginning of the calendar month.

The word ‘Marigold’ means ‘Virgin Mary’ and is trusted to possess divine healing properties and even today, these flowers are used to honor Mother Mary during numerous Catholic occasions. It is also used to decorate the deities during auspicious religious gatherings in the Hindu tradition in India.

The ancient Greeks and Romans wore garlands and crowns made with the dazzling golden color Calendula flowers and these beautiful blossoms were also used in religious ceremonies and other rituals. The traditional Egyptians believed that these sacred flowers had revitalizing attributes.

The bright golden color petals were also used in textile industry as a source of natural dye for fabrics and it was also used as a natural colorant in cheese and butter varieties. These flowers are a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines along with stews and soup varieties in Germany, for which it is called as ‘Pot marigold’.

Calendula is still remembered for its cordial use during the World War I and the American Civil War as a natural healing agent for treating open wounds. Calendula dressing helped in healing wounds much quicker with its antiseptic and anti-hemorrhagic properties. These flowers were dabbed directly on wounds and cuts to promoter faster healing, control bleeding and to arrest infectious growths.

Being a vital part of the Traditional and alternative medicine, Calendula has been etched in certain oldest medical scripts for cleansing toxins in the gall bladder and liver and was prescribed to treat associated digestive disorders. Till today, the world sings the glory of Calendula tea, attributed to its appetizing taste and enormous healing benefits.

Pharmacological effects and chemical constituents of Calendula oil:

Calendula oil is said to possess antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, stimulant, detoxifying, carminative, anti-tumor, anti-hemorrhagic, antiviral, antifungal, anti-HIV, hepatoprotective and emmenagogue properties.

The major chemical constituents of Calendula oil are a-cadinol, limonene, a-cadinene, p-cymene, 1, 8-cineol along with other flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, flavonol glycosides, carotenoids, sesquiterpene glucoside, amino acids, triterpene oligoglycosides, saponins, and oleanane-type triterpene glycosides.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Calendula oil:

Ayurveda is not associated only with the word ‘remedy’ and much more than that, it encompasses diagnosis of the root cause of an illness, prevention of diseases, healthy aging and longevity to love and live with nature, naturally.

Loved as the most precious gift of the God of Creation, Brahma to the Lord of Medicine, Acharya Dhanvantari, Ayurveda is in healing and harmonizing mankind for more than 5,000 years, for which it is called as the Mother of all healing methodologies on earth. This includes Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Aromatherapy, Allopathy, TCM or the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Naturopathy.

Ayurveda is held high in India and all over the world for its holistic healing practices that defines health as the wellness of the mind, body and spirit together. Among the 4 sacred books of the Indian Hindu mythology (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvaveda), Ayurveda is a significant part of the Atharvaveda, where 114 verses talk about various health conditions, its symptoms, natural remedies and various Ayurvedic techniques for prevention and increased life span.

Dinacharya or the Ayurvedic routine recommends numerous ways for leading a hale, hearty and disciplined life. Human body is regarded as a temple, where the soul dwelling in is considered as a divine presence. This school of thought enables Ayurveda to strongly recommend practices for keeping the body, mind and spirit clean and cheerful.

Everything in this world is a part of nature and is made up of the fundamental elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and space. Every person is made up of a unique combination of these five elements, precisely called as doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Vata (air + space), pitta (fire + water) and kapha (water + earth) make up an individual constitution, which is also called as Prakriti.

Each and every individual has a unique Prakriti just like the fingerprints, with a predominance of any of these three doshas. This doshic predominance determines the character, personality, behavioral patterns and emotional setup of an individual.

Perfect balance between doshas as per the law of nature indicates health and doshic imbalances due to sedentary lifestyle, change in food habits, weather fluctuations etc., lead to sickness. Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the root cause of a health condition and prescribes unique medication for every person as per the Prakriti or the individual constitution.

The major Ayurvedic remedies include Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation, herbs, Pranayama (the art of balanced breathing), Abhyanga or the Ayurvedic massaging technique, Dinacharya or the Ayurvedic routine and Panchakarma (the Ayurvedic detoxification therapy).

Calendula oil is recommended for pacifying pitta and kapha doshas and for augmenting vata energy.

The most significant Ayurvedic health benefits of Calendula oil are:

Calendula-broucher1. Calendula for skin:

As we saw above, it’s historical significance during the World War I and the American Civil War as an excellent first aid agent in healing wounds, arresting bleeding and in treating inflammatory conditions is a noble proof for its brilliance in wound healing and is called as ropana in Ayurveda, means one which heals wounds.

A 2008 study on ‘Calendula officinalis and Wound Healing: A Systematic Review’ by Matthew J. Leach, PhD, BN (Hons), ND, RN, MATMS, published in WOUNDS, A compendium of clinical research and practice substantiates that the presence of triterpenoids like faradiol and the faradiol monoester and other components including flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides and micronutrients contribute to its anti-inflammatory, anti-edematous, wound healing attributes and antioxidant properties.

