What is Carnation Essential Oil?
Carnation essential oil or carnation absolute, is a slightly viscous liquid with a strong rich, honey-sweet, spicy and floral herbaceous aroma. It is obtained from the flowers by the process known as solvent extraction method.
The color of carnation absolute may differ from being pale yellow to olive green.
Generally, as rose absolute, carnation essential oil turns into a solid when kept at room temperature and, hence, it will be necessary to warm it up before using it.
This can be possible by placing the bottle containing it in a bowl with warm water. In this way, it can easily achieve its appropriate pouring consistency.
About Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus Linn. cv. Grenadin)
Carnation or Dianthus caryophyllus, belonging to the caryophyllaceae family, is a herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 80 cm tall (32 inches).
It has grayish green or blue-green glaucous leaves and sweetly scented flowers, which are about 3 to 5 cm in size (diameter), and they are either produced singly or in a bunch.
Naturally, carnation flowers are bright pinkish-purple in color, but other colorful cultivars of this plant had been developed such as carnations with white, red, green, and yellow flowers.
This herbaceous perennially growing plant is believed to have its origin in the Mediterranean region. However, since the plant has been extensively cultivated during the past 2,000 years, the precise range of this herb is yet to be ascertained.
Carnation in History
The flowers of carnation, which are considered to be anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, alexiteric as well as nervine, are highly fragrant and invigorating. They have been traditionally used in tonic cordials for treating fevers.
Also, carnation plants have long been brewed into teas that may help alleviate stress and nervousness.
Carnations grown, cultivated and dried into tea brews have also been used to treat minor depression and fatigue.
In Europe, folk medicine relied on infusions or teas brewed of carnations to help relieve nervousness and some coronary disorders, as well as for nausea caused by seasickness.
On the other hand, in ancient China, carnation flower tea was widely used to help the body and spirit relax, and to restore energy in the body. Likewise, in traditional Chinese medicine, people have also used the plant in the form of a vermifuge (to expels worms from the intestines).
Carnation plants contain relatively elevated amounts of saponins (natural soap-like). You can simmer the leaves of carnation plant in water and the resultant solution can be utilized as soap for cleansing the skin, clothes and so on.
The flower of carnation, also commonly known as clove-gilly flower, has been associated with love, weddings and fidelity, and in the Victorian language of flowers, carnation has been a symbol of pure love.
Chemical Composition of Carnation Essential Oil
There are few studies on carnation absolute oil in terms of its constituents. Eugenol, benzyl benzoate and benzyl salicylate were found as the main constituents of carnation absolute oil.
Seventeen compounds representing 80.1% of the Carnation absolute oil were identified. The main components were Eugenol (15.29 %) and Benzyl benzoate (14.12 %).
The two compounds were found as constituents in distilled carnation oil from Egypt in a study published in the International Journal of PharmTech Research.
Egyptian carnation absolute oil contains four chemical groups i.e.:
- Monoterpene hydrocarbons group (19.59 %),
- oxygenated monoterpene group (26.71 %),
- sesquiterpene hydrocarbons group (12.83 %)
- and various compounds group (20.97 %).
The carnation absolute essential oil composition was characterized by a high percentage of Oxygenated monoterpene group. The main constituents in this respect were Eugenol (15.29%), Elemol (5.51%) and Bornyl acetate (3.12%) followed by Methyl Eugenol (1.68%), and Citronellol (1.11%).
Limonene, Phellandrene, P-Cymene, b-Pinene and a- Pinene are the major monoterpene hydrocarbon compounds. Limonene is one of the best known aroma constituents of carnation absolute oil.
It is one of the most widely distributed terpenes, occurring in much volatile oil, especially in citrus oils.
On the other hand, two other important constituents were found in the group of sesquiterpene hydrocarbon. The first compound was Calamene (8.71%) and the second, – Cadinene (4.12 %).
Properties of Carnation Essential Oil
Among the known properties of carnation oil are:
- Anti- anxiety
- Muscle relaxant
Uses of Carnation Essential Oil
- Calms anxiety
- Keeps away feelings of apathy
- Stabilizes harmonious mood
- Fights depression
- Promotes digestion
- Eliminates excessive gas formation in the stomach and intestines
- Helps cure eczema
- Treatment for hair loss
- Soothes muscle aches and spasms
- Helps relieve rosacea
- Heals rashes on the skin
- Minimizes wrinkles
- Natural sleep aid
In aromatherapy, carnation essential oil is useful to boost mood, motivation and also to help us complete our plans.
