Basil Oil Indian

basil oil indianBasil is a blessing in disguise for the rest of the world but for most of the traditional Indian families, every day begins with the blessing of Lord Krishna through Basil leaves. This holy plant is being worshipped by the Hindus in India since thousands of years and is a familiar thing to find a Basil or Tulsi plant in every home. It is known to the world of medicine as a digestive tonic, respiratory aid, anti-depressant, pain reliever, skin care agent, immune stimulant and as a symbol of divinity.

Valued as an emblem of sacredness, purification, love, protection, eternity, respect and good luck, Basil is used in Ayurvedic preparations for more than 5,000 years. It is lovingly called as Tulsi in Hindi and Surasa in Sanskrit and has been a vital part of Ayurvedic healing of a plethora of illnesses.

The most notable among them are nervous tension, constipation, rheumatism, whooping cough, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, stress, bruises, diabetes, fever, poor memory, poisonous bites and stings, acne and kidney disorders.

Historical uses and importance of Basil leaves and its essential oil:

Popularly known as the ‘Queen of herbs’ in Ayurveda, Basil is botanically called as Ocimum sanctum. It is grown throughout the world for its spiritual and medicinal uses. Highly regarded as a symbol of ‘Good luck charm’, Basil plant has myriad references in the history of world medicine.

Basil plant has been talked about in the ancient sacred books like Rig Veda and in the Ayurvedic texts including Charaka Samhita. Respected as an elixir of life in Ayurveda, this plant is said to pave way to absolute balance and longevity for its enormous medicinal values.

The oldest historical mention of Basil leaves is in the ancient Hindu mythology, where Basil or Tulsi plant is said to symbolize Vishnupriya, the wife of Lord Vishnu and the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. God Vishnu is honored with the garland made with Basil leaves.

Few other sources state that Tulsi is trusted as a form of Goddess Tulsi and this plant is considered as a symbol of blessedness because it is believed to have grown from the ashes of Goddess Tulsi. Basil plant is worshipped by the married Hindu women in India for being blessed with the faithfulness of Goddess Tulsi.

Known as Bacia-nicola (meaning kiss me Nicholas) in Italy, Basil is regarded as a representation of love and luck and is said to attract man to his lady love. It was used in the ancient Greece in the crowning ceremonies of Kings for purification.

Besides its medicinal values, Basil leaves are also used for culinary purposes for its strong aroma and astringent flavor, especially in Asian cooking. The seeds and leaves of this plant are used in the preparation of an herbal tea, which is said to gift good health and fortune.

The native populace of the Indian subcontinent including the Himalayan areas generally grind the leaves and seeds of Basil plant and blend this with Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), Katuka (Picrorhiza kurroa), Bel Fruit (Aegle marmelos), Sugandi root (Hemidesmus indicus), and Blue Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). This herbal mixture is then smoked for persuading the vision and dreams.

The tribal population in Australia has reported the use of Basil leaves in the preparation of an herbal tea for supporting the system as a tonic for treating fever, respiratory problems and few other illnesses. The essential oil extracted from Basil leaves also finds its use in the field of herbal cosmetics and in the treatment of skin disorders and numerous other illnesses.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Basil essential oil:

The remedial values of Basil oil are cephalic, antifungal, diaphoretic, anti-asthmatic, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-cancer, antidote, anti-oxidant, diuretic, anti-fertility, expectorant, anti-diabetic, anti-malarial, hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory.

The primary chemical components of Basil oil are eugenol, ursolic acid, b-caryophyllene, linalool, oleanolic acid, carvacrol, germacrone D, b-elemene and linolenic acid. Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium are few among its nutritional constituents.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil Indian essential oil:

Adorably called as Tulsi in India, Basil is the most respected and often talked about herb in the history of Ayurveda. With its divine aroma and holiness, Tulsi is esteemed high for its healing values. These holy leaves are chewed daily in the morning after performing the ritual prayers for cleansing the system, stimulating metabolic functions, supporting the respiratory functions and strengthening the immune system.

Ayurveda is by far the pioneer of the medicinal world with more than 5,000 years of promising existence. It has its roots vested with the ancient India, where its origin has been referred to Atharvaveda, one among the four sacred books of the Indian mythology.  With the literal meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda means more than a method of treating illnesses.