The major skin conditions considered for this study includes foot ulcer, dermatitis, varicose ulcer, burns, injuries, cuts, abrasions, pressure ulcer, skin ulcer and other wounds. This study also explains that Calendula officinalis has “Anti-inflammatory activity – The acute inflammatory response during the early stages of injury generates factors that are essential for tissue growth and repair.

Antimicrobial activity -Wound healing can also be delayed when microorganisms are present in large enough numbers. Therefore, reducing the bacterial load of a wound may be necessary to facilitate wound healing, as well as reduce local inflammation and tissue destruction.

An ideal agent for the prevention and control of wound infection would therefore be one that directly destroys pathogens, while also stimulating immune activity. Calendula is one agent that possesses both of these properties.

Antioxidant effect – The production of free radicals at or around the wound bed may contribute to delays in wound healing through the destruction of lipids, proteins, collagen, proteoglycan, and hyaluronic acid.

Agents that demonstrate significant antioxidant activity may, therefore, preserve viable tissue and facilitate wound healing. Calendula demonstrates free radical scavenging activity against superoxide radicals and hydroxyl radicals and facilitates wound healing via an important antioxidant effect.

Wound healing activity – The most important clinical endpoint in wound management is wound closure or 100% epithelialization. Given that wound closure is critically important; it is argued that any agent demonstrating significant wound-healing activity should be seriously considered in conventional practice.

Calendula, for example, may facilitate wound healing by increasing wound angiogenesis and collagen, nucleoprotein, and glycoprotein metabolism, leading to improvements in both local circulation and granulation tissue formation.”

This study concludes stating “Calendula officinalis possesses a number of properties that are conducive to wound healing, especially in a number of acute and chronic wounds, particularly for its effect on inflammation, microbial load, and epithelialization.”

With its immunostimulant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, anti-microbial, antiseptic and disinfectant properties, applying a blend of 5 drops of Calendula with 2 drops of Bay leaf oil in your mild skin care cream or with 10 drops of Coconut oil can help in healing bee stings, insect bites, sores, cuts, bruises, skin abrasions, swelling, burns, acne, scrapes, diaper rashes, athlete’s foot, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

The most adorable quality of Calendula oil is that it helps in controlling the formation of scars and diminishes stretch marks with its ability to stimulate tissue repair generation and secretion of collagen that enhances the natural elasticity of skin cells.

You can also add few drops of Calendula oil in your skin care ointments, lotions and creams or in salves, facial steams, baths, washes, tinctures and Ayurvedic essential oils for nourishing, enriching and nurturing the texture and health of your skin.

2. Calendula for circulation and inflammation:

Calendula oil has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties that assist in clearing away excess of kapha dosha responsible for fluid retention through the mutravahasrotas, means the urinary passages by promoting the frequency and quantity of urination. By this way, the excess water deposits, toxic remains, salt, uric acid and fat in the system are eliminated through urine.

The effectiveness of Calendula in enhancing the functions of rasa and rakta dhatus, which means the plasma and blood tissues contributes to its ability in augmenting proper blood circulation. This makes Calendula oil as a promising remedy in treating circulatory conditions like varicose veins, arthritis, gout and rheumatic conditions.

Thus massaging the affected or painful parts with 1 ounce of Calendula oil with 2 drops of Cassia oil and 2 drops of Black cumin oil can help in enhancing blood circulation, discarding toxic remains and fluid retention through urine and reduce pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism, varicose veins, gout and arthritis.

You can also add 2 drops of Calendula oil in warm water and use it is a gargle for alleviating sore throat, killing germs and microbes in the mouth causing bad breath, cavities, gingivitis and other gum problems.

3. Calendula for immunity:

Low immune power is the direct doorway for numerous microbes, pathogens and other micro-organisms causing various diseases and contagious medical conditions. The presence of calendulin, a yellow resin along with tannins and other chemical constituents of its volatile oil makes Calendula a promising medication for augmenting the rapid growth response of the human lymphocytes.

WBC or the white blood corpuscles are responsible for the body’s immune power or the potent to fight against pathogens, microbes or other harmful micro-organisms invading the healthy system. With its anti-microbial, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties, Calendula oil strengthens the immune system by shielding against the attack of bacteria, virus, fungi, worms etc.

Calendula oil also helps in treating inflamed lymph glands and decrease lymphatic congestion. It also aids in purging away harmful toxic remains in the body through urine with its triterpenoid components responsible for its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Adding 5 drops of Calendula oil in bathing water every morning and 2 drops of Calendula oil added to your hankie or your pillow cover are the best ways to strengthen your immunity through the ‘Calendula power’.

4. Calendula for digestive disorders:

Calendula oil boasts its support to various digestive functions with its astringent, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic and antimicrobial properties. The ability to pacify excess of pitta energy or digestive fire makes Calendula an excellent natural remedy for soothing the lining of the stomach, intestines and the gastrointestinal tract.

Massaging your abdomen with 10 drops of Calendula oil blended with 2 drops of Calamus oil and 4 ounce of Coconut oil can help in soothing the walls of the stomach and intestines, thus pacifying irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer, gastritis and other inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.

