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Ylang-Ylang Article

Hello Daily Star readers! You can find my full, scientific paper on Ylang-Ylang by clicking here: Positive Effect of Ylang Ylang On Performance by Rownak Salam (PDF). The original article as posted by The Daily Star (link here) has been reprinted below. Thank you!

Aromatherapy healing: the positive effects of ylang-ylang

In many years of running a retail store and aromatherapy clinic, I have helped customers solve a variety of issues of different sizes and magnitudes. Their trust in the all-natural healing power of aromatherapy comes from its effectiveness. It may also come from how straightforward it is when compared to the costly and complicated world of drugs and medical treatment. Over time, I have noticed a large group of customers — mostly women of Southeast Asian origin — order ylang-ylang in all its different forms (fragrance oil for lamps, body oil, incense, etc.). From my conversations with clients, my synthesis was that the workplace and workload makes us stressed: a woman’s responsibilities (according to the women I regularly talk to) does not end at the workplace as they need to go home and carry on household tasks of cleaning, cooking, serving and taking care of the elderly or children by a certain time.

I felt enthusiastic regarding the impact of ylang-ylang on human nervous systems. Plenty of research has already been conducted about how the brain wave patterns gets stimulated by the inhalation of certain essential oils. I felt eager to learn more about the use of ylang-ylang. The Latin name of ylang-ylang is Canangaodorata. It is a tropical tree that belongs to the Annonaceae botanical family, which originally comes from Southeast Asia.

Further research shows that ylang-ylang has a calming action on the heart, in addition to its other reputed medicinal properties. According to many researchers, ylang-ylang is known to be an aphrodisiac as well.

In the book Aromatherapy by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green, it is noted that, “[…] ylang-ylang[‘s …] fragrance is very relaxing, […it…] can also reverse fatigue.” Based on further readings and testimonies from the clients, I continued to gather information whether there is a direct correlation between the inhalation of ylang-ylang and mental effectiveness.

Aromatherapy healing: the positive effects of ylang-ylang

I tried the oil on myself on a few instances. During the end of the month, the workload really gets a bit too much; as I started feeling stressed, just by thinking about my piled up backlog I reminded myself to put a few drops of ylang-ylang in the mist humidifier and turn it on. I noticed that the workload that normally takes about 3-4 hours or more for me to complete with a tired mood (without using ylang-ylang) becomes possible for me to finish sooner with the inhalation of ylang-ylang, in addition to keeping a better attitude about that work. Prior to the use of this particular essential oil, there were some days when I didn’t even have any desire to sit myself down with the tasks due to lack of energy.

After creating a rigorous battery of mental tests, I recruited a group of busy professionals to take those tests. They were split into three groups: one was a control group (who simply had a mist humidifier with no oil added), one was given a mist humidifier with synthetic ylang-ylang oil and the final group was given a mist humidifier with the pure, high-grade ylang-ylang essential oil.

My findings displayed positive result: the group which experienced the pure essential oil was able to complete the standardised test nearly three times as fast as the control group and twice as fast as the group which received the synthetic oil.

Furthermore, the essential oil group also demonstrated the highest positive mood gains out of all three groups, by nearly 68 per cent. My data analysis shows me that inhalation of ylang-ylang essential oil impacts people’s mood positively, which allows them to complete more work, with more mental energy and less stress.

I am now able to more strongly recommend the use of ylang-ylang essential oil to my clients who turn to it as an aroma therapeutic aid.

The danger of consuming sweet stuff : Diabetes

The danger of consuming sweet stuff : Diabetes

Although many people know that sugary, sweet stuff may be a source of danger for the body still find it a great source of pleasure. Their attitude towards sugar intake comes from a harmless perspective: “Just few teaspoon of sugar in my coffee or tea, how harmful can it be?”But study says that for about 12 million Americans with adult-onset diabetes (some of them are undiagnosed) consumption sweet is dangerous.

