Marjoram Oil

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Marjoram-bannerOh! My! My! Marjoram is addressed as the herb of eternal love and joy of the mountain. As the most loved herb by Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty, the leaves of Marjoram were sanctified for surmounting marital bliss and everlasting love. The spicy, rich, sweet, soothing and tantalizing aroma of this oil will leave you relaxed, energized and absolutely rejuvenated.

Known to the world of Ayurveda as Maru, Marwa, Sinshi and Sathra, Marjoram has been recommended for treating muscular tension, cardiovascular problems, premenstrual problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, sinus congestion, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disorder, asthma, joint pain, flatulence, rheumatism, toothache, loss of libido and certain other health conditions.

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Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Marjoram oil: The major chemical constituents responsible for the therapeutic values of Marjoram oil are linalool, a-pinene, cineole and sabinene.

A 2012 study on “Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-cancer activity by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal concludes that “the cytotoxicity-guided study of the dichloromethane and ethanol extracts of Thymus mastichina L. using the HCT colon cancer cell line allowed the identification of nine compounds, sakuranetin (1), sterubin (2), oleanolic acid (3), ursolic acid (4), lutein (5), beta-sitosterol (6), rosmarinic acid (7), 6-hydroxyluteolin-7-O-beta-glucopyranoside (8), and 6-hydroxyapigenin-7-O-beta-glucopyranoside.”

The remedial properties of the oil of Marjoram are deodorant, antiseptic, analgesic, disinfectant, emmenagogue, sedative, antispasmodic, calming, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, antifungal, antioxidant, disinfectant, antibacterial, diaphoretic and expectorant.

Historical uses and significance of Marjoram oil:

Marjoram is an excellent culinary herb that has been used habitually in the flavoring of soups. There are many types of Marjoram and are called by different names like Sweet Marjoram, Mastic Marjoram, Wild Marjoram, Knotted Marjoram, Spanish Marjoram and Garden Marjoram.

As a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, Marjoram has various botanical names and the most common being Origanum marjorana (Sweet Marjoram), Thymus mastichina (Spanish Marjoram), Origanum onites (Pot Marjoram) and Origanum heracleoticum (Winter Marjoram) and few other names.

The oldest historical uses of Marjoram take us to the ancient Greek mythology, where it was used for treating muscular tension, poisonous stings and bites, discarding fluid retention and as a symbol of love and affection.

Indigenous to Southern Europe, Marjoram is used as a flavoring ingredient and as a condiment. It is used in various food varieties including salamis, stews, seasonings, marinades, dressings, salads, roasted meat, sausages and goes well with green and leafy vegetables.

Marjoram has been an interesting part of wedding rituals, where the Newly-wed couples wear Marjoram wreaths as a sign of beginning their magical love life. Marjoram teas and infusions are extremely famous for their power in relieving headache, sinusitis, flatulence, hay fever and menstrual discomforts.

It is an ancient belief that if a Marjoram plant grows on a grave, and then the deceased person has attained perpetual happiness in the world after. The aromatic leaves and flowers of this plant were strewn in homes for its antimicrobial, disinfectant and deodorant properties.

Traditional home remedies with Marjoram include poultices for healing boils, rashes, sprains and abrasions. Folklore beliefs also include the use of Marjoram as a rescuer from bad luck and curses.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Marjoram essential oil:

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science that treats human beings as reverential individuals and not just as patients. This miraculous therapy respects the individual differences of every person and recommends remedies as per the unique individual constitution and not on the basis of diseases.

It is for this reason, the first Ayurvedic consultation always begins with personal discussion with the Ayurvedic professional for learning the medical history, family background, lifestyle, food habits, likes and dislikes, good and bad things that have happened in the life of the person, affecting and influencing his medical condition.

This is because human beings are valued as a special creation and they should not be treated as a “one size fits all” module. Dr. Vasant Lad, the renowned Ayurvedic Expert has denoted in the Textbook of Ayurveda as “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.”

Ayurveda strongly states that health is a tree-tier figure that encompasses physical, mental and spiritual well-being. “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness” quotes the National Institute of Health.

Even today, the world of medicine looks up to Ayurvedic healing for its integral health-giving methodologies that strive to cast a person through all the facets of life together with the wellness of the mind, body and spirit.

By identifying the root cause of a disease, Ayurveda hits the nail on the head of the illness without missing its aim, as shooting the bird’s eye.

This ancient methodology states that the treatment of symptoms of an illness will grant only a temporary remedy, instead treating the underlying root cause will cure the illness, protect the system from its other side effects and also aid in preventing it in the future as well.

