Monthly Archives: September 2016

Lime Essential Oil (Citrus aurantifolia)


Lime essential oil is available as both a steam distilled and cold pressed essential oil. Please note that the cold pressed oil is photosensitive while the distilled is not.

Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: Key lime, West Indian lime.

Aroma: Distilled – fruity, citrus, fresh, sharp. Cold pressed – intensely fresh, rich and citrus.

Colour: Distilled – pale yellow to almost clear. Cold pressed – yellowish green to olive green.

lime-treePlant: Bushy tree that grows up to 4 metres or more and has small, round, greenish yellow fruit.

Main Growing Areas: Mexico, Peru, West Indies.

Major Constituents: Limonene, geranial, gamma-terpinene, 1,8 cineole.

Interesting snippets: Lime originated in southeast Asia and made its way to Europe by India, Palestine and Egypt.
Columbus brought lime seeds to the Americas where orchards were quickly established.
Lime was used to prevent scurvy in the crew during long voyages on sailing ships.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Peel of unripe skin is used for cold extraction and the whole fruit or juice is used for steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis, poor digestion, insect bites and minor cuts.

Emotional and Spiritual: Stimulates and refreshes a tired mind. Apathy, anxiety, depression.
Robbi Zeck writes that the tangy, bright fragrance of Lime settles calms and refreshes the emotions, allowing feelings to be explored and released constructively.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:


Ease through changes without getting hot under the collar. Lime takes you to that place where life is sweet and easy. Take some time out from the business of life. Learn to ease-off and handle life’s challenges in a way that achieves only positives. Sometimes we just need some time-out away from the heavy going of life. Send your emotions on a holiday.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I stay calm and relaxed under pressure.

FCHC lime

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

Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Lime Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.38 (2007)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Why I Use Essential Oils In My Practice

“Natural fragrances have a moonlike quality, they can be unpredictable and are intimately connected with the subconscious mind. Like a reflection in a pool they put us in touch with the person we know is there but somehow cannot quite reach.”

The above quote by Jane Grayson is one of my favourites for explaining how essential oils work not only on the emotional and spiritual body but also the physical body. We are not simply physical or emotional beings but a combination and what affects us on an emotional level will show up in the body and vice versa.

It is for this reason that I use essential oils with all my clients, the exception being Indian head massage, but even then I have on occasions used essential oils when I thought they would benefit the client.

The results clients get from essential oils can sometimes seem miraculous. In my early days as an aromatherapist I used essential oils to help heal a gangrenous heel in a nursing home patient.

work-stress-3In the case of stress clients are dealing with both the physical and emotional effects of stress which can include tight neck and shoulders, lower back pain, insomnia, headaches, overwhelm, mood swings, low self-esteem and feeling down. Essential oils are perfect to help both the physical and emotional effects and can be used in combination with massage, added to a bath, worn as a perfume or inhaled either using a personal inhaler or room vaporiser.

Personal inhalers have been used in the UK to help patients with cancer deal with their pain. In this case the person inhales their favourite aroma, which may not necessarily be an essential oil, to help them with their pain levels. They control how often they inhale the aroma. The aroma takes them back to happier times.

I have used essential oils in blends that remind clients of their childhood, a parent or some happy event and it seems to help them relax more. There is nothing more pleasing than seeing a client’s eyes light up when they inhale an aroma which has such happy associations for them. For me it seems that their soul and the plant’s soul or spirit unite to commence a healing on both the physical and emotional levels.

The Fragrant Bridge Logo - an essential oil dropFor me this is how healing begins when we use essential oils. It may seem that I’m using the oil to help heal a physical condition or ease sore aching muscles but the oils are also working on a deeper level. My logo illustrates this. On one side is the tree or plant and on the other a person, both their spirits or souls intermingling to help the person heal. The essential oil is the carrier for this healing.

In order to choose the best combination of oils for the new client I have them fill out a form and ask questions. In later visits I also check how things are going. I then choose oils based on those answers and have clients smell each oil that will be going into the blend to get their reaction to the oils chosen. I may also make a blend based on an aromatherapy card reading and invariably they love the combination in part because this is what they have chosen and is needed at that moment in time.

Not just a pretty smell binder 1I know many people think that essential oils are just a pretty smell and I titled my latest ebook “Not just a Pretty Smell” because that is what a passport control officer said to me when I visited England 2 years ago. “Aromatherapy that’s what makes soaps and candles smell nice.” I did explain they were so much more than that.

