Babchi is a kustanashini in Ayurveda. Wait, what? You probably didn’t get one word of that. And no, it’s not a spell from Harry Potter. Allow me to backtrack for a moment and explain. “Babchi” is an essential oil. It’s actually one for the most celebrated and cherished essential oils in all of Indian history.
Traditional Uses of Babchi Oil
It has many traditional uses like treating vitiligo and psoriasis, bone disorders and lumbago (lower back pain) and even intestinal worms. It also improves genital health and fights impotence, being an aphrodisiac. But perhaps the most famous use of all, which earned it the title “kustanashini”, is treating leprosy. Kustanashini literally translates to “the destroyer of leprosy”. It’s all thanks to babchi oil’s strong antimicrobial activity which eliminates the organism causing leprosy.
Now you know what babchi and Kustanashini is. So what’s Ayurveda? It’s an ancient Indian system of medicine that dates back to over 3000 years ago! Being ahead of its time, people believed that the Ayurveda had been given to sages by the gods and then passed down to human physicians, who now use it as a form of alternative or complementary medicine. Hundreds of uses for babchi oil have been documented in the Ayurveda and are still being implemented today. Modern science still hasn’t been able to explain how the uses of babchi oil were discovered millennia ago before science was even born. However, they’ve been able to explain how babchi oil works its magic.
Origins of Babchi Oil
Babchi oil comes from a plant called Psoralea corylifolia. It’s a small herb, about 1 meter long and has beautiful yellow and bluish-purple flowers. Its seeds have a characteristic kidney-like shape and a bitter taste. Some people actually take the plant, soak it in water overnight and drink the water when they wake up but doctors have advised against that for many reasons. The obvious reason, of course, is the bitter taste. In addition to that, you’d need a very large amount of babchi and that much of the plant could trigger an allergic reaction. That’s why scientists have taken a different approach which is extracting the babchi oil by steam distillation. So you’ve extracted the oil, what can it do for you?
Modern Uses of Babchi Oil
Babchi oil is a powerful blood purifier. It helps your body get rid of harmful waste materials and enhances your detoxification process. That means it takes a lot of pressure off your liver, which is the main organ responsible for detox. Babchi oil is also known as an “immunostimulant”.
It’s like steroids for your immune system. One whiff of this oil and you’ll have your first line of defense against cold and flu as strong as ever. Don’t underestimate the power of a good immune system. Without it, you’re a sitting duck, just waiting for the smallest bacteria or virus to make you sick. If you’re like me, one of those people who stay sick all year long, you should definitely consider babchi oil.
The main reason people use babchi oil these days is for the treatment of vitiligo. Do you know why each and every one of us has their own unique skin tone? Our skin has cells called melanocytes that contain melanin which is responsible for skin pigmentation. Depending on the type and amount of melanin you have, your skin takes on a certain complexion.
In vitiligo, a large amount of your melanocytes get destroyed in certain areas of your skin. No melanocytes, no melanin. No melanin, no color. That basically means these areas of vitiligo have become depigmented, leaving behind white patches of skin. These patches might be focused in one area or all over your body. Scientists still don’t know the exact cause of vitiligo but they’ve discovered that it has a genetic factor. It runs in the family sometimes. It’s also more likely to appear if you have thyroid dysfunction.
The problem with vitiligo is that it’s a bit difficult to cure. Some people don’t respond to treatment and those who do, might suffer from toxic effects of the synthetic drugs. That’s why many doctors have resorted to babchi oil in their treatments. Babchi oil contains the natural compound called psoralen which is the active ingredient that helps get rid of vitiligo. There are synthetic man-made versions of psoralen but they all have toxic side effects that you really don’t need to bear when you have babchi oil.
Babchi oil also contains tons of antioxidants. The way antioxidants work is they get rid of harmful “free radicals” that are naturally produced in your body. These free radicals are byproducts of reactions that occur in your skin, hair, kidneys, liver, heart and pretty much every organ in your body. Without antioxidants, these free radicals attack your cells and tissues causing various diseases and even accelerate ageing! It’s always important to get as many antioxidants as you can.
The antioxidants in babchi oil are especially useful when it comes to your skin. They help get rid of age marks, wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. By applying babchi oil to your skin, you’re essentially reversing the ageing process and making your skin look years younger than it really is! Babchi oil even works on wounds and ulcers. By accelerating your skin’s natural healing process, minor wounds and ulcers go away in no time. It truly is an amazing essential oil!
Precautions When Using Babchi Oil
One thing you should be careful of when using babchi oil is that too much of it can cause skin discoloration. Yes, I know it doesn’t make sense. Babchi oil treats vitiligo which is basically skin discoloration, so how can it cause skin discoloration if it’s supposed to treat it? That’s one of the things about babchi oil that have stumped scientists for a while now. But as long as you don’t use an excessive amount of babchi oil, that’s never going to happen. Just 3-4 drops are enough. It’s pretty strong; you won’t need more than that.
Benefits of Babchi Oil
What else can babchi oil do for you? There have been hundreds of uses recorded both in modern medicine and in the Ayuverda. Here’s the gist:
Babchi oil can help soothe many respiratory tract problems and disorders such as dyspnea, asthma and bronchitis.
Babchi oil can help with indigestion and dyspepsia. It’s also a strong anthelmintic which means it fights and expels worm infestation from your system.
Scientists have discovered that the babchi plant (Psoralea Corylifolia) actually has some anti-cancer properties. It has the ability to increase the number of “apoptosis” receptors on tumor cells which basically makes the cancer cell kill itself and makes the immune system attack it even more.
Babchi oil has been proven to strengthen bones and increase bone density which helps prevent osteoporosis and fractures. Scientists have even experimented on several rat models where certain compounds in babchi called “isoflavones” increased the replication of bone cells and bone mass.
Menopause is the worst. The symptoms just creep up on you from hot flashes to night sweats to mood swings, it’s a rollercoaster. And the worst part, postmenopausal symptoms can kick in at anytime, even when you’re sleeping. Babchi oil works its magic in different ways to help you overcome and fight these symptoms.
Babchi oil contains substances that boost your body’s three catecholamines: dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline. Dopamine gives your brain a “rewarding sensation” which can help improve your mood and overcome depression. As for adrenaline, who says you have to go skydiving for an adrenaline rush? You’ve got babchi oil.
It has anti-hyperglycemic properties which can come in handy for diabetics who need some help lowering their blood sugar level. Of course, it can’t be used alone but with the right medical supervision, babchi oil can help you control your diabetes.
Babchi oil is also a stomachic which means appetite stimulant. It’s one of the reasons babchi oil is often used in anorexia and other eating disorders.
Babchi oil has strong antifungal properties which come in handy when fighting nail infections.
India isn’t the only country that knew about this wonder herb. In China, there are tons of ancient Chinese medicine systems that mention the Bu Gu Zhi which is their name for the babchi (Psoralea Corylifolia) plant. Bu Gu Zhi translates to “tonify bone resin” because the Chinese deeply believed in babchi’s ability to revitalize one’s bones and even heal fractures and bone injuries. They also spoke of how essential it is to overall health and that babchi oil is a powerful tonic that strengthens your entire body. They found even more uses for it than the Ayurveda!
Babchi oil truly is one of the wonders of ancient medicine that has frustrated modern scientists to this day. We could go on and on about how amazing this oil is. You don’t need to have vitiligo, leprosy or anything serious to use babchi oil. It has a use for even the smallest of problems from wrinkles to mood swings. So go out and get yourself a bottle. I promise no matter what, there’s always something babchi oil can make better for you.