Myrtle Oil

Myrtus communis (flowers with Puccinia psidii). Location: Maui, Lower Kimo Rd Kula http://www.starrenvironmental.com/

Myrtle leaf oil (Myrtus communis)

Myrtle essential oil comes from the same family as eucalyptus, tea tree, bayberry and English bog myrtle. It is a small tree or large bush with lots of small, tough branches, small shaply pointed leaves and flowers followed by small, black berries. The leaves and flowers have a prominent fragrance.

Myrtle has been used in herbal medicine since ancient Egyptian times, as there are records showing the leaves being steeped in wine to combat fever and infection. The plant was dedicated to Aphrodite in Ancient Greece and Dioscórides prescribed macerated Myrtle wine to patients suffering from lung and bladder infections, as well as for tuberculosis. Dr Delious de Savgnac (1876) recommended Myrtle for the treatment of hemorrhoids, pulmonary infections, genital infections and problems with the bladder and urinary system.

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The therapeutic properties of myrtle essential oil are anticatarrhal, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, expectorant and balsamic. The main chemical components are alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, limonene, cineole, alpha-terpinen-4-ol, myrtenol, geraniol, linalyl acetate, myrtenyl acetate and carvacrol.

Blends well with: atlas, bergamot, benzoin, black pepper, cedarwood, clary sage, clove, coriander, elmi, eucalyptus, frankincense, ginger, hyssop, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, melissa, myrrh, neroli, peppermint, rose, rosemary, rosewood, spearmint, thyme, tea tree and ylang ylang essential oils.

Precautions: It is classed as a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing oil – excessive use of it can lead to headaches and nausea.

Uses for Myrtle oil

Myrtle essential oil is primarily used for chronic pulmonary conditions, to expel phlegm and catarrh from the lungs. It is useful for acne prone skin and also as a sleeping aid, to uplift, refresh and restore. Myrtle oil is said to be of great benefit in helping people to cope with withdrawal from addiction. It has an uplifting effect on the body and mind and is helpful when used in cases of self-destructive behavior – it is said to cleanse the inner being and dissolve disharmony.

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Myrtle, along with willow tree bark, occupies a prominent place in the writings of Hippocrates, Pliny, Dioscorides, Galen, and the Arabian writers. It has been prescribed for fever and pain by ancient physicians since at least 2,500 BC in Sumer. Myrtle’s effects are due to high levels of salicylic acid, a compound related to aspirin and the basis of the modern class of drugs known as NSAIDs.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2256192

Nutritional Value of Myrtle

Myrtle leaves and fruit contains a unique combination of organic compounds and nutrients that make it not only an interesting dietary addition as an herb but also as an invaluable source of essential oil. Myrtle contains various antioxidants and flavonoid compounds, including myricetin, as well as quercetin, catechin, citric and malic acids, linalool, pinene, tannins, and other sugars.

Benefits of Using Myrtle Essential Oil

Aphrodisiac: associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. It works very well to alleviate problems like impotency, frigidity, erectile dysfunctions, and loss of libido.

Anticancer Potential: highly praised for its high levels of antioxidants, including quercetin, tannins, myricetin, and catechin. These antioxidants have been widely studied and have been found to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. According to a research report in Natural Product Communications Journal, myrtle is quite similar in chemical composition to sandalwood, which has been connected to a reduction in prostate and breast cancer.

Astringent Properties: If used in mouthwash, myrtle essential oil makes the gums contract and strengthen their hold on the teeth. If ingested, it also makes the intestinal tracts and muscles contract. Furthermore, it contracts and tightens the skin and helps to diminish wrinkles. It can also help stop hemorrhaging by inducing the blood vessels to contract.

Eases Breathing: counters the accumulation of phlegm and catarrh in the respiratory tracts. This property also curbs the formation of mucus and provides relief from coughs and breathing trouble.

Eliminates Bad Odor: It can be used in incense sticks and burners, fumigants, and vaporizers as room fresheners. It can also be used as a body deodorant or perfume. It has no side effects like itching, irritation or patches on the skin like certain commercial deodorants.

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Expectorant: reduces the presence and further deposition of phlegm. It also clears congestion of the nasal tracts, bronchi, and lungs resulting from colds and provides good relief from coughing.

Fights Infections: inhibits infections since it is a bactericidal, germicidal, fungicidal, and antiviral substance. It also helps to reduce infections in the stomach and intestines, while helping to stop diarrhea.

Hormone Balance: Extensive research has been conducted around the world regarding the effects of myrtle essential oil on the endocrine system, primarily in regulation of the thyroid gland. It has been shown that myrtle essential oil, whether consumed or inhaled, can positively affect the release of hormones, including those related to the ovaries and women’s reproductive health.

Maintains Healthy Nerves: It maintains the stability of the nerves and keeps you from becoming nervous or unnecessarily stressed over small issues. It is a beneficial agent against nervous and neurotic disorders, shaking limbs, fear, vertigo, anxiety, and stress.

Prevents Infections: This property makes myrtle essential oil a suitable substance to apply on wounds. It does not let microbes infect the wounds and thereby protects against sepsis and tetanus, in case of an iron object being the cause of the damage.

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Relaxes the Body: The essential oil of myrtle relaxes and sedates. This property also provides relief from tension, stress, annoyance, anger, distress, and depression, as well as from inflammation, irritation, and various allergies.

Myrtle can be used for skin care and against hemorrhoids, acne, pimples, cystitis, infections in the urinary tract, and chronic problems like leucorrhea. And, it is effective against chest infections in both babies and the elderly.

Words of Caution: There is no inherent risk in using myrtle essential oil, but as always, pay attention to your body’s reaction to any new substance or supplement, and consult a doctor if anything unusual occurs.

References:

https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/myrtle-oil.asp

https://www.rockymountainoils.com/myrtle.html/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24706627

https://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/myrtle.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrtus

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6fcd/0559ad9e36b544d09f503040df4d63e151c5.pdf

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b0db/33d673dd4f71b8075dc1dafd5ca30765c2ec.pdf

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10496475.2011.556986

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944501313001766

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/23/10/2502

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283500310_Identify_the_essential_oils_in_Myrtus_communis_L_leaves

https://www.organicfacts.net/myrtle-essential-oil.html

Licorice Root

By The original uploader was Jeansef at French Wikipedia. – Transferred from fr.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2772919

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Common Names:  licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan cao, gan-zao, Chinese licorice

Latin Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis

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Liquorice (British English) or licorice (American English) is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavor can be extracted. The liquorice plant is an herbaceous perennial legume native to southern Europe and parts of Asia, such as India. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavoring compounds. Liquorice flavors are used as candies or sweeteners, particularly in some European and Middle Eastern countries.

