Calamus Oil

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Calamus-bannerOften acclaimed as an ideal herb for meditation and introspection, Calamus is recommended by saints, yogis and Ayurvedic philosophers for enhancing the functions of the brain, improving memory power, increasing intellectual capacity and for stimulating proper circulation to the brain.

The essential oil of Calamus is extracted from the root of the Calamus plant, scientifically known as Acorus Calamus or Sweet flag by steam distillation method.

The Sanskrit name of Calamus is Vacha, which means ‘speech’ and the primordial sages and religious Gurus have believed Calamus to facilitate human beings to articulate from their highest inner consciousness.

Ayurveda recommends Calamus herb for its power to fortify the adrenal gland and for its effectiveness in treating neuralgia, dysmennorhea or painful periods, memory loss, epilepsy, gingivitis, lack of stamina, lymphatic drainage, asthma, hysteria, deafness, sinusitis, lack of consciousness and trauma.

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Historical uses and importance of Calamus root and its essential oil:

Calamus is native to Asia and Europe and has been found growing across Australia, South Africa, North America, New Guinea and Reunion. It has its name mentioned in the Old Testament and was talked about in Exodus as an element of the sacred anointing oil of the Bible.

It was also denoted in the Chester Beatty papyrus VI, which approximately dates back to 1300 BC and Papyrus used Calamus with various other ingredients in preparing a bandage to appease stomach ailments.

Calamus has been a vital part of the traditional healing system of various countries for more than thousands of years in the treatment of numerous medical conditions.

The primeval Egyptians trusted Calamus root as a potent aphrodisiac for its effectiveness in augmenting the health of the reproductive system. Calamus was added to wine in Europe and it also forms a part of absinthe.

The Penobscot people believed that Calamus root helped in healing prolonged sickness that was plaguing the people for a long time. They also steamed all through the homes to ward off illnesses and the dried roots were strung together for preservation.

The people of the Potawatomi community used the dried Calamus root powder for treating catarrh. Indonesians use this aromatic root as a flavoring agent in the preparation of meat, sea foods and other vegetarian cuisines.

The warriors of Teton-Dakota applied the root paste on their faces for alleviating fear in the warfront. Calamus essential oil is also used in making perfumes mainly because of its therapeutic properties.

The traditional Turks used this herb for all kinds of infections and it is used in preparing cough drops. It is also been used in the Traditional Chinese medicine, Siddha and Ayurvedic healing systems for its carminative, laxative, sedative and diuretic properties.

Chemical constituents and healing properties of Calamus essential oil:

The primary chemical components of this oil are beta asarone, eugenol, calamusenone, corenone, alpha aselinene, camphone, alpha calacorene, shyobunone, beta gurjunene, calamendiol and iso shyobunine.

The therapeutic properties of Calamus oil are rejuvenative, circulatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-arthritic, cephalic, nervine, tranquilizing, stimulant, decongestant, anti-rheumatic, emetic, anti-periodic, memory boosting, carminative, stomachic, bactericidal and expectorant properties.

Calamus in Ayurvedic Preparations:

Numerous research reports have proved that Calamus is one the most commonly employed ingredient in plenty of Ayurvedic preparations, mainly because of the presence of essential oils in its rhizomes. Ayurvedic medications like kashayam, choornam, ghritham and tailam contain Calamus and are prepared by following the preparation methods mentioned in Sahasrayoga.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Calamus essential oil:

Calamus essential oil is habitually called as a tonic for the brain in Ayurveda. It has been mentioned in Vedas, the holy books as one of the exceptional medicines and Ayurvedic philosophers explored numerous healing benefits of Calamus apart from supporting the functions of the nervous system and brain, for which Calamus still exists as a vital part of various Ayurvedic medicines since 4,000 years.

Perfect health according to Ayurveda is a triangular structure with body, mind and soul as its edges. It is the oldest of all healing systems on earth and is the pioneer to other traditional and modern medicinal methodologies like Homeopathy, Siddha, Traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, Acupressure and Chiropractic.

