Gardenia essential oil has an interesting characteristic to see it feature heavily in aromatherapy and perfumery. Gardenia is extracted from the fruit of a large leafy plant, Melipodium Almorinea, which grows wild across parts of Africa and Asia. Its fragrance mirrors that of jasmines.
The use of gardenia essential oil is fairly new, however. Its first recorded use is as an insect repellant. It was created by botanist Robert Koche during the 1930s as a way of controlling the flies and mosquitoes that plagued farmers and poor neighborhoods. Later, it was found to have anti inflammatory properties and helped treat arthritis and muscle spasms. Its anti inflammatory effects on the skin may also be beneficial in combating the signs of aging and of various skin disorders such as acne, eczema, and rosacea.
One study performed by the Journal of Applied Toxicology showed that extracts of the gardenia essential oil were effective in reducing the inflammation of papillary pores. This reduction in inflammation is associated with the production of a chemical, serotonin, in the brain. Petillary pores are narrow, small openings located near the surface of the eyelid that allow tears to flow. When inflammation occurs, these small openings become swollen and inflamed. Inflamed eyes can result in extreme discomfort, but this discomfort is alleviated when the tear ducts are cleansed by using the gardenia essential oil.
Another potential use of the oil is as a mood stabilizer. Over the past several years, there have been numerous studies performed on the subject. It was discovered that the essential fatty acids found in gardenia enhanced the production of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), an ingredient that aids in stabilizing moods. In addition, GABA assists in reducing the excitability of cells that line the blood vessels. There are numerous conditions associated with abnormal levels of GABA in the body, including the often serious condition, interstitial cystitis, which can sometimes cause seizures and comas. Other studies have proven that the oil can effectively reduce the symptoms and frequency of mood swings associated with bipolar disorder and depression.
The gardenia essential oil is also demonstrated to aid in the stimulation of the immune system. In certain instances, the oil is effective in stimulating the activity of the immune system to fight off infection. One of the most common reasons for the occurrence of infections is the presence of bacteria or fungi in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to treating infections, the oil is an antibacterial agent that could prevent infections from occurring in the first place. The antibacterial action of the oil is most beneficial when it is applied directly to the skin.
Some of the more common health ailments that are treated by the oil include diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation, constipation, heart disease, migraine headaches, excessive sweating, and fatigue. When it comes to managing the symptoms of diabetes, the oil relieves morning hunger cravings, promotes the release of insulin, and reduces the amount of carbohydrates absorbed into the bloodstream. High blood pressure is effectively relieved when the oil is applied topically to the scalp. Inflammation can be managed when the oil is massaged into the ailing joints. Meanwhile, inflammation can be reduced when the oil is applied topically to the skin.
The anti-fungal properties of the gardenia essential oil come into play when the plant is applied as an essential oil. The essential oil extracts have proven effectiveness in combating fungal infections such as candida, thrush, and jock itch. The anti-inflammatory action of the oil extracts from the gardenia flower helps ease the pain caused by arthritis and joint pain. When used topically, the oil helps relieve the discomfort caused by menstrual cramps. Some people who have undergone chemotherapy reported significant reduction in their dosage when using the oil extracted from the gardenia flower.
As for the smell, some users report that the scent of the gardenia essential oils is quite strong. Other reported smells include a mint scent or a very subtle and sweet scent reminiscent of lemons. The average number of drops needed to give a noticeable difference in the fragrance is one drop per inch of the scalp. For maximum effect, the oil should be applied to damp hair and left overnight. If you do not like the smell of lavender, some users have reported using orange blossoms since they have a similar scent to lavender.