Found in Mother Jai’s Heartburn Relief Tea, order yours below.

History of Licorice

The word “liquorice” is derived (via the Old French licoresse) from the Greek γλυκύρριζα (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet root”, from γλυκύς (glukus), “sweet” and ῥίζα (rhiza), “root”, the name provided by Dioscorides. It is usually spelled “liquorice” in Commonwealth usage, but “licorice” in the United States.

It is one of the most widely used herbs worldwide and is the single most used herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine today. It was used by the Egyptians as a flavoring for a drink called Mai-sus, and large quantities were found in the tomb of King Tut for his trip into the afterlife. Pliny the Elder recommended it to clear the voice and alleviate thirst and hunger.

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Dioscides, when traveling with Alexander the Great, recommended that his troops carry and use it to help with stamina for long marches, as well as for thirst in areas of drought. In the Middle Ages it was taken to alleviate the negative effects of highly spicy or overcooked food.

It was also used for flavoring tobacco, and as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers and beer. In a recent survey of Western medical herbalists, licorice ranked as the 10th most important herb used in clinical practice.

G. glabra from Koehler’s Medicinal-Plants

An astonishing number of Chinese herbal formulas (over 5,000) use it to sweeten teas and to “harmonize” contrasting herbs. Its first documented use dates back to the time of the great Chinese herbal master Zhang Zhong Zhing, about 190 AD, but it was certainly used for many centuries prior to this.

In 1914 the Chicago Licorice Company began to sell Black Vines, the first in a very long line of licorice based modern candies.

Chemical Composition

The scent of this root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longer. The isoflavene glabrene and the isoflavane glabridin, found in the roots of liquorice, are phytoestrogens.

Medicinal Uses of Licorice Root

The chemicals contained in licorice are thought to decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and increase the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers.

It can be taken by mouth for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis).

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Some people take licorice by mouth for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.

Licorice is also taken by mouth for Addison’s disease, a type of diabetes caused by a hormone deficiency (diabetes insipidus), menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), liver disorders, malaria, tuberculosis, high potassium levels in the blood, food poisoning, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition in which there is too much muscle tone (hypertonia), abscesses, recovery after surgery, rash, high cholesterol.

It is recommended to treat respiratory problems. Taking licorice as an oral supplement can help the body produce healthy mucus. Increasing phlegm production may seem counter intuitive to a healthy bronchial system. However, the opposite is true. The production of clean, healthy phlegm keeps the respiratory system functioning without old, sticky mucus clogging it.

Licorice is sometimes taken by mouth along with the herbs Panax ginseng and Bupleurum falcatum to improve the function of the adrenal glands, especially in people who have taken steroid drugs long-term. Steroids tend to suppress the activity of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce important hormones that regulate the body’s response to stress.

Licorice is also taken by mouth in combination with peony to increase fertility in women with a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome, to treat people with abnormal levels of a hormone prolactin, for muscle cramps, and to reduce cancer pain. In combination with other herbs, licorice is also used to treat prostate cancer and the skin disorder known as eczema. Licorice is also taken in combination with andrographis, Siberian ginseng, and schisandra to treat familial Mediterranean fever. This hereditary condition is characterized by recurrent and painful swelling in the chest, stomach, or joints. A formulation containing licorice root along with slippery elm bark, lactulose, and oat bran has been used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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Some people use licorice as a shampoo to reduce oiliness in their hair. It is also applied as a gel for itchy, inflamed skin (eczema), as a solution to stop bleeding, as a patch in the mouth or as a gargle for canker sores, as a cream for psoriasis, weight loss, or a skin condition characterized by brown spots (melisma), as a gargle for recovery after surgery, and as a paste for dental plaque.

Licorice is used intravenously (by IV) to treat hepatitis B and C, as well as mouth sores (lichen planus) in people with hepatitis C.

Recovery after surgery. Research suggests that sucking on a single lozenge containing licorice (Sualin, Hamdard Pharma, India) beginning 30 minutes before having a tube inserted through the mouth into the trachea reduces cough following surgery by about 50%. Also, gargling with a licorice fluid before intubation reduces complications when the breathing tube is removed.

Bleeding. Early research suggests that applying a specific product containing alpinia, licorice, thyme, stinging nettle, and common grape vine (Ankaferd Blood Stopper, Mefar Ilaç Sanayi A.S., Istanbul, Turkey) to the skin reduces bleeding during surgery, but does not reduce time in surgery. Another early study suggests that applying the same product after dental surgery reduces bleeding.

Hepatitis. There is some evidence that certain components in licorice might be effective in treating hepatitis B and hepatitis C when given intravenously (by IV). Early research shows that using a specific IV product (Stronger Neominophagen C, Minophagen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd) seems to reduce death by about 50%. However, the studies involved too few patients to draw firm conclusions.

High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking licorice root extract daily for 1 month reduces total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol.

High potassium levels. Some research suggests that certain components in licorice decrease potassium levels in people with diabetes or kidney problems.

Hot flashes during menopause. Some early research shows that taking licorice root extract can reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women. But other early research shows that taking licorice root extract does not significantly reduce the number or intensity of hot flashes.

Muscle cramps. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing licorice and peony (Shakuyaku-kanzo-to) might reduce muscle cramps in people with liver disease (hepatic cirrhosis) or in people undergoing treatment for kidney failure (hemodialysis).

Liver disease not associated with alcohol use (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). Early research suggests that taking 2 grams of licorice root extract daily for 2 months reduces test markers of liver injury in patients with liver disease not caused by drinking alcohol.

Pain. Early research suggests that taking a combination of licorice root and peony root with Taiwanese tonic vegetable soup containing lily bulb, lotus seed, and jujube fruit reduces pain in cancer patients.

Psoriasis. Early evidence suggests that applying a cream containing licorice and milk to the skin for 4 weeks does not reduce the amount of standard therapy needed, but does seem to improve skin peeling in patients with psoriasis.

Weight loss. There is conflicting information about the use of licorice for weight loss. Licorice seems to reduce body fat. However, it causes water retention that can offset any change in body weight.Other research suggests that taking a specific licorice product (Glavonoid) daily for 8 weeks has no effect on weight or body fat.

Caution Must Be Taken with Licorice Root

Liquorice extracts have been used in herbalism and traditional medicine. Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg/day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, such as hypokalemia, increased blood pressure, and muscle weakness.

The United States Food and Drug Administration believes that foods containing liquorice and its derivatives (including glycyrrhizin) are safe if not consumed excessively. Other jurisdictions have suggested no more than 100 mg to 200 mg of glycyrrhizin per day, the equivalent of about 70 to 150 g (2.5 to 5.3 oz) of liquorice. Liquorice should not be used during pregnancy.