The greatest thing about this ancient medicinal science is that its healing techniques are documented systematically since its first recordings in Atharvaveda, one among the 4 Vedas or the major sacred books of the Hindu mythology.

This ancient citation was followed by Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, known as Ayurvedic encyclopedias written by the most respected Ayurvedic philosophers Charaka and Sushruta respectively.

“The three – body, psyche, and soul – act as a tripod. The world stands upon them, and within them, the world abides”, says Charaka Samhita. Ayurveda rightly means ‘the knowledge of life’ and this time-honored remedial method assists in providing the consciousness about life and health in every individual.

Ayurveda states that nature is made up of five fundamental elements namely water, earth, fire, air and space and it is also said that everything in nature is also built up with these five energies. When a person’s health is in balance with nature, absolute health prevails and imbalance with nature owing to food, climatic conditions and lifestyle changes causes illnesses.

Being a holistic curative system, where every person is regarded as a special part of nature with a unique individual constitution just like the fingerprints and it consists of three imperative dynamic energies called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha and are nothing but a representation of any two elements of nature.

Vata dosha is a combination of air and space, and is responsible for respiration, circulation and for the functions of the nervous system. Kapha signifies earth and water, and is in charge for sustenance, physical structure, movement of fluids in the system and the reproductive health.

Pitta symbolizes fire and water and is accountable for body temperature and metabolic functions like digestion, absorption and excretion. Stability between these three doshas signifies perfect health and inequality causes sickness.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies including herbs, essential oils, simple physical exercises, yoga, prayers, meditation, Pranayama, Ayurvedic routine, Panchakarma (Ayurvedic techniques for detoxification) and Ayurvedic massaging with natural essential oils.

These remedies are prescribed in such a way to correct the unevenness between the doshas. Calamus essential oil is known to aggravate pitta and pacify kapha and vata dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Calamus oil are:

Calamus-broucher1. Triggers the mind and promotes positive thoughts:

Calamus herb and its essential oil have been witnessed by numerous herbalists and Ayurvedic physicians as an endlessly safe and useful natural remedy for activating the mind and improving the power of thinking.

It is popularly known as a boosting herb for meditating Yogis and Saints, where Calamus is said to help them stay focused and concentrated in their long lasting meditation known as yagna.

Calamus was used in the preparation of tea in the ancient period and was also used in neti pot as a powerful remedy for treating brain conditions. Adding 1 to 2 drops of Calamus essential oil in diffuser, vaporizer, burner or a tissue paper and inhaling the uplifting aroma of this oil can aid in opening the mind, promoting clarity, enhancing the concentration power, mental stability, attention, and the power of positive thinking along with organization of speech.

Learned Ayurvedic research scientist Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa says, “The yogic name, Vacha, means “speech” and refers to its action on the fifth chakra and its propensity to help you speak from your highest consciousness. The complementary energetics makes the combination suitable for a wide variety of people.”

Swami Thirtha calls Calamus as “one of the best mind herbs”, mainly for its effectiveness in fostering sadhaka pitta through which it fortifies the mind’s ability to obtain information and evoke from the memory. The essential oil of Calamus has an invigorating effect on the brain with its warm, woody and medicinal aroma with increasingly sweet after-tones.

Inhaling the therapeutic fragrance of this oil helps in activating the neural pathways and has also been proved powerful in treating neurotic problems. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to warm bathing water for refreshing your mind. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend Vacha oil to persuade positive thoughts.

