Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)

Ginger header

With the courage encapsulated in ginger’s fragrant breath, we can utter that one crucial word, or think that one crucial thought, that changes our direction and starts the walk along a new and brighter road.
Valerie Ann Worwood

Family: Zingiberaceae

Aroma: Rich warm and spicy. The CO2 distilled oil smells more like the ginger root than the steam distilled.

Colour: Clear yellow to orangey yellow with a hint of green

gingerPlant: Reed like erect leafy perennial growing up to one metre with a branched thick, pungent tuberous rhizome (root) growing horizontally near the surface. Flowers are small, yellow-green with purple lips.


Main Growing Areas: Jamaica, China, India, Africa, Australia

Major Constituents: camphene, beta-sesquiphellandrene, zingiberene, curcumene, gingerin, gingenol, gingerone. There can be a significant variation in the main constituents depending on where the ginger is grown and distilled. This may affect the aroma and could possibly influence the therapeutic actions.

Interesting snippets: Ginger’s use predates written records. It was and still is used as a spice.
In India, it is said that ginger awakens “agni”, the inner fire of divinity and creativity.
In the Middle Ages ginger was used to counter the Black Death.

ginger rootPart of Plant used /Extraction: Root / Steam distilled from the dried, ground, unpeeled rhizome. It takes between 20 and 30 rhizomes to produce 1 kilo of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Nausea, travel and morning sickness. Poor circulation, cold hands and feet, muscular aches and pains. Eases menstrual cramps. Coughs, colds and sore throats. Poor appetite.

Ginger teaGinger Infusion/Tea: Cut very thin slivers from the ginger root, and simmer them for 10 minutes using about 6 thin slivers from a root of average thickness, to each cupful of water. Add a little honey to make a drink to quell travel and morning sickness, stomach cramps and for colds and flu. (Recipe from Patricia Davis)

Emotional and Spiritual: Activates willpower, stimulates initiative, restores determination. In those with poor vitality it can help to boost their confidence and morale. Helps when you are feeling emotionally cold and flat. Nervous and/or physical exhaustion.

Energizes the aura and encourages inspiration, enlightenment and the replacement of continued futile struggle with a knowing acceptance and transformation.

Gabriel Mojay writes that ginger is indicated for those who may have clear plans and good intentions, but who lack the personal drive and optimism to manifest initiative and take real or immediate action. They are frequently disconnected from their physical body, and may shy away from vigorous and sustained activity.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:


Ginger releases you from procrastinating so that you can just get on with what has to be done.
For the emotionally cold-hearted, warm yourself and draw on those hidden reserves of energy. Stop waiting for the right time to do things, as the right time never comes. Take the initiative and complete the hard tasks, and you will feel energized and free. Utilise Ginger to draw on those hidden reserves of energy and stamina, reviving yourself physically with Ginger’s warmth.

Fragrant Change: I have the strength and endurance to move forward and succeed.

Ginger FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Ginger CFTS card

Are you procrastinating, waiting for the right time or people before you begin a project?
Do you lack the courage and conviction to put your ideas out there and act on them?
Do you spend more time talking about what you will do rather than taking action?
Do you have good ideas, make plans but fail to put them into action due to self-doubt?
Make the decision to begin acting on your ideas.
Take one small action step today towards achieving your goal.
Continue each day to take another step until you have reached your goal.
Have the courage and confidence to do what’s right for you and put your plans into action.

Safety: Non toxic, non irritant but may cause sensitisation in some individuals.

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)
Davis P, Aromatherapy An A-Z The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Kerr, J, Ginger Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.22 (2002)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)

Essential Oils and Anger

Essential oils and anger header

Anger, disappointment and blame are all natural emotions but if they are not expressed or held onto for too long they can lead to illness and disease.

angerAnger can be the result of fear, worry, anxiety or sadness we don’t want to feel. Sometimes it is easier to blame others rather than examine and express our own fears and insecurities.

Essential oils that can help you or others to process and let go of these emotions include the following oils. They can be used in a vaporiser, bath, massage or perfume. Use singly or in a blend.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is for those who do not express but instead repress their anger. This can lead to depression, mood swings and insomnia. Bergamot can help them explore their pent-up feelings and release them.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is for the perfectionists who have high standards for both themselves and others. When things don’t go as planned they blame themselves or others and may lash out. Afterwards they feel guilty and comfort themselves with too much food or alcohol. Grapefruit helps them to accept more realistic goals and clears the heavy feelings of self-blame and angry disappointment.

Lavender BeesLavender (Lavendula angustifolia) helps to calm strong emotions like anger that threaten to overwhelm the person. She can help clear pent-up feelings of annoyance and calm the person down after a sudden outburst of anger.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is ideal for those who harbour resentment because they feel neglected. They are moody and may even deny or not accept help when it is offered.

Rose (Rosa damascena) is for those whose anger stems from feeling betrayed, rejected or hurt emotionally. She’s also for those who lash out in anger and are then filled with regret and remorse. Rose brings a sense of compassion for themselves and others.

yarrowYarrow (Achillea millefolium) is for those who are easily offended and strike out in rage. They feel vulnerable and may have been emotionally wounded in the past. They may on the other hand repress their feelings of anger and always be on the defensive or retort with sharp or sarcastic comments.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is for those who have a lot of anger because they feel frustrated and fearful and don’t know any other way to express it. Ylang Ylang can bring a sense of peace allowing them to face their fears.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Milfoil, thousand weed, achillea, soldier’s woundwort.

Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous similar to German chamomile.

Colour: Deep blue.

Yarrow 7Plant: Perennial with tiny clusters of white or pink flowers growing to a metre in height. The lower part of the stem is leafless and woody while the upper stem has alternate feathery lace like leaves.

Main Growing Areas: Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, France.

Major Constituents: Camphor, 1,8 cineole, iso-artemisia, azulenes, achilline, sabinene.

Interesting snippets: Grown specifically for medicinal use as it is considered a weed in most places.
Yarrow tea has long been used for mild digestive upsets and menstrual cramps.
It is said that Achilles tended his soldier’s wounds with yarrow during the war with Troy.
The 50 wooden sticks used for the I-Ching were made from the stems of the yarrow plant.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and flowering heads by steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Cuts and abrasions, eczema, menstrual pain.

Emotional and Spiritual: Gabriel Mojay writes that yarrow oil is most appropriate for those in whom feelings of anger or rage are linked subconsciously with emotional wounding and vulnerability.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi considers yarrow the perfect oil for times of major life changes such as mid-life crisis and menopause because it helps reconcile opposing forces when we are feeling torn.

Robbi Zeck asks you to learn how to maintain your balance in every situation without abandoning your integrity. Ask for clarity of vision so that your inner perspectives will match your external actions. Yarrow with its balancing action refines the senses, enhancing the power of your insights as well as your outer vision.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I am nurtured and protected as I release the anger, pain and bitterness from the past.

Yarrow FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul:

Have you been deeply hurt and are still feeling angry and bitter about it?
You may find yourself lashing out at every perceived insult, hurt and offence in order not to feel any pain and protect yourself.
You may become defensive seeing insults where none are intended.
You may pretend that these insults or hurts have no effect on you while sinking deeper into anger at yourself for not addressing them, leading to a depression or sadness that seems never ending.
Take time now to nurture yourself as you release all the bitterness, pain and anger.
Feel the pain, forgive yourself and the person or people who caused it; let it all go knowing you will come through this stronger and able to love and feel joy again.

Safety: Non-irritating, possibly sensitising, non-toxic. Possibly best not to use in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kerr, J, Yarrow Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.19 (2001)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)