Orange Bitter Essential Oil



Orange-bitter-bannerBitter’ has been the most neglected taste all around the world and the truth is that bitter things are often better for your fitness regime. On a deeper note, most of the medicines are bitter and they pave way for the sweet fruit of health and harmony.

Unlike the sweet oranges, bitter oranges are not much favored mainly for its tart, astringent and acidic taste. Since the ancient times, bitter oranges and the essential oil cold pressed from the rind of these fruits have carried away the world of medicine with its enormous medicinal values.

Known as Narange in Sanskrit, bitter orange is used in Ayurveda in the treatment of gout, gastrointestinal problems, lack of appetite, anxiety and digestive disorders.

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Scientifically known as Citrus aurantium, bitter orange is an evergreen tree indigenous to the tropical parts of Asia and Africa. Almost all the parts of this tree are used in extracting essential oils due its healing values.

Essential oil extracted from the leaves and twigs of this tree is known as Petitgrain oil, the oil distilled from the flowers of this tree is the celebrated Neroli oil and the oil extracted from the peel of the bitter orange fruit is called as Bitter orange essential oil.

Historical importance of Bitter Orange:

The Traditional Chinese Medicine used bitter oranges as a natural carminative and tonic for treating dyspepsia. They also used dried bitter oranges in the treatment of diarrhea, ptosis of the anus and uterus, blood in feces and abdominal distention.

The rind of bitter orange fruits were used in Homeopathy for relieving abdominal pain, headache, constipation, digestive disorders, weight loss and high blood pressure. Due to the presence of the active ingredient synephrine, bitter oranges are used in herbal medicinal system as an appetite suppressant and as a stimulant.

The Brazilian folklore medicine used bitter orange and its oil in treating insomnia and anxiety. The ancient Europeans used it as a prophylactic and as a sedative for curing nervous problems, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, sore throat and gout.

This medicinal herb has been in use in various cultures across the globe in the treatment of cancer, anaphylactic shock, cardiac exhaustion, heartburn, fungal infections and certain other heart problems.

The native Latin Americans used it in the preparation of a tonic for treating insomnia, lessening anxiety and also as a laxative. It is also used in the United States as an effective aid in preventing colon, breast and skin cancer.

In addition, bitter orange essential oil is used in flavoring baked goods, alcoholic beverages, gelatins, candies, puddings, meat products, frozen desserts and certain other condiments. It is also used as a marinade for meat in the Haitian, Cuban, Nicaraguan and Dominican cooking.

Therapeutic properties and constituents of Bitter orange essential oil:

The remedial properties of this oil are antiseptic, carminative, sedative, stomachic, digestive, antidepressant, anti-hyper cholesterolemic, tranquilizer, anti-inflammatory, choleretic, antifungal and antibacterial. Synephrine, tyramine metabolites N-methyltyramine, pinene, carotenoids, limonene, cymene, camphene, octopamine, ocimene and few other alkaloids are its major chemical constituents.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Bitter orange essential oil:

Ayurveda is the oldest of all the healing methodologies in the world and it still flourishes due to the simplicity it preaches and practices in its remedial rule. According to this ancient science, every individual is a part of nature and his/her poor health and good health depends upon their harmony with nature.

Sickness in Ayurveda is a strong symbol that the individual’s system is out of balance with nature and needs immediate assistance with natural remedies like essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, healthy lifestyle and meditation.

Ayurvedic remedies aim at treating the actual root cause of an illness instead of treating the illness alone and suggests an Ayurvedic routine for preventing such illnesses in the future as well.

Every human being according to Ayurvedic principle is unique with an individual constitution that comprises of three energy elements known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. The predominance of any one of these doshas determines the personality and characteristics of an individual and imbalance of any of these doshas leads to diseases.

Ayurvedic treatments vary from individual to individual based upon their dosha predominance and unique constitution. Bitter orange essential oil is said to increase vata and pitta doshas and pacify kapha dosha.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Bitter orange oil are:

1. Treats skin problems:

Bitter orange essential oil has been proved effective in treating numerous skin problems with its antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. The rind of this fruit from which its essential oil is extracted contains non-bitter flavonoids, which is known to have considerable venotonic properties.

