Category Archives: Essential Oils

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.

This will also sign you up for my monthly newsletter and Subscribers Resource Page.

Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata)

Clove bud header

Family: Myrtaceae

Synonyms: Syzygium aromaticum, E. aromatica, Caryophyllus aromaticus.

Aroma: Spicy, warm, woody and pungent.

Colour: Colourless to pale yellow moving to darker brown

clove branchPlant: Pyramidal evergreen tree with a smooth grey trunk which grows up to 15 metres. The bright green leaves stand in pairs on short stalks. At the beginning of the wet season buds appear with a rosy pink corolla at the tip. As the corolla fades the calyx turns deep red and these are picked or beaten from the tree and dried in the sun for several days.

Main Growing Areas: Molucca islands, Brazil, the West Indies, Mauritius, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Pemba.

Major Constituents: Eugenol, eugenyl acetate, caryophyllene, isocaryophyllene

Interesting snippets: Quack comes from the clove filled leather beaks the European doctors wore and breathed through to ward off the plague.

The Greeks, Romans and Chinese traditionally used clove to sweeten the breath and ease toothache.

During the Renaissance, pomanders were made with cloves to keep epidemics and the plague at bay.

Dentists used to dab clove oil over a tooth before filling it to decrease sensitivity.

The first recorded use of cloves was in China in the Han Dynasty (220-206BC) where it was used as a breath sweetener.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Steam distillation of the crushed unopened dried flower buds.

Therapeutic actions: Toothache, diarrhoea, flatulence, insect repellent, colds and flu, restore appetite, stimulate digestion, rheumatic aches and pains, sprains and strains.

Emotional and Spiritual: Depression, self-confidence, reawakens passion and instils a capacity for creative vision.

Robbi Zeck writes that when you hang on to things for longer than you need them congestion will occur. Accumulation affects you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Clear out your clutter and create the space for different opportunities and experiences to enter your life. Find pleasure in the simple things in life.

Gabriel Mojay writes that clove essential oil is indicated in particular for those who feel isolated and unsupported. Riddled with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, such individuals identify their lack of interest in life with an insufficient degree of meaningful interaction and warmth. They find it difficult to extend themselves emotionally due to their poor self-image and their emotional detachment. Clove essential oil not only helps to restore emotional vitality but also comforts and allays the feeling of loneliness that itself can exacerbate one’s distance from others.

Valerie Ann Worwood states that clove has no time for contemplation only for action. Her message is to move forward, make things happen, achieve as much as your spirit can without harming another.

Deborah Eidson thinks that clove bud helps you reflect upon the root cause of pain, recognize how it once served you, and realize it is no longer needed. Clove also helps in examining and overcoming the root causes of fear and anger so you may experience greater joy and spontaneity.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

 Aromatherapy Insight Card

REMOVES ATTACHMENTS

Clove assists in releasing attachments, empowering you to move forward, exploring new possibilities and experiences. Go with the ever-changing environment and do not allow yourself to get too attached to one style or system. Explore new possibilities, be a living example and inspiration to others.

To make effective change in the world, first change yourself and the rest will follow.

Fragrant Change Healing Cards: I clear the clutter from my life both internal and external.

Clove

Safety: Can cause skin irritation so keep below 0.5% dilution in blend. Don’t use with children under 2 years of age.

Note: Clove bud oil maybe adulterated with clove stem or leaf oil, or clove terpenes remaining after eugenol extraction.

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition, Vol.1The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Eidson D, Vibrational Healing, Frog Books (2000)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Clove Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.34 (2005)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Clove class noes (1999)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

The Health Benefits of a Walk in the Bush

The Health Benefits of a Walk in the Bush

We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

There has been a lot written about shinrin-yoku a Japanese term meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” In Australia we’d probably call it “bush bathing.’

The idea is to take a slow walk through the forest, bush or any natural area stopping to admire anything that takes your fancy. This could be a leaf, tree, flower or rock. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, 15 or 20 minutes is often enough to benefit from the calming and restorative effects a walk in the bush can bring.

Rock formation at Salt Pan Creek

There are many reasons why a walk in the bush or forest can be beneficial for your health but the main reason given by researchers is that many trees give off compounds that support our immune system. Although this fact wasn’t known at the time, there were doctors in the past that set up sanatoriums in European pine forests to treat tuberculosis with great success.

Another reason to try shinrin-yoku is its stress relieving benefits that include lowering blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, headache relief, improved sleep, greater creativity, improved mood and increased energy. Simply breathing in deeply during your walk can help you experience these benefits.

symptoms of stress

You don’t need to find a long bush track to experience these effects. You could get the same benefits in a small park by sitting under a tree and taking the time to admire its leaves, flowers or bark while inhaling deeply. On one of my walks to the next suburb there is a small grove of eucalypts that I could walk through in 2 minutes or less but I take the time to slow down and admire the way each is different. It only takes a few minutes but is very uplifting. I’m also very lucky to have a bush track and river minutes from where I live.

Park bench

As shinrin-yoku is at its core taking the time to admire nature and slow down you could also spend time in your garden admiring the trees, flowers, herbs or whatever else you maybe growing there. Taking this time to slow down  helps to relieve your stress and the symptoms that accompany it.

But what if you don’t live near any nature and don’t have a garden you can retreat to? Essential oils can come to your aid. You can bring the scents of the bush or forest into your home and enjoy the benefits these little power houses bring.

Essential oils

Choose 2 or 3 essential oils from those below and place 6-8 drops in total in a diffuser to bring the bush or forest to you. You can also add them to a personal inhaler that you can take with you whereever you go. In addition to the benefits above these oils are very beneficial for the respiratory system.

Buddha wood – Eremophila mitchellii – uplifting, muscular aches and pains

Cajeput – Melaleuca cajeputi – lethargy, focus, respiratory issues

Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica – grounding, courage, respiratory issues

Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens – emotional and physical transition, respiratory issues

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus radiata – hemmed in, overwhelm, respiratory issues

Eucalyptus Staigeriana – Eucalyptus staigeriana – uplifting, anxiety, respiratory issues

Fragonia – Agonis fragrans – anxiety, stress, focus, muscular aches and pains, respiratory issues

Juniper – Juniperus communis – cleansing, worry, arthritis, mental fatigue

Kunzea – Kunzea ambigua – nervous tension, emotional and physical pain, muscular aches

Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citriodora – stress, focus, uplifting, respiratory issues

Lemon scented tea tree – Leptospermum petersonii – concentration, air purifier, respiratory issues

Niaouli – Melaleuca quinquenervia – stress, mental fatigue, respiratory issues, muscular aches and pains

Pine – Pinus sylvestris – self-worth, self-confidence, respiratory issues

Australian Sandalwood – Santalum spicatum – contemplation, stress, respiratory issues

Silver Fir – Abies alba – clarity, anxiety, stress, respiratory issues

Spruce – Picea mariana – mental fatigue, clarity, centring, burnout, respiratory issues

Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia – tolerance, positive outlook, respiratory issues

Source:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition, Vol.1The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var.amara)

Petitgrain header

The spirit of petitgrain is embodied in gentle strength encouraging positive resolutions and outcomes at difficult times.
Valerie Ann Worwood

Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: Bigarade oil, Citrus bigaradia

Aroma: Fresh floral, woody, herbaceous aroma with a hint of orange

Colour: Pale yellow or amber

Petitgrain treePlant: An evergreen up to10 metre tall tree with dark green, glossy, oval leaves and white flowers producing green fruit ripening to yellow.

Main Growing Areas: Italy, Morocco, Egypt, France, Haiti, Paraguay, Spain

Major Constituents: Linalyl acetate and linalool – sedative, alpha-terpineol soothing antibacterial, Methyl N-methyl anthranilate- euphoric and mood lifting

Interesting snippets: Petitgrain was originally distilled from small unripe oranges no bigger than a cherry hence the French name petitgrain meaning small grains. As the production proved uneconomic with unripe fruit the name was transferred to the oil extracted from the leaves of the bitter orange tree.

Essential oils obtained from the leaves of other species of citrus for example, lemon, bergamot and mandarin may also be labelled petitgrain.

A major ingredient of many colognes and perfumes.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves by steam distillation. 500 kgs of leaves produces 1kg of essential oil. Distillation takes about 2-3 hours.

Therapeutic actions: Muscular spasms, insomnia, digestive problems – dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain.

Emotional and Spiritual: 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

Deborah Eidson writes that petitgrain helps acknowledge and overcome obsessive and addictive behavioural patterns. Numbing self from the anguish of life, and feeling the shame of not taking responsibility for one’s power and actions often contributes to addictive behaviours. Petitgrain imparts an awareness of these patterns.

Robbi Zeck writes that your memories create the blueprint of your individual expression. Petitgrain opens the memory gaining entrance to the place within consciousness where far memories reside. Surrender to the awareness that is beyond conscious thought. Let this frontier bring new insights to illuminate your path through life.

Gabriel Mojay writes that petitgrain’s uplifting, antidepressive effect is suited in particular to individuals who are perceived by others as inherently strong and resilient, and who find it difficult to accept their vulnerable side. They tend to ‘soldier on’ in emotionally difficult circumstances, and are often loathe to share with others feelings of rage or disillusionment.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Petitgrain Insight cardCONSCIOUS MIND
Fresh and stimulating, Petitgrain helps you access stored thoughts and memories that you may not have been using. Stay fluid when moving between conscious and subconscious states. Access the information you require to achieve success in your life. You know what you need to do, it is time to trust the knowing.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I have the answers within. I only need to trust and act on my inner knowing.

Petitgrain Fragrant Change Healing CardContemplations for the Soul Card:

Petitgrain Contemplations for the Soul CardHave you been seeking answers to a question, ignoring something or in denial over what is happening around you?
Do you appear emotionally strong to others but hide from them and yourself how vulnerable you really feel?
Sit quietly and go within allowing your inner awareness to gently guide you to the answer you are seeking.
You have all the answers within you, simply trust and act on your inner knowing.
Know that you don’t have to be emotionally strong for others all the time.
Look within to see why you find it difficult to admit your vulnerability even to yourself.
Allow others to support and be strong for you on occasion.

Note: Often adulterated with synthetic chemicals such as nerone. May also be adulterated with limonene and rectified orange terpenes. Petitgrain itself is used to adulterate neroli essential oil.

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

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition, Vol.1The 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)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, The Aromatherapy Tree. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.5 (1998)
Mojay G, Petitgrain Class notes (1999)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Finding Inner Peace

Finding inner peace header

Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.
Jawaharlal Nehru

As the quote above states peace is not a relationship of nations but a state of mind. It may feel difficult if not impossible to feel inner peace especially if you are under a lot of stress. Continual stress is not good for your mental or physical body. There will always be stressful situations; a sense of inner peace will help you deal with them more easily.

Try to find little pockets of time throughout your day to cultivate a sense of inner peace. If you are unable to instil a sense of peace into yourself and your children even for short periods of time you will never truly feel at peace with yourself, the world or those around you.

Ideas for Finding Inner Peace
Below are some ideas and essential oils that can aid you in your quest for inner peace.

Meditation is one way to develop a sense of inner peace. Taking the time to slow and deepen your breath allows you to reach a deeper place of relaxation so you can feel at peace with yourself and your world. Meditation doesn’t need to be sitting cross-legged for hours or minutes at a time. Simply going for a walk or sitting in your garden and noticing the flowers, plants, stones and nature in general can bring a sense of peace.

Sitting in nature

Listening to Music that soothes and uplifts you is another way to find inner peace. Take time out to allow yourself to become immersed in the music.

listening to music

Gratitude for all that you have in your life, your family and friends, is important for a sense of inner peace. Feeling envy or wishing for what others have will always keep inner peace at bay.

grateful

Affirmations can also help. For example, I feel calm and peaceful. No matter what is going on around me I remain calm and centred.

Forgiveness is important in order to feel inner peace. You cannot feel peaceful if you are continually thinking of the wrong someone did to you.

Essential Oils to Help with Inner Peace
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) brings inner strength.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) deepens and slows your breath calming and centring the mind.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) helps to bring a sense of balance

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is an oil of forgiveness and helps instil confidence and a sense of peace

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) helps to ease stress. Please note that the cold pressed oil is photosensitive while the distilled is not.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) brings a sense of joy

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) brings a sense of peace on all levels, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) quietens mental chatter, helping to still the mind, allowing it to move into a deep meditative state. stress

You can use a combination of 2 or 3 oils in a diffuser, a personal aroma inhaler or a massage blend to help bring a sense of peace to your world.

Amyris (Amyris balsamifera)

Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: Also called West Indian Sandalwood and less commonly West Indian Rosewood. Amyris is neither a true sandalwood nor a rosewood as both these oils belong to different botanical families.

Aroma: Musty, balsamic, faintly woody scent.

Colour: Pale yellow

AmyrisPlant: A small bushy tree, 3 to 6 metres in height,  with compound leaves and white flowers that produce edible black-bluish fruit. It grows wild in thickets all over Haiti.

Main Growing Areas: Haiti, Jamaica, South and Central America.

Major Constituents: Caryophyllene, cadinene, cadinol

Interesting snippets: The oil is known to remain in timber for many years. The locals call it ‘candle wood’ because of its high oil content; it burns like a candle and is used as a torch by fishermen and traders.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Broken up seasoned wood and branches. Fresh wood gives an inferior oil. Steam distillation

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

Emotional and Spiritual: Relaxes, calms, focuses and uplifts the mind, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. Useful in meditation.

Deborah Eidson writes that amyris anchors the state of openness that promotes new thoughts and allows new ideas to form and encourages the realization that you have the power to create and direct your life and destiny. Amyris saturates the aura with creativity, which in turn attracts abundance. The energy of Amyris is very loving and generates self-acceptance, bringing the energy of grace into your life. This loving grace stimulates the ability to laugh at yourself.

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

Note: Amyris is often fractionated, some sections are cut with Virginian cedarwood. Amyris is also used to adulterate vetiver oil produced in Haiti.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition, Vol.1The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Eidson D, Vibrational Aromatherapy. Revealing the essence of nature through aromatherapy’s use of essential oils. Frog Ltd, Berkley, California (2000)
Lawless J, Complete Essential Oils. Element Books (1995)

The Therapeutic, Emotional and Subtle Effects of 10 Essential Oils in the Lamiaceae Family

Many of the aromatic plants that can be found in your herb garden belong to the Lamiaceae family. They are generally aromatic in all parts and easily propagated by stem cuttings. Many (but not all) have square stems, with leaves oppositely arranged, featuring flowers grouped in clusters with 5 united petals and 5 united sepals.

Labiatae, the original name of this family referred to the fact that the flowers typically have petals fused into an upper lip and a lower lip (labia in Latin).

Essential oils from the Lamiaceae family include basil, clary sage, hyssop, lavender, marjoram, melissa, monarda (Monarda didyma), oregano (Origanum vulgare), patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, sage (Salvia officinalis), savory (Satureia montana), spearmint (Mentha spicata), spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia) and thyme.

This plant family has sedative, diuretic, tonic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antidepressant and nervine properties in common.

Why not try growing a few of these in your garden? Seeing how they grow can help connect you to the plants and the oils they produce on a deeper level.

Basil Sweet (Ocimum basilicum)Basil has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for millennia. It is a strongly aromatic annual herb, reaching 20 inches (50 cm) in height, with shiny green oval leaves and whorls of small white flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Sweet basil is helpful for respiratory conditions including sinusitis, colds and flu. It is useful also for digestive complaints of nausea, vomiting, hiccups and cramping. Because of its febrifuge qualities it has been used in compresses for fevers.

Emotional and Subtle
It is helpful for fear, sadness, depression, stress and insomnia. It can ease anxiety, relieve intellectual fatigue and bring clarity.

Gabriel Mojay states that basil is indicated for those in whom despondency and dejection are coupled with a heightened need for emotional support and reassurance.

Precautions
Avoid using on individuals with hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin. There is a low risk of skin sensitization. Some sources also recommend not using basil during pregnancy or on children under 2 years of age.

Sweet basil with its high percentage of linalool is safe to use in aromatherapy but care must be taken with the methyl chavicol, eugenol and methyl cinnamate chemotypes. It is not recommended to use these chemotypes on the skin or in dilutions of more than 2%. The oil should not be taken orally.

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary sage is a biennial or perennial herb that can grow to a height of 4 feet (120cm) with hairy heart shaped leaves and numerous, small pale blue, lavender, pink or white flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Clary sage is useful for women. It can ease premenstrual tension, encourage labour, lessen post-natal depression and help with hot flashes, night sweats, headaches and the irritability that may occur during menopause.

Clary sage’s antispasmodic properties can relieve muscular aches, pains, stiffness and tired aching legs. It can also help asthma sufferers by relaxing the bronchial tubes spasms and easing their anxiety about breathing.

Emotional and Subtle
Clary sage helps to relieve deep seated tension allowing the person to relax and also helps to stimulate mental clarity which can be clouded by confusion and constant mind chatter.

Clary sage feeds the soul and helps us get through rough and meagre times. It is useful for people involved in creative work and opens the path to the unknown, unusual, creative and intuitive. It has also been said to encourage vivid dreams and assist with dream recall.

Precautions
Some sources recommend not using clary sage during pregnancy while Patricia Davis also recommends not using it when drinking alcohol as it can induce nightmares.

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)Hyssop is a perennial herb up to 22 inches (60 cm) with a woody stem and purplish blue, pink or white flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Hyssop is another good oil for colds, sore throats, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis and asthma but should be used in low dilutions. It is also useful for digestive issues including relieving stomach cramps, abdominal bloating, to increase appetite, as a mild laxative and to expel worms.

Emotional and Subtle
Hyssop can be used for poor concentration, enhancing alertness and mental clarity and to centre you during meditation. It is said to ease emotional pain by bringing deep feelings into focus.

Precautions
It is important to know which variety of hyssop you are using as hyssop can be obtained in 2 varieties. In both cases it is wise not to use the oil above a 2% dilution.

Hyssopus officinalis var. decumbens has no known hazards while Hyssopus officinalis CT pinocamphone should not be used during pregnancy, breast feeding or on children under 2 years of age. It also should not be used on individuals with epilepsy and high blood pressure.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)Lavender is an evergreen woody shrub that grows up to 3 feet (1metre) tall with green narrow linear leaves and violet blue flowers in terminal spikes borne on slender stalks.

Therapeutic effects
Lavender is useful for respiratory complaints, coughs, colds, flu, bronchitis, asthma, catarrh and sinusitis. It is also works well for wounds, ulcers, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis. Lavender’s antispasmodic properties help ease tension headaches, period pains, muscular aches and pains. Lavender is well known for healing and lessening the pain of minor burns and sunburn.

Emotional and Subtle
Lavender is a calming oil when used in small amounts but can be very stimulating in larger amounts. It is helpful for depression, insomnia, nervous tension and stress. Gabriel Mojay calls lavender an aromatic ‘Rescue Remedy’ that works to calm any strong emotions that threaten to overwhelm the mind.

Precautions
None known.

Marjoram Sweet (Marjorama hortensis)Sweet marjoram is a perennial plant that grows up to 30 inches (80cm) high with a hairy stem, dark green oval leaves and small white flowers in clusters.

Therapeutic effects
Sweet marjoram is effective for muscular aches and pains, strains, sprains, painful periods and dispersing bruises. It is also a good digestive and carminative helping to alleviate constipation, colic and flatulence.

Emotional and Subtle
Sweet marjoram relieves stress, anxiety, nervous exhaustion, calms the mind and helps quiet obsessive thoughts.

It has a comforting and warming effect which eases loneliness and grief but should not be used to excess as it can have a deadening effect on the emotions.

Precautions
None known.

Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

Melissa is also known as lemon balm or balm. It is a bushy herb which grows 11 to 23 inches (30 – 60cm) high with serrated oval to heart shaped leaves and tiny white or pink flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Melissa is an antiviral oil that has been shown to be effective for cold sores and shingles when applied to the blisters in the early stages. It is a good digestive oil alleviating nervous indigestion, nausea and flatulence. Its antispasmodic properties can assist in the relief of menstrual pain and tension headaches.

Emotional and Subtle
Melissa is helpful in depression especially in those who are emotionally sensitive and do not respond well to pressure and are easily traumatized by confrontation.

It has been said that Melissa aids us in finding inner contentment and strengthens the wisdom of the heart.

Precautions
Possibly sensitizing and should not be used on hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin. Don’t use in pregnancy or children under 2. Best not used in dilutions above 1%.

