Introduction to Cypress Oil
Cypress essential oil, scientifically known as Cupressus sempervirens is obtained from the needle-bearing tree of coniferous and deciduous regions. It belongs to the family Cupressaceae and is native to the north of Africa, Greece, Turkey, North America, Cyprus and Syria. Cupressus sempervirens is considered to be a medicinal tree that offers several health benefits. The oil is well-known for its antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial, stimulating, hemostatic, hepatic, vasoconstricting and anti-rheumatic properties. Besides pharmacological uses it is also widely used as a cosmetic ingredient in perfumery and soap-making.
The main chemical constituents compounds found in cypress essential oil are α-pinene (47.00–52.76%), δ-3-carene (19.35–21.13%), α-terpinyl acetate (4.10–6.47%), cedrol (2.03–3.92%), myrcene (3.11–3.48%) and limonene (2.28–3.31%) which are responsible for exhibiting health benefits.
Antiseptic and Anti-microbial Agent
Cypress oil is a natural anti-microbial agent and can be used against infectious diseases. It is also effective for internal as well as external wounds owing to its antiseptic qualities. It possesses pronounced anti-microbial activity against Gram-positive than Gram-negative bacteria. The major constituents such as α- pinene and cedrol are mainly responsible for its anti-microbial action, whereas the presence of camphene imparts anti-septic qualities.
According to a study, cypress oil is also used as a natural source for the maintenance or extension of the shelf life of products. It is also used to treat sores, pimples, pustules, skin eruptions, bruises and erysipelas.
Rich in Antioxidants
Study reports that branchlets and fruits of C. sempervirens possess antioxidant and specifically, anti-glycation properties. These activities are advantageous in the prevention and treatment of diabetic and cardiovascular complications. A higher antioxidant activity is due to the presence of phenolic compounds like carvacrol, a monoterpenoid phenol.
Acts as a Detoxifier
Cypress oil aids in toxin removal and acts a natural detoxifier of the body. As a diuretic, it helps the body remove excess water and salt that is likely to cause fluid retention. It also increases sweating, thus, aids in the elimination of toxins from the body. It detoxifies the blood, cleans skin pores and helps prevent acne and other skin problems. A study of 2007 reveals that Cupressus sempervirens L. shows excellent hepato-protective effect due to the presence of quercetin, rutin, caffeic acid, and p-coumaric acid. These compounds detoxify the liver by eliminating the toxins.
Alleviates Respiratory Problems
Studies state that cypress essential oil obtained from the leaves and cones is used to treat respiratory problems. It is an effective option to treat colds, whooping cough, sore throat, influenza and bronchitis. It imparts expectorant and decongestant properties and thus, it helps in the removal of phlegm and relieves symptoms.
Anti-rheumatic and Anti-inflammatory
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disorder and generally treated with Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control pain and inflammation and also corticosteroids that control the body’s immune response. But these agents are also likely to cause a number of side effects, which can be avoided with the use of cypress oil. Cypress essential oil is an excellent therapy for joint pain and arthritis. Cypress oil contains myrcene (3.11–3.48%), a chemical constituent which imparts strong anti-inflammatory, analgesic and a mild sedative effect. β-myrcene shows significant anti-inflammatory effects via inhibition of cyclooxygenase pathways and analgesic effect can be attributed to reduced peripheral nociception by the inhibition of prostaglandin release.
The anti-inflammatory action of cypress oil is also useful in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a painful condition of the wrist caused by compression of the carpal nerve leading to numbness, tingling and other symptoms in the hand and arm.
Tones Circulatory System
Cypress essential oil can be used to heal a number of blood circulation-related conditions like hemorrhoids. It is a condition in which the veins found in the rectum and anal canal become inflamed and cause pain and bleeding. Cypress oil stops the bleeding by vasoconstriction of distressed blood vessels and soothes varicose veins.
Cypress oil is of great use while treating muscle spasms and menstrual cramps. This is also helpful in heavy menstruation (Menorrhagia) as it regulates blood flow. Using cypress oil for massage or an inhalation eases painful menstrual cramps. It also balances the hormonal levels in menopausal and post-menopausal women.
Cypress oil is effective in relieving restless leg syndrome - a neurological condition characterized by uncontrollable spasms and uncomfortable sensations in legs. This condition makes people difficult concentrating and also to fall asleep. Cypress oil reduces spasms, increases blood circulation and provides relief.
Cypress oil is also used to get rid of cellulite, a condition described as the appearance of dimpled, lumpy appearance on the skin due to fat deposition beneath the skin. It mainly affects thighs and buttocks. This oil eliminates the toxins and improves blood circulation by increasing more oxygen supply to the area and aid in the removal of cellulite.
- Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils isolated from Algerian Juniperus phoenicea L. and Cupressus empervirens L - (http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380705668_Mazari%20et%20al.pdf)
- Chemical analysis and biological activities of Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis essential oils. - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23167275)
- Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of the essential oil and methanol extract of the Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4052795/)
- Protective effect of Cupressus sempervirens extract against indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer in rats - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4961923/)
- Phytochemical investigation and hepatoprotective activity of Cupressus sempervirens L. leaves growing in Egypt. - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17680494)
- Effective Essential Oils for Hemorrhoids - (https://healthyfocus.org/effective-essential-oils-for-hemorrhoids/)
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