Sugandha Bala Essential Oil

Flowering plants are always appealing and Sugandha Bala, scientifically known as Pavonia Odorata is even more interesting with its natural healing values. It is an offspring of the mallow family, Malvaceae. Known as Sugandha Bala in native Indian sub-tropical areas, the roots and shoots of this plant are extremely aromatic. Ayurveda, the oldest of all healing sciences has recorded the use of Sugandha Bala herb and its essential oil as a natural cooling agent with stomachic properties. The most popular Ayurvedic fever drink known as Shadanga Paniya has a major composition of Sugandha Bala in it. It has been said that this powerful herb is often used in combination with other herbs to treat hemorrhage of the internal organs, inflammation, digestive disorders and fever.

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Therapeutic properties: The antimicrobial properties of this essential oil has made its use inevitable in Ayurveda for treating dysentery, inflammation and certain other intestinal infections. Sugandha Bala essential oil has carminative, antimicrobial, demulcent, cooling, diuretic, antispasmodic, antiprotozoal, astringent and diaphoretic properties. This oil also has strong anthelmintic activity against roundworms and tapeworms.

Traditional home remedies suggest the use of 2 teaspoons of fresh juice of the leaves of this plant along with black pepper for treating dysentery of babies. These leaves also have emollient properties and the fresh juice extracted from the leaves of Sugandha Bala herb was used for soothing and softening the skin.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sugandha Bala essential oil: Sugandha Bala is an erect glandular-pubescent annual herb that grows up to 1m tall. This herb is indigenous to India (Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar), which is the birthplace of the ancient healing wisdom known as Ayurveda. The word ‘Ayurveda’ stands for knowledge of life. What makes Ayurveda the mother of all medical sciences is its simplicity and understanding about human beings and their entire constitution, which is nothing but the combination of physical, mental and emotional attributes of an individual. The main aim of Ayurveda is to grant holistic healing that not only stops with treating the illnesses but travels a step ahead in preventing it in the future also.

Ayurvedic system considers human beings as a part of nature and believes that they are made up of the five elements of nature namely fire, water, earth, air and ether. Every individual is considered unique and is believed that every one of us are made up of a specific set of energy elements or doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are a combination of the five vital elements of nature. It is for this special reason Ayurveda grants specific treatment for each individual even if they have a common illness.

This environmental art trusts on natural remedies like herbs, essential oils extracted from plants, yoga, meditation, physical exercises, and a healthy lifestyle comprising an Ayurvedic routine for a hale and hearty life assuring longevity and healthy aging. Exploring the remedial values of herbs and essential oils highly help in perceiving their ability in treating several health conditions. The major health benefits of Sugandha Bala essential oil are:

Anti-microbial: Sugandha Bala essential oil has strong anti-microbial properties that are effective against harmful bacteria, fungi and certain other microbes. A 1992 research on ‘Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Pavonia Odorata Wild’ by Doctor Hari Singh Gour University, India proved the microbes fighting ability of this essential oil. This was substantiated after testing Sugandha Bala essential oil for antifungal and antibacterial activity against thirteen fungi and ten bacteria (4 gram positive bacteria and 6 gram negative bacteria) by means of paper disc agar diffusion technique.

The results of this research highly recommended the use of Sugandha Bala essential oil for inhibiting the growth of all the test fungi and bacteria while this oil was stated ‘excellent against Gram (+ve) bacterium Diplococcus pneumonia and Gram (-ve) bacterium E.coli’. This report disclosed that “The oil was also found to inhibit the growth of keratinophilic fungi Trichophyton mentagreophytes and Chrysosporium indicum along with Aspergillus sp., Botrydiplodia sp. Fusarium solani etc”.

It also depicted the effectiveness of this oil against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus which is responsible for wound and infections getting septic. This property makes Sugandha Bala essential oil as a promising antiseptic for treating cuts, sores, abrasions and certain other skin problems.

Other pharmacological actions: The intense study on the ‘Pharmacological screening of essential oil of Pavonia Odorata’ revealed that this essential oil contains a series of interesting pharmacological actions based on various parameters. When tested on a choice of living organisms, this oil caused relaxation in the rabbit’s intestine, created fall in blood pressure in anaesthetized dog, lessened the spasmogenic effect of acetylcholine and potassium and produced cardiac inhibition in the isolated heart of a frog.

Applications: With its excellent therapeutic properties, Sugandha Bala essential oil is used as an important ingredient in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, pomades, hair tonics, massage oils for rheumatism and much more. You can use this essential oil as a gentle massaging oil after blending it with mild carrier oils like olive oil for treating digestive disorders, pain, inflammation, infections, skin problems and rheumatism. Adding 2 to 3 drops of this oil to your bath tub can also grant you similar health benefits and alleviate pain. Using it in diffusers, air fresheners, burners and vaporizers can protect you from the invasion of harmful micro-organisms.

Disclaimer: This article is only for information purpose and do not use it as a substitute for prescribed medicines or Professional advice. Essential oils are highly concentrated and do not use them directly on your skin (use it after blending with carrier oils). Do not ingest essential oils and consult your Ayurvedic Practitioner before using essential oils for treating your health conditions.

Thought for the day:

God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animals, and thinks in man.    -Arthur Young

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  2. 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
  3. Major Herbs of Ayurveda, 1e by Elizabeth M. Williamson BSc (Pharm) PhD MRPharmS FLS

Reference Links:

  1. Antimicrobial Activity Of The Essential Oil Of Pavonia Odorata Wild by Seems Nakhare and S.C. Garg
  2. Pharmacological screening of the essential oil of Pavonia Odorata Wild, published in PubMed
  3. Essential Oils as Therapeutics by S.C. Garg

Nagarmotha Essential Oil

How can the ‘world’s worst weed’ embrace innumerable health benefits to mankind!!? That’s the magnitude and immaculate love of ‘Mother Nature’. Besides being regarded as the most invasive weed in the world, Nagarmotha has its name etched in the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Charaka Samhita (ca. 100 CE) as an excellent natural remedy for treating digestive disorders, fevers, dysmennorhea and certain other health conditions. This herb has also been an incredible part of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) where it is highly regarded as the primary qi (prana or life force) regulating herbal medicine.

The essential oil steam distilled from the rhizomes of this plant has been documented for treating numerous health conditions ranging from Hepatitis B to stress related degenerative diseases. Nagarmotha is the Hindi name of the plant and it is also known as ‘Nut Grass and Cypriol in English, Musta or Mustak in Sanskrit, Shacao in Chinese and Motha in Gujarati.

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Historical importance Nagarmotha: Indigenous to India, it has been said that Nagarmotha essential oil is extracted from the roots of Cyperus scariosus or Cyperus rotundus plant. Nagarmotha is given 8th rank among 250 potential anti-fertility plants in China. It is also said that this herb has been recorded in the ancient Chinese medicinal book around 500 A.D.

Popularly known as a qi-in-blood medicine in China, Nagarmotha is trusted to penetrate the blood stream and treat irregular menstruation, dysmennorhea or menstrual pain, overdue periods and depression in women mainly during menstruation. Numerous Islamic and Western herbalists like Avicenna, Serapion, Dioscorides, Rhazes, Galen, Charles Alston and Paulus Aegineta have denoted Nagarmotha as deobstruent, stomachic and emmenagogue.

The decoction extracted from the tuber of this plant is used in India for washing hair mainly for its hair strengthening and scalp rejuvenating properties. The ethnic communities of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, India use the rhizome of this herb as an antidote to venomous snake bites. It was also used as a home remedy in treating gastroenteritis and fever.

Nagarmotha essential oil is a part of the ancient art of Vashikarana, where it is trusted that the person who applies this oil on their forehead is certain to enjoy the privilege of a long-lasting string of thriving love affairs. This oil is famous even today in many parts of India as a renowned perfume for scenting saris and other traditional outfits. It has been in use in the production of perfumes, attars, incense sticks, soaps, compounds, hair treatments and in flavoring tobacco products.

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties: Nagarmotha essential oil contains about 27 chemical constituents that make it extremely effective in treating numerous health disorders. The major chemical constituents are cyperine, pinene, cyperol, cyperone and isocyperol and sesquiterpenes like patchouleneone, rotundene, cyperotundene, kobusone, a-cyperone, isokobusone, sugeonol and b-selinene. The remedial properties of this oil are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antipyretic, diuretic, astringent, decongestant, anthelmintic, emmenagogue, antimicrobial, stimulant, tonic, stomachic, hypotensive, diaphoretic and cordial.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Nagarmotha essential oil: The essential oil of Nagarmotha is illustrated in Ayurveda as a natural enhancer of the biological fire and is an effective digestive aid.  This ancient natural healing system trusts that every human being is unique and their illnesses should also be treated in a unique manner according to their individual constitution. According to Ayurveda, every individual is made up of three energy elements known as vata, pitta and kapha. Predominance of any one of these doshas determines the personality, traits and characteristic features of a person and dosha imbalances cause sickness.

Ayurvedic therapies mainly focus on treating the pathogenesis or the root cause of the illness rather than just treating the disease for the time being like the contemporary medical practices. The root cause for many illnesses including autoimmune disorders according to Ayurvedic texts is the invasion or the deposits of the toxic substances in the body known as ‘ama’. Ayurveda illustrates Nagarmotha as a detoxifying herb and as the best ama-pachaka (eliminator of endo-toxins).

Nagarmotha essential oil is known to pacify pitta and kapha energies. Let’s take a look at the prominent Ayurvedic health benefits of Nagarmotha oil in accordance to their usage.

1. As an Ayurvedic massage oil: Abhyanga or the art of Ayurvedic massaging grants numerous benefits to the mind, body and the spirit. Massaging is known as the best technique to transform the energies of the essential oils extracted from the herbs to the human body and soul. This is because the therapeutic properties of the oil deeply penetrate through the skin and enter the bloodstream. Maneuvering the affected parts of the body with 3 drops of Nagarmotha essential oil blended with coconut oil assist in treating numerous health disorders.

As an effective carminative and stomachic oil, Nagarmotha when massaged on to the abdomen aids in promoting the process of digestion by augmenting digestive fire, kills intestinal worms, binds stool, controls nausea, treats dysurea, irritation of the bowel and soothes upset stomach. The diuretic properties of this oil also help in eliminating the toxic substances from the body through sweat and urine, making it useful in reducing inflammation as well. Gently massaging the painful areas can help in treating dysmennorhea and rheumatoid arthritis.

The decoction of the rhizomes has been in use for hundreds of years as a natural hair wash. Massaging your scalp with this nourishing blend aids in opening the small capillaries on the scalp, work efficaciously on the sebaceous glands and fortify the hair from the roots by stimulating its strength naturally.

2. In vaporizers and burners: The spicy, earthy, woody, lingering, smoky and camphoraceous aroma of Nagarmotha oil acts as a tonic for the nervous system and influences the regular functioning of the body. Adding 2 drops of this oil in steaming water and inhaling this medicated steam helps in reducing respiratory congestion, cough, bronco-pulmonary congestion, bronchitis, loosening the mucus and phlegm deposits and comforts the digestive system.

The magical aroma of this oil aids in alleviating stress, relieve tension, tone the system and regain your lost energy especially after a long day in the sun. Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your burners or diffusers will assist in building up the nervous system and treating digestive disorders like stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

3. In baths and compress: Using 4 drops of Nagarmotha essential oil in warm bathing water helps in calming down a nervous stomach, check weight gain, discard toxins from the body, relieves menstrual pain and discomfort, reduces rheumatic pain and treats inflammation and anorexia.

A 2007 research on ‘Administration of Cyperus rotundus tubers extract prevents weight gain in obese Zucker rats’ state “Cyperus rotundus tubers extract prove to be a new herbal supplement for controlling body weight preferentially in beta3-AR sensitive species”. This oil can also be used in hot or cold compresses for treating stomach pain, fibromyalgia, muscular aches, kidney stones, abdominal pain, fever and colitis.

4. In cream and lotions: Nagarmotha essential has natural tonifying properties that make its use inevitable in many skin care formulations. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to your mild skin care cream or lotion can help in curtailing the growth of harmful microbes that affect the skin health. Gently applying this blend on the inflamed parts will help in reducing inflammation and augment blood circulation. Add 4 to 5 drops of Nagarmotha essential oil to unscented cream to lessen skin irritability and other discomforts due to heat.

The research on ‘In Vitro Antioxidant activity and Total Polyphenolic Content of Cyperus rotundus Rhizomes’ by the Department of Siddha Medicine, Tamil University, India have proved that the rhizome extracts of “Cyperus rotundus show free radical scavenging, reducing power and metal chelating activity” with its polyphenolic content and other phytochemicals constituents contributing to its antioxidant properties, which aid in preventing age related oxidative stress associated degenerative diseases.

A 2006 study on ‘Natural composition for curing hepatitis-B, methods for making the same and pharmaceutical formulations thereof’ have proved that a natural antiviral composition with extracts of Cyperus rotundus or Cyperus scariosus and pharmaceutically acceptable carrier aids in treating disorders related to chronic and acute hepatitis B and certain other viral diseases of the liver. This is mainly due to the herb’s positive effect on the liver, easing its detoxification and healing.

Other benefits: Nagarmotha essential oil is said to add a distinguishing and appealing aroma to masculine perfumes. Tom For Men is known as the first perfume to use this herbal formula, followed by other perfumes like Eau d’Issey pour Homme, Xeryus and numerous other popular brands in the market for men. It is also used in making soaps, potpourri, air fresheners, scented candles and certain other aromatherapy products.

Disclaimer: Do not take essential oils internally. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it topically as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids. Avoid using Nagarmotha essential oil on children, epileptics, pregnant or nursing women. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using any essential oil to check whether it would suit your present health condition and unique individual constitution.

Thought for the day:

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.              -John Burroughs

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Natural Remedy Bible by John Lust, Michael Tierra
  2. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being by Julia Lawless
  3. Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine: Traditional System, Ethics, Safety, Efficacy, and Regulatory Issues by Bashar Saad, Omar Said

Reference Links:

  1. Nagarmotha: A detoxifying herb by Dr. R. Vatsyayan, Ayurvedacharya published in The Tribune
  2. Nagarmotha by Planet Ayurveda
  3. Cyperus scariosus or Cyperus rotundus, an old famous Sedge from ancient Egypt and China published in MDidea
  4. In Vitro Antioxidant activity and Total Polyphenolic Content of Cyperus rotundus Rhizomes by Nagulendran, Velavan, Hazeena Begum and Mahesh from the Department of Siddha Medicine, Tamil University, India published in e-Journals.net

Parsley Seed Essential Oil

Persley-bannerParsley cannot be isolated just as a part of appetizing and aesthetic food presentation. More than just a culinary herb, Parsley leaves and its seeds are used throughout the world as a magnificent spice that kindle the taste and zest of the food to which it is added to. Scientifically known as Petroselinum sativum, Parsley is native to the eastern parts of the Mediterranean region.

Parsley seed essential oil, just as the name suggests is extracted from the dried seeds of the Parsley plant through steam distillation method. Ayurveda  has recorded the effects of Parsley herb and its essential oil as a powerful diuretic without leading to any drying out of the body.

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Historical importance of Parsley:

Parsley was traditionally used in making tea for treating gallstones and dysentery. Trusted as a powerful carminative, the leaves, seeds and roots of Parsley were used in treating numerous digestive problems including diarrhea, ulcer, flatulence and colic pain. The juice extracted from the roots of this plant was used in folklore medicine as a diuretic and for treating kidney disorders like nephrolithiasis (kidney stones).

Parsley seeds are used as an important spice in the Asian countries and specifically there is no Indian kitchen without Parsley seeds as the seeds and its powder are used in all kinds of routine cooking. The essential oil extracted from Parsley seeds was used in massage for normalizing menstruation and as a natural abortifacient. This oil is said to be effective in treating amenorrhea and menstrual pain or dysmennorhea.

Parsley herb is used for garnishing and adding extra flavor to all types of food items and is a major ingredient in tabbouleh, the national food of Lebanon. Crushed Parsley leaves have been used for topical application for insect bites, skin parasites and skin tumors. Other conventional uses of Parsley include its use for treating arthritis, anemia, cancer, prostate problems and liver disorders.

Chemical components and therapeutic properties of Parsley Seed Oil:

The healing effects of Parsley seed essential oil are antiseptic, diuretic, anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, astringent, digestive, stomachic, tonic, carminative, emmenagogue, laxative, hypotensive, uterine, stimulant, febrifuge, detoxifying and antimicrobial.

The major chemical constituents that contribute to its therapeutic values are limonene, myristicin, tetramethoxyally benzene, alpha-thujene, eugenol and certain flavonoids including apigenin, luteolin, appiin and crisoeriol.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Parsley Seed oil:

Ayurveda has gained great honor mainly due the fact that it appreciates individual differences and treats every individual with a specific therapy. This holistic approach trusts that no two human beings on earth are the same and so are their health conditions as well. With this faith, Ayurvedic treatment varies from person to person even if a group of people are affected by the same disease.

Ayurveda identifies individuals based on their individual constitution that comprises three major energy elements known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. Dosha predominance is the deciding factor for determining your physical and mental attributes whereas imbalance of doshas leads to sickness.

