Palmarosa

Palmarosa Essential OilPalmarosa Essential Oil (Cymbopogon martini) is steam distilled from the leaves of the plant. This oil can be stimulating and soothing to the body and mind. 

Historical Data:Palmarosa is a relative of lemongrass and was used in temple incense by the ancient Egyptians. Its fragrance creates a feeling of security, reducing stress and tension and can promote recovery from nervous exhaustion.

Palmarosa PlantPalmarosa is effective as an anti-bacterial, -fungal (Candida), -viral agent and supports the heart and nervous system. Palmarosa is also excellent for the skin promoting new skin cell growth and regulates sebum production.

Key Constituents:
Geraniol — 70-85%
Linalol — 3-7%

Palmarosa rates 127,800 uTE/100g on the ORAC Scale.

NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF

 PALMAROSA ESSENTIAL OIL

Researchers from India published a study in June 2012 that explored new ground for Cymbopogon martinii essential oil, better known by its common name, palmarosa. This oil would be of interest to these researchers, because India and Brazil are the two largest producers of palmarosa. The scientists from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Saurashtra University in Guajarat, India, noted that palmarosa is traditionally prescribed for disorders of the central nervous system such as neuralgia, epilepsy, and anorexia. But they wrote that the plant's neuroprotective action had not received much scientific attention.

Their evaluation was on the subject of global ischemic brain damage and reperfusion injury. Brain ischemia occurs when the brain's blood flow is stopped or reduced (often by a heart attack). Global ischemia means it affects the entire brain. Lack of proper blood flow creates a dangerous shortage of oxygen, causing damage or death to brain tissue. A 1974 study gave hope for these injuries by demonstrating that damage to a mammalian brain could be partially recovered, even after as much as an hour's ischemia.1

We would think that just restoring the oxygen flow would bring a return to health. Not necessarily! It seems hugely unfair, but the lack of oxygen sets up conditions for inflammation and oxidative damage to occur when the blood flow is restored. In fact, a virtual cascade of damage results from the reintroduction of oxygen into the brain. This is called reperfusion injury. The reintroduced oxygen damages cellular proteins, DNA, and the membrane of cells. A damaged cell membrane may release even more free radicals. Some of these reactive oxygen species (ROS) indirectly may turn on the cell's "suicide function" or apoptosis. Leukocytes (the white blood cells of the returning blood) may be bound to the layer of cells lining the interior of small capillaries, causing obstructions that lead to even more ischemia.

Some studies2,3 suggest that treatment with hydrogen sulfide could be protective against reperfusion damage. However, not only is hydrogen sulfide explosive, it has the odor of rotten eggs. It must be used only in small quantities. Prone to explode and smells like rotten gas? This leads us back to the university study4 of palmarosa essential oil, with its enchanting, dusky rose scent.

In the interest of heart attack and stroke victims worldwide, global cerebral ischemia/reperfusion was induced in Wistar albino rats. There was increased lipid peroxidation (meaning free radicals had attacked and damaged the fats in cell membranes). Conversely, there was a decrease in the powerful and protective antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), total thiols (sulfur compounds), and glutathione (GSH).

However, prior treatment doses of 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg of palmarosa essential oil "markedly reversed these changes and restored to normal levels as compared to I/R [ischemia/reperfusion] groups. Moreover, brain coronal sections and histopathological studies revealed protection against ischemic brain damage in the EOCM-treated [essential oil Cymbopogon martinii] groups."

Certainly more studies will be needed but this study does show for the first time the "potent neuroprotective effect of EOCM against global cerebral I/R-induced oxidative stress in rats, suggesting its therapeutic potential in cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) including stroke."

References:
1Hossmann KA, Zimmermann V, "Resuscitation of the monkey brain after 1 h complete ischemia. I. Physiological and morphological observations," Brain Res. 1974 Nov 29;81(1):59-74. 
2Marutani E, et al., "A novel hydrogen sulfide-releasing NMDA receptor antagonist prevents ischemic neuronal death," J Biol Chem. 2012 Jul 19. [E-pub ahead of print] 
3Sun WH, et al., "Hydrogen sulfide decreases the levels of ROS by inhibiting mitochondrial complex IV and increasing SOD activities in cardiomyocytes under ischemica/reperfusion," Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 May 4;421(2):164-9. 
4http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22855942 

— Information courtesy of AIRASE.org


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