Holding all these prominent reasons, Ayurveda is known as a common sense science. It leads mankind towards a holistic life with the gifts of absolute health, harmony and longevity. The medications prescribed in Ayurveda simply rely on Mother Nature as it trusts that everything on this globe is a vital part of Nature.

With this philosophy, Ayurvedic texts denote that all things on earth including human beings are built up with the same 5 vital building blocks of nature. They are fire, air, water, earth and space. Earth stands for the bones and muscles in the body and represents braveness, stability and vitality. Air is responsible for the functions of the lungs, heart, intestines and joints.

Ether is found all over the body, where the presence of emptiness and cavity exist. Few parts among them are blood vessels, nostrils, bladder and heart. Fire controls the body temperature, metabolic functions and intellectual power. Water is in charge of the fluid functions of the body, including saliva, blood, plasma and mucus.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is a unique entity with a unique individual constitution or Prakriti, which is an arrangement of the 3 biological energies known as doshas. Ayurvedic principles revolve around the pillars of these dynamic forces, which are a combination of the vital elements of nature. They are vata, pitta and kapha doshas.

Every person has a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines the character, personality, health conditions and behavioral attributes of a person. An individual is claimed to be healthy when there is absolute balance between all the three doshas and imbalances between these doshas end up in illnesses.

Ayurveda prescribes natural remedies like plant essential oils, herbs, meditation, yoga, prayers, Ayurvedic routine along with Ayurvedic healing techniques like Panchakarma (the Ayurvedic detox techniques), Pranayama (art of balanced breathing), Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging) etc. These remedies aim at correcting the imbalances of doshas, prevent illnesses and sustain a healthy life even in the late 60s and 70s.

Basil essential oil has heating and neutral energies (virya) and sharp and bitter taste (rasa). It is known for reducing excess of vata and kapha doshas and aggravates pitta dosha. Basil is said to have amazing beneficial effects on the respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive organs and the digestive system.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Basil essential oil are as follows:

Basil-oil-bro1. Alleviates depression, stress and disorders of the autonomic nervous system: Visceral or the autonomic nervous system supports the generation of hormones and its resultant responses in the human system.  It controls the vital functions of the system including breathing, salivation, digestion, heart rate, urination, perspiration, respiratory rate, breathing and sexual feelings.

Problems in the functioning of this involuntary nervous system can result in indigestion, breathing problems, heart disorders, improper blood circulation, depression, nervousness, anxiety, headache, sexual problems and kidney disorders.

Basil essential oil has a balancing effect on the nervous system. This aids in treating anxiety, stress, depression, nervousness, loss of interest and negative emotions. When inhaled by adding 1 drop of Basil oil, 1 drop of Rose Geranium oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil in diffuser or air freshener, can aid in alleviating stress, inspiring positive feelings, elevating the spirits, augmenting memory power and grant the strength to face challenges.

According to the Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Tulsi “opens the heart and the mind and distributes the energy of love and devotion.  Basil is sacred to Vishnu and Krishna and strengthens faith, compassion, and clarity.

Tulsi stalks are worn as garlands and strengthen the energy of attachment. Basil imparts divine protection by purifying the aura and invigorating the immune system. It contains natural mercury that, as the seed of Shiva, imparts the germinative power of pure consciousness.”

According to a 2010 study on “Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview by Priyabrata Pattanayak,Pritishova Behera, Debajyoti Das and Sangram K. Panda, published in PubMed says, “Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress.

Adding 2 drops of Basil oil in bathing water every morning and night helps in bringing in abundant of constructive thoughts, progressive ideas, encouraging feelings and new-fangled energy to face your new day and relax for a peaceful night. 2 drops of Basil oil added to your air freshener in the night can aid in granting absolute solace and calmness.

Basil has strong effects on the emotions, and can be very strengthening when we are suffering fear or sadness”, says Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy.

2. Enormous benefits to the skin:

Tulsi is a darling remedy when it comes to the protection of skin from various infections and disorders. With its antioxidant and detoxifying properties, Tulsi acts as an excellent skin cleansing and nourishing agent that gifts your skin with a flawless beauty and younger look.

