Ayurvedic Essential Oils And Mood Blends



Mood differs from season to season, from person to person, from time to time and from odor to aroma. Sounds confusing? Let me put in more specific terms, Christmas brings in joy, New Year brings in newness, Halloween brings in adventure, Valentine’s Day brings in romance and Independence Day brings in patriotism. Each and every occasion is special on its own. Aromatic therapy or Aromatherapy is a part of Ayurveda, where aroma is used in treating illness and improving health conditions. It is based on the principle that natural fragrances, especially from pure essential oils can affect our moods, and consequently change the way we think or feel at any given time. Aroma affects our moods through the action or the start of the limbic system where the therapeutic properties of natural essential oils are slowly passed on to the entire system.

Pure essential oils support wellness and are extracted from various parts of a plant like flower, leaf, stem, resin, stalk, root, fruit, bark and seed. Ayurveda suggests the use of natural and wholesome essential oils instead of the synthetic or artificially fragranced oils because only pure essential oils will have the prana, otherwise known as the vital celestial energy to revivify your senses, enliven the mind and stimulate the key channels of the body for spreading the essential energy for strength and efficacy in an uniform manner. There are innumerable Ayurvedic essential oils, each of which can support some or the other moods of human beings. Let’s now look at the most predominant types of moods and the mood swings along with the essential oils that support such situations with their therapeutic properties.

1. Oils for depression: Depression is a deadly disorder that can literally spoil your days. The National Institute of Mental Health says that “Depression is a common but serious illness”. It causes extreme pain to you and to your near ones also. Ayurveda is the best way of treating depression as it has everything to soothe your senses and calm your mind. It suggests meditation and yoga for replenishing your mind, soul and spirit, while granting you an opportunity to realize your worth and come out of your deep mental worries. The best Ayurvedic essential oils for depression are Lavender essential oil, Rosemary essential oil, Frankincense essential oil, Jasmine essential oil and Ylang Ylang essential oil that can help one come out of depression with their calming, stimulant, antidepressant, nervine, sedative and hypotensive properties.

2. Oils for stress: We never knew that stress is the root cause for many major health disorders. Stress brings with it certain threatening symptoms like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, muscular tension, improper functioning of the digestive system, insomnia, weakened immune system and much more. Practicing an Ayurvedic routine along with the comforting and relaxing essential oils like Lemon oil, Bergamot oil, Lavender oil, Chamomile oil, Ylang Ylang oil, Patchouli oil, Peppermint oil and Orange oil.

3. Oils for loneliness: Nothing else like isolation and the feeling of loneliness can harm us, during the adverse times when we really need someone besides us. The best thing that Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences suggests is to speak with God through meditation and by offering a small prayer. This brings in the real difference and you will naturally inculcate the feeling that ‘You are not lonely anymore’. Few drops of Rose oil, Roman Chamomile oil, Frankincense oil, Clary Sage oil or Bergamot oil added either to your bath tub, diffuser or to your hankie will bring in the real energy to fight lonesomeness and support your mind.

4. Oils for anxiety and grief: Anxiety imparts nervousness along with an uneasy feeling, leading you to worry, stay restless, experience difficulty in sleeping, concentrating and few other health problems like nausea, headache and diarrhea. Most of the times work pressure, post-pregnancy blues, difficult terms in relationships, health problems or financial crisis may lead to anxiety disorder and would gradually make you sad. Ayurvedic essential oils like Sandalwood oil, Lavender oil, Cedarwood oil, Frankincense oil, Mandarin oil, Neroli oil, Rose oil, Ylang Ylang oil and Jasmine oil will regain the strength and confidence to face the tougher situations of life.

5. Oils for fatigue and fear: Oh! A single day with 3 important meetings, 2 conference calls, 4 reports to submit and attend to the queries of your subordinates is more than enough to make you tired, twisted and weary. This is called as fatigue. The fear of losing a job, a relationship or failing the examination, insecurity, pregnancy etc will make you panic. The best way to get out of it is to practice Pranayama, the art of breathing. Ayurveda suggests that deep breathing and meditation grants inner peace and strength, helping one to come out of fear and fatigue. A warm bath after your tiresome work with few drops of consoling essential oils like Peppermint oil, Rose oil, Lavender oil, Rosemary oil, Lemon oil, Bergamot oil, Frankincense oil, Sandalwood oil and Basil oil can grant you the warmth and energy that your mind and body demands.

