Galbanum (scientific name Ferula galbaniflua) is basically an aromatic resin that is produced by some plants belonging to genus Ferula. The term ferula has been derived from the Latin word "ferula", which denotes a rod. As many as 170 flowering plant species belong to this genus, which is a member of family Apiaceae. These plants have their origin in the area spreading from the Mediterranean region to the eastern parts of central Asia, especially the mountain ranges in northern Iran. Plants belonging to the ferula genus are mostly found in places having arid climatic conditions.
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Plants belonging to ferula genus are herbaceous and perennially growing plants that often reach a height of anything between 1 meter and 4 meters. Their stems are plump, hollow and succulent to some extent. The leaves of these plants are tripinnate or may be more finely divided, having a plump basal covering that holds onto the stem.
These plants produce yellow flowers in large umbels. Several plants belonging to the Ferula genus, particularly F. communis are also known as "giant fennel". However, strictly speaking, these are not fennel.
Ancient Greeks and Romans were familiar with the benefits offered by the galbanum plant (Ferula galbaniflua). People of these ancient civilizations burnt the dried plants in incense sticks, blended the oil extracted from the plant resin in their bath water, employed them in skin balms and also used the oil in making perfumes. The aroma of galbanum essential oil is fresh, woody and earthy, which relaxes the mind and brings pleasure to the soul. This essential oil is extracted by steam distilling the resin obtained from the galbanum plants. This plant species is indigenous to Iran and adjoining Asian nations.
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Galbanum essential oil possesses detoxifying properties and is an excellent stimulator for the circulatory system. As a result, use of this essential oil helps to treat rheumatism and arthritis by augmenting blood circulation throughout the body, especially to the joints. At the same time, this oil eliminates toxic substances and waste materials like surplus water, salts, fats and uric acid from the body. In fact, accumulation of uric acid in the body is said to be the main reason behind development of arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
This essential oil is especially effective for treating muscular spasms. In fact, sportsmen and athletes would be benefitted if they consider using the essential oil of galbanum. It is highly effective in alleviating cramps as well as muscle pulls. At the same time, use of this oil helps to unwind the muscles and nerves together with getting rid of spasms. In addition galbanum essential oil is also effectual in curing various other types of spasms, including those related to the nerves, intestines and the respiratory tracts.
Galbanum essential oil is an excellent cicatrisant and, hence, its use helps to diminish scars and stretch marks, as well as spots or blemishes that remain on the skin following acne, pox or pimples. It is, therefore, advisable that if you have any facial scars or marks on any other body area that make you look ugly and you want to remove them frantically, you need to consider using this essential oil. In addition to these benefits, use of galbanum essential oil also accelerates new cell and tissue growth in the affected areas and makes the area look unblemished and new. The new cells and tissues replace the old and damaged ones, which are a result of the scars. When the replacement of old, damaged tissues is complete, the scars will disappear making the skin look new.
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The essential oil extracted from the resin produced by the galbanum plant (Ferula galbaniflua) is reputed for being an excellent decongestant. It has been found to be very effective for clearing up congestions in the respiratory tracts that are often caused by bronchitis. In addition, galbanum essential oil also helps to clear blockages in the nasal tract, trachea, bronchi, pharynx, larynx and the lungs. Use of this oil makes breathing effortless, while ensuring a sound sleep. It is excellent for people suffering from cold, cough, and bronchitis.
Galbanum essential oil is also excellent for treating acne, boils and abscesses, because it aids in removing the toxic substances from the blood stream. At the same time, this oil controls the production and secretion of specific hormones, which influence sebum production from the sebaceous glands. In this way, use of this oil helps to eliminate the above mentioned skin problems.
The essential oil extracted from the galbanum plant resin has specific and desirable effects on the skin. Application of this oil onto the skin helps to revitalize aging skin and makes it look youthful and toned. This oil also stops the skin from sagging and makes it free from wrinkles. Precisely speaking, galbanum essential oil gives your skin an organic facelift. This oil is also effective for removing/ diminishing stretch marks as well as fat cracks on the skin. Hence, it is highly beneficial for women who are desperate to eliminate stretch marks and fat crack in the abdominal region that usually occur following child birth. Such skin problems may also happen after undergoing liposuction or any weight reduction treatment and the galbanum essential oil is useful in dealing with them effectively. At the same time, topical application of this oil helps to ensure that the skin is smooth, glowing and is not affected by any type of infections.
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It has been found that the essential oil of galbanum is also useful for promoting as well as stimulating blood and lymph circulations throughout the body. In this way, use of this essential oil offers respite from ailments caused by poor or obstructed circulation - for instance, arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
Galbanum essential oil is also effective for healing wounds. Use of this essential oil cures wounds rapidly by encouraging the concentration of leucocytes (while blood cells) and platelets at the site of the wounds and also by creating a protective covering over the wounds so that they do not become infected. Use of galbanum essential oil also holds back all types of microbial (bacterial as well as fungal) growth inside the wounded area, thereby facilitating and accelerating the healing process.
The essential oil of galbanum possesses detoxifying attributes and this is the reason why it is often used for treating acne, boils and abscesses. Like its effectiveness in healing wounds, this essential oil is also useful for healing ulcers and sores - internal as well as external. In addition, application of this essential oil also provides relief from muscle aches as well as various problems related to the lymphatic system. In aromatherapy, galbanum essential oil is widely employed to help one recuperate from depression, trauma and shock.
This essential oil is also highly useful for warding off parasites from humans as well as pets. It keeps away lice, fleas, mosquitoes, bed-bugs and many other such insects. When added to your bath water or shampoo, galbanum essential oil can be useful in getting rid of lice problem in the hair.
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Its therapeutic properties aside, galbanum essential oil is also used for other purposes, such as warding off insects. If you use this essential oil in incense sticks (which was a common practice among the ancient Romans and Greeks), vaporizers, room freshener sprays, it will help to keep away flies, ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches and various other insects. While this essential oil possesses the ability to kill specific insects, it is not so effectual against cockroaches.
The essential oil of galbanum has been found to be safe for use by almost everyone, as no obvious threats of using this oil have been reported. Despite this, galbanum essential oil should never be used in very large doses or at random.