Friday, August 14, 2015

Using Vaporized Medicinal Botanicals in E-Liquids

You may be more adventurous than I am in trying out new flavors of e-juice or testing new tech for cool vapes. But, this time I'm standing out there, front and center, and with my fist raised high. I think it's time that the e-juice manufacturing sector looks into the possible advantages of using botanical extracts to enhance the flavor and scent of their e-liquids or to create a new line of herbal e-juices.

Mint is a common ingredient in e-liquids. Herbs like eucalyptus and peppermint are also popular.

What May Be Good and Bad About This Idea

For many centuries, herbal medicine has been using plant extracts in their liquid and powder forms to take advantage of their healing properties. Common ways of giving the medicine are the following:

(1) orally: in controlled dosages, or by mixing it in your drink or food;
(2) topically: by making a curative paste and spreading it on the affected area;
(3) inhalation: by mixing the powder or liquid into a large pot or tub of very hot water.

Botanicals not only offer some therapeutic effects, but also some interesting additions to the spectrum of e-juice flavors. Liquid extracts and essential oils derived from the leaves, barks and flowers of the plants are very ideal in producing e-liquids for therapeutic use.

Adding tinctures or extracts of medicinal plants to e-juice has its downside. The liquid extract derived from the flowers, leaves, barks and roots of the plant has a purer composition and, therefore, it has more potent therapeutic effects. Mixing the herbal liquid with the e-juice dilutes and weakens it. What's more, the healing properties of most herbs tend to leach and disappear after they've been processed and exposed to extreme heat.

Commonly Vaporized Medicinal Botanicals

Chamomile has been a major component of herbal medicine since ancient times. The scent of chamomile promotes general relaxation of the body and mind, and also relieves pain, muscle tension and stress. This medicinal herb is naturally abundant in phytochemicals and other bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties. It's also known as a natural remedy for insomnia because of its mild sedative effect.

A research article published in 2010 in the Molecular Medicine Reports briefly described some healthcare preparations for chamomile that included the following:

Inhalation of the vaporized essential oils derived from chamomile flowers is recommended to relieve anxiety, general depression. Chamomile oil is a popular ingredient of aromatherapy and hair care.

The Wax Factory blog suggests that ex-smokers who are transitioning from tobacco use to vaping will benefit the most from drinking chamomile tea or inhaling the scent of its flowers.

The vapors of the flowers of chamomile are used to treat emotional problems like depression and nervousness. Many people find it extremely calming, as it removes their headaches. If you are feeling irritable and nervous, a session of chamomile vapors can do wonders for your mental well being. To increase the efficiency of aromatherapy when trying to reduce anxiety and stress, you can mix chamomile with other herbs.

Chamomile is just one of many botanicals that have been vaporized and used as medicinal ingredients of an herbal vape. The following is an abbreviated list of commonly vaporized medicinal botanicals, published by Integrative Oncology Essentials:

  • Damiana: good for stress reduction
  • Eucalyptus: a tiny amount of eucalyptus juice or oil is enough to relieve sinus and lung congestion, cough and asthma
  • Green Tea: drinking this tea offers pain relief and remedy for some digestion problems, such as stomach pain, gas, bloating, and nausea
  • Lavender: relieves muscle pain, migraines and other headaches, remedy for indigestion, reduces stress
  • Lemon Balm: helps with insomnia, reduces stress and pain, relieves muscle spasms and cramps
  • Passion Flower: a mild sedative, helps with insomnia
  • Peppermint: used as remedy for some digestion problems, such as stomach pain, gas, bloating, and nausea; a good pain reliever (especially for headaches)
  • Raspberry Leaf: relieves nausea and upset stomach
  • Sage: reduces sweating, aids in digestion
  • Spearmint: aids in digestion, promotes relaxation, and relieves symptoms of respiratory problems (bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis)
  • Thyme: thyme oil vapor fights infection in the nose, sinuses and lungs; relieves muscle spasms; works as an expectorant

When mixing a pure essential oil to your e-juice, measure a small amount of the oil and dilute it with distilled water in a separate container. Slowly add the diluted essential oil into your e-juice solution. Avoid using concentrated essential oils, which emit a very strong odor and can cause skin and eye irritations. Most importantly, beware of volatile compounds in botanical extracts and oils. Some plants have strong chemicals that may burn the skin or cause dizziness, nausea and headaches.

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