The antifungal and anti-microbial properties of this oil acts as a shield against microbes and aids in the treatment of acne, eczema, scabies, itches, ringworm, athlete’s foot and infectious wounds. The rich presence of Vitamins A and C nourish the skin from within and help in exploring and retaining its natural glow.

The book ‘Ocimum sanctum: The Indian Home Remedy In Current Medical Scene’ have talked about various studies, where the essential oil of Basil “has been found to inhibit in-vitro growth of E. coli, B. anthracis and P. aeruginosa proving its anti-bacterial activity.” It is also said that this oil contains anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Massaging your skin with 2 drops of Basil oil blended with 1 drop of Lemon oil, 1 drop of Bergamot oil and 1 drop of Lavender oil along with 2.5 ml of olive oil helps in removing the dead skin cells, reducing pimples, black heads and fading away marks left behind by wounds and acne. You can also apply this blend on wounds, eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, scabies, wounds and itches for quicker healing.

3. Nurtures the growth of healthy hair:

Basil has been an important ingredient in numerous Ayurvedic and other herbal preparations for hair care. Take 5 drops of Basil oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lime oil along with 10 ml of Almond oil and heat this mixture slightly.

Massaging your scalp with this herbal blend helps in promoting the growth of hair by strengthening the hair follicles, reducing dandruff, moisturizing dry scalp and rough hair, controlling itching and enriching the scalp.

4. Alleviates fever and respiratory illnesses:

The anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-malarial properties of Basil essential oil aids in reducing fever. Numerous research studies have reported that Basil oil contains 100 percent insecticidal and larvicidal activities especially against Culex mosquitoes.

Massage your foot soles with 2 drops of Basil oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 2 ml of coconut oil for reducing fever. Adding 2 drops of Basil oil in your air-freshener or diffuser can be of great assistance in keeping away from insects with its insect-repellant properties.

The therapeutic properties of Basil oil including its anti-microbial and anti-viral attributes helps in arresting the growth of bacteria, virus and other micro-organisms that worsen cold, cough and other respiratory infections. Mucus and phlegm deposits in the system are again a result of excess kapha dosha.

Basil oil is an effective Ayurvedic remedy for lowering excess of kapha dosha that aids in loosening the phlegm and mucus accumulation in the body. 2 drops of Basil oil and 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation can grant you instant relief from cold, cough, stiff nose, congestion, sinusitis, whooping cough and blocked nasal passages.

You can also massage your chest, back and throat with 1 drop of Basil oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment for supporting quicker relief. This oil also helps in strengthening the immune system and helps in fighting against infectious and communicable diseases.

5. Helps control diabetes and the risk of cardiac disorders:

The essential oil of Basil has anti-diabetic properties that aids in the treatment of diabetes by controlling the level of blood sugar. With its diuretic properties, Tulsi promotes frequent urination through which the toxic elements in the system are flushed out and helps to stay energized.

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Indian Physiology and Pharmacology says “eugenol in Basil oil have been found to reduce raised blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol levels and activities of LDH, GPT, GOT and alkaline phosphatase in blood serum explaining the therapeutic potentials of Ocimum sanctum as antidiabetic, cardio-protective, hypolipidaemic and hepatoprotective agent.”

The decoction extracted from the whole plant has been recommended in Ayurveda for lowering the level of blood glucose in case of diabetes mellitus. The presence of eugenol and other therapeutic constituents in this oil are also effective in reducing blood cholesterol and blood pressure. With its antioxidant properties, Basil oil is also known for protecting the heart from the effects of harmful free radicals.

Massaging your system with 5 drops of Basil oil, 5 drops of Juniper oil, 5 drops of Myrtle oil and 2 drops of Clove oil along with 20 ml of coconut oil, once in a week can help in controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. You can also add 2 drops of Basil oil in your diffuser every day and inhale this magical aroma for enhancing your heart health.

6. Relieves pain and inflammation:

The pain relieving quality of Basil oil is attributed to the presence of eugenol. This contributes to the analgesic, relaxant, nervine and anti-inflammatory qualities of this oil.

