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patchouli

Botany
Aromatic, erect, branched and hairy herb, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate, 5 to 11 cm long, with coarse and doubly-toothed margins, a blunt or pointed tip. Flowers are pinkish-purple, crowded and borne in hairy, terminal, axillary spikes, 2 to 8 cm long, 1 cm in diameter, with a corolla 9mm long with obtuse lobes.

Chemical constituents and properties
Leaves yield a volatile oil, 6-10% – Patchouli alcohol, cadinene, coerulein, benzaldehyde and eugenol.
Diuretic, carminative, stimulant, emmenagogue.
The oil may have antibactericidal activity and pogostone may have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Components eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and benzaldehyde have insecticidal activity.
Important components of the essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.
Study on the chemical constituents of an essential oil of PC yielded 22 compounds, 18 sesquiterpenes and three oxygenated sesquiterpenes; among these, patchouli alcohol was the major component, followed by germacrene.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, flowering spikes, roots.

Uses
Folkloric
Arthritis and rheumatism: Crush leaves and apply on affected part.
Infusion of fresh leaves for painful menses.
Infusion of leaves, dried tops or roots used for scanty urination.
In Malaysia and Japan, has been used as antidote for venomous snake and insect bites.
In traditional Chinese medicine, used for colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Patchouly oil
Essential oil of patchouli used in perfumes and cosmetics.
Also called: Huo xiang, Putcha-Pat.
Oil also used as ingredient in foods and beverages.
An ingredient of East Asian incense.
Had a surge in the commerce of oil and incense during the free love and hippie decades of the 60s and 70s.
Others
Leaves and tops used as insecticide repellant for cockroaches, moths, ants, etc.
Leaves used with gogo for washing hair.
In some countries, used as ingredient in tobacco smoking.
Juice of leaves used to repel leeches in climbing mountains.
Used as hair conditioner for dreadlocks.

Studies
ROS-scavenger: Pogostemon cablin as ROS Scavenger in Oxidant-induced Cell Death of Human Neuroglioma Cells: Study suggests the beneficial effects of PC on ROS-induced neuroglial cell injury possibly as a ROS-scavenger.
Antimutagenic: Antimutagenic Activity of Flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin: Study of methanol extraxct of P cablin showed suppressive effects against furylfuramide, Trp-P-1, and activated Trp-P-1. Test isolated suppressive compounds (7,4′-di-O-methyleriodictyol among others) plus three flavonoids, mobuine, pachypodol and kumatekenin.
Mosquito Repellent Activity: Study of the mosquito repellent activity of 38 essential oils from plants against Aedes aegypti on human subjects showed the undiluted oil of patchouli, together with citronella, clove and makaen, to be effected in providing 2 hr of complete repellency.
H Influenza Adhesion Inhibition: Study has shown inhibition of H Influenza on oropharyngeal cells to be inhibited by aqueous extracts of P cablin and A rugosa; a mixture also effective in preventing otitis media and sore throat.
Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Study isolated a-bulnesene, a sesquiterpened from the water extract of P cablin. It showed a potent and concentration-dependent effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) and arachidonic acid (AA) induced rabbit platelet aggregation; a first study demonstrating a-blnesene as a PAF-receptor antagonist and anti-platelet aggregation agent.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Kabling.html

Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil

The health benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti depressant, anti phlogistic, anti septic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic.

Essential Oil of Patchouli is extracted by steam distillation of leaves of Patchouli, whose botanical name is Pogostemon Cablin or Pogostemon Patchouli. The basic components of Patchouli Essential Oil are Alpha Patchoulene, Beta Patchoulene, Alpha Guaiene, Alpha Bulnesene, Caryophyllene, Norpatchoulenol, Patchouli Alcohol, Seychellene and Pogostol. The insecticidal and insect repellant properties of this oil were known from a long time ago and were particularly used in protecting clothes from insects. Then later on, its other benefits were discovered.

