Black Pepper

Black pepper essential oil (Piper nigrum) is steam-distilled from the berries (peppercorn) of the Piperceae. Although black pepper itself is frequently used, the oil is not so widely known. However, it’s an oil high in monoterpenes, a chemical constituent known to have a powerful impact on the body in many ways. The aroma of black pepper is spicy, musky, warm, and peppery.

Find it in Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays, Warming Pain Relief & Arthritis Relief Oils.

The warm, mild aroma of Black Pepper will remind you of freshly ground peppercorns combined with a soft floral scent. While you may not desire to diffuse it by itself, it can spice up your favorite diffuser blend. Black Pepper is an excellent choice to help in reducing occasional discomfort after exercise or easing achy joints that are associated with normal aging or wear and tear.

Therapeutically, black pepper oil is mostly used as a supplement for digestive and nervous system support and wellness. For this reason many people will use the oil as a flavoring in their cooking, just as you might with crushed black pepper. However, the ratios will be MUCH different. You wouldn’t use a full teaspoon of black pepper oil (yikes!!), but rather start off with a drop, to find the right amounts for your recipes.

Plant Description

Native to India, the black pepper plant is a climbing vine that can grow up to 10 meters high. The stem of the black pepper plant grows into a plentiful green column as the many shoots that grow from the stem begin to produce green, almond-shaped leaves. Growing next to these luscious leaves are clustered flowers and the fruit of the plant—the peppers. The peppers, or fruits, are round and can grow to be approximately 6 mm in diameter. These fruits turn from green to red and are picked at various times of their ripening stages to produce varying types of peppers. In order to produce black pepper, these tiny and rotund fruits are typically picked when they are fully grown, shiny, and green.

Chemistry of Black Pepper Essential Oil

Main Chemical Components: Caryophyllene, limonene, carene, sabinene

Black Pepper essential oil contains a high amount of natural chemicals that can support and protect the human body. Some of the most prominent chemicals are monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, which are known for their antioxidant activity when ingested. These chemicals also help support the immune system.

Oils that Blend Well with Black Pepper Essential Oil

Black Pepper essential oil blends well with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Clove, Juniper Berry, Sandalwood, and Cedarwood essential oils for diffusion.

Primary Benefits

  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Supports healthy circulation
  • Aids digestion
  • Enhances food flavor
  • Soothes anxious feelings

Emotional Benefits

Aromatically, black pepper essential oil helps people to examine things with clarity and honesty. It allows a person to take off their own facade or mask, share their true thoughts and emotions, and unblock the flow of growth in this way. It might help a person who is dealing with repressed memories or emotions, allowing them to dig deep into their past or their present experiences. It can help you uncover hidden truths or face patterns or habits with courage.

Other Benefits

Black pepper oil is rich in certain useful minerals and vitamins too. For example, there is vitamin-A (Beta Carotene), which is very beneficial for ocular health as well as for antioxidant activity. It has vitamin-K, which is essential for maintaining proper circulatory and metabolic functions, muscles, and bones. Furthermore, it has calcium, potassium and selenium. While calcium is good for bones and potassium for regulating blood pressure, selenium is essentially required for the proper formation of bones, nails, hair follicles and teeth, as well as for proper functioning of the brain.

In Other Words It’s Really Good For:

  1. Cognitive support and brain health. [Dorene Petersen, Presentation: Clinical Use of Aromatherapy for Brain Health: 7 Essential Oils. August 9, 2017, New Brunswick, NJ. Alliance of International Aromatherapists 2017 Conference. AIA 2017 Conference Proceedings page 221-222.]
  2. Aching muscles, arthritis, chilblains, constipation, muscle cramps, poor circulation, sluggish digestion. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-64.]