2. Stimulates the nervous system:

Calamus falls under the ‘sattvic herb’ category in the Ayurvedic medicinal system. All the sattvic varieties are known to enhance and empower the ‘kundalini’ energy or the ‘vital life force’. By this way, Calamus and its essential oil acts as a revitalizing nerve tonic that augments the functioning of the brain.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Calamus oil mixed with 2 drops of Lavender oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil, 2 drops of Yarrow oil, 2 drops of Cinnamon oil and 2 drops of Patchouli oil along with 10 ml of Virgin Olive oil can aid in rejuvenating your brain and the entire nervous system. This assists in stimulating the cerebral functions, support self-expression and overall nervous health. This massage also assists in promoting peaceful sleep and treating insomnia.

Ayurvedic healing system describes this oil as a nervine tonic and a psychotropic remedy, mainly for its positive effects on learning, boosting memory, recovering from shock and treating depression and anxiety. Calamus herb and its essential oil are recommended by Ayurvedic physicians for confiscating the negative effects and toxic residues of drugs (including the heavy use of marijuana) from the fatty tissues left within brain, liver and the nervous system.

By strengthening the nervous system, this oil is also used in recovering from trauma, post-surgery effects, hysteric attacks, epileptics and certain other nervous problems. Due to its potential to contract the blood vessels and decrease pressure on the Ninth cranial nerve, Calamus oil is used in treating neuralgia.

3. Treats memory loss and augments the intellect:

For its memory-enhancing properties, Ayurveda prescribes Calamus oil as an effective psycho-pharmacological agent and the as one of the best natural remedies for treating epilepsy, mental retardation, syncope and stupor, while augmenting memory power and for retrieving people from traumatic problems.

Calamus is used in Ayurveda to counteract the side effects of hallucinogens. This essential oil has been proved to enhance blood circulation, stimulate neurons and nerves, aiding the body to attain steadiness and attentiveness.

4. Alleviates arthritic and rheumatic pain: According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, excess of kapha dosha is responsible for stagnation of toxic substances known as ama, water deposits, salt, uric acid and other fluids in the body, especially in the joints causing pain and inflammation associated with rheumatism. Calamus essential oil is a known Ayurvedic remedy for reducing excess kapha dosha and helps in lessening pain, inflammation and redness by eliminating stagnated fluids and toxic remains through urine and sweat.

Mix 2 drops of Calamus oil with 2 drops of Ginger oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil along with 3 ml of coconut oil and massaging it gently on the painful area helps in promoting blood circulation, alleviating pain, strengthening the muscles, stimulating the nerves and reducing swelling and other symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.

Few other notable health benefits:

With its pungent and bitter taste, Calamus oil is said to have excellent benefits to the respiratory system, nervous system and the digestive system. This oil strengthens the digestive system and treats intestinal worms, abdominal pain, flatulence, loss of appetite, chronic gas trouble and loss of taste. Vacha is used in many Indian homes to treat colic in newborn babies since the primeval times. Calamus essential oil effectively treats sinusitis, cold and bronchitis.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended to cure, prevent or diagnose any medical condition. It is not directed as a substitute for any prescribed medication or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this data is shared only for the purpose of throwing light on the ancient healing wisdom or the knowledge of life known as Ayurveda.

Never use essential oils internally and ensure that you use them in a diluted form for external use, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and it is always recommended to do a small patch test on your skin with the diluted essential oil. Speak with your healthcare expert or your Ayurvedic physician before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution or prakriti and health condition.

Calamus Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

The essential oil of Calamus should be strictly avoided during pregnancy as it has the potent to stimulate contractions in the uterine cavity and induce menstruation, being an emmenagogue and might lead to miscarriage or abortion. It is also advisable to restrict the use of Calamus oil during breastfeeding.

Many studies suggest that Calamus oil may have carcinogenic or cancer causing effects and might be toxic when used in excess. The prime chemical constituents responsible for its adverse effects are β-asarone (about 78.4%), α-asarone (about 6.8%) and methyleugenol (about 2%) in Acorus Calamus oil, which is of Indian origin. Various in vivo and in vitro studies have witnessed the negative potent of β-asarone in inducing the growth of malignant tumors.

