Galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua)

Galbanum header

Galbanum is used in perfumery as a fixative but I feel she is underused in aromatherapy. She is different to the other more familiar oils in the umbelliferae family in that she is not often used for digestive disorders but is an excellent wound healer. I have used her in a blend to heal a gangrenous heel in an elderly gentleman with excellent results.

Botanical Family: Umbelliferae (Apiaceae)

Other oils in this family include khella seed (Ammi visnaga), dill seed (Anethum graveolens), angelica (Angelica archangelica), caraway (Carum carvi), coriander seed (Coriander sativum), carrot seed (Daucus carota) and sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare dulce)

Aroma profile: Galbanum has a strong, unusual musky, herbal aroma with subtle piney notes. The oil can be overpowering, one or two drops in a blend is is often more than enough.

GalbanumEssOilEssential Oil: The oil is usually colourless but I have read that it can be yellow, gold or green in color.

 

Plant description: A large perennial herb that grows 4 to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in height with a smooth, firm, hollow stem featuring glossy, ovate, serrated leaves. The small yellowish-white flowers are borne in flat umbels which produce glossy, thin, flat and prominently ribbed fruits.  It is native to Europe, central Asia, Iran and the Mediterranean region.

Distillation: The plant produces a reddish-brown fragrant oleoresin that weeps from the stems or roots when these are bruised or cut. The hardened resin or tears are then steam distilled to extract the oil.

Chemical Constituents: Monoterpenes including carvone, pinene, limonene, cadinene, myrcene and sabinene make up the principal constituents of the essential oil. Sesquiterpenols, esters and lactones including bulnesol, fenchyl acetate and umbelliferone are among the lesser constituents.

Therapeutic properties and uses: Galbanum’s therapeutic properties are similar to those of the burseraceae family. In aromatherapy she is seldom used for digestive issues as are most of the oils of the umbelliferae / apiaceae family. This is probably due to the fact that most oils in the umbelliferae family are distilled from the seeds whereas galbanum is distilled from the resin.

Galbanum is a wonderful oil to use for skin disorders including inflamed skin, external ulcers, abscesses, wounds, skin cancer, scar tissue, rashes, acne and boils.

She can also be used in blends for dry and mature skin but should be used in very low dilutions, perhaps no more than a drop, as the scent can overpower the blend.

As mentioned above I used galbanum to heal a gangrenous heel. Once an essential oil blend had been used to soften and remove the dead gangrenous area the resulting sinus was packed with a blend of galbanum, elemi (Canarium luzorncum), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and centella (Centella asiatica) essential oils in a blend of cold pressed vegetable oils.

This case has always stayed with me, even though it was 20 years ago, as the man was 92 years old and had already had one foot removed due to gangrene and the doctor was planning on amputating his other foot. If you decide to treat a gangrenous area it must always be done under medical supervision.

Galbanum can be helpful for menstrual problems, including PMS, amenorrhea or delayed menstruation, cramping and bloating. She is also a useful aid for menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and irritability.

Galbanum may be used for muscular stiffness and pain, rheumatism and osteoarthritis.

As galbanum is an expectorant she can help with bronchitis, chronic cough and catarrh.

Emotional: Galbanum is calming, grounding and balancing when a person is feeling stressed, angry, irritated or frustrated. She can help ease nervous tension, panic attacks and depression.

Energetic: Like other resin oils galbanum is beneficial where there has been wounding by words or deeds on an emotional or spiritual level. Combined with other resins, frankincense (Boswellia carterii), palo santo (Bursera graveolens), or myrrh (Commiphora molmol) galbanum can bring about deep healing.

Chakras:

1st – survival, safety and feeling supported

6th – connect with and develop trust in your intuition

7th – connection to spirit and your higher self

Spiritual: Galbanum has a long tradition of use in religious ceremony. The resin was used to make a sacred incense and for embalming by the Egyptians while the Jewish temple priests used her as an ingredient in their sacred incense the Qetoret.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that galbanum helps to shed old ideas and outmoded behaviour and attitudes as well as shedding light on your life’s purpose and inner self.

Galbanum is also thought to connect one with the qualities of Divine trust and innocence, to aid in the development of psychic abilities, and to improve one’s ability to communicate with those who have passed to the other side.

Suggested oil combinations:

Wound healing – Galbanum, myrrh (Commiphora molmol) and cistus (Cistus ladaniferus)

Respiratory – Galbanum, myrrh and pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Stress and anxiety – Galbanum and petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Anger – Galbanum and yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Meditation – Galbanum and frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Safety Issues: The Greek physician and herbalist Dioscorides used galbanum as an emmenagogue and abortifacient but it is likely that he used the herb and not the essential oil.

Some sources recommend galbanum not be used in pregnancy but Tisserand and Young suggest that the oil is not hazardous in pregnancy. Her pungent odour may be a reason to avoid her as many women are sensitive to strong aromas at this time.

She may be a skin irritant in some people if the oil has oxidized. Tisserand and Young recommend storing galbanum oil in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator to avoid oxidation.

References:
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Davis P, Aromatherapy. An A-Z. The C.W. Daniel Company Ltd. (1995)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Guba R, Professional Reference Guide, Essential Therapeutics
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999) (now published as Aromatherapy for the Soul)

This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of AromaCulture Magazine (www.aromaculture.com) and has been adapted for use here with permission from the publisher.

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Rutaceae Family

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Rutaceae Family

Most of the essential oils in this family come from citrus fruits but not all. Others include amyris, boronia, Cape May, and the zanthoxylums (spices).

Species of the family generally have flowers that divide into four or five parts and are white, yellow, purple, pink or red in colour, usually with strong scents. They range in form and size from herbs to shrubs and large trees.

Essential oils from the Rutaceae family include Amyris (Amyris balsamifera), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Boronia (Boronia megastigma), Cape May (Coleonema album), Clementine (Citrus Clementina), Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), Lemon (Citrus limonum), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Neroli (Citrus aurantium var.amara), Orange Blood (Citrus sinensis), Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis), Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara), Rue (Ruta graveolens), Tangerine (Citrus reticulata), Tosa Konatsu (Citrus tamurana), Xanthoxylum (Zanthoxylum armatum), Yuzu (Citrus junos) and Zanthoxylum (Zanthoxylum odorum).

This plant family has cooling, refreshing, calming, sedative, uplifting, antibacterial, antidepressant, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, sedative, tonic, astringent, cicatrisant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties in common.

Rutaceae plant family members are good digestive oils and are usually beneficial for the skin but be aware the following cold pressed essential oils are phototoxic; lemon, lime, bergamot, bitter orange, petitgrain made from mandarin leaf and rue.

Amyris (Amyris balsamifera)Amyris

Amyris is a small bushy tree, 3 to 6 metres in height, with compound leaves and white flowers that produce edible black-bluish fruit.

Therapeutic Effects
Antiseptic, balsamic, decongestant, eases sore, tired muscles, soothes dry, irritated skin.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Useful in meditation, relaxes, calms, focuses and uplifts the mind, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Amyris is often fractionated; some sections are cut with Virginian cedarwood. Amyris is also used to adulterate vetiver oil produced in Haiti.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

bergamot tree and fruit

The bergamot tree grows up to 12 metres high and has deep green leaves and small white fragrant flowers. The fruit ripens from green to a lemon yellow colour and is slightly spherical in shape with a sour bitter taste.

Therapeutic Effects
Skin problems including acne, cold sores, chicken pox, shingles and eczema. Also helpful for respiratory and digestive issues including flu, sore throat, laryngitis and bronchitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, indigestion and loss of appetite.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
She is helpful for irritability, frustration, depression, grief and sadness. Provides a light at the end of the tunnel during times of deep introspection.

Precautions
Due to the furocoumarins, bergamot is photosensitive and can cause serious skin burns or a condition known as berloque dermatitis. (An irregular darkening of the skin which can last several years). Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours after applying the diluted oil to the skin. This rule doesn’t apply to soaps and shampoos or any products that are immediately washed off the skin. You can also buy Bergaptene free essential oil which has no photosensitivity issues.

Boronia (Boronia megastigma)

An evergreen shrub with an abundance of fragrant flowers whose petals are brown on the outside and yellow on the inside.
Boronia is an absolute and is used in perfumery and food flavouring but not much in aromatherapy. This is a very expensive and strong smelling oil. Best used diluted in 1-2% jojoba.

Therapeutic Effects
Not used in aromatherapy for physical symptoms

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Maybe useful for relieving stress and sleeplessness caused by worry or circular thoughts.

Precautions
None known. Can be adulterated with ionones, eugenol, methyl eugenol and sesquiterpene fractions of ylang ylang.

Cape May (Coleonema album)Cape May

Cape May is also known as Confetti Bush because the small white star-like flowers cover the ground like confetti after a wedding during the flowering season. It is a medium to large woody shrub with small heath-like leaves.

Therapeutic Effects
Colds, flu, sore throat, skin tonic, insect repellent, mild diuretic, eases nervous tension, helps remove stale, unpleasant smells from the skin and helps reduce fevers relieve the aches and pains.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Mentally and emotionally uplifting. Helps clear the mind of unwanted negative and fearful thinking, while simultaneously offering protection from the negativity of others, encourages positive communication.

Precautions
None known. Cape May oil polymerizes on aging. To help prevent this Tisserand suggests storing the oil in a dark, airtight container in the fridge with the addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing it.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)Grapefruit tree and fruit

A large tree growing to 30 metres with glossy dark green leaves and large fragrant flowers. The fruit is usually yellow but may vary in colour depending on the cultivar.

Therapeutic Effects
Anti-infectious, circulatory, anti-inflammatory, immuno-stimulant and neuro-tonic. Constipation, nausea, fluid retention, cellulite, appetite stimulant, colds and flu, eases muscle stiffness, acne, oily skin and cellulitis. May help control sweet cravings.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Mentally refreshing and energising, stress, nervous exhaustion, depression, mental and spiritual clarity, helps to achieve harmony and balance calms mind chatter

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Possibly mildly photosensitive. Grapefruit essential oil deteriorates quickly on exposure to air, daylight or moisture. Keep in the refrigerator to prolong her shelf life to a maximum of 12 months.

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)lime tree and fruit

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

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

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Stimulates and refreshes a tired mind. Apathy, anxiety, depression. Settles calms and refreshes the emotions, allowing feelings to be explored and released constructively.

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. 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.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)Mandarins

An evergreen tree which is smaller than an orange tree and bears fruit which is slightly flattened at both ends.

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

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Uplifting, depression, anxiety, irritable over-tired children.

Precautions
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.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var.amara)Neroli flower

An evergreen tree up to 10 metres high with glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers.

Therapeutic Effects
Relieves muscle spasms of the smooth muscles especially the small intestines and so may be useful in cases of chronic diarrhoea due to nervous tension.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Depression, stress, anxiety, and shock. Instils a sense of peace and aids in spiritual work. Promotes self-confidence and assists in reconnecting with one’s higher self. Useful for deep emotional pain that robs us of hope and joy.

Precautions
None known. Subject to frequent adulteration and reconstituted oils maybe added.

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var.amara)Petitgrain tree

An evergreen tree up to 10 metres tall with dark green, glossy, oval leaves and white flowers producing green fruit ripening to yellow. Essential oils obtained from the leaves of other species of citrus for example, lemon, bergamot and mandarin may also be labelled petitgrain.

Therapeutic Effects
Muscular spasms, insomnia, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Mental clarity stimulates the mind, uplifting, refreshing, calms anger and panic. Nervous tension and frustration, irritability and excessive anger, and mental fatigue with feelings of depression.

Precautions
None known. Often adulterated with synthetic chemicals such as nerone. May also be adulterated with limonene and rectified orange terpenes. Petitgrain is used to adulterate neroli essential oil.

Xanthoxylum (Zanthoxylum armatum)Zanthoxylum armatum

This small tree has dense foliage with red fruit and grows to a height of 6 metres or more.

Therapeutic Effects
Colds and flu, PMS, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms and pain, insect repellent, digestive issues, stimulates the appetite, swollen joints and arthritis.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Antidepressant, calming, meditative, uplifting, stress.

Precautions
None known

Yuzu (Citrus junos)Yuzu fruit

Yuzu is an expensive Japanese oil but one that brings sunshine on a cold winter’s day.
The small tree produces orange-yellow fruit with a hint of green and a bumpy peel.

Therapeutic Effects
Colds and flu, muscle aches and pains, digestive stimulant, arthritis and rheumatism.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Anxiety, stress, nervous tension, frustration, depression, grief. Gives the spiritual purification and strength needed to move forward and focus on new thoughts and feelings.

Precautions
Skin sensitization if oxidized and is best stored in a dark airtight container in the fridge.

References
Atterby D, Mandarin Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.44 (2009)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Lawless J, Complete Essential Oils. Element Books (1995)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutaceae
http://nbodyshop.com/essential-oil-by-plant-family/
http://shop.chozen.co.za/cape-may-coleonema-album
Boronia jpeg by Murray Fagg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boronia_megastigma_flowers.jpg

Hydrosols

Hydrosols

“Distillation is a beautiful metaphor for the life and death process. It is where you essentially take something in the process of dying (harvested plant matter) and transform it into something of value that contains part of the living plant energy within it.”
Nyssa Hanger

A hydrosol is the enriched water that remains after distillation of flowers, fruit, leaves, branches, bark or roots. This water is enriched with aromatic compounds, some of which are found in a concentrated form in essential oils and others which are not found in essential oils. The best hydrosols are those distilled for the hydrosol rather than as a by product of essential oil production.

 Lavender-distillation-and-hydrosol-1.jpg

Hydrosols can be considered a branch of aromatherapy in their own right and have been referred to as the homeopathic version of aromatherapy. They contain their own therapeutic qualities and are safe to use on babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly. Most may be taken internally at a specific dosage.

Hydrosols are also known as hydrolats and distillate water in Europe and elsewhere. They appear milky just after distillation but become clear with time. Hydrosols are not flower waters, that is, water to which essential oils have been added.

For most of history hydrosols were prized above the essential oil obtained which was usually negligible. They were used by healers, priests, alchemists and doctors to treat insomnia, depression and other illnesses. They were also used in cooking and cosmetics.

Hydrosols will typically last for one to two years provided they are distilled appropriately and are stored well. The pH of a hydrosol can give an indication of how long it will last. Other considerations are the conditions in which the hydrosol is stored, the cleanliness of the area in which it was obtained and stored and the cleanliness and care with which the hydrosol is transferred to other containers. Another consideration is whether the hydrosol has been adulterated with alcohol or preservatives. If using internally or for therapeutic reasons, make sure that the hydrosol you buy is pure and unadulterated.

Today hydrosols may be considered where an essential oil is not appropriate. They are well tolerated by the skin and mucous membranes. They may be used undiluted except in the case of phenols which should be diluted with other hydrosols or spring water.

When used internally hydrosols are best diluted. As a guide when using internally therapeutically 1 tablespoon (10 ml) of hydrosol or a mixture of hydrosols in 1 litre of spring water, to drink during the day OR 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of hydrosol in a glass of water or herbal tea (to be added once the water has warmed) 2 to 3 times a day. This is usually done for 20 days.
If using to help heal psycho-emotional problems then use for 40 days. This allows the body to detox in the first twenty days and to act more deeply and integrate the new in the following 20 days.

Always use pure water and preferably spring water. Warm the water to aid digestion. Hydrosols may also be used as an oral spray or drops.

Hydrosol Storage Guidelines
Hydrosols have a shelf life ranging from 3 months to 2 years depending on the hydrosol, the date you receive it and the way it’s stored. Never buy hydrosols with preservatives added or add them yourself if you’re using them for therapeutic purposes or to ingest.

1. Keep your hydrosols in the fridge. If you don’t have room in your fridge store them in a box in a cool dark area away from heat and sunlight.

2. Store in clean, clear, sterilized glass containers with tightly fitting tops. Flip tops are ideal here to cut down on oxygen exposure. Hydrosols are often shipped in plastic bottles to prevent breakage so transfer them on receipt to glass.

3. To prevent deterioration due to oxygen reacting with the hydrosol transfer the hydrosol to smaller bottles as the empty space in the bottle increases.

4. Use sterilized equipment and gloves to transfer your hydrosol to other sterilized containers. Resist the urge to smell the hydrosol in the bottle. There is a real risk of contaminating your hydrosol.

5. Check for bloom regularly. This is a sign the hydrosol is contaminated by bacteria and can show up as white or dark material floating in your hydrosol. Check the pH regularly as changes can show your hydrosol is going off before the bloom appears.Hydrosol bloom

6. Make a note of the date your hydrosol was distilled and the date you received it. This will help you to keep track of the freshness of your hydrosol and when it’s approaching its use by date.

15 Ways to Use Hydrosols
1. Wash open wounds with tea tree or rosalina hydrosol to disinfect them and begin the healing process.

2. Spray on sunburnt areas of the skin several times during the day to reduce the pain and heal the skin without peeling.

3. Use them to tone your skin after cleansing and before moisturizing. They help to soothe the skin. Rose makes an ideal toner plus it smells wonderful.

4. Combine 2 or 3 hydrosols in a spray bottle to make an energetic blend. Make a spray to balance your chakras, clear stale energy from a room, energize or relax you, ease stress, for meditation or to bring clarity to a situation.

5. Add a splash of eucalyptus hydrosol along with a drop or two of essential oil to your steaming bowl when you have a cold to clear your respiratory passages.

6. Add a splash of hydrosol to a foot or hand bath to enhance the therapeutic effects. Depending on the hydrosol you use you may feel more relaxed or energetic.

7. You can also use tea tree hydrosol in a foot bath or spray to treat athlete’s foot. Try also spraying inside shoes and sneakers to remove the smell.

8. Use hydrosols to help with nappy rash. Spray between each nappy change and allow to dry. Lavender, Roman and German chamomile are great sprays to use.

9. Mist your face and neck and wherever else you feel the heat when you have a hot flush to cool you down. Clary sage, peppermint and geranium hydrosols are good choices here.

10. Use as a gargle or to rinse the mouth especially in case of infections.

11. Use in sprays and compresses to help clear or ease the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, itching, infections and other skin irritations.

12. Add a teaspoon to your herbal tea to enhance the flavor and healing properties.

13. Use a teaspoon or a couple of sprays in a glass of water to flavor it or add to plain yogurt or ice cream for something different.

14. Use in an ultrasonic diffuser instead of water and essential oils. It will scent a room and is safe to use when children and pets are around.

diffuser

15. Use to disinfect your tabletops, massage tables and yoga mats. Simply spray and let dry.

16. Use undiluted lavender in a compress on the neck, shoulders and forehead to ease headaches, stress and tension.

9 Hydrosols and Their Properties
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – analgesic, antiseptic, antibacterial, minor wounds, insect bites, itchy skin, toner for normal and sensitive skin, makeup remover, sunburn, minor burns, heat rash, insomnia, stress, mental fatigue, boost self-confidence, to calm cranky moods and tantrums in children.

Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) – soothing, dry, sensitive and inflamed skin, rosacea, acne, insect bites, nappy rash, heat rash, burns, sunburn, diluted as an eyewash for conjunctivitis, sprayed in the mouth or applied along the gums and with a compress on the cheeks can help ease the pain of teething, useful also for stress, depression and insomnia.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – hot flushes, mature skin, rosacea or broken capillaries on the face, tired, devitalized, dull, irritated and damaged skin, sunburn, rash, insect bites, wounds and cuts

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) congestion, energy healing and clearing, meditation, deepen and expand breathing and open airways, can dry up excess mucus in the lungs and help expel phlegm, mouth and gum infections as a gargle

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) – anti-inflammatory, decongestant, wound healing, bruises, rejuvenating mature or damaged skin, gingivitis, pain or inflammation

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – decongestant, itching, tired, devitalized, dull skin, cooling and deodorizing foot spray, digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, creativity and the joy of living

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, purifying, athlete’s foot, sore throat, cough, gingivitis, cuts, scrapes and wounds

Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) – anti aging, good toner for all skin types, irritated tired eyes, PMS, cramps, moodiness, aids emotional processing

Sandalwood Australian (Santalum spicatum) – soothing, dry, sensitive, irritated and damaged skin, dry coughs, nasal and chest congestion, meditation and stress

Sources
Catty Suzanne Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy Healing Arts Press 2001
http://aromaticwisdominstitute.com/hydrosol-storage-guidelines/
https://floranella.com/10-ways-to-use-hydrosols-therapeutically/
http://aromaticwisdominstitute.com/practical-creative-uses-hydrosols/

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

Vetiver header

Family: Gramineae (Poaceae)

Synonyms: Vetivert, Andropogon muricatus, Khas-khas, Khus-khus

Aroma: Strong, sweet, rich and earthy.

Colour: Dark brown to dark amber

Plant: Densely tufted perennial grass with long narrow leaves that grows up to 2 metres.

Main Growing Areas: India, Reunion islands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, USA

Major Constituents: Vetiverol, vetivene, alpha-vetivol. According to Tisserand and Young vetiver is a complex mixture of over 150 sesquiterpenoid compounds, some of which have not yet been identified.

Interesting snippets: Used in Ayurvedic medicine for inflammatory conditions of the joints and skin
The fibrous root was woven to make blinds, screens, baskets and mats which were sprinkled with water and hung in houses to give off a pleasant cooling scent.
In Sri Lanka vetiver is known as “the oil of tranquillity”.

Vetiver rootsPart of Plant used / Extraction: rhizome (root) by steam distillation. The roots are washed, sun dried and stored for distillation. The roots are chopped into 2.5-5cm lengths and distilled for up to 48 hours. The oil is very viscous.

Therapeutic actions: Minor wound care, inflammatory skin conditions, irritated skin, rashes, fungal infections, dry skin and menopause

Emotional and Spiritual: Mental exhaustion, relaxing an overheated hyperactive mind. Centres and reconnects us to reality, helpful for the constantly striving perfectionist and the insecure workaholic. Total exhaustion resulting from physical, mental and emotional burnout. May also be helpful for compulsive and obsessive behaviour and the inability to let go.

Patricia Davies states that vetiver brings the energies of all the major chakras into harmony, balance and alignment with each other. Applied to the solar plexus it prevents you from taking on other people’s psychic junk.

Gabriel Mojay writes that whether mentally exhausted from overwork, or out of touch with our body and its needs, vetiver sedates and yet restores us – centres and reconnects us – closing the gap between Spirit and matter.

Robbi Zeck writes when turning points in life challenge you to face your shadows. Vetiver, with its stabilizing tranquility brings a quiet assurance drawing you to the earth, offering support and strength as you reconcile the changes taking place.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Aromatherapy insight cardCENTRED
It is time for you to ground your spiritual energy into physical planes of existence. For the perfectionist, who is “doing everything, but doing nothing”? A head full of ideas and not being grounded means that you cannot manifest the changes you are looking for in your life. Vetiver recharges your emotional and physical energies, and supports you through life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I am more grounded when I spend time in nature.

Vetiver FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:Vetiver CFTS cardAre you feeling mentally and physically exhausted?
Are you always coming up with ideas but not acting on them?
Is there an aspect of yourself that you are afraid to face?
Have you lost touch with your roots or your true self?
Sometimes you may prefer not to face your shadow side when changes are taking place.
This is the time to do whatever it takes to make you feel safe, secure and protected.
Seek the help of others who can offer you strength and support during this time.
Take time out to ground, centre and reconnect to what is important to you.
Discard what you no longer need or is not working for you.

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

Note: Vetiver is sometimes adulterated with oils from the roots of other grasses and also caryophyllene, cedarwood derivatives and amyris essential oil.

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis P, Subtle Aromatherapy. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1992)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Vetiver Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.28 (2003)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Pinaceae Family

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Pinaceae Family

The Pinaceae family consists of cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces. They grow between 2 and 100 meters (7 and 300 feet) tall. Their bark can be smooth to scaly or furrowed.

They have both male and female cones with some species producing edible seeds. All the conifers in this class keep their leaves or needles throughout winter with the exception of the larches.

When I was researching this topic I found some firs were called spruce. For example Silver fir (Abies alba) has the common names white spruce and white fir. As I’m unfamiliar with the differences between firs, spruces and pines I looked them up and found this simple explanation by Steve Aitken.

Look for the number of needles that come out of the same spot on a twig. If a twig bears needles in groups of two, three, or five, you can safely call it a pine. If the twig carries its needles singly, it’s a good bet you’ve got a fir or a spruce. Pull off a needle, and roll it between your fingers. If it feels flat and doesn’t roll easily, it’s a fir. If the needle has four sides and, thus, rolls easily between your fingers, it’s a spruce.”

Knowing the botanical name and your supplier is important as most essential oils from this family are distilled from the twigs and needles and may then be labelled fir needle essential oil.

In general the essential oils from the Pinaceae family are excellent for respiratory issues and are calming and warming.

Most oils in this group will cause skin sensitization if oxidized therefore Tisserand and Young suggest storing them in a dark, airtight container in the refrigerator to avoid oxidation. They also recommend adding an antioxidant.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

Cedarwood - Pinaceae family

Cedarwood has been used since ancient times as a symbol of courage, strength, abundance, long life and fertility. The wood was used to build temples, ships and palaces and is still used today to make storage chests as it repels termites and moths.

Note: Although having similar properties Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) should not be confused with Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) which is a member of the Cupressaceae family.

Therapeutic Effects
Cedarwood is used in respiratory conditions such as a dry, persistent cough, congestion and bronchitis. She is also useful for skin rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne and oily skin. Used in sitz baths and compresses she may be of benefit in cases of kidney and bladder infections.

Emotional and Subtle
Cedarwood brings a sense of warmth and comfort easing the symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, nervous tension and stress.

Gabriel Mojay writes that cedarwood gives us the will to hold firm, even against persistent external forces and helps us to take a negative or threatening situation and transform it into an experience from which we can derive strength and wisdom.

Precautions
None known

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)Balsam fir - Pinaceae familyThe tree forms blisters of oleoresin just under the first layer of the bark on the trunk and branches to seal wounds and protect itself from insect or pathogenic invasion. The essential oil is produced by steam distillation from this oleoresin.

An essential oil is also produced by steam distillation from the needles known as fir needle oil.
During the American Civil War, a balm prepared from balsam fir was used to treat combat injuries.

Therapeutic Effects
Balsam fir is useful in respiratory conditions such as chronic cough, colds and flu, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and sore throat. Burns, cuts, wounds, hemorrhoids, arthritis, muscle aches and pains can also benefit from the use of this oil.

Emotional and Subtle
The oil is grounding, calming, uplifting and warming which helps to relieve the symptoms of stress related conditions, anxiety, depression and mental fatigue.

Precautions
The essential oil distilled from the leaves and twigs can cause skin sensitization if oxidized. It may also be adulterated with turpentine oil.

Julia Lawless writes that the oil produced from the oleoresin is generally non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing but I think it would be wise not to use an oil that has been stored for more than a year.

Douglas Fir  (Pseudotsuga menziesii)Douglas Fir Pinaceae familyThe oil is steam distilled from the oleoresin collected from felled wood. There is also an oil distilled from the needles. The Douglas fir is not a true fir as evidenced by its botanical name. Over the years it has had many genus and species name changes until finally being classified as a Pseudotsuga.

Therapeutic Effects
Although not commonly used in aromatherapy Douglas fir is useful for colds, flu, asthma, catarrh, bronchitis, wounds, arthritis, muscular aches and pains.

Emotional and Subtle
The oil is helpful for anxiety and nervous tension as she grounds and refreshes the mind.

Precautions
Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

Silver Fir (Abies alba)silver-fir-tree Pinaceae familyI have seen Abies alba referred to as white spruce, white fir, silver fir, silver spruce and fir needle in various books hence the need to know the specific botanical species.

Therapeutic Effects
Muscular aches and pains, arthritis, sinusitis, poor circulation, coughs with a lot of mucous and bronchitis.

Emotional and Subtle
She is both grounding uplifting and helps release energy blocks. She is useful in cases of mental fatigue, nervous tension, anxiety and stress.

Precautions
Joy Bowles advises not to use on the skin if the oil has been stored for more than a year as the oil can oxidize and cause skin irritation.

Tisserand and Young write that the oil may be adulterated with pinenes, bornyl acetate, isobornyl acetate and similar materials.

Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)Scots pine Pinaceae family

Scots pine is used in most household cleaners and disinfectants perhaps because of her fresh aroma reminding one of the outdoors but also because of pine’s antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.

Therapeutic Effects
Scots pine is useful for respiratory tract infections coughs, colds, flu, laryngitis and asthma, sinus and bronchial congestion. Rheumatic pain, sciatica, arthritis, cuts, excessive perspiration, muscular aches and pains fatigue and exhaustion can also benefit from this oil.

Emotional and Subtle
Scots pine clears mental fatigue, eases nervous exhaustion and stress related conditions. She helps one maintain their boundaries and instils positivity and self-confidence. Cleansing and invigorating she clears feelings of guilt and promotes feelings of energy and wellbeing.
Deborah Eidson writes that pine energy allows greater self-expression by aligning the throat, third eye, sacral, and root chakras.

Precautions
The oil may be adulterated with turpentine. Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.
Joy Bowles suggests not using pine on the skin as it can contain significant amounts of delta-3-carene which has been shown to initiate skin allergies in some people. She also writes that people with allergic asthma should possibly avoid the use of pine in inhalations as well.

Spruce Black (Picea mariana)Black spruce Pinaceae familyThis variety of spruce is called “black spruce” because a dark-colored lichen which commonly grows on its bark lends the trunk a black color when viewed from a distance.

Because of the bitterly cold winters, black spruce produces an inner warmth so intense that the excess resin flows out through its cones and bark.

I prefer to use spruce rather than sage for cleansing old or stale energy as I like the aroma and don’t get a headache as sometimes happens with sage.

Therapeutic Effects
Spruce is useful for respiratory complaints such as colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma. She can also be used for muscular aches and pains, arthritis, acne, eczema, fungal infections and exhaustion.

Emotional and Subtle
Because black spruce is grounding and uplifting she may help in cases of anxiety, nervous tension and mental fatigue.

Keim Loughran and Bull write that spruce grounds intuition so it can be clear and practical, promotes communication of inner feelings and brings objectivity to the intuitive mind.

Precautions
Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

White Spruce (Picea glauca)White_Spruce,_Brampton,_Ontario_(5322599282)The common name white spruce refers to the waxy white layer on the surface of the tree’s needles. It differs from black spruce in having longer needles and larger and more elongated cones. White spruce and black spruce are very similar biochemically and exert very similar therapeutic actions.

Therapeutic Effects
White spruce is another excellent respiratory oil for colds, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis and sore throats. She can also be of benefit for muscular aches and pains, arthritis, sciatica, tension headaches, fatigue, exhaustion, eczema and psoriasis.

Emotional and Subtle
White spruce is calming and uplifting helping to ease anxiety, nervous tension and clear emotional blocks.

Precautions
Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

Tamarack (Larix laricina)tamarack-trees-in-autumn Pinaceae family

The Tamarack tree, unlike other conifers is not evergreen. The feathery green needles turn a brilliant yellow in autumn before dropping.

Therapeutic Effects
The oil is helpful for headaches, nasal congestion, coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, colds and flu.

Emotional and Subtle
The oil is energizing and uplifting helping to ease nervous fatigue and anxiety while promoting clarity of thoughts and feelings.

Precautions
Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

Hemlock Spruce (Tsuga canadensis)Hemlock spruce Pinaceae familyWhen I first saw the name hemlock as an essential oil, I associated it with the poisonous herb with the same common name but the botanical names make it clear that they are different.

Tisserand and Young make this point in their book when they write that this oil should not be confused with the herb hemlock (Conium maculatum) which contains toxic alkaloids and is not a source of essential oil.

Therapeutic Effects
The oil is helpful for respiratory issues like coughs, colds, flu, asthma and bronchitis. In addition she can be useful for muscular aches and pains, poor circulation and rheumatism.

Emotional and Subtle
Use for anxiety and stress related conditions.

Precautions
Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

REFERENCES
Aitken Steve, http://www.finegardening.com/fir-vs-spruce-vs-pine-how-tell-them-apart
Battaglia Salvatore , The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, The Perfect Potion (Aust.) Pty Ltd (1995)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Bowles E. Joy, The A-Z of Essential Oils, New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis Patricia , Subtle Aromatherapy, The CW Daniel Company Ltd (1991)
Eidson Deborah, Vibrational Healing, Frog Books (2000)
Fischer –Rizzi Susanne, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, Sterling Publishing Company. Inc. (1990)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Lawless J, Complete Essential Oils. Element Books (1995)
Mojay Gabriel , Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier (2014)
Zeck Robbi , The Blossoming Heart, Aroma Tours (2003)

This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of AromaCulture Magazine (www.aromaculture.com) and has been adapted for use here with permission from the publisher.

Strategies and Essential Oils to Help You Overcome Self Doubt

One of the hardest things that some people ever do is overcome their self-doubt and start believing in themselves. If you are living with self-doubt know that it is within your power to change to a self-assured person who believes in yourself and has the ability to change your life and possibly others for the better.

5 Ways Self -Doubt Can Affect Your Life
Self-doubt can cause procrastination and perfectionism. You put off doing things because you don’t think you have the ability to do them or do them properly. You may become a perfectionist because you fear what people will say or think about you if you don’t do things well or perfectly.

Self-doubt can lead to a loss of motivation because of your lack of trust and belief in yourself. If you doubt you can do something or fear you will muck it up or get it all wrong then you won’t try.

Self-doubt can cause you to become a defeatist. If you continue to lack motivation you won’t try to do anything because “what’s the point I’ll only fail again and confirm everyone’s opinion of me including myself”.

Self-doubt stifles inspiration because you don’t believe in yourself or your abilities you won’t try anything new. You won’t create anything new because any ideas you have will be silenced by the belief that you haven’t the ability or nous to create it.

Finally, self-doubt will have you believe that you can’t change your life and this is the way it will always be. You may have been told since childhood or by a lover or boss that you are dumb, stupid or that you will never amount to anything. But this is only the opinion of an emotionally abusive person and has no basis in fact. Use some of the strategies below to help you begin to believe in yourself and overcome your self-doubt. A better life awaits you.

Conquering self doubt

5 Reasons to Believe in Yourself
You deserve to have a happy, full and successful life that you enjoy. This is a right for everyone including you! You deserve to feel good about yourself and to rid yourself of self-doubt. There will be challenges along the way but you have the strength within to overcome them. If you doubt this cedarwood can help. (See below)

You deserve to have loving, supportive relationships. Do you have at least one of these in your life? It may be a friend or family member. Be really truthful with yourself. Don’t allow your negative self-beliefs to tell you that no one cares. If you really look, you’ll find at least one person does.

Focus on what you have right this moment that is good and that is a reason to believe in yourself, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

Focus on your past successes no matter how small. Think how you felt about your accomplishments at the time. Congratulate yourself again about that success and know deep within yourself that you are capable of succeeding again no matter what anyone else says. Look each day for any small or large accomplishments each day. You tried something and failed. It’s still a success because you tried. You’ll do better next time.

Remember that you are just as good as everyone else and deserve the life that you want to live. It’s your life and no one else’s. You have the right to determine what makes it successful. Don’t allow self-doubt to stop you living the life you really want to live.

You can do anything

5 Ways to Overcome Negative Thoughts
Turn a negative situation into a positive one by focusing on what you have learned from it. Even if all you learn is that you don’t want to do that again, that’s a positive thing.

Remember most people don’t have the time or energy to think about your actions good or bad, especially if they don’t affect them. You can spend endless hours going over something you think you did wrong only to find no one cares and they have moved on.

Replace the negativity in your life whether that be people, places or things. For example, if someone continually reminds you of all the dumb things you have done in your life, then it is time to find someone who will support you in moving forward. Although it may be impossible to completely remove someone from your life you can choose to spend way less time with them.

When you are doing something different or challenging fear may be behind the negativity you are feeling. Remember fear is a defense mechanism to protect you from perceived harm. Know you’ve got this and don’t allow fear to hold you back from succeeding.

If you can’t decide between 2 or 3 choices ask yourself whether it’s going to matter tomorrow, next week or even next year. If the answer is no just make a choice and get on with your life. If yes spend a little more time thinking about it or talk over your choices with a trusted friend or relative and then make a decision knowing you have made the best choice with the information you have at present.

Roadblocks to believing in yourself

7. Strategies for Dealing with Self-Doubt
Don’t compare yourself to others. This can only lead to a loss of confidence and self-doubt or jealousy if they have what you perceive to be a better life than you. You don’t know if it is all a façade and they are deeply in debt or what they have given up to get where they are.

Have gratitude for all your experiences and try to see the best in every situation. Be thankful for all the positive people and experiences you now have in your life that are helping you to overcome your self-doubt and low self-esteem. Thank yourself for everything you are doing to increase your confidence in yourself.

Start setting small goals that allow you to experience immediate success. This maybe something like greeting your colleagues at work rather than going to your desk and saying nothing unrelated to your work all day.

Respect any obstacles placed in your path. Look at them as a means of strengthening your inner resilience. Gain what you can from the experience and then move on.

Be honest in accessing where your strengths and weaknesses lie. When you have self-doubt and low self-esteem issues you tend to focus on your weaknesses. Take the time to list your strengths. You have them! If you truly can’t think of any strengths ask a trusted friend to name one or two that you have. Focus on those strengths and use them as a way to build up your self-confidence.

Surround yourself with positive people and experiences that make you feel good about yourself.

There are times in life where you try something and you need to walk away and move on because it’s causing you an inordinate amount of stress or it’s making you ill or you just can’t get it to work. This is not a failure but a lesson we must all learn on when to stay and make it work and when to leave because it will never work. This applies to all aspects of life, work, relationships and business.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life

8 Essential Oils to Help Overcome Self-Doubt
Basil Sweet (Ocimum basilicum) helps you to express yourself positively and is useful in cases of low self-esteem and self-worth. She helps neutralize emotional and spiritual attacks directed at you.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) gives you the courage stand firm in the face of crisis.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a balancing oil useful for anxiety and panic attacks. Overachievers and perfectionists who worry about the outcome or not being good enough can benefit from this oil.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) helps you with your high expectations of yourself and others and the feelings of guilt, frustration and blame surrounding them when they are not met. If you comfort eat grapefruit can be helpful. Maybe mildly phototoxic so best not to use on skin exposed to the sun.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) helps with fear of failure, gives support in challenging situations and strengthens will-power.

Marjoram Sweet (Organum marjorana) calms the mind when thoughts are going round and round in circles. She offers a sense of self nurturing especially when you think that nobody cares.

Pine (Pinus sylvestris) instils positivity and helps to restore self-confidence.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) instils courage and self-confidence and strengthens your resolve to overcome obstacles.

You can combine 2 or 3 oils from above in a personal inhaler to use when you need help overcoming your self-doubt. You can also make a massage blend or a perfume using the above.
For more information on blending click here

You can also use affirmations and or crystals with your essential oil blend.

Stand Tall affirmation

 

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus / flexuosus)

Lemongrass header

Family: Gramineae or Poaceae

Synonyms: West Indian lemongrass, Guatemala lemongrass, Madagascar lemongrass (C.citratus) East Indian lemongrass, Cochin lemongrass, British India lemongrass, Vervaine Indienne lemongrass (C. flexuosus) Fevergrass.

Aroma: Fresh grassy citrus with earthy tea like undertone (C.citratus), fresh, grassy, lemony (C. flexuosus)

Colour: Yellowy amber to reddish brown (C.citratus) lighter yellowy amber (C. flexuosus).

Plant: Fast growing, tall tufted perennial grass that grows up to 1.5 metres tall

Main Growing Areas: India, Guatemala, Madagascar, Brazil, Malaysia, Vietnam, Comoros islands.

Major Constituents: Limonene, neral and geranial when present together in an oil are known as citral, farnesol – antibacterial, borneol, geraniol.

Interesting snippets: Traditionally used in Indian medicine for treating infectious illness and fever.
The majority of the essential oil is used in the flavour and perfume industries.
The fresh leaves are crushed in water and used as a hair wash and toilet water in India.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Fresh and partly dried leaves by steam distillation. 33 pounds of grass yields 1 pound of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Analgesic, insect repellent, skin tonic, antiseptic, antifungal, diuretic, lymph drainage, oily skin, jet lag, muscular aches and pains, rheumatic pain, tendinitis.

Emotional and Spiritual: Refreshing, uplifting, stimulating, alleviates stress and anxiety that may lead to depression, aids logical thinking, lack of concentration, mental fatigue

Robbi Zeck writes that lemongrass inspires expansion on all levels and motivates you to move beyond any limitations and opens the way for you to step into your best possible future.

Deborah Eidson suggests that lemongrass is an energetic tonic to the etheric body and shields the aura from electromagnetic bombardment. Lemongrass softens rigid mental attitudes, changing a pessimistic outlook to one of optimism as well as helping depression rooted in trying to live up to social standards.

Peter Holmes writes when lemongrass is inhaled in low amounts it induces feelings of renewal and transformation and helps to resolve day to day distressing feelings and emotions.

Valerie Worwood writes that lemongrass helps clear regrets and shame and encourages us to forgive those who have dishonoured and discredited us.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi considers lemongrass a secret aid for people who have trouble getting started in the morning.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Lemongrass Aromatherapy Insight Card

EXPANSION
Lemongrass gives you that kick-start to get you going.
Expand your mind and environment to a place where there are no restrictions, self-imposed or otherwise. Use curiosity to allow movement into other realms, experiencing new adventures that renew passion and excitement in your life.

Remove limitations and restrictions, whether self-imposed or not. Move beyond your normal boundaries and expand into the new. Lemongrass releases the feeling that you are just existing and takes you to the space where you are truly living.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: When my path is blocked, I find another way.

Lemongrass FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Lemongrass CFTS Card

Are you feeling restricted on some level, confused, off balance and pessimistic about the present and future?
Do you feel that you are just existing rather than living and dreaming of a life that seems impossible to obtain?
Do you find it hard to be flexible in your thinking and actions?
It’s time to become more flexible when dealing with challenging experiences and life.
Shift your attitude to one of optimism about the present and future no matter how dark it appears at the moment.
If you are trying to live up to some social standard that doesn’t serve you stop now and decide on your own standards.
Live your life according to your own standards.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-toxic. Tisserand and Young recommend not using lemongrass on people with hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and no topical use on children under 2 years of age. They also recommend a dermal maximum of 0.7% to avoid skin sensitisation.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Eidson D, Vibrational Healing, Frog Books (2000)
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)
Holmes P, Aromatica: a clinical guide to essential oil therapeutics – Volume 1. Singing Dragon, London, 2016
Jefferies J, Citral Essential Oils. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.32 (2005)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Essential Oils and Crystals for the Solar Plexus Chakra

Essential Oils and Crystals for the Solar Plexus Chakra

The solar plexus is located in the area between the sternum (breastbone) and the navel.

It is the centre of your personal power and will where issues concerning willpower, vitality, self-identity, personal power, self-love, desire, healthy self-esteem, self-responsibility, self-control, creativity, standing up for your personal values, doing what’s right for you and freedom of choice reside. It’s the area responsible for the digestion and absorption of food, life and ideas.

When out of balance you may give up your power or hand it over to someone else because you lack confidence in yourself and your decisions. You may ignore your emotional and creative side in favour of overthinking and over analysing. You may also blame others for all that happens in your life.

Some questions to consider and perhaps journal about
When do you feel powerful or powerless?
When do you give your power away? To whom and why?
Do you trust your gut instinct?
Do you overanalyse problems and decisions until you are exhausted?
Are you able to overcome any obstacles that arise in your life?
What are you most proud of yourself for accomplishing?
Do you suffer from digestive issues?

16 essential oils that can help with solar plexus chakra issues
Because there is often a connection between the solar plexus and the digestive system, oils that aid the digestion on both a physical and emotional level can be useful.

BasilBasil (Ocimum basilicum) is helpful if your feelings of despondency and dejection lead you to seek constant reassurance and emotional support. She is also useful where there are issues with control and can help you express yourself through creativity.

 

BergamotBergamot (Citrus bergamia) encourages the release of pent-up feelings including unexpressed anger and frustration that can lead to sudden mood swings and depression.

 

Black pepperBlack pepper (Piper nigrum) releases feelings and energetic blockages associated with anger and frustration and restores a sense of direction and determination.

 

German chamomileChamomile German (Matricaria recutita) allows you to let go of old ideas, beliefs and the need to control every aspect of your life.

 

Sweet fennelFennel Sweet (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) reduces the tendency to over think and overanalyze and can help get to the root cause of eating disorders due to feelings of being unloved, insecurity, self-rejection or needing approval.

 

Frankincense resinFrankincense (Boswellia carteri) helps you take responsibility for your actions and their consequences. She also calms, centres and stills your mind when there is worry and ceaseless negative mental chatter.

 

Grapefruit tree and fruitGrapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) eases feelings of tension, frustration, irritability, self-doubt, depression and perfectionism. She promotes a lightness of Spirit.

 

Lavender BeesLavender (Lavendula officinalis) helps to ease frustration and irritability, nurtures you and allows you to forgive yourself for neglecting yourself and others in the past.

 

MarjoramMarjoram Sweet (Marjorama hortensis) calms obsessive thinking and anxiety and helps to ease feelings of being lonely, unsupported, denied warmth and affection.

 

Neroli (Citrus aurantium) helps to release suppressed emotions especially those of anger, resentment and despair. She helps you to choose differently allowing you to accept and trust yourself.

 

PeppermintPeppermint (Mentha piperita) helps you connect with your purpose in life, digesting new ideas and impressions while staying true to yourself.

 

Scott's PinePine (Pinus sylvestris) encourages you to believe in your self-worth and set boundaries especially if you feel a need to take responsibility and blame for the actions of others.

 

Rosemary-flowerRosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) renews enthusiasm and improves self-confidence helping you to remember your own true path.

 

tea treeTea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) helps in overcoming feelings of victimization and hopelessness by developing patience and appreciating other points of view without feeling threatened.

 

ThymeThyme (Thymus vulgaris – ct linalool) dispels despondency and negativity, giving you the self-confidence and belief to overcome negative patterns, habits and obstacles to your feeling fulfilled and worthy.

 

ylang-ylang-flowerYlang Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina) clears anger and frustration due to fear and anxiety. She helps to reunite your emotional and sensual nature allowing you to express and experience both pleasure and joy.

 

Make your own solar plexus chakra anointing blend
Choose 1-3 essential oils for a total of 3 drops and add to 10 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil.

Either sit or lie down. Take a couple of deep even breaths. Anoint the area between the sternum (breastbone) and the navel with a few drops of the blend in a clockwise direction with your fingertips. Use your intention to open, balance, heal and then close the chakra. Continue your slow deep breathing allowing the oils to do their work and when you feel ready open your eyes.

16 crystals that may be used to balance the solar plexus chakra
Choose one or two to work with. These may be used directly on the solar plexus chakra, carried in the pocket, worn as jewellery or used as an essence or spray.

amberAmber puts you in touch with your own inner strength and security helping you to set boundaries. Amber stimulates your metabolism and physical energy.

 

AmethystAmethyst relieves physical, mental and psychological pain, dispels anger, fear and anxiety.

 

ametrineAmetrine helps you overcome self-sabotage and procrastination and assists in developing a sense of your personal power and potential.

 

CitrineCitrine helps you overcome feelings of not deserving abundance in your life and for letting go of things that don’t serve you anymore.

 

clear quartzClear Quartz can be used to clear and balance all the chakras.

 

EmeraldEmerald can assist in overcoming feelings of unworthiness and abandonment by clearing your emotional body of victimization patterns and the rejection of your own personal power.

 

Golden apatiteGolden apatite can help you overcome a fear of success, self-imposed limitations, self-sabotage, increase your self-confidence and sense of worth.

 

Golden labradoriteGolden labradorite embodies inner strength, courage, endurance, clear thinking, self-confidence and the right use of power.

 

honey calciteHoney calcite enhances self-confidence, courage, self-responsibility and the right use of power. She overcomes the fear of taking action and procrastination.

 

moss agateMoss agate helps when you are feeling ungrounded and gives you the persistence and endurance to complete your goals.

 

PrehnitePrehnite stabilises your energy flow helping you to feel less anxious, restlessness and drained.

 

PeridotPeridot helps to clear blockages to receiving on all levels.

 

Smokey QuartzSmokey quartz is a very powerful clearing and grounding stone and can provide protection from the negative energies in your environment.

 

sunstonesSunstone is a stone of personal power and freedom helping to clear the fears, self-doubt and unworthiness that may be holding you back from being your true self.

 

Tiger's eyeTiger’s eye supports physical vitality and energy. She heals issues surrounding self-worth, self-criticism, blocked creativity and internal conflict.

 

Golden topazGolden topaz is helpful if you have difficulty maintaining and honouring boundaries – yours and others.

 

Stand Tall Aromatic Affirmation: I have the self-confidence to be myself. I can stand tall and allow the world to see the unique person I am.

Stand Tall affirmation

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Synonyms: Mitcham mint, balm mint.

Aroma: Piercing, refreshing, sharp, menthol.

Colour: Pale yellow or pale olive

Plant: Grows to around 100cm with underground runners. Purple blossoms grow from the axis of one or two leaves and form spikes at the end of each stem. It rarely seeds as it is a hybrid except in Japan where it seeds freely.

Main Growing Areas: USA, India, England, France, Australia.

Major Constituents: Menthol, menthone, pulegone, 1,8 cineole, sabinene hydrate, limonene, neomenthol, isomenthone, beta-caryophyllene.

Interesting snippets: Peppermint was used as a digestive herb and to scent the bath water by the Greeks and Romans.
Peppermint is thought to be a hybrid between spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica).
It was used in the14th century to whiten teeth and later to mask the smell of tobacco.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Flowering tops and leaves by steam distillation. Distillation of the dry material takes 45 – 60 minutes. The average yield is around 0.4% but can go as high as 1%.

Therapeutic actions: Small doses warm and tend to stimulate while large or frequent doses cool and tend to relax. Shock, sinus pain and congestion, indigestion, tension headaches, colds and flu, nausea, colic, flatulence, stomach pains, diarrhoea, muscular aches and pains, joint pain, bruises, insect bites.

Emotional and Spiritual: Clears the mind and stimulates clear thinking. Mental fatigue, motivation and self-confidence.

Robbi Zeck writes that peppermint assists in reconnecting you to your vital passion, whisking you away upon the winds of purpose. Being unfocused can turn you away from your bigger dream and when you are living passionately on purpose, the direction of your life will change.

Gabriel Mojay writes that while the oil enhances concentration and absorption on one level, it works on another level to facilitate the digestion of new ideas and impressions. Acting on our psychological “stomach”, peppermint is conducive not only to study and learning but to developing emotional acceptance and tolerance. We can think of it for those states characterised by the phrase, “That’s something I just can’t stomach!”

Keim and Bull write that peppermint promotes healthy self-esteem, integrity and ethics. Helps us to discover our hidden gifts and strengths.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:
PURPOSE
Peppermint helps you connect with your purpose in life. Keeping your vital passion potent and ready to meet life’s challenges questioning your purpose and direction. Do not get caught up in other people’s games. Stay on your path, be true to yourself, go out on that limb and enjoy taking those risks to succeed.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I stay true to myself and my highest potential.

Safety: Non- toxic, possibly sensitising, and may cause irritation in people with sensitive skin. Avoid in cases of cardiac fibrillation and G6PD deficiency. Don’t apply to or near the face of babies or children. If taken orally it may exacerbate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Note: Peppermint is frequently adulterated with cornmint oil (M. arvensis) also known as Japanese peppermint (Hakka)

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Kerr J, Peppermint Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.9 (1999)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014 Pages 387 – 388
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

21 Aromatic Journal Prompts For Creating Positive Change

There is a  a link to a PDF at the bottom of this post where you can download these prompts.

Not only every New Year but each new day brings with it the potential for change. Use the prompts below to consider how you’d like to add or use essential oils to create positive change in your life.

1. Where would you like to travel to? (This could be travel to further your aromatherapy studies for e.g. a conference overseas or interstate or even a local botanical garden. Then again it may be totally unrelated to aromatherapy and a chance to switch off.)

2. In what areas of aromatherapy, will you challenge yourself? Are there skills you want to develop or a talent you want to hone even more?

3. What new essential oils do you want to work with? What will you gain from working with them?

4. How will your life be different this year? Are there some big changes you’d like to make? Which essential oils can help you achieve these changes?

5. What would you like to stay the same? Are there areas in your life you’re already really happy with and don’t want to change?

6. Consider projects you want to work on. Why do you want to work on these projects?  What essential oils will you use to help you start, continue and complete your projects?

7. What 3 things do you most want to accomplish this year? Why? What essential oils can you use to help you accomplish these goals?

8. Who will you work or study with? Think of your dream team! What would that look like?

9. What would you like to let go of and leave in your past this year? Which oils can help you and how will you use them?

10. What aromatherapy books, magazines or journals have you read over the last year that made an impact on your life and/or the way you use or think about essential oils?

11. What aromatherapy conferences or summits have you attended in person or online over the last year that made an impact on the way you use or think about essential oils?

12. What aromatherapy books and journals do you want to read this year?

13. What aromatherapy classes and/or conferences/summits do you want to attend this year?

14. Are there areas in your heart, mind, or body where you need healing? What oils can you use to assist this healing? Is there someone in your life that you trust to assist you with this healing?

15. Is there clutter in your home or office that you’d like to let go of? (You may choose to donate or sell what you don’t need or like or you may simply put it out with the rubbish.) What oils can you diffuse to help you let go of the clutter?

16. What self-limiting beliefs will you cast off this year? A self-limiting belief keeps you stuck where you are. (For example, a self-limiting belief might be: I have no talent, or I can’t find a job I love.) What oils will you use and how will you use them to change these beliefs?

17. What’s a new mantra you’ll use to replace a self-limiting belief? (For example, I am a talented aromatherapist with a gift to share, or I can create a job I love.) What oil and perhaps crystal blend will you make and use to reinforce this mantra?

18. Are there new routines you’d like to establish? Think about habits you’d like to replace with better or healthier ones. What essential oils will you use to help you establish these new routines?

19. What brings you joy? How can you fit more of it into your life? What essential oils can you use when joy has temporarily left your life to restore it?

20. If you had to pick one word to sum up the past year, what word would you choose? Describe why you chose that word.

21. What one word would you like to be your anchor for this year? How will you use this word to shape your decisions? What oil or blend best encapsulates this word?

21 Aromatic Journal Prompts For Creating Positive Change PDFIf you would like a PDF of these questions with space to write your answers click on the book.

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