Although I use essential oils when I massage this is not the only way clients can benefit from essential oils. As stated above they can be used in personal inhalers and room vaporisers, in the bath and worn as a perfume. They can also be used as a meditation aid, to help in visualisation, with affirmations, for anointing the body, as part of a healing and with reiki.

If you would like to experience the relaxing effects of an aromatherapy massage give me a call on 0404 988 565, email me or sign up for my ebook “Not just a Pretty Smell – Exploring Subtle Ways of Using Essential Oils” for ways to use 10 oils for emotional healing.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)


Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: C.nobilis, C.deliciosa, C. madurensis

Aroma: Sweet, fresh, citrus, mandarin

Colour: Green, reddish orange.

Mandarins 22Plant: Smaller and more spreading than the orange tree with smaller leaves and fruit which are slightly flattened at both ends.

Main Growing Areas: Brazil, Spain, Italy, California, China, Australia.

Major Constituents: a-pinene, a-thujone, limonene, y-terpinolene, methyl N methyl- anthranilate.

Interesting snippets: The fruit was a traditional gift to the mandarins of China.
Symbol of prosperity and good fortune during Chinese New Year.
The giant swallowtail butterfly relies on the citrus family for larval food to produce the caterpillars.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Fruit peel is cold pressed.

Therapeutic actions: In France mandarin is considered a safe children’s remedy for indigestion and hiccups. Antispasmodic, useful for PMS and cramped muscles. Prevents stretchmarks in pregnancy.

Emotional and Spiritual: Uplifting, depression, anxiety, irritable over-tired children.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Mandarin

Mandarin oil brings that happiness and childlike quality to life.
Time to lighten up and enjoy life. I always think of a child peeling a mandarin when I smell this aroma. I see their faces lighting up as they peel the fruit with ease. Bring out your inner child to play, and remove abuse and grimness from your life. Stop dwelling on the past and let’s get back to enjoying life again.
Mandarin allows you to feel calm and soothed, but, at the same time, refreshed and inspired. Be happy.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I make time for fun and play every day.


Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Keep in the fridge to prolong her shelf life (around a year). If she smells pinelike don’t use her on the skin as she may cause skin sensitization. Can still be used in a vaporiser or for cleaning without problems.

Sources: Atterby D, Mandarin Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.44 (2009)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)

9 Essential Oils to Help You Sleep

9 EO's to help you sleep

There may be times in your life when you have trouble sleeping or may get to sleep but wake throughout the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep.

There can be a number of reasons for not being able to sleep which include worry, stress, exams, pain, fear, overtiredness, caffeine, eating too late at night, shift work, noise, a new baby, depression and being too excited to sleep.

Missed sleep, especially if it is cumulative, can affect your concentration and efficiency. You may also become more irritable, tired, exhausted, worried and stressed thus creating a never ending cycle.

If there is no medical reason for your insomnia you may like to try the following
1. A warm glass of milk or a cup of chamomile tea an hour or two before bed time.

2. Some visualization. Imagine a very relaxing scene. Make sure you involve all your senses.

3. A warm bath. Add 6 drops in total of one or two of the relaxing essential oils below in a half cup of full fat milk and add to the bath. Play relaxing music to further relax you.

4. A back massage using 5 drops of 1 or 2 of the following essential oils in total in 10mls of vegetable oil. You could also gently massage your chest so you are breathing in the aroma during the night.

5. Place a few drops on a tissue and leave near your pillow so you can breathe in the aroma. An ultrasonic diffuser could also be used.

9 Essential Oils to Help You Sleep
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) a balancing oil that helps to calm the mind and ease nervous exhaustion due to stress.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) the classic oil for relaxation and sleep.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) helps to calm and soothe you.

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) helps to calm the mind and ease anxiety allowing you to sleep.

Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) a very calming relaxing oil. Along with mandarin it is safe for young children but use only 2 or 3 drops of essential oil to 10mls of vegetable oil in a massage blend.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) or Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) helps to quiet the mind and bring a sense of calm so you can sleep.

Sweet marjoram (Marjorama hortensis) is useful if you can’t sleep because your thoughts keep going round and round in circles.

Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) helps to ease stress and irritability.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) is very calming and grounding.