This medicated massage can also assist in stimulating the functions of the liver, the organ of detoxification, thus support in eliminating microbial infections, ama or toxic remains in the stomach, intestinal worms and other pathogenic foreign bodies in the gut, which may otherwise lead to dysentery, viral hepatitis, diarrhea and enteritis.

5. Calendula for reproductive functions:

Calendula is extremely beneficial in supporting the functions of the female reproductive problems including irregular menstruation, uterine fibroids, frigidity and ovarian cysts (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

For all these special benefits, Calendula blossoms are called in Ayurveda as Striroga, one which aids in gynaecological problems; Granthi, remedy for treating the complications of tumors, and Artavajanana for aiding trouble-free menstruation.

The oil of Calendula helps in clearing excess of kapha and pitta energies in the uterus, mainly because of its effectiveness on artavavahasrotas.

A gentle massage of the lower abdomen, back and thighs with 10 drops of Calendula oil and 1 drop of Cinnamon oil and 1 drop of Cassia oil can help in promoting blood circulation in the uterus, regularizing blocked or delayed menstruation, relieving dysmennorhea or menstrual pain.

You can also use this blend in bath, especially during your menstrual cycle and the times you’re sick with menopausal symptoms.

Calendula oil functions like a tonic to the uterine muscles, aiding in balancing the estrogen hormones that are responsible for PCOS and uterine fibroids. It is also trusted to treat cysts in the digestive passage and the breasts. Calendula infusions were used in folklore remedy for fostering uterine contractions and the discharge of placenta during childbirth.

Other health benefits:

The most celebrated herbalists, Gerard and Culpeper call Marigold as a “comforter of the heart and spirits”. Calendula is also recommended safe for diaper rashes, hemorrhoids, stomach upset, people undergoing radiation therapy, abdominal cramps, fistulas, sprains and eye inflammation.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the use of education and is not intended to diagnose or prevent any health condition or to substitute any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. We, the Essential Depot team are not healthcare professionals and this content is written only in social interest of educating the public about the richness of Ayurvedic treatment, the most trusted traditional healing system.

Calendula oil is suggested only for the use of topical application and do not take it internally. Talk with your medical expert or your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the appropriate Ayurvedic oils for your Prakriti or unique individual constitution and medical condition and before using them on children, nursing women, pregnant ladies and on people who are undergoing other treatments (please check on drug interactions) and on those who are allergic to specific oils.

Thought for the day:

“The marigold goes to bed with the Sun
And with him rises, weeping.”
-Shakespeare

Suggested Reading:

  1. Calendula – Calendula Officinalis by Amanda Klenner
  2. Calendula Oil (How To Make Natural Skin Care Products Series Book 29) by Miriam Kinai
  3. Calendula by Marian Kim
  4. Calendula by Mindy Green
  5. Herbs for Healthy Aging: Natural Prescriptions for Vibrant Health by David Hoffmann FNIMH AHG

Reference Links:

  1. Calendula by Wikipedia
  2. Calendula by The University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. Calendula officinalis and Wound Healing: A Systematic Review by Matthew J. Leach, PhD, BN(Hons), ND, RN, MATMS, published in WOUNDS, a compendium of clinical research and practice
  4. Phytochemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Calendula officinalis Linn(Asteraceae): A Review by BP. Muley, SS. Khadabadi and NB. Banarase, Govt. College of Pharmacy, Maharashtra, India, published in the Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

 


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Cassia Oil

Cassia-banner“Cassia does everything Cinnamon does, but better!” say many Doctors. Cassia owns the glory of being born in the heart of China and has been in use for more than 4,000 years for culinary and medicinal purposes. This ancient herb has been trusted to enhance energy, life force, vitality and blood circulation.

Ayurveda prescribes Cassia for the treatment of menstrual problems, nausea, respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal problems, depression, loss of libido, rheumatism, diabetes and indigestion. Cassia is botanically called as Cinnamomum cassia and is a member of the Lauraceae plant family.

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Historical uses and importance of Cassia oil:

Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon or Chinese cassia finds its origin in South China. This tree serves several purposes and is hence widely cultivated in India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With its celebrated use in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cassia is regarded as one among the 50 fundamental herbs of China.

Cassia finds its importance in the United States too, and is marketed under the name of “Cinnamon” for culinary purposes. The Indians take a liking to the buds on the tree as well and also use it in their food; this is an ancient ingredient for soul food used by the Romans as well.

This tree grows to a height of 10–15 m, which has a grayish bark with leaves that are hard and elongated and a warping of 10-15 cms in length with a pretty red color when young.

The bark of the tree finds its uses in the kitchen, while the leaves and the twigs of this tree are sometimes used in the production of Cassia oil. The oil extracted from the Cassia tree, finds immense importance in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine including Ayurveda.

It is useful as a medicine, for beauty care, for cooking, as a health tonic and also as a stimulant. Cassia oil is brownish to yellowish in color, and the refined oil is colorless with a pale yellow tint when held up to the sunlight.

The aromatic bark of Cassia has been in use as a medicinal spice in various traditions across the world.  In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon has been used for treating diarrhea, cold, nausea, painful menstruation and flatulence.

It was also used to boost immunity, treat fever, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney infections, candida, nail fungus, atherosclerosis, cataract and even cancer, with its natural antioxidant properties.