It is for this reason; bitter orange essential oil is used in cosmetics for preventing capillary fragility. Bitter orange extracts are also used in the treatment of cellulite as it has the potent to normalize the affected parts and stimulate the cutaneous tone of the skin.

The effects and unique properties of bitter orange essential oil in the Aromatherapy Workbook by Shirley Price states bitter orange essential oil “help restore an acne skin to normal and is prophylactic against the signs of ageing”. When applied to the affected area after blending 2 drops of bitter orange oil with coconut oil, the antifungal properties of this oil help in treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Bitter orange oil also acts as a natural antiseptic and aids in clearing acne, cold sores, wounds, psoriasis, eczema and certain other skin problems due to excessive stagnation of oil. You can add 2 drops of bitter orange oil with refreshing carrier oil like jojoba oil or to your skin care creams and lotions and gently massage onto the affected parts for quicker effects.

2. Enhances the digestive mechanism:

For more than thousands of years, bitter orange has been used in the world of Complementary medicine for treating digestive problems like flatulence, dyspepsia, constipation, sluggish digestion, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, nausea and indigestion.

Gently massaging your stomach with 2 drops of bitter orange oil blended with sesame oil can help you enhance the entire process of digestion. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to your bath tub to help with digestive disorders.

3. Assists in weight-loss:

Weight loss supplements with bitter orange formula are the most popular and the recent use of bitter oranges in the therapeutic world. Numerous researches have proved the effectiveness of bitter orange supplements in treating obesity.

“At present, Citrus aurantium may be the best thermogenic substitute for Ephedra” reveals the Georgetown University Medical Center study on ‘Citrus aurantium as a thermogenic, weight-reduction replacement for Ephedra’.

A recent research on ‘The safety of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine’ states “The data indicate that based on current knowledge, the use of bitter orange extract and p-synephrine appears to be exceedingly safe with no serious adverse effects being directly attributable to these ingredients”.

It also notes that bitter orange extract and its principal protoalkaloidal constituent p-synephrine are extensively used in weight management, weight loss and products promoting sports performance.

A 2006 study on ‘Citrus aurantium and synephrine alkaloids in the treatment of overweight and obesity’ by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MD, USA states that there are certain promising evidences that Citrus aurantium containing several compounds including synephrine alkaloids is a safe alternative to Ephedra, which is a weight-loss supplement banned in US for its adverse health effects.

To boost your metabolism and lessen energy absorption, you can massage your body with 2 to 3 drops of bitter orange oil blended with coconut oil or add 3 drops of this oil to your bath tub.

4. Alleviates stress and reduces anxiety:

Bitter orange oil has a much similar aroma to that of fresh tangy oranges. Inhaling the energizing and enlivening fragrance of this oil especially during the early hours of the day promises a serene atmosphere and instills complete calmness in your mind.

This is why Ayurvedic healing suggests the use of bitter orange oil during your meditation practice. Add 1 drop of bitter orange oil to your diffuser or air freshener and start your deep meditation after which you will feel a never before freshness and increase in your confidence level.

The Aromatherapy expert, Dr. Vivian Lunny recommends an invigorating bath blend with 2 drops of bitter orange oil, 1 drop of neroli oil and 2 drops of petitgrain oil for reducing anxiety, lethargy and tiredness.

When added to your warm bathing water especially after a tiring and stressful day, this blend is said to give a new lease of life, augment stress relief, promote relaxation and stimulate positive feelings. You can also add 1 drop of bitter orange oil to your handkerchief or to your pulse points to renew yourself throughout the day.

Other benefits:

Bitter orange essential oil is also used in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, intestinal ulcers, lowering blood sugar level in diabetic patients, sleep disorders, joint pain, muscular aches, bruises, cold and certain other liver and gall bladder problems.

It is also used in making soaps, cleaning products, disinfectants, cosmetics, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, eau de colognes and certain other household cleaners. Bitter orange oil is also used as a commercial flavoring agent in foods and beverages in many countries.

