Palmarosa Oil

Cymbopogon martinii – Palmarosa grass at full Flower blooming stage.This photo at Sesha farms www.sfpalmarosaoil.com during the month of December

Palmarosa Oil (Cymbopogon martini)

Cymbopogon martinii is a species of grass in the genus Cymbopogon (lemongrasses) native to India and Indochina, but widely cultivated in many places for its aromatic oil. It is best known by the common name palmarosa (palm rose) as it smells sweet and rose-like. Other common names include Indian geranium, gingergrass, rosha, and rosha grass.

Origin of Palmarosa Oil

It is a wild growing, herbaceous green and straw-colored grass, with long slender stems, terminal flowering tops and fragrant grassy leaves. It is harvested before the flowers appear and the highest yield is obtained when the grass is fully dried – about one week after it has been cut.

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There are two varieties of grass from which the oil can be extracted – motia and sofia. We find the sofia chemotype to be far more active and pleasant smelling – and for this reason the oil sold by us is from this chemotype.

Extraction of this essential oil is done by steam distillation of dried grass which is harvested before flowering. The chief constituents of this oil are geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene, linalool, limonene, and myrcene. This oil smells like rose oil, which is how it got the name, palma rosa.

It is often used as an ingredient of soaps, perfumes and cosmetics, and is also used in the flavoring of tobacco.

Composition of Palmarosa Oil

The main chemical components of palmarosa oil are myrcene, linalool, geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene and limonene.

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In general terms, Palmarosa Essential Oil contains approximately 70-80% monoterpenes, 10-15% esters and around 5% aldehydes. It does not contain the abundance of citral (aldehyde) that Lemongrass Essential Oil and Citronella Essential Oil possesses.

Palmarosa oil is an antifungal that fights against Aspergillus niger (commonly known as black mold), Chaetomium globosum (also known as moldy soil), and Penicillium funiculosum, which is a plant pathogen.

The essential oil of this plant, which contains the chemical compound geraniol, is valued for its scent and for traditional medicinal and household uses. Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective insect repellent when applied to stored grain and beans, an antihelmintic against nematodes, and an antifungal and mosquito repellent.

Benefits of Using Palmarosa

Palmarosa oil calms the mind, yet has an uplifting effect, while clearing muddled thinking. It is used to counter physical and nervous exhaustion, stress-related problems and nervousness.

It is most useful during convalescence and cools the body of fever, while aiding the digestive system, helping to clear intestinal infection, digestive atonia and anorexia nervosa. It is effective in relieving sore, stiff muscles.

Palmarosa oil moisturizes the skin, while balancing the hydration levels and stimulating cell regeneration. It balances production of sebum, to keep the skin supple and elastic and is valuable for use with acne, dermatitis, preventing scarring, rejuvenating and regenerating the skin, as well as fighting minor skin infections, sore tired feet and athlete’s foot.

Palmarosa Essential Oil Uses

Sinusitis & Excess Mucus:  anti-inflammatory effects reduce inflammation caused by infection and irritation. Mucolytic benefits thin mucus and help clear membranes.

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Cystitis & Urinary Tract Infection: antibiotic or antimicrobial effects reduce infection and anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce inflammation and increase water and toxin removal.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: it assists in improving intestinal flow and nourishes intestinal flora. It also helps to thin and remove mucus buildup that happens in the intestines with inflammatory foods. Its carminative benefits calm the digestive tract and assist in the expulsion of gas.

Wounds & Scarring: through cytophylactic action it assists in wound healing and tissue regrowth.

Acne: through antiseborrheic actions it helps to reduce oil production of the skin cells. Antibacterial actions reduce skin infection. Anti-inflammatory benefits reduce redness and irritation of skin.

Fungal Infection: its antifungal and antimicrobial benefits reduce fungal growth on the skin and throughout the body.

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Restlessness & General Fatigue: Palmarosa has calmative effects that assist in calming the mind and nervous system and allowing the body to relax and heal. Its cephalic actions help to clear the mind and assist in focus.

Muscular Aches: through mild analgesic properties it assists in relieving muscular pain associated with overuse or injury.

Stress & Irritability: as a gentle sedative, relaxant and uplifting oil it helps to counteract the effects of stress on the body and to bring balance to moods.

Insect Bites & Stings: antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits reduce the pain and swelling associated with insect bites or stings.

How to Use Palmarosa Oil

Burners & Vaporizers: In vapor therapy, palmarosa oil can help during convalescence. It relieves fatigue, nervousness, exhaustion and stress, while having an uplifting effect on the mind and clearing muddled thoughts.

Blended massage oil or in the bath: In a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, palmarosa oil can be used on convalescent patients, to fight exhaustion, fatigue, nervousness, stress, bolstering the digestive system, while boosting the health of the skin.

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Wash, lotions and creams and used neat (undiluted): Palmarosa oil can help clear up infections and prevent scarring when added to the water used to wash the wound. When included in creams and lotions, it has a moisturizing and hydrating effect on the skin, which is great to fight wrinkles. It also balances the natural secretion of sebum, which keeps the skin supple and elastic.

On cellular level, it helps with the formation of new tissue and for that reason is great for rejuvenating and regenerating the skin. It is most useful when fighting a dry skin and treat skin infections. Some people find that they have great results when applying palmarosa oil neat or undiluted to the affected area of athlete’s foot – but please keep in mind that we do not advocate the use of neat essential oils on the skin.

Precautions

Palmarosa oil has no known contra indications and is considered a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing essential oil.

References:

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

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

https://www.essentialoilsdirect.co.uk/palmarosa-cymbopogon_martinii-essential_oil.html

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

https://www.nativeoilsaustralia.com.au/palmarosa-essential-oil/

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00073a015

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12809717

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276358

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0926669004000317

https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/93598/antimicrobial-action-of-palmarosa-oil-cymbopogon-martinii-on-saccharomyces-cerevisiae

Prashar, A.; Hili, P.; Veness, R.; Evans, C. (2003). “Antimicrobial action of palmarosa oil (Cymbopogon martinii) on Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. Phytochemistry. 63 (5): 569–575. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(03)00226-7.

Rajeswara Rao, B.; Kaul, P.; Syamasundar, K.; Ramesh, S. (2005). “Chemical profiles of primary and secondary essential oils of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats var. motia Burk.)”. IIndustrial Crops and Products. 21 (1): 121–127. oi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2004.02.002.

Kumar, R.; Srivastava, M.; Dubey, N. K. (2007). “Evaluation of Cymbopogon martinii oil extract for control of postharvest insect deterioration in cereals and legumes”. Journal of Food Protection. 70 (1): 172–78.

Kumaran, A. M.; D’souza, P; Agarwal, A; Bokkolla, RM; Balasubramaniam, M; et al. (2003). “Geraniol, the putative anthelmintic principle of Cymbopogon martinii”. Phytotherapy Research. 17 (8): 957. doi:10.1002/ptr.1267. PMID 13680833.

Mallavarapu, G.; Rajeswara Rao, B.; Kaul, P.; Ramesh, S.; Bhattacharya, A. (1998). “Volatile constituents of the essential oils of the seeds and the herb of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats. var. motia Burk.)”. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 13: 167–169. doi:10.1002/(sici)1099-1026(199805/06)13:3<167::aid-ffj719>3.0.co;2-b.

Guenther, E (1952). “Recent developments in essential oil production”. Economic Botany. 6 (4): 355–378. doi:10.1007/bf02984884.

Orange Peel

Orange peel dried (Citrus reticulata)

Botanical Name: Pericarpium citri reticulata. Mandarine Oranges/Chen Pi – Citrus reticulata. Bitter Orange (aka Seville Oranges)/Zhi Shi – Citrus sinensis, Citrus aurantantium.

History/Folklore: All species help move Qi stagnation. Mandarin Orange Peel is a better anti-inflammatory, carminative and tonic. The Unripe Green Orange Peel is a cholagogue and carminative.  Bitter Orange Peel moves Qi stagnation, stimulates, expectorates and is a stomach digestive. Another species is tangerines with the Latin name, Citrus tangerina.

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For hundreds of years, herbalists trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have used mature mandarin orange peel, known as chen pi or ju pi in Chinese medicine, to improve digestion, relieve intestinal gas and bloating, and resolve phlegm. This peel acts primarily on the digestive and respiratory systems. We apply it in conditions involving a sense of distension and fullness in the chest and upper middle abdomen combined with loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, or coughs with copious phlegm.

You will find dried orange peel in Mother Jai’s Raspberry Tea. Shop below.

Immature mandarin orange peel, known as qing pi in Chinese medicine, acts primarily on the liver and stomach to promote digestion, relieve food retention and abdominal distension, and promote good liver function. Practitioners of Chinese herbology use this herb when the sense of distension and discomfort lies primarily under the rib cage rather than the central abdomen. 

The cut peel is traditionally used as a tea, and the powdered peel is used to add a sweet, fizzy flavor to drinks. Many cosmetics call for peel in either cut form or as a powder. Its light flavor makes it easy to add into tea blends, and the peel can also be incorporated into jams, jellies, stir-fry dishes and many other culinary creations.

Symbol of Fertility: Oranges can produce flowers and fruit at the same time so they have become a symbol of fertility.

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Health benefits of Oranges

Oranges are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, filled with Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and low in calories. Consuming them more often may protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes while also helping to improve memory, blood pressure, immune system and overall health. Listed below are few of the popular health benefits of oranges

Helps Prevent Cancer: oranges are wonderful sources of both Vitamin C and hesperidin. These two antioxidants are recognized to help prevent the formation of free radicals – which are known to cause cancer. Vitamin C content is particularly important because a lack of Vitamin C has been shown to help tumors survive. So if you want to help prevent cancer, make sure you eat an orange.

Control Your Diabetes: oranges are a great source of fiber! This can help lower your cholesterol which in turn helps make your diabetes easier to control. Additionally, researches have shown that if you’re a Type I diabetic, consuming a high-fiber diet helps lower your overall glucose levels. And for Type II diabetics, it can improve your blood sugars and insulin levels. Not only that, but getting so much fiber improves your digestion and helps you feel fuller longer. Meaning you’re less likely to attack the pantry for sugary and unhealthy snacks.

Heart Healthy: oranges are high in potassium. And an increase in potassium can help support heart health and decrease the risk of things like stroke and heart attacks. Potassium also decreases your risk of heart disease. Additionally, oranges help lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure, which is great for your heart health and for preventing heart problems.

Better Skin: oranges are good for your skin, helping to protect from skin damage caused by the sun and pollution. They also reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. And, as mentioned earlier, Vitamin C helps increase collagen production, which is important for keeping your skin healthy and wrinkle-free.

Science Supports Citrus

Sweet and bitter orange peels have similar constituents. Modern research shows many benefits to these peels or their constituent phytochemicals.

The medicinal actions of  citrus peels come in part from their primary essential oil, d-limonene. D-limonene has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a solvent for cholesterol, which has led some physicians to use it to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. D-limonene neutralizes gastric acid and supports normal peristalsis, making it useful for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Research also indicates that d-limonene has cancer-preventive properties. 

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Citrus peels also contain hesperidin, a flavonoid that reduces the proliferation of cancer cells and induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells. Korean researchers found that qing pi extract induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells.

A team of scientists from Taiwan investigated the effects of the four citrus herbs mentioned above on adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation. They found that mandarin orange peel (chen pi) markedly reduced production and accumulation of triglycerides (fats) in fat cells, with the highest dose tested reducing triglyceride production by nearly 50 percent.

References:

https://www.whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.com/herbs/orange-peel/

https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/citrus-peel-medicine

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658077X16300960

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22980779

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26024407

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4690266/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908842/

Moving to Keep Moving

Regular exercise is essential to maintaining functional abilities throughout aging. Once we stop moving our muscles weaken and our joints become stiff and inflexible. The more sedentary we become the more we have to do to reverse the effects. Avoid being completely sedentary by moving at least a little every day.

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These are common barriers to exercise that we can overcome.

Self-efficacyBegin slowly with exercises that are easily accomplished; advance gradually; provide frequent encouragement.
AttitudePromote positive personal benefits of exercise; identify enjoyable activities.
DiscomfortVary intensity and range of exercise; employ cross-training; start slowly; avoid overdoing.
DisabilitySpecialized exercises; consider personal trainer or physical therapist.
Poor balanceAssistive devices can increase safety as well as increase exercise intensity.
Fear of injuryBalance and strength training initially; use of appropriate clothing, equipment, and supervision; start slowly.
HabitIncorporate into daily routine; repeat encouragement; promote active lifestyle.
Subjective normsIdentify and recruit influential others; education of patient and influential family/friends.
Fixed incomeWalking and other simple exercises; use of household items; promote active lifestyle.
Bad weatherWalk around the home; use senior centers; promote active lifestyle
Cognitive declineIncorporate into daily routine; keep exercises simple.
Illness/ fatigueUse a range of exercises/intensities that patients can match to their varying energy level.
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Moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day has these health benefits:

  • Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Keeps weight under control
  • Helps in the battle to quit smoking
  • Improves blood cholesterol levels
  • Prevents and manages high blood pressure
  • Helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging
  • Maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
  • Increases muscle strength, increasing the ability to do other physical activities
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Boosts energy level
  • Helps manage stress and releases tension
  • Counters anxiety and depression
  • Improves self-image
  • Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
  • Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent
  • Counters the conditions that lead to heart attack and stroke
  • Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends
  • Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
  • Reduces the overall risk of obesity, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, etc.
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