Camphor Oil

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camphor-banner“Camphor increases prana, opens up senses and brings clarity to the mind, eases headache and awakens perception. It is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain”, says Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. Botanically known as Cinnamomum camphora, Camphor is a member of the Lauraceae plant family and is extracted from the wood and bark of this evergreen tree.

Prevalently called as Karpura in Ayurveda, this sacred and aromatic herb is used in Ayurvedic healing for more than thousands of years in the treatment of bronchitis, insomnia, asthma, hysteria, whooping cough, epilepsy, dysmennorhea, sinus headaches, nasal and pulmonary congestion, delirium and gout.

No sacred or religious ritual in India gets fulfilled without Camphor and is also known in Ayurveda with other names like Chandra, Himavaluka, Ghanasara and Chandra Prabha.

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Historical uses and importance of Camphor and its essential oil:

Popularly called as ‘the tree that does not sleep’, Camphor has been an important natural remedy especially in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of various illnesses including nervous afflictions and other psychosomatic problems.

Indigenous to Formosa, Japan and China, this tree can grow up to a maximum height of 100 feet and the traditional Chinese used Camphor for its remedial uses and its wood was used in building temples and ships mainly due to its exuberant aroma and robustness. During the Tang dynasty (C.E. 618-907), Camphor was used in flavoring confectionery items like ice cream in China.

Camphor is an important part of Indian prayers, especially the religious ceremonies of the Hindu community since the traditional times. Burning camphor in the Pooja plate for deities is a part of every prayer in temples as well as homes and this sacred flame is calmly touched and its warmth feeling is passed on to the eyes. It is a part of the biggest spiritual celebration of the Hindus known as Mahashivratri dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans used Camphor as a fragrant wood, incense resin, flavoring agent and as fumigants for embalming. It was given as prestigious gifts by the Chinese emperors for other kingdoms including the Arabian treaties. Camphor was also used as a traditional remedy for plague in Iran and Persia.

The strong aroma of Camphor makes it an excellent agent for protecting against snakes and other poisonous reptiles. It was also used as an insect repellant as it is trusted to be toxic to insects. Camphor was also used in tool chests to guard tools against rusting.

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

The Gas chromatography report witnesses Camphor oil with about 15 chemical constituents that contribute to its unique aroma, therapeutic values and consistency of this oil. Among which, 1,8-Cineole is the key component with about 35.9% of Camphor oil.

Just click on:

I believe that this information would certainly help you in having a clear picture about the primary chemical constituents of Camphor oil.

The table crafted below explains the unique nature and therapeutic qualities of these biochemical constituents to the curative values of Camphor essential oil.

camphor-table

Therapeutic properties of Camphor essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are stimulant, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, decongestant, nervine, anti-phlogistic, analgesic, anti-arthritic and bronchodilator.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science known to the world for more than 5,000 years. The most prominent thing about Ayurveda is that its healing practices are recorded systematically in the form of literature.

Among the 4 major sacred books of the Indian Mythology, Atharvana Veda records the Ayurvedic therapies and about 114 verses of this sacred book shares the symptoms and diagnostic techniques of numerous health disorders.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system that treats the individual instead of the symptoms and traces the root cause of an illness. By this way, this ancient common sense science focuses on prevention of illnesses leading through healthy aging process to longevity.

Based on the Vedic references of Ayurveda, two ancient Ayurvedic texts were written by the legendary Ayurvedic physicians known as Charaka and Sushruta, who wrote Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

These Ayurvedic encyclopedias state that everything is a part of nature and the human body is a combination of the five elements known as Panchamaha Bhoothas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space.

Every person is made up of a unique individual constitution that consists of three dynamic energies known as doshas (vata-air & space, pitta- fire & water and kapha- water & earth), which are a combination of the elemental forces of nature.

For a person to be hale and healthy, these doshas should always remain in a specific ration as set by nature and any change in the functioning or the balance between these doshas cause illnesses. Imbalance of these biological energies mainly occurs due to food habits (mainly depending on the quality of the food taken), change in weather conditions and lifestyle changes.

Ayurvedic remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, prayers, Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging, Panchakarma or the detox technique and Ayurvedic routine are recommended based on the Prakriti or the unique individual constitution of a person and for correcting the imbalances of doshas.