The European Council files β-asarone as “substances which are suspected to be genotoxic carcinogens and therefore no MDI can be set”. According to the 1988 European Community Council, both the European Union and the United Kingdom ‘Standard Permitted Proportion’ of beta-asarone in food flavorings must be 0.1mg/kg.

IFRA (International Fragrance Association) suggests that beta-asarone and alpha-asarone should not be used as fragrance ingredients and the safe level of use of Calamus oil in consumer products should not exceed 0.01%. It also recommends that the highest concentration of methyleugenol in leave-on products like body lotion should not exceed 0.00004%.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and must be used in a diluted condition with safe carrier oils like coconut oil. It is meant only for topical application and it is not recommended to take essential oils internally.

Ingestion of Calamus oil may end up in creating hallucinations, convulsions and potent toxicity. Acorus Calamus is one among the 30 unsafe herbs listed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

According to the studies conducted in 1976 and 1977, Calamus oil is non-phototoxic and non-sensitizing when tested (patch testing with 2% Calamus oil) on 200 consecutive patients with dermatitis.

This warning is relevant to leave-on skin care products like creams, body lotions, massage oils and balms and not for wash-off items like shampoos and soaps.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Calamus Oil:

  1. Acorus Calamus: Scientific Validation of Ayurvedic Tradition from Natural Resources Pulok Kumar Mukherjee, Venkatesan Kumar, Mainak Mal & Peter J. Houghton, published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology
  2. MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF ACORUS CALAMUS Kumar Amit, Vandana, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, published in the Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics
  3. Acorus Calamus by Examine.com
  4. Effects of asarone and β-asarone on conditioned responses, fighting behaviour and convulsions by P. C. Dandiya and M. K. Menon, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy
  5. Calamus by Drugs.com
  6. Toxicity of Acorus calamus rhizome powder from Eastern Nepal to Sitophilus granarius (L.) and Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) by R.B. Paneru , G.N.J. le Patourel , S.H. Kennedy published in Science Direct
  7. Acorus Calamus: An overview R. Balakumbahan*, K. Rajamani and K. Kumanan, Horticultural Research Station, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Pechiparai, TN,  India, published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
  8. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

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. Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization by Dr. David Frawley
  2. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc.-Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution by Gazmend Skenderi
  3. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications
    by Christian Ratsch, Albert Hofmann
  4. The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World’s Oldest Healing System by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Michael Tierra
  5. New Choices in Natural Healing: Over 1,800 of the Best Self-Help Remedies from the World of Alternative Medicine by Doug Dollemore

Reference Links:

  1. Acorus Calamus by Wikipedia
  2. Detection of Acorus Calamus in Ayurvedic preparations by Europe PubMed Central
  3. Vacha: Brain Tonic by Dr. R. Vatsyayan, Ayurvedacharya
  4. Clarify Your Communication with Calamus by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa published in 3HO
  5. Herb of the season, Vacha (Calamus, Acorus calamus) by Sai Ayurvedic College
  6. Vacha (Acorus Calamus Linn.): A Valuable Medicinal Plant, published in the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research


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Myrtle Essential Oil

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Myrtle-bannerAcclaimed as the “Queen of the lemon herbs”, Lemon Myrtle often called as just Myrtle seldom fails to enchant your mind and senses with its refreshing citrus aroma that is more lemony than lemon itself. This is because lemon has only 3-10% citral content while Lemon Myrtle contains about 90-98% citral, contributing to its unique, uplifting lemony fragrance.

Scientifically known as Backhousia citriodora, the essential oil is extracted from the aromatic leaves and twigs of this plant. Celebrated as a natural antiseptic and decongestant, Myrtle herb and its essential oil are used in the treatment of respiratory problems, infectious diseases and neurological disorders in Ayurveda.