An increase in intake of liquorice can cause many toxic effects. Hyper-mineralocorticosteroid syndrome can occur when the body retains sodium, loses potassium altering biochemical and hormonal activities. Some of these activities include lower aldosterone level, decline of the renin-angiotensin system and increased levels of the atrial natriuretic hormone in order to compensate the variations in homoeostasis.

Some other symptoms of toxicity include electrolyte imbalance, edema, increased blood pressure, weight gain, heart problems, and weakness. Individuals will experience certain symptoms based on the severity of toxicity. Some other complaints include fatigue, shortness of breath, renal failure, and paralysis.

By Pharaoh han – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30860013

Dosage and Forms

Liquid extract: Licorice extract is the most commonly found form of licorice. It’s used as a commercial sweetener in candies and beverages. Licorice extract consumption by an individual should not exceed 30 mg/mL of glycyrrhizic acid. Ingesting more could cause unwanted side effects.

Powder: Health food stores and online specialty retailers sell licorice powder. Combined with a gel base, it can become a topical ointment that clears the skin. In its powder form, licorice is especially helpful in treating eczema and acne. You can also pour the powder into vegetable capsules and ingest them orally. The recommended dosage of licorice root is less than 75 milligrams per day, according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Tea: Licorice plant leaves, dried and crushed into a tea, have become popular. You can purchase these teas at supermarkets and health food stores. Teas are used to promote digestive, respiratory, and adrenal gland health. When you see herbal teas for “bronchial wellness” and “cleanse and detox,” they usually contain forms of licorice. The popular throat remedy known as Throat Coat tea is a combination of marshmallow root, licorice root, and elm bark. It’s not recommended that people ingest more than 8 ounces of licorice tea per day.

DGL: licorice with glycyrrhizin removed, which is a safer form. DGL should contain no more than 2 percent glycyrrhizin. This form is recommended for gastrointestinal symptoms as long-term intake may be needed. DGL is available in chewable tablets, capsules, tea, and powder. Consume no more than 5 grams of DGL per day.

References:

Goat’s Rue

Goat’s Rue root (Galega officinalis)

Galega officinalis, commonly known as galega, goat’s-rue, French lilac, Italian fitch, or professor-weed, is an herbaceous plant in the Faboideae subfamily. It is native to the Middle East but has been naturalized in Europe and western Asia. The plant has been extensively cultivated as a forage crop, an ornamental, a bee plant, and as green manure.

OTHER NAMES: Faux-Indigo, French Honeysuckle, French Lilac, Galega, Galéga, Galéga Officinal, Galega bicolor, Galega officinalis, Galega patula, Galegae Officinalis Herba, Geissrautenkraut, Goat’s Rue Herb, Italian Fitch, Lavanegravese, Lilas d’Espagne, Lilas Français, Rue-de-Chegravevre, Rue des Chegravevres, Sainfoin d’Espagne.

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By Epibase – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5396096

Chemical Composition

Although not thoroughly studied with 21st century methods, G. officinalis has been analyzed for its constituents, which include galegine, hydroxygalegine, several guanidine derivatives, such as 4-hydroxygalegine flavones, flavone glycosides, kaempferol, and quercetin. In addition to its purported effect to lower blood glucose levels and induce diuresis, goat’s rue was used as an herbal tonic in folk medicine practices of medieval Europe to treat bubonic plague, worms, and snake bites.

History

Goat’s rue is originally from the Middle East, but nowadays it grows all over Europe and Asia. This useful and diverse herb has been eagerly spread by humans, who have cultivated it as a fodder, green manure, honey plant, medicinal and ornamental. It was believed to increase the milk yield of domesticated animals, which is the origin of its scientific name: gale, ‘milk’ and ega ‘to bring, cause’ – so it is the milk-bringer. Since the Middle Ages goat’s rue has been used to treat diabetes as the guanidine it contains lowers blood sugar levels. Species have also been used in fishing: crushed stems are simply thrown into the water and the fish rendered unconscious by the poison are collected from the surface. In North America there has been a fear that goat’s rue will cross-breed and become a problematic alien, in much the same way that we in Finland have the same fears about garden lupine (Lupinus polyphyllos). Goat’s rue can mainly be found in Finland as a garden ornamental and only occasionally does it spread to the wild.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64087

Benefits of Galega

Goat’s rue has been employed as a vermifuge, to treat snakebites, and to aid in treating the plague. It was believed to have been used as a diuretic and tonic in typhoid conditions and also as a nervous system stimulant.

Culpepper suggested goat’s rue as a soak for tired feet and for cheese making. Hill’s Universal Herbal (1832) mentions the dried flowers of goat’s rue being added to boiling water as an infusion and then taken to induce sweating and aid in fevers. The plant is widely cultivated as cattle feed.

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Goat’s rue is used along with conventional treatment for diabetes and as a diuretic. In combination with other herbs, it is used to stimulate the adrenal gland and pancreas; to protect the liver; for digestion problems; and to start the flow of breast milk. Some people use herbal combinations that include goat’s rue as a tonic and for “blood purification.”

Galactagogue: increases milk supply in mammals. Developing mammary tissue. Goat’s Rue stimulates the development of mammary tissue. It has even been used to increase breast size in non-lactating woman. It can even induce the growth of breast tissue in women who have had breast surgery, or plan on nursing an adopted child. Promote tissue growth in women whose breasts didn’t increase during pregnancy. Promotes rapid natural breast milk production as Goat’s Rue has galactagogue properties (promote milk flow). Facilitates breast let down, so that your body can release the milk. Helps to maintain breast health during nursing and lactation.

Antidiabetic: Lowers insulin and blood sugar levels, insulin-sensitizing. It has been used in diabetic patients to lower their blood sugar levels since the early 1900’s.

Diuretic: it promotes the production of urine.

Antibacterial: bactericidal properties.

Diaphoretic: inducing perspiration.

Anti-obesity. Protects the liver. Blood purification. Digestive problems.

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Vermifuge: destroy or expel intestinal worms.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of goat’s rue depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goat’s rue. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Goats Rue can be taken in a tablet form or as a tea. It is said that the fresh plant may be toxic, thus use only the dried form of the plant.

Goats Rue Tea. To make Goat’s Rue tea, use 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 1 cup of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Dosage: You can drink one cup of Goat Rue tea up to three times a day. Add other herbs such as alfalfa, fennel or fenugreek to your tea to further support milk production.

