Monthly Archives: June 2015

Sweet Orange (Citrus sinesis)

Sweet orange

If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange,
a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: C.aurantium var.dulcis, Portugal orange

Aroma: Sweet, citrus orange peel aroma

Colour: Deep golden to dark orange

Orange treePlant: Small pyramidal tree. Leaves are oblong, evergreen, smooth and shiny. During spring and summer white fragrant flowers appear followed by orange aromatic fruits.

Main Growing Areas: Brazil, United States, Israel and the Mediterranean and Australia to a much lesser degree.

Major Constituents: d-Limonene (up to 96% has an orange like odour), linalool, a-pinene, myrcene.

Interesting snippets: The name orange is derived either from the Sanskrit for the fruit, naranji or the arabic narandj.

The orange is native to China and it was brought to Europe by the Arabs or Portuguese explorers (depending on which source you read) and later introduced to the Americas by Columbus. I tend to think it was the Arabs as they were distilling products from the Seville Orange in Spain from the 11th century.
The orange is a traditional Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity.

In Australia nothing is wasted. After the juice and essential oil is extracted the left over remnants are used as a stock feed supplement, which is said to improve the milk yield of dairy cows.

When grown in the best conditions, some orange trees can live up to 50 years, continually flowering and fruiting every season.

Orange and peel 2Part of Plant used /Extraction: Outer peel. Extracted by cold pressing of ripe or very ripe fruit. The essential oil is extracted from the flavedo (outer part of the orange peel). The thin part of the peel is removed from the rest of the orange. It is mixed and crushed with water in a cold press and processed through a hydrocyclone and centrifuge to separate the essential oil from the water molecules, and finally out through a polisher refined centrifuge to ensure absolute purity of the oil. 500kg of oranges yields approx.1kg of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Good digestive oil, poor appetite, indigestion, constipation. Calms a nervous stomach, good for bronchitis and colds. Useful to help get children to sleep.

Emotional and Spiritual: Helps in depression, sadness, hopelessness. It energises when apathetic, resigned and unable to make necessary changes. Helps reduce the fear of the unknown. Conveys joy and positivity.

Robbi Zeck writes to use orange when you are feeling gloomy and unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you may not even have an explanation for why you feel that way. I particularly like this sentence she ends with as I feel it sums up Sweet Orange perfectly. “Like a perfumed cascade of flowers in spring, Orange brings moments of laughter and touchstones of happiness to a beaming heart.”

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Orange Sweet

SERIOUSNESS
Remove the seriousness that is bogging you down in life. Sweet orange is for the hard working, efficient perfectionist. Acting like you know everything, and have little tolerance for other people’s mishaps and learning experiences. Stop being so boring and feeling YOU are the only one who can do anything. Lighten up and enjoy life. You can be responsible and efficient and have a light spirit at the same time. Smile and find your sense of humour.

Contemplations For The Soul Card:

Sweet Orange CFTS Card

Feeling stressed, worried, frustrated, let down or generally blah?
Do you feel you have to do everything because no one else will or can do it properly?
Have you forgotten how to laugh and have fun and wonder what joy is because you’re not feeling it?
Spend time in the early morning or late afternoon sun allowing the rays to warm your skin.
Do something that brings joy to others.
Teach others how to do things and allow them to do them in their own way so you can get on with life.
Look for joy in your life and you will find it. It may take some work on your part to feel joy again but it will be worth it.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic, non-phototoxic. Should be used fresh within 6-12 months as it tends to oxidise relatively quickly. Best to store in a cool dark place like the refrigerator.

If it stops smelling like the fresh fruit then best not to use on the skin as it can than cause skin reactions. You can still use it in cleaning products.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Fischer-Rizzi S. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Guba R. Sweet Orange. Essential News. Vol 8 (2002)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J. Osborn. K. Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kusmirek J. Aromatherapy. An Introduction & Guide to Aromatherapy. Wigmore Publications Ltd (1999)
Mailhebiau P. Portraits in Oils. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1995)
Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Sydney Essential Oil Company, Harvest: Australian Sweet Orange essential Oil. Oily Spring Edition (2010)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Vegetable Oils

vegetable-oils

There are a variety of cold pressed vegetable oils also known as carrier oils used in aromatherapy. It is important to choose cold pressed vegetable oils as they have gone through a lot less processing than those found on your local supermarket shelf. They still contain vitamins, minerals and fatty acids not found in other processed oils.

Each vegetable oil has its own unique properties. Here are just a few of the most common oils to get you started.

Sweet Almond (Prunus amygdalus dulcis)
This is the most common oil used by aromatherapists. It can easily be blended with other vegetable oils. It’s excellent for many skin conditions including eczema, itchy, dry and irritated skin.

Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca)
Apricot kernel is ideal for facial blends. It’s light and can be blended with heavier oils. It’s ideal for mature, dry, sensitive and inflamed skins. This oil is also useful for eczema.

Avocado (Persea americana)
Avocado oil is obtained from the flesh of the fruit and may prove useful for those with nut allergies. It’s thick and green so it could stain your sheets or clothes but again it can be blended with other vegetable oils. It’s easily absorbed by the skin and is very good for dry, damaged skin and nappy rash.

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Sunflower oil is a light non greasy oil that blends easily with other heavier oils. It’s very good for all skin types.

Rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa)
Rosehip is a relatively expensive oil that is extracted from the seeds of a rose bush that grows wild in the Andes. It can go rancid very quickly if not kept in the fridge. It’s very good for aging skin, dry eczema, superficial wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. Use for small localised areas rather than a whole body massage.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Evening primrose is another good facial oil. It can be blended with other oils. Use for eczema, psoriasis and wound healing.

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
Jojoba is considered a wax rather than an oil and doesn’t go rancid. It’s very useful for all skin types and helps to regulate the sebum of the skin. Expensive essential oils such as rose, jasmine and neroli are often blended in 3 or 5% jojoba to make them more affordable

Essential Oils For Winter

Essential Oils for Winter

Winter has arrived and although the days are relatively warm and sunny there will be days when it seems spring will never come. You will be exposed to people with coughs and colds on the bus, train, in shops and at work or perhaps in your own family. During this time I use essential oils to help lessen the chances of me catching a cold and if I should catch one to get over it very quickly.

The oils below can be used for many of the minor and not so minor inconveniences of winter.
Black Pepper(Piper nigrum)
Black pepper A very warming oil ideal for massaging sore, tight muscles and warming cold hands and feet. On a spiritual level she is about taking responsibility for your own actions and loosening blockages that maybe holding you back from following your path in life. Use 2-6 drops in a bath or footbath to warm cold feet and get your circulation moving.

Ginger(Zingiber officinale)
Sliced Ginger Root 1Ginger is another very warming oil but she also helps you to get going if you have been procrastinating as well as rebuilding your stamina and energy after illness. The Chinese believe that drinking hot ginger tea at the first sign of a cold prevents you from getting one.

Ravensara(Ravensara aromatica)
ravensaraRavensara is a very powerful antiviral oil that I put in my clients blend when they have a cold. She helps them fight the cold and protects me from getting their cold. On a spiritual, emotional level she helps you set boundaries. In the case of a cold or flu your boundaries are set as most people will keep their distance for fear of catching your cold. Ravensara is also very good for cold sores. Use a cotton bud to apply to the cold sore 4 or 5 times a day.

Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus radiata or Smithii)
eucalyptus-treesEucalyptus Smithii is considered gentler to use with young children. Put 2 drops in some bubble bath or full cream milk and add to a warm or tepid bath to help bring down a fever. Make a blend of eucalyptus, teatree and ravensara to help ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Add black pepper or rosemary if their neck, shoulders or chest is tight from coughing. You can use a combination of any of the above. Add 15 drops to 20mls of vegetable oil and rub into neck, back and chest 3 or 4 times a day. Use eucalyptus in a vaporiser to help kill bacteria in the air and in steam inhalations to ease a tight chest.

Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
Teatree 5Although it tastes terrible you may want to try gargling with teatree to help ease a sore throat. You may even be able to avoid the symptoms of cold or flu if you gargle at the first sign of a sore or ticklish throat. Add 2 drops of teatree essential oil to a cup or glass of water. Gargle, spit out and don’t swallow. Use with eucalyptus in a vaporiser to help kill any bacteria in the atmosphere.

Rosemary(Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary flowers and leavesRosemary is excellent for sore, tight muscles and works well in a chest blend. Along with eucalyptus it can help open congested nasal passages. Try placing 1 or 2 drops on a tissue or if you are in public you can put a few cotton balls in a small bottle such as an empty essential oil bottle, add 3 or 4 drops of rosemary, eucalyptus, ravensara, teatree or any combination of these and close the lid. Open the bottle and sniff whenever your nose is feeling blocked. You could also take deep breaths from your tissue or bottle whenever someone with a cold has coughed on or near you to lessen your chances of catching a cold. Another alternative is to use a personal inhaler.

Sweet Orange(Citrus sinensis)
Orange treeSweet orange is perfect for those dark dull days of winter when you think the sun will never shine again. She helps lift the spirits of those sick with cold and flu. Use in the vaporiser to bring some cheer or combine with eucalyptus or teatree to lighten the aroma.
You could also use lemon or mandarin for this purpose.

Finally remember to rest in bed for a few days to help you get over your cold or flu quickly. To prevent getting a cold in the first place keep active, eat nourishing, warming food, use your essential oils and take time out for yourself.