Tuberose Absolute with its magnificent, mesmerizing floral aroma, has a calming influence on the physiology. It is a must for anyone interested in natural perfumery.
Botanically known as Polianthes tuberosa, this plant is a member of the Amaryllis family and is indigenous to Central America. The early Aztec healers called Tuberose absolute as omixochitl, meaning bone flower mainly because of its radiant white and waxy flowers that stood stiff and strong just like bones.
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is believed by botanical experts to be native to Central America, although precisely where it originated has not yet been determined. Whatever its source, the tuberose was already domesticated by the indigenous civilizations of Mexico when they were conquered by the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez and his army in 1521.
When the Spanish conquerors returned home, they took the fragrant tuberose with them where it soon became highly prized, and could be found gracing gardens and courtyards everywhere. It was also carried on the Spanish galleons travelling out of Central America in search of new worlds, and eventually found its way to India, although exactly how or when it arrived is also a mystery.
Between the years of 1920 to the late 1950’s, France was the worlds leader of tuberose cultivation for oil production, but after this France’s output fell dramatically. Today tuberose is grown for its fragrant oil in South Africa, China, Comores Islands, Egypt, India, Morocco and the USA.
Tuberose is an annual plant which appears to adapt under tropical conditions to become a tender perennial, thereby not displaying its beautiful flowers until their second year of growth. The bright green leaves are 70-80 cm long (2ft 4ins –2ft 8ins), narrow, linear and grass-like. The flowering stalk which emerges from the centre of the cluster of leaves can reach a height of 92 cm (3ft), bearing successively smaller long pointed clasping leaves, the uppermost ones are much reduced and bract-like.
The stalks are topped with ivory or waxy-white star-shaped flowers that are 5-6 cm long (2-2.5ins) and arranged in magnificent clusters. The 6 petalled flowers emit a beautiful, creamy, honey-like, spicy fragrance that is truly captivating and intoxicating.
Harvesting and extraction
In France, tuberose usually flowers between June and September, and in India mainly between October and November. In both locations harvesting begins at sunrise and only the blossoms that are just beginning to unfold are collected, since flowers that are already open will quickly lose their precious oil and wither after cutting. The unopened buds still continue to produce essential oil after gathering, consequently the timing of the distillation is absolutely crucial since this developing oil would be lost if the buds are processed either too soon, or too late.
Steam distillation is unable to capture the full aroma of tuberose blossoms, so like many flower oils it is obtained by solvent extraction which is far more efficient at extracting a wide spectrum of the plants fragrant molecules. This method produces a dark orange-brown viscous absolute which congeals at cool temperatures due to the presence of natural waxes. The captivating aroma is deep, rich, sweet floral with honey and spicy undertones, and a little reminiscent of honeysuckle.
The chemical constituents of tuberose essential oil include the following:
- Benzyl alcohol
- Butric acid
- Menthyl benzoate
- Menthyl anthranilate
Health Benefits of Tuberose Essential Oil
Tuberose absolute oil is a time-honored aphrodisiac with narcotic properties. This is proven with its romantic name ‘Fragrance of the night’, ‘Night Queen’ and certain others. Inhaling the aroma of this mind-blowing oil or taking a fragrant warm bath before bed with 2 or 3 drops of Tuberose absolute oil added to your bathing water can do the magic for you. This is done by the function of the aromatic compounds that reaches the limbic system of your brain through your nasal passages. This part of the brain is responsible for controlling emotions, sexual feelings and stimulating your system.
The warm, floral, deep, honey-like aroma encircles your room and your mind, leaving behind a perfect ambiance for love. The therapeutic properties of this oil enhances blood circulation of the body and assists in treating lack of libido, erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual interest. It grants you complete repose and is also said to treat frigidity and impotence due to lack to sexual health and drive.
Tuberose Essential Oil is world famous for its use in perfumes and the rich, intense and long lasting floral fragrance is an ideal choice for a deodorant and that is why it is so popular in the countries with hot and humid climate, as they have to deal with sweat and resultant body odor.