Goats Rue Capsules. The normal dose for Goat’s Rue capsules is 1 capsule 3 or 4 times per day. Goats Rue Capsules are available online (Amazon.com). Make sure to purchase your capsules from a trustworthy company. Most capsules come with directions and dosing on them, so follow instructions or consult your healthcare professional in case of doubt. Goats Rue is also found in some readymade teas and capsules made specifically for breastfeeding mothers.

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Goats Rue Tincture. A tincture is a very strong herbal extract. It’s mostly made with alcohol, food grade glycerin, apple cider vinegar or honey. It’s said that making it with alcohol is the best option, as the ethanol in the alcohol helps to release the properties of the herb. Not to worry though, the amount of alcohol you will be getting in is not harmful to you or your baby. Dosage: Take half a teaspoon (20 to 40 drops) of Goat’s Rue tincture 2 to 3 times a day. It can be taken in water, juice or directly under your tongue.

By Buendia22 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72027189

Relation to Metformin

G. officinalis is rich in guanidine, a substance with blood glucose-lowering activity at the foundation for discovering metformin, a treatment for managing symptoms of diabetes mellitus. In ancient herbalism, goat’s-rue was used as a diuretic. It can be poisonous to mammals but is a food for various insects.

Once used in traditional medicine over centuries, G. officinalis is at the foundation of the biguanide class of antidiabetic drugs, which also included phenformin and buformin (both discontinued).

G. officinalis contains the phytochemicals, galegine and guanidine, both of which decrease blood sugar, but were discovered to cause adverse effects in human studies. The study of galegine and related molecules in the first half of the 20th century led to development of oral antidiabetic drugs. Research on other compounds related to guanidine, including biguanide, led ultimately to the discovery of metformin (trade name, Glucophage), used in the 21st century for management of diabetes by decreasing liver glucose production and increasing insulin sensitivity of body tissues.

Side Effects & Precautions

Do not use the fresh Goat’s Rue plant as it is considered toxic. Always use dried materials when preparing tinctures or teas.

There isn’t enough information to know whether goat’s rue is safe. No harmful effects have been reported in humans, but fatal poisoning has occurred in grazing animals that ate large quantities of goat’s rue.

Goat’s-rue may interfere with prescribed diabetes drugs, iron absorption, and anticoagulants. It may cause headache or muscular weakness, and its safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding is unknown.

Allergies: If you are allergic to peanuts, soybean, alfalfa or fenugreek allergic reactions may occur as Goat’s Rue is a member of the same family of plants.

Bleeding conditions: Goat’s rue might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, goat’s rue might make bleeding disorders worse.

Diabetes: Goat’s rue might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use goat’s rue.

Surgery: Goat’s rue might affect blood sugar levels. There is concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using goat’s rue at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with GOAT’S RUE

Goat’s rue might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking goat’s rue along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br /> Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Recipes

Goats Rue Tincture. Goats Rue tincture can be used to increase milk supply and make your milk richer and creamier as well as more nutritious.

Ingredients: Goat’s Rue, Red Raspberry leaf, Blessed Thistle, Fenugreek, Marshmallow Root, Fennel, Vodka or Everclear.

Method: Put half a cup of each of the herbs in a glass jar. Add only ¼ cup fennel and a small amount of water (enough to wet the herbs). Add vodka. 50% herb 50% alcohol ratio. Shake well and store in a cool, dry place for 2 to 6 weeks. Make sure to shake the mixture every few days.

The Goat’s Rue Tincture can be used from week 2, but the longer it sits, the more concentrated the tincture will get, as the vodka needs to let the herb release all its valuable properties.

When you want to use the tincture, separate or strain the herbs from the liquid and pour into dropper bottles.

Dosage: Take half a teaspoon (20 to 40 drops) of Goat’s Rue tincture 2 to 3 times a day. It can be taken in water, juice or directly under your tongue.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galega_officinalis
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-160/goats-rue
  3. https://www.drugs.com/npp/goat-s-rue.html
  4. https://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/goats-rue-and-breastfeeding.html
  5. https://doi.org/10.1172%2FJCI14178
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2606813
  7. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pdi.606/full
  8. http://www.invasive.org/eastern/other/Galega.html
  9. https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/metformin-myths-misunderstandings-and-lessons-from-history
  10. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=70971
  11. https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/ruegoa21.html
  12. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/galega-officinalis
  13. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-74448-8_16
  14. http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/goat-s-rue
  15. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222239853_Anti-bacterial_activity_of_Galega_officinalis_L_Goat’s_Rue
  16. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288233.2004.9513591
  17. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/13909257/[Isolation_of_peganine_from_goat’s_rue_Galega_officinalis_L]_
  18. https://www.reddit.com/r/Herblore/comments/36629j/goats_rue_galega_officinalis_medicinal/
  19. http://jb.asm.org/content/171/10/5561.full.pdf
  20. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42952629?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  21. https://nzpps.org/nzpp_abstract.php?paper=651920
  22. https://www.womenfitness.net/herbal-management-diabetes/
  23. https://graz.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/alleviation-of-salt-stress-of-symbiotic-galega-officinalis-l-goat
  24. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Alleviation-of-salt-stress-of-symbiotic-Galega-L.-Egamberdieva-Berg/9d15a5320da81b4d919d303c7f1d4c82f25d53a4

Frankincense

Frankincense Resin & Oil (Boswellia carterii, serrata, sacra)

Frankincense is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes, obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia in the family Burseraceae, particularly Boswellia sacra (syn: B. bhaw-dajiana), B. carterii, B. frereana, B. serrata (B. thurifera, Indian frankincense), and B. papyrifera. The English word is derived from Old French “franc encens” (i.e., high quality incense). There are four main species of Boswellia that produce true frankincense. Resin from each of the four is available in various grades, which depend on the time of harvesting. The resin is then hand-sorted for quality.

Olibanum is characterised by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon, fragrance of incense, with a conifer-like undertone. It is used in the perfume, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

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You will find Frankincense in many of Mother Jai’s products.

Chemical Composition: Structure of β-boswellic acid, one of the main active components of frankincense. These are some of the chemical compounds present in frankincense:

  • “acid resin (56 %), soluble in alcohol and having the formula C20H32O4”
  • gum (similar to gum arabic) 30–36%
  • 3-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)
  • alpha-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)
  • 4-O-methyl-glucuronic acid (Boswellia sacra)
  • incensole acetate, C21H34O3
  • phellandrene
  • (+)-cis- and (+)-trans-olibanic acids

Blending: Frankincense oil blends well with other oils such as Lime, Lemon, Orange and other Citrus oils as well as Benzoin, Bergamot, Lavender, Myrrh, Pine, and Sandalwood oil. This makes it a popular element of various aromatherapy combinations.