Black Pepper Essential Oil Uses

  1. Ability to provide warm sensations when applied topically. This factor makes it a perfect oil to use in a relaxing massage blend. Create your own warming and soothing massage blend by combining one to two drops of Black Pepper essential oil with a carrier oil. Using Black Pepper essential oil in a massage blend not only provides warm sensations during a massage, its aromatic components also help enhance your relaxing experience.
  2. Improves Circulation. When black pepper essential oil is taken internally, it promotes healthy circulation and stimulates mucus and bile flow. It has warming properties when taken internally and applied topically. Mix black pepper oil with cinnamon or turmeric essential oil to enhance these circulatory activities.
  3. Helps the body kill cancer cells. According to a 2010 study conducted at Michigan State University, black pepper oil and its constituents exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities. All compounds derived from black pepper suppressed human cancer cell proliferation, with peperine being the most effective compound.
  4. Need a good way to calm unwanted anxiety? Black Pepper essential oil is a great way to relieve anxious feelings. When used aromatically, Black Pepper essential oil can help soothe tightened emotions. To relieve yourself of anxious feelings, place a few drops of Black Pepper essential oil into a diffuser or inhale it directly to receive its aromatic benefits. Dilute 1 drop and rub over the heart center as desired for emotional support.
  5. Black Pepper is a powerful essential oil with amazing uses and benefits. With the right combination of essential oils, its effects can be amplified. When you combine Black Pepper essential oil with Juniper Berry oil and/or Cedarwood oil, it can help produce a calming and grounding effect on your senses and emotions, and can help you de-stress and relax.
  6. Contains many natural chemicals that are important in supporting natural functions of the body. Some of these chemicals include monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, which are known for their antioxidant activity when ingested. To provide your body with greater antioxidant support, put one or two drops of Black Pepper essential oil into a Veggie Capsule and take internally.
  7. Enjoy your favorite seasons with good health by using Black Pepper essential oil. Because Black Pepper has certain natural chemicals such as monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, it can support the immune system when needed most. To better protect your health, take one to two drops of Black Pepper essential oil in a Veggie Capsule when seasonal threats are high. Research published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology found that black pepper extract contains anti-virulence properties, meaning it targets bacterial virulence without affecting cell viability, which may be less prone to the development of drug resistance. The study showed that after screening 83 essential oils: black pepper, cananga and myrrh oil inhibited staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and almost abolished the hemolytic (destruction of red blood cells) activity of S. aureus.
  8. To soothe muscles and joints or to warm the skin during cold weather. Because of its warming, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, black pepper oil works to reduce muscle injuries, tendinitis, and symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine assessed the efficacy of aromatic essential oils on neck pain. When patients applied a cream composed of black pepper, marjoram, lavender and peppermint essential oils to the neck daily for a four-week period, the group reported improved pain tolerance and significant improvement of neck pain.
  9. Use to quit smoking. Black pepper oil may help reduce cravings for cigarettes and symptoms of anxiety in smokers deprived from smoking. A 1994 study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that black pepper oil can suppress certain smoking withdrawal symptoms, including cravings for cigarettes. Forty-eight cigarette smokers participated in a three-hour session conducted after overnight deprivation from smoking. The participants were divided into three groups: One group of smokers puffed on a device that delivered a vapor from black pepper essential oil, a second group puffed on a device with a mint/menthol cartridge and a third group used a device containing an empty cartridge. After puffing and inhaling from the devices throughout the session, reported cravings for cigarettes were significantly reduced in the black pepper group relative to each of the two control groups.  In addition, negative effects and symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the black pepper, and participants reported that the intensity of sensations in the chest was significantly higher with the black pepper cartilage. This study suggests that respiratory tract sensations are important in alleviating smoking withdrawal symptoms and cigarette substitutes delivering black pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment. Black pepper oil is also among the best essential oils for anxiety and nervous conditions.
  10. Improves digestion. Black pepper oil may help ease the discomfort of constipation, diarrhea and gas. A range of studies has shown that it exhibits antidiarrheal, gastro-protective, antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities. Black pepper does this by stimulating the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, which is necessary for proper digestion. Black pepper has been used to effectively treat IBS symptoms as well as bladder dysfunctions.
  11. Lowers Cholesterol. A 2002 study on the hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) effect of black pepper in rats fed a high-fat diet showed a decrease in the levels of cholesterol, free fatty acids, phospholipids and triglycerides. Researchers found that supplementation with black pepper elevated the concentration of HDL cholesterol and reduced the concentration of LDL cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol in the plasma of rats fed high-fat foods. Use black pepper essential oil internally to reduce high triglycerides and improve your total cholesterol levels.
  12. Stimulates appetite. Research shows that olfactory stimulation using black pepper essential oil, which is a strong appetite stimulant, can facilitate swallowing in people with neurological disorders. Inhalation and ingestion of black pepper oil activates the insular or orbitofrontal cortex, resulting in improvement of the reflexive swallowing movement. In 2008, the effects of olfactory stimulation with black pepper oil were investigated in pediatric patients receiving long-term enteral nutrition (feeding with liquid supplements or tube feeding) due to neurological disorders. In eight out of 10 patients, black pepper oil intervention was continued for three months, and five patients showed increases in the amount of oral intake — plus black pepper treatment helped facilitate swallowing movement.
  13. Helps the body detoxify.  Black pepper oil creates a warming sensation when applied topically, so it increases sweating. It also serves as a diuretic and increases urination, helping remove bodily toxins and excess water from the body. This reduces swelling and inflammation; plus it can help lower blood pressure naturally. A 2013 study published in Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics found that piperine supplementation helped normalize blood pressure, improve glucose tolerance (giving you normal blood sugar levels), reduce inflammation and improve liver function in rats fed a high-fat diet. These changes clearly suggest that peperine reduces symptoms of human metabolic syndrome by helping the body to remove toxins and reduce inflammation.
  14. Diaphoretic & Diuretic. Black pepper oil, when ingested, increases sweating and urination. Both of these properties play an important role in the removal of toxins from the body, clearing of the pores on the skin, and disinfecting the body. Sweating and urinating help eliminate extra water and fat from the body, thereby reducing weight, lowering blood pressure and making the body very relaxed. These properties are also helpful for reducing inflammation.
  15. Stimulates energy production. Black Pepper Oil is stimulating and is a good choice for inclusion in blends intended to help enhance alertness and stamina. Black Pepper should be avoided before bedtime. Consider massaging 1-2 drops into the soles of the feet daily, or diffusing as needed for increased energy.

Inspiration for Using Black Pepper Essential Oil

For a muscle rub: In a 5 ml roller bottle; add 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Clove, 5 drops Wintergreen and 3 drops Black Pepper essential oils. Top with FCO.

To summon inner strength, diffuse; 2 drops Basil, 2 drops Bergamot, 1 drop Cinnamon, 1 drop Lemon and 1 drop Black Pepper.

Blend into coconut oil or basic salve recipe to warm and promote circulation.