Disclaimer:

Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so always use it after diluting in suitable carrier oils. Never use essential oils internally. Citrus oils in general have a photo-toxic effect so avoid going out in the sun immediately after using it on your skin.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and people suffering from hypertension and glaucoma should avoid using bitter orange oil. Always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution.

Bitter Orange Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

bitter-orange-new

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Bitter orange oil exhibits mild photosensitivity effects if the oil is oxidized, which might cause irritation and hyper-pigmentation of the skin and this happens when visible sunlight gets in touch with the skin for up to 12 hours of usage. The major cause being the response of the chemical components that are photoactive in nature attracts light and ends up in toxicity via molecular alterations.

The safe dermal use level of Bitter orange oil by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is 1.25%, specifically to thwart phototoxicity in the products used for topical application and not for soaps, shampoos and other bath preparations. This No-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) is based on various studies with Bitter orange oil on mice and swine, where the No-observed-effects-level (NOEL) was proved as 6.25%.

Besides, Bitter orange oil is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). “There are no contraindications but that photosensitization may occur in fair-skinned individuals”, quotes The German Commission E monograph for Bitter orange peel.

The major chemical constituent responsible for the skin sensitization and mild irritation of Bitter orange oil is Limonene, which accounts to about 90% of this oil and certain other furanocoumarins.

According to European regulations, essential oils with furanocoumarins should be used in such a way that the overall level of bergapten does not surpass 15 ppm (parts per million) in ready-to-use cosmetic products meant for use on the skin surface that are exposed to sunlight (other than wash-away products) and 1 ppm in sunscreen and bronzing items.

Use Bitter orange oil only for external use and ingestion of this oil should be avoided strictly, as internal use of this oil has adverse effects according to various reports. Medical research studies state that the presence of stimulants like octopamine, amines synephrine (an alkaloid with almost the related chemical structure to ephedrine in Ephedra – Ma-Huang) and N-methyltyramine are responsible for the cardiovascular toxicity of Bitter orange and this is also reported to cause increase in blood pressure and vasoconstriction.

It is recommended to avoid the use of Bitter orange in patients with tachyarrhythmia, hypertension and narrow-angle glaucoma, mainly due its potent to cause additive effects. Overdose of synephrine in children overdose ended up in tachycardia, nausea, quick increase in blood pressure and irritation. Certain researches witness the effect of Bitter orange in restraining human cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) in the test tube studies.

Just like Grapefruit, Bitter orange is said to hold back a vital enzyme in the small intestine, and this may possibly have an effect on the levels of blood, when taking certain medications like antiviral, anti-anxiety, antidepressant drugs, statins and calcium channel blockers and along with the intake of caffeine.

Care should be taken if Bitter orange oil is used in massage in the abdominal area, as essential oils penetrate quickly through the skin, reach the bloodstream and may cause adverse effects. It is not recommended to take Bitter orange products when using other prescribed medications, except under strict medical supervision.

Furocoumarins are also used in various remedies on par with the long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for the healing of mycosis fungoides, vitiligo and psoriasis.

Reference Links Substantiating Possible Skin Issues of Bitter Orange Oil:

  1. Bitter Orange by University of Michigan Health System
  2. Bitter Orange, Sour News by University of California, Berkeley Wellness
  3. Bitter Orange Peel and Synephrine by American Botanical Council
  4. Bitter Orange, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  5. Bitter Orange by Drugs.com
  6. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young

Thought for the day:

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. -Moliere

Suggested Reading:

  1. Citrus Essential Oils: Flavor and Fragrance from Wiley
  2. Citrus Oils: Composition, Advanced Analytical Techniques, Contaminants, and Biological Activity (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) from CRC Press
  3. Aromatherapy Workbook: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Essential Oils by Shirley Price
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller

Reference Link:

  1. Bitter orange by Wikipedia
  2. Citrus aurantium and synephrine alkaloids in the treatment of overweight and obesity by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MD, USA published in PubMed
  3. Bitter Orange by Drugs.com
  4. The safety of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine by Creighton University Medical Center, NE, USA published in PubMed


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Petitgrain Essential Oil



Born with the celebrated siblings Neroli and Bitter Orange, Petitgrain is known to the world as emotionally harmonizing oil. The essential oil of Petitgrain is extracted from the leaves and twigs, where Neroli oil is extracted from the flowers and Bitter Orange oil is extracted from the rind of the fruits of the Bitter Orange tree. Trusted for attaining clarity of mind and mental wellness, Petitgrain essential oil has been used in Ayurveda as an excellent massage oil for treating inflamed tissues, muscular spasms and lymphatic damage.

