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Ghandi Root Oil: Peaceful Perseverance

Ghandi Root 

Ghandi Root (Homalomena aromatica), an evergreen perennial, belongs to the Family Araceae, which is the most diverse plant family in the New World Tropics! This essential oil-bearing plant’s native range occupies the tropical and subtropical forests from Assam to China, and is identifiable by its heart-shaped leaves and orange yellow berries (Kew RBC, 2020) (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Ghandi Root (Homalomena aromatica)

Traditional medicine

This plant’s rhizome (a modified plant stem below the ground) has been used in traditional herbal medicine for over 3000 years to treat a range of conditions based on its reported analgesic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, and antifungal properties (Policegoudra et al., 2012; Rhind, 2019). 

Essential oil components and therapeutic benefits

The source of Ghandi Root steam-distilled essential oil is also the rhizome, so its use in traditional medicine may overlap with its use...

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The Sedative and Anxiolytic Activities of Cedrol and Virginian Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedrol

Cedrol is a tricyclic sesquiterpene alcohol commonly occurring in the essential oils of conifer trees, especially those belonging to the Cupressus and Juniperus genera. It occurs in essential oil of Juniperus virginiana (Virginian, red or Eastern red cedarwood) (Figure 1) at proportions of approximately 24-32% (ter Heide et al, 1988; Kitchens et al, 1971). The compound presents minimal risk in terms of skin irritancy, allergenicity and toxicity (Tisserand & Young, 2014).

     Figure 1. Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Cedrol has exhibited in vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and yeast, and cytotoxic activity against human lung, liver and oral cancer cells (Su et al, 2012). The compound was also shown to contribute to the potentially beneficial effects of the methanol extract of Juniperus chinenesis on Alzheimer’s disease, specifically through inhibiting the enzymes...

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Aniseed Essential Oil for Depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Aniseed essential oil 

Essential oil of aniseed (Pimpinella anisum) is not usually among those that we select when  requiring an uplifting, antidepressive effect. We might think instead of essential oils such as lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and sandalwood (Santalum spp.), all of which have shown beneficial effects in clinical trials on mood parameters such as anxiety and depression (Sánchez-Vidaña et al, 2017).

Yet a recent clinical trial conducted in Iran found that essential oil of aniseed, which as a medicinal plant has long been important in traditional Persian medicine, showed promising results in alleviating the symptoms of mild to moderate depression in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (Mosaffa-Jahrom et al, 2017).

The gut-brain axis, serotonin and IBS

IBS is characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, and depending on the diagnostic criteria employed, affects about 11% of the...

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The Immunomodulating Potential of Essential Oils in Relieving Asthma

Asthma

Among the respiratory conditions for which essential oils show promise is bronchial asthma.

Asthma affects some 339 million people worldwide and is the most common chronic disease among children (Morales, 2018). Asthma is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways of the lungs with symptoms that include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, excessive mucus production, and cough. Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic), based on whether symptoms are precipitated by allergens (atopic) or not (non-atopic) (Kumar at al, 2010). Allergic mechanisms are involved in about half of people with asthma.

Atopic asthma commonly involves an infiltration of the airways by components of the immune system such as eosinophils, mast cells, and lymphocytes together with a thickening of the bronchial walls and hypertrophy/ hyperplasia of the smooth muscle of the airways (Cheng et al, 2018). (Hypertrophy refers to an increase in the...

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