Archive for ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential Oil of Lemongrass is extracted with the help of steam distillation of dried Lemongrass. The Lemongrass is known by scientific names Cymbopogon Citratus or Andropogon Citratus. Main constituents of its essential oil are Myrcene, Citronellal, Geranyl Acetate, Nerol, Geraniol, Neral, Limonene and Citral. Justifying its name, the Lemongrass smells just like Lemon, but it is more mild and sweet. It is not sour to taste. This grass is used in countless beverages (including tea), desserts and other forms of culinary as a flavoring agent, where freshlemon is not available or is not to be used. It is very much in use in Chinese and Thai recipes. It grows and spreads very fast like any other grass and fetches a good price in the market. Thus there is a lot of business involved in this.
What’s more, it comes with many medicinal properties too. Let us see what these properties are.
- Analgesic: Analgesic is a property that reduces pain and inflammation. Lemongrass Essential Oil helps relieve pain in muscles, joints, toothache and headache etc. resulting from viral infections like cough & cold, influenza, fever, pox etc. It also helps cure body pain resulting from sudden exercises, sports etc.
- Anti Depressant: Lemongrass Oil boosts self esteem, confidence, hope and mental strength, uplifts spirit and fights depression. This can be very helpful to drive away depression for those who are suffering from depression
- due to failure in career or love, insecurity, loneliness, stagnation, someone’s death or any other reason. This also relieves anxiety. Being an anti depressant, it can be systematically administered to patients of acute depression who are undergoing rehabilitation after some shock. Just take it with tea and relax.
- Anti Microbial and Anti Bacterial: This has anti microbial properties which makes it inhibit microbial and bacterial growth in the body, internally or externally. It is seen to be effective in inhibiting bacterial infections in colon, stomach, urinary tracts, wounds, respiratory system etc. and helps cure diseases resulting from bacterial or microbial infections such as typhoid, food poisoning, skin diseases, body odor, malaria (caused due to protozoon) etc.
- Anti Pyretic: An anti pyretic is an agent that brings down very high fever. This is quite similar to febrifuge but is effective on very high fever too. This oil can bring down the fever when it tends to reach the danger mark. This property of Lemongrass, which comes from its essential oils, is extensively used. It is often given with tea for this purpose.
- Anti Septic: The anti septic properties of Lemongrass Oil makes it a good application for external and internal wounds as well as an ingredient of the anti septic lotions and creams. The anti septic properties of this oil do not let the external and internal cuts and wounds go septic.
In the Medieval times, lavender was used in homes to deodorize and disinfect. It was believed that lavender warded against illness, so it was grown in many gardens. When the Great Plague of London hit, lavender was being used everywhere as a means of fighting off the disease. People carried satchels, gloves makes used lavender oil to scent their leathers, and looters who ransacked the homes of victims of the Plague washed in a concoction containing lavender oil to cleanse away any remnants of the Plague they might have caught.
The Quakers used lavender as well, and this is who the use of lavender and lavender oil was introduced to the United States and Canada. They produced their own herbs, crafted medicines, and sold them to the neighbors outside of their sect. As the Quakers were a celibate sect, they more than likely never looked into the romantic and sensual effects of lavender oil. However, it is rumored that Cleopatra used lavender oil to beguile her men, such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Production of Lavender Essential Oil
There are three different ways that lavender oil, and any other essential oil, is produced. The oldest is by using steam distillation. The plants are put into a steam chamber, the heat breaks down the plant, and it is taken away to another chamber to cool. Here, the oil and water portions are separated, and the oil is extracted.
A somewhat newer way being used to produce lavender oil is by carbon dioxide extraction. The equipment used in this process is quite expensive, and therefore not being used everywhere, however there are benefits to producing the lavender oil this way. A high amount of lavender oil can be extracted, carbon dioxide extraction is cool than the steam method, and therefore is more gentle to the plants, and the aromas produces are extraordinary.
The last method of producing lavender oil is by absolutes. An absolute is an oil that is used as a solvent, and is used to extract oil from particularly delicate things, such as the petals of roses and jasmine. This method is mainly used for perfumes, not for therapeutic oil.
What is Tea Tree Oil For?
Tea tree has a long history of traditional use. Australian aboriginals used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area.
Tea tree oil contains consituents called terpenoids, which have been found to have antiseptic and antifungal activity. The compound terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant and is thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil’s antimicrobial activity.
People use tea tree oil for the following conditions:
- Athlete’s foot