Cautions

If taken in large quantities, it may cause uneasiness, unrest, vomiting, loose motions, irritation and inflammation of the intestines, sleeplessness, overheating, and smelling strongly of pepper. However, there is nothing serious about these symptoms. Keep pepper away from the eyes and nose, as it may cause irritation, sneezing, and burning. Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

References:

  1. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/black-pepper-essential-oil.html
  2. https://www.planttherapy.com/black-pepper-essential-oil?v=1406
  3. https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-black-pepper-oil
  4. https://draxe.com/black-pepper-essential-oil/
  5. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-black-pepper-essential-oil.html
  6. https://healthytraditions.com/healthytraditions/essential-oils/
  7. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/black-pepper-oil.asp
  8. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0443062412/aromaweb
  9. https://www.aromaweb.com/books/worwood.asp
  10. https://www.aromaweb.com/books/complete-aromatherapy-essential-oils-handbook-purchon-cantele.asp
  11. https://www.aromaweb.com/books/heart-of-aromatherapy-andrea-butje.asp
  12. https://www.aromaweb.com/books/lawless.asp
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23768180
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26396402
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18441508
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038304
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23625885
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8033760
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20839630
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083808/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25027570
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083808/#R48
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1576058/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20828313
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17987447

Bergamot

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Other Names: Aceite de Bergamota, Bergamot, Bergamot Orange, Bergamota, Bergamotier, Bergamoto, Bergamotte, Bergamotto Bigarade Orange, Citrus Bergamia, Citrus aurantium var. bergamia, Huile de Bergamote, Oleum Bergamotte.

HERBAL MISCELLANY: Despite the fact that the bergamot fruit is inedible, the oil has many culinary and house hold uses. It is the characteristic flavor of Earl Grey tea, and is used as a fragrance for pipe tobaccos.

Bergamot Essential Oil –

Common Method of Extraction: Cold Pressed or Steam Distilled (less frequently)

Plant Part Typically Used: Citrus Rind (Peel)

Oil Color: Green/Golden

Aromatic Description: Fresh, orange/lemon/citrusy, slightly floral.

Bergamot Oil Uses: Acne, abscesses, anxiety, boils, cold sores, cystitis, depression, halitosis, itching, loss of appetite, oily skin, psoriasis, stress.

Major Constituents: (+)-Limonene, Linalyl acetate, Linalool, Sabinene, Gamma-Terpinene, Bergapten

BLENDS WELL WITH: Chamomile, citrus oils, coriander, cypress, geranium, helichrysum, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon balm, neroli, nutmeg, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, violet, ylang ylang

Bergamot is a plant that produces a type of citrus fruit. Oil taken from the peel of the fruit is used to make medicine. Some people treat a skin condition called psoriasis by applying bergamot oil directly to the skin and then shining long-wave ultraviolet (UV) light on the affected area. Bergamot oil is also applied to the skin (used topically) for a tumor caused by a fungal infection (mycosis fungoides) and for pigment loss (vitiligo). It is also used as an insecticide to protect the body against lice and other parasites. Bergamot oil is sometimes inhaled (used as aromatherapy) to reduce anxiety during radiation treatment. In foods, bergamot oil is widely used as a citrus flavoring agent, especially in gelatins and puddings. In manufacturing, bergamot oil is used in perfumes, creams, lotions, soaps, and suntan oils.

Healing with Bergamot

  • releases emotional pain
  • works as a powerful antidepressant
  • relieves joint and muscle pain
  • aids digestive system
  • soothes skin irritations
  • works as a sedative
  • cleanses oily skin
  • kills germs and bacteria
  • relieves stress
  • reduces cough

Analgesic: Bergamot essential oil reduces the feeling of pain in the body. Actually, it stimulates secretion of certain hormones which lessen the sensitivity of nerves to pain. Therefore, it is very helpful in case of headaches, sprains, muscle aches or any other symptoms or ailments which require a heavy dosage of analgesic pills. This means that you can avoid the dangerous side effects of many over the counter pain medicines, which often have adverse side effects and can damage your liver and kidneys, as well as cause blood thinning and insomnia.

Antispasmodic: It relaxes nerves and muscles, thereby giving quick relief for cramps, convulsions, and painful muscle contractions. This can also be important for people with chronic coughing or respiratory conditions, as well as asthma, which is similar to a spasmodic reaction.

Antiseptic & Vulnerary: The same disinfectant and antibiotic properties of bergamot oil make it a good antiseptic agent. It not only promotes fast healing of wounds, cracks on the skin and heels, ulcers, eczema, and itching but also protects wounds from becoming septic and developing deadly tetanus. It not only treats and heals the effects of other infections but inhibits the formation of new ones.

Cicatrisant: This property of bergamot oil is the reason behind its extensive use in cosmetics and skin care products such as beauty soaps, creams, and lotions. Cicatrisant means a property or an agent which helps scars and other marks on the skin to disappear. It also makes the distribution of pigments and melanin uniform, resulting in the fading away of marks and an even, attractive skin tone. This essential oil is commonly used to eliminate the unsightly effects of acne, which can leave noticeable scars and marks on the affected areas for many years.

Digestive: As discussed above, bergamot essential oil activates and increases secretions of the digestive acids, enzymes, and bile and facilitates digestion. It also synchronizes and regulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and in this way, it quickens the digestive process and reduces strain to the intestinal tract. In this way, bergamot essential oil can reduce constipation, make bowel movements regular, and prevent gastrointestinal complications like colorectal cancer and other uncomfortable or dangerous conditions.

Deodorant: This property of bergamot oil is popular among the younger generation who is always trying new deodorants, searching for something refreshing and natural. Bergamot essential oil is an excellent deodorant. Its refreshing aroma and disinfectant properties, which inhibit the growth of germs causing body-odor, make it an effective and attractive delivery system as a deodorant. Citrus smells are very powerful and can overcome or eliminate many other odors, which is why Bergamot oil is also used in room fresheners and sprays.