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

According to the Gas chromatography report, Cassia oil constitutes of 12 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this super aromatic oil. Of which, (E)-Cinnamaldehyde contributes to the highest proportion of Cassia oil constituents with about 81.3% of its total composition.

Just click on:

(E)-Cinnamaldehyde

o-Methoxy-Cinnamaldehyde

Cinnamyl acetate

I believe that this must surely help you in learning about the major chemical constituents of Cassia oil.

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

cassia-oil

Therapeutic properties of Cassia essential oil:

The remedial properties of Cassia oil are fungicidal, antimutagen, stimulant, anticoagulant, antiviral, antibacterial, circulatory, anti-diarrhea, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, carminative, anti-galactogogue, anti-rheumatic, emmenagogue, anti-depressant, febrifuge, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-emetic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia essential oil:

Ayurveda is a righteous remedial practice that indicates that everything on earth should follow a disciplined order of living for leading a healthy and progressive life.

Every human being is a part of nature according to Ayurveda and one’s illness and wellness depends upon an individual’s balance with nature. Ayurvedic healing trusts and depends upon Mother Nature and its natural remedies for treating humanity.

This 5,000 year oldest healing methodology is the pioneer for all other medicinal practices including Homeopathy, Siddha, Unani, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Allopathy, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and much more. The first Ayurvedic record refers to Atharvaveda, one of the 4 sacred books of the Indian mythology with 114 verses talking about numerous diseases and the corresponding traditional remedies of Ayurveda.

This was further enhanced by the 3 most important Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita (Charaka – the father of medicine), Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta – the father of surgery) and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita. These books have talked on all the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, various kinds of illnesses and their comprehensive medicinal practices. This includes Ayurvedic remedies for almost all kinds of diseases including the chronic cancer.

According to Ayurveda, health is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual wellness and Charaka Samhita quotes this as, “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.”

The distinctiveness of Ayurveda lies in its holistic approach that treats the root cause of an illness instead of its symptoms. This paves way for treating the sickness as well as preventing it in future.

Instead of prescribing the same medicines for everyone, Ayurveda recommends unique remedies for every individual according to their unique individual constitution, even if it is for the same illness. This is because Ayurveda identifies every individual as a distinctive part of nature and considers that their illnesses should also be treated with accordance to it.

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

Vata (air and space) controls the functions of the nervous system, circulatory system and the respiratory system. Pitta (fire and water) governs the metabolic functions and body temperature. Kapha (earth and water) is in charge for the movement of fluids in the system and the functions of the reproductive system.

Every person has a dominance of any one these doshas and it determines the physical appearance, personality, behavioral patterns and mental makeup. Absolute balance between these doshic elements symbolizes healthiness and disparities of these biological factors lead to diseases.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and certain Ayurvedic techniques like Panchakarma or the detox therapy, Abhyanga or the skill of Ayurvedic massaging using Ayurvedic oils and much more.

With its warming and stimulating properties, Cassia essential oil has been used in Ayurvedic healing for increasing pitta dosha and decreasing kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cassia oil and its use in the treatment of various health conditions:

cassia-broucher-info1. Treats psychological problems:

Cassia oil has been used in the treatment of depression. This is mainly attributed to the presence of its constituent known as Cinnamaldehyde, which helps in uplifting the mood, inducing positive thoughts and combating depression. It helps in relieving one from negative feelings.

Ayurveda recommends Cassia oil especially during meditation, yoga and Pranayama for supporting the perfect harmony of the mind, body and the soul. Adding 2 drops of this oil in vaporizer, burner or diffuser particularly during prayers, meditation, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing and yoga practices can help in augmenting mental clarity, boost self-confidence, enhance memory skills and to face the challenges of life with original sense of improved independence.

A 2011 study proved that an isolated substance (CEppt) in the cinnamon plant that inhibits development of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. CEppt, an extract of the cinnamon bark, was used to resolve the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2013 study by Dr. Mercola on ‘Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s’ brings out the results of a study published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’, which states “Cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, two compounds found in cinnamon, have an inhibitory effect on the aggregation of a particular protein called tau. Tau plays a large role in the structure and function of neurons. Both compounds were found to protect tau from oxidative damage that can lead to dysfunction.”

It is also said that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of brain diabetes and is also explored that there is a connection between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because “Insulin and insulin receptors in your brain are crucial for learning and memory, and it’s known that these components are lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease”, says Donald Graves, professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Cassia cinnamon proves effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease mainly with its potent to control blood glucose level in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

2. Checks diabetes:

Diabetes is one among the most common health condition that about 60% of the earth’s population battles everyday and it is often regarded as a bane to humanity.

Treatment of diabetes through Allopathic medicine has not gone a very long way. Studies show that Cassia oil can be used in the treatment of diabetes especially in type2 diabetes where patients suffer with malfunctioning of insulin in the body.

Cinnamon oil helps lower the level of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes; this is made possible through the abundant presence of a Polyphenol compound in Cinnamon that is soluble in water. A 2003 study published in the Diabetes Care journal states that Cassia Cinnamon helped in reducing blood glucose levels, a blood lipid known as triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

Relax your system by adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to warm bathing water in the morning and you can also add 1 drop of this oil to your handkerchief and stay refreshed throughout the day.

