I first bought elemi essential oil based on her name but she has a lot of wonderful properties and is a very good oil for various skin conditions.
Synonyms: C commune, Manila elemi.
Aroma: Fresh, spicy, woody, balsamic.
Colour: Colourless to pale yellow.
Plant: Large tropical evergreen tree that can reach up to 30 metres. It has large white or yellow flowers and produces green fruits, which in turn 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.
Main Growing Areas: Philippines, the Moluccas.
Major Constituents: Elemol, elemicine, alpha-phellandrene, limonene.
Interesting snippets: The ancient Egyptians used elemi resin for embalming.
Elemi has been referred to as the poor man’s frankincense as she shares many of frankincense’s properties.
She’s closely related to the trees that produce frankincense, myrrh and opopanax.
C.luzonicum is classified in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “Vulnerable A1cd” which means there has been a reduction of at least 80% of the species over the last 10 years or 3 generations, whichever is longer due to a decline in the area of occupancy, extent of occurance or quality of habitat and the actual levels of exploitation.
Part of Plant used /Extraction: Steam distillation of the resin.
Therapeutic actions: Helps build tissues and heal wounds, gangrene and abscesses. Respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and sinusitis especially where there is a lot of phlegm. Expectorant (helps to expel mucous from the lungs) when used in steam inhalations. Excellent for skin care especially for mature skin and is said to reduce wrinkles.
Emotional and Spiritual: She is a balancing, strengthening and centring oil. She brings the body, mind and soul into alignment. In meditation she induces a deep calm without drowsiness.
Stress that has led to exhaustion as she is both stimulating and a tonic.
Robbi Zeck writes that elemi propels you inward to look deeply into things in order to see their nature, adding a quiet touch. Elemi reflects the serenity of a soul which is shining.
Valerie Worwood writes that elemi can be used in emotional healing to encourage soothing, calm, stillness, contentment, compassion and peace.
Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising. Old or oxidized should be avoided. Skin sensitising if oxidized. Tends to resinify on ageing.
Note: Elemi is often adulterated with the addition of a-phellandrene and limonene.
Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
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)
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)