Its medicinal properties include;

  • Anti Depressant: This oil works great on people suffering from depression. It helps them to get over from the feeling and fills them with new hopes. That is why it is very much in use in aromatherapy. It uplifts mood, drives away disappointment and relaxes tension.
  • Anti Phlogistic: It soothes inflammation, particularly those resulting from fever and gives relief.
  • Anti Septic: Protects the wounds and ulcers from infections and from being septic.
  • Aphrodisiac: Patchouli Oil is also good for treating sexual problems such as impotency, loss of libido and interest in sex, erectile problems, frigidity etc. and acts as an aphrodisiac.
  • Astringent: It induces contractions in muscles, nerves and skin. This helps strengthening hold of gums on teeth, preventing shagging of skin, hair fall and loosening of muscles. This astringency of Patchouli Oil also helps stop haemorrhage by contracting the blood vessels.
  • Cicatrisant: It helps heal cuts and wounds and also speed up the fading of their scars. This is equally effective in vanishing marks left by boils, acne, pox, measles etc.
  • Cytophylactic: This property of the Essential Oil of Patchouli promotes growth by helping generation of new body cells. This helps in production of red blood cells too. It was seen mainly helpful in regeneration of new skin cells, thus keeping the skin healthy, young and vibrant.
  • Deodorant: The strong sweet, spicy and musky aroma of this essential oil keeps away body odor. But it should be used in dilution as sometimes the aroma of Patchouli Oil might feel too strong to bear.
  • Diuretic: It increases the tendency of urinating as well as the frequency of urination and quantity of urine. This helps loose weight, lower blood pressure, increase appetite, lower cholesterol and removal of toxins from the body.
  • Febrifuge: Reduces body temperature in case of fever by fighting the infections causing the fever. Being an Anti Phlogistic, it gives relief from the inflammations caused by fever and this way too helps bringing down the fever, since fever can be reduced to some extent if the pain and inflammation associated with fever are taken care of.
  • Fungicide: Patchouli Essential Oil has been found quite effective in inhibiting fungal growths and infections, thereby providing protection from some of the notorious infections like athlete’s foot.
  • Insecticide: As said earlier, the insecticidal property of Patchouli Oil was recognized long ago. Despite smelling sweet, it is very effective in keeping insects away. It may be used in sprays, body lotions, fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks or can be mixed with water to wash clothes and bed linen to drive away mosquitoes, ants, beg bugs, lice, fleas, flies and moths.
  • Sedative: It calms down inflammations and sedates convulsions, coughs and epileptic attacks resulting from hype sensitivity or hyper reactivity of nerves. It can also stop eruption of allergies by sedating the hyper sensitivity of body towards certain elements.
  • Tonic: This property of Patchouli Oil tones up the whole body. It makes right the metabolic functions like decomposition of food and absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier; takes care of proper excretion; regulates the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes and also tones up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active, and finally, boosts the immune system, protecting you from infections.
  • Other Benefits: Helps treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores. Gives relief from constipation. Can be used as an antidote against insect bites temporarily.

Few Words of Caution: The long lasting aroma of Patchouli Essential Oil, though sweet, may not be welcome for a few.

Blending: Patchouli Essential Oil blends well with essential oils of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender and Myrrh.

This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-patchouli-essential-oil.html

See also:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/784699/the_health_benefits_of_patchouli.html?cat=5
http://www.ehow.com/facts_4868081_uses-patchouli-oil.html
http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/patchouli-essential-oil-a-great-way-to-relax-1086472.html
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/patchouli-rediscover-the-peace-oil.html
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Patchouli
http://www.gardenology.org/wiki/Patchouli

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sweetbasil

Chemical constituents and properties
• The dried leaves contain 0.21–1% essential oil, the major compounds of which are linalool and methyclaviol.
• Some of the other compounds are: caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-cymene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, methyl cinnamate, myrcene, quercetin, rutin, tryptophan, safrole.
• Study yielded 14 different anthocyanins: 11 cyanidin-based pigments and 3 peonidin-based pigments.
• Carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, diuretic, demulcent, mucilaginous, cooling.

Parts utilized
Leaves, seeds.

Mature fresh leaves are harvested 2 to 3 months after planting. Leaves are picked leaving the branches on the plant to allow it to flower and produce seeds for the next season.

The leaves are air-dried until they crumble when crushed with the fingers. Store in amber colored bottles in a cool, dry place.

Uses
Culinary
The leafy and flowering tops are used as condiment; eaten sparingly in salads.
Folkloric
Cough: Expectorant properties – Take infusion or decoction of herb (9-15 gm of dried herb) or tops as tea.
Leaf juice helpful for expectoration of mucus.
Decoction of leaves also used for hiccups, vomiting and nausea.
Gas pains: Decoction of herb as tea helps to expel wind from bowels.
Snake bites: Crush fresh plant and poultice the bitten wound.
Gonorrhea, using a decoction of the roots and leaves of plants.
Decoction of leaves used as a wash for ulcers.
External contusions.
Used in baths for rheumatic pains.
Ringworm and insect bites: Apply juice of crushed leaves.
Skin ulcers: Decoction of herb as wash.
For delayed menstruation: take the juice of the leaves with water.
Seeds are used in treatment of several eye diseases.
Toothache: Wet small piece of cotton with juice of crushed leaves and insert into tooth cavity.
Postpartum: Decoction of seeds used to decrease postpartum pains; the seeds are mucilaginous.
Poultice of seeds used for buccal sores.
Decoction of seeds also used for constipation.
Acne: Infusion of 3 tsp of dried leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 20-30 minutes. Apply externally or drink decoction of tea or infusion 3 times daily.
Others
• Oils repel insects (limonene, myrcene, camphor, thymol) and have larvicidal (eugenol and methylclaviol) activity against houseflies and mosquitoes.


Recent uses

Dizziness: crush enough fresh leaves with your fingers and sniff them.
Cough: As decoction boil eight tablespoons of fresh leaves in two glasses of water for 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to half. Divide the decoction into eight parts and take one part, three times a day.

Studies
• Aqueous extracts of Ocimum basilicum L. (sweet basil) decrease platelet aggregation induced by ADP and thrombin in vitro and rats arterio–venous shunt thrombosis in vivo: Results showed Ocimum basilicum to possess an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation induced by ADP and thrombin resulting in an anti-thrombotic effect in vivo.
Cardiac stimulant activity of Ocimum basilicum Linn. extracts: The study evaluated the cardiac effects of extracts derived from the aerial parts of Ocimum basilicum. Results showed the alcoholic extracts exhibited a cardiotonic effect and the aqueous extract produced a B-adrenergic effect.
Antimicrobial Effects of Ocimum basilicum (Labiatae) Extract: Results suggest that O. basilicum extracts possess compounds with antimicrobial properties against C. albicans and some bacterial pathogens.
Anti-dyspepsia: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled study showed Ocimum basilicum seems to relieve functional dyspepsia in female and young patients with dysmotility.
Anthocyanins in Basil : Purple basils are an abundant source of acylated and glycosylated anthocyanins, a potential source of stable red pigments to the food industry.
Antioxidant: In a study of plants in the Lamiaceae family, the leaves and stems of Ocimum basilicum displayed the highest antioxidant activity.
Antiulcer: Study showed the seed extracts of OB to possess significant anti-ulcer activity against ethanol-induced ulceration in animal models.
Wound-Healing Activity: Wounds treated with honey in combination with OB alcoholic leaf extract and solcoseryl-jelly showed accelerated wound healing compared to honey alone.
• Antiproliferative / Anticancer: A study on the antiproliferative activity of essential oil from 17 thai medicinal plants on human mouth epidermal carcioma (KB) and murine leukemia (P388) cell lines. In the KB cell line, Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) oil showed the highest anti-proliferative activity in the P388 cell line. The results suggested the potential of Thai medicinal plants for cancer treatment.

Toxicity
Although known for its medicinal benefits, it contains some potentially dangerous compounds: safrole, rutin, caffeic acid, tryptophan and quercetin.(See: Medicinal Plants for Livestock / Cornell University)

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Balanoy.html

Lemon grass is a perennial plant that is native to India and Nepal; it has a light, lemony scent and flavor, with a hint of ginger. Lemon grass is one of the wondrous herbs; it is very useful as medicinal plant and a delicious food flavoring. Few knows that the other name of Lemon grass is citronella, a popular scent in perfume, candles and soaps. Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also popular as a mild insect repellant.

In a study that was conducted it has shown that every 100g of edible lemon grass, when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the powerful anti-oxidant that scientist believe can help prevent cancer. In another study it has shown that lemon grass oil has the potential as topical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision. Researchers note that lemongrass oil’s antioxidant qualities and ability to inhibit the enzyme that promotes the growth of cancer cells are promising.

Health Benefits of Lemon Grass:

  • It contains an antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
  • Helps boost the immune system
  • Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats
  • It helps alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.
  • Helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples
  • It helps tone the muscle and tissues.
  • Helps in menstrual troubles
  • Helps reduce blood pressure

    and improve blood circulation

  • Helps reduce cellulite
  • Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
  • May help prevent color cancer.
  • Helps in reducing fevers
  • Help in flatulence and colic
  • Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism

Lemon grass for Cooking: The leaves and base of lemon grass are used as a food flavoring especially in Southeast Asian dishes. The long thin grey-green leaves are tough and fibrous, the outside leaves and the tips are usually chopped very finely or discarded from the dish before it is served.

How to Use Essential Oil: Apply 2 drops of concentrated lemongrass oil per ounce of organic unrefined almond oil, olive oil or any of you favorite oil. You can use the mixture to your skin as massage oil, lotion and moisturizer. As a relaxing scent add 1 – 2 drops in a cloth and inhale to relax your senses.

How to make Lemon grass Herbal Tea:

  • Fresh Leaves: Pour 2 cups of water to ¼ cup lemon grass leaves, then boil and simmer for 3minutes. Let is cool and drink.
  • Dried Leaves: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried lemon grass leaves. Steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.

Author: By len7288
http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Lemon-Grass

Excerpts from other source:

Considered as a sacred herb by the ancients due to its magical healing and protecting properties, lemon grass is valued even today due to its ability to ward off problems like anxiety, headaches and fever amongst others. Along with its health benefits, this tropical grass is usually known for its aromatic citrus flavor which provides taste and unique aroma to turn a food item into an exotic delicacy. The common and popular name of lemon grass is citronella which is used as a common scent in candles, perfumes and soaps. It is also known for its soothing and calming effect which helps in relieving stress, tension and anxiety.

Along with providing scent and aroma, lemon grass is also useful for the various health benefits they provide to its consumers. It has been found that lemon grass has antibacterial and anti fungal properties along with possessing natural cleansing properties which help of the liver, kidneys and bladder. Moreover, it also helps in the healthy functioning of the digestive system as it helps in decreasing problems related to indigestion and gastroenteritis. This is because it helps in cutting down the levels of cholesterol, fat and toxins from one’s body along with aiding in the stimulation of blood circulation in the body. As lemon grass can help in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, it plays an important role in maintaining the health of one’s heart.

It has been found that lemon grass can prove to be beneficial for women as it helps in treating menstrual troubles and nausea. By mixing lemon grass with pepper, one can get rid of a majority of problems related to women’s menstrual cycle. Along with providing numerous health benefits, lemon grass also aids in the beautification process of the skin as it helps in preventing the formation of pimples and acne along with acting as a useful muscle and a tissue toner.

Lemon grass was usually known only for its aromatic properties. However, it also possesses numerous health benefits which makes it an invaluable herb which was rightly termed by our ancients as a “sacred herb”.

Source: http://www.ayushveda.com/womens-magazine/benefits-of-lemon-grass/

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