In layman’s term Diabetes is when the pancreas fails to produce the hormone insulin.Without insulin the body is unable to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The failure to produce insulin may result in causing additional types of complications. Proper diet, exercise and following correct medication and insulin can keep the diabetes in check. However, keeping the precarious balance between insulin dosage and sugar intake is one of the major challenges of the diabetic people. Diabetes simply does not mean is a lack of insulin, but a defect in the receptors for insulin in the cell walls of fat and muscle tissue and the liver. When blood-sugar levels go up someone with diabetes may suffer from severe dehydration that can be a leading factor for confusion, drowsiness, and seizures. Long –term complications of type II diabetes may also include a high incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

As anherbalist, I found it interesting that before the advent of insulin and oral hypoglycemic, herbal medicines had been used to treat diabetes. “Goat’s rue (Galegaofficinalis), which had been used by European herbalists for centuries, contains guanidine, which is now used as a chemical precursor to the modern drug metformin.” However, because of the toxic nature found in Goat’s rue itself it is better not to use it on a regular basis without the full knowledge about it.Still,there are many safe botanical medicines that are helpful in managing theblood-sugar problems. It does not necessarily mean that one should discontinue insulin or other drugs without consulting the medical doctor. But regular use of the herbs may help the body to condition and to build a defense mechanism against the damages of diabetes. The best way is to incorporate herbal medicines with your doctor’s approval and monitor the body’s responses carefully.

Knowledge that I gathered from the field of herbology and aromatherapy I would like to bring some alternative healing remedies to your attention.These herbs and essential oils may benefit you in addition to the regular medicine. Based upon careful use of some of those your doctor may suggest the patient to lower the dose oftraditional medicine eventually.

Following are a number of Ayurvedica herbs that can be taken in order keep the blood sugar in check:

Gymnema (Gymnemasylvestre)

Gymnema (Gymnemasylvestre) is probably one of the most common herbs used to treat diabetes. Gymnemic acid, a component of the herb, acts directly on the tongue to block its ability to sense sweetness. Gymnema also appears to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin and to enhance the activity of insulin. . Typical dosage: 400mg of capsules per day.

Fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graecum)

Ancient Greek and Roman herbalists used this spice to treat diabetes. Modern research has shown that fenugreek seeds not only lower blood glucose but also reduce insulin levels, total cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL (the good cholesterol). For non-insulin dependent diabetic 5,000mg of powdered seed should be good but for insulin dependent 50, 000 mg twice per day can be taken.

Bitter melon (Momordicacharantia)

Also known as bitter gourd, this fruit is cultivated in many tropical countries, where it is widely used as a folk remedy for diabetes. Bitter melon contains compounds that are close chemical relatives of insulin. Typical dosage: 3 tablespoons to 6 fluid ounces per day. It is used in diabetes mellitus to stimulate the function of pancreas and to reduce blood sugar level. Widely used herb in treating diabetes mellitus as it has an action similar to Insulinby helping in glucose metabolism.

Guggul (Commiphoramukul)

The accumulation of fat in the tissues may prevent the body from receiving insulin. Guggul is useful to combat this disease not only by increasing the tissue fire but bypreventing the complications that may arise from it.Parts of this tree used are gum obtained from stem and branches.

Pine (Cedrusdeodara)

Parts used are stem extract and oil. It removes the vitiated doshas in urine. It should be used in vata and Kaphatype of anuria. It should be used to cause elimination of microscopic waste products in Kapha diabetes. It causes urine alteration by eliminating microscopic waste products due to its hot, bitter, and aromatic qualities.


If using powder: 1 to 3 gm

If using oil: 20 to 40 drops

Bilberry (Vacciniummyrtillus)

The fruit of this bush is a rich source of the bluish pigments containsmany types of flavonoid. Flavonoids are well-known for their beneficial effects on capillaries. Since one of the main complications of long-term diabetes is damage to the small blood vessels of the eyes, the kidneys, and the tips of the toes and fingers, bilberry is often recommended as a treatment.


80 to 160 mg of capsules.

Grapeseed Extract (Vitisvinifera)

Grapeseed extract has the same benefits for people with diabetes as bilberry. Typical dosage to be used is 100 to 300mg per day.

Aromatherapy healing

Essential oils such as Geranium, Juniper Berry or Eucalyptus may be helpful to use as massage oil onto the whole body by mixing it with a carrier oil tokeep the organs healthy.