Ayurveda considers that unhealthy or problematic relationships are the fundamental reason behind most of the problems mentioned above. This vitalizing science also grants incredible ways to maintain healthy relationships for your well-being.

Caution: Do not apply essential oils directly to your skin as pure essential oils are highly concentrated and may harm your skin or cause other allergic reactions. Consult your Ayurvedic Practitioner before using the right essential oils for your individual body type.

Thought for the day:

Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around.  –Bill Watterson

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood
  2. Change Your Mood with Aromatherapy (Teach Yourself) by Denise Whichello Brown
  3. The Interrelationship between the Body, Mind and Spirit in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Medicine by C. Scott Ryan

Reference Links:

  1. What is Aromatherapy? The Theory Behind Aromatherapy by Medical News Today
  2. Mood Swings-Mental Health and Behavior Overview by Better Medicine
  3. What is depression by National Institute of Mental Health
  4. Pranayama (From Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga) by Yoga Point

Ayurvedic Essential Oils For Depression



Please don’t disturb me……… Leave me alone……. I need some private space …… Are the 3 solid statements behind the killer problem ‘Depression’…. I’m not threatening you. Depression when left unnoticed will turn out as a major health issue leading to the extreme situation of all illnesses. It might even cause death. Sudden break in a relationship, losing your job, chronic health disorders, death of a dear one, work pressure and certain other traumatic conditions may be the reasons lying behind depression.

Ayurveda is one among the oldest healing methodologies, when studies reveal that it is more than 5,000 years old with proven remedies for a perfect and harmonized living with nature, how can it be without a remedy for the ‘dangerous depression?’ Of course, Ayurveda has the best cure for depression as it deals with mind and body together with the touch of senses, feelings and emotions. When depression being a disarray of the mind, what else than Ayurvedic essential oils can treat this from the scratch??? Think and come let’s discuss about depression in detail.

What is depression? Depression is a universal problem and it cannot be restricted to people of a particular country or a continent. According to the Medical Dictionary, Depression is defined as ‘a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide’. In Ayurvedic terms, depression and other disorders related to the mind are known as ‘Mansik Rog’. When you are depressed, your days seem blue and ‘down in the dumps’ and the earth will look as if it has stopped rotating.

Ayurvedic way of healing depression: According to Ayurveda, essential oils are said to lighten tejas i.e. augment mental brilliance and clarity.  Unlike the modern antidepressants that suppress the depressed minds, Ayurveda kindles the mind and body by revitalizing the senses while giving a new life and a powerful wave of vitality. It aims at strengthening the nerves and supports the depressed person to strike the right balance of Ayurvedic doshas for complete fitness.

It is a well-known fact that Aromatherapy is a branch of Ayurveda, which uses aromatics as a vital tool for the treatment and prevention of numerous health disorders with the help of Ayurvedic essential oils. The natural and enriching fragrance of Ayurvedic essential oils rejuvenates the mind and senses through the limbic system. The most celebrated essential oils to treat depression are:

  • Rosemary essential oil: This oil is a mental stimulant that counters depression, nervous exhaustion, frequent mood swings, stress disorders and helps uplift your spirit. Inhaling the evergreen aroma of this oil from a tissue will give you clarity, relaxation and keep your thoughts focused towards a positive energy.
  • Lavender essential oil: Here comes my ‘darling’ essential oil. Lavender is an excellent stimulant that can invigorate your entire system with its antidepressant and stimulating properties. The magical fragrance of this oil when added to your bath tub or used as a massage oil with any of your favorite carrier oils can work the wonder by granting a calming as well as soothing effect on your body. It relaxes your muscles, strengthens your broken feelings, treats anxiety, alleviates stress and induces good sleep, helping you to recover slowly and steadily from depression. The rich and floral aroma of Lavender augments the alpha brain wave frequency in the backside of the brain, which is related to calmness.
  • Ylang Ylang essential oil: The name itself has a sense of sweetness blended with healing values. Known popularly as the ‘flower of flowers’, Ylang Ylang oil is trusted to treat depression as it instills a calming effect on the nervous system and guarding you in case of stress, depression, anxiety, fear, high blood pressure, sleeping disorders and hypertension with its antidepressant, sedative, hypotensive, nervine and antiseptic properties. Dr. Miriam Kinai’s book on ‘How to use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Aromatherapy)’ will be of great use to you in improving your entire health and vitality.
  • Frankincense essential oil: This is an extremely useful oil for its highly valuable therapeutic properties. The exceptional aroma of Frankincense essential oil grants you the promising ray of hope that you long for while you are depressed. Sadness, anxiety, loneliness, confusion, disappointment and other problems related to depression can be perfectly kissed with the benefits of this oil.
  • Jasmine essential oil: Ah! Jasmine! What a mesmerizing fragrance it has? This natural floral mist is a mood enhancer used in alleviating pains, treating anxiety and soothing depression. The attention-grabbing aroma of this flower boosts the beta waves in the front part of the head, which is generally associated with a receptive state of mind and vigilance.

Depression is easy to pronounce but exceedingly intricate to experience. If checked in the initial stages and treated in a systematic manner with the proper advice of your Ayurvedic practitioner can help you swim against the tide easily.

To experience the beauty of life, all you need to do is to just clear the spider’s web that has rusted your thoughts and feelings……..….If you can’t then who can??????

Thought for the day: Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well

Suggested reading:

  1. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy For Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion by Valerie Ann Wormwood
  2. Aromatherapy For Dealing With Depression by Dr Miriam Kinai

Reference Links:

  1. What is Depression? By Medical News Today
  2. Aromatherapy from Ayurveda’s Perspective by Yayoi Stavish
  3. Antidepressant Ylang Ylang Oil by Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Wormwood Essential Oil



wormwood-bannerWormwood is botanically known as Artemisia absinthium. It is widely known as an effective remedy for treating worms like tape worms, round worms, hook worms etc in the human body. With its narcotic effects, Wormwood was an important part of the popular alcoholic beverages like Absinthe, which is prohibited now.

Wormwood essential oil is extracted from the flowering tops, twigs and leaves through steam distillation process. Ginger is an incredible part of numerous Ayurvedic remedies and with an alternative name as Green Ginger, wormwood herb and its therapeutic oil has been used for more than thousands of years in Ayurveda, the ancient wisdom of healing humanity.

Historical uses of Wormwood and its essential oil:

The spectacular fact about Wormwood is that it was used by Hippocrates, the ancient Greek Physician and the father of western medicine. Many ancient monks and nuns used this bitter herb in the form of an elixir for its detoxifying properties.

The prehistoric use of Wormwood has been mentioned in Bible and the first century writings of Greece and Rome, where the herb was said to be placed in the sandals of Roman warriors to pacify their sore feet.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen, known as the Doctor of the Church and Sibyl of the Rhine was highly celebrated for her brilliance in medicinal and botanical writings, philosophy, music and much more. She used Wormwood herb to treat melancholy, digestive disorders, elimination process, improper functioning of lungs and heart.

She advised her patients to consume the fresh juice of wormwood leaves mixed with honey and warm wine on empty stomach on every third day from the month of May to October. Hildegard trusted that the use of wormwood herb helped in promoting the functioning of the entire system by effectively eliminating the toxins from the arteries through kidneys and preventing the accumulation of black bile, which is the melancholic humor.

Health benefits of Wormwood essential oil:

Wormwood was used for spiritual and psychic work in the primordial times and the essential oil of Wormwood is trusted to treat numerous health disorders ranging from fever to flatulence.

The predominant health benefits of Wormwood essential oil are:

wormwood-broucher1. Effective against worms and parasites:

Worms and parasites in the body are often the main reason for curtailing the normal growth, especially in children. This is mainly because these foreign bodies absorb the nutrients from the food and restrict the system from gaining the required nourishment.

With its Vermifuge property and high toxic effects, wormwood herb and its essential oil is considered as the most powerful natural remedy in killing worms and parasites. In certain cases this oil is given as an enema in treating worms in the rectum and intestines.

