Traditional uses of cypress
Detail of the fruits and
the leaves of the cypress
Traditionally, cypress, a symbol of death, has also been quite used for its medicinal properties. Greek physician Dioscorides (1940-1990 AD) in his Materia Medica talks about this tree, saying: "... the cypress provokes constipation, their leaves drank with a little wine and myrrh, refresh exudations from the bladder and are useful for the retention of urine. Its ground nuts drank with wine are useful for those having blood from their chest, or for dysentery ... Leaves, crushed and placed on fresh wounds, weld them and restrict blood."
The doctor and writer Andres Laguna (1499-1560) also writes about this tree: "It was the ancient cypress sacred to Pluto: and therefore the scattered branches were often at the gates of the defunct. A certain resin distills from this tree, similar to laricina, very sharp and boiling to the taste"
Gilbert Thomas Burnett, in his book Outlines of botany, published in 1835, textually says the following on the cypress:
Components of cypress
- Acids: glyceric and glycolic
- Rich in essential oils: alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, camphene, sabinol, silvestrene, cymene, camphene, cedrol and cardinene.
- Flavonoids: Amentoflavone, cupresoflavone
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF CYPRESS
A plant for diseases of the legs
One of the main medicinal properties of the cypress is its ability to treat diseases of the circulatory system with bleeding problems or inflammations of the veins. This type of abnormality is a frequent cause of pain in the lower extremities. The hemostatic, and vasoconstrictive venotonic properties of this plant are used for the treatment of circulatory abnormalities such as:
- Varices: The protection and anti-inflammation protection of the veins may be used in the treatment of varicose veins in the legs helping sick people to reduce pain and swelling. Also its ability to stop bleeding varices can be used when presenting with wounds. Its rich in tannins help disinfect and cure this type of leg ulcers. (Decoction for about 10 minutes of two tablespoons of dried leaves per liter of water. Strain and let it cool. Take seven tablespoons daily) (For external use, a gauze with the liquid from the decoction applied on the affected area, including on ulcers or sores).
- Varicose veins in the spermatic cord veins: Varicose dilation of the spermatic vein of scrotum produces varicocele.. This type of varices, in addition to be annoying, are often painful and require the use of surgery. Sometimes male infertility problems are caused by the presence of these veins in the scrotum, because they can produce sperm infertility. The protective and disinflammatory capacity for veins of cypress can be used in the treatment of this anomaly to decrease swelling, reduce pain and increase the chances of male fertility. (Decoction for about 10 minutes of two tablespoons of dried leaves per liter of water. Strain and cool. Take seven tablespoons daily)
- Phlebitis: Inflammation of the veins, especially of the lower extremities, can also be remedied with the use of preparations of this plant. (Take 20 drops of fluid extract sold in pharmacies or herbalists half hour before the three main meals) (In external use apply a gauze soaked in the resulting liquid of mixing 100 drops of fluid extract per liter of water)
Astringent and hemostatic properties of cypress
Tannins have a role in accelerating wound healing and hemostasis, that,s to say stop bleeding. Healing occurs by the formation of crusts by binding proteins with the tannins and create a "dry" means that prevents bacterial growth. By constricting blood vessels, They help blood clotting and thus contribute to healing wounds. The astringent and hemostatic capacity provided by the high level of tannins of this plant can be used in the treatment of the following anomalies:
- Hemorrhoids: The preparations of cypress help reduce swelling and decrease the unpleasant discomfort of hemorrhoids. (Decoction for 10 minutes of a couple of tablespoons of nuts per liter of water. Drink two glasses a day before meals) (Apply externally a cypress hemorrhoid ointment sold in pharmacies under the terms of the prospectus) (Washes or enemas with the liquid from the decoction for 12 minutes of 30 g of fruit per liter of water)
- Diarrhea: The astringent capacity of the cypress is used to combat diarrhea. (20 drops of tincture that can be bought in pharmacies and herbalist's before three main meals)
- Hemorrhages: It can be used externally to stop the bleeding of a vein generally produced by sores, cuts or wounds. At the same time, as it stops blood loss, it exerts a disinfectant and protective function that helps prevent the injury from becoming infected. (Apply a compress with the liquid from the decoction for 10 minutes of four tablespoons of dried leaves per liter of water)
- Nosebleeds: It has been tested the capacity of this plant to stop bleeding, including nose bleeding. His power is determined by its hemostatic properties to strengthen the nose capillaries. (A couple of cups before the two main meals of the decoction of a couple of tablespoons of crushed dried green fruits per liter of water for 5 minutes. Let stand for about 12 minutes before drinking) (In external use, you can reinforce this treatment by inhaling the vapors of hot water in which 7 drops of essential oil per liter of water have been added.)
- Metrorrhagia: Its capacity to stop bleeding is used in case of too abundant menstruations or in disorders that are originated especially with menopause (A couple of cups before the two main meals of the decoction of a couple of tablespoons of crushed dry green fruit per liter of water for 5 minutes. Let stand for about 12 minutes before drinking)
Cypress essential oil: a cure for respiratory problems
From the leaves and twigs of cypress, and its fruits, you get the essential oil, a liquid of pale, yellow or olive green color and strong smoky odor. Cypress essential oil is rich in many components (mainly alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, camphene, sabinol, silvestrene and cymene), which give it many properties (astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic, vasoconstrictor, anti-rheumatic, diuretic etc.) so it has many uses in aromatherapy (rheumatism, edemas, poor circulation, cellulite, stress, excessive sweating, skin problems, hair problems, respiratory problems, etc.)
The preparations of cypress help reduce spasms of the respiratory system while they perform an astringent and anti-infective function, so as to help fight microorganisms and decrease the mucus content of respiratory channels. The vapors of essential oil of cypress in hot water are useful for the following breathing difficulties:
- Cough: It soothes the throat, soothes irritation and decreases coughing in bacterial respiratory diseases, including whooping cough. The hemostatic capacity of this plant is capable of controlling small bloody sputum (hemoptysis) that occur in some respiratory diseases. (Inhalation with hot water in which 8 drops of essential oil have been dissolved)
- Bronchitis: Its use can reduce the inflammation produced by this disease as well as it eliminates the excess of secretions. (Inhalation with hot water in which 8 drops of essential oil have been dissolved)
- Asthma: It reduces the inflammation and helps breathe better. (Decoction of a handful of leaves by liter of water. (Inhalation with hot water in which 8 drops of essential oil have been dissolved)
- Pharyngitis: It smooths to the pharynx and aids to eliminate the germs that bring about this inflammation. (Inhalation with hot water in which 8 drops of essential oil have been dissolved)
- Cold: It helps to fight colds, reduces the symptoms of this disease, reducing inflammation, diminishing cough, helping to eliminate excess mucus, soothing the throat, etc.
- Sinusitis: Suitable for reducing sinus inflammation and an aid for the elimination of excessive mucus. (Inhalation with hot water in which 8 drops of essential oil have been dissolved)
- Excessive sweating: To combat excessive sweating, especially affecting the feet, foot baths can be made with the liquid from the decoction for ten minutes of three tablespoons of crushed twigs per liter of water. This treatment can also serve to remedy smelly feet.
- Acne: The astringent properties of this tree can be used for external treatment of acne. Wet compresses soaked with the fluid from the anterior decoction can help eliminate many symptoms of the acne like pimples, pustules, oily skin, blackheads, etc.
- Chilblains: The astringent properties of this tree can be used for the treatment of chilblains. Perform foot baths with the liquid from the decoction for ten minutes of three tablespoons of crushed twigs per liter of water.
- Seborrhea: Its use on the scalp will remove excess of fat and give more strength to your hair. Make capillary frictions with the liquid resulting from the decoction for ten minutes of three tablespoons of crushed twigs per liter of water.
- Cosmetics: Cypress essential oil is widely used in cosmetic industry for its many properties. It is a good antiseptic and a great vulnerary for the skin that appears in the composition of colognes, perfumes and shaving lotions.
- Pharmaceutics: The pharmaceutical industry uses the essential oil of cypress in the composition of many medicines.
Precautions and toxicity of cypress
No side effects have been reported at therapeutic doses. Although the essential oils is not very irritating when applied to the skin, allergic reactions have been reported in individuals sensitive to this product. When used internally, it should be administered with caution because, in excessive doses, it can be toxic.
The product administration of the cypress in pregnant and nursing women or in children is not advisable.
More information on cypress in the listing above.