In addition to that you can invigorate yourself by an Ayurvedic massage in the weekend with 5 drops of Cassia oil blended with 5 drops of Nutmeg oil, 5 drops of Fennel oil and 10 ml of coconut oil, followed by a warm bath can aid in controlling your blood glucose levels and bad cholesterol levels by penetrating through the skin and passing commands to the bloodstream.

3. Boosts circulation and alleviates rheumatic problems:

Rheumatism is an auto-immune disorder that occurs mainly due to the buildup of toxins or ama in the body caused due to the inequality of digestive fire in the body.

Ayurveda states that ama or the toxic substances in the body has the hazardous power to obstruct the functions of the vital organs in the system. These substances reach the kapha subjugated parts of the body including joints, chest, stomach, fingers, brain and certain other parts.

The symptoms being improper blood circulation, swelling of joints, inflammation, loss of energy, fatigue, inflammation, insomnia, burning and itchy eyes, indigestion, redness, morning stiffness and much more.

Being a circulatory, anti-rheumatic, analgesic oil and controller of excess kapha dosha proves Cassia as an excellent natural remedy for treating rheumatism, arthritis and its associated symptoms.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Nutmeg oil and 3 ml of sesame oil can help in enhancing blood circulation, augmenting warmth feelings to the joints, alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, promoting frequent urination through which toxins are eliminated and relieving from other related symptoms as well.

Along with this, yoga and Pranayama can help in relieving rheumatism and arthritis quicker than you think. A research by the scientists of the Baltimore John Hopkins University published in the Arthritis Foundation website states that “yoga has absolutely been helpful for treating people with rheumatoid arthritis.”

4. Relieves digestive and respiratory disorders:

The carminative and stomachic properties of Cassia oil help in treating gastro-intestinal problems and other digestive problems including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and infections in the stomach and intestines. For treating digestive problems, you can massage your abdomen with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 2 drops of Nutmeg oil along with 2 ml of avocado oil.

Respiratory infections like cold, cough, influenza and congestion occur due to vitiated kapha dosha causing excess fluid deposits leading to accumulation of phlegm, mucus and other microbes in the nasal, respiratory and bronchial passages.

Cassia essential oil has anti-microbial, anti-viral and expectorant properties along with its potent to regularize the functions of kapha dosha. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil in steam inhalation along with a gentle massaging of your throat, chest and back with 1 drop of this oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment can grant quicker relief from all kinds of respiratory problems. You can also practice Pranayama (Ayurvedic breathing exercises) for relieving from chronic respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis etc.

5. Benefits to the female reproductive system:

Cassia oil is a proven natural medicine for treating menstrual pain, spasms, irregular periods, and blocked menstruation. This oil has emmenagogue properties that induce menses and is a boon to women suffering from blocked or irregular menstruation. The analgesic or pain-relieving properties of Cassia oil help in reducing menstrual pain or dysmennorhea.

Massaging your lower abdomen and thighs with 2 drops of Cassia oil mixed with 1 ml of sesame oil can help in alleviating painful menstruation, delayed periods and menstrual spasms. Adding 2 drops of this oil in warm bathing water can help in reducing anxiety, fatigue, nausea, restlessness and loss of energy associated with menstruation.

Cassia and its oil have been used since the ancient Chinese tradition for preventing childbirth and for controlling milk in breastfeeding mothers with its anti-galactogogue properties.

6. Benefits to hair and skin:

Cassia oil finds its uses in cosmetic and hair care products as well. When used with Chamomile tea, Cassia oil can act as a hair dye, and when mixed with lemon juice in right proportions it gives a good strawberry blonde hue for your hair. Shampoos and conditioners that contain Cassia oil can help in the nourishment of your hair from within.

Cassia obovata when made into a mixture with hot water can be used as a hair mask. Adding 2 drops of Cassia oil to 10 ml of your mild shampoo can help in fostering hair growth, treating damaged hair, strengthening hair follicles and aid in retaining the natural moisture in the scalp.

When it comes to skin care, powdered Cassia and its essential oil are used since the primeval times for treating a wide range of skin problems including acne. This oil works well as an anti-viral and anti-fungal agent and highly helps in treating fungal and viral infections of the skin.

Mixing 2 drops of Cassia oil with 1 drop of Orange oil and 1.5 ml of olive oil and applying it gently on the affected parts can assist in treating pimples, blackheads, ringworm, athlete’s foot, itching, wounds and other skin infections. Massaging your facial skin with this blend can also help in eliminating dead skin cells and controlling excessive secretion of oil causing acne.

Other Uses:

Cassia also finds its use as anti-emetic oil by preventing nauseating sensations and also relieves one from vomiting. You can wear 1 drop of Cassia oil on your wrist or add it to your handkerchief or a tissue and inhale the medicated aroma to help you prevent from vomiting and enhance your appetite, especially during travelling. Cassia oil seems to speed up the functioning of the kidneys and is also known for affecting the libido due to its aphrodisiac qualities.