2. Supports the digestive system:

Wormwood essential oil nurtures the digestive system and effectively helps in removing the toxic substances known as ama from the body. According to Ayurveda, improper digestion is the root cause for all kinds of illnesses as the undigested food particles turn as toxins and curb the normal functioning of the body. Wormwood essential oil strengthens the entire digestive system with its carminative, stomachic, cholagogue, anthelmintic, tonic and stimulant properties.

The presence of artabsin and absinthin in Wormwood oil are responsible for the bitter taste, which acts as a stimulant in enlivening the taste buds and improving the secretion of saliva and perking up the natural appetite of an individual.

It promotes proper discharge of bile secretion from the liver to the stomach and effectively counterbalances the excess acid substance while assisting the complete process of metabolism. All these healing properties of Wormwood essential oil make it a promising remedy in the treatment of acidosis, ulcer, liver and gall bladder problems and numerous other digestive disorders.

3. Alleviates stress and depression:

Disturbed sleep, insomnia, convulsions, fatigue, nervous afflictions, epileptic attacks and certain other mental disturbances often end up in unwanted stress and deep depression. Wormwood essential oil has a natural narcotic effect that helps in calming your nerves and grants complete relaxation by pacifying the entire system.

A well-known research on ‘The Debate About Wormwood and Thujone Psycho-activity‘ proved that the presence of α-thujone (alpha thujone) and β-thujone (beta thujone) in Artemisia absinthium are responsible for Psycho-activity and the higher-potency α-thujone is considered as the primary psychoactive agent. Adding 2 drops of Wormwood essential oil to a tissue and placing it near your pillow can give you great relief for a peaceful night’s sleep.

4. Womanly essential oil:

Being a promising emmenagogue, wormwood essential oil is extremely beneficial in treating womanly problems like irregular menstruation, obstructed periods, uterine fibroids, menopausal problems, dysmennorhea and all other symptoms that accompany menstruation.

The emmenagogue property in this oil enhances the blood circulation in the uterus and pelvic region while strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. This oil is also used as a pain reliever during labor.

Ayurveda recommends Abhyanga or the art of massaging in an Ayurvedic manner for treating problems related to menstruation and menopause. Gently massaging 2 to 3 drops of wormwood essential oil along with sesame oil or coconut oil can grant significant relief and support the health of the female reproductive system.

5. Keeps away fever and infections:

Wormwood essential oil is effectual in treating fever due to bacterial and viral infections and this healing property is attributed to the presence of the toxic components like α-thujone and β-thujone, which act as a shield to the body and protects it from microbes and other harmful infections.

A research by the Cancer institute on the effectiveness of Complementary and alternative medicine in 2004 witnessed that Wormwood is powerful in treating fever and was used in Malaria treatment. The ancient Africans and Asians used Wormwood to combat malaria and to treat few other mosquito-borne diseases.

6. Fights against cancer:

The chemical properties of Wormwood have been proved as a potent cancer treatment by the Bioengineering researchers of the University of Washington. It has been witnessed that this derivative killed almost all the human breast cancer cells exposed to it within a time span of 16 hours. They also said that this wormwood derivative is “highly toxic to the cancer cells, but has a marginal impact on normal breast cells”.

7. Enriches the human body:

The great news is that Wormwood essential oil acts as a tonic to the entire system by stimulating the digestive system, improving the functioning of the circulatory system, strengthening the immune system, acting as a cardiac tonic, fortifying the nervous system and supporting the working of the excretory system, enabling the body to expel the unwanted toxic substances and stay vigilant at all times.

The natural and strong aroma of Wormwood essential oil makes it an important component of certain deodorants. This oil can also be used as a powerful insect repellant with its poisonous effects. Adding few drops of Wormwood oil to your vaporizers, sprays and fumigants can help you keep the harmful insects at bay.

Disclaimer:

Wormwood essential oil is a neurotoxin and has narcotic effects so never ingest this essential oil as it may harm the system. Essential oils are highly concentrated and do not apply this oil directly to your skin and always remember to blend it with carrier oils. Consult your medical practitioner before using the right essential oil for your health and your constitution.