Carnation oils are reputed for being useful in facilitating people to move on, gather momentum in moving ahead and also aid trigger a feeling of quickness and agility.
Use of carnation essential oil induces a general feeling of health and happiness, lessens anxiety, promotes sensuality, lifts depressed moods and removes apathy.
Inhaling carnation oil will help us to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings. At the same time, it will help to dissipate and / or prevent negative energies from our home, if any.
On the other hand, it has aphrodisiac attributes. This essential oil is believed to be a potent sexual desire enhancer, and also, has a somewhat euphoric effect.
The flower petals of carnation have a potent aroma, similar to that of cloves. The petals are often candied, used for flavoring fruits and fruit salads, garnishing salads and various similar purposes.
Alternatively, you can also use carnation petals as a substitute for rose petals while making syrup.
For the above mentioned uses, carnation petals should be removed carefully from the calyx. Subsequently, you need to get rid of the white base of the petals, which has a bitter flavor.
Cosmetic and industrial uses
Carnation absolute is widely used in formulation of several aromatic products.
It possesses a potent, fragrant herbal scent, which lasts for a long time. Because of that, carnation essential oil forms a vital ingredient in soaps, room fresheners, potpourris and candles.
The essential oils extracted from carnation flowers are extensively used in perfumery. An estimated 500 kg of carnation flowers yield only about 100 grams of the essential oil.
Even the flower heads of carnation are dried out and used in scented sachets, potpourris, and various cosmetic products.
There are a number of carnation cultivars that produce odorless flowers, which are frequently used in the form of boutonnieres for men.
The essential oil of carnation is also widely used as massage oil. It have been used to promote healing of the skin and to increase vitality that not only softens and replenishes the skin, but creates a scent that many find soothing and calming.
Benefits of Carnation Essential Oil
Benefits for the skin
Carnation essential oils can help in skin conditions. It may also helps to tone up and improve the skin and cure several problems related to the tissues thanks to its refreshing, moisturizing and regeneration effects.
This essential oil is effective to nourish the skin and attenuate wrinkles, aid in treating eczema, serve as a skin conditioner, reduce rashes, and cure rosacea or chronic acne.
The flowers of carnation plants have been traditionally used as an ingredient in various oils and cosmetic products.
Stimulates vitality and energy
Carnation oil is special for those who feel heaviness in the body, without encouragement or motivation.
When using this oil with a diffuser, the effects are almost immediate, since it generates high vibration impulses that help us to face with vitality and optimism our day to day, moving away negative thoughts and depressive feelings.
Helps relieve muscle aches
When carnation oil is applied through massage, it is highly effective against muscular pain, whether due to stress, fatigue, sports, etc.
It is said that for centuries the essential oil of carnation has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is attributed the power to give improvement to those people who suffer from memory loss.
Carnation oil purifies the body from the inside out. This increases the metabolic rate, purifies the blood and increases its resistance to diseases.
Helps in the healing and disinfection of wounds
Thanks to its antiseptic properties, the carnation oil is useful in the healing of the skin in case of cuts, irritation, itching, mosquito bites, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, etc.
Warnings and Precaution when using Carnation Essential Oil
Despite its numerous therapeutic properties, it is important to use carnation essential oil with great caution, mainly because the lack of information and research about it.
For instance, pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their physician or obstetrician prior to using carnation essential oils.
It is recommended to perform a patch test before topical application. Individuals should wait for at least 24 hours to observe results. This test will ensure whether or not, carnation oil is suitable for the skin.
Do not use undiluted for skin application.
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Always bear in mind that, if it is essential to treat children with carnation oil in aromatherapy, you need to use the oil in a much diluted dose.
Where to Buy Carnation Essential Oil?
A genuine carnation absolute is a difficult product to find, due to its high commercial price. Therefore, the first clue to acquire an absolute carnation reliable and with a therapeutic grade, should be to look at its price.
Most likely, if we buy a cheap carnation oil, probably this will be a synthetic, adulterated, or even a counterfeit product.
In general, good quality oils, that is, 100% pure and not mixed with other substances, can be found in specialized natural herb stores.
Tips for a better performance and duration of your oils:
- Store them in a dark glass bottle, never plastic, not even when blended with a carrier oil.
- Keep them in cool, dark places, away from sources of heat and light.
- Maintain the container that holds it tightly closed, since they are very volatile and also, their properties would be lost or modified.