The leaves and fresh flowers of the rhododendron are used as a tea substitute by Himalayan healers to promote digestive fire, to stimulate the appetite and to treat disorders of the liver. A colourless to pale yellow essential oils is obtained through steam distillation of the aerial parts of the plant with a 1 – 2% yield.
The essential oil consists mainly of Monoterpenes (58%) and Sesquiterpenes (28%). Because of the high pinene content of this oil, it can oxidize easily. It may also cause skin sensitization in sensitive individuals. Due to its high pinene content it has the potential to cause skin sensitization. Also due to its high pinene content the oil may oxidize easily.
Psychologically, Rhododendron has calming, grounding and centering properties and can be helpful in cases of depression, fear and anxiety.
On the physiological level it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-spasmodic, decongestant and immuno-stimulant properties and can be very helpful in reducing nasal mucous production and swelling. Rhododendron is also helpful in cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is considered to be a liver tonic and can support both the liver and the functioning of the adrenal glands.
Contraindications: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.