Febrifuge: A febrifuge is a substance or an agent that reduces fever and lowers body temperature. Bergamot is a good febrifuge for a number of reasons. First of all, as an antibiotic, it fights infections that arise from viruses, bacteria, and protozoa that cause fever, including influenza (virus), malaria (protozoa) and typhoid (typhus bacteria). Secondly, it stimulates the metabolic system and gland secretions, thereby providing a feeling of warmth and resulting in additional secretion (perspiration or sweat) from the Eccrine glands (sweat glands) and sebaceous (sebum) glands, thus reducing body temperature. This can also reduce the toxicity of the body through perspiration, and clean out the glands and pores of any foreign toxins that can result in a variety of skin conditions.

Relaxant & Sedative: The flavonoids present in Bergamot oil are very good relaxants as well. They soothe nerves and reduce nervous tension, anxiety, and stress, all of which can help cure or treat ailments associated with stress such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression. They can also stimulate the activity of certain hormones in the body, which induce feelings of relaxation and sedation, like dopamine and serotonin.

Vermifuge: It kills worms, and it is a subtle and fragrant choice for children who have contracted worms. It can also be applied on unhealthy, infected teeth or used as a mouthwash to kill oral germs and protect teeth from the development of cavities. Intestinal worms can result in malnourishment and other serious deficiencies including various forms of anemia, so eliminating these worms, particularly in growing children, is a very important application of bergamot essential oil.

Other Benefits: Bergamot essential oil is also a tonic, which means that it tones up the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, and nervous system, as well as skin and muscles. It is also anti-congestive and is used in vaporizers to relieve congestion and respiratory problems, particularly during coughs and colds. It works as an expectorant to loosen up phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts and helps the body to eliminate through natural avenues like sneezing and coughs, thereby reducing the total amount of material and eliminating some of the germs and toxins that caused the condition in the first place.

Medical Uses for Bergamot

  • Anxiety during radiation treatment. Developing evidence suggests that inhaling bergamot oil as aromatherapy does help reduce anxiety in people receiving radiation treatment.
  • Assists in alleviating symptoms and complications of bacterial infections – According to a study published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Applied Microbiology, bergamot oil can produce positive results against Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis bacteria that are resistant to the potent antibiotic vancomycin. These enterococcal species are a common source of a variety of infections, including urinary tract infections (UTI), bacteremia, endocarditis, and meningitis. Just add bergamot oil to your sitz bath or hip bath to help prevent the spread of bacterial infections from the urethra into the bladder.
  • Acts as a substitute for statins – A newly published research in the Journal of Natural Products revealed that citrus bergamot has statin-like principles and carries the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaric acid (HMG) moiety. Today, 1 in 4 Americans over age 45 now takes cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, typically for the primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes. If you’ll ask me, not only is their benefit highly limited to those with a genetic condition, but these drugs come with an avalanche of potential side effects, too. Keep in mind: there are far better ways to prevent heart disease than taking statins or unnecessarily lowering your cholesterol, including eating right, exercising, and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
  • Psoriasis, when used along with UV light. Early research suggests that applying bergamot oil to the skin along with UV light is not more effective than UV light alone for reducing plaque psoriasis.
  • Treating a tumor under the skin due to a fungal infection (mycosis fungoides), when used along with ultra-violet (UV) light.
  • Speeds up the healing process for cold sores, mouth ulcers, and herpes – Bergamot oil has a similar antibacterial effect on shingles and chickenpox, which are also caused by the varicella zoster virus from herpes. Apply bergamot essential oil topically on affected area until condition improves.
  • Helps prevent and improve skin conditions from fungal infections – In a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Italian researchers have proven bergamot essential oil’s amazing antifungal properties when used as a topical remedy for infections brought by candida fungus strains.
  • Helps reduce anxiety and stress – Experts say that when used in aromatherapy preparations, bergamot oil can help lessen stress and anxiety levels of patients prior to surgery. It also helps relieve depression. Learn how aromatherapy can resolve your anxiety issues.
  • Protecting the body against lice and other worms or parasites.
  • Loss of the color pigment on the skin (vitiligo).

POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used on the skin (topically), because it can make the skin sensitive to the sun and more vulnerable to skin cancer. People who work with bergamot can develop skin problems including blisters, scabs, pigment spots, rashes, sensitivity to the sun, and cancerous changes.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

  • Children: Bergamot oil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in children when taken by mouth in large amounts. There have been serious side effects, including convulsion and death, in children who have taken large amounts of bergamot oil.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Do not use bergamot oil on your skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE.
  • Diabetes: Bergamot might lower blood sugar levels. This could affect blood sugar control in people with diabetes and cause blood sugar levels to go to low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
  • Surgery: Bergamot might lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop using bergamot at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with BERGAMOT. Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Topical use of bergamot oil might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Using bergamot oil topically along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun. Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).

References:

  1. Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.
  2. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 39-40.
  3. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1988-1991 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1993), 7, 175.
  4. Verzera, A. Trozzi, I. Stagno D’Alcontres, et al., The Composition of the Volatile Fraction of Calabrian Bergamot Essential Oil. (Riv. Ital. EEPOS 25, 1998), 17-38.
  5. P. Dugo, L. Mondello, A.R. Proteggente, et al., Oxygen Heterocyclic Compounds of Bergamot Essential Oils. (Rivista Italiana EPPOS 27, 1999), 31-41.
  6. SCCP, Opinion on Furocoumarins in Cosmetic Products. (Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, 13-Dec.-2005), SCCP/0942/05.
  7. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 211.
  8. Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty, 2002
  9. Encyclopedia of Life
  10. Finding Infinity: An Easy Aromatherapy Guide to Blending Essential Oils, Volume 1, 2010
  11. The Citrus Notes of Fragrance, 2012
  12. Natural Products July 2009, 72(7):1352–1354
  13. The Indigenous Healing Tradition in Calabria, 2004
  14. Applied Microbiology April 2009, 106(4):1343-9
  15. Antimicrobial Chemotherapy June 2008, 61(6):1312-4
  16. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine December 2013, 2013:927419
  17. National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy
  18. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering April 2010, 4(4):60-62
  19. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-142-BERGAMOT.aspx?
  20. https://suzannerbanks.blog/2014/02/19/10-recipes-with-bergamot-citrus-bergamia/
  21. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/bergamot-essential-oil/profile
  22. http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/bergamot-oil.aspx
  23. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/bergamot-oil.asp
  24. https://draxe.com/bergamot-oil/
  25. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-bergamot-essential-oil.html

Beeswax

Beeswax (Cera alba)

You will find Raw & Unfiltered Colorado Beeswax in Mother Jai’s Lip Balm.

Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honeybees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.

Bees consume about eight times as much honey and fly 150,000 miles to create one pound of beeswax. The mixing of pollen oils into honeycomb wax turns the white wax into a yellow or brown color.

Beeswax is the only naturally occurring wax.  Vegetable waxes must be rendered from fruit or leaves like bayberries or candelilla leaves.  Other waxes like soy wax or paraffin are produced by a toxic chemical process.

Beeswax has been used since prehistory as the first plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in lost wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather, for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting. Beeswax is edible, having similar negligible toxicity to plant waxes, and is approved for food use in most countries and in the European Union under the E number E901.

Evidence has been found of prehistoric dentistry dating back to the Neolithic times reporting a 6,500-year-old human mandible from Slovenia whose left canine crown shows the traces of a filling with beeswax. While we don’t know all the facts, it’s thought that if the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth.

Purified and bleached beeswax is used in the production of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The three main types of beeswax products are yellow, white, and beeswax absolute. Yellow beeswax is the crude product obtained from the honeycomb, white beeswax is bleached or filtered yellow beeswax, and beeswax absolute is yellow beeswax treated with alcohol. In food preparation, it is used as a coating for cheese; by sealing out the air, protection is given against spoilage (mold growth).

Beeswax may also be used as a food additive E901, in small quantities acting as a glazing agent, which serves to prevent water loss, or used to provide surface protection for some fruits. Soft gelatin capsules and tablet coatings may also use E901. Beeswax is also a common ingredient of natural chewing gum. The wax monoesters in beeswax are poorly hydrolyzed in the guts of humans and other mammals, so they have insignificant nutritional value. Some birds, such as honeyguides, can digest beeswax. Beeswax is the main diet of wax moth larvae.

Find 42 Ways to Use Beeswax at Home HERE.

Beeswax Benefits & Uses

Clears Acne: Beeswax is one of the most well-known home remedies for acne. It has strong antiseptic, healing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in the treatment of acne, in particular because it contains vitamin A. It’s also an excellent skin softener and emollient that helps maintain a smooth skin texture after acne elimination. The combination of skin care applications, a healthy diet and daily exercise is the best way to control and prevent acne.

Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Eczema: Beeswax is a great choice for many skin conditions. A honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture is useful in the treatment of diaper dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Heals Dry, Cracked Lips: The natural moisturizers in beeswax make it the perfect lip balm. If you suffer from cracked or chapped lips, topical applications of beeswax and a few other ingredients can provide some much-needed relief. It’s easy to make your own lip balm by combining it with coconut oil, honey, vitamin E oil, and your favorite essential oils, such as orange, peppermint, lavender or lemon.

Moisturizes Skin: Beeswax is an amazing way to moisturize the skin and is commonly found in skin care products and cosmetics. It can help protect and repair rough, dry or chapped skin because it has the ability to lock in moisture. This wax has rich vitamin A content and emollient properties, which soften and rehydrate the skin as well as aiding in the healthy development of cellular reconstruction. Another benefit to its use is that because it is noncomedogenic, it won’t clog pores.

Reduces Stretch Marks: collagen is a major extracellular matrix component that’s very important in wound healing. Since beeswax contains vitamin A, which is helpful in collagen production, it can greatly benefit the reduction of stretch marks. By combining beeswax, royal jelly, shea or cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil, you have a natural remedy for preventing and treating stretch marks while helping improve collagen levels simultaneously.

Relieves Pain and Is Anti-Inflammatory: As medicine, beeswax has been studied in the use of relieving pain and inflammation and has mild anti-swelling effects. A 2014 study published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine reports that it was used to helped relieve inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.

According to Research Conducted There is Insufficient Evidence for

Small tears in the anus (anal fissures). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area for 12 hours reduces pain, bleeding, and itching due to anal fissures.

Diaper rash. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area four times daily for 7 days reduces symptoms of diaper rash.

Hemorrhoids. Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area for 12 hours reduces pain, bleeding, and itching due to hemorrhoids.

Ringworm (tinea corporis). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves ringworm.

Jock itch (tinea cruris). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves jock itch.

Fungal skin infection (tinea versicolor). Early research suggests that applying a mixture of beeswax, honey, and olive oil to the affected area three times daily for 4 weeks improves a fungal skin infection called tinea versicolor.

Side Effects & Safety

Beeswax is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as food or as a medicine, or when applied directly to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking beeswax if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeswax
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-305/beeswax
  3. https://joybileefarm.com/things-to-make-with-beeswax/
  4. https://draxe.com/nutrition/article/beeswax/
  5. https://wellnessmama.com/3765/homemade-lotion-recipe/
  6. https://www.beepods.com/10-helpful-uses-beeswax/
  7. https://wellnessmama.com/124235/beeswax-uses/

Basil Leaf

Basil Leaf (Ocimum basilicum)

By Castielli – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7133704

Basil Leaf

Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is most known for its culinary uses. It’s highly nutritious with an abundance of vitamin A (as carotenoids), vitamin K, and vitamin C. It’s also rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. The fragrant herb Basil is best known as one of the most versatile herbs to use in Mediterranean and Eastern cooking.