Boswellia sacra (frankincense) – Boswellia sacra trees in Dhofar, southern province of the Sultanate of Oman (Photo: Helen Pickering)

Uses for Frankincense

Boswellia serrata is a tree native to India that produces special compounds that have been found to have strong anti-inflammatory, and potentially anti-cancer, effects. Among the valuable boswellia tree extracts that researchers have identified, several stand out as being most beneficial, including terpenes and boswellic acids, which are strongly anti-inflammatory and protective over healthy cells.

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Frankincense is used in perfumery and aromatherapy. It is also an ingredient that is sometimes used in skincare. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin. Some of the smells of the frankincense smoke are products of pyrolysis.

Frankincense oil is used by either inhaling the oil or absorbing it through the skin, usually mixed with a carrier oil, such as an unscented lotion or jojoba oil. It’s believed that the oil transmits messages to the limbic system of the brain, which is known to influence the nervous system. A little bit of oil goes a long way; it should not be ingested in large quantities as it can be toxic.

Frankincense Essential Oil

The health benefits of frankincense essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, carminative, cicatrizant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine, and a vulnerary substance. Frankincense oil relieves pain associated with rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to heal boils, infected wounds, acne, circulatory problems, insomnia, and various types of inflammation as well.

The essential oil of frankincense is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin. The oil’s chemical components are 75% monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoles, sesquiterpenols and ketones. It has a good balsamic sweet fragrance, while the Indian frankincense oil has a very fresh smell. Contrary to what some commercial entities claim, steam or hydro distilled frankincense oils do not contain boswellic acids (triterpenoids), although may be present in trace quantities in the solvent extracted products. The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, such as alpha-pinene, Limonene, alpha-Thujene, and beta-Pinene with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight.

Benefits of Frankincense Oil (DrAxe.com)

  1. Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions: When inhaled, it’s been shown to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure. It has anti-anxiety and depression-reducing abilities, but unlike prescription medications, it does not have negative side effects or cause unwanted drowsiness.
  2. Helps Boost Immune System Function and Prevents Illness: Studies have demonstrated that frankincense has immune-enhancing abilities that may help destroy dangerous bacteria, viruses and even cancers.
  3. May Help Fight Cancer or Deal with Chemotherapy Side Effects: Frankincense oil has been shown to help fight cells of specific types of cancer.
  4. Astringent and Can Kill Harmful Germs and Bacteria: Frankincense is an antiseptic and disinfectant. It has the ability to eliminate cold and flu germs from the home and the body naturally and can be used in place of chemical household cleaners.
  5. Improves Oral Health: The same antiseptic qualities also make frankincense oil a useful preventive measure against oral issues, like bad breath, toothaches, cavities, mouth sores, and other infections.
  6. Heals Skin and Prevents Signs of Aging: Frankincense has the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone, elasticity, defense mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes, and appearance as someone ages. It helps tone and lift skin, reduces appearance of scars and acne, and heals wounds. It can also be beneficial for fading of stretch marks, surgery scars or marks associated with pregnancy, and for healing dry or cracked skin.
  7. Balances Hormone Levels: Frankincense oil reduces symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause by balancing hormone levels. It can help relieve pain, cramps, constipation, headaches, anxiety, nausea, fatigue and mood swings. Frankincense oil also helps with regulating estrogen production and may reduce the risk of tumor or cyst development in premenopausal women.
  8. Reduces Scars: This is an interesting property of Frankincense oil. When applied topically or inhaled, it can make the scars and marks of boils, acne, and pox on the skin fade at a much faster rate. This also includes the fading of stretch marks, surgery marks, and fat cracks associated with pregnancy and delivery.
  9. Eases Digestion: Frankincense helps the digestive system properly detox and to produce bowel movements, reduces pain and cramping in the stomach, can relieve nausea, helps flush out excess water from the abdomen that can cause bloating and even relieves PMS-related stomach pains.
  10. Acts as a Sleep Aid: Frankincense essential oil is useful in lowering levels of anxiety or chronic stress that can keep you up at night. It has a calming, grounding scent that can naturally help you to fall asleep. It helps open breathing passages, allows your body to reach an ideal sleeping temperature and can eliminate pain that keeps you up.
  11. Helps Decrease Inflammation and Pain: Frankincense can inhibit the production of key inflammatory molecules associated with conditions like arthritis, asthma, painful bowel disorders like IBS and many more conditions.
  12. Acts as Tonic: Overall, frankincense essential oil tones and boosts health and is, therefore, considered a tonic. It benefits all the systems operating in the body, including the respiratory, digestive, nervous, and excretory systems, while also increasing strength by aiding the absorption of nutrients into the body. Furthermore, frankincense oil strengthens the immune system and keeps you strong.
  13. Stimulates Urination: If you think that Lasix and its variants are the only drugs that can help you release water from the body through urination, you are incorrect. These pharmaceutical options may be instantaneous, but not very safe. Frankincense essential oil is a natural and safe alternative. It promotes urination and helps you lose that extra water weight, as well as fats, sodium, uric acid, and various other toxins from the body, with the added advantage of lowering blood pressure. The best part about this is that frankincense essential oil is completely safe and has no adverse side effects.
  14. Reduces Respiratory Issues: It soothes cough and eliminates phlegm deposited in the respiratory tracts and the lungs. Frankincense essential oil also provides relief from bronchitis and congestion of nasal tract, larynx, pharynx, bronchi, and lungs. Its antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties also help relax the breathing passages, which can reduce the dangers of asthma attacks, and its antiseptic qualities give it the reputation of being an immune system booster! It also eases body pain, headaches, toothaches, and balances the rise in body temperature commonly associated with colds.

Using Frankincense at Home

  1. Stress-Relieving Bath Soak: Frankincense oil immediately induces the feeling of peace, relaxation and satisfaction. Add a few drops of frankincense oil to a hot bath for stress relief.  You can also add frankincense to an oil diffuser or vaporizer to help fight anxiety and for experiencing relaxation in your home all the time. Some people believe that the fragrance of frankincense can increase your intuition and spiritual connection.
  2. Natural Household Cleaner: Frankincense oil is an antiseptic, meaning it helps eliminate bacteria and viruses from your home and clean indoor spaces. The plant has been commonly burned to help disinfect an area and is used as a natural deodorizer. Use it in an essential oil diffuser to help reduce indoor pollution and deodorize and disinfect any room or surface in your home.
  3. Natural Hygiene Product: Due to its antiseptic properties, frankincense oil is a great addition to any oral hygiene regimen. Look for natural oral care products that contain frankincense oil, especially if you enjoy the aroma. It can help prevent dental health issues like tooth decay, bad breath, cavities or oral infections. You can also consider making your own toothpaste by mixing frankincense oil with baking soda.
  4. Anti-Aging and Wrinkle Fighter: Frankincense essential oil is a powerful astringent, meaning it helps protect skin cells. It can be used to help reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores, prevent wrinkles, and it even helps lift and tighten skin to naturally slow signs of aging. The oil can be used anywhere where the skin becomes saggy, such as the abdomen, jowls or under the eyes. Mix six drops of oil to one ounce of unscented oil and apply it directly to the skin. Be sure to always do a small patch area test first to test for possible allergic reactions.
  5. Relieves Symptoms of Indigestion: If you have any digestive distress, such as gas, constipation, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS or cramps, frankincense oil can help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort. It helps speed up the digestion of food, similar to digestive enzymes. Add one to two drops of oil to eight ounces of water or to a tablespoon of honey for GI relief. If you’re going to ingest it orally, make sure it’s 100 percent pure oil; do not ingest fragrance or perfume oils.
  6. Scar, Wound, Stretch Mark or Acne Remedy: Frankincense oil can help with wound healing and may decrease the appearance of scars. It may also help reduce the appearance of dark spots caused from acne blemishes, stretch marks, eczema and help with healing of surgical wounds. Mix two to three drops of oil with an unscented base oil or lotion and apply directly to skin. Be careful not to apply it to broken skin, but it’s fine for skin that’s in the process of healing.
  7. Natural Cold or Flu Medicine: Next time you have a respiratory infection from a cold or flu, use frankincense essential oil to help provide relief from coughing. It can help eliminate phlegm in the lungs. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, even for those with allergies or asthma. Add a few drops to a cloth and inhale for the respiratory benefits or use an oil diffuser.
  8. Helps Relieve Inflammation and Pain: To improve circulation and lower symptoms of joint pain or muscle pain related to conditions like arthritis, digestive disorders and asthma, try massaging frankincense oil to the painful area or diffusing it in your home. You can add a drop of oil to steaming water and soak a towel in it, then place the towel on your body or over your face to inhale it to decrease muscle aches. Also diffuse several drops in your home or combine several drops with a carrier oil to massage into your muscles, joints, feet or neck.
Boswellia sacra-habitat and leaf morphology. This tree grows wildly in the Dhofar region of Oman. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169794.g001
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Boswellia-sacra-habitat-and-leaf-morphology-This-tree-grows-wildly-in-the-Dhofar-region_fig4_312317670

History of Frankincense

Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula for more than 5000 years. A mural depicting sacks of frankincense traded from the Land of Punt adorns the walls of the temple of ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, who died circa 1458 BC.

Frankincense was one of the consecrated incenses (Ha-Ketoret) described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud used in Ketoret ceremonies, an important component of the services in the Temple in Jerusalem. It was offered on a specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Temples. It is mentioned in the Book of Exodus 30:34.

Frankincense also received numerous mentions in the New Testament (Luke 1:10 ; Revelation 5:8, 8:3). Together with gold and myrrh, it was made an offering to the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:11). Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.

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Frankincense was reintroduced to Europe by Frankish Crusaders, although its name refers to its quality, not to the Franks themselves. Although it is better known as “frankincense” to westerners, the resin is also known as olibanum, or in Arabic, al-lubān (roughly translated: “that which results from milking”), a reference to the milky sap tapped from the Boswellia tree.

The Greek historian Herodotus was familiar with frankincense and knew it was harvested from trees in southern Arabia. He reported that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of venomous snakes that lived in the trees. He goes on to describe the method used by the Arabs to get around this problem, that being the burning of the gum of the styrax tree whose smoke would drive the snakes away. The resin is also mentioned by Theophrastus and by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia.

Frankincense is used in many Christian churches including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Catholic churches. According to the Biblical text of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the biblical magi “from out of the East.” Christian and Islamic Abrahamic faiths have all used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants, initiates and members entering into new phases of their spiritual lives.

Conversely, the spread of Christianity depressed the market for frankincense during the 4th century AD. Desertification made the caravan routes across the Rub’ al Khali or “Empty Quarter” of the Arabian Peninsula more difficult. Additionally, increased raiding by the Parthians in the Near East caused the frankincense trade to dry up after A.D. 300.

Frankincense Oil DIY Recipes

Scar Reducing Body Butter: Total Time: 5 minutes; Serves: 4

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces shea butter or coconut oil
  • 10 drops of jasmine oil
  • 10 drops frankincense oil
  • Small container or jar to mix the ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

In a double boiler, melt the shea butter until it’s liquid.

Make sure the oil is not so hot that it will burn you, then add the other oils and stir together to combine. Having the shea butter be room temperature or a little warmer is best.

You can either smear it on your scar right away, or if you’d like to make it into a shelf-stable cream texture, place the mixture in the fridge until it’s cool for a few minutes, then use a hand mixer on high speed to whip the oils into a white cream.

Pour into a glass jar or containers, and keep it at room temperature to use whenever you want.

Sleep-Inducing Facial Cream or Body Rub: Total Time: 5 minutes; Serves: 1

This all-natural night cream is great to help you fall asleep. It also doubles as a skin health-booster if you apply it to your face and may be able to help clear up blemishes or breakouts.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1/4 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Small container or jar to mix the ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

Use coconut oil that’s not solid but rather soft. If need be, heat it first in a double broiler.

Add the other oils and stir together to combine. Spread over your face and body. You may want to pat yourself off after to not allow the oil to seep into your bed sheets. You can also store this to use at another time.

Homemade Frankincense and Myrrh Lotion: Total Time: 90 minutes; Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup bees wax
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tbsp vitamin E
  • 20 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 20 drops myrrh essential oil
  • BPA free plastic lotion dispenser bottles

Directions:

Put olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter in glass bowl then place that bowl in sauce pan with water.

Heat stove to medium and mix ingredients together.

Once mixed put in refrigerator for an hour until solid.

With a regular mixer or hand mixer beat the mixture until it is whipped and fluffy. Then add essential oils and vitamin E and mix.

Fill container and store in cool place.

Homemade Frankincense Soap Bar: Total Time: 30 minutes; Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20-30 drops frankincense essential oil
  • Soap Base
  • 5 drops pomegranate oil
  • Oval Bar Molds or Decorative Soap Mold

Directions:

Put soap base in glass bowl then place that bowl in sauce pan with water.

Heat stove to medium and allow base to melt.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Then add the frankincense and pomegranate oil

Mix well and transfer to a soap mold

Let mixture cool fully before popping bar out of mold. Keep at room temp

Frankincense Interactions/Side Effects

For oil safety concerns, you should know that frankincense essential oil is extremely well-tolerated, especially compared to prescription medications. To date, there are no reported serious side effects of using frankincense oil, as long as you do not ingest large quantities, which can result in it becoming toxic.

Rarely frankincense oil can cause certain reactions for some people, including minor skin rashes and digestive problems like nausea or stomach pains. Frankincense is also known to have blood-thinning effects, so anyone who has problems related to blood clotting should not use frankincense oil or should speak with a doctor first. Otherwise, the oil may have potential to negatively react with certain anticoagulant medications.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankincense
  2. https://draxe.com/what-is-frankincense/
  3. http://deposit.ddb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?idn=975255932&dok_var=d1&dok_ext=pdf&filename=975255932.pdf
  4. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=frankincense
  5. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/worlds-last-wild-frankincense-forests-084122152.html
  6. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/21/christmas-staple-frankincense-doomed-ecologists-warn/
  7. http://www.bibler.org/glossary/frankincense.html
  8. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-frankincense-essential-oil.html
  9. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/frankincense-essential-oil/profile
  10. https://draxe.com/frankincense-oil-cancer/
  11. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314366.php
  12. https://drericz.com/frankincense-oil-benefits/
  13. https://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/frankincense-and-cancer
  14. http://tisserandinstitute.org/frankincense-oil-and-cancer-in-perspective/
  15. http://roberttisserand.com/2015/03/frankincense-essential-oil-and-cancer/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664784/
  17. https://breastcancerconqueror.com/the-power-of-essential-oils-on-breast-cancer/
  18. https://beatcancer.org/blog-posts/the-cancer-healing-power-of-frankincense
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796379/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=frankincense%20and%20cancer&page=2
  21. http://www.i-detox.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Frankincense-Essential-Oil-for-treating-Cancer-v2-summary-notes-from-Dr-Lin_s-talks-in-SG-2013.pdf
  22. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/boswellia
  23. https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/can-frankincense-really-fight-cancer/
  24. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001446
  25. http://www.acanceresearch.com/cancer-research/frankincense-boswellia-species-the-novel-phytotherapy-for-drug-targeting-in-cancer.php?aid=8424
  26. https://www.livestrong.com/article/479493-frankincense-cancer/
  27. https://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3658
  28. https://peoplebeatingcancer.org/frankincense-oil-causes-apoptosis-to-bladder-cancer-cells/
  29. https://www.curejoy.com/content/holy-herbs-frankincense-and-myrrh-can-cure-cancer/
  30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8505251.stm
  31. https://wellnessmama.com/123712/frankincense-oil-uses-benefits/

Cypress Leaf

Cypress Leaf oil (Cupressus sempervirens)

Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress (also known as Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Persian cypress, or pencil pine), is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southern Albania, southern coastal Croatia (Dalmatia), southern Montenegro, southern Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Malta, Italy, Israel, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran. C. sempervirens is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25–40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for ‘evergreen’.

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Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the whole Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in Florida and parts of the coastal southern United States as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the United States, it is known as “Italian” or “Tuscan cypress”.

Cypress Leaf Essential Oil – has a calming, soothing action on the mind. It is also used in perfumes and colognes as a tenacious fragrance component. We have not tried this, but author Scott Cunningham states that a combination of cypress and patchouli essential oils creates an ambergris-like substitute. Another source states that the proportions should be one-part Patchouli to two parts Cypress.

Aromatic Profile: Fresh, woody, resinous, sweet, deep green balsamic aroma with a faint smoky and ambergris-like undertone in the tenacious drydown.

Appearance: Pale yellow to yellow-orange, transparent, mobile liquid.

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Blends Well With: Ambrette Seed, Benzoin, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Cistus, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper, Labdanum, Lavender, Lemon, Linden Blossom, Liquidambar (Styrax), Mandarin, Marjoram, Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Sandalwood.

Composition of Cypress Oil: The medicinal and soothing properties of cypress oil come mainly from terpenes like alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and alpha-terpinene. These organic hydrocarbons are the main building blocks of any plant resin or essential oil, and contribute to their scent, flavor and colors, as well as medicinal effects. Cypress oil also contains carene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, myrcene, terpinolene, linalool, and bornyl acetate, all of which are essential to cypress oil’s healing effects.

Safety Considerations: Skin sensitization if oxidized. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

Therapeutic properties: The therapeutic properties of cypress oil are astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, hemostatic, hepatic, styptic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and sedative.

Benefits of Cypress Oil

Cypress oil’s health benefits are far-reaching, and it has demonstrated properties that are beneficial for your circulatory and respiratory systems. For instance, it can help reduce cellulite and varicose veins, and tighten and reduce pores. Cypress oil can also:

Relieve pain — When massaged over affected body areas, cypress oil can relieve rheumatism, osteoarthritis, and muscle and joint pain. It also helps control spams, relieves period cramps, and may even be used for injury rehabilitation.

Strengthen and tighten your tissues — Cypress oil’s astringent properties cause the tissues in your gums, skin, muscles, and even hair follicles to contract, which aids in strengthening them and holds them in place. This helps prevent them from becoming loose or falling out. The main function associated with astringency is contraction, so cypress oil makes your gums, skin, muscles, and hair follicles contract and prevents teeth and hair from falling out. It also tightens up loose skin and muscles.

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Treat wounds — Owing to its camphene content, the oil has antiseptic properties that help treat internal and external wounds. Cypress oil is even used as an ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams.

Serve as a diuretic — This helps promote good digestion and assists in stopping gas from forming in your intestines. It also potentially reduces swelling, cleans your kidney, and eliminates toxins and excess water from your body. Cypress oil increases urination, both in frequency and in quantity. This is very important and can be very beneficial for health. When you urinate, up to 4% of the volume is actually fats being eliminated by the body. Therefore, the more you urinate, the more fat you lose and subsequently weight. The most important role played by urine is that it removes toxins from the body. In addition to that, it also reduces blood pressure and cleans out the kidneys. Many of the mainstream medicines for lowering blood pressure are based on this benefit of urination.

Constrict your blood vessels — By constricting your veins, it helps stop bleeding, and may also benefit those who suffer from hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It can also be used for alleviating bleeding, perspiration, and irregularly heavy menstrual flow. While hemostatic means an agent that can stop blood flow or promote its clotting, styptic primarily means having the properties of an astringent, while also helping to stop excessive blood flow through contraction of the blood vessels. Both of these properties are very important in their own areas of application.

Promote proper liver function — It maintains adequate bile secretion and helps protect the liver against any kind of infection, which are both essential for optimal liver health.

