Cypriol Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects

From being a potential carminative to a hair fall tonic, Cypriol oil benefits are countless. Despite being recognized as a noxious herb worldwide, the plant and the essential oil obtained from it has been therapeutically used for centuries. Hence, awareness about this oil is crucial.

Considering this, here is an in-depth that describes cypriol’s benefits, properties, side effects, usage, and so on.

What is Cypriol Oil?

Cypriol, the essential oil from Cyperus scariosus R.Br. is widely used as a digestive tonic since early times. Cyperus scariosus, which is commonly known as Nagarmotha or Nutgrass belongs to a family called Cyperaceae.

The plant is a delicate, small grass-like herb and is native to a few parts of Bangladesh and eastern & southern parts of Indian subcontinent. However, the plant is spread all over the world.  They can be easily spotted in and around rivers, waterfalls, and other damp or marshy lands.

There are about 60 species of Cyperus genus in India and 700 species throughout the world. In China, the Cyperus plants were known for its strong and pleasant fragrances and were used for culinary, perfumes, and incenses.

The plant is an essential ingredient of indigenous medicines. It treats various disorders like liver damage, diarrhea, fever, and much more. Cypriol oil, obtained from rhizomes of the plant has wide application in perfumeries. It is also used as hair tonic since ancient times (1).

cypriol essential oil

Scientific Name of Cypriol Oil

The botanical name of cypriol is Cyperus scariosus R.Br.

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History of Cypriol Oil

Cypriol (also called nutgrass) is a perennial plant and considered as "the world’s worst weed" since it is extremely invasive. However, the plant is India’s secret elixir, claims the biologists.

The therapeutic benefits of the plant are mentioned in "Charaka Samhita," one of the ancient and the most revered medical books of the Ayurvedic System.

According to Ayurveda, the imbalance in Vata, Pitta, and Kapha is the primary cause of any disease in the human body. However, cypriol is studied to pacify Pitta and Kapha Dosha. Also in Vedic literature, both cypriol and its oil are mentioned to have hypnotic and sedative quality.

The plant has also has found its place in the Chinese medical system from 500 AD. It also had an exciting and vital place in the East for its therapeutic and medicinal values. However, its introduction to the western countries is believed to be unintentional. This exotic plant is considered harmful, as it is difficult to eradicate the weed.

In ancient times, Indian women used to perfume their attires with cypriol oil. Its refreshing aroma has made its way to the beauty industry. It is most probably one of the well-known oils in the perfume industry.

Colour, Consistency, and Smell of Cypriol Oil

  • The color of cypriol oil is golden yellow to dark brown or amber.
  • The consistency of cypriol oil is thick.
  • The smell of cypriol oil is spicy, earthy, and woody.

Properties of Cypriol Essential Oil

The therapeutic properties of Cypriol essential oil include (2, 3)

  • Analgesic - Reduces pain sensation
  • Anti-inflammatory - Alleviates inflammation
  • Antifungal - Prevents fungal growth
  •  Antimicrobial - Prevents microorganism growth
  • Anti-bacterial - Prevents bacterial growth
  • Anthelmintic - Repels intestinal parasites
  • Antidepressant - Alleviates depression
  • Antiseptic - Destroys microbes and prevents their development
  • Antioxidant - Inhibits oxidation
  • Astringent - Contracts or tightens tissues
  • Calmative - Sedative, calming agent
  • Carminative - Relieves flatulence, eases abdominal pain and bloating
  • Diuretic - Promotes the removal of excess water from the body
  • Hepatic - Acts on the liver
  • Hypotensive - Lowers blood pressure
  • Immunostimulant - Stimulates the immune system
  • Laxative - Assists in bowel elimination
  • Spasmolytic - Eases smooth muscle spasms

Chemical Compounds in Cypriol Oil

Researchers have found about 21 chemical compounds in Cypriol essential oil. Of those, the most significant chemical components are cyperene, cyperotundone, corymbolone, patchoulenone, beta-selinene, rotundone, and agarol. These constituents contribute to Cypriol oil its unusual therapeutic properties.

The minor compounds include isopatchoulenone, isopatchoul-3-ene, a-copaene, patchoulanol, calamenol, isopatchouli-3,5-diene, rotundenol, ar-himachalene, 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzaldehyde, myrtenol, and a-selinene.

uses of cypriol essential oil
Credit: Indiamart

Health Benefits of Cypriol Oil

The health benefits of cypriol oil include:

  • Keeps the skin young & radiant
  • Helps fight diabetes
  • Relaxes the mind
  • Clears the airways
  • Makes you look younger
  • Boosts stomach health
  • Nourishes the hair
  • Removes toxins from the body
  • Relieves cramps
  • Treats rheumatism symptoms

1. Keeps the skin young & radiant

Cypriol essential oil promotes skin health with its anti-inflammatory properties. The plant is used as one of the key ingredients in Ayurvedic prescriptions for skin disorders.

It can help treat different skin conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis. You can apply the oil topically (but in diluted form) to ease the pain, to reduce redness, and itching sensation.

It also acts as an excellent moisturizer, decreasing dryness and flaking of skin. With its antibacterial property, the oil acts on acne too. Its aroma calms down irritation caused by various skin disorders (4).