Camphor essential oil has the potent to reduce kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta dosha.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Camphor essential oil are:

Camphor-broucher1. Relieves severe pain, spasms and inflammation:

Camphor essential oil has antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that render itself as a promising pain reliever. The stimulating and counter-irritant effects of this oil relieve even severe muscular and joint pains.

With its anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic attributes, Camphor essential oil assists in promoting blood circulation, eliminating toxic deposits in the joints and the entire system through urine and sweat and supporting the functions of the circulatory system. Ayurveda states that rheumatic problems mainly occur due to excess of kapha dosha leading to surplus deposits of water, toxins, salt and uric acid in the system, especially in the joints.

Camphor essential oil has the power to reduce kapha dosha and help in discharging ama or toxins in the system along with excess water content in the body. This oil works by anesthetizing the sensory nerves of peripheral nervous system, thus reducing inflammation.

Massaging the affected or painful parts with 2 drops of Camphor oil blended with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil with 4 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing inflammation, swelling, painful muscles, redness and stiffness associated with rheumatism and arthritis.

This massaging can also help in relieving cramps, abdominal spasms and stiff joints. Adding 2 drops of Camphor essential oil to bathing water can bring in a feeling of newness, coolness and tranquility, especially during the summer season and can also help in alleviating pain and inducing peaceful sleep at night by relaxing the muscles, calming the nerves and cooling the senses.

2. Combats microbes and skin infections:

The essential oil of Camphor oil has been a prominent ingredient in numerous ointments and medications for treating skin infections caused by bacteria, fungi and other microbes. This is attributed to the germicide, disinfectant, anti-microbial and insecticide properties of Camphor oil. 2 drops of Camphor oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil can be applied on minor burns, itches, wounds, rashes, insect bites, nail fungus, cold sores, eczema, acne, chapped lips, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Camphor is an excellent cleanser that helps in disinfecting the system when added to the bath tub (about 2 to 3 drops). 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil added to your shampoo can help in treating dandruff and lice. This also helps in granting a cooling effect on the scalp and prevent unnecessary hair fall due to dandruff and lice.

3. Supports digestive functions:

Being a carminative, Camphor oil works wonders in relieving gas and flatulence. Gas in the intestines and stomach, when left unnoticed raises above slowly and causes sharp and severe pain in the chest, which may even lead to difficulty in breathing. Using Camphor oil assists in relieving gas and prevents the formation of gas.

Along with this, the diaphoretic effects of this oil aids in normalizing metabolic functions, enhancing circulation, improving sluggish digestion and controls the appetite. Mix 2 drops of Camphor oil with 2 drops of Juniper oil along with 2 ml of sesame oil and massage it gently on your abdomen for expelling gas and supporting the functions of the digestive system.

4. Pacifies the nervous system:

Camphor oil treats nervous afflictions and pain in the nervous system by causing numbness. This is attributed to its anesthetic effects. It is a proven remedy for treating neuralgia, which is a relentlessly painful condition caused due to the force on the Ninth Cranial nerve created by the swollen blood vessels surrounding it.

Gently massaging the system with 2 drops of Camphor oil, 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of Juniper oil and 2 drops of Wintergreen oil blended with 5 ml of almond oil can help in reducing inflammation and lessen the pressure on the Ninth Cranial nerve, thus treating neuralgia. This can also assist in lessening the negative effects of epileptic attacks, nervous convulsions, chronic anxiety and nervousness.

5. Alleviates cold and other respiratory problems:

Camphor essential oil has a sharp, strong and medicinal aroma that makes its presence vital in numerous decongestant ointments and vaporubs. Vicks vaporub, the most popular decongestant has Camphor as one among its therapeutic formula. Camphor oil has been in use since the traditional times mainly for its effectiveness in treating respiratory ailments.

Excess kapha is the major reason behind the built up of mucus and phlegm deposits causing congestion and other respiratory problems. Camphor oil lessens kapha dosha and discharges mucus and phlegm in the respiratory and nasal passages.

Massaging your chest, throat and back with 1 drop of Camphor oil mixed with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 ml of olive oil along with 2 drops of Camphor oil added to steam inhalation assists in relieving congestion in the respiratory tract, nasal passages, bronchial tract, pharynx and larynx.