Tulsi oil reduces inflammation and swelling with its kapha reducing attribute. Kapha dosha represents the water element in the body and excess of which leads to the amassing of water deposits, built up of toxic substances, uric acid and salts in the system.

Gently massaging the painful and affected parts with 3 drops of Basil oil, 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 3 drops of Camphor oil with 5 ml of coconut oil aids in treating pain, rheumatic conditions, arthritis, headache, stiff joints and back pain.

This works by spreading heat in the painful areas with its heating energy, induce frequent urination where the excess water deposits and toxic remains in the system are eliminated.

7. Promotes digestion:

Basil oil has the power to increase ‘Agni’ or the digestive fire in the system with its pitta-enhancing attribute. Pitta dosha symbolizes fire and is responsible for metabolic functions, including digestion, absorption and excretion.

Adding 5 drops of Basil oil in warm compress or massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Basil oil, 2 drops of Lavender oil and 2 drops of Bergamot oil with 4 ml of sesame oil can aid in promoting the secretion of bile, digestive juices and gastric acids.

This assists in treating indigestion, formation of gas in the stomach and intestines, vomiting, motion sickness, colic, sluggish digestion and intestinal spasms. The anti-microbial property of this oil helps in killing germs and harmful micro-organisms in the stomach and intestines.

Also useful in:

Basil essential oil is also helpful in the treatment of eye problems, oral infections, migraine pain, kidney stones, mouth ulcers, cancerous tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, labour pain and certain other medical conditions.

Disclaimer:

This post is only for the use of education and information. It is not intended for diagnosing, treating or preventing illnesses or substituting expert medical advice or prescribed medicines. We are not medical professionals and this information is shared only for spreading the glory of Ayurvedic remedies, the mother of all healing systems on earth.

Never ingest essential oils and always dilute essential oils before using it for topical applications. This is due to the fact that 100% pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances.

Avoid using Basil oil if you are pregnant or a nursing mother as it has anti-fertility and anti-estrogenic effects that may cause harm. Speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner/ healthcare professional before selecting the appropriate essential oils for your prakriti or unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.  -Samuel Johnson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Tulsi Holy Basil: The “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda, TCM and Homeopathy (Learning Medicinal Herbs within India’s Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine Book 2) by Ryder Management Inc.
  2. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. Ayurveda: The A-Z Guide To Healing Techniques From Ancient India by Dr. Helen Mary Thomas
  4. Basil Recipes: Cooking with the King of Herbs (Quick and Easy Series) by Dogwood Apps
  5. The Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body (Health Collection) by William Wagner

Reference Links:

  1. Ocimum tenuiflorum by Wikipedia
  2. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review by Prakash. P and Gupta. N published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
  3. Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview by Priyabrata Pattanayak,Pritishova Behera, Debajyoti Das and Sangram K. Panda, published in Pharmacognosy review (PubMed)
  4. Health Benefits of Basil or Tulsi Value Food Info
  5. Basil by Bryan Miller and Light Miller published in the book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide To Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing

Calendula Oil

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

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

Purchase Calendula Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Historical uses and importance of Calendula oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pharmacological effects and chemical constituents of Calendula oil:

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

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

Ayurvedic health benefits of Calendula oil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most significant Ayurvedic health benefits of Calendula oil are:

Calendula-broucher1. Calendula for skin:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Calendula for circulation and inflammation:

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

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

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

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

3. Calendula for immunity:

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

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

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

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

4. Calendula for digestive disorders:

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

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

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

5. Calendula for reproductive functions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other health benefits:

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

Thought for the day:

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Reference Links:

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

 


Your resource for quality Essential Oils. Every batch is
GC tested to ensure purity and authenticity.

Benzoin Resin Oil

Fixing up your skin setbacks, respiratory ailments and mental mayhems is just a few steps away, until you reach the sacred aroma of Benzoin essential oil. Blessed with a divine fragrance and handful of healing values, Benzoin has been in use since thousands of years as a holy aromatic agent in temples and other religious ceremonies.

Being a pacifying agent, Benzoin and its essential oil is said to have been used for soothing depression and treat skin disorders. Scientifically known as Styrax benzoin, it is also called as gum Benjamin or gum benzoin.