½ cup of fresh chopped basil (or about eight tablespoons) has roughly:

  • 2 calories
  • 0 fat, protein, sugar or fiber
  • 56 milligrams vitamin A (24 percent)
  • 88 milligrams vitamin K (108 percent)
  • 0.24 milligrams manganese (12 percent)
  • 4 milligrams vitamin C (8 percent)

Health Benefits of Basil Leaf

Adaptogen: helps the body adapt to stress and to normalize the harmful effects of stressors on bodily processes.

Antibacterial: The basil essential oil was active against every strain of E-coli it was tested with. It was also shown to have anti-microbial properties that were found to fight mold, yeast, and bacteria.

Anticancer: Clinical studies published in Nutrition and Cancer also show that basil contains phytochemicals, which can help naturally prevent cancer, including chemical-induced skin, liver, oral and lung cancers. Basil is able to increase antioxidant activity, positively alter gene expressions, induce cancerous-cell apoptosis (death of harmful cells) and stop cancerous tumors from spreading.

Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory: as an antioxidant and help the body get rid of free radicals. Sweet basil is an excellent source of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds and polyphenols. Research published in 2012 showed that these antioxidants make basil a great choice for helping with inflammatory diseases. Because oxidative stress and inflammation are often present with serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, this research is promising for combating the increase in these health problems.

Antimicrobial: against a wide range of bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses. This means you can add protection against the candida virus and various forms of skin irritations to the long list of proven benefits of basil.

Herbal Remedies with Basil

Calming the Stomach: One-half teaspoon of dried or fresh basil leaf in water can often help soothe indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.

Coughing and Colds: chew fresh leaves to calm coughing or make a calming tea of dried basil to help soothe illness.

Facial Steam for Headache: A facial steam with dried basil leaf can help alleviate a headache. Add a tablespoon of dried basil leaf to 2 cups of boiling water in a large pot. Carefully lean over the pot, cover head with a towel and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes until headache starts to subside.

Stings and Bites: If you are working outside and get bitten or stung by an insect and don’t have any plantain growing nearby, chewing up a basil leaf and applying to the bite will help relieve the pain and draw out the venom.

Blood Sugar: There is some evidence that basil can help level out blood sugar if consumed regularly and drank as a juice or tea.

Stress Reduction: One herbalist suggests adding 2 cups of strong basil leaf tea to a warm bath to help reduce stress and facilitate relaxation.

Basil Essential Oil Benefits

Basil Linalool Essential Oil is one of the finest oils available for calming and focusing the mind, and is also useful for easing tension in the head and neck. It is preferred as a mind-clearing oil for spiritual meditation. Due to the high linalool content (which makes this oil very relaxing) you can also use basil to help ease the transition into bedtime. Basil also can help uplift your mood.

Cardiovascular Health: can help the muscles that control blood vessel function to contract and relax, promoting healthy blood pressure. Benefits of basil include the ability to help prevent dangerous platelet aggregation, clumping together of blood platelets that can form a clot within the arteries and cause cardiac arrest.

Cold & Flu: add one to two drops to a steam bath, or make a homemade vapor rub using eucalyptus oil and basil oil that can massaged into the chest to open up your nasal passages.

Detoxification: sickly rats were given basil extract over a period of five days, they experienced significant improvements in producing detoxifying enzymes, higher antioxidant defenses and a reduction of fat buildup in the liver that can cause liver disease.

Fights Depression: Benefits of basil also apply to those with mental disorders or mood-related illnesses, including depression and anxiety. Basil is also considered an antidepressant by some since it can positively impact brain function within the adrenal cortex, helping stimulate neurotransmitters that regulate the hormones responsible for making us happy and energetic.

Insect Repellent: research has shown that the volatile oils found in basil can repel mosquitoes and help to prevent bug bites. To make a homemade bug spray or lotion, dilute several drops of basil essential oils with carrier oil and massage into skin or swollen bites as needed.

Mood Enhancer: Inhaling basil can help restore mental alertness and fight fatigue since it’s naturally a stimulant that works on the nervous system and adrenal cortex. Many people find it beneficial for reducing symptoms like sluggishness, brain fog and poor moods that accompany adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue. Diffuse basil essential oil throughout your home or inhale it directly from the bottle. You can also combine a couple drops of basil oil with a carrier oil like jojoba and put it on your wrists for an instant pick-me-up.

Muscle Relaxant: you can rub a few drops of basil essential oil along with coconut oil into painful, swollen muscles or joints. To further help relax tense areas and feel immediate relief, try soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts and a couple drops of lavender oil and basil oil.

Stress Relief: Basil oil is known to be uplifting and renewing, which makes it useful for lowering symptoms of anxiety, fear or nervousness. Used for aromatherapy for centuries to help people deal with racing thoughts and overwhelming feelings, you can burn basil oil at home to relax and unwind. This can also work quickly for natural headache relief. Massage one or two drops with a carrier oil into your feet or over your adrenals nightly to reduce stress.

Basil Safety & Precautions

While basil is generally considered a safe herb in culinary amounts, medicinal use of basil is considered “possibly unsafe” for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep in mind also that basil essential oil (or any essential oil) is very concentrated and merits special precautions. Because basil could reduce blood pressure, in theory, it could cause low blood pressure. Consult your healthcare professional before taking basil (or any herb) medicinally.