The most valued Ayurvedic encyclopedias including Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita say that everything in the universe are crafted with the five fundamental elements of nature i.e. water, fire, earth, air and space.

Every person is unique with a distinct Prakriti otherwise known as the individual constitution (combination of 3 doshas). These doshas are biological energies and are an array of the five vital forces of nature.

Vata is an arrangement of air and space and is responsible for the functions of the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems. Pitta dosha is a demonstration of fire and water and takes control of metabolism, body temperature and cognitive functions.

Kapha dosha symbolizes water and earth and it regulates the movement of fluids in the body, physique, reproductive functions and enhanced nourishment.

Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas, which determines their distinctiveness, personality and behavioral attributes.

Absolute balance between these doshas as per the law of nature depicts health and harmony, whereas imbalance due to irregular food habits, code of conduct, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical and psychological exercises and change in weather conditions leads to ill-health.

Ayurveda prescribes natural medications including herbal remedies, Ayurvedic essential oils, Dinacharya or the Ayurvedic routine, prayers and meditation for the spirit and soul, yoga, simple physical exercises, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, Panchakarma (treatment for cleansing toxic remains) and many more for the mind and body.

These remedies depend upon the Prakriti of an individual and are always person-specific and not disease-specific.

Marjoram and its essential oil are recommended for pacifying kapha and vata conditions, in surplus and to augment pitta dosha.

The Ayurvedic uses of Marjoram oil are:

1. Physical benefits:

  • Relieves pain and muscular tension:
  • Checks asthma, cold and other respiratory infections:
  • Encourages menstruation and relieves dysmennorhea:
  • Heals skin disorders:
  • Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

2. Psychological benefits and uses to the nervous system:

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram-broucher-new1. Physical benefits:

The essential oil of Marjoram has enormous benefits to the body ranging from its efficiency in lessening the risk of hypertension with its anti-depressant property, reducing blood pressure in case of high BP with its effect to check anxiety and stress, checking the amassing of cholesterol with its detoxifying attribute and enhanced blood circulation with its power to pacify vata dosha.

Relieves pain and muscular tension: Anyone can clearly pinpoint Marjoram essential oil for relaxing tensed muscles, especially after workouts or physical exertion. With its mild sedative, analgesic and antispasmodic properties, Marjoram essential oil relieves pain in the muscles and joints.

Research reports state that Marjoram has the potent to enhance bone mass building by supporting osteotrophic actions in the bones. This is mainly due to the fact that Marjoram is one among the richest source of vitamin K.

With its power to eliminate fluid retention, toxic substances, salts, fat deposits and uric acid in the system, Marjoram is a proven remedy for treating edema, rheumatic and arthritic conditions where inflammation, redness, pain, soreness and swelling of joints are witnessed.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Marjoram oil along with 3 drops of Cedarwood oil with 2 ounce of coconut oil can assist in relieving pain, swelling, muscular soreness, lumbago, joint aches and other associated discomforts by discarding excess toxins in the form of sweat and urine.

Checks asthma, cold and other respiratory infections: Asthma, cold, sinusitis, congestion and similar respiratory infections generally occur due to the invasion of bacteria, virus and other harmful micro-organisms.

As a potent expectorant, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial agent along with its power to pacify excess kapha energy responsible for the buildup of phlegm and mucous deposits in the nasal and respiratory passage, Marjoram essential oil is effective in treating various respiratory conditions.

3 drops of Marjoram oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil added to steam inhalation and in your vaporizing ointment, massaged gently on throat, back, chest and temples can help in loosening mucous and phlegm, relieve chest and nasal congestion, alleviate headache related to sinusitis and migraine, treat flu, sore throat and other respiratory problems.

Encourages menses and relieves dysmennorhea: Marjoram has circulatory, sedative, relaxant and emmenagogue properties that help in regulating the menstrual cycle in case of missed periods or delayed menstruation, reduce menstrual pain and fortify the pelvic muscles.

A 2015 study on “The effect of marjoram (Origanum majorana) tea on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised controlled pilot study by Haj-Husein, S. Tukan and F. Alkazaleh, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics”, concluded as “the beneficial effects of marjoram tea on the hormonal profile of PCOS women because it was found to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the levels of adrenal androgens.”

Massaging the lower abdomen, lower back and thighs with 5 drops of Marjoram oil, 5 drops of Thyme oil and 4 ounce of Sesame oil can aid in stimulating regular menstruation, lessen pain, fatigue and anxiety associated with periods and check polycystic ovarian syndrome with its power to reinstate hormonal balances and considerably decrease the level of adrenal androgens.

Heals skin disorders:

Marjoram essential oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and disinfectant properties that make it an effective oil in healing wounds, rashes, dermatitis, scalp infections, invasion of microbes causing skin infections and acne.

Recent studies have established the high concentration of linalool component in Marjoram oil, which contributes to the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties, thus making it as a significant oil in various cosmetics and skin care products.

Blend 2 drops of Marjoram oil with 1 drop of Rosemary oil, 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and 1 drop of Orange oil and mix it with your mild skin care lotion or cream and lightly dab it on the affected areas for treating acne, dermatitis, sunburn, shaving irritation, wounds (for fighting against micro-organisms like Staphylococcus bacteria, which worsens infections in case of wounds or other skin problems) and wrinkles.

You can also mix this blend in your bath for treating inflamed scalp conditions and for refreshing your skin health.

Enhances metabolism and soothes the digestive system:

Ayurveda states that ama or toxic remains as a result of improper digestion is the root cause for many other health conditions including obesity, rheumatism, edema, kidney disorders,acne, heart diseases etc.,

Marjoram essential oil has carminative properties with its ability to enhance pitta dosha, which is responsible for digestive fire and metabolic functions. Massaging the abdomen with 3 drops of Marjoram oil, 3 drops of Nutmeg oil and 1 drop of Spearmint oil with 3 ounce of coconut oil can support in stimulating the salivary glands, augmenting the secretion of bile, digestive enzymes and other gastric juices.

This is turn aids in enhancing the appetite, treating flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal spasms, constipation and also in soothing the intestinal and lining of the stomach.

2. Psychological benefits and the uses to the nervous system:

Since the prehistoric times, Marjoram is trusted to be the herb of happiness and love. You will be amazed if I say that this ‘Joy of the mountain’ was adored for its ability to tone down distress and misery.

Everything from nervous tension, anxiety, depressed thoughts, negative feelings, loneliness, lack of concentration, stress, mood fluctuations and anger to inferiority complex, has a time to rest with the kind of emotional benefits owned by Marjoram oil.

Practicing Pranayama with 2 drops of Marjoram oil with 2 drops of Rosemary oil and 2 drops of Tangerine oil in a diffuser, can help you significantly in relieving stress, anger, anxiety, hatred thoughts, vengeance, inferior feelings and lower self esteem.

Pranayama is the Ayurvedic art of balanced breath where the therapeutic properties of these essential oils reach the limbic system of the brain through the aromatic molecules during conscious inhalation of breath or the life force.

This renovates the mind and repairs toxicity of the mind and body. In a much similar way, the toxic remains and de-motivating feelings are discarded from the system during extended exhalation.

Following this balanced breathing technique daily with the use of Marjoram oil is an excellent way to inculcate optimistic feelings, self-love, self-acceptance, improved concentration, mental dynamism, enhanced memory power and assisting in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This is an effective remedy for protecting the brain from neuronal damages.

3. Spiritual benefits:

Marjoram is a representation of tranquility, harmony, health and heartiness. It enlightens the soul by awakening the sense of self-consciousness, especially when using it during meditation.

The oil of Marjoram has a positive effect on the heart chakra and the solar plexus chakras, where chakras are the centers of energy in the subtle body. The heart chakra or Anagatha determines one’s ability to love and the emotional factors associated with it are self-love, love for others, inner peace and joy.

Solar plexus chakra or Manipuraga decides a person’s level of confidence and the potent to take control of one’s live. Emotional attributes related with this chakra are self-confidence and self-esteem.

Adding 2 drops of Marjoram oil and 2 drops of Vetiver oil added to your burner or diffuser at the time of meditation and prayers can open your eye of consciousness, empower your spirit, foster mental clarity, augment self-love paving way for higher self-esteem and improved self-confidence. What next? A peaceful life with joy and focused living is in store for you to enjoy and enrich.

Other health benefits:

Marjoram is also used in the treatment of impotence, loss of libido, bruises, cough, bloating and toothache.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for educational purposes and is not intended to treat any medical condition or to substitute any prescription drugs or professional medical advice. We are not healthcare experts and this article aims only in sharing the healing wisdom of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences on earth.

Essential oils are not meant for ingestion. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may harm the skin if used directly without dilution. Always remember to dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before safe topical application.

Speak with your Ayurvedic expert or healthcare professional for deciding on the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution or state of health. Please avoid Marjoram oil if you are pregnant or nursing. Keep away from children.

Thought for the day:

Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind, body and soul.

Suggested Reading:

  1. SWEET MARJORAM ESSENTIAL OIL – THE #1 PAIN RELIEF OIL IN AROMATHERAPY: ANTISPASMODIC HEALER, RESTORATIVE PAIN RELIVER, PLUS+ HOW TO USE GUIDE & RECIPES! (Healing with Essential Oil) By KG Stiles
  2. Marjoram Greats: Delicious Marjoram Recipes, The Top 55 Marjoram Recipes by Jo Franks
  3. Marjoram, Mint and Marigold by Evans, Hazel (1996) Hardcover by Hazel Evans
  4. Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Michael Wink

Reference Links:

  1. Marjoram by Spices Board of India
  2. Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-cancer activity by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal published in PubMed
  3. The effect of marjoram (Origanum majorana) tea on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised controlled pilot study by Haj-Husein, S. Tukan and F. Alkazaleh, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  4. Marjoram by Dr. Vikram Chauhan
  5. Marjoram, Herb of love published in doityourself

Chaulmogra Oil

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Chaulmogra-bannerChaulmogra oil created a revolution in the treatment of leprosy and the first effective drug for treating leprosy used the chemical components of Chaulmogra seeds. These therapeutic seeds are being used in Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of leprosy, rheumatism, eczema, leucoderma, scrofula, wounds, sprains, sores and bruises.

Chaulmogra is botanically known to the world as Taraktogenos kurzii/ Hydnocarpus kurzii/ Hydnocarpus wightiana/ Hydnocarpus laurifolia and its Sanskrit name is Tuvrak, Tuvaraka and Kushtavairi. This tall tree is a limb of the Achariaceae plant family. The essential oil is extracted from the Chaulmogra seeds through steam distillation method.

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Historical uses and significance of Chaulmogra and its essential oil:

Chaulmogra or Chaulmoogra has been a part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, the oldest healing science originated from India, especially in the treatment of leprosy and other chronic skin disorders.

Chaulmogra tree is indigenous to India and grows extensively in the tropical forests of Western Ghats from Maharashtra to Kerala and is also found in the hilly regions of Tripura and Assam. It is cultivated in Nigeria, Uganda, Sri Lanka and few other South East Asian countries. These evergreen, deciduous trees grow up to 15 m height and bear fruits between the months of August and September.

The seeds are angular and ovoid with rounded endings and the essential oil extracted from the seeds are pale yellow in color with viscous and heavy consistency. Chaulmogra oil is called as Oleum Chaulmoograe in the United States and in Great Britain as Gynocardia oil. This oil was used in England in the treatment of lung tuberculosis.

Chaulmogra oil was also used in China since the 14th century in alleviating various skin ailments and leprosy. It was slowly then spread to the Western countries including the United States and Europe.

A mixture of Chaulmogra oil balanced in gum or as an emulsion was prescribed for treating leprosy. The bark of this plant is used by the people of Arunachal Pradesh, India in relieving toothache and itching. The tribal populace in Sikkim uses the boiled Chaulmogra seeds as a food item.

Chaulmogra seed oil was mixed with limewater and was applied externally in treating rheumatic conditions especially in the joints and for relieving sprains. These seeds were also used in folklore as a fish poison. The seed paste along with camphor, sulphur, Jatropha curcus seed oil and lime juice was used in topical application for healing skin ulcers and wounds.

Chemical components and remedial properties of Chaulmogra oil:

The seeds of this tree yield about 32.4 percent fixed oil along with other fatty oils. The major chemical constituents are 49 percent hydnocarpic acid, 27 percent chaulmoogric acid, 12 percent gorlic acid (with these 3 primary components, Chaulmogra is called as triglyceride oil) 6.5 percent oleic acid, 2 percent Palmitic acid, 3.4 percent chaulmoogric acid with lower homologues along with myristic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid.

These components contribute to its curative properties like antibiotic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antibacterial, expectorant, decongestant and febrifuge properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Chaulmogra essential oil:

Ayurveda is a Vedic medical science, which is the greatest gift of the ancient Indian Sages to the whole of mankind. Among the 4 four predominant Vedas of Hindu mythology, Ayurveda has its roots to the Atharvaveda and it is also accepted as a supplementary Veda or an Upaveda in its own sacred ways and was enlightened by Acharya Dhanvantari.

This holistic healing science is the oldest remedial science on earth and aims at treating illnesses with the help of herbal plants, essential oils, meditation, yoga, simple physical exercises, prayers, an Ayurvedic routine and other proven Ayurvedic therapies like Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging and Panchakarma or detox therapies.