In food, Cassia oil is used for its wonderful aroma and its sweet flavor that gives the dish an additional taste. The delicate scent of Cassia essential oil plays a major role in reducing drowsiness, irritability, pain, frequency of headaches, and more. So adding 1 to 2 drops of this oil to your diffuser or air freshener and inhaling the light scent of this oil in your room can gift you an amusing atmosphere. Cassia oil also helps in relaxing tight muscles and spasms.

Disclaimer:

This article is completely for the purpose of information and education.  It is not meant to cure, diagnose or put a stop to any medical condition or substitute any prescription medicines or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this information is published only with the concern of sharing the conventional principles and therapeutic uses of Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences in the universe.

Do not take essential oils internally and always keep in mind that you dilute essential oils before using it for topical application. This is because organic and pure essential oils are greatly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Make certain that you consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare practitioner prior to choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Avoid Cassia oil if you are pregnant or nursing your baby.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Cassia oil.

Cassia Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

The adverse skin reactions of Cassia or the Chinese Cinnamon oil are dermal irritation, mild to severe skin sensitization, irritation of the mucous membrane and dermatitis. Cassia oil is said to exhibit no phototoxic effects but is emmenagogue in nature and might cause contraction of the uterine muscles, which is hazardous to the wellness of the fetus and the pregnant women.

The key chemical constituents that are responsible for the possible skin and other undesirable health issues of Cassia oil are Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol. These components have been studied for causing acute and subchronic toxicity.

Studies state that Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions, irritation, sensitization and dermatitis when the skin is in contact with products like liniments, mouthwashes, toothpastes and creams.

It may provoke debility, itching, irritation, insomnia, and depression in some people. This mainly occurs when the use of Cinnamaldehyde exceeds the maximum safe level of usage. The highest recommended level by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) for Cinnamaldehyde is 0.05% for most of the products.

When used in vapor therapy and topical application beyond the recommended usage level, Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamic acid and cinnamyl alcohol are said to contribute to the irritation of mucous membrane and are accounted for hepatotoxicity (toxic, irritant and might cause damage to the liver), mutagenic (alteration in the structure of DNA), reproductive toxicity (research supporting significant fall in the number of nuclei and changes in the allotment of embryos in pregnant mice) and restrain platelet aggregation, a vital part of the blotting clotting process.

Undiluted or concentrated Cassia oil have been proved to cause severe irritation in rabbits in certain studies and few other studies involving consecutive patients with dermatitis, few people were sensitive to 2% Cassia oil on patch testing.

Always ensure to dilute Cassia oil in appropriate carrier oils before topical use and never ingest essential oil as they may be toxic to the system.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Cassia Oil:

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  3. A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients by The RIFM expert panel, published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology
  4. Cassia bark oil: The Chinese Cinnamon oil by Mercola.com
  5. Fragrance material review on cinnamyl acetate by S.P. Bhatia, G.A. Wellington, J. Cocchiara, J. Lalko, C.S. Letizia, A.M. Api, Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc., Manheimer Fragrances, Teterboro NJ, USA, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology Review and Science Direct

Thought for the day:

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.  -Paracelsus

Suggested Reading:

  1. Cinnamon and Cassia: The Genus Cinnamomum (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  2. Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda B.A.M.S.
  3. The Complete Guide to Natural Cures: Effective Holistic Treatments for Everything from Allergies to Wrinkles (Lynn Sonberg Books) by Debora Yost
  4. The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices by Christian Rätsch, Claudia Müller-Ebeling
  5. Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth by Sharol Marie Tilgner

Reference Links:

  1. Cinnamomum cassia by Wikipedia
  2. Vitamins offer hope for Alzheimer’s by Dr. Mercola
  3. Can Cinnamon help you control your diabetes by Amy Campbell published in Diabetes Self-Management.com
  4. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and Cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume by Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE published in PubMed


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Myrrh Gel Essential Oil

Mrrh-gel-bannerCrowned as one among the first and best gifts to baby Jesus by the Biblical Magi, Myrrh is asserted as a panacea for many diseases and is a symbol of wishing good health and happiness. This sacred herb has its name engraved in almost all the major religious practices of healing and has been in use throughout history as a promising medicine, renowned perfume and sanctified incense.

Myrrh essential oil is hydro distilled from the resin of Myrrh trees. Ayurveda accentuates Myrrh as a trusted remedy for treating arthritis, dysmennorhea, anemia, menopausal problems, bronchitis, asthma, obesity, mouth ulcers, digestive problems, gum diseases, cough and rheumatism. Myrrh resin has been a vital ingredient in many rasayana formulas in Ayurvedic treatment.

Historical importance of Myrrh:

Botanically known as Commiphora myrrha, Myrrh is indigenous to Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The word ‘Myrrh’ is derived from the Aramaic word murr, meaning ‘was bitter’. Myrrh has many religious rituals stringed to its historical fame. The Islamic herbal medicine encyclopedia quotes “The Messenger of Allah stated, Fumigate your houses with al-shih, murr, and sa’tar”, where murr indicates Myrrh.