Wormwood Essential Oil – Possible Skin Issues:

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

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Wormwood oil is considered as a narcotic oil when used in higher doses. The adverse effects of Wormwood oil is attributed to the presence of chemical constituent thujone, which contributes to about 50 percent of the oil. Thujone containing oils are restricted prevalently, mainly due to the concern of its psychotropic, nephrotoxic and neurotoxic effects. It may cause skin irritation, redness, eruptions in sensitive skin and dermatitis.

Studies witness the excitation of the autonomic nervous system due to convulsions and binding of the GABA receptors caused due to α and β-thujone. It is also a known fact that high amount of thujone and its metabolites can induce convulsions, unconsciousness, seizures, gastrointestinal cramps, insomnia, tremors, dizziness, hallucinations, vomiting, headaches, retention of urine, renal lesions, congestive heart failure and rhabdomyolysis (collapse of muscular fibers).

Wormwood should never be used internally as there are numerous studies witnessing the severe toxic effects of ingesting this oil and few cases include absinthism and the acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis in a person who drank about 10 ml of Wormwood oil; In an another case, the intake of 60 ml of Wormwood oil ended up in seizure, altered mental faculty, attention disability, rhabdomyolysis and hyperthermia.

Blend Wormwood oil in mild carrier oils like Coconut oil or Avocado oil before topical use as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated substances and can harm the skin surface if used in a concentrated form. The safe level of dermal use for this oil is 0.4% by IFRA (International Fragrance Association).

Dr. William Smith in a Medico-Chirurgical transaction study talks about the case of poisoning by Wormwood oil. It is stated that this oil has narcotic influence that may have negative impact on the nervous system, causing headache, convulsions, giddiness, vomiting, tremors and paralysis.

The PanAfrican Medical Journal study talks about the burning effects of Wormwood herb, where a 50 year old woman reported a severe pain in the facial skin with a dry and delicate erythema in the cheeks and forehead classified as an initial degree burn.

It was concluded that the presence of toxic agents, like thujone and malic acid were responsible for the adverse effects like redness, skin sensitivity and chemical burns. It was termed as a phytodermatose, which are lesions on the skin due to the frequent contact with certain herbs. Research reports also state that thujone is porphyrogenic in nature and can be hazardous for patients with defective hepatic heme synthesis.

With thujone being the toxic component, using Wormwood oil can act as a threat to pregnancy as it may affect the health of the uterus with its emmenagogue and abortifacient effects and is good to continue avoiding this oil during lactation as well.

It is advisable to restrict the use of this oil on children as they have a sensitive skin. Wormwood oil can also cause allergic reactions on the skin for those who are susceptible to plants of the Compositae/Asteraceae family like the Marigold, Ragweed, Chrysanthemum etc.,

Reference Links Substantiating the Possible Skin Issues of Wormwood Oil:

  1. Artemisia absinthium: burning plant! By Najia Ilham El Makrini, Badredine Hassam, Department of Dermatology, Ibn Sina Hospital, Rabat, Morocco published in the PanAfrican Medical Journal
  2. Case of Poisoning by Oil of Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) by Dr. William Smith, Surgeon Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Hospital, published in Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, Royal Society of Medicine
  3. Wormwood by Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals By Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young
  4. Wormwood Toxicology by Leung’s Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics by Ikhlas A. Khan and Ehab A. Abourashed
  5. Adverse events and side effects of Artemisia absinthium by American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition by Zoe Gardner, Michael McGuffin
  6. Toxicology and adverse reactions of Wormwood by Drugs.com
  7. Side effects of Wormwood by University of Michigan Health System

Thought for the day:

Life is not living, but living in health. 

– Martial, Roman poet

Suggested Reading:

  1. Artemisia (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Industrial Profiles) by Colin W. Wright
  2. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook: Essential Oils for Radiant Health by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi
  3. Aromatherapy for the Soul: Healing the Spirit with Fragrance and Essential Oils by Valerie Ann Worwood

Reference Links:

  1. Wormwood by Ingrid Naiman
  2. Health Benefits of Wormwood Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  3. Wormwood by Cancer.Org
  4. Wormwood Ancient Chinese Folk Remedy May Hold Key to Non-Toxic Cancer Treatment by Dr. Clark Information Center