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Historical importance of Myrtle:

Native to Australia, Lemon myrtle is one among the few favorite Australian essential oils and it is said that the Indigenous Australians used Lemon myrtle as a remedial and culinary herb. The ancient Egyptians used the leaves of this plant to treat fever and other infections. Myrtle has been mentioned in the Greek mythology as a symbol of love and divine generosity. It was considered sacred to the Greek Goddesses Demeter and Aphrodite.

Myrtle is also said to have been mentioned in the Bible directly for about six times. In Isaiah 41:19 it is said “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together.” Greek physician Dioscorides recommended Myrtle oil for his patients to treat bladder and lung infections. This herb has also been in use in many traditions for treating respiratory tract ailments and skin disorders.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Myrtle essential oil:

Lemon myrtle essential oil has analgesic, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, antimicrobial, expectorant, tonic, antifungal, decongestant, sedative, anti-neuralgic, astringent and anti-rheumatic properties. The major chemical components are terpenoid aldehydes like citral, geranial and neral along with the trace constituents linalool, methyl-heptenone, d-isopulegol, myrcene, cyclocitral and citronellal.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Myrtle essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing principle that trusts on nature and natural remedies for treating human illnesses. This ancient philosophy states that human beings are part of nature and their illness and wellness depend upon their body’s balance with nature. Sickness according to the Ayurvedic texts is a signal indicating that the human body is out of balance with nature.

Ayurvedic beliefs consider disease as an opportunity to repair, revamp and restore the body’s complete health back into balance. Every individual is unique with a specific set of energy elements that make up their individual constitution.

These vital energies are known as doshas, namely pitta, vata and kapha doshas. The predominance of any one of these doshas determines the attributes and behavior of an individual.

Ayurvedic remedies are based upon dosha predominance and Ayurvedic treatments vary from individual to individual even for the same illness. It prescribes holistic remedies in the form of herbs, essential oils, healthy and nutritious diet, yoga, simple physical exercises, meditation along with an Ayurvedic routine for disease prevention and attaining longevity.

Myrtle essential oil is known to pacify kapha and vata doshas and increase pitta.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Lemon myrtle essential oil are:

Myrtle-broucher1. Proven antibacterial and antimicrobial:

Lemon myrtle essential oil is regarded as a remarkable antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial agent with its clean, refreshing and pure citrus aroma. Certain studies have proved that Lemon myrtle oil possess significant antimicrobial power against harmful organisms like Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus niger and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Add 2 drops of this oil along with olive oil to treat infections and diseases due to bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms. You can apply this blend topically on the affected parts in case of athlete’s foot, ringworm, wounds and other skin problems. This oil heals and protects the wound from being septic as it fights against Staphylococcus bacteria that is responsible for making wounds septic.

1to 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil added to a cup of warm water can serve as an excellent gargle for fresh breath and for helping with raw throats. Using 2 drops of this oil in your diffuser or in bath can give you a long-lasting feeling of freshness.

2. Trusted respiratory aid:

The decongestant and expectorant properties of Lemon myrtle oil acts effectively in treating chest congestion, flu, cold, bronchitis, asthma and sinus infections. Adding 3 drops of Lemon myrtle oil in steam inhalation can assist in alleviating headache, loosening mucus and phlegm deposits in the lungs and respiratory passages. The therapeutic molecules in this oil aids in controlling the increase of infectious particles that worsen cold and cough.

Certain anecdotal evidences witness that the expected number of cold, cough and sinus problems are lower in households that regularly use Lemon myrtle oil in aroma lamps.

You can also add 2 drops of this oil to your vaporizing ointment and gently massage onto your chest, back, forehead and throat for relieving from congestion and easing difficulties in breathing. Respiratory problems in general spoil your sleep at night, adding 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil in hot bath especially before bed will help in promoting peaceful sleep at night.

3. Potent antioxidant:

Lemon myrtle essential oil has shown antioxidant properties that help in fighting against free radicals responsible for the growth of malignant tumors and other cancerous growths. This oil has potent antioxidant and antimicrobial effects that help combat food borne human pathogens and free radicals.