Used as a natural aid to heighten spiritual oneness and divinity, Benzoin resin was burnt by the ancient saints, Hindu priests and Buddhist monks during prayers and holy congregations.

It was used in various Complementary and Alternative Medicinal systems including Ayurveda, in the treatment of depression, wrinkles, congestion, sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis, cough, flatulence, urinary tract infections, premenstrual syndrome, inflamed skin and impotence.

Historical uses and importance of Benzoin resin: Benzoin resin is extracted from the bark of numerous trees of different species in the Styrax genus. Indigenous to the Sumatra and Java islands in Indonesia, Benzoin gets its name from the Arabic word ‘Luban Jawi’, which means Frankincense from Java. The Benzoin tree grows up to a height of 12 meters and is also grown as an ornamental tree in Western Africa.

The crude Balsamic resin is extracted by tapping method, which is nothing but the process of cutting the bark of the tree for obtaining the resin, generally from a seven years old tree. The extracted resin is then left out for 3 to 4 months for drying and hardening. Benzoin resin essential oil is extracted from this resin through a solvent.

It was said that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese imported Benzoin resin via the Red Sea. As an excellent fixative that has the power to embrace the fragrance of many aromatic oils and perfumery ingredients, Benzoin essential oil is a common element in the perfume and incense-making industry.

Benzoin was used in the traditional Malayan civilization as a fumigation and incense, to keep away from evil spirits as well as for ritual uses. Predominantly used as incense for more than 3000 years, Benzoin resin has been powdered and blended with other aromatic items like cypress, pine, labdanum, juniper and galbanum. This blend is then made as cones and kept on the heads of the dancers of Egypt, says Papyrus records.

Queen Elizabeth I used the dry perfumes made with Benzoin and the first use of this enchanting fragrance factor in England is traced between the 15th and 16th centuries. The resin is popular as an incense in Western Catholic Churches and certain Orthodox Christian associations all over the world.

Benzoin resin is also used in the manufacturing of scented wooden chips known as Bakhoor in Arabic. It is also used as mixed resins along with other resins in Horn of Africa and other Arabian provinces. This sweet-smelling resin is burned on charcoal as incense especially during spiritual occasions in India and the Arabian countries of the Persian Gulf.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Benzoin resin oil: The key chemical components of Benzoin resin essential oil are benzoic acid, coniferyl benzoate, phenylpropylic alcohol, benzaldehyde, cinnamic acid, benzyl benzoate, vanillin and phenylethylene.

The most significant remedial attributes of this oil are antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, astringent, expectorant, disinfectant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, cordial, vulnerary, carminative, sedative, relaxant and deodorant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Benzoin resin oil: Ayurveda embraces nature wholly and it is reflected in every single remedy it prescribes to mankind. This is the most valued attribute that has helped Ayurvedic healing survive and stay in the hearts of many across the globe.

With the immaculate meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayur+Veda is the only healing system on earth that insists on self-awareness about one’s own health condition and individual constitution. This traditional wisdom of healing brings in that wakefulness,  where an individual understands that every human being is being created with all kinds of mental and physical abilities in a clear order.

Ayurveda helps in appreciating this uniqueness and leading a hale and hearty life in sync with nature, which is built with five fundamental elements. They are earth, water, air, space and fire. Everything on earth including the human body is made with these five elements, where the earth takes the form of muscles and bones, water represents blood, fire helps in the biological functions including metabolism, space is the soul that keeps us alive and air assists in breathing.

According to Ayurveda, every human being is a unique part of nature with a unique individual constitution. This constitution is known as Prakriti and is a combination of three biological elements called as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. Every person has a predominance of any one of these doshas and it determines the traits, character and behavioral attributes of a person.

Ayurvedic remedies are based on the predominance of the doshas and the balance between them. Absolute health in Ayurveda is a sign of perfect balance between these doshas and illness indicates doshic imbalances. Ayurvedic healing techniques and medications aim at correcting the disparities between the doshas.

The major natural remedies prescribed in Ayurveda are herbs, plant essential oils, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, prayers and few other Ayurvedic techniques like Panchakarma or Ayurvedic detox, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage and Pranayama or Ayurvedic art of balanced breathing.