Ayurveda suggests disciplined ways to fulfill responsibilities or Dharma, lead a healthy lifestyle, aging in the pink and also aims at preventing illnesses and longevity.

Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita are the three greatest Ayurvedic texts that established the basic concepts of Ayurveda and the complete system of medicine.

Few noteworthy works are the eight Ayurvedic branches or methodologies of healing. Acharya Charaka (Father or medicine) stands for the Atreya School of physicians and threw light on anatomy, pathogenesis, physiology, diagnosis, etiology, symptoms of diseases along with guidelines for prevention and extended life span.

Sushruta (Father of Surgery) is a part of the Dhanvantari School of surgeons. He talks about the categorization of burns, wounds, fractures, rectal surgery, amputation, plastic surgery and various surgical equipments. Sushruta also introduced the art of massaging using vital body points or the marma points in the body. Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita is a combination of Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

Ayurvedic medicine is based on its four major concepts. They are Panchamahabutas (5 elements of nature), tridosha (3 doshas), malas (elimination of waste) and dhatus (vital organs of the body). This traditional remedy trusts that the world is made up of five vital elements namely earth, water, fire, air and space and everything in the world is also made up of these five elements or the building blocks of existence.

Every human being has a unique individual constitution consisting of three biological energies known as doshas. They are vata (air + space), pitta (fire + water) and kapha (earth + water). Vata energy is responsible for the functions of the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.

Pitta is in charge of tissue building, metabolism, body temperature and functions of the endocrine system. Kapha is accountable for strength of the body, virility, binding power and firmness of the system.

Balance between these doshas as per the natural composition indicates health and imbalance due to unhealthy practices, change in food habits and weather conditions causes illnesses. Ayurvedic remedies are prescribed in order to balance these doshic vitiations.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Chaulmogra oil are:

Chaulmogra-broucher1. Proven traditional remedy for leprosy:

The Encyclopedia Britannica says ‘the first textual reference to leprosy—in an ancient Sanskrit sacred work known as the Atharvaveda’, which is the holy book of Ayurvedic principles. It also says that leprosy has been talked about in Sushruta Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic text, the Hebrew Bible, Chinese medical texts and the writings of the Greek physicians like Galen.

Leprosy is said to be the most feared and most misapprehended disease in the history. For thousands of years, the essential oil derived from the seeds of Chaulmogra tree had been in use in the treatment of leprosy and other skin conditions in India, China, Europe, America and certain other Middle East countries.

In 1854 an English Doctor Frederic John Mouat described the use of this oil in the treatment of leprosy, while he was working in Kolkata, India. In the paper submitted in 1854 named ‘The Indian Annals of Medical Science, he wrote on Chaulmogra oil as “Its success was, however, so remarkable and indisputable in one well-marked case of the worst form of leprosy, that I venture to hope an external application of it to that most loathsome and intractable of diseases, may prove so successful, as to secure the general introduction of the remedy.”

Dr. Mouat tried Chaulmogra in two different ways on his leper patients, one by applying and dressing the external ulcers of the patients with the oil and he also gave it internally in the form of pills, prepared by beating the Chaulmogra seeds into a pulp.

It was also introduced as an established treatment for leprosy in 1874 in the Madras Leper Hospital. Chaulmogra oil is still being used in Ayurveda, the Traditional Chinese Medicine and even Western medicine for treating leprosy and other highly-communicable skin diseases.

2. Heals wounds and other skin problems:

Chaulmogra oil has anti-bacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties that help in healing wounds, prevent it from becoming septic and infectious, kill harmful microbes that may affect the wounds and reduce pain in the injured area.

Certain research studies have proved that Chaulmogra oil contains a weak acid known as 5′-methoxyhydnocarpin, which plays a predominant part in preventing the multidrug resistance in certain bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and this bacteria is often the reason for wounds and infections turning septic. Applying a blend of 1 drop of Chaulmogra oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil in 1 ml jojoba oil can work like a miracle on your skin and aid in healing wounds, cuts, bruises, acne, eczema, psoriasis and sores.

3. Alleviates rheumatic pain and associated symptoms:

Rheumatism is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and inflammation of the hands and legs, especially the joints. Amassing of excess water, toxic remains due to indigestion, salt, uric acid and fat deposits cause rheumatic conditions and it is often regarded as a kapha imbalance.

Chaulmogra oil has kapha-reducing and diuretic properties that help in promoting frequent urination, through which the surplus water deposits and toxic remains are eliminated through urine.

Massaging the affected parts with 2 drops of Chaulmogra oil blended with 2 drops of Chamomile oil and 2 ml of coconut oil can be a great aid in reducing pain and inflammation with its analgesic properties and discard toxic substances by stimulating the functioning of the kidneys.

4. Relieves congestion:

Chaulmogra is quoted as an oil with sharp and unctuous quality with hot virility and pungent taste by the book ‘Health & Harmony through Ayurveda’ by Anil K. Mehta, R.N. Sharma and N.K. Gupta. These attributes aid in liquefying excess kapha dosha responsible for cold, cough, congestion, tuberculosis and other respiratory problems.

Chaulmogra oil acts as an excellent aid in loosening the deposits of mucous and phlegm in the nasal passages, respiratory tracts and bronchial tubes, and helping in the treatment of chest congestion, nasal congestion, bronchitis and tuberculosis.

This oil also has antibacterial, expectorant and decongestant properties that help in combating harmful micro-organisms that worsen respiratory infections and promote the expulsion of phlegm.

A 1922 study on ‘Chaulmoogra oil in the treatment of tuberculous laryngitis’ concluded that the Chaulmoogra treatment at the Jefferson Hospital and at the Henry Phipps Institute of the University of Pennsylvania on 60 cases over a duration of 8 months “showed promising results from the beginning and in the majority of the cases, Chaulmoogra oil exerted an analgesic action on the larynx, which became more complete after repeated treatments.

This study also said that “there was no pain or discomfort in the throat afterward, but rather a pleasing sensation of warmth in the throat and chest.” Throat dryness associated with tuberculous laryngitis exhibited improvement after this treatment.

2 drops of Chaulmogra oil added to steam inhalation or in gentle massage by blending 2 drops of this oil with 1 drop of Tea tree oil along with your decongestant ointment on your chest, throat and back can help in relieving cold, cough, sore throat and congestion. A cup of warm gargle with 1 drop of Chaulmogra oil can help in discarding microbes and microbial infections in the mouth and throat and assist in treating sore throat and dry cough.

Disclaimer:

This information is only for educational purposes and is shared only with the thought of spreading the traditional values of Ayurveda, the ancient wisdom of healing. It is not meant to prevent or diagnose any disease or medical conditions or to replace any kind of professional medical advice or prescribed medicines.

Never use essential oils internally. Make sure that you dilute essential oils in appropriate carrier oils before using it externally on the skin, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before choosing the best essential oil for your unique individual constitution and state of health. Chaulmogra oil is a non-sensitizing and non-toxic oil but it is good to avoid this oil on children and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suggested Reading:

  1. Leprosy in Colonial South India: Medicine and Confinement by Jane Buckingham
  2. Ayurvedic Drug Plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman
  3. Health & Harmony Through Ayurveda by A. k. Mehta, N. K. Gupta
  4. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to over 385 Plant Oils by Carol Schiller, David Schiller
  5. Medicinal Plants of Asia and the Pacific by Christophe Wiart

Reference Links:

  1. Hydnocarpus wightiana seed oil by Wikipedia
  2. Leprosy by Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. Chaulmogra Oil and the Treatment of Leprosy by John Parascandola published in LHNCBC
  4. Chaulmoogra oil in the treatment of Tuberculous Laryngitis by R.M. Lukens, Chief Clinical Assistant, Department for diseases of the chest, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
  5. Chaulmogra from the book Ayurvedic Drug Plants by Anil Kumar Dhiman

Chironji Oil

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Often used as a substitute for almonds, Chironji is an almond-flavored nut with blood purifying and life force enhancing qualities. Called as Charoli or Chironji in Ayurveda, these dried modest seeds have been in use in the Ayurvedic medicine for treating digestive disorders like diarrhea, ulcers and irregular bowel movements.

Chironji-bannerIt was also recommended to enhance the secretion of semen, increase vigor and vitality, reduce fever, clear acne, skin blemishes, cold and blood disorders. Chironji oil is extracted from the dried seeds by steam distillation method and is scientifically called as Buchanania lanzan.

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Historical importance and uses of Chironji:

Chironji is a medium-sized evergreen tree that grows up to 15m height. This tree is indigenous to India and is found growing widely in Nepal, Malaysia and Burma. The dry forests of Madhya Pradesh, Mirzapur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh are the natural Chironji growing hubs of India. It is a member of the Anacardiaceae plant family and is also known as Almondette tree. Chironji is also called with other names such as ‘Cuddapah almond, Charooli, and Chirolo.’

The seed kernels of this tree contribute to about 52% of oil and are often used as a substitute for almond oil and olive oil. Chironji nuts gained favorable demand in the foreign market and has been nurtured by the Indian government as a reliable source of earning foreign exchange.

Ayurvedic medicine uses all the parts of this tree including its bark, fruits, roots, leaves, nuts and kernels for its varied medicinal properties in treating cold, bowel disorders, premature ejaculation, fever and rheumatism.

Charoli seeds are a popular ingredient in Indian sweets (Chironji ka Barfi, piyush, shrikhand, kheer and halwa), meaty kormas, lamb pepper with Chironji, Gajar ka Meetha, Hyderabadi Haleem, Charoli mutton, Malai kofta and as a flavoring for batters and sauces.

The gum extracted from the bark of this tree and powder of the roots and dried leaves mixed with buttermilk is a traditional remedy for treating diarrhea.

In the folklore medicine of Andhra Pradesh, Chironji gum was mixed with cow’s milk for relieving rheumatic pain and they also used the leaves as a tonic for supporting cardiac functions. The leaf powder was also used in encouraging quick healing of wounds.

Powdered seeds blended with milk and turmeric powder is used in India since as a natural face pack for augmenting the glow, complexion and suppleness of the skin. The juice or the decoction of the Chironji leaves is being used in Unani medicine for purifying the blood, treating loss of libido, impotency and also as a tonic for the digestive system.

Therapeutic properties and chemical constituents of Chironji oil:

The major therapeutic values of Chironji oil are carminative, expectorant, diuretic, aphrodisiac, relaxant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and stimulant. The chemical components of this oil are camphene, a-pinene, y-terpinene, b-pinene, myrcene, 8-cineole, sabinene and triglycerides like triolein, dipalmitoolein and dioleopalmitin.

Chironji seeds are a powerhouse of various nutrients like proteins, fiber, vitamin C, B1 and B2, carbohydrates, amino acid, iron, maleic acid, cardanol, linoleic acid, niacin, calcium and few water soluble extracts.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Chironji oil:

Ayurveda means ‘the knowledge of life’ and the greatest thing that has made this science as an admiration to the entire world is its disciplinary approaches that tend to mold the individual on all aspects of life including the physical, mental and attributes of the soul.

The most celebrated Ayurvedic Physician Mr. Vasant Lad says in his Textbook of Ayurveda as, “Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved.”This clearly depicts that Ayurveda is a holistic healing science that deals with an individual and not just with his ailments.

It follows nature’s system of handling health and harmony leading to disease-free living, healthy aging and expanded life span. Ayurvedic healing identifies the root cause of an illness for preventing it in future and never believes in treating the symptoms alone. The National Institute of Health rightly quotes “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.”

Ayurveda respects every individual as a unique creation and a vital part of nature. This makes the Ayurvedic treatment methods different for every individual even if a group of people are affected by same sickness.

The ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita say that all things in the universe are made up of five elements of nature namely water, earth, space, fire and air and every human being is distinct with a unique individual constitution, which comprises three biological energies known as doshas. These dynamic forces (doshas) are an arrangement of these vital elements.

Pitta dosha is a representation of fire and water and takes care of metabolism, cognitive functions and body temperature. Vata is a grouping of air and space and controls the working of the respiratory system, circulatory system and nervous system. Kapha dosha represents water and earth and is in charge of movement of fluids in the system, physical set up and nourishment.

Every person has a predominance of any one dosha, which decides their individuality and behavioral traits. Perfect balance between these doshas as per the natural set up denotes health and imbalance due to improper food habits, change in lifestyle and climatic conditions leads to illnesses.

Ayurveda recommends natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, simple physical exercises, prayers, Ayurvedic massage, meditation and Panchakarma (detoxification therapies) based on the individual constitution to treat imbalance of doshas. Chironji oil is said to pacify kapha and vata and has a neutral effect on pitta dosha.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Chironji oil:

chironji-broucher1. Proven remedy for diarrhea and other digestive problems:

Diarrhea is called as Atisara in Ayurveda and it can also be caused due to toxins and psychological factors. Generally, accumulation of dampness caused by pitta instills a mild tendency on the colon and causes diarrhea. Ayurveda states that diarrhea may also be due to high toxic deposits or ama in the system, accumulation of water and increased vata or air in the body.

Chironji oil has the tendency to reduce kapha and vata and helps in eliminating the toxins or ama in the body, excess air and water retention. Adding 3 drops of Chironji oil in cool bathing water can help in relaxing the lining of the stomach and intestines, binding the stools and regularizing the bowel movements.

Inhaling the aroma of this oil by adding 2 drops to your diffuser or vaporizer can aid in overcoming loss of appetite. Massaging your abdomen with 5 drops of Chironji oil mixed with 2.5 ml of coconut oil can improve metabolism by acting as a tonic for digestion. Drinking a glass of buttermilk seasoned with 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and coriander leaves can be of great assistance in treating all kinds of digestive woes.

2. Alleviates cold and other respiratory disorders:

Common cold and respiratory problems in general occur due to the vitiation of kapha dosha, which is responsible for stagnation of water in the body, toxic deposits and development of phlegm and mucous in the system.

Chironji oil has expectorant properties with its power to decrease kapha energy. 2 to 3 drops of this oil added to steam inhalation and massaging your throat, chest and back with 2 drops of Chironji oil mixed with your vaporub can help in loosening the mucous and phlegm deposits, relieving chest congestion, nasal congestion and common cold accompanied with runny nose and watery eyes.

3. Supports the reproductive system:

Chironji oil is a time-honored remedy for treating problems associated with sexual and reproductive functions. These seeds have aphrodisiac properties that help in treating impotence, loss of libido, lack of sexual interest, premature ejaculation and boost strength. Chironji seeds are being used in Maharashtra, India in preparing sweets and nutritious drink for the newlywed couples to maintain vitality and enhance their reproductive ability.

Massaging your body with 20 drops of Chironji oil with 3 drops of Cinnamon oil and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil can help in augmenting your sexual interest, grant lasting pleasure, and treat premature ejaculation and impotency by increasing vigor and the count of blood cells.

Adding 3 drops of Chironji oil to your bathing water and 2 drops of Chironji oil with 2 drops of Rose oil put in your diffuser can grant peace, reduce fatigue and treat mood swings.

4. Purifies the blood:

Chironji is used in Unani medicine as a blood cleanser. It has a positive effect on the mind and body and enhances proper blood circulation. Stress and metal worries also contribute to building up of toxins by stimulating the secretion of cortisol, also known as stress hormone in the bloodstream.

A 2012 study on ‘Adaptogenic activity of methanolic extract of Buchanania lanzan’, an experimental study in the rat model concluded that Chironji has antistress or adaptogenic activity. Massaging your body with 10 drops of Chironji oil blended with 5 drops of Lavender oil and 10 ml of coconut oil helps in augmenting the count of blood cells, enhancing positive feelings, calming the mind and eliminating toxic substances in the blood.

5. Relieves rheumatic conditions:

Rheumatism is caused by kapha aggravation leading to sluggishness, water stagnation, building up of salt, uric acid, fatty substances and toxins especially in the joints causing swelling, pain, redness and irritation. Chironji oil reduces kapha dosha and assists in discharging excess deposits of water, uric acid, salt and toxins in the body through urine.

Its diuretic properties promote the quality and frequency of urination and its anti-inflammatory along with its analgesic attributes aid in reducing swelling and pain associated with rheumatism. Massaging the affected parts with 5 drops of Chironji oil, 2 drops of Peppermint oil along with 4 ml of sesame oil can assist in alleviating rheumatic problems.

Other health benefits:

Chironji oil is also used in treating wounds, fever, ulcers, pimples, skin blemishes, glandular swelling of the neck, itching, exhaustion and biliousness.

Disclaimer:

This piece of writing is only for the purpose of education and is written wholly in the concern of sharing the long-established insight of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences. It is not intended to prevent or diagnose any disease or health conditions or to substitute any kind of expert medical advice or prescribed medications.

Do not use essential oils internally. Always ensure that you dilute essential oils in suitable carrier oils before using it for topical application, as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Consult your healthcare professional/Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oil for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. -Lao Tzu

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Secret to Great Health – The Vedic Health Code by Swami Ram Charran
  2. The Modern Ayurveda: Milestones Beyond the Classical Age from CRC Press
  3. Handbook of Nuts: Herbal Reference Library by James A. Duke
  4. Unsaponifiable Matter in Plant Seed Oils by Didier Fontanel

Reference Links:

  1. Buchanania lanzan by Wikipedia
  2. Charoli by Only Foods.net
  3. Diarrhea by Baidyanath Ayurveda
  4. Chironji nut (Buchanania lanzan) processing, present practices and scope by the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, West Bengal published in the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
  5. Adaptogenic activity of methanolic extract of Buchanania lanzan leaves an experimental study in rat model by Shalini Kapoor Mehta, Navpreet Bains and Naira Nayeem, GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Ludhiana published in Pelagia Research Library