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India can be considered lucky to possess a great treasure of aromatic plants – many of which have not been known outside the country until quite recently. Among these plants we find Kewra or Kewda. The botanical name Pandanus odoratissimus conveys that the essential oil of it must be extremely fragrant. The remarkable aromatic depth streaming out from the most beautiful large white flowers of the Kewra agave-like plant is the key which makes its essential oil such an amazing healing ally.
Healing with the sense of smell
The reawakened knowledge about fragrances and their ability to be extremely helpful in regaining physical, emotional and mental balance has attracted the attention of more and more people in our modern society during the last 2-3 decades. Damaging side-effects and iatrogenic diseases caused by western (petro-) chemical medicines have alarmed countless people and scientists. In fact, there is enough evidence today that these substances weaken the human self-healing powers – and do not give access to the finer energy levels of the human being – that level from where all real healing starts.
More and more we grasp that numerous diseases have their roots in the psycho-spiritual “drama” of our consciousness and that nature has provided precious holistic gifts to heal both the domains of the physical as well as the subtle energy body of the human being (to know more about this fascinating topic read “Crisis for evolution”).
According to scientific research our sense of smell is located within the limbic system, the eldest part of our brain. Already fully developed in prehistoric times of mankind, it handles vital functions such as sleep, hunger and thirst, sexual instinct, memory – and the sense of smell! In former times it served as THE important factor for survival of the tribe members and the continuation of the race.
Today we know furthermore that the sense of smell is closely connected with imagination and creativity which enables us to store learning contents more easily. This understanding is supported by the amazing neurological findings that fragrances balance the right and left part of the brain, the first one directing intuition and creativity, the other logical and intellectual thinking. Pleasant fragrances strongly enhance brain coherence as testified by modern EEG research. Also important to mention that scents have a deep influence on our emotional side thereby intensifying the learning process – something that certainly would need more attention once we have understood the full scope of aspects responsible for successful learning.
Yes, and we haven forgotten that fragrances – I mean the natural ones!! – are able to open the gates to our soul and fill that incredible emptiness so many are suffering from. One of the most amazing essential oils to remedy this is Kewra.
A Natural “Bio-Coach”
The chemical ingredients present in this delicate miracle of Nature are 2-phenylethyl-methylether (ß-phenyl ethyl methyl ether, 60 to 80%), 2- phenylethanol (ß-phenyl ethyl alcohol) and its ester. In addition monoterpenes contribute to the fragrance of Kewra.
In terms of holistic biochemistry, ethers, like the phenylethyl-methylether, so much present in Kewra oil, are powerful compounds to bring the space element “Akasha” (Sanskrit) into the body. They help us to open up, to release what makes us shrink, what keeps us stuck in problems without being able to see solutions. They give more space, bestow a feeling of lightness, of letting-go. Just a whiff of Kewra, and we experience immediately something as if the heart connects with the brain, as if the nerves let go the tenseness of pent-up stress, and a wave of clarity coming from deep within ourselves “rolls” through the entire system allowing the soul to breathe. That is what we would need so often: An “instant reprogramer”, not a hasty, gesture of anger, bad mood, despair, but something which makes us see any situation with more clarity – and then go into a better place where we can take clearer decisions. Kewra is that subtle enhancer of the inner witness, a natural “bio-coach” for mindfulness and relaxed awareness….
Christopher McMahon describes in his study on Kewra oil that it possesses the ability of refreshing and awakening tired brain cells. Indeed, Kewra is an oil of inspiration and creativity which seems capable of blasting away the cobwebs of lethargy and to rejuvenate our heart and spirit.
Kewra in Ayurveda
Very interesting to mention that Ayurvedic medicine uses Kewra to treat “Sadaka-Pitta”, the aspect of Pitta that controls the heart function and also contributes to set the mind in harmony. Furthermore, Ayurvedic physicians use “Ruh Kewra” (Kewra oil) to treat headaches and earaches, rheumatic pains, skin problems. They also prescribe it as a stimulant and antispasmodic.
Apart from the amazing qualities discovered in the essential oil of the Kewra flowers each part of the plant is used for a variety of culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes. For example the anthers and tops of the bracts of the flowers are used to produce a powder which serves as snuff to treat epilepsy.
Kewra oil is a miracle in the hands of those who are aware that our consciousness is the center of healing. It is from here, from the vibrating and radiating center of our pranic energies that we can transform our body, our health, our physical destiny. Here, with oils such as Kewra, we hold a key to constantly rekindle our joy of life, the birthright of each and everyone.
Kewra: you are an amazing and powerful heart and spirit opener ! You are an incarnation of Nature’s generosity to help us find balance and peace – even in the midst of the stress and the hectic lifestyle of our modern world.
May we as human beings connect more and more with the fragrant “melodies” from the heart of Nature!
Dr. Malte Hozzel
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