Tag Archives: anxiety

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)

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)

 

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)

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)

Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum)

black pepper header

Black Pepper is strength and fortitude, giving us the bravery to venture forth into places unknown and unseen. Valerie Ann Worwood

Family: Piperaceae

Aroma: Warm, spicy like aroma

Colour: Pale amber

black-pepper-vinePlant: A perennial woody vine up to 5 metres high with heart shaped leaves and small white flowers. The berries turn red to black as they mature.

Main Growing Areas: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Sri Lanka.
Major Constituents: Beta-caryophyllene, delta-3-carene, limonene and alpha and beta pinene, sabinene.

Interesting snippets: Black pepper is one of the oldest known spices and in medieval Europe was worth its weight in gold.

In Roman times taxes were paid with black pepper instead of coins.

The Greeks used it to combat fever.

If the fruits ripen before drying they yield white pepper.

To give them the ability to cover large distances on foot, the mendicant monks of India, swallow 7-9 grains of pepper a day.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Dried crushed black peppercorns by steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Muscular aches and pains, tired and aching limbs, warming oil for cold hands and feet, severe bruising, stimulates appetite, expels wind, constipation, onset of colds or flu with headaches, chills and fatigue. May help if you are trying to quit smoking.

Emotional and Spiritual:
Black pepper helps to strengthen your willpower and determination so that you are able to overcome obstacles, face challenges and persevere during difficult times.

Addresses the feelings of anxiety, worry, lack and despair that can make you feel powerless and stimulates the courage and determination to face your fears and overcome them, thus increasing your self-confidence and self-worth. Helps to digest any feelings of frustration and anger you may have about yourself.

Patricia Davis writes that black pepper helps us to get a move on at times when our lives feel stuck. It helps move blocks that can prevent movement between one chakra and another, especially between the solar plexus and heart.

Black pepper enables us to listen to the inner voice of inspiration, and to take chances knowing that, whatever happens, we alone have taken them writes Valerie Ann Worwood

Robbi Zeck notes that you are in charge of your life and to take responsibility for what you say, think, feel and do. Being accountable also means letting go of blame and judgement of yourself and others.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Black Pepper Aromatherapy Insight CardDIRECTION
Helps you find your direction in life. You have no idea or some idea of where you want to head in life, but you are running out of the emotional stamina to keep going. The warmth of Black Pepper assists in loosening blockages that may be holding you back. You are trustworthy and loyal but feel responsible for everything and everyone, use Black Pepper to stay focused on your path. Allow your ability to motivate others to bring warmth and confidence to yourself. Follow your direction in life and prosper.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I take responsibility for my life choices and decisions.Black Pepper FCHCContemplations for the Soul Card:Black Pepper CFTS cardAre you continually blaming others and fate for whatever goes wrong in your life?
Do you lean on or cling to others wanting them to make decisions for you?
Do you lack trust in your own judgement and continually worry about the decisions you have made?
It’s time to stop and stand on your own two feet. You have the inner strength to take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
Decide now whether you want to stay stuck blaming everyone and everything but yourself for whatever happens in your life or to move on and take back your power.
Whenever a decision needs to be made and you are unsure which path to take, be still, listen to your inner guidance and act.
Whatever the outcome take responsibility for it knowing that you are taking charge of your life and the direction it takes.

Safety: Non-toxic can be an irritant on sensitive skin if the oil is old or oxidized.

Note: Black pepper is often adulterated with turpentine oil, a-phellandrene, limonene from orange terpenes and clove leaf terpenes so it is important that you know and trust your supplier.

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)
Davis P, Subtle Aromatherapy. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1992)
Eidson D, Vibrational Aromatherapy. Revealing the essence of nature through aromatherapy’s use of essential oils. Frog Ltd, Berkley, California (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, Black Pepper Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.1 (1997)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, (2014)
Lawless J, Complete Essential Oils. Element Books (1995)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Pine header

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.
Helen Keller

Family: Pinaceae

Synonyms: Forest pine, Scotch pine, Scots pine, Norway pine, pine needle

Aroma: Strong, fresh, resinous

Colour: Clear

Plant: Tall evergreen tree with reddish brown deeply fissured bark and a flat crown. The needles are 2.5 to 5cm long and 1-2mm broad, a glaucous blue-green turning darker green to dark yellow green in winter.

Main Growing Areas: Northern Europe, North America

Major Constituents: Borneol, borynl acetate, a- and β-pinene, limonene, delta-3-carene

Interesting snippets: Hippocrates recommended pine for pulmonary problems and throat infections.

The city of Venice in Italy has been sitting on a bed of pine since 810.

Pine trees typically live for 150 years but may live as long as 300 years.

In Japanese myths, ‘The Tree of Life’ is sometimes associated with the pine.

Spirit lovers are said to inhabit pine trees and live to a very old age.

In classical Kyogen theatre the image of a large pine tree always provides the stage backdrop.

pine cone and needlesPart of Plant used /Extraction: Fresh, young needles, pine cones, tips of the bough / steam distillation

Therapeutic actions: Pine eases colds, flu, coughs, laryngitis, bronchitis, catarrh and sinus congestion. Helpful for rheumatic, neuralgic and muscular aches and pains

Emotional and Spiritual: Feeling helpless and unworthy. Mental fatigue, promotes feelings of energy and well-being. Instils feelings of confidence, courage and clarity. Clear a healing or meditation space when feeling depleted on all levels, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Robbi Zeck writes that pine validates and strengthens your own unique gifts and talents encouraging a simple knowing and belief of your self-worth.

Gabriel Mojay writes that pine is indicated where there is a weakness of ‘boundary’ and of self-identity – where one cannot distinguish others’ responsibilities from one’s own. Pine works to dissipate both a negative self-image and feelings of remorse, replacing undue guilt with forgiveness and self-acceptance.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that pine teaches that it is love and generosity of spirit that endures – in the hearts of those we have loved and known and in our children.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Pine aromatherapy insight cardSELF WORTH
It is time to stop rescuing others and rescue yourself. Be strong but flexible, managing the knocks in life, living your own life and letting others live their own journey. Protect your boundaries; be true to you, treating yourself with honour and respect. Let go of negative experiences and move forward to a place where you feel fantastic about yourself. Remember you cannot rescue others; they need to do it for themselves. Allowing them to grow their way allows you to grow.

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

Pine FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Pine CFTS CardDo you feel worthless or not worthy of having all you wish for?
Do you put everyone’s wishes and wants before your own?
Why are you denying or hiding your unique gifts and talents?
Do you feel the need to take responsibility for other people’s mistakes?
Stop hiding! Stand tall and accept that your opinions matter and that you are good enough to reach your goals.
Value and have confidence in yourself and others will too.
Ignore everyone or thought that tells you you are not good enough to attain your dreams.
Don’t allow others to overstep your boundaries and stop feeling responsible for the mistakes or choices other people make.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-toxic, skin sensitising when oxidised. May be adulterated with turpentine oil or mixtures of pinene, camphene and bornyl acetate.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Davis, P, Aromatherapy An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Pine Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.42 (2008)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
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 398 – 399
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)

patchouli header

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Synonyms: P. patchouly, patchouli oil

Aroma: Rich, sweet, herbaceous, aromatic, spicy and woody balsamic. Patchouli gets better with age.

Colour: Deep orange red

Patchouli flowerPlant: Evergreen herb with large fragrant leaves and hairy square stems that grows to a metre tall. On axillary and terminal stems flower spikes of clusters of tiny white to purple flowers form. As these fade fine brown seeds form in small capsules like tiny knots on the spikes.

Main Growing Areas: Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, India, Mauritius, East and West Indies, Paraguay, Vietnam

Major Constituents: patchouli alcohol, alpha and beta patchoulene may contribute to anti-itching properties of the oil, beta-caryophyllene – anti-inflammatory, beta-elemene – antitumour

Interesting snippets: In the 18th and 19th centuries Chinese traders travelling to the Middle East used patchouli to treat carpets and fabrics to prevent moths laying their eggs in the cloth and fungal deterioration.

In the 1960’s hippies used patchouli to cover the smell of burnt cannabis.

During the Vietnam War, American soldiers used patchouli to mask the smell of the graves of enemy soldiers killed in combat.

Dried patchouli leaves were placed amongst the folds of Indian cashmere shawls in Victorian times to protect them from moths.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Dried fermented leaves by steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: nausea, headaches, colds, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, haemorrhoids, cracked sore skin, eczema, psoriasis, tinea, acne, impetigo, herpes

Emotional and Spiritual: depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, nervousness

Patricia Davis writes that patchouli is especially valuable for dreamers and people who tend to neglect or feel detached from their physical bodies. Patchouli helps to ground and integrate energy and keep us in touch with our physical selves.

Robbi Zeck writes that the rich, musty, wood scent of Patchouli awakens within the soul a deep yearning for the comforting presence of peace, bringing Spiritual insights to all realms.
Patchouli’s slow peacefulness brings about a state of mind and wholehearted feeling where unification occurs with the soul on all levels.

Gabriel Mojay writes that patchouli is good for those who, due to excessive mental activity and nervous strain, feel ‘out of touch’ with their body and their sensuality.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Patchouli Insight card

UNITY
Feeling trapped in one of many areas of your life and feeling like those areas are not working together? Patchouli unites all levels of your existence, allowing you to focus and bring heart and head to work together, rising above self-imposed barriers and enjoying all that life presents. Patchouli awakens a sense of peace that reaches into all areas of your life. Don’t get ruffled and caught in the false ego. Stay self-assured, and realize your real strength lies in being you.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I feel a sense of peace in all areas of my life.

Contemplations for the Soul:

Patchouli CFTS

Is your mind on a continual loop making you unable to think clearly due to worry?
Have you imposed limits on what you think you can achieve?
Do you feel you have to be someone else to achieve your goals?
Do you long for peace in your life?
Realize that worry will not improve the situation and will banish peace from your life.
Try grounding yourself by going outside and putting your bare feet on the ground.
Breathe slowly in and out until you feel calmer then look at what action you can take to reduce your worry.
Know that you can be yourself and still achieve your goals.
Peace be with you.

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

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis P, Subtle Aromatherapy. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1992)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Patchouli Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.39 (2007)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

Tamarack (Larix laricina)

Tamarack header

Family: Pinaceae

Synonyms: Eastern larch, American larch, Alaskan larch, Tamarack larch. Tamarack is thought to derive from the Native American word for tree, hackmatack.

Aroma: Fresh, airy, woody, piney.

Colour: Transparent, slightly yellow.

tamarack-trees-in-autumnPlant: A small to medium-sized, deciduous conifer with wide-spreading, shallow roots and a sparse, open, narrow, conical crown that can grow up to 25 metres. It has a straight trunk covered with bark that is thin, smooth and gray when young; thicker, rough, scaly and reddish brown when mature. The inner bark layer is reddish purple.

The Tamarack tree is the only conifer which is not evergreen. The feathery soft, light green needles turn a brilliant yellow in autumn before dropping.

Main Growing Areas: Alaska, Canada, United States.

Major Constituents: The oil is composed primarily of esters (including bornyl acetate) and monoterpenes (including pinene and limonene).

Interesting snippets: Native Americans used the tree’s roots for cordage, the wood for arrow shafts and the bark for medicinal purposes. Early white settlers used the soft needles as a pillow and mattress stuffing and the roots of large trees for ship construction.

Because of its durability and resistance to decay tamarack is used for posts, poles, mine timbers, and railroad ties.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Needles and twigs / Steam distillation

Therapeutic actions: Headache, nasal congestion, coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, colds, flu.

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous fatigue, anxiety, clarity of thought, energizing and uplifting.

Aromatics International on their website describe Tamarack’s emotional and spiritual properties thus: Larch needles, before gently falling away in the fall, turn a brilliant yellow. This reminds us how Larch easily invites forgiveness and self-acceptance with a fresh start in the spring as its needles come back, soft and green. Larch withstands very cold weather and is incredibly adaptable, reminding us of a strong image and identity, qualities that are reflected in the energetic aspects of this oil. Also reflected in the properties of this oil, larch likes full sun, providing positive energy and casting a small shadow, emotionally revitalizing the dampened spirit.

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

Sources: Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
https://www.aromatics.com/products/essential-oils/larch-tamarack
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_laricina

Using Essential Oils To Relieve Stress

Using Essential Oils To Relieve Stress

Essential oils are an easy and pleasant way to help you cope with the symptoms of stress.

What Is Stress?
Stress is a state of mind, usually accompanied by physical and emotional symptoms. We all experience stress at some time in our lives. As we are all unique, what acts as a stressor to one person, may not cause any reaction in another.

work-stress-3

Stress can be caused by work pressures, boredom, family issues, finances, school or university exams, the death of a loved one or something as simple as being caught in a traffic jam. Stress can lower your resistance and increase your susceptibility to illness, especially if it is allowed to continue for long periods of time. Stress can cause muscular pain, especially in the neck, back and shoulders, high blood pressure, chronic headaches, weight loss, anxiety, insomnia, lethargy, shallow breathing, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, loss of your sense of humour and mood swings.

symptoms of work stress

To avoid the many health issues associated with stress, it’s important to take appropriate action on a regular basis, to release stress physically and emotionally.

Using Essential Oils To Treat Stress
Essential oils are a safe and effective treatment to help you cope with stress. They help boost your mood, energise you and can help ease muscle tension and pain.

relaxing aroma massageMassaging with essential oils is one of the best ways to calm the mind and release muscular aches and pains. A monthly aromatherapy massage works wonders in keeping your stress under control.

If you suffer from headaches and don’t have time for a professional massage, self-massaging with essential oils, especially to the neck, shoulders and the scalp can be very helpful . Add 1 drop of essential oil to 2 mls of vegetable oil or 5 drops of essential oil to 10mls of vegetable oil.

Woman Lying in a Bathtub6-8 drops of essential oil can be used in a warm bath to help ease tired muscles and calm the mind. Run the bath, add the oils and swish the oils in the water. The oils will sit on top of the water. If you want to disperse the oils through the water, place the drops of essential oils in a cup of full cream milk and add to your bathwater.

Alternatively, after showering place 4-6 drops of essential oil on a face cloth or sponge and rub the cloth briskly over your body.

Allow your feet to soak in a foot spa to which 4-5 drops of essential oil have been added. Following up with a foot massage will help relieve your aching feet, as well as your stress.

diffuserPlacing 4-6 drops of essential oil into a diffuser can help calm or liven up your mood. Using essential oils such as lemon and orange can also help increase your appetite if stress has caused a loss of appetite.

Calm Breeze InