Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender-bannerAyurveda beckons Lavender as a Medhya herb for its exquisite and energizing ability to empower the mind and stimulate the brain functions. It has been proven to treat anxiety, irritability, migraine, low self esteem, insomnia, nervousness, anger, stress, palpitations, loneliness and the feelings of being neglected.

It is a spectacular flower variety that is held high for owning 167 proven medicinal uses says author Susanne Fischer Rizzi and the popular Ayurvedic book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ states that Lavender is the most important oil to have in the first aid kit especially during traveling. This oil has such a magnificent, mind-blowing, magical and mystical fragrance within it to splash our senses with a never before energy.

Lavender and its essential oil is used in Ayurveda for reviving the senses, harmonizing the mind, curing numerous illnesses ranging from burns to boils, headache to high blood pressure, insomnia to irritability, stress to skin disorders and for balancing the entire human system.

Purchase Lavender Oil – Retail – 4 oz – CLICK HERE

Purchase Lavender Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Purchase Lavender Bulgarian Oil – 5% Dilution in Pure Jojoba Oil – 4oz – CLICK HERE

Historical importance of Lavender and its essential oil:

Indigenous to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean areas, Lavender is also grown throughout the world including the United States, Australia, Southern Europe, France, India and other parts of Asia.

You would be amazed if I say that the name ‘Lavender’ was extracted from the name of a Latin root ‘Lavare’, which carries the strong meaning ‘To Wash’. This is more than enough to claim that Lavender is the perfect herb and its essential oil is the ideal solution for cleansing the mind, body and the ailments allied with them.

Lavender and its enriching essential oil have it’s roots deeply vested in the historic healing of human beings. It has been in use for more than 2500 years for it therapeutic, culinary and for beauty benefits in the cosmetic and personal hygiene industry.

Lavender oil and the herb as such had traveled all over the world and was almost used by most of the prominent groups like the Egyptians, Romans, Phoenicians, Europeans, Americans, Arabians, Australians, Asians and people in other parts of the world.

According to De Materia Medica, Dioscorides, the renowned Greek physician suggests the use of Lavender for treating the ‘grief’s of the thorax’ and for relieving headache, sore throat, indigestion, burns, wounds and other skin problems.

Famous herbalist Maude Grieve recommends Lavender as an excellent nervine and carminative. She also states that this herb assists in treating memory loss, snake bites, depression, headache and fatigue.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report (GC) for Lavender oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lavender oil constitutes of 16 chemical components that contribute to the aroma, therapeutic values, consistency and quality of this essential oil. Of which, Linalyl acetate contributes to the highest percentage of Lavender oil constituents with about 36.8% of the total composition.

Just click on Linalyl acetate, Linalool, Camphor, 1, 8-Cineole and Lavandulyl acetate for getting to know the exclusive information about these prime constituents of Lavender oil.

Each and every component contributes to the various attributes and remedial properties of Lavender oil. The table crafted below clearly depicts those special contributions to the healing magnificence of Lavender essential oil.

Lavender OilTherapeutic properties of Lavender essential oil:

Lavender can be called as an elixir as it has immense remedial properties.

The most prominent among them are anti-depressant, sedative, antiseptic, nervine, bactericide, analgesic, sudorific, antiphlogistic, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, decongestant, deodorant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-spasmodic, rubefacient, cholagogue, vulnerary, hypotensive, antiviral, cytophylactic, anticonvulsant, hormonal balancing and diuretic properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Lavender essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest of all healing systems on earth and is engaged in addressing the health concerns of human beings for more than 5000 years.

Ayurvedic healing aims at longevity by focusing on prevention of illnesses by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing an Ayurvedic routine, yoga, meditation, simple physical exercises and using of natural remedies like herbs and essential oils for treating illnesses.

According to Ayurveda, sickness is an opportunity to know the imbalances of the body with nature and to know the actual root cause of the illness. This noble science suggests and trusts in treating the root cause of a disease instead of diagnosing the ailment alone.

Treating individuals instead of diseases is the prime factor that makes Ayurveda superior than other contemporary medicinal practices.

Everything that is a part of nature and that which is believed to heal humanity falls under Ayurveda as it is the ancient medicinal science existing in this world and has its age double the times of Lavender.

Ayurvedic philosophy states that every human being is distinctive with a unique individual constitution, which is made up of three vital biological energies known as doshas. They are vata, pitta and kapha.

Lavender essential oil is beneficial for all the three constitutional types of Ayurveda. With its extremely soothing, calming, cooling and tranquil energy, Lavender essential oil pacifies kapha and pitta doshas and aggravates vata dosha.

The splendid Ayurvedic healing benefits of Lavender essential oil are:

Lavender-broucher1. Enhances strength and immunity:

Ayurveda considers Lavender essential oil as the chief oil in assisting and strengthening the immune system by protecting the body from harmful virus and bacteria causing ailments such as flu, cough, cold, fever and many other infections.

Lavender oil is trusted to enhance prana or the vital life force, which in turn increases the body’s natural disease-resistant ability and the mechanism of fighting against harmful microbes and pathogens.

Gently massaging 2 drops of Lavender essential oil mixed with 1ml of Jojoba oil in the upper part of the sternum, over the heart and the thymus gland is said to uplift the vital essence known as Ojas in Ayurveda, which is completely responsible for vitality and immunity at all the levels of the body.

A 2010 study on ‘Chemical Composition of Lavender Essential Oil and its Antioxidant Activity and inhibition against rhinitis-related bacteria by Lu Hui, Li He, Lu Huan, Li XiaoLan and Zhou AiGuo’ proved that the presence of about 47 compounds in Lavender essential oil exhibits potent antioxidant effect against lipid peroxidation in a linoleic acid model system and extensive activity against bacteria like Escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, proteus vulgaris and micrococcus ascoformans.

This study also stated that Lavender oil can be used as a potential natural remedy in treating rhinitis patients.

2. Nurtures the health of hair and skin:

Lavender essential oil is an admirable skin-friendly oil as the topical application of this oil treats skin disorders like psoriasis, cuts, burns, abrasions, itches, eczema, rashes, acne, pimples, athlete’s foot, sunburns, wounds and acts as a good mosquito repellent.

For being gentle and effective on the skin and hair, Lavender oil is called as Twachya, keshya and kusthaghna, where Twachya is the natural skin remedy for augmenting the health of the skin by nourishing the cellular structure; keshya is its ability to foster hair growth and boost the strength of hair follicles and kusthaghna for its potent to heal and treat various skin conditions.

It is also called as Sookshma and Teekshna, for its potent to penetrate through the tiny channels of the skin, thus upkeep the damaged skin cells.

All you need to do to regain your skin health is to apply 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 1 ml of olive oil and apply it on the affected area or massage gently for visible results. You can also add 2 drops of this oil in your regular skin care cream or body lotion and use it daily for protecting and pampering your skin.

Ayurvedic Physicians and the contemporary Dermatologists suggest the use of Lavender essential oil for treating numerous skin problems including acne and few other bacterial and fungal infections.

Lavender essential oil has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties that assist in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi and other micro organisms responsible for acne and other skin problems.

Lavender essential oil is also an effective remedy for treating hair problems like hair loss, baldness, lice, nits and dull hair. With the combination of few other curative essential oils like Rosemary, Lavender oil has been proved to promote hair growth in a study conducted with 86 people, who were affected by an autoimmune disease known as Alopecia areata.

5 drops of Lavender oil mixed with 3 drops of Rosemary oil and 5 ml of Almond oil when massaged onto the scalp assists in strengthening the hair follicles, promoting the growth of hair, preventing hair fall and nourishing the scalp.

3. Relaxes the nerves and calms the mind:

Lavender is certainly an excellent remedy for treating fear, fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression. The soothing aromatic molecules of this oil penetrate the mind and body through the nasal passages and reach the Limbic system, known as the control center of the human body.

With its anti-depressant, hormonal balancing and sedative properties, Lavender essential oil is proven to ease stress and induce good sleep by checking the health disorders related with insomnia.

3 to 4 drops of Lavender oil blended with 2 ml coconut oil or sesame oil can help in soothing the senses, calming the nerves and granting peace to the mind and body. You can also add 2 drops of Lavender oil to warm bathing water for promoting peaceful sleep and alleviating stress and fatigue after a tiring day.

Lavender essential oil is used in various Ayurvedic treatments and the most prominent among them is Shirodhara, which is a celebrated oil-dripping treatment in Ayurveda with the use of medicated sesame oil with herbal values. It is proven to induce an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and anxiolysis.

According to a 2008 research by the University of Toyama, the use of lavender essential oil along with sesame oil in Shirodhara treatment proved to have a positive pharmaco-physio-psychologic effect, where the relaxing effects of lavender essential oil transferred through the olfactory nerves was proved to improve the entire condition of the system.

It also witnessed a significant result that Lavender Shirodhara is better than the normal one and the intricate pharmaco-physio-psychologic feat in Ayurvedic treatment is a constructive model for pharmaco-physio-psychotherapy in the future.

4. Relieves digestive disorders:

Lavender essential oil augments the pranic (vital life force) energy, while steadily supporting the functions of the respiratory tract also. Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Lavender oil blended with 1ml sesame oil aid in promoting the secretion of gastric juices, bile and other digestive enzymes.

By this way, Lavender essential oil regularizes the process of digestion and absorption. It also helps in treating flatulence, diarrhea, colic, vomiting, stomach pain and indigestion.

An aromatic bath with 2 to 3 drops of Lavender essential oil can promote blood circulation, treat depression, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, respiratory infections, urinary infections, bladder problems, whooping cough, nasal congestion, migraine, panic attacks, asthma, muscle soreness, headache, joint pain, bee stings and many other problems.

Lavender essential oil with its innumerable health benefits is a must-to-have oil in your medicine cabinet and a drop of oil added to your handkerchief or worn on your wrist everyday will rejuvenate your senses and give you a never before freshness, clarity of mind and absolute peace.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not in any way meant to be used for diagnosis or as a substitute for any prescribed medications or the professional advice of your Doctor. We, at Essential Depot are not healthcare experts and this article is written only with the intention of sharing the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.

Essential oils are meant for topical use only and not for ingestion, as pure and organic essential oils are the life force of plants and are highly concentrated substances. Seek the advice of your Ayurvedic expert or healthcare professional before choosing the appropriate essential oils for your state of health and unique individual constitution.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC) of Lavender oil.

Thought for the day:

                           Come forth into the light of things,

                           Let Nature be your teacher.

-By William Wordsworth

Suggested reading:

  1. Lovely Lavender: The Many Applications and Uses of Lavender Essential Oil (Essential Oils and Aromatherapy) by Rashelle Johnson
  2. Lavender Oil: The New Guide to Nature’s Most Versatile Remedy by Julia Lawless
  3. The Magic and Power of Lavender: The Secret of the Blue Flower, It’s Fragrance and Practical Application in Health Care and Cosmetics by Maggie Tisserand, Monika Junemann
  4. Lavender: Nature’s Way to Relaxation and Health by Philippa Waring
  5. HEALING POWERS OF LAVENDER Pure Essential Oil – The Universal Healer (The Aromatherapy Professional: Healing with Essential Oils) by KG Stiles

Reference Links:

  1. Lavender by University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Pharmaco-physio-psychologic effect of Ayurvedic oil-dripping treatment using an essential oil from Lavendula angustifolia PubMed.gov
  3. Lavender: An Ayurvedic View by Gurukula Blog
  4. Chemical Composition of Lavender Essential Oil and its Antioxidant Activity and inhibition against rhinitis-related bacteria by Lu Hui, Li He, Lu Huan, Li XiaoLan and Zhou AiGuo published in the African Journal of Microbiology Research

Balsam Peru Oil

Balsam-peru-banner“The balsam is stimulant and tonic, and is of use in chronic coughs, whites, palsy and chronic rheumatism. As an external application, it is employed with advantage in cleansing and stimulating foul and indolent ulcers”, quotes the book Ayurvedic Materia Medica for domestic use by Thomas John Graham.

Also called as Peruvian balsam, the essential oil and the balsam as such are being used in the field of Complementary and Alternative medicine like Ayurveda and Homeopathy as well as in Modern medicinal practices.

With its decongestant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-rheumatic properties, Balsam Peru is prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for treating bronchial asthma, whooping cough, bruises, bed sores, burns, eczema, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, headache, fever, diaper rashes, cold, scabies, ringworm and rheumatic conditions.

Purchase Balsam Peru Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses and importance of Balsam Peru essential oil and its other extracts: This tree is scientifically called as Balsamum tolutanum. Balsam of Peru is the resin extracted from the tall tree that grows in Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and France.

Balsam Peru is also called by other names like Balsamum Peruvianum, Surinam balsam, Balsam fir oleoresin, Quina quina, Balsam Tolu, Toluifera pereirae, Indian Balsam, China oil, Myroxylon Balsamum, Balsams Peru, Myrosperum pereira balsam etc.

Initially, Peru was the major and largest exporter of Balsam oil and it was for this reason, this Balsam was called as Balsam of Peru. In recent times, Balsam of Peru is exported by various other major Balsam growing countries. This tree has a natural potential of producing resin, which is sticky in nature. Balsam of Peru is collected from Balsam trees that are roughly 20 years old by tapping method.

Balsam of Peru has been a part of the traditional healing methodologies for centuries together. It was used as a natural remedy for treating digestive disorders, headache, cold, cough, respiratory infections and certain skin problems. The Native American populace used the powder extracted from this tree as a deodorant.

Balsam of Peru and its essential oil has been a trusted remedy of the Europeans and other Asian folks for healing skin diseases like bedsores, ringworm, scabies, eczema, diaper rashes, wounds and itches. It is also used as an important ingredient in the manufacturing of female hygiene sprays, shampoos, insect repellents, topical salves, soaps, mouthwash, surgical dressings, skin care lotions and certain other fragrant ingredients.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Balsam Peru essential oil:

Studies have proved that the resin extracted from the Peruvian balsam tree consists of about 80% of cinnamic acid along with the presence of cinnamein. This is the reason for its vanilla and cinnamon like aroma. It’s essential oil is said to contain various volatile oils and the major components are benzyl cinnamate, benzyl benzoate, and nerolidol.

These components contribute to its remedial properties like antiseptic, antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-parasitic, expectorant, decongestant, antifungal, diuretic, antioxidant, deodorant, cicatrisant, anti-stress and anti-dandruff.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Balsam Peru essential oil:

The word ‘Ayurveda’ simply means ‘the knowledge of life’, where ‘Ayur’ stands for life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge. This oldest remedial system states that illness occurs when there is disharmony between an individual and nature.

Ayurvedic healing considers every human being as a unique part of nature with a unique individual combination. According to this philosophy ‘no two individuals are given the same medicine, even for the same disease’. The first Ayurvedic consultation aims at analyzing the unique individual constitution of a person, which comprises of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth).

These Ayurvedic doshas are nothing but a combination of the five vital elements of nature called as Panchamahabutas, namely fire, water, earth, air and space. Ayurveda states that every person has a prakriti (individual constitution), which is a combination of these doshas in a unique proportion with a predominance of any one of them.

This prevalence determines the character, personality, uniqueness and behavioral attributes of a person. Based upon these fundamental qualities, the unique Ayurvedic treatment methodology and remedies are prescribed. Ayurvedic writings reveal that the absolute balance between these doshas indicates perfect health and harmony with nature, whereas doshic imbalances lead to sickness.

The most notable Ayurvedic remedies include Ayurvedic essential oils, herbs, yoga, meditation, Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing, prayers, simple physical exercises, Ayurvedic routine, Abhyanga, and Panchakarma. With these remedies, Ayurveda focuses on treating the root cause of an illness instead of diagnosing its symptoms.

With its stimulating and invigorating properties, Balsam Peru essential oil has been recommended in Ayurveda for augmenting pitta dosha and pacifying kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Balsam Peru oil:

Balsam-peru1. Controls dandruff and checks hair-fall:

The essential oil of Balsam Peru has been used as an important ingredient in many hair care products including shampoos and conditioners for its antifungal, anti-parasitic and anti-dandruff properties. These remedial values help in clearing away dandruff, killing head lice and treating dry and itchy scalp conditions.

Massaging your scalp with 3 drops of Balsam Peru oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil and 2 drops of Rosemary oil along with 5 ml of Coconut oil can be of great assistance in nourishing your scalp, clearing away the itchy flakes on the head, repairing your damaged hair and act as a hair tonic. You can also add 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil to your regular shampoo and enjoy the richness of your shining hair, free from dandruff and head lice.

2. Extremely beneficial to the skin:

Balsam Peru oil is a time-honored skin care remedy that has been employed in the treatment of numerous skin problems including ringworm, bedsores, skin ulcers, wounds and diaper rashes. The antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of this oil helps in quicker healing of wounds, combats the growth of microbes responsible for skin infections, and fights aging symptoms.

Blend 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil with 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil with 3 ml of Olive oil. Gently apply this blend on skin problems like eczema, scabies, wounds, ringworm, acne, athlete’s foot, chapped skin, rashes and wrinkles.

This natural skin tonic works like a wonder in treating fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot with its anti-fungal properties; acne, rashes, wounds and eczema with its antimicrobial properties; wrinkles and dull lifeless skin with its antioxidant properties.

Bedsores generally occur in sick people who are bed-ridden. This includes especially the aged population with sensitive skin. Mixing 1 drop of Balsam Peru oil with 2 ml of Jojoba oil can reduce pain and help in promoting quicker healing of wounds. This blend can also be used externally on diaper rashes for babies as well as the aged.

3. Alleviates respiratory infections:

According to Ayurveda, amassing of toxic substances or ama in the system is a major cause for many illnesses including respiratory problems. It is a known fact that excess of kapha dosha (blend of water and earth elements) is responsible for diseases based on the surplus fluid deposits in the system causing respiratory infections, obesity, rheumatism, edema and other inflammatory conditions.

Balsam Peru oil has diuretic, expectorant and antimicrobial properties that aid in eliminating the excess fluid deposits in the system through urine and sweat, discarding phlegm and mucus secretions in the respiratory tract and arresting the growth of microbes that worsen respiratory problems. It has been used in the United States since 1800s as a respiratory aid and cough suppressant. Balsam of Peru was also used as an ingredient in cough syrups and lozenges.

2 drops of Balsam Peru oil along with 1 drop of Peppermint oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation can help in relieving cold, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, sinusitis, watery eyes, chronic cough, bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma and inflammation of the pharynx.

Gently rubbing your throat, chest, back and forehead with 2 drops of Balsam oil along with 1 drop of Tea tree oil mixed with your vaporizing ointment can help in relieving sore throat, bronchial congestion, blocked nasal passages, chest congestion, headache, sinusitis and drowsiness due to cold and other respiratory infections.

4. Enhances the functions of the digestive system:

Indigestion is the key cause for building up of toxic substances in the body. This is due to improper metabolic functions, including digestion, absorption and elimination. Pitta dosha is responsible for ‘Agni’ or digestive fire in the system. Vitiation of pitta energy often ends up in sluggishness, nausea, constipation, flatulence, loss of appetite and other digestive disorders.

Balsam Peru oil has the ability to enhance pitta energy and can re-kindle the digestive fire. Inhaling the warm aroma of Balsam Peru oil by adding 2 drops of this oil to your vaporizer especially before your meals can help in enhancing your appetite, stimulating your bowel movements, treating constipation and promoting proper digestion. Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil and 2 drops of Nutmeg oil with 2 ml of sesame oil can support your digestive functions.

5. Improves blood circulation and treats rheumatic disorders:

Ayurvedic writings denote that rheumatism is an auto-immune disease that arises mostly due to the upsurge of ama or toxins in the system owing to the disparity of digestive fire. These harmful substances may even block the working of the essential organs in the body.

Basically, ama stored in the body reaches the kapha dominated parts like fingers, joints, stomach, brain, chest, toes and few other parts. Thus rheumatism is identified with the symptoms of inflammation, redness of joints, soreness of muscles, lack of energy, swelling of joints, irregular blood circulation, insomnia and fatigue.

With its diuretic, anti-rheumatic, antioxidant and analgesic properties, the essential oil of Balsam Peru has the potent to improve blood circulation, reduce pain, decrease swelling and inflammation by eliminating the toxic remains, excess water deposits, salt and uric acid through urine and soothe the joints and muscles.

Massaging the affected parts with 3 drops of Balsam Peru oil with 2 drops of Cardamom oil, 2 drops of Yarrow oil, 2 drops of Bay oil blended with 20 ml of coconut oil can help in alleviating pain, inflammation, swelling, soreness, stiff muscles, water retention, insomnia and other symptoms associated with rheumatism.

Ayurveda also recommends the practice of Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing in Ayurveda, through which the toxic remains in the system are discarded through exhalation. Along with this certain yogasanas can also help in treating rheumatic problems at ease and this has also been proved by various scientific studies.

Other health benefits:

With its mild, warm and soothing aroma, Balsam Peru oil acts like a marvel in treating depression, mood fluctuations and negative feelings. To attain this solace, 2 drops of Balsam Peru oil and 2 drops of Benzoin Res oil can be added to your burner, candle diffuser or vaporizer during the practice of yoga, meditation and Pranayama. This can also aid in enhancing self-confidence and positive thoughts.

Disclaimer: This information is meant only for the use of education and is not meant to diagnose or treat any health condition or replace any prescribed medications or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare practitioners and this info is shared only with the idea of highlighting the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences.

Never take essential oils internally and do remember to dilute essential oils before using it on your skin, as pure and organic essential oils are extremely concentrated substances and may lead to allergic reactions when used on the body directly. Ensure that you seek advice from your Ayurvedic professional/healthcare expert before selecting the appropriate essential oil for your health condition and unique individual constitution. Avoid using Balsam Peru oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it is regarded as a sensitizing oil that may cause allergic reactions.

Thought for the day:

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. -Voltaire

Suggested Reading:

  1. 10 Ways to Use Balsam Of Peru (Recipe Book) by Sam Enrico
  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. Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils by Joni Loughran, Ruah Bull
  4. Scabies Natural Home Treatment Solution by Alyson Rodgers
  5. A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics by Roberts Bartholow

Reference Links:

  1. Balsam of Peru by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurveda Materia Medica for Domestic Use by Thomas John Graham
  3. Peruvian Balsam by Herbs2000.com
  4. Balsam of Peru essential oil by Oil Health Benefits

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