One last important suggestion:

In diabetes, diet is an important part of treatment. For a person with diabetes who is dependent on insulin, meals must be eaten on a regimented schedule. Food portions and calories must be monitored in order to determine the proper dose of insulin. High-starch and fatty food, foods high in sugar should be avoided that can lead to elevated blood glucose.

Rosemary Article

This article was originally published in the internationally-syndicated Daily Star newspaper (original article link here), in July 2013. The original text follows below:

Rosemary oil.
Rosemary oil.

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013


My favourite essential oil ROSEMARY

By Rownak Salam

I believe that my love for aromatherapy started when I was a child. My very first memory is the smell of rosemary oil each night when my mother used to tuck me in to bed and kiss me on the forehead. As she bent close to my face, I could smell a fresh and invigorating aroma that engulfed me. That particular fragrance instilled a feeling of security and love in me. I used to think that this aroma was my mother’s natural body odor. But when I didn’t find that smell for a few nights in a row, I started to miss it. It made me feel betrayed, as if she had deprived me of something wonderful. One night, I told my mother that I was missing that enchanting smell. She was confused and did not understand what smell I was referring to, but as we talked more she understood, and with a smile explained that the aroma comes from her using rosemary oil on her temples. She explained her need to use it because of her constant headaches that appeared almost every evening. She said that she used it because it is all-natural and that it relieved her pain. As much as I felt bad for her suffering of the headache, the truth was I also missed the fresh and uplifting scent of rosemary. It started my exploration into aromatherapy long after my childhood.

Aromas play a vital role in our life. From waking up to the smell of coffee, until nighttime with the minty smell of toothpaste, we are surrounded by many smells and aromas.

We develop a sense of natural affinity for some fragrances, and some may not appeal to us at all. Accordingly, my love for aroma began with the smell of one of the nicest essential oils which is not only full of aroma but has enormous healing qualities as well. Gradually I, like everyone else interested in aromatherapy, found out about a wide variety of plants and shrubs, flowers and herbs that have a lot of medicinal, stress-relieving and therapeutic values.

In today’s hyper-connected and fast-paced age, stress is a major cause of many harmful diseases in our body. One of the natural ways to be de-stressed and to elevate our mood is to use essential oils as a method of aromatherapy.

Most essential oils are produced by steam distillation of plant materials. Aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils produced from botanical material, not scented body care lotions or creams that use cheap synthetic fragrances. Once a person learns the knowledge on how to use certain oils it is easy for them to discover many different ways to heal using these varied methods.

Inhalation and application are the two main ways essential oils are used in aromatherapy. Inhalation can be as simple as putting few drops on a tissue and holding it close to the nose, using the aroma as a room spray or through steam inhalations to gain the therapeutic value from it. Also, after diluting it in a measured way these essences can be worn as healing perfumes. Application of essential oils to the skin requires dilution first. Essential oils can be used into massage oil, lotion, cream, soap, shampoo and many more ways so that the products can be applied to the skin. Some therapeutic applications may be in the form of compresses, baths, foot massage etc. Mainly the oils need to be incorporated into a person’s life in a manner which brings comfort by pushing the tension and stress away.

There are many options for using aromatherapy, but one has to like the fragrance in order to use it any further. A smell may be appealing for one person and obnoxious to another. It is better to use essential oils that smell best for the person using it. Smelling good quality essential oils is an adventure. The fragrances bring up memories and associations unique to each individual. According to the scientific analysis the reason essential oils have an effect on our mind, mood and emotions may be because they enter into our brain through our noses that generate reactions in the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system then directly influences our nervous, endocrine and immune systems.

While researching more on my favorite essential oil rosemary, I learned a substantial amount of necessary information from reading the materials written by Beverly Hawkins. Ms. Hawkins describes the origin of Rosemary: “It originates in the Mediterranean but now grows throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and California. The name comes from the

Latin ‘ros marin us’ meaning ‘rose of the sea.”