Benzoin resin oil has moisturizing and warming energies, which helps in tranquilizing the mind and enriching the skin. This oil has the power to pacify vata, pitta and kapha dosha with its sweet-balsamic, pleasant and vanillin based aroma.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Benzoin resin essential oil are:

Benzoin-Res-Broucher1. Alleviates rheumatic conditions: Rheumatism generally occurs due to the stagnation of excess water deposits in the system. This leads to improper blood circulation, inflammation, swelling, redness, pain, soreness and difficulty in the normal functioning of the body. Excess of water and fluids in the human body is mainly caused due to the imbalance of kapha dosha, which is responsible for similar diseases like obesity, respiratory illnesses etc.,

Benzoin essential oil has anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties that help in promoting proper blood circulation, reducing pain, lessening inflammation, controlling soreness and swelling, and eliminating the surplus water deposits and toxic elements in the system by promoting frequent urination. This function also assists in treating obesity, controlling blood pressure, supporting the functions of the circulatory system and enhancing metabolism.

To get rid of rheumatic and arthritic problems, Ayurveda suggests a healthy diet that naturally controls kapha vitiation along with yogasanas that treat rheumatism and arthritis and the use of Ayurvedic essential oils like Benzoin resin oil.

The Arthritis Foundation reported that a research by the John Hopkins University has concluded that yoga is extremely beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis after publishing its research analysis stating that “who participated in eight weeks of yoga classes had significantly fewer tender and swollen joints than they did before starting class.”

Steffany Haaz, the grant recipient of the Arthritis Foundation also says, “We have previously reported that yoga helps people to feel better, and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t harmful to arthritic joints. So, we were glad to find that there actually seems to be improvement in joint symptoms for RA patients.”

Along with this, massage the painful parts with 3 drops of Benzoin resin oil mixed with 1 drop of Ginger oil, 1 drop of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Black pepper oil, 1 drop of Juniper berry oil with 4 ml of coconut oil. You can also add 2 drops of Benzoin resin oil and 2 drops of Marjoram oil in warm bathing water or in hot compress for improved results. This formula works quickly as the benzyl components in the Benzoin oil are easily absorbed by the pores of the skin.

2. Relieves congestion and other respiratory problems: Breathing is the natural action that sustains life. Trouble-free breathing brings in enormous health and happiness by permitting the flow of prana or vital life force in the system.

Any interruption or blockage in the breathing mechanism due to improper food habits, environmental factors, stagnation of water deposits and toxic substances in the system leading to built up of mucus and phlegm deposits (this is a kapha imbalance) cause respiratory problems.

Benzoin resin essential oil has the power to reduce excess kapha dosha, with its expectorant properties. 1 drop of Benzoin oil with 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil and 1 drop of Niaouli oil in steam inhalation aids in loosening the accumulated phlegm and mucus, relieving congestion and cleansing the breathing passages.

Gently massaging your chest, throat and back with your vaporizing ointment mixed with 2 drops of Benzoin oil and 2 drops of Frankincense oil, following the steam inhalation can aid in relieving cough, cold, congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis, blocked nose, asthma and other respiratory allergies. You can practice breathing exercises like Pranayama and yoga asanas for respiratory illnesses.

3. Drives away depressive feelings: Benzoin resin oil has a gentle, sweet and soothing aroma that tranquilizes the mind with its relaxant, sedative and anti-depressant properties. When inhaled, these remedial properties in the aromatic molecules of this oil pass on to the brain through the nasal passages. This has a positive effect on the limbic system, which is the control center of the brain.

Bryan Miller and Light Miller in their book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ say, “Benzoin resin oil is beneficial to an irritated nervous system and can be useful in depression, PMS and stress.”

2 drops of Benzoin resin oil along with 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Orange oil added to your vaporizer, burner or diffuser can assist in stimulating the central nervous system, pacifying the mind, granting mental clarity, controlling anger, treating anxiety, improving blood circulation and instilling the power to control depressive feelings.

According to Ayurveda, among the 7 chakras, Benzoin resin oil affects the root chakra and the solar plexus chakra. Root chakra or sacral chakra is responsible for survival factors like security issues, financial independence and the ability to stand up high. Imbalance of this chakra leads to depression and various other nervous problems.

