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)

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

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

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

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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Sesame Oil



Sesame-bannerFrom nasal drops to enema, from babies to elderly people, Sesame oil forms an incredible part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Experts say that about 90% of the herbal oils in Ayurvedic treatment are prepared with a base of Sesame oil.

Celebrated for its rich presence of nutrients, this oil is used as a nourishing cooking oil in most parts of India, especially the southern parts of the nation where Ayurvedic system of healing has its roots deeply vested with.

Known as Tila in the Ayurvedic world, Sesame oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum (syn. Sesamum Orientale). Sesame oil has been used for its innumerable benefits to mankind and the most touching thing is that the seed hulls left after pressing the oil can be fed to livestock as a wholesome food.

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Historical importance of Sesame Oil:

This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years just like the ancient Ayurvedic system. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization, the oldest civilization of the world. Sesame was the first crop used for extracting oil.

Before 600 BC, Sesame oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Sesame oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.

Most of the Ayurvedic therapies have registered the use of Sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Sesame seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.

Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, sesame oil is said to benefit the heart chakra responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world, root chakra responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world and the spleen chakra responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect.

Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil:

Sesame oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants.

All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame oil:

Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have listed enormous health benefits of Sesame oil. Practicing Ayurveda is a sure shot remedy for self-improvement as it involves a systematic life-style along with essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, meditation and physical exercises that keep you fit and fine even in your late 60s.

Human body is made up of 3 energy elements known as doshas in Ayurveda. They are vata, pitta and kapha. The predominant energy element determines your personality, character and behavior. Sesame oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame seed oil in terms of various ways of administration.Sesame-broucher1. Oil Pulling:

This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity and is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit. It is nothing but swishing 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes in empty stomach in the morning and spitting out the toxins-filled remains. This process helps in protecting the dental health known as Dantya Swasthya in Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita (Charaka Samhita Ch V-78 to 80) quotes the act of oil pulling as “It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables” . The best oil recommended for oil pulling by Ayurvedic texts is organic cold pressed Sesame oil.

Sesame oil has sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin components along with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E that make this oil as a rich natural antioxidant. This property helps in preventing decay and degeneration of cells in the body and blocks the absorption of negative cholesterol in the liver.

A popular study on “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis” by Dr. HV Amith proved that 45 days of methodical oil pulling showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of this oil help in treating halitosis or bad breath, plaque, gingivitis and dental cavities.

One more study conducted in 2008 on “The Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria” proved the in-vitro antibacterial activity of Sesame oil against dental caries causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. This study also witnessed the considerable reduction of the total count of bacteria after oil-pulling.

Oil pulling with Sesame oil is also effective in treating cracked lips, eczema, sinusitis, heart disorders, psoriasis, obesity, dry skin, headache, kidney problems, rheumatic pain and inflammation, dry throat and tooth decay.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy:

Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Sesame oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.

(i) Balya (benefits for children):

Known as the King of Oils, Sesame oil is completely safe for the use of children and is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. It is because of this property, every Indian family massage their new born babies and toddlers with Sesame oil before bath and leave them under sunlight for few minutes allowing the body to absorb vitamin D and nourish the skin cells naturally.

(ii) Twachya (benefits for the skin):

The presence of vitamin E and zinc in this oil helps in augmenting the elasticity of the skin; repairs damaged skin cells and promote the production of collagen. Massaging your skin with this nourishing natural emollient aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Sesame oil also protects your skin from dangerous ultra-violet rays.

(iii) Keshya (benefits for the hair):

Massaging your head with warm Sesame oil stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue.

It is a long time tradition of Indians to massage their head and body with Sesame oil once in a week and take bath with the herbal powder known Shikakai to reduce the body temperature and enliven the nerves and cells. This oil kills the dandruff causing bacteria and protects the skin and scalp from the harmful effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing:

Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders.  This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet:

When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and is said to grant Vranashodhana (healing and cleansing internal and external wounds), Agni janana (augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism) and Medha janana (enhancing intelligence).

Regular use of Sesame oil helps in fighting cancer with its antioxidant properties, guards the body from DNA damage due to radiation, treats rheumatism, improves digestive health, supports respiratory wellness, aids in preventing diabetes, lowers blood pressure and improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

Disclaimer:

Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using Sesame oil for your individual constitution. This article is only for informational purpose and is not meant to replace your prescribed medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage by John Douillard
  2. Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Brannigan
  3. The Oral Health Bible by Michael Bonner, Earl L. Mindell
  4. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife

Reference Links:

  1. Sesame Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria by Durai Anand T, Gopinath RM, Pothiraj C and Kayalvizhi B of the PG Department of Microbiology, VHNSN College, India
  3. Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed by GreenMEDInfo
  4.  Sesame Oil For Bone Building in Ayurveda by Livestrong.com