The book of Matthew states that gold, frankincense and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus Christ. New Testament cites Myrrh as an incense presented at the time of Christian liturgical celebrations. The Eastern Orthodox Church makes use of Myrrh scented oil as a symbol of tradition during the sacraments of unction and chrismation.

Myrrh was held high in the Traditional Chinese Medicine as a special herb with ‘blood-moving’ powers to eliminate stagnant blood from the uterus and is also effective on spleen meridians, liver and heart. It is for this reason, Myrrh has been used in the treatment of uterine tumors, menopause, amenorrhea, rheumatic problems, dysmennorhea, arthritis and other circulatory problems.  It is also said that Myrrh has been used in the Chinese ma yao since 600 BC.

It is said that the Greek soldiers took Myrrh with them to the battlefield for cleansing and healing their wounds, as this herb has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It was used by the ancient Egyptians for treating hay fever, herpes and also in fumigations and embalming.

This herb is used in folklore medicine in making rheumatic plasters and for treating muscular pains. Tibetans trust the magical powers of Myrrh to assuage stress and certain other nervous disorders.

Myrrh is a popular ingredient in many liniments, tooth powders, gargles, toothpastes and mouthwashes especially for its antiseptic and analgesic properties that aid in treating many oral problems, wounds and skin ailments.  It is also used in making tinctures for healing wounds in the Veterinary practice. Assyrians and Babylonians burned Myrrh during religious ceremonies.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Myrrh essential oil:

The remedial values of Myrrh gel essential oil are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, antiseptic, antimicrobial, carminative, stimulant, tonic, stomachic, astringent, antifungal, circulatory, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, anti-catarrhal, immune booster and expectorant. The chemical components contributing to these properties are eugenol, triterpenoids, polysaccharides, a-pinene, limonene, cresol, triterpene acids, cadinene, cuminaldehyde, sesquiterpenes and acetic acid.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Myrrh gel essential oil:

Myrrh is a part of many Ayurvedic medications, especially for its positive effects on the nervous system and the circulatory system. Everything in Ayurveda has a strong reason behind it and that is the focus on treating the root cause of an illness and preventing it in the future also.

Ayurvedic practices do not treat human beings and their illnesses as one among the ten instead it believes that every individual is unique by birth and each and every one of their health condition needs to be treated in a unique manner.

Ayurvedic principles trust that every one of us on earth is built up of three vital energies known as doshas. They are kapha, pitta and vata doshas. The wisdom of Ayurvedic healing lies in its holistic and inimitable approach towards humanity by identifying their attributes, personal traits and health mechanism based on their predominant dosha.

Generally vata predominant people are lean, tall, creative and have a dark complexion and its imbalance causes constipation, stress, sleeplessness, anxiety and loss of sexual interest. People with the predominance of pitta dosha have a fair complexion, sharp decision making skills, short temper and are perfectionists.

Pitta imbalance leads to loss of temper and digestive disorders like heartburn and ulcers. Kapha predominant people are kind at heart, affectionate and obese with an average complexion. Imbalance of kapha energy will lead to overweight, sluggishness and poor process of digestion.

Ayurvedic remedies are based on your individual constitution and center natural medications to treat the imbalance of doshas. Myrrh essential oil is known to pacify vata and kapha energies and increase pitta dosha.

It’s time to have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Myrrh gel essential oil.

Myrrh-gel-broucher1. Protects from the infestations of microbes and other harmful organisms:

Myrrh essential oil is known for its anti-fungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It assists in killing bacteria, fungi and certain other detrimental microbes by making the body resistant to such infections.

Myrrh oil has natural breath freshening properties that aid in treating bad breath known as halitosis. Add 2 drops of Myrrh oil in warm water and use it as a gargle for treating oral problems like toothaches, pyorrhea, abscesses, mouth ulcers, gingivitis and gum problems. This blend also helps in fighting bacteria causing cavities.

Applying 2 drops of Myrrh oil blended along with coconut oil on wounds, cuts, athletes foot, and other skin infections will aid in preventing the wound from getting septic as Myrrh oil fights Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for wounds becoming septic. This oil is also used in treating cough, measles, pox, cold, fever, diarrhea, mumps, food poisoning and other health conditions caused due to microbial infections.

2. Boosts your immunity and fights against cancer:

A weak immune system is the underlying cause for the body becoming vulnerable to diseases and infections. Myrrh essential oil reinforces the immune system and augments the body’s natural disease resistant power by enhancing the body’s nutrient absorption capacity.

This way it protects the body from pathogens in case of airborne or waterborne diseases like diarrhea, cold, cough, dysentery, typhoid, bronchitis, vomiting and few other digestive problems. Add 3 to 4 drops of Myrrh oil with jojoba oil and massage gently on your body. This helps in transmitting the therapeutic molecules of Myrrh oil by penetrating deeply into the skin and to your blood stream.

Myrrh has been proved effective in fighting against the free radicals and aid in preventing cancer. A 2001 study by the Rutgers University in NJ found that Myrrh essential oil has certain compounds that assist in killing cancer cells and showing promising effect for treatment and prevention of prostate and breast cancer.

Elemene has been identified as the unique component of Myrrh essential oil and has been proven to show improved effect on treatment of cancerous brain tumors.  You can add 2 drops to your diffuser for regaining confidence and energy. Gently massage your affected parts with 5 drops of Myrrh oil blended with coconut oil for combating the growth of free radicals worsening the effects of cancer.

3. Cures skin ailments:

Myrrh essential oil has been used as a trusted natural remedy for skin problems since the Biblical times. This is mainly because of the antiseptic, analgesic, vulnerary and astringent properties of this oil.  A 2010 study by King Saud University, Saudi Arabia traced that Myrrh was particularly potential to increase the count of white blood cells in laboratory rats treated for gastric ulcers and skin injuries with Myrrh.

Blending 2 drops of Myrrh oil with coconut oil and applying it on wounds, cuts, boils, athlete’s foot, bed sores, chapped skin, ringworm, eczema, skin ulcers, hemorrhoids, weeping wounds and itches can help heal such skin problems quickly and protect them from infections also.

Myrrh essential oil has been in use as a rejuvenating facial aid for more than hundreds of years mainly due to its ability to invigorate dull skin, revivify mature complexions, reduce wrinkles and leave it glowing from within. Mix 2 drops of Myrrh oil with jojoba oil and rub it on your face soothingly, leave it for 5 minutes and then wash your face with a mild cleanser for nourishing your skin and help it look supple and younger.

4. Abet respiratory problems:

Myrrh essential oil has expectorant and anti-catarrhal properties that help in treating respiratory problems like cold, asthma, sinus infections, cough, sore throat, congestion, bronchitis and breathing difficulties.

Add 2 drops of Myrrh oil to steaming water and inhale the aroma to get immediate relief from chest congestion and to support the expulsion of phlegm from respiratory tracts and lungs. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to hot bath or to your cold rub and gently massage it on the chest, back and throat for instant aid.

5. Assists your digestive system:

Myrrh oil is carminative and stomachic in nature, aiding in relieving gases and promoting the process of digestion. It helps in restoring the appetite, treating indigestion, nausea, flatulence, stomach pain and constipation by stimulating the flow of saliva, bile and other digestive juices. You can either use 2 to 3 drops of Myrrh oil in steam inhalation or diffuser for calming the digestive system. Massaging your tummy and abdomen with 2 drops of Myrrh oil blended with sesame oil can help in easing sluggish digestion.

6. Stimulates the mind:

Myrrh essential oil is said to grant mental clarity, alleviate stress, and treat depression, tension, fatigue and anxiety. It is used in Ayurvedic healing for enhancing the intellect and cleansing the blood. Inhaling the sacred aroma of Myrrh oil during meditation can help in opening the mind, increasing concentration and treating poor memory. Massaging your body with 4 drops of Myrrh oil along with sweet almond oil helps in uplifting the mind, relieving anxiety and nervous tension.

Myrrh essential oil has a calming and pacifying fragrance that helps open the heart chakra that is associated with love, forgiveness and acceptance. 2 drops of Myrrh oil added to burner, vaporizer or diffuser assists in discharging fear, hurting experiences and depressive feelings that stop you from going ahead. Myrrh oil strengthens your spiritual acquaintance, trust and self-confidence.

7. Alleviates pain and inflammation:

Myrrh has been a promising remedy in Ayurveda and other traditional healing methodologies for treating pain, gout, arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The essential oil of Myrrh has diaphoretic properties that increase sweating and helps expel excess water, toxic substances and extra salts from the body.

The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil supports in reducing inflammation. By eliminating the toxic substance and lessening inflammation, Myrrh oil is effective in treating arthritis and rheumatic pain.

Blend 2 drops of Myrrh oil, 2 drops of Frankincense oil along with coconut oil and massage soothingly on the affected parts for relieving pain and inflammation. You can also add 3 drops of Myrrh oil to hot compress or in hot bath for similar effects.

Other health benefits:

Myrrh essential oil is also helpful in treating menstrual cramps, delayed menstruation, uterine problems, hair fall problems and acts as a tonic for the entire system by stimulating the digestive system, nervous system and the circulatory system.

Disclaimer: Never take essential oils internally. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so always dilute them in suitable carrier oils before using it for topical application. This article is only for your information and is not meant to replace any prescribed medication or professional advice. Avoid using Myrrh oil if you are a pregnant or nursing woman. Keep it out of reach of children. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the appropriate essential oil for your unique individual constitution and health condition.

Thought for the day:

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.              – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Frankincense & Myrrh: Through the Ages, and a complete guide to their use in herbalism and aromatherapy today by Martin Watt, Wanda Sellar
  2. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
    by Queen Afua
  5. Herbal Remedies Bible: Life Saving And Healing Herbs For All Ailments: Easy Herbal Remedies For Over 100 Ailments by Dane Foster

Reference Links:

  1. Myrrh by Wikipedia
  2. Myrrh Essential Oil Can Help Fight Cancer by Ezinearticles.com
  3. A Wise Man’s Cure: Frankincense and Myrrh by Jennie Cohen published in History in the Headlines
  4. Medicinal Qualities of Myrrh by Rebecca Joy Knottnerus published in Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy