Category Archives: Essential Oils

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood header

Family: Santalaceae

Synonyms: East Indian sandalwood, Mysore sandalwood, white sandalwood

Aroma: Warm, sweet, woody, and lingering.

Colour: Yellowish

Plant: A small, evergreen, parasitic tree with small purple flowers that grows up to 15 metres high. To survive the roots of the sandalwood tree must attach themselves to the roots of another tree but they don’t kill the host tree supplying them with nutrients. The tree must be over 30 years of age before it is cut down for oil.

Main Growing Areas: Southern India, Western Australia

Major Constituents: cis-alpha- santalol, cis-beta-santalol, epi-beta-santalol, alpha- santalal

Interesting snippets: It was used in ancient India for religious ceremonies.
The wood was used by the ancient Egyptians in medicine, for embalming the dead and ritual burnings to worship the gods.

sandalwood handicraftsThe wood is used for carved objects of high quality and has been referred to as botanical ivory.

Powdered sandalwood is burned as incense in Buddhist and Hindu temples.

In 1998 Indian sandalwood was listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species in India.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Steam distilled from the inner heartwood of the tree. 11.25 kgs of wood produces approximately 0.45 to 0.7 kgs of oil.

Therapeutic actions: Chronic infections of the pulmonary and genito-urinary tracts. Dry and inflamed skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, varicose veins, swollen lymph nodes, cold sores and sore, dry throat.

Emotional and Spiritual: Calming helping to reduce tension and confusion, nervous depression, insomnia and fear.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that sandalwood aids people who want to make human contact and overcome isolation. It helps them accept others with an open heart and diminish their egocentricity. Sandalwood fosters openness warmth and understanding.

Robbie Zeck writes that when seeking an overview, guidance or wise council concerning a particular aspect of your life, take time out for quiet reflection. Imagine standing on the highest mountain where the view is clear and expansive. Sandalwood will support you in shifting you from your present point of view, to a different kind of viewing point.

Gabriel Mojay states that sandalwood is indicated for states of obsessive worry and worldly ‘over-attachment’. Whenever we over-invest in seeing specific outcomes to our efforts – especially out of a neurotic need for security – sandalwood helps to re-establish an acceptance of reality as it is.

Loughran and Bull write that sandalwood quiets the mind, promotes a meditative state to better receive and integrate healing energy. She also encourages states of higher consciousness and a sense of unity.

Sal Battaglia believes that sandalwood has a strong affinity with the water element’s Zhi (Will). Zhi represents willpower, ambition, self-actualization and the will to live. It is the will we draw on to survive ordeals, overcome obstacles and preserve against hardships. It also represents collectivity – our sense of being part of a whole.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that sandalwood is a fragrance that stretches out to the universe into the hallowed space between heaven and earth, to contact the divine presence. Sandalwood brings our wisdom into a meditative state, quieting us so we can hear and rejoice in the choral singing of the universal soul.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Sandalwood Aroma Insight cardCONTEMPLATION
Contemplate life: go inside to realize the answers you seek. When working from inside, we have a peace and strength to see exactly how life’s events really are. Allow yourself to be still, away from the busyness of the external world. Sandalwood helps keep your space as your own: strong and free of other people’s negative energies, so that you can operate efficiently and enjoy life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I allow my inner awareness to guide me to the answer.

Contemplations for the Soul Card:Are you looking for answers?
Are you forever busy giving yourself no time to think?
Are you feeling emotionally drained wondering what the future will bring?
Do you feel frustrated, anxious and worried about your future security?
Take time out for contemplation today.
If you are seeking the answer to a problem you can simply go for a walk or sit in nature and allow your mind to wander.
Use your imagination to explore possible solutions to your problem. Worry and anxiety will only cloud your mind.
Take some slow deep breaths and allow your intuition to give you the answer.
Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

Safety: In general, non-irritating, non-sensitising and non-toxic. Because 0.34% of dermatitis patients reacted to patch testing with 2% sandalwood oil and the fact that there is a risk of photoallergic reactions especially in Japanese people Tisserand and Young recommend a maximum use level of 2%

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
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)
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)
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)

Essential Oils and Crystals for the Base Chakra

Essential oils and crystals for the base chakra

The base chakra also known as the root chakra is located at the base of the spine at the coccyx.

It is concerned with survival, safety, security, tribe, shelter, feeling supported, financial stability, food, protection, physical health, abundance on all levels and the ability to stand up for yourself.

When out of balance you may have fears around not being able to support yourself or your family, not having enough love, money or food, change, being rejected, failing or succeeding. There can be feelings of anxiety, frustration, anger, insecurity, grief, depression and the inability to let go of people or possessions.

On a physical level you may have chronic lower back, knee or leg pain, arthritis, sciatica, varicose veins, constipation, obesity, haemorrhoids, lethargy. There may be bladder, prostrate, ovarian, uterine, bone or immune problems.

Some questions to consider and perhaps journal about
Do you feel safe at home and in the world?
Do you feel you have to always watch your back? Why?
Do you feel a sense of belonging to your family, work and culture?
Are you able to stand up for yourself?
Do you suffer from a lack of energy and constant fatigue?
Are you able to support your family and yourself or are you always worried where the money is coming from?
What are your greatest fears?

10 essential oils that can help with base chakra issues
Many authors suggest using grounding oils such as the woods, cedarwood, cypress etc. which all help but it is wise to look at the underlying issues and choose oils that also help to ease and heal those issues surrounding confidence, security and emotional stability.

The oils can be used in various ways including inhalation, bathing, anointing, massage and as perfumes.

bergamot tree and fruitBergamot (Citrus bergamia) helps release pent up anger and frustration that can lead to depression when you feel unsupported or insecure.

 

Black pepperBlack Pepper (Piper nigrum) helps unblock stagnant energy and restore a sense of direction and determination.

 

Cedarwood conesCedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) grounds and centres you giving you immovable strength and courage in times of crisis.

 

CinnamonCinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is useful if you have isolated yourself emotionally from others.

 

Cypress leaves and conesCypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is useful when you want to change your circumstances but doubt your ability to do so.

 

elemiElemi (Canarium luzonicum) is very calming, centring and grounding, offering support and strength when you need to reconnect with yourself and others.

 

ginger rootGinger (Zingiber officinale) is useful if you procrastinate or lack the strength, determination or endurance to succeed.

 

Sweet MarjoramMarjoram (Marjorama hortensis) is helpful for obsessive worry and thinking and real or imagined emotional deprivation.

 

myrrh resinMyrrh (Commiphora myrrha) is grounding and calming instilling a deep sense of peace.

 

Vetiver rootsVetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) brings calm, reassuring strength and a sense of belonging.

 

Make your own base 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 your lower back (and soles of your feet if you wish) 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.

10 crystals that may be used to balance the base chakra
Choose one or two to work with. These may be used directly on the base chakra, carried in the pocket, worn as jewellery or used as an essence or spray. Red and black crystals are often used to balance the base chakra.

Black obsidianBlack obsidian helps you to recognize where you are holding negativity and cleanse it from your aura.

BloodstoneBloodstone grounds you fully in your body offering support and courage in difficult times.

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

 

Fire agateFire agate is calming and gives a sense of safety and security giving you the ability to take risks and decisive action even when you are unsure of the outcome.

 

Hematite is best known for its grounding properties giving you strength and courage to move through the crises in your life.

Mahogany obsidianMahogany obsidian is useful in helping you to face your fears around scarcity issues, allowing you to move through them and into abundance.

 

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

Red aventurineRed aventurine helps you to take on, persevere during and finally overcome the challenges in your life.

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

 

Tiger ironTiger iron is a stone of strength, courage and stamina helping you to remain grounded, calm and centred during challenging times.

 

Grounding Aromatic Affirmation: Like the cedarwood tree my roots are deep in the earth so I have the strength and balance to remain grounded.

Grounding Aromatic Affirmation

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)

Palmarosa header

A graceful feminine grass, Palmarosa bears tiny flowers and leaves to float her fragrance like a vesper onto the warm night air.
Jane Grayson

Family: Gramineae, Poaceae

Synonyms: Andropogon martinii, East Indian geranium, rosha grass, motia

Aroma: Sweet, floral with a hint of rose

Colour: Pale yellow or pale olive

Plant: Grows up to 3 metres in the wild. It has long slender stems and terminal flowering tops that turn from bluish white to dark red as they mature. The grassy leaves are very fragrant.

Main Growing Areas: India, Comoro Islands, Madagascar

Major Constituents: Myrcene, linalool, geraniol, geranyl acetate, limonene, nerol

Interesting snippets: Used in the flavouring of tobacco and scenting soaps.
Can be used as a natural deodorant because it kills the bacteria that cause the odour.

PalmarosaPart of Plant used /Extraction: The leaves and upper third of the stems of plants that are just about to bloom are dried for a week prior to distilling/ Steam distilling for around 3–4 hours yields approximately 1% essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Palpitations, restlessness, insomnia, sinusitis and bronchitis. Antiseptic, bactericide, cytophylactic, febrifuge, hydrates dry skin and stimulates appetite.

Emotional and Spiritual: Anxiety, tension, exhaustion, stress, mood swings, negative feelings, calming but uplifting

Palmarosa helps to heal your soul when you have been wounded by betrayal. She allows you to forgive yourself and others when you are ready.
On an emotional level palmarosa encourages adaptability and a feeling of security.

Gabriel Mojay writes that palmarosa is suited to the type of individual who suffers from nervousness and insecurity, but who, in addition, cannot abide change, and the frequent absence of intimate loved ones. They therefore have a tendency to be clinging, possessive or jealous, finding it hard to ‘let go’ of those they love.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that the fragrance reminds us that strength lies in direction and purpose, but that there is only one road – that of the illuminated heart. Travelling this road, we can overcome the impediments of the physical world, learn to let go and walk with spirit.

Keim Loughran and Bull state that palmarosa assists the breaking down, breaking through and breaking forth that leads to wholeness. It also helps with the timing of the healing so the process can be deeply and completely integrated into the body, mind and spirit.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Palmarosa aromatherapy insight cardADAPTABILITY
Sometimes we hang onto things so tight that they almost break, masking insecurities that conceal past hurts. Palmarosa allows you to embrace change and let go, and then you can truly move forward and grow. We live in an ever-changing environment where we have to let go of some “old” to provide a space for some “new’.
If we are constantly growing and adapting to the changes in life, success is assured. Life will always be exciting. Shift your consciousness to a place where you are comfortable and enjoy being versatile, going with the changes that life brings.

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

Note: Frequently adulterated with gingergrass, a close cousin. Turpentine and citronella oil are often used with synthetic geraniol to adulterate palmarosa. Palmarosa is often used as a cheap substitute for rose and geranium. These are all reasons to choose your essential oil supplier carefully.

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Grayson J, The Fragrant Year. The Aquarian Press (1993)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Kerr, J, Palmarosa Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.10 (1999)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Rosalina, Nerolina, Niaouli – What’s the Difference?

Rosalina, Nerolina, Niaouli - What's the Difference header

What is the difference between rosalina and nerolina essential oils? Are nerolina and neroli the same oil? I was asked these questions last week and thought I would answer them in this blog post.

Nerolina and niaouli
Melaleuca quinuenervia tree Firstly its important to understand that both nerolina and niaouli are two chemotypes of the broad-leaved paperbark tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Nerolina is Melaleuca quinquenervia CT nerolidol/linalool while niaouli is Melaleuca quinquenervia CT cineole.

The aroma of nerolina has been described as fresh, green and fruity while the aroma of niaouli has been described as strong, fresh and similar to that of eucalyptus.

Nerolina essential oil is a clear to amber yellow colour while niaouli is an almost clear, pale yellow to greenish colour.
Both essential oils are obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and twigs.

Chemical constituents in nerolina and niaouli vary but generally nerolina is high in nerolidol and linalool while niaouli is high in 1.8 cineole. Both contain alpha-terpineol, alpha-pinene and limonene in varying amounts.

Nerolina has been reported to help in cases of adrenal fatigue, shingles, cold sores and wound healing. Mark Webb has found nerolina ideal for small children with persistent dry, non-productive cough when applied as part of a chest rub formula.

Niaouli because of her high 1.8 cineole is beneficial for coughs, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains.

Nerolina is calming, soothing and uplifting. Both are helpful for mental fatigue and exhaustion, confusion, poor focus, anxiety and stress.

Both oils are considered nontoxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. If using on children nerolina may be the better choice because of her low cineole content and aroma.

Note: nerolina may be marketed as niaouli so it’s important to check the botanical name and chemotype so you know what you are purchasing.

Rosalina
RosalinaRosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) is also known as lavender tea tree.
The aroma has been described as soft and medicinal with a slightly piney scent.

Rosalina essential oil is a clear, pale straw to golden yellow colour. An oil darker in colour may indicate inappropriate distillation.

Rosalina essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and twigs.

The main chemical constituent in rosalina is linalool, with smaller amounts of 1.8 cineole, limonene, aromadendrene, alpha-terpinene and terpinene-4-ol.

Rosalina is useful for a sore throat, sinus infections, respiratory congestion, coughs, colds, flu, cold sores, insect bites, muscular aches and pains.

On an emotional level rosalina is very calming, nurturing, relaxing and uplifting so useful for stress, insomnia, nervous tension, irritability and anxiety.

Battaglia writes that the chemical profile of rosalina oil suggests that it would have properties similar to a blend of tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.

This is another oil that can safely be used on children as she is considered nontoxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

Nerolina, niaouli and rosalina are all Australian essential oils from the genus Melaleuca and they all share similar properties. They are all helpful for respiratory issues, muscular aches and pains. All are helpful for anxiety, stress and nervous tension and all are calming and uplifting. They are all considered nontoxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. They vary in their major chemical constituents which contributes to their varying aromas and some differences in their therapeutics.

Both nerolina and rosalina are considered safe oils to use on children and may be better received than the stronger smelling oils of niaouli, tea tree and eucalyptus.

Neroli and Nerolina
Those new to aromatherapy sometimes confuse neroli and nerolina. I think this is due to the similarity in the names but they are very different oils, used for different purposes.

Neroli flowerNeroli (Citrus aurantium var.amara)  is distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree and is used for more emotional issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, and shock. Although nerolina can also be used for emotional issues she is more often used for respiratory and other physical issues.

Neroli is also a very expensive oil compared to nerolina. As was seen above nerolina is a Melaleuca from the Myrtle family whereas neroli belongs to the Rutaceae family.

For more information on neroli click on the link to be taken to my post on neroli.

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Rosalina photo Melburnian / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Webb M, Australian Essential Oil Profile – Nerolina, Aromatherapy Today, Vol.18 (2001)
Webb M, Australian Essential Oil Profile – Rosalina, Aromatherapy Today, Vol.17 (2001)
Webb M, Bush Scents. Griffin Press, Adelaide (2000)

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamomheader

Family: Zingiberaceae

Synonyms: Green cardamom, small cardamom, Amomum elettaria

Aroma: Warm and spicy with a slightly penetrating camphoraceous-cineole like odour

CardamonEssOilColour: Colourless to pale yellow, darkens when exposed to sunlight

Plant: A leafy stemmed shrub up to 4 metres high with very long leaves bearing small, yellow flowers with purple tips. The oblong grey fruit contains upwards of 20 dark red-brown seeds and are gathered just before they are ripe.

Main Growing Areas: Sri Lanka, India, Guatemala and El Salvador

Major Constituents: 1,8 cineole, alpha-terpineol, linalool, terpinene-4-ol, alpha-terpinyl acetate, geraniol

Interesting snippets: Reputed to be one of the oldest known spices.
Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for over 3000 years and was brought to Europe by the Greeks in the 4th century BC.

It is a principal ingredient in curry powder, and is used to flavour pastries, liqueurs and chewing gum.

Interestingly, Scandinavians use more cardamom than anyone else in the Western Hemisphere. They use it to flavour breads, cakes, candies, sausages and other meats. Their use of it originated with the Vikings who more than a 1000 years ago purchased it in Constantinople for their use back home.

cardamom-pods and seedsPart of Plant used / Extraction: Seeds/steam distillation

Therapeutic actions: Analgesic, antispasmodic, digestive, nausea and vomiting, colic, cramps, chronic bronchitis, lethargy, flatulence, coughs and colds

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous exhaustion, depression, poor concentration, overthinking and burdened by worries, feelings of weakness and fatigue. Calming, grounding, soothing & uplifting emotionally. Cardamom EO can help restore an “appetite for life”, our ability to digest, assimilate & be nourished by life.

Joy Bowles writes that psychologically cardamom seems to open and widen the imagination

Gabriel Mojay writes that cardamom is indicated for poor concentration, overthinking and worry – especially where there is a degree of nervous exhaustion. He further states that whenever we feel deprived of opportunity or generosity and fear that we may be denied fulfillment, cardamom oil reminds us of life’s true abundance and restores our desire for contentment.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes, cardamom gives us wisdom when we are overburdened with responsibilities, when we need to tap into our generosity of spirit to allow our hearts to be open and expansive in order to be gracious in our dealings with others. Also it gives encouragement when we need to take a step forward to offer a hand in friendship when we see that a person is in need.

Barry Kapp writes that cardamom taps into the corridor that leads us to our higher selves in a gentle and positive way. She expels fear, being stuck, frozenness and gives us feelings of courage, stamina, patience and strength.

Keim Loughran and Bull suggest cardamom helps to teach others with a grounded, clear, heart centred perspective and also helps us to accept life as it is while encouraging an enthusiasm for it.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Tisserand and Young suggest not applying cardamom to or near the face of infants or children due to her high level of 1,8 cineole.

Note: Cardamom is often adulterated with 1,8 cineole from eucalyptus or camphor oil

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kapp B, Wisdom of the Earth Speaks, The Truth About Medicinal Aromatherapy. www.WisdomoftheEarth.com (2008)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
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)

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata var genuina)

Ylang-Ylang-header

Family: Annonaceae

Synonyms: Perfume tree, flower of flowers

Aroma: Warm, sweet, floral, exotic

Colour: Pale yellow.

Ylang Ylang treePlant: Fast growing tree that can reach 20 metres in height. The leaves are oval and pointy with wavy margins around 15 to 20 cms in length and evergreen with a smooth glossy appearance. The flowers are green when they first appear changing to yellow, pink and mauve but the essential oil is only extracted from the yellow flowers.

Main Growing Areas: Philippines, Java, Sumatra, Reunion, Madagascar, the Comores

Major Constituents: para-cresyl methyl ether – contributes to strong euphoric odour and possibly antispasmodic effects.

Linalool – sedative, geranyl acetate and benzyl benzoate – relaxing and calming, caryophyllene – possible anti-inflammatory.

Interesting snippets: Cananga oil (Cananga odorata var macrophylla) is often used to adulterate ylang ylang oil and is also used in soaps and cheap  perfumes.

In Japan Ylang Ylang was associated with the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu-o-mi-Kami, ancestor of the Imperial family.

Dr Tim Betts of Birmingham University’s Neuropsychiatry Clinic, UK , stated that Ylang Ylang oil can also be effective for controlling epilepsy, especially when smelt before the onset of a seizure.

Used to treat typhus, malaria and other fevers at the beginning of the century.

Ylang Ylang-flowerPart of Plant used / Extraction: Yellow flowers soon after picking. Steam fractionation as various grades are taken off at various stages of the approx. 20 hour distillation process.  Extra (up to 1 hour), first (up to 3 hours), second (up to 6 hours), third (up to 10 hours).  A complete oil is continuously distilled for 15 hours without any fraction being taken out or by combining the extra, first and second grades.

Therapeutic actions: Rapid breathing, tachycardia, reduces high blood pressure, PMS

Emotional and Spiritual: Antidepressant, aphrodisiac and sedative that soothes the nerves and softens anger. Anxiety, panic, anger and fear, shock, integrates the emotions and soothes the nervous system

Gabriel Mojay writes that Ylang Ylang may be used by people in whom fear, anxiety and the urge to withdraw have subconsciously blocked their feelings of sexuality.

Suzanne Catty writes that ylang ylang is a top choice for anyone with control issues. The scent being both floral and animal at the same time reconnects the mind and body, something that control often seeks to separate. Ylang Ylang also dispels aggressiveness. She also notes that Ylang Ylang hydrosol is more truly like the crazy, messy, emotional beings that humans really are in physical form.

Robbie Zeck writes that this exotic, sweet ‘flower of flowers’ softens attitudes, breaks old patterns and evokes flexibility. Explore and transform your anger and be mindful of how you are affecting others. Consider where knots of anger may be located in your body. Mindfully apply Ylang Ylang over those parts to nourish and relax your body and mind.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi states that ylang ylang is helpful in reducing pain and is calming and antispasmodic. She helps reconcile feelings of anger, rage and frustration, replacing them with joy, sensuality, euphoria, inner trust and peacefulness.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Ylang Ylang Insight Card

PEACE
It is the oil for people of all ages who have too much angry energy. Ylang Ylang has a feminine aroma that brings a sense of peace, love and tenderness.
Ylang Ylang invokes feelings of peace and tranquility, reuniting us with our emotional, caring, nurturing, intuitive side. Balancing left and right brain, Ylang Ylang is the “warm fuzzy” nurturing essential oil that softens us and relieves life’s frustrations that often lead to anger. When locked in that logical, analytical mode, use Ylang Ylang to reveal your inner strength, more resilient and able to conquer any negative emotions you may show. “Be in touch with your feminine side.”

Contemplations for the Soul Card:Ylang Ylang CFTS card Are you feeling frustrated, angry, fearful or unhappy?
Look for the underlying cause of your fear and anger and deal with it.
Your anger doesn’t only affect you but others in your circle.
What do you need to feel a sense of peace and wellbeing?
How will you attain it?
Spend time in relaxation practices and learn to deal with your anger more constructively.
You can express your anger in a relatively calm manner without blowing your top.
Is it necessary to get angry and frustrated by the person or situation or can you let it go? If you can, let it go.
If not, express your opinion or feelings in a calm manner and move on.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic excessive use may lead to headaches and nausea. Moderate risk of skin sensitisation so use with care on people with hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and children under 2 years of age.

Sources: Atterby D, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.51 (2011)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Catty S, Cananga odorata. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.51 (2011)
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 Cards (2016)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.4 (1997)
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)

 

A Sense of Purpose and Essential Oils

A Sense of Purpose and Essential Oils

There may be times in your life when you feel you have lost your sense of purpose or are unsure what it is. You may feel that you followed a path that no longer seems to fit the person you have become. Or perhaps you have changed careers several times and are no longer sure what you should be doing.

Maybe your children have grown up and moved away from home or married and you feel that all the energy you directed into their welfare has nowhere to go and your life has lost direction.

You may need to talk to someone about the above issues but you can also use essential oils to help you gain some clarity. They can help you understand that you are where you are meant to be at this moment in time.

If you don’t like where you are or if you’re not sure where you are meant to be choose an oil and spend a little time with her and then take a step in the direction you would like to go. If you like the direction in which you’re heading continue that way if not stop and course correct.

You can use the following oils in several different ways. Place 4-5 drops in half a cup of full fat milk and add to a warm bath and allow your mind to wander along the possibilities of your life’s purpose. Place 3 or 4 drops in a vaporizer while you meditate on the possibilities. Place a drop or two on a tissue while you are outside with your feet on the grass or sand, breathe in and out and allow possibilities to fill your thoughts before choosing one. Have a massage with a blend of oils and see what thoughts enter your mind in this relaxed state.

After each oil you will find a Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation that you can use as a guide while considering your sense of purpose.

Oils to help you in your quest to find your purpose are:

Angelica (Angelica archangelica) can help you see and understand your life and purpose from a different perspective. You may come to realize that your sense of purpose has changed perhaps many times over the course of your life and it may be time to change again. This can encourage a sense of optimism allowing you to appreciate your life and all you have learned so far and can continue to learn.

If you are still unsure what your life purpose is, now is the time to ask for angelic support. Be open to all the possibilities as the answer you seek may come from nature, music, another person or a totally unexpected source.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I receive inspiration from many sources, nature, human and angelic.

Note, mildly phototoxic so best to avoid exposure to the sun for 12 to 24 hours after massage or application to the skin.

Black Pepper CFTS cardBlack Pepper (Piper nigrum) allows you to stay focused on your path and follow your direction in life. She reminds you that you are responsible for what you think, do, feel and say. She can help restore your determination to follow your path no matter what others think. If you are unsure which path to take, be still, listen to your inner guidance and follow it.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I take responsibility for my life choices and decisions.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) gives you the courage and commitment to follow your path and stand firm in the face of opposition. Just as cedarwood spreads her branches taking the room she needs to expand and grow tall so too can you face all the challenges that life throws at you with courage, determination, dignity and grace; learning, growing and gaining strength from each challenge and experience.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I have the strength and courage to weather any crisis.

HyssopClary Sage (Salvia sclarea) helps you to stay clear and focused on what you want in your life. When your life is full of worry, nervous anxiety and indecision it is impossible to see clearly and you can lose your ability to know your life’s true purpose.

 

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I listen to my intuition and follow its guidance.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) can help when you going through a period of change emotionally, spiritually or in your circumstances. At these times you may question or doubt your purpose in life. You may need support to help you move through this time but know that within you there is an inner strength which will allow you to move forward and renew your sense of purpose.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I move forward with ease and grace.

Eucalyptus staigerianaEucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) can help clear the clutter within and give you room to breathe so you can look more fully at your sense of purpose. Do you need or want to continue down this path or is it time for change and a new direction? Release any regrets you may have about your life and the purpose of it. You have the freedom to change your purpose or to continue on with a clearer vision of what that purpose maybe.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – My life is filled with unlimited possibilities.

Neroli flowerNeroli (Citrus aurantium var amara) allows you to make different and empowered choices. You have made many choices on your life’s path including those in which you elected not to make a choice and let things stay the same. Take the time now to sit quietly and listen to your inner voice and allow it to lead you to your purpose.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I consider all my options and make a choice knowing I can always choose differently next time.

Patchouli leaves and flowersPatchouli (Pogostemon cablin) awakens a sense of peace on all levels and the realization that your real strength lies in being you. This realization is the first step on the path to remembering your purpose.

 

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I feel a sense of peace in all areas of my life.

Peppermint leaves and flowersPeppermint (Mentha piperita) helps you to connect to your purpose in life. She helps you to digest new ideas and impressions and to focus on your passions and being true to yourself.

 

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I stay true to myself and my highest potential.

Scots pinePine (Pinus sylvestris) provides the insight to know that you have unique gifts and talents and that you are enough as you are. Sometimes you don’t allow yourself to see or follow your path because of low self-esteem but pine tells you that you have all you need to follow or decide on your purpose.

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I have the self-confidence to stand tall and allow the world to see the unique person I am.

Rosemary-flowerRosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) reminds you that you can create the life you want. Spend time thinking about your purpose and imaging what it could be or simply remembering what was once important to you and begin taking steps to create it.

 

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I am a creative person who finds creative solutions to my problems.

sandalwood chipsSandalwood (Santalum album) gives you another perspective from which to view your life. Take time out to meditate with sandalwood on the direction you would like your life to take.

 

Fragrant Change Healing Affirmation – I allow my inner awareness to guide me to the answer.

 

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Burseraceae Family

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Burseraceae Family Header

The Burseraceae are also known as the torchwood family and the incense tree family. This family includes both trees and shrubs and is native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They produce resin in virtually all plant tissue and have a distinctive smooth, yet flaking, aromatic bark.

Most have been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine and religious ceremonies, most often as incense hence their being referred to as the incense tree family.

incense

The trees are usually cut to allow the resin to ooze out and harden. These tears are gathered, sorted and either steam distilled to produce an essential oil or solvent extracted to produce an absolute.

Essential oils from the Burseraceae family include elemi (Canarium luzonicum), frankincense (Boswellia sacra), myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), opopanax (Commiphora guidottii) and palo santo (Bursera graveolens).

This plant family has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, tonic, cytophylactic and expectorant qualities in common. Useful for bronchitis and coughs, healing wounds and ulcers and reducing scar tissue. They are soothing and comforting to the soul and encourage us to find our own inner strength.

Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)

Elemi has been referred to as the poor man’s frankincense as she shares many of frankincense’s properties.
Elemi is a large tropical evergreen tree that can reach up to 30 metres with large white or yellow flowers and green fruits which produce edible nuts. It exudes a pale yellowish resin when the tree sprouts leaves; the resin solidifies on contact with the air and stops flowing when the last leaf falls.

Therapeutic Effects
Heals wounds, gangrene and abscesses. Respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and sinusitis especially where there is a lot of phlegm. Excellent for skin care especially for mature skin and is said to reduce wrinkles.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
She is a balancing, strengthening and centring oil. She brings the body, mind and soul into alignment. Useful for stress that has led to exhaustion as she is both stimulating and a tonic. In meditation she induces a deep calm without drowsiness.

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-toxic and non-sensitising. Elemi is often adulterated with a-phellandrene and limonene. Elemi has also been found as an adulterant in many oils including black pepper, lemon and angelica seed.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), (B. frereana), (B. neglecta), (B. rivae), (B. papyrifera), (B. sacra), (B. serrata).

Frankincense resin

Frankincense is a small tree that grows to a height of 7 metres. It has abundant narrow leaves and white or pale pink flowers.
Frankincense is also known as olibanum. There is little difference in the properties of the 7 species listed above but their aromas vary. The oleo-gum-resin is tapped from an incision made on the trunk of the tree which exudes a milky white liquid that hardens into drops of resin known as tears.

Therapeutic Effects
Very good for respiratory conditions including bronchitis, laryngitis, coughs and congestion. Skin care for mature, dry and sensitive skin. Excellent for wound healing.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Frankincense has been burnt in temples and used in religious ceremonies for centuries and continues to be used even today for that purpose.
Slows down breathing and induces feelings of calm. Ideal for meditation as she helps to still the mind and cease mental chatter allowing the spirit to soar and your inner guidance to be heard. Helps restore a sense of equilibrium when feeling anxious or confused.
Valerie Ann Worwood writes that in cases of spiritual shock or loss, when the spirit can step out of the body, even for a brief moment, Frankincense can gently ease us back into our earthly home.

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-sensitising. Possible skin sensitization if oil is old or oxidized.

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) (C. molmol)

myrrh resin

A small stunted tree with scanty leaves and small white flowers. The trunk of the tree naturally exudes a pale yellowish oleoresin through the fissures in its bark which harden to semi-transparent reddish brown tears on exposure to air. The natives make incisions in the bark and collect the resin once it is dried and ship it off to various countries for distillation. The trees then require 6 months to two years to recover and if not given this time will wither and die.

Therapeutic Effects
Wound healing, mouth ulcers, dry cracked skin, weepy eczema, tinea, coughs, bronchitis, painful periods.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Use for people who feel stuck in their lives and want to move forward emotionally and spiritually. Helps balance the upper and lower chakras. Useful for overthinking, worry, confusion, mental distraction, loss and rejection. Emotional, mental and spiritual wounding.

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Best not to use during pregnancy and lactation as she may be fetotoxic due to her ß-elemene and furanodiene content.

Opopanax (Commiphora guidottii)

Opopanax is a viscous exudate obtained by breaking the twigs of a tall tropical tree that grows wild in Somalia and Ethiopia. It solidifies to brown lumps of a warm-balsamic and sweet, honey-like fragrance. A resinoid is prepared by solvent extraction, and steam distillation of the resin gives an essential oil.

Therapeutic Effects
Wound healing, respiratory tract infections with phlegm and mucus.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Helps heal emotional, mental and spiritual wounding.

Precautions
Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Moderate risk of skin sensitising. Hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, children under 2 years of age.

Palo santo (Bursera graveolens)

Palo Santo wood and resin

Grows in dry, tropical forests reaching a height of 4 to10 metres. It is densely branched with a smooth, non-peeling bark that is purple tinged but appears to be pale or silvery gray due to a covering of lichens.
The tree or limb must die a natural death and remain in the forest for 4 to 10 years to decay in order to produce a good quality essential oil. Cutting down the tree and leaving it to decay for the same amount of time will yield an oil of a poor quality.

Therapeutic Effects
Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, antiviral, diuretic, reduces fever, sedative, headaches, wound healing, joint and muscle aches and pains, sprains and respiratory symptoms, coughing, bronchitis, asthma, colds.

Emotional and Subtle Effects
Grounding, calming, anxiety, depression, emotional stress or trauma, panic attacks, clears negative energy. The Incas and shamans in Central and South America used and continue to use it, as part of their sacred healing rituals to heal, remove or cast spells, and gaze into the future.

Precautions
Possible skin sensitization if oil is old or oxidized.

References
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis, P, Aromatherapy, An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Kerr, J, Frankincense Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.2 (1997)
Kerr, J, Myrrh Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.23 (2002)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Price L, Frankincense. The Aromatherapist, Vol 4, No 4 (1997)
Smith I, Elemi. In Essence Vol.7 No.3 (2008)
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/Burseraceae
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bursera_graveolens
https://nbodyshop.com/essential-oil-by-plant-family/

Essential Oils and Crystals For The Sacral Chakra

Essential Oils and Crystals For The Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is located approximately 5mm (2 inches) below the navel. It is associated with family, sexuality, passion, creativity, the exploration of your feelings, emotions and deservedness.

When balanced you are creative, calm, relaxed, nurturing, have good boundaries, a strong immune system and are able to give and receive freely. You know deep within that you deserve all the abundance and goodness that comes your way. You have a sense of your own sexuality and your ability to connect with and care for others as well as yourself.

When out of balance you may fear change or feel stuck and unable to change. You may have negative beliefs around your ability to create, parent your children, your sexual ability or your ability to form or maintain relationships. You may either try to control everyone and everything in your life or give away your power to another and end up feeling disempowered and fearful. You may have an eating disorder (compulsive eating, anorexia and comfort eating) and/or food, drug and sexual addictions because of the emptiness you feel inside.

Some questions to consider and perhaps journal about
Do you feel guilty about something?
Do you embrace change easily?
Are you in touch with your own sexuality?
Are you living or creating your passion?
Are you unable to express your emotions?
Do you make sure everyone else’s needs are met before your own?
Do you nurture and cherish yourself?
Are you honest with yourself and others about how you feel?
Do you believe you deserve to achieve your greatest desires?
Do you feel the need to control everyone and everything in your life?

20 essential oils that can help with sacral chakra issues
Sacral chakra issues related to family, sexuality, passion, creativity, the exploration of your feelings, emotions and deservedness that result in anxiety, worry and feelings of worthlessness can all be addressed with the help of essential oils.

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.

Bay LaurelBay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) helps overcome the fear of claiming your personal power and awakens your desire to create allowing imaginative ideas and intuition to flourish.

BergamotBergamot (Citrus bergamia) allows you to explore your deepest, darkest, innermost feelings so you can heal and release repressed emotions.

Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) helps unblock stagnant energy and restore a sense of direction and determination. Reminds you to take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.

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

CinnamonCinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is useful if you have isolated yourself emotionally from others. She helps you regain your passion for life.

ElemiElemi (Canarium luzonicum) helps you access your innermost feelings so that you can release suppressed emotions. She offers support and strength when you need to reconnect with yourself and others.

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

Geranium flowerGeranium (Pelargonium graveolens) helps to overcome feelings of abandonment and rejection. She is an aphrodisiac and helps reconnect you to your sensual self.

Jasmine flowersJasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) promotes love, sensuality, sexuality, creativity and living in the moment.

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

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

Neroli flowerNeroli (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.

Patchouli CFTSPatchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is helpful if you are feeling out of touch with your body and sensuality due to overwork, anxiety and worry.

Petitgrain treePetitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara) gives you gentle strength and stability when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable.

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.

Rosa damascenaRose (Rosa damascena) restores a sense of security and well-being especially if you have suffered rejection, loss or abuse.

Rosemary-flowerRosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) renews enthusiasm and improves self-confidence helping you to remember your own true path. She helps you direct creative energy into action.

Vetiver rootsVetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) brings calm, reassuring strength and a sense of belonging.

ylang-ylang-flowerYlang Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina) is useful for impotence and frigidity 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 sacral chakra anointing blend
Choose 1-3 essential oils for a total of 3 drops. Add to 10 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil. Label your blend noting the oils and date.

You may either sit or lie down. Take a couple of deep even breaths. Anoint your abdomen approximately 5mm (2 inches) below your 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.

15 crystals that may be used to balance the throat chakra
Orange and peach crystals are used to balance the sacral chakra. Blue and green crystals can help to balance an overstimulated sacral chakra. Choose one or two to work with. These may be used directly on the sacral 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. Amber is helpful if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder as well as stimulating your metabolism and physical energy.

ApophylliteApophyllite allows you to explore your deepest, innermost feelings and release suppressed emotions. This crystal would work well with bergamot essential oil.

BloodstoneBloodstone grounds you fully in your body offering support and courage in difficult times.

CARNELIANCarnelian helps to overcome the fear of taking action or doing the wrong thing and to embrace change.

CitrineCitrine stimulates the imagination and enhances creativity. She also helps you overcome feelings of not deserving abundance in your life.

QUARTZ CLEARClear quartz can be used to clear and balance all the chakras.

 

lapis LazuliLapis lazuli helps to release deep stress, release repressed anger bringing inner peace.

Orange calcite stimulates your physical body, sexual and creative energy. She can be used to help heal emotional wounds related to your sexuality, creativity and sexual abuse.

RhodochrositeRhodochrosite is helpful for healing deep emotional trauma that has left you unable to feel joy or express your creativity.

RhodoniteRhodonite helps you value yourself and the skills you bring to your community.

Rose quartzRose quartz helps release, worry, fear, anxiety and past emotional trauma.

sunstonesSunstone stimulates your sexual and creative energy and can increase your physical stamina.

Tangerine quartzTangerine quartz helps to overcome the fear of not being good enough. She also encourages playfulness and creative problem solving.

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.

Respect Aromatic Affirmation
I value and respect myself, my body, emotions, creativity, family and friends. I maintain healthy boundaries and know I am worthy of love and respect.

Respect Aromatic Affirmation

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.