Monthly Archives: March 2016

Cistus (Cistus ladaniferus)


Family: Cistaceae

Synonyms: Rock rose, labdanum

Aroma: The essential oil has a penetrating, herbaceous woody aroma while the absolute has a powerful sweet, balsamic aroma.

Colour: The essential oil is a dark yellow to orange while the absolute is a greenish brown viscous liquid or semi-solid mass.

Cistus (Cistus ladaniferus)Plant: Shrub with sticky lance shaped leaves that are white and furry on the underside. It grows up to 3 metres with fragrant flowers that are pink or white with a glowing soft yellow or pink centre.

Main Growing Areas: Mediterranean mountainous regions, Middle East, Spain

Major Constituents: camphene, sabinene, myrcene, phellandrene, limonene, cymene

Interesting snippets: The essential oil has been used since the middle ages in ointments and compresses to treat infected wounds and skin ulcers. The gum was used for catarrh, diarrhoea, dysentery and to promote menstruation. The name rock rose comes from the plant’s resemblance to a wild rose. The flowers begin to wilt a few hours after they open but new buds appear the next day.

Part of Plant used/Extraction: Leaves and twigs are boiled in water to obtain a dark brown gum. Essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the gum or straight from the leaves and twigs while the absolute is extracted by solvent extraction.

Therapeutic actions: Infected and inflamed skin, swollen lymph glands, eczema, psoriasis

Emotional and Spiritual: Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that rock rose is for those who feel, usually after a traumatic event, cold, empty or numb. The essential oil conveys deep warmth that helps melt an icy feeling.

Robbi Zeck writes that crisis enables you to rise up to deal with an issue. It can also be seen as in initiation into new beginnings and new understandings. Cistus softens the effects of emotional pain and eases the pressure of a heavy heart. Gently rub Cistus over your heart centre to bring serenity to your soul in the midst of crisis.

Contemplations for the Soul:Cistus

Have you suffered a shock whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual recently that has left you feeling cold, empty, numb, lost or forgetful?
Do you feel like part of you is missing, lost or fragmented?
Have you been deeply wounded by the thoughtless actions or words of another?
Allow your friends, angels and nature to bring you warmth and comfort allowing you to heal and restore your sense of self.
Take time to nurture yourself, doing things that bring you joy.
Is there a lesson to be learnt from this challenge or experience?
Reflect on your experience and what it has taught you.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Smith I, Cistus. In Essence Vol.6 No.3 (2007)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)





German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

German chamomile

German chamomile is best known for easing the pain and inflammation of red, itchy skin but she also has lesser known spiritual and emotional benefits too.

Family: Asteraceae, Compositae

Synonyms: Blue chamomile, Hungarian chamomile

Aroma: The steam distilled oil has a sweeter, fruitier aroma than the CO2 exacted oil which smells more like newly mown grass.

Colour: Blue if steam distilled, yellowish green if CO2 extracted

German chamomilePlant: An annual herb that grows up to 60cm tall with a hairless, erect branching system. The flower has a dark yellow to orange dome shape centre with the flower head being 1.5cm broad with 15 to 18 white strap shape petals that drop downward.

Main Growing Areas: Native to Europe and Western Asia, Hungry, France

Major Constituents: Farnesene, chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol oxide A&B, beta-caryophyllene

Interesting snippets:
German chamomile is the oldest known medical herb.
In Germany it is known as good for everything, the Greeks called it ground apple and in Spain it is known as little apple.
Chamomile stands for patience in adversity in the language of flowers.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Partly dried flower heads are used in steam distillation while fully dried flower tops are used in CO2 extraction. Steam distillation produces 0.1-0.5% essential oil while CO2 extraction produces 4-5%.

Therapeutic actions: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing, eczema, ulcers, sprains, PMS and menstrual pain, mouth ulcers, muscular pain, eases the itchiness of insect bites.

Emotional and Spiritual:
Valerie Ann Worwood writes when confusion seems to have become prevalent in a person’s spiritual life, and the laws of the Creator seem to have no meaning to the life we live on earth, then the fragrance can often help us to understand.

According to Robbi Zeck it helps loosen the grip of old habits, ideas and beliefs that are no longer useful in living the life you want to live. She asks you to imagine your life speaking to you and consider what it would say.

Joni Keim Loughran and Ruah Bull write that it helps you to identify what is true, and also a way to speak it with grace, accuracy and power. To achieve this, it helps you to be centred, grounded and to think clearly.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Chamomile German insight card

Chamomile assists you to let go of emotional worries and break patterns that are limiting your potential. Learn that you will be in more control if you let go and trust the process of the happenings around you. Allow life’s adventures to be just that, adventures. Chamomile will assist you to stop being critical of yourself and others just because events or people are not living up to your expectations. Remember your expectations are just that and move on.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitizing

Sources: Atterby D, German Chamomile Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.45 (2009)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A-Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Emotional Spring Cleaning

Emotional Spring Cleaning

“You can only start from where you are and you can only begin in the present”.
Patrick McBride

Cleaning suppliesIn the Northern hemisphere it is spring and people are thinking about doing spring cleaning but you can also do the same here in the Southern hemisphere clearing out what you no longer want or need on a physical as well as a mental and spiritual level.

The following essential oils can help.
Bergamot for emotional spring cleaningBergamot (Citrus bergamia) is helpful for reflecting on what you wish to release. She can help release repressed emotions bringing in light and happiness.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) brings insight and clarity when you are not sure what needs to be released.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) helps you let go of emotional worries, habits and beliefs that no longer serve you.

Clove for emotional spring cleaningClove (Eugenia caryophyllata) helps you release clutter on all levels so that you can open up to new experiences and possibilities.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) gives you the strength and courage to let go of what is no longer useful in your life whether physical, mental or emotional.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) helps support and protect you during this time of transition.

Fennel Sweet (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) helps you complete what needs to be done so that you can begin the next stage or cycle afresh.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) helps you to rebalance during this time of letting go of the old and bringing in the new.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) reminds you to nurture yourself during this time and to forgive what needs to be forgiven.

Choose up to 3 oils that seem most appropriate for you and make a blend to either vaporise or wear.

If you are doing a lot of emotional clearing you may wish to make a blend to put on your solar plexus chakra. Use up to 2 or 3 drops of essential oils in total in 10mls of cold pressed vegetable oil and massage into your solar plexus while saying the following fragrant change affirmation.
“I have the courage, strength and insight to complete this cycle and begin anew.”

If you prefer I can make a personalised perfume or inhaler for you