Solar plexus chakra deals with self-confidence, self-esteem, self-control, self-worth and other personal powers. The failure of the functions of this chakra leads to nervousness, lower self-confidence, inferiority complex, poor memory and digestive disorders.

Benzoin resin oil, with its power to treat the imbalances of the root chakra and solar plexus chakra, brings in self-confidence, trust and the ability to stand tall to beat depression and other negative feelings.

While talking on the relaxing effects of Benzoin resin oil on the emotional aspects of the system, Madame Maury says, ‘this essence creates a kind of euphoria; it interposes a padded zone between us and events’. You can also work out these Yoga asanas for depression and practice meditation.

4. Keeps skin problems at bay: The essential oil of Benzoin has amazing healing for nourishing your skin and helps you look younger and charming. The book on ‘Aromatherapy: Essential oil for vibrant health and beauty’ by Roberta Wilson quotes, “Benzoin was often added to cosmetics to keep skin clear and youthful. People in many different cultures have appreciated its ability to soothe and stimulate the skin.”

Benzoin resin oil has everything in its kitty for dealing with various skin problems ranging from wounds to treatment of scars. The healing properties are mainly due its chemical components including benzyl benzoate, benzoic acid and benzaldehyde.

This oil is a natural antiseptic with germicidal, disinfectant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and vulnerary properties that aid in healing wounds, cuts, sores, acne, chapped skin, eczema, scars, skin irritation, psoriasis and dermatitis.

Applying the mix of 2 drops of Benzoin resin oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil, 1 drop of Rose oil, 1 drop of Lemon oil, 1 drop of Bergamot oil, 1 drop of Frankincense oil and 4 ml of Sweet almond oil on pimples, wounds, cuts, sores, scars and other infectious skin problems can help in protecting the infected parts from germs and promote quicker healing.

Massaging this blend on your skin especially on dry, cracked, blistered or chapped skin helps repair and rejuvenate the skin cells especially on the elbows, knees and heels. It also helps in maintaining the skin suppleness and softness. Ayurveda recommends drinking ample water every day to retain healthy skin cells.

5. Benefits to the entire system: Apart from these magnificent benefits, the essential oil of Benzoin can bring in enormous other benefits to your complete system. They are the promising effects of this oil that can help in destroying germs in the mouth with its disinfectant properties and tightening the gums with its astringent properties. It also aids in treating digestive disorders with its anti-flatulent and carminative properties. It can serve as an excellent deodorant with its mesmerizing aroma, for your body as well as your home.

Other uses: Benzoin is known for its fixative and preservative values and is used in the perfume industry for these reasons, especially for reducing the dispersal of fragrance elements and essential oils in air. This oil is also utilized as a flavoring agent in baked goods, gelatins, candies, gums, puddings, frozen dairy and beverages including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Apart from this, its use in the manufacturing of scented candles, cosmetics and veterinary medications makes it a much prized natural alternative since ages.

Disclaimer: This information is only for the purpose of education and is not intended for diagnosis or prevention of any illnesses. Do not substitute these remedies for any prescription drugs or expert medical advice. We are not medical professionals and this article is shared with the interest of throwing light on the world’s oldest healing system, Ayurveda.

Never use essential oils for internal purposes and make certain that you dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it topically. This is mainly because pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions, when used on the skin directly.

Talk with your Ayurvedic professional prior to selecting the right essential oils for your Prakriti or unique individual constitution and state of health. Care should be taken before using essential oils, if you are pregnant or a nursing mom.

Thought for the day:

Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. -William Wordsworth

Suggested Reading:

  1. Fragrance & Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  4. Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the Wise (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick Series) by Scott Cunningham
  5. Making Your Own Incense: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-226 by Tina Sams, Maryanne Schwartz

Reference Links:

  1. Benzoin Resin by Wikipedia
  2. Benzoin from the book, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty by Roberta Wilson
  3. Benzoin from the book, Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Light Miller and Bryan Miller
  4. Health Benefits of Benzoin Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  5. Yoga – A Remedy To Respiratory Illnesses by Dr. Sripriya Krishnan, Department of Psychology, Dr. M.G.R Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women, Chennai