Aids Toxin Removal – Cypress oil is a diuretic, so it helps the body flush out toxins that exist internally. It also increases sweat and perspiration, which allows the body to quickly remove toxins, excess salt and water. This can be beneficial to all systems in the body, and it prevents acne and other skin conditions that are due to toxic buildup. This also benefits and cleanses the liver, and it helps lower cholesterol levels naturally. A 2007 study conducted at the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, found that isolated compounds in cypress essential oil, including cosmosiin, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid, showed hepatoprotective activity. These isolated compounds significantly decreased glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while they caused a significant increase in the total protein level when given to rats. The chemical extracts were tested on rat liver tissues, and the results indicate that cypress essential oil contains antioxidant compounds that can rid the body of excess toxins and inhibit free radical scavenging.

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Relax your nervous system — It has a calming and sedative effect on your mind and body by relieving nervous stress and anxiety. It also stimulates a happy feeling in case of anger or sadness. Cypress oil is also beneficial for people who have suffered a major trauma or shock. To use cypress essential oil as a natural remedy for anxiety and anxiousness, add five drops of oil to a warm-water bath or diffuser. It can be especially helpful to diffuse cypress oil at night, beside your bed, to treat restlessness or symptoms of insomnia.

Cures Spasms – Cypress oil is helpful in curing nearly all types of spasms and the problems associated with it. It efficiently relieves spasms in the respiratory system and intestines as well as muscular spasms in the limbs. It also helps to cure convulsions, muscle pulls, cramps, and spasmodic cholera which can be irritating or dangerous.

Tones Respiratory System – Cypress oil tones up the respiratory system and increases the efficiency of the lungs. It also helps eliminate the cough and phlegm accumulated in the respiratory tracts and lungs. Furthermore, it clears up congestion, thereby making breathing easier when you are suffering from a cough and cold.

Promotes Sweating – A sudorific substance is something which can cause sweating or perspiration. Periodic sweating makes you feel lighter, fitter and helps quickly remove toxins, excess salt, and water. This cleans the skin pores and openings of the sweat and sebum glands while keeping away acne and other skin diseases. Cypress oil is considered a very powerful sudorific substance.

Eliminates Odor – Cypress oil has a spicy and masculine fragrance that can easily replace synthetic deodorants which boast a similar natural and distinct aroma.

Fights Infection – A 2004 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a component present in cypress oil, called camphene, inhibited the growth of nine bacteria and all yeasts studied. This is a safer alternative than antibiotics that can lead to damaging side effects like leaky gut syndrome and loss of probiotics.

Treats Varicose Veins and Cellulite – Because of cypress oil’s ability to stimulate blood flow, it serves as a varicose veins home remedy. Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, occur when pressure is placed on blood vessels or veins — resulting in the pooling of blood and bulging of veins. According to the National Library of Medicine, this can be caused by weak vein walls or a lack of pressure exerted by tissues in the leg that allow the veins to transport blood. This increases the pressure inside of the veins, causing them to stretch and widen. By applying cypress essential oil topically, blood in the legs continues to flow to the heart properly. Cypress oil can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is the appearance of orange peel or cottage cheese skin on the legs, butt, stomach and back of the arms. This is often due to fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat. Because cypress oil is a diuretic, it helps the body remove excess water and salt that can lead to fluid retention. It also stimulates circulation by increasing blood flow. Use cypress oil topically to treat varicose veins, cellulite and any other condition that is caused by poor circulation, such as hemorrhoids.

Other Benefits – In addition to stimulating perspiration, it also curbs excessive sweating, heavy menstruation and bleeding. It is anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic, so it can also be used in the treatment of varicose veins, cellulite, asthma, bronchitis, and diarrhea.

Uses of Cypress Oil

The cypress tree was valued by ancient civilizations for its medicinal uses. The Chinese chewed the cones to heal their bleeding gums, while Hippocrates recommended it for treating hemorrhoids. The Greeks loved cypress’s comforting smell, and used it to clear their mind and senses. Today, cypress oil is used for industrial and medicinal practices. Perfume and soap industries often use cypress oil, as its fresh evergreen aroma, with a slightly sweet and balsamic undertone, adds a masculine note to men’s cologne and aftershaves. Medicinally, cypress oil can be used topically, inhaled via vapor therapy, or ingested in small doses. It’s said to help regulate blood flow and alleviate menstrual problems, detoxify and decongest the lymphatic system, reduce water retention, and relax muscles. Cypress oil can also have profound effects on your respiratory and digestive systems, especially during cold winter months. Here are some ways to use cypress oil:

  • Inhale or vaporize it through a diffuser to calm and relax your mind. It can also help alleviate breathing disorders, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.
  • Use it as a massage oil to relieve asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, cramps, varicose veins, and heavy menstrual flow. You can also add it to your warm bath.
  • Add it to your favorite lotion or cream to help soothe broken skin and varicose veins. It also has astringent effects that can help clarify oily and congested skin.
  • If you have a nosebleed, apply a few drops to a cold compress and press against your nose to help stop the bleeding.
  • Add it to your foot soak to help deodorize and clean sweaty feet.

How to Use Cypress Essential Oil

It’s safe to use cypress oil aromatically and topically. When applying the oil to the skin, it is best to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, before rubbing it into the skin. Here are some ways to use this essential oil in your everyday life:

  • Diffuse 5–7 drops of cypress oil in the home or office to create emotional balance, induce calm and energizing effects, and help with feelings of anxiousness or anxiety.
  • Apply topically, diluted with equal parts carrier oil, to treat arthritis, restless leg syndrome, cramps, asthma, bronchitis, cough or cold, carpal tunnel, and heavy periods. Simply rub the oil mixture into the effected area; this can be done 2–3 times daily, depending on your needs.
  • To reduce the appearance of cellulite, varicose veins, wounds, cuts or incisions, apply 2–3 drops of cypress oil to the area of concern.
  • Add 5 drops of cypress essential oil to a warm-water bath to treat respiratory conditions. You can also dilute cypress with a carrier oil and apply the mixture to the chest to work as a vapor rub. To reduce phlegm, add 3–5 drops of cypress oil to boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 5–10 minutes.
  • To deodorize the home, add 5–10 drops of cypress oil to cleaning soap or add the oil to water and spray the mixture on curtains, sheets and couches; 1–2 drops of cypress oil can also be added to shoes, hats and jackets to prevent bacterial growth and body odor.
  • For hair and skin care, add 1–3 drops of cypress oil to your shampoo, conditioner or Homemade Face Wash. It is perfect for a deep clean, and it’s beneficial to the skin and hair because of its antimicrobial properties.

References:

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