For a soothing massage, cypriol oil is an excellent choice. Blend the oil with any carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil or jojoba oil and massage on the joints to reduce inflammation.

2. Helps fight diabetes

According to researchers, the aromatic compounds have demonstrated to be excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and antioxidant.

The compounds are studied to significantly decrease the blood sugar levels and inflammation due to Type II Diabetes. The leaves and the oil exhibit a promising anti-hyperglycemic activity depending on the dose, claims a study (5).

3. Relaxes the mind

With immense work pressure and sedentary lifestyle, stress has become more common. Apparently, stress increases the cortisol levels in the body, causing multiple health problems. Increased blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases are often a direct cause of stress. (6)

The cypriol oil has shown antidepressant activity in mice in studies. The earthy and woody aroma of cypriol oil relieves stress and relaxes the mind naturally. You can use the oil in a vaporizer or massage it (but in diluted form).

4. Clears the airways

One of the best cypriol oil benefits is that it is an excellent decongestant.  You can diffuse the oil using a vaporizer to ease respiratory congestion, break phlegm, and clear frozen stubborn mucus. The oil has a hint of frankincense and camphor.

The spicy smoke reduces congestion, calms the mind, and benefits the central nervous system.  It gives a serene feeling when used correctly.  However, prolonged exposure may cause shortness of breath.

5. Makes you look younger

Cypriol plant has been considered as a noxious weed worldwide. However, scientists have studied its antioxidant properties deeply and the results were fantastic (7).

Oxidative stress causes free radical formation, which is the host of many diseases and aging.

The compounds in these plant facilitate free radical scavenging without damaging the cells. In fact, the plant has been used by Indian women for ages to heal wrinkles and scars.

6. Boosts stomach health

Cypriol oil is a potential carminative. The aroma acts as an appetizer. The oil when massaged on the abdomen helps stimulate the process of digestion.

Also, the oil aids in killing intestinal worms and controlling nausea. A proper massage with it is enough to soothe an upset stomach and irritable bowel. This is due to its anti-dysenteric properties (8).

In ancient times, people consumed its tea infused with the plant's rhizome to heal stomach related problems. But it is best to do a massage with it, given that it is diluted.

7. Nourishes the hair

Since ancient times, people used the decoction of rhizomes as a hair wash. Cypriol oil is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Thus, treats scalp conditions inflammations and prevents further infections.

You can mix it with potential blends like coconut oil olive oil or almond oil and apply it. It acts on the sebaceous glands and stimulates the hair follicles.

This strengthens the hair right from their roots and aids in opening small capillaries on the scalp, facilitating the growth of new hair follicles. The oil when massaged also nourishes hair and promotes healthy and shining hair (9).

8. Removes toxins from the body

The plant is also used as a diuretic. It helps eliminate excess water from the body through urine and sweat. You can use the oil either by diffusing it through a vaporizer or apply it topically (10).

The chemicals from the oil are absorbed through the skin and mix into the bloodstream, which in turn, induces frequent urination. The absorption of the oil also increases the quantity of urine.

9. Relieves cramps

One of the best cypriol oil benefits is that it can heal any type of pain. A soothing massage with diluted cypriol oil can cure abdominal cramps, joint pains, muscle spasm, aches, and menstrual cramps in a swish.

According to researchers, cypriol oil is an emmenagogue, analgesic, and antispasmodic. Besides easing pain during menstruation, it also assists in soothing other symptoms of menstruation. Cyperene and patchoulenone are important compounds attributed to pain relief. (11)

10. Treats rheumatism symptoms

The plant has been used to cure rheumatic disorders since early times. It shows potential anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatism and analgesic properties. Rheumatism is generally accompanied by joint pains and inflammation in joints. At times, it is even difficult to move.

However, applying cypriol oil regularly helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis significantly. You can massage the diluted oil on the painful and inflamed areas for a faster relief (12).

What Blends With Cypriol Oil?

Cypriol oil blends best with:

How To Use Cypriol Oil?

how to use cypriol oil

Cypriol oil is beneficial in many aspects when used appropriately.  Since the oil is highly concentrated or potent, you should be cautious when using it.

  • Topical Application: Cypriol oil in its concentrated form may be toxic and a skin irritant. It is best when used in small quantity. Make sure that you blend the oil with a suitable carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil before applying it on the skin. For hair, mix 2 to 3 drops of cypriol oil with sufficient quantities of organic coconut oil before you use it on the scalp. The oil works wonders when added in a small amount in the bathing water.
  • Aromatherapy: Cypriol oil has a spicy and earthy aroma with hints of cinnamon, cedar, and frankincense. The smell is strong. Hence, it is always best to diffuse the oil only using a vaporizer or a diffuser.  Makes sure you do not spread the oil in a congested place.
  • Ingestion: The oil is strictly not for intake. It is toxic when swallowed. Seek immediate medical care if you accidentally swallow the oil. Few anecdotes from the past reveal that the oil can be used to rinse the mouth along with coconut oil. But we wouldn't recommend you to do that.

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Side Effects Of Cypriol Oil

There is less information about cypriol's toxicity, contradiction, and hazards. However, it is strictly advised to seek guidance from a professional aromatherapist before using it.

It is always best to know about the source, quality and shelf life of the oil. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should not use the oil, as it induces menstruation.

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