Know your source of melissa as there are imitations of the oil made using citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), may chang (Litsea cubeba), and lemon (Citrus limonum) plus various isolates and synthetics.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)Patchouli leaves and flowersPatchouli is a perennial bushy herb up to 3 feet (1 metre) tall with sturdy hairy stems, large furry leaves and white flowers tinged with purple.

Therapeutic effects
Patchouli is a very useful skin oil helping to heal rough cracked skin, sores, acne, eczema, dermatitis and wounds. It is also used for fluid retention, cellulite and diarrhoea.

Gabriel Mojay believes it is one of the most important remedies for snake and insect bites.

Emotional and Subtle
Patchouli is a very grounding oil that is helpful in cases of anxiety and depression. It helps keeps one in touch with their physical body.

Precautions
There is none known for dermal use but possible inhibition of blood clotting if taken orally which is not advised.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)Peppermint is a perennial herb up to 39 inches (1 metre) high with underground runners, sharply toothed, lance shaped leaves and white occasionally mauve flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Peppermint is effective for both respiratory complaints including colds and flu, sinus congestion and chronic bronchitis.

It is well known for helping digestive issues, flatulence, colitis, indigestion, colic, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and travel sickness. It is also effective for muscle pain, lumbago and bruising.

Emotional and Subtle
Peppermint refreshes the mind when mentally fatigued bringing clarity and also facilitates the digestion of new ideas. It can also assist in reconnecting you to your vital passion.

Precautions
It is possibly sensitizing, low risk mucous membrane irritant and should not be used in cases of cardiac fibrillation or G6PD deficiency. Don’t apply to or near the face of infants or children.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)Rosemary is a shrubby evergreen bush up to 50 inches (180cm) high with silvery green, needle shaped leaves and pale blue flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Rosemary is available in 3 chemotypes each suited to a different purpose.
Rosemary 1, 8 cineole is a good respiratory oil helping with colds, flu, catarrh, sinusitis and asthma.

Rosemary camphor is useful for relieving the pain of rheumatism, arthritis and tired, stiff overworked muscles. It also warms cold feet and hands and energizes tired legs.

Rosemary verbenone is excellent for skin care and tissue repair. It is gentler than the cineole chemotype and can also be used for respiratory issues.

Emotional and Subtle
Rosemary has been known as an oil of remembrance since ancient times, helping us to not only remember on a physical level but also on a spiritual level our true selves.

It strengthens our mental clarity and awareness, improves poor concentration and is uplifting and stimulating.

Precautions
Tisserand and Young suggest not applying rosemary on or near the face of infants or young children while others suggest not using it at all on children under 2 years of age.

Some sources also suggest not using it during pregnancy or with those who have epilepsy.

Rosemary verbenone is considered the safest of the three while the camphor chemotype maybe neurotoxic depending on the camphor content and amount used.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)Thyme is a perennial evergreen herb up to 15 inches (45 cm) high with a woody root, grey green leaves and white to lilac flowers.

Therapeutic effects
Thyme comes in various chemotypes with the geraniol and linalool being the gentlest. The thymol and thujanol chemotypes are harsher and require more care in their use.

Thyme is a good respiratory oil helping with colds, flu, coughs, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough.

It is also useful for relieving the pain of rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica and muscular aches and pains.

Emotional and Subtle
Thyme is stimulating and relieves anxiety, nervous and mental exhaustion, enhances concentration, uplifts the spirit and helps with poor self-confidence.

Precautions
Use in low dilution as it can irritate the mucus membranes and possibly cause skin sensitization. Some sources suggest not using on children under one year of age.

In many cases it is preferable to use the linalool and geraniol chemotypes as they have many of the same properties as the thymol and thujanol chemotypes but are gentler oils with a softer aroma.

References
1. Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, The Perfect Potion (Aust.) Pty Ltd 1995
2. Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
3. Gabriel Mojay, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Hodder and Stoughton, 1996
4. Susanne Fischer –Rizzi, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, Sterling Publishing Company. Inc. 1990
5. Patricia Davis, Subtle Aromatherapy, The CW Daniel Company Ltd, 1991
6. Robbi Zeck, The Blossoming Heart, Aroma Tours, 2003

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