The pleasant fragrance and various chemical components of this oil have relaxing effects on the brain, nerves, and the muscles. It calms people and gives relief from stress, tension, anxiety, depression, anger, nervous afflictions, convulsions, cramps, spasmodic coughs, and diarrhea
This essential oil is good for sedating inflammations, particularly those pertaining to the nervous system and the respiratory system. However, to have this sedating effect, it should be used in relatively high dilution.
5. Naturally defensive:
The sweet-smelling oil of Tuberose flowers is proven to possess anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it as one among the perfect medicated oil for use. A prominent study on ‘Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Palmarosa, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Tuberose’ proved that Tuberose absolute oil was effective in treating gram positive and gram negative bacteria.
Another study on ‘Anti-fungal activity of tuberose absolute and some of its constituents’ proved that the three constituents present in Tuberose absolute namely indole, geraniol and methyl anthranilate revealed effectiveness against the mycelia growth of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides on potato-dextrose-agar medium.
6. Wonderful Oil of Warmth:
The warming quality of this oil stimulates blood circulation and helps you in keeping your body warm by granting sufficient heat to your body. This gives you a feeling of security as it is trusted to embrace the person who wears it. Using this oil in your massage blend aids you in managing cold during winters, treats cracks on dried skin, protects the respiratory system and prevents the formation catarrh and phlegm.
The pleasant fragrance and various chemical components of this oil have relaxing effects on the brain, nerves, and muscles. It calms people and gives relief from stress, tension, anxiety, depression, anger, nervous afflictions, convulsions, cramps, spasmodic coughs, and diarrhea.
In addition to the benefits described above, this essential oil can also be used to keep the skin free of infections and cracks, in-hair oils (this does not suit everyone and may cause headaches) to counter nausea, and also reduces the tendency of vomiting and effects of foul smells in certain areas
Tuberose essential oil is an effective antidepressant. It helps reduce your anxiety and calms your mind. Aromatherapists also use the oil to treat depression, nervousness, hysteria and other neurological disorders. The oil helps boost blood circulation and helps you meditate
This oil is found to be very effective in treating frigidity and a lack of libido. Certain components of this essential oil stimulate those parts of the brain that are responsible for arousal, sexual feelings and libido, both when used in aromatherapy or taken orally.
Tuberose is not widely used in aromatherapy since it is still quite costly, but due to its powerfully rich and intoxicating fragrance, a little tuberose is all you need.
12. Boost blood Circulation:
Tuberose essential oil is an effective circulatory, which means that it helps boost blood circulation. The property can be especially useful to people who suffer from joint pains and arthritic conditions. The warming effect of the oil is also due to its circulatory properties
13. Moisturizes Skin
Massaging the skin with a solution made of lukewarm water and few drops of tuberose oil locks the moisture in the skin. This keeps our skin soft and young. Regularly using this solution as a moisturiser would have long term benefits on your skin. Apart from moisturising your skin, tuberose oil also helps in preventing and treating skin infections. You need to simply massage the tuberose oil on to the skin for best results.
Using Tuberose Oil
- Self-Massage for Shoulders
- Apply a small amount of Tuberose Blend directly to the desired area. Firmly and slowly, knead one shoulder with the opposite hand. Switch arms and repeat.
- Self-Massage for Neck
- Apply a small amount of Tuberose Blend directly to the desired area. Clasp your hands together, and rest them on the back of your neck. Squeeze your hands together gently for tension-relieving pressure.
- Spot Self-Massage
- Massage a small amount of Tuberose Blend on your abdomen to help gently soothe away digestive discomfort.
- Aromatherapy Uses
- Bath: Add 5-10 drops to hot bath water
- Shower: Sprinkle 5-10 drops into the shower steam before stepping in
- Massage: 8-10 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil
- To help relieve anxiety, nervous tension, stress and for meditation, use 3 drops of Tuberose Essential Oil in a diffuser
This oil can be used in your homemade candles, soaps and other body care products
Blends Well With
Tuberose Essential Oil blends well with Amber, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Calendula, Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Tuberose essential oil is nontoxic, nonirritant and nonsensitizing. However, if used in concentrated form, it may cause headaches due to its intense aroma. Since it is an absolute, it should not be taken internally. It also has narcotic properties and is often used in the perfume industry.