Parsley seed essential oil is known for reducing increase of vata and kapha doshas and increasing pitta deficit, for which it is known as an excellent digestive aid.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Parsley seed oil are:Persley-broucher1. Eliminates toxins from the body and purifies the kidneys:

Since the prehistoric period, Parsley is known as a diuretic and detoxifier that aids in eliminating dangerous toxins from the body through urine. The depurative property of this oil purifies the blood and promotes the trouble-free flow of oxygen to all the tissues in the body. Gently massaging your body with 2 drops of Parsley oil blended with coconut oil aids in promoting blood circulation and helps expel the unwanted substances from the body without any side effects.

You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Parsley seed oil in your warm bathing water for treating fluid retention, urinary problems, kidney disorders and certain other problems like rheumatism.

Parsley seed oil as a natural diuretic increases the frequency of urination without making you tired or dehydrated. This aids in the removal of harmful toxins like salt, uric acid, fat deposits and microbes in the body, when left unnoticed can cause renal calculi, arthritis, skin diseases and may affect the overall functioning of the body.

2. Fights against cancer:

Parsley in general is claimed as an effective chemoprotective food that guards the body from harmful free radicals that lead to dangerous diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, asthma and diabetes. Parsley seed essential oil and the herb is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients like luteolin and other flavonoids have been proved to function as antioxidants that join with highly reactive oxygen radicals and aid in preventing oxygen-based damage to cells.

A study on ‘Cancer Prevention’ by Salman Hyder from the University of Missouri proved that the presence of apigenin compound in parsley and celery helps fight the growth of cancerous tumor in breast by blocking the formation of new blood vessel in tumors. Myristicin compound in Parsley oil has also been proven to restrain the growth of tumors especially in lungs.

3. Treats menstrual problems:

This oil has emmenagogue properties that stimulate blocked menstruation and regularize the menstrual cycle. Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Parsley oil mixed with sesame oil helps in treating various problems associated with menstruation like abdominal cramps, fatigue, nausea, headache and back pain. Parsley seed oil also promotes the secretion of estrogen, the female hormones and nurtures the health of female reproductive organs.

4. Guards the system from rheumatism:

The major causes behind rheumatism and arthritis are fluid retention, obstructed blood circulation and amassing of uric acid in the joints and muscles. The detoxifier, depurative, stimulant and diuretic properties of this oil removes toxins like salts and uric acid from the joints and muscles, expels water retention, helps get rid of impurities in the blood and promotes blood circulation.

The Ayurveda and Aromatherapy book by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes “Parsley is excellent for the circulation and is known to eliminate broken capillaries in combination with Rose oil and cold compresses.” Parsley seed oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that aids in reducing rheumatic pain and inflammation.

A warm massage with 3 drops of Parsley seed essential oil blended with sesame oil helps in reducing pain, inflammation and promotes frequent urination without loss of energy through which the harmful toxins in the body are eliminated. You can also use few drops of Parsley oil either in warm compress or in warm bathing water for complete relief from rheumatism, gout and arthritis.

5. Natural remedy for digestive problems:

As a laxative with carminative and stomachic properties, using Parsley seed essential oil in massage or in bath tub aids in enhancing the secretion of bile and certain other gastric juices along with digestive enzymes. This assists in stimulating regular bowel movements, treat constipation, flatulence, stomach infection, ulcer and pain.

Other health benefits:

Apart from these major health benefits, Parsley seed essential oil is also used for various other health problems like cough, high blood pressure, hypertension, colic, gastrointestinal disorders, wounds, swollen breasts, prostate conditions, jaundice, gall stones, cellulite, cystitis, sciatica, loss of libido, hemorrhoids and gum problems.

Thought for the day:

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
-Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Suggested Reading:

  1. Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Arthritis: Reverse Underlying Causes of Arthritis With Clinically Proven Alternative Therapies Second Edition by Ellen Kamhi, Eugene R. Zampierson
  2. The Mediterranean Prescription: Meal Plans and Recipes to Help You Stay Slim and Healthy for the Rest of Your Life from Ballantine Books
  3. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications by Christian Ratsch, Albert Hofmann
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Link:

  1. Parsley by Drugs.com
  2. Parsley by The World’s Healthiest Foods.com
  3. Health Benefits of Parsley Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. Parsley, Celery Carry Crucial Component for Fight Against Breast Cancer by Salman Hyder, University of Missouri