4. Excellent skin care remedy:

Several studies conducted by the Charles Sturt University, Australia have proved Lemon myrtle as an effective germicidal and antibacterial oil than tea tree oil in treating skin ailments and other health conditions. This is mainly because of its antiseptic and skin-friendly properties.

A recent study on ‘Antimicrobial activity of Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) methanolic extracts’ states “The low toxicity of the methanolic extract and its inhibitory bioactivity against a panel of bacteria validate Australian Aboriginal usage of B. citriodora as an antiseptic agent and confirms its medicinal potential.”

Lemon Myrtle essential oil is an excellent oil for treating acne and oily skin. Mix 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil with your skin care lotion and apply it on your acne, cold sores, warts, wounds and insect bites for soothing relief. 2 to 3 drops of this oil blended with olive oil can be used topically on rashes, neuro-dermatitis, tinea, psoriasis, folliculitis, candidiasis and itching.

The essential oil extracted from Australian Lemon myrtle leaves have been proved effective in treating Molluscum contagiosum, a common viral disorder that affect the skin of children and sexually active adults as it is generally seen as a sexually transmitted disease.

A 2004 study on ‘Essential oil of Australian Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) in the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum in childrenwhere 9 out of 16 children with Molluscum contagiosum treated with 10% of Lemon myrtle essential oil showed 90% reduction in the number of lesions at the end of 21 days of daily topical application.

5. Natural deodorant and air freshener:

The fresh, citrusy aroma of Lemon myrtle oil will never let you down for the entire day if you wear 1 drop of this oil on your wrist or add 2 drops in your refreshing bath in the morning. You can also add 1 drop to your hanky or add few drops to your deodorant to combat body odor.

The antimicrobial properties in this oil absorb microbes in the sweat that causes bad odor. The clean scent of Lemon myrtle oil makes its use inevitable as an air purifier as it kills germs and other micro organisms in the atmosphere, making your home a better place to live in.

6. Gives a lift to your feelings and emotions:

Lemon myrtle essential oil is also fêted for its calming effects that uplift and revivify depressive thoughts and feelings of fear. Gently massaging the soles of your feet with 2 drops of Lemon myrtle oil blended with coconut oil can help you in conceding complete relaxation, alleviate stress, suppress negative feelings, induce better sleep and augment your self-confidence. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of this oil to your diffuser or aroma lamps for giving your mind the natural boost that it requires.

Other health benefits:

Lemon myrtle leaves and its essential oil are also used in brewing tea, flavoring confectionaries, savories, syrups, candies, sauces, desserts, mayonnaises, shampoos, body lotions and mouth fresheners. It is also used as a protective shield in the food industry as Lemon myrtle oil is known to destroy food spoilage yeasts, bacteria and other pathogens.

Disclaimer:

Avoid using essential oils internally. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils as pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause skin irritation or other side effects if used undiluted. Do not use Lemon myrtle oil before going out in sun as it has high phototoxicity effect just like other citrus oils. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using right essential oils for your health condition and unique constitution.

Thought for the day:

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Medicinal Plants in Australia: Volume 2: Gums, Resins, Tannin and Essential Oils by Cheryll Williams
  2. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller, David Schiller
  3. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann Worwood
  4. Only the Essentials: A Concise Aromatherapy Reference Guide by Michele A. Williams

Reference Links:

  1. Backhousia citriodora by Wikipedia
  2. Lemon Myrtle Oil (Backhousia Citriodora) by UncleHarrys.Com
  3. Antimicrobial activity of Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) methanolic extracts by Griffith University, Queensland, Australia published in Pharmacognosy Communications
  4. Essential oil of Australian Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) in the treatment of Molluscum contagiosum in children by Center for Biomedical Research, Boise, ID published in PubMed

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.

Purchase Cardamom Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

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)