I learned and later experienced that it is a pale yellow oil that occurs through steam distillation from the flowering herb. Rosemary is a middle note. It blends well with other essential oils such as basil, cedar wood, citrus, lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, pine, cinnamon and some more. The most interesting findings for me are the healing abilities of rosemary. This fantastic shrub has analgesic, antidepressant, antioxidant and antiseptic properties in it. It is a circulatory stimulant shrub, has digestive fungicidal and many more beneficial properties in it. Depending on the need of the person it can be used as a face mask, bath or in massage oils. Along with many other health benefits it also promotes hair growth and removes dandruff. The analgesic properties in it help in rheumatism, muscular aches and pains when used in massage. Also, the stimulant and anesthetic possessions in it helps with physical exhaustion, headaches and migraines, mental fatigues and nervous exhaustion.

However, like any other essential oils or medicines it also has its contraindications. This oil should be avoided in case of epilepsy, high blood pressure and during pregnancy. Since it is stimulating it should have been avoided when the body needs sleep. Pure essential oils are strong and should not be used directly without dilution. Rosemary oil should be diluted properly with carrier oils or lotions before it can be used.

Perhaps the most significant uniqueness of aromatherapy is that essential oils offer a broad range of healing besides just curing our physical body. They have a profound effect on the psychological level. This makes the use of essential oils superior to other remedies.

However, now I know why my mother used to love applying rosemary oil to heal her headaches. She must have found a bonding with the aroma because it healed her naturally. In the journey of life, I experienced many essential oils but until today my love for rosemary has not changed a bit. I still find it as invigorating as I did when I discovered it in my early childhood.

Healing Through Essential Oils: Geranium

Healing through essential oils: Geranlum (Pelargonium graveolens)

Family – Geraniacea

Geranium is a bushy shrub with hairy leaves and flowers.  A pale green to yellow oil is steam distilled from the fragrant green parts of the plant, especially the leaves.

Geranium is a middle note. It has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrizant, deodorant, diuretic, fungicidal and many more properties. In Ayurvedic medicine geranium is thought to balance the Pitta, and Vata doschas and lower the Kapha Doscha.

As an alternative healing the use of Geranium is powerful. It can be used for the following:

Skin, Halr, Nails:  Has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic and cell regenerator properties. Use in facial masks, oils and creams for acne, athlete’s foot, burns, bruises, broken capillaries, oily skin, congested & mature skin.

Use in massage – full body for lymphatic drainage.  It is thought to have cellular regeneration and wound healing (especially after facial or plastic surgery) properties. Use in a diffuser or body oil or cream as an insect repellent (mosquitoes).

Respiratory: Has bactericidal properties. Use in a diffuser, inhalation or local massage for sore throats, tonsillitis and asthma.

Muscular/Skeletal: Has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Used in baths, massage (local and full body) or compresses for rheumatism and neuralgia.

Cardiovascular/Lymphatic: Used in baths and massage for poor circulation. Used in a sitz bath for hemorrhoids. Helpful with varicose veins. Use in a body oil or cream for edema, cellulite, eczema.

Urinary/Reproductive: Has diuretic and decongestant properties. Use in baths, massage or compresses for menstrual cramp and engorgement of the breasts. Use regularly to help with menopause and PMS. Helpful with cystitis, candida, painful periods, PMS and uterine hemorrhage.

Nervous/Brain/Mind: Has calming properties. Used in diffusers, baths, massages, personal perfumes and body oils geranium can assist with nervous tension, neuralgia and stress problems. lt is also thought to be effective for concentration, and to help in times of  confusion, hysteria, panic or shock. Geranium is a sedative. lt is an uplifting anti-depressant, which can help with manic depression, post-natal depression and anxiety.

Caution: Although it is non-toxic, but it is better not to use in early pregnancy.

Contact for more info or purchase.

My herb choice of the week-Aloe Vera

Do you know that Aloe Vera causes digestion and brings about elimination of dosha accumulated in all tissues? it makes absorbed food to reach all the tissues
unhindered. Thus, nutrition of tissues is improved. Its’ bitter taste causes tissue to stimulate and thus improves transformation of absorbed food into tissues. It should be specially used as in food made for patients having constipation.