Adding to 1 to 2 drops of Camphor oil to warm bathing water can also help in loosening the mucus and phlegm and clear the respiratory system. It is being used as an excellent cough suppressant since the primordial period. The powerful decongestant and bronchodilator properties of Camphor oil makes it an excellent remedy for treating asthma, sinusitis, pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, nasal congestion, whooping cough, common cold, chest congestion and cough.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for informational and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace any prescribed medication or professional medical advice or to cure, treat or prevent any illnesses. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only with the idea of enlightening the mass with the traditional healing values of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old medical system.

Do not use essential oils internally unless it is prescribed by your medical professional. Dilute essential oils before using it for topical purposes as organic and pure essential oils are very concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions if used on the skin directly. Consult your Ayurvedic expert/healthcare professional before picking up the perfect essential oils for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Ensure that you use very less amount of Camphor oil as prescribed by your medical expert, as excess use of Camphor can act as a narcotic poison.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Camphor oil

Camphor Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

camphor-new

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Camphor oil has been acclaimed as lethal and highly toxic in various studies, when used in excess of the prescribed quantity. According to the safety report, the acute toxicity of Camphor oil is said to be exhibited by contact with the skin, eyes, inhaling and ingesting, however ingestion of Camphor oil should be avoided strictly mainly due to its chronic effects on the liver (hepatotoxic – toxic to the liver).

The major chemical constituents in Camphor oil, responsible for its skin sensitization, allergic reactions, irritation and autoxidation are camphene, 1,8-cineole (abnormal respiration and CNS depression, epigastric pain and cold sweats), limonene and a-pinene. Oils with limonene and a-pinene are responsible for oxidation and oxidized oils cause sensitization and irritation of the skin.

Using Camphor oil topically might also cause skin sensitization, irritation, skin allergies like hives, itching, rashes, swelling of the face and lip dryness. Camphor oil used as direct contact with the skin without any dilution in appropriate carrier oils is considered as a dangerous skin irritant. Never use Camphor oil on cuts, broken or peeled skin.

It is highly recommended to avoid Camphor oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it gets quickly absorbed by the placenta and may cause physical and neurological damage to the developing fetus and in nursing mothers there are possibilities of Camphor being absorbed through skin cracks and pass on to infants through milk (might cause damage to the infants’ liver and central nervous system).

Do not use Camphor oil on patients with bronchitis, asthma, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, as it can cause convulsions, increase spasms, seizures (by accounting to chemical disparity in the brain) and worsen the situation. It is also not recommended for high blood pressure patients as it is frequently used in the treatment of low blood pressure.

The safe level of use of Camphor is up to 3% dilution in case of liniments. As per the Dutch Information Medicamentorum, the safe usage level of Camphor is 20 to 100 mg/g for chest rubs, 0.15 mg/ml for nasal sprays, 20 to 50 mg/g for nose ointments, 1 to 70 mg/g for pruritus lotion and 40 to 250 mg/g in oils for muscular pain.  However 11% is regarded as the maximum level of safe usage in all kinds of dermal applications.

Camphor, according to the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety states that the major risks of ingestion of Camphor are renal damage, colic, anxiety, convulsions, nausea, delirium, gastric irritation, irritation of the mucous membrane, asystole, apnoea, chronic post-convulsive coma and difficulty in breathing occur after ingesting about 2 grams of Camphor (acute toxicity level) and 4 grams are possibly lethal for adults and 1 gram for children and may cause death.

This report also denotes that the major target organs for Camphor damage are the upper respiratory tract, liver, kidneys and the central nervous system. Certain studies witness the immediate collapse in infants soon after the application of Camphor to their nostrils.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Camphor Oil:

  1. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet of Camphor by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  2. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Toxicity Summary of Camphor by Toxnet, National Institutes of Health
  5. Camphor topical Side Effects in Detail by Drugs.com
  6. Camphor by the Poisons Information Monograph, an International Programme on Chemical safety

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Tree That Does Not Sleep:: Phytochemistry, Allelopathy and the Capability Attributes of Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.) by John Schenk
  2. Camphor; A Pharmaceutical and Pharmacognostical Study by U. S. Government
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  5. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Camphor by Wikipedia
  2. History of Camphor oil by eHow
  3. Health benefits of Camphor essential oil by Organic Facts
  4. Camphor by Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy
  5. Camphor benefits – A multipurpose plant by Greenchedy


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Cardamom Oil

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Cardamom, the ‘Queen of spices’, stimulates the heart and mind and brings in enormous joy and clarity of thoughts. It has been in imperial use since the primordial times for its mammoth healing benefits that serve as a phenomenal tonic, expectorant, cephalic, antispasmodic, stimulant and as a promising digestive agent.

Cardamom-bannerBotanically named as Elettaria Cardamomum, Cardamom is well identified by its small seed pods with an outer shell enclosing the small black seeds from which its essential oil is extracted by steam distillation.

Lovingly called as Ela and Truti in Sanskrit, Cardamom has been widely used in Ayurveda for its aromatic and medicinal attributes in the treatment of impotence, bronchitis, indigestion, hoarse voice, vomiting, asthma, blood pressure, poor absorption, cold, cough, bad breath, loss of taste, nervous digestive upset and mood fluctuations.

As an invigorating agent for the central nervous system, Cardamom essential oil induces a sense of harmony and supports absolute fitness.

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Historical uses and importance of Cardamom and its essential oil:

Owing its origin to the Asian countries such as India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, Cardamom is a universal spice and is a member of the powerful Ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Rich in nutritional and healing properties, Cardamomis the third most expensive spice in the world standing next to saffron and vanilla.

It is crowned as a medicinal herb in the Indian Ayurvedic healing methodology, dating back to 4th century B.C; Cardamom has carved its name in Charaka Samhita – the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, for its application in the preparation of various medicaments.

Cardamom was an important part of the Roman and Greek trade and has numerous historical accolades. Believed to have been grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon, Cardamom has been mentioned in the works of Dioscorides, Theophrastus and even in the ancient Indian sacred books known as Vedas.

Arabic medicine portrays Cardamom seeds as the best aphrodisiac and mood elevator while the Chinese medicine predominantly used Cardamom for intestinal infections, stomachic problems, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation and dysentery.

In folklore medicine, digestive disorders were treated with a herbal drink made by boiling roasted Cardamom seeds along with betel nuts. Being an active ingredient in cough drops, Cardamom was administered nasally along with camphor and neem to treat cold. It is a natural mouth freshener.

Cardamom is an antidote to caffeine and it detoxifies the caffeine in coffee and is used in making tea to relieve the symptoms of headache and stress and these seeds were taken along with honey to improve the eyesight.

The traditional Indians used Cardamom as an antidote for poisonous bites like scorpion stings and venomous snake bites. These seeds and its oil were also used for treating respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation of the eyelids and oral infections.

Being transported from East to Europe, Cardamom was highly valued as a tonic and as an aphrodisiac agent, which was used in love potions. The western world uses Cardamom for its unique aroma and sedative properties.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil:

Consisting a majority of monoterpenes with the predominant one being 1, 8-cineole, Cardamom essential oil also comprises of esters, alcohols and sesquiterpenes that includes limonene oxide, α-terpinene, neryl acetate, formic acid, α-pinene, camphene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, β-pinene, sabinene, citronellal, α-terpineol, cis-ocimene, geranyl acetate, linalool, isomenthol, 4-terpineol, nerol, thymol, α-terpinyl acetate, α-guaiene, β-myrcene.

The therapeutic properties of Cardamom essential oil are carminative, digestive, antiseptic, stimulant, tonic, antispasmodic, cephalic, diuretic, stomachic, analgesic, expectorant, antifungal, astringent, antibacterial, aromatic, diaphoretic, antioxidant, cooling, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-hypertensive and aphrodisiac. 

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Ayurveda is a virtuous medical discipline that believes that every being on earth is a part of Mother Nature and it states that one’s wellness indicates absolute balance with nature and sickness symbolizes imbalance with nature. Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old healing system that has its medicinal practices recorded in Atharvana Veda, one among the 4 sacred books of India, where about 114 verses in this book talk about various illnesses and their Ayurvedic remedies.

Charaka, the father of medicine and Sushruta, the father of surgery were the most famous Ayurvedic physicians and they wrote the Ayurvedic texts namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Charaka says “The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides.” According to Ayurveda, human body is a temple where the spirit lives in. It strongly recommends on keeping the body, mind and spirit pure and tranquil just like maintaining a place of worship.

Ayurveda is called as the mother of all the other healing sciences on earth and is a holistic system that states ‘perfect health is being fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.’

Every individual is approached in a unique manner even if they are affected by the same illness because Ayurvedic philosophy recognizes every human being as a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution, which comprises of three dynamic biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, kapha and pitta.

Ayurvedic doshas administer various functions, where vata governs the functions of the circulatory system, nervous system and respiratory system, kapha is responsible for the activities of the reproductive system, movement of fluids in the body, physical build up and sustenance and pitta dosha controls the body temperature and metabolic functions.

Every individual has a predominance of any one these doshas, which decides one’s figure, personality, mental attributes and behavioral patterns. Balance between these doshas indicates health and imbalance of these biological energies pave way to diseases. Ayurvedic remedies focus on correcting the dosha imbalances with the help of herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, prayers, meditation and Pranayama.

Ayurveda prescribes Cardamom to treat cardiovascular problems, bronchial disorders and digestive problems. Light Miller and Bryan Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy say “Cardamom is good for treating high vata, as it kindles Agni or digestive fire and removes excess kapha from the stomach and lungs.

Its quality is sattvic and it is particularly good for opening and soothing the flow of the pranas in the body”.

Let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Cardamom essential oil.

Cardamom-broucher1. Combats against infections with strong anti-microbial properties:

With the increase in the food borne diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, there is an increase in the urge for searching natural antibacterial agents with maximum benefits and minimum side effects.

With monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and flavonoids, Cardamom essential oil possesses strong antimicrobial activity inhibiting the growth of numerous harmful micro organisms that cause spoilage of food. Many researches on the anti-microbial attribute of Cardamom essential oil states that it shows significant inhibitory activity against various common pathogens when compared to Fluconazole and tetracycline.

The aqueous and the methanolic extracts of Cardamom essential oil inhibited the growth of gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus pyogenes and Bacillus cereus.

It has been proved effective to use the essential oil of Elettaria Cardamomum in treating various infectious ailments caused by the harmful pathogens. This attribute is also applied in preserving the food items, thus proving greatly beneficial to the manufacturers of stored food products.

Terpinen-4-ol contributes to the effective antifungal attribute of Cardamom essential oil making it active against various infectious fungi that include Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, A.flavus and A.fumigatus, thus proving effectual in treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

It has been proved that Cardamom essential oil results in yielding satisfactory results in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and viruses when compared to the other antifungal pharmaceuticals. 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil added to warm bathing water or 2 drops of this oil mixed with 2 drops of Neroli oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be applied on the affected parts for quick relief.

2. Rich source of antioxidant to fight against cancer:

Free radicals are always hazardous in a number of ways, leading to premature aging and even some fatal diseases including cancer. With natural phyto-chemicals such as di-indolylmethane and Indole-3-carbinol, Cardamom essential oil helps in augmenting the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant found in human body. Moreover it helps in combating against cancers responding to the hormone regulation such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

It possesses chemo-preventive quality, resulting in a significant reduction in the weight and diameter of the tumor, tumor yield, cumulative number of papillomas and the values of tumor incidence and considerable elevation in the level of glutathione in mice with chemically induced skin carcinogenesis serving as the best anti-tumor and anti-cancer agent.

In addition to the phyto-nutrients, Cardamom essential oil is rich in vitamins B, C, protein and iron that make it a complete scavenger of free radicals resisting the aging process right from the cellular level and enhances the immunity.

It possesses anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anticancer qualities, helping in significantly reducing the production of nitric oxide by macrophages that act as one of the primary inflammatory mediators. Moreover, it enhances the cytotoxic activity of the natural killer cells found in the human body, building up a preventive shield against cancer.

Few valuable sources also state the positive outcome on using Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the cell proliferation in Swiss albino mice with chemical induced colon carcinogenesis proving its efficacy in treating colorectal cancer. Mix 2 drops of Cardamom essential oil with 2 drops of Orange oil along with 2ml of jojoba oil and massage it gently on wrinkles and other aging symptoms caused due to free radicals.

You can also massage your system with 5 drops of Cardamom oil along with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil blended with 5 ml of Olive oil to combat free radicals, reduce the size and severity of existing malignant tumors and invigorate the cellular structure.

3. Natural insect repellent:

With high concentrations of monoterpenes such as cineol and terpineol, Cardamom essential oil serves as an effective natural repellent for insects and pests. As per a 2011 research article, this oil was found to possess strong repellent, ovicidal, biocidal and anti-feeding attributes against the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, the bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculates and the flour moth, Ephestia Kuehniella, all of which target the stored products.

Moreover Cardamom essential oil is highly toxic to the adults of T.castaneum and Sitophilus zeamais, which attack the food grains such as wheat. It restrains the egg hatching and the larval stage of T.castaneum proving its ovicidal attribute. This volatile oil also actively prevents the oviposition of C.maculates in mung seeds. Few notable sources mention the acaricidal effect of Cardamom oil with 100% mortality rate against Dermanyssus gallinae, the poultry red mite.

The power of Cardamom essential oil in suppressing the development of adults from the treated eggs remains as the major factor behind its insecticidal quality. Cardamom essential oil serves as a natural source of insect repellent devoid of hazardous side effects, used in protecting the food grains stored in enclosed rooms, storage bins etc.

4. Alleviates stomachic and gastro-intestinal disorders:

Cardamom essential oil is a natural digestive aid since antiquity. It acts as an excellent appetizer, eminent stomachic agent during meal and a great mouth freshener after meal. A herbal tea made of Cardamom, ginger and fennel serves as a natural digestive tonic and a great cure for indigestion.

As an excellent digestive enhancer of all types of food, it produces an energizing effect in the body helping in the stimulation and habitual excretion of gastric juices and other acids in the stomach that aids in alleviating heartburn by balancing the acid level. Cardamom essential oil kills the bacteria in the mouth and prevents one from bad breath and treats the symptoms of flatulence and gastric disturbances.

With its antispasmodic attribute, it relives you from hiccups and alleviates the intestinal cramps caused due to involuntary muscle spasms. With natural phyto-nutrients, it helps in overcoming the effect of overeating and aids you in fighting against the outcomes of gluten intolerance benefiting those with celiac disease. Cardamom essential oil showed significant results in inhibiting the gastric lesions induced by aspirin and ethanol in rats. It protects the mucus wall and aids in maintaining normal levels of gastric acid.

2 drops of Cardamom oil added to a cup of warm water can be used as a gargle especially in the morning or before going to bed or even after heavy meals to completely kill microbes in the mouth and grant refreshing breath. 2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Ginger oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil can be massaged on your abdomen for getting rid of gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, headache, nervous digestive upsets, morning sickness, colic and vomiting.

5. Naturally detoxifies the body:

Cardamom essential oil is an effective diuretic and detoxifier that protects human beings from the ill effects of toxin accumulation in the entity resulting to various simple and serious impacts such as premature aging, rheumatism, improper functioning of the organs and some fatal ailments like cancer.

With its natural antioxidants, monoterpenes and flavonoids, this oil is an eminent diuretic helping in releasing the excess water deposits in the body through sweat and urine. It promotes the process of urination and increases the urine output creating a channel to get rid of toxins such as water, fat, acids, calcium deposits, urea and sometimes stones to build a combative cover against obesity due to water stagnation and its risk factors such as hypertension, blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders.

Cardamom detoxifies the caffeine element in coffee and this combination of Cardamom and coffee is called as ‘gavah’ and is of renowned importance in the Arabian culture, where it is considered as a symbol of warmth and generosity. This aromatic oil warms up the body, aids in opening the sweat pores and maintaining the normal body temperature.

The removal of excess toxins with ease and comfort poses fewer burdens on the vital organs such as kidney and liver. It leads to perspiration and its high fiber content along with the detoxifying quality helps in significantly lowering the blood pressure.

Blend 5 drops of Cardamom oil with 5 drops of Jatamansi oil along with 5 ml of coconut oil and gently massage your system, followed by a warm bath diluted with 2 drops of Cardamom oil for eliminating the toxic substances in the body, reducing uterus inflammation, combating the infections in the urinary tract, strengthening the bladder in addition to treating involuntary urination and bedwetting in children and elderly people.

6. Relieves respiratory problems:

Cardamom essential oil works wonders in regulating the blood circulation and rejuvenating the entire system. Traditional healing therapies used Cardamom essential oil in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma for it is known to improve blood circulation in the lungs.

As a natural expectorant with balsamic aroma, it helps in breaking up even the heavy deposits of mucus and phlegm and relieves you from congestion in the lungs and sinuses.

Just inhaling the vapors of Cardamom oil by adding 3 drops of this oil in steam inhalation can alleviate the symptoms of congestion, cold, chest infections, flu, chronic cough and headache. 1 drop of Cardamom oil along with 1 drop of Cinnamon oil added to gargle relieves you instantly from sore throat and pharyngitis.

The anti-mucus action of this oil helps in rejuvenating the spleen and makes it an active component of medicaments for congestion. With this property, Cardamom pods are often included in milk products for its ability to counteract the mucus forming attribute of milk.

7. Lessens tension:

Cardamom oil has cineole, which is a central nervous stimulant aids in soothing the nervous system, calming down the muscles, alleviating tension and instilling mental peace and clarity. Just adding 4 drops of Cardamom oil to the bathtub relieves you from stress, depression and combat body aches and discomfort. It enhances the potency of the nerves and relieves you from physical and emotional discomforts thus rejuvenating the inner spirit and inducing a serene state of mind by lifting up the spirits.

Cardamom essential oil has been proved as an anti-depressant agent owing to its sedative effect in humans. With limonene as a mild tranquilizer, it diverts the mind and helps one to quit the addictions to awful habits such as tobacco chewing, alcohol and smoking.

Cardamom essential oil has gained global recognition for its sweet aroma and positive effects on the brain and the nervous system. Inhaling the aroma of 1 drop of Cardamom oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Neroli oil added to diffuser or vaporizer can assist in relieving one from anxiety, fear, nervous wreck down and lethargy. It is highly recommended to students for its potent to increase the concentration and improve intellectual power.

8. Rich source of nutrition for the total system:

With its enormous healing attributes, Cardamom essential oil is a valuable source of iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin and Vitamin C. All these vital components help in boosting up the overall health of a person.

It boosts up the immune system, helps in the generation of red blood corpuscles, and initiates the cellular energy metabolism, aids in maintaining the cardiovascular health and in promoting healthy heart rate, blood pressure and fluid levels in the body. Moreover, its rich nutrients contribute in maintaining healthy skin and hair.

2 drops of Cardamom oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil added to your bath daily can aid in maintaining healthy skin. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties cleanse the skin naturally and help in treating various skin infections. It rejuvenates the skin, opens up the pores and prevents the onset of acne and pimples.

Other health benefits of Cardamom essential oil:

Cardamom essential oil acts as a natural oral aid treating mouth ulcers, halitosis, oral infections of teeth and gums and toothaches. Vocalists use Cardamom oil to tone up their voice. This oil can keep you away from scalp infections, dandruff and maintain a healthy, lustrous hair.

It can act as a peroxide booster along with honey and Cinnamon in distilled water to lighten the skin without any side effects. It prevents platelet aggregation and aids in preventing blood clots that can be dangerous in certain cases. Cardamom oil is also used as an aphrodisiac alongside pepper, onion and nutmeg to alleviate impotence and other sexual concerns.

Disclaimer:

This is only for information and educational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any health condition or replace with any prescribed medications or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare professionals and this data is shared only with the interest of spreading the traditional values and curative benefits of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and do remember to dilute them with appropriate carrier oil before using it on the skin externally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and might have a tendency to cause allergies if used directly on the skin. Make sure that you consult your Ayurvedic practitioner/healthcare expert before choosing the correct essential oil for your medical condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Magic of Cardamoms For Cooking and Health (Health Learning Series) by John Davidson, Dueep J. Singh
  2. Aushadh Rahasya: The Secret of Ayurvedic Herbs and Disorders of the Mind by Rodney Lingham
  3. Cardamom: The Genus Elettaria (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  4. Cardamom Tea, A Secret to Longevity (Chinese Edition) by shu xin cheng
  5. Living Well With Cancer by Katen Moore, Libby Schmais

Reference Links:

  1. Cardamom by Wikipedia
  2. Fumigant toxicity and oviposition deterrency of the essential oil from Elettaria Cardamomum, against three stored-product insects published in PubMed.
  3. The In Vitro evaluation of antibacterial potential of dry fruit extracts of Elettaria Cardamomum published in PubMed.
  4. A 2010 research article on the in vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum)

Dill Seed Oil

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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