Light Miller and Bryan Miller’s book on ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ quotes that Petitgrain essential oil has enhanced strength and freshness than the oil extracted from the fruit as it is distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant with an enhanced aura.

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Historical uses of Petitgrain essential oil: The French name Petitgrain means ‘little grains’ or ‘little seeds’. It acquired this name because Petitgrain essential oil was initially extracted from unripe oranges that were just in the size of cherries. It is said that this oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of a variety of Citrus species namely Citrus sinensis, Citrus aurantium, Citrus bigardia or Petitgrain bigarade and Citrus reticulata. Bitter orange tree is indigenous to tropical regions of Asia and eastern parts of Africa. Since the primordial times, this oil has been an important ingredient of the classic ‘Eau-de-Cologne’ and many other perfumes and cosmetics.

Numerous Complementary and Alternative Medical systems have recorded the traditional use of this oil for treating problems associated with digestion, nervous exhaustion and skin disorders. English herbalist Gerard suggests bitter juices of Citrus fruits for treating venomous bites, stings and worms. Theophrastus, the antique book talks about the use of oranges for scenting fabrics and warding off moths.

Therapeutic properties and chemical components: The chemical components of Petitgrain oil include linalool, geraniol, myrcene, neryl acetate, nerol, limonene, α-terpineol, trans-ocimene, geranyl acetate and linalyl acetate. The remedial properties of Petitgrain essential oil are antiseptic, deodorant, antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, nervine, relaxant, immune-stimulant, anti-infectious, clarifying, sedative, tonic and anti-depressant.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Petitgrain essential oil: Ayurveda is a systematic practice dealing with holistic healing as its base along with prevention of diseases, healthy aging and longevity. Ailment according to Ayurveda is a sharp signal that the human body is not in harmonization with nature. A systematic Ayurvedic treatment starts with a thorough examination where you should wear your heart on your sleeve and help yourselves know the most important things that contribute to your health and illness.

After an Ayurvedic consultation you will know the significant things of your health regime like the energy elements (doshas) contributing to your individual constitution (resembles your personality, attributes and nature), root cause of your illness, self-realization, detailed plan of a healthy diet that would suit you the best, Ayurvedic medications including essential oils, herbs, meditation, physical exercises, yogasanas and an organized Ayurvedic routine for an emotionally and physically fit living. Perfect balance of all the three doshas is a determining factor of your complete well-being. Dosha imbalances can be treated with the suitable Ayurvedic remedies. The Ayurvedic health benefits of Petitgrain essential oil are:

1. Health benefits as a massage oil or bath oil: Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage is the ultimate therapy for relaxing the mind and comforting the body with the use of Ayurvedic essential oils. Skin is the best channel that aids the blood passage to absorb the therapeutic properties present in such essential oils and pass it on to the entire body and the psyche. A classic Ayurvedic massage is known to augment blood circulation, calm the mind, promote mental energy and enlighten the soul.

For a perfect massage blend, add 2 drops of Petitgrain oil with warm carrier oil like Almond oil to alleviate stress, control anger, lessen fear, treat nervous exhaustion, relax muscular spasms, calm stressed muscles, reduce menstrual pain and reduce rapid heartbeat. As a nervous stimulant and nerve tonic, this remedial oil aids in treating nervous afflictions, wear and tear of nerves due to prolonged stress and fortifies them. Adding 3 to 4 drops of  Petitgrain essential oil in warm bathing water helps you vent out stress, tension, fear, anxiety, anger, pain, irritability and other negative feelings.

2. Benefits to the system when added to vaporizers or diffusers: Fragrance, scent, aroma, smell or odor, whatever form it may be has a strong impact on your sensory receptors and limbic system followed by the entire behavioral and emotional set-up. Adding 2 drops of Petitgrain essential oil to your air freshener, diffuser, vaporizer or burner will help you in attaining greater heights as it boosts the intellectual power, helps restore emotions, instills self- acceptance and self-love, promotes clarity of mind and augments the concentration power especially during prayers and meditation which empower the mind.

Petitgrain is an exemplary essential oil for those who are on the road to recovery after a trauma or an illness, either mental or physical. The stimulant, tonic and anti-depressant properties of this oil assists in quicker recovery by relaxing the mind, conquering addictions, clearing off mental depression and insecurity due to the memories of the painful moments, strengthening the nervous system and promoting peaceful sleep as many people during the process of recovery suffer from insomnia and other sleeping problems.

3. Nourishes your skin as a trusted topical application: Petitgrain essential oil is lighter and refreshing than Neroli or Bitter Orange oil, making it more suitable for skin problems when 3 to 4 drops of this oil are added to skin care creams and lotions. The natural antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious properties of Petitgrain oil assists in fighting bacteria and other microbes that worsen wounds, cause septic, and give birth to acne and other skin infections.

Petitgrain oil plays a vital role in skin care as it helps clear skin blemishes, acne and oily skin. When used after a bath it keeps your skin moisturized all through the day. Cuts, wounds, burns, lesions and skin ulcers are also treated with this oil.

Other health benefits: Petitgrain essential oil is also regarded as an effective aphrodisiac. A study on ‘Antioxidant and anticancer activities of Citrus reticulate (Petitgrain Mandarin) and Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) essential oils’ proved that  there are about twenty-five components present in Citrus reticulate (Petitgrain mandarin) oil and this oil possessed antioxidant and anticancer activities. It is also used in the perfume industry for making fragrances for both men and women.

Disclaimer: Pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids so never take them internally or use them directly on the skin. Always ensure that you dilute essential oils before any topical or aromatherapy uses. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner about the suitability of any essential oil for your specific body type and health condition.

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. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care: Choosing Botanicals, Oils & Extracts for Simple & Healthy Beauty by Hélène Berton
  3. Daily Aromatherapy: Transforming the Seasons of Your Life with Essential Oils by Joni Keim, Ruah Bull

Reference Links:

  1. Petitgrain Essential Oil by Yoga Wiz.com
  2. How to use Neroli and Petitgrain by Yahoo Voices!
  3. Antioxidant and anticancer activities of Citrus reticulate (Petitgrain Mandarin) and Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) essential oils published in Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences
  4. Bitter Orange by National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Lime Essential Oil



Lime--bannerAnyone for that matter would admire L…I…M…E as the fruit of Lasting Impression with Motherly Embrace. Undoubtedly Lime is such an adorable kitchen staple for more than thousands of years and its essential oil seldom falls short to heal our mind and body with its numinous aroma.

It can be named as an effective anti-blue fruit and oil for its ability to pacify your mood at times of depression and all kinds of blues including postpartum blues. Botanically named as Citrus aurantifolia, Lime is a limb of the citrus family Rutaceae.

Ayurveda uses Lime and its essential oil as a stimulant for treating skin problems, heart diseases, digestive disorders and mental mayhems. It has been used to boost brain power, purify the blood and aid in preventing memory loss. Certain other traditional medicines uses Lime as a remedy for treating gout, malignant tumors, throat infections and chronic skin diseases.

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Historical importance of Lime and its essential oil:

Lime has been a vital part of the folklore medicine for cleansing the system and revitalizing the mind. Aura is the life force or vital energy of any living thing and is called by different names in various healing systems. It is known as ‘prana’ in Ayurveda and ‘qi’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Lime is a powerful ancient remedy for cleansing the aura and restoring confidence.

Lime is indigenous to Asia and is now cultivated in numerous countries like America, West Indies and Italy. This evergreen tree bears white flowers and glittering green fruits. India is the largest Lime oil producing country in the world and Lime was introduced into Europe initially by the Moors and was then spread slowly to America. Lime essential oil is extracted by cold press method from the peel of the fruit.

Lime juice is widely known as a remedy for treating scurvy and it has been said that the ancient British sailors used it to prevent scurvy and other skin problems due to its rich Vitamin C content. Ships used for transporting Lime were adorably called as ‘lime juicers’.

The leaves of the Lime tree were used in the prehistoric period for treating poisonous bites and swellings. Apart from its medicinal uses Lime has been used in making pickles, sauces, desserts, jams, confectionaries, sorbets, marmalades, beverages, squashes, perfumes, household cleaners, detergents, soaps, cosmetics and other beauty products.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report (GC) of Lime oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Lime oil constitutes of 13 chemical components that contribute to its fragrance, therapeutic attributes, consistency and quality of this oil. Of which, Limonene contributes to the highest proportion of Lime oil constituents with about 65.4% of its total composition.

Just click on:

I believe that this must certainly help you in getting to know the exclusive information about these prime chemical constituents of Lime oil.

The table crafted below clearly depicts the unique nature and contributions of these biochemical constituents to the healing magnificence of Lime essential oil.

lime-oil

Therapeutic properties of Lime essential oil:

A 2003 study on ‘Characterization of aroma volatiles in key lime essential oils (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle)’ state “Geranial, neral and linalool were found to dominate the lime oil aroma in both oils, which accounted for their fresh, floral citrus-like character.”

These components contribute to its remedial values like astringent, tonic, haemostatic, disinfectant, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, aperitif, restorative, stimulant and bactericidal.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Lime essential oil:

Nature is the best teacher and shows its love to everyone on Earth with maternal care and affection. That is why we call nature as ‘Mother Nature’. Ayurveda is a traditional medicinal system that trusts upon Nature for its healing methodologies. This ancient philosophy states that every human being is a part of nature and his/her health condition completely depends upon one’s balance with nature.

Man/woman is made up of the same 5 vital elements of nature namely water, earth, ether, air and fire. These elements combine together in making up the individual constitution of a human being. By this way every individual has a unique constitution identified with the combination of 3 vital bio-energies called as doshas. They are vata dosha that is made up of air and ether, pitta dosha that comprises of fire and water and kapha dosha that is a grouping of water and earth.

Ayurvedic treatments differ from individual to individual even for the same health disorder. This is because every individual has a predominance of any one of the three doshas that determines their state of health, personality and behavior and balance between these doshas indicates hale and heartiness.

Ayurvedic texts prescribe natural remedies like essential oils, herbs, Ayurvedic routine, yoga, physical exercises and meditation for treating dosha imbalances, healing illnesses, preventing it in future and for healthy aging.

Lime is known for alleviating all the three doshas vata, pitta and kapha.

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

Lime-broucher1. Supports healthy hair:

Lime is one among the best essential oils for treating dull, oily, lifeless, rough, frizzy and greasy hair. This oil has a handful of essential nutrients that nourish the scalp and add natural shine to your hair.

Oily and greasy hair are the most prominent reasons for inviting dandruff as these types of hair attract dust and dirt very easily. LIme removes oil quickly and moisturizes the scalp from within, helping you to get rid of dandruff, dry and itchy scalp. Indian healthcare practitioners consider Lime oil as a traditional hair conditioner.

Add 2 drops of Lime essential oil along with your shampoo or conditioner before applying on hair. This aromatic bath assists in cleansing the hair, removing excessive oil, reducing dandruff and making the hair manageable.

You can also add 3 drops of Lime oil with 30 drops of sesame oil and heat it in medium flame. Gently massage this warm oil blend on to your scalp and part lines. This massage aids in enriching the scalp by helping it absorb this oil and nourish your hair from the roots. It also increases blood circulation and promotes the growth of healthy hair.

2. Clears acne and cures numerous skin problems:

Acne is a burning skin problem among teenagers all over the world and it is said that about 85% of the global populace are affected by acne at some point of their life. It occurs mainly due to the excess secretion of oil by the sebaceous glands rooted deeply in the skin surface.

This excess oil blocks the glands and cause bacterial growth and inflammation leading to boils, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and pustules that are collectively known as acne.

Mayo clinic recommends the use of products that can control excess oil and treat inflammation. Lime and its essential oil is the best natural cure for clearing acne and the marks left over by acne as it has rich vitamin C and flavonoids acting as antioxidants, which detoxify and cleanse the skin. Applying 2 drops of Lime oil blended with 15 drops of jojoba oil can assist in washing out impurities from the skin and influence the growth of new skin cells.

Lime essential oil has antiseptic, bactericidal, disinfectant and astringent properties that fights against harmful bacteria causing skin infections, heals cuts, wounds, boils, cellulites, varicose veins, acne and other skin eruptions.

A 2006 study on ‘In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils’ published in PubMed evaluated the antibacterial activity of about 21 essential oils against 6 bacterial species including 2 gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus an  Bacillus subtilis and 4 gram-negative bacteria Proteus vulgaris, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This study concluded stating that among the 21 essential oils tested “Cinnamon, clove and lime oils were found to be inhibiting both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Blending 2 to 3 drops of Lime oil with 20 drops of Olive oil and massaging it on the affected areas can assist in treating eczema, cuts, psoriasis, carbuncles, sores, skin ulcers, rashes and gangrene. Founder of the Polarity therapy, Mr. Randolph Stone states that Lime oil blended with Olive oil is an excellent remedy for treating eczema.

3. Promotes digestion:

Dr. Lakshmi Senaratne, senior Ayurvedic scientist at Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurveda Research Institute says that Lime and its essential oil have stomachic properties, thus it naturally promotes the secretion of bile and other gastric juices.

This helps in supporting the regular digestion process and enhances your appetite. Being a good laxative, this oil is also effective in treating nausea, dyspepsia and flatulence.

The anthelmintic properties of Lime essential oil treat diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, exhaustion and abdominal pain. It also aids in controlling thirst. She also says that the ability of Lime to lessen pitta and vata energies makes it a powerful remedy for treating vomiting, anorexia, thirst and bleeding disorders.

All you need to do to improve your digestive process is to add 2 drops of Lime oil in 20 drops of sesame oil and gently massage on your abdomen. You can also use few drops of this oil in warm or cold compress to treat stomach pain and other discomforts.

3 to 4 drops of Lime oil added to warm bath is also effective in easing the process of digestion. Inhaling the refreshing citrus aroma by adding 2 drops to your burner or diffuser can help control nausea, morning sickness and improve your appetite.

4. Treats fever and respiratory infections:

Lime essential oil has febrifuge properties that assist in controlling your body temperature by reducing pitta dosha responsible for the temperature level of your body. Massaging your body or your foot soles with 3 drops of Lime oil blended with 20 to 25 drops of coconut oil or 3 drops added to cold compress can reduce your fever gradually by detoxifying your system and eliminating the harmful toxins and fever causing infections through sweat.

The antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, immune stimulant and tonic properties of Lime oil aid in fighting against microbes causing cold and fever, strengthening the immune power, combating the growth of detrimental micro-organisms and making the body resistant against infections. 2 drops of Lime essential oil added to steam inhalation can help in treating cold, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, cough, sore throat, asthma and other similar respiratory infections.

You can also mix 3 drops of Lime oil with 20 to 25 drops of coconut oil and apply it on your chest, neck and back for good relief. It helps loosen the phlegm deposits causing congestion in the bronchial passages. You can also add 1 drop of Lime oil to a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle for treating sore throat and for freshening your breath.

5. Acts as a tonic to the mind and body:

Lime has a divine aroma that is refreshing, rejuvenating, revitalizing, strengthening, uplifting and calming in nature. It helps in purifying the aura and strengthening the heart chakra responsible for love for others and self.

Adding 2 drops of Lime oil to your vaporizer, diffuser, burner or aromatic lamps can help in improving your concentration power and your immunity. This is mainly because of the tonic and restorative properties of Lime oil that helps you regain the lost energy of the mind and body due to diseases or emotional breakups.

Adding 3 to 4 drops of Lime essential oil in your bath tub can assist in relieving stress, depression, irritation, anxiety, muscular pain, tension, lack of self-confidence and negative feelings. Lime oil fortifies the mind and body by drawing the energies inward and helps an individual to focus without any distractions.

Disclaimer:

Never use essential oils internally. Do not go out in the sun immediately after using Lime essential oil on your skin as all citrus oils has phototoxic effect and can cause irritation when exposed to the harmful UV rays. Always remember to dilute essential oils before using them topically.

Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the suitable essential oils for your individual constitution and state of health. This article is only for educational purpose and is not intended to replace any professional advice or prescribed medication.

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

Gas Chromatography Report (GC analysis) of Lime oil.

Lime Essential Oil Possible Skin Issues:

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

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

Lime essential oil has photosensitizing effect that can end up in causing irritation of the skin, allergic reactions, burning sensation, phytophotodermatitis, hyperpigmentation (change of skin color, visible especially in people with white skin complexion) and certain other effects. This is said to happen mainly because of Lime oil’s potent to stimulate the skin photosensitivity, when it is exposed to observable sunlight up to 12 hours of use.

The underlying cause is the response of the photoactive chemical constituents that attracts UV light radiation and contributes to toxicity through molecular alterations in the surface of the skin.

The primary chemical constituent responsible for the photo-carcinogenic, skin sensitizing and other topical effects of the essential oil of Lime is Limonene and certain other furanocoumarins.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives reveals about a skin condition called as phytophotodermatitis, induced by Lime, where a 24-year old nurse came up with red demarcated tender patches and crusted vesicles after squeezing fresh limes and going out in sun on a bright day.

Phytophotodermatitis is defined as a nonimmunologic eruption of the skin that occurs after its contact with phototoxic components in certain plant varieties and is then exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation through visible sunlight.

Few other studies also witness the effects of photosensitization of Lime and Lime-based products containing psoralens, paving way for burns, blisters, bullae, eruption, erythematous vesicles, rashes, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. It is also been said that in certain severe cases, systemic toxicity come with the rashes, which includes nausea, vomiting and fever.

Lime oil has also been reported to promote tumors, when tested on rats where most of the papillomas were benign and few were malignant.

The safe dilution level of Lime oil is 0.7%, which is 4.2 drops per ounce of any carrier oils as per the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). This safe dilution level applies only for products used topically to thwart photosensitivity and is not applicable for wash-away products like soaps, shampoos and other bathing products.

IFRA also suggests that Limonene rich essential oils should only be employed, provided the level of peroxides are set aside to the lowest realistic level, for example: by including antioxidants during production.

Lime oil has ‘Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)’status by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). As per the European regulatory body, essential oils with furanocoumarins must be used in such a way that the level of bergapten should not go beyond 15ppm (parts per million) in ready to use cosmetic products after which the skin is subjected to exposure of direct sunlight and this does not apply for wash-off products. The level of bergapten should be1 ppm in bronzing and sun protection products.

For your information, Furocoumarins are also used in healing practices on par with the long-wave ultraviolet light therapy for treating vitiligo, psoriasis and mycosis fungoides.

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Lime Oil:

  1. Lime-induced Phytophotodermatitis by Dr. Andrew Hankinson, Dr. Benjamin Lloyd and Dr. Richard Alweis, published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives and PubMed
  2. Citrus aurantifolia, American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  3. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed.
  5. Safety Information on Essential Oils by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
  6. Lime oil by Mercola.com
  7. A Topical Skin Eruption by Dr. Christina Greenaway, published in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and PubMed

Thought for the day:

It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.          -John Ruskin

Suggested Reading:

  1. Citrus Oils: Composition, Advanced Analytical Techniques, Contaminants, and Biological Activity (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) From CRC Press
  2. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  3. Growing Citrus: The Essential Gardener’s Guide by Martin Page
  4. Save Your Life with the Phenomenal Lemon (& Lime!) (Save Your Life!) by Blythe Ayne
  5. The Lemon & Lime Cookbook by Rick Donker

Reference Links:

  1. Lime is Beneficial for Skin and Hair by Namini Wijedasa published in Infolanka.com
  2. Acne by the American Academy of Dermatology
  3. In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils by Seenivasan Prabuseenivasan, Manickkam Jayakumar, and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthupublished in BMC Complement Altern Med, PubMed
  4. Health Benefits of Lime Essential Oil by Organic Facts


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