References:

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/5505/basil-leaf/
  2. https://www.planttherapy.com/basil-linalool-essential-oil?v=537
  3. https://draxe.com/nutrition/herbs/benefits-of-basil/
  4. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/basil-oil.asp
  5. https://draxe.com/essential-oils/basil-essential-oil/
  6. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/basil-essential-oil.html

Baking Soda

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)

You can find Baking Soda in Mother Jai’s Toothpowder and Mudd Mask.

The baking soda chemical formula aka the sodium bicarbonate formula is NaHCO3. This baking soda formula represents its composition of of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. It’s a substance known for its alkalizing effects thanks to a baking soda ph of 9.

In its most natural form sodium bicarbonate is also known as nahcolite, a mineral that is found in various locations around the world. It is commercially mined in areas of California, Colorado, Botswana and Kenya. There are also large deposits in Mexico, Uganda, Turkey and Mexico.

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda (or sodium bicarbonate), can do some major things. Its superpowers come from a two-letter term: pH. That stands for “potential (or power) of hydrogen” to make something either an acid or a base (alkaline). Baking soda is an alkaline substance. When it mixes with an acid, it alters the pH level. That’s why it can quickly soothe an upset stomach or cover a bad smell.

Throughout history, it has been used as a rising agent when baking. It’s 100 percent sodium bicarbonate; so, when mixed with acid, it makes bubbles and gives off a carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough to rise. Baking powder and soda are similar yet different since baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate and one or multiple acid salts.

Using Baking Soda

Air Freshening: commercial air fresheners don’t eliminate odors they mask them with chemical compounds that mask or cover up odors. Baking soda is a safe alternative that interacts with odor molecules and breaks them up, neutralizing them. Make your own air freshener – you need: A small jar, 1/3 cup baking soda, 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oils, piece of cloth or paper, string or ribbon. Add the baking soda and essential oils to the jar. Cover it with the cloth or paper, and then secure it in place with the string. When the scent starts to fade, give the jar a shake.

Antifungal & Antibacterial: Baking soda has been shown to kill off bacteria including Streptococcus mutans, which is a type of bacteria associated with tooth decay. It is also effective against various fungal groups including yeasts, dermatophytes and molds that cause skin and nail infections in humans.

Bathroom Cleaner: Baking soda comes in handy because it whitens and disinfects many bathroom surfaces. Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of water. Using a sponge or a cloth, rub the mixture thoroughly onto the surface you want to clean. Wipe down the surface 15–20 minutes later with a damp cloth.

Bug Bites & Stings: it isn’t good for everyday use on your skin, it can soothe the redness, itching, and stinging that are signs of a mild reaction to an insect bite. You can also make your own paste of one-part baking soda to three parts water. This also works for poison ivy and rashes. ½ cup in the bathtub and soak for 20 minutes, rinse off before getting out.

Chemotherapy Support: research does show that it can help some cancer treatments work better. Some chemotherapy drugs need alkaline conditions. Others become more toxic in an acid environment. Mouth and throat changes are common chemo side effects. If this happens to you, rinse your mouth three times daily with a mixture of 1 cup warm water, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, followed by a rinse with plain water.

Deodorizing: When you add baking soda and change the pH balance, the odors in your fridge or your carpet come into a neutral state. Bad smells come from either strong acids (think sour milk) or bases (like spoiled fish). Sprinkle it everywhere to reduce odors. Mix with coconut oil and arrowroot powder for an all-natural deodorant.

Food Cleansing: Many people worry about pesticides on foods. Pesticides are used to prevent crops from damage by insects, germs, rodents and weeds. Interestingly, recent research has found that soaking fruits and veggies in a baking soda wash is the most effective way to remove pesticides without peeling them. One study found that soaking fruit in a solution of baking soda and water for 12–15 minutes removed nearly all of the pesticides.

Heartburn & Indigestion: Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water to zap acid in your stomach. Don’t take baking soda within 2 hours of other medications. When the baking soda lowers stomach acid, it can slow the rate at which your body absorbs some medicines and change the way others work. Don’t give it to a child under 6 unless your pediatrician tells you to.

Inflammation: most inflammation in the body is caused by an acidic environment. Using baking soda can help balance pH of the blood thus reducing the pH of the body, which in turn reduces water retention (edema) related to the body’s response to an acidic environment. The less water retained by the body to protect itself from acids, the less swelling and inflammation and associated pain there is.

Kidney Disease: A daily dose of sodium bicarbonate can help people whose kidneys can no longer remove enough acid from their blood. It helps balance the pH in the blood, reducing the acid content of the body and creating an alkaline environment. Sodium bicarbonate helps in decreasing stone formation and removing of material that causes the kidney stones.

Kitchen Scrub: plain baking soda and essential oils if desired on a cloth or sponge, gently scrubs surfaces without scratching and while disinfecting.

Mouth Care: tooth decay is caused by acid loving bacteria that live and excrete plaque on teeth and gums. The pH balancing effects of baking soda help prevent bacterial growth by reducing the acids in the mouth. All it takes is ½ teaspoon in 8oz water to make a great, breath freshening, mouth rinse.

Silver Polish: Baking soda is a handy alternative to commercial silver polishes. For this you will need: An aluminum baking pan or a baking dish lined with aluminum foil, 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, add the baking soda to the aluminum baking pan and slowly, pour in the vinegar. Next, pour in the boiling water and then place the silver in the baking pan. Almost immediately, the tarnish should begin to disappear, and you can remove most silverware from the pan within thirty seconds. However, heavily tarnished silverware may need to sit in the mixture for up to a minute.

Skin Care: baking soda is a great exfoliator for face, feet and joints; it helps by reducing acids in skin and balancing pH of the surface, and gently removing dead skin that can clog pores and cause wrinkles. Overuse can cause alkalization of the skin. The skin needs to remain slightly acidic to be strong and healthy. Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, toenail fungus, ring worm, body odor and allergic reactions are all caused by bacteria and/or an acidic environment. Both of which are eradicated by using baking soda internally and/or externally.

Cautions

Milk-alkali syndrome: Excess consumption of sodium bicarbonate may cause health ailments such as milk-alkali syndrome. An overdose of baking soda may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness and spasms. Care must be taken while consuming products that contain baking soda. It is advisable to consult your health specialist if you have blood pressure related ailments, kidney disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding as they may have side effects on consumption.

References:

  1. https://draxe.com/nutrition/article/baking-soda-uses/
  2. https://www.organicfacts.net/baking-soda.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/baking-soda-benefits-uses
  4. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/baking-soda-do-dont
  5. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1470/sodium-bicarbonate

Arrowroot

You will find arrowroot powder in Mother Jai’s Toothpowder and Mudd Mask.

Arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, but also Florida arrowroot from Zamia integrifolia, and tapioca from cassava (Manihot esculenta), which is often labelled as arrowroot. Polynesian arrowroot or pia (Tacca leontopetaloides), and Japanese arrowroot (Pueraria lobata), also called kudzu, are used in similar ways.

Arrowroot Health Benefits

  • Arrowroot is used as a nutritional food for infants and for people recovering from illness.
  • It is also used for stomach and intestinal disorders, including diarrhea. Full of undigestible fiber that feeds good bacteria and soothes mucous membranes.
  • Dietary fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol, further promoting cardiovascular health.
  • Some people sooth painful gums and sore mouth by applying arrowroot directly to the affected area.
  • Babies cut teeth on arrowroot cookies. The anti-inflammatory effects sooth irritated gums.
  • Intestinal problem (irritable bowel syndrome, IBS). Early research suggests that taking powdered arrowroot three times per day with meals for one month reduces stomach pain and diarrhea in people with IBS.
  • The significant levels of potassium found in arrowroot mean that it can be a definite line of defense against heart-related issues. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes the tension in the blood vessels and arteries, thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • It fights various foodborne pathogens such as salmonella virus, preparing the body’s defense system against various diseases and disorders. Researchers have demonstrated the antibacterial effect of the use of arrowroot tea extracts on soups.
  • One particular member of the B family of vitamins is folate, and it is found in high levels within arrowroot. Studies have shown that folate is important for expecting mothers, as it can help to prevent neural tube defects in their unborn child. Folate is also an important factor in DNA synthesis and healthy cell division, thereby promoting rapid healing and healthy growth.
  • Arrowroot is extremely low in calories as compared to other starches like yams, potatoes or cassava. For this reason, people trying to remain on a diet can get complex carbohydrates and a wealth of nutrients, as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber, which can eliminate the desire to snack between meals.
  • Athlete’s foot is a common skin infection of the feet caused by fungus. You can use arrowroot powder to treat this infection by applying it to the affected area. The powder has the ability to absorb moisture and sweat, which makes it difficult for the fungus to grow and spread.
  • Arrowroot powder is also used as a dry shampoo by many. Its moisture-absorbing ability is useful in reducing the greasiness in hair.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of arrowroot aids in curing bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Doctors advise its intake to those women who face frequent infections.
  • The essential minerals present in arrowroot are very good for fighting weakness, fatigue, and cognitive disorders. It also encourages oxygenation of your body’s organ systems and extremities, which can boost your energy levels.

Traditional Uses

  • Topical application of arrowroot powder heals wounds from black spider and scorpion bites.
  • The powder was used to treat the injury from poisoned arrows, hence, the name
  • Apply the powder in the affected area to seize gangrene.
  • Directly apply arrowroot powder to the gums or mix it in juice or other beverages and drink it to get relief from mouth and gum pain.

Arrowroot Nutritional Facts

Arrowroot is a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamin B9, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus. It also has trace amounts of zinc and iron, as well as vitamin B1 and B6. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are also found in it in negligible amounts. In addition, it contains fibers and some proteins and lipids too.

Arrowroot in Cooking

  • Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream. It can also be used as a thickener for acidic foods, such as Asian sweet and sour sauce. It is used in cooking to produce a clear, thickened sauce, such as a fruit sauce. It will not make the sauce go cloudy, like cornstarch, flour, or other starchy thickening agents would.
  • The lack of gluten in arrowroot flour makes it useful as a replacement for wheat flour for those with a gluten intolerance. It is, however, relatively high in carbohydrates and low in protein (approximately 7.7%) and does not provide a complete substitute for wheat flour in bread-making.
  • Arrowroot thickens at a lower temperature than flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing. It does not mix well with dairy, forming a slimy mixture.
  • It is recommended that arrowroot be mixed with a cool liquid before adding to a hot fluid. The mixture should be heated only until the mixture thickens and removed immediately to prevent the mixture from thinning. Overheating tends to break down arrowroot’s thickening property.
  • Two teaspoons of arrowroot can be substituted for one tablespoon of cornstarch, or one teaspoon of arrowroot for one tablespoon of wheat flour.
  • Prepare crunchy fries by dipping potatoes in salt pepper and arrowroot powder and then fry them.
  • It can be substituted for eggs as a binder.

Word of Caution: Care should be taken when consuming arrowroot to alleviate diarrhea. Because excess intake or consuming along with other medicines may cause constipation. Other than that, there is no known danger or toxicity to arrowroot.

References:

  1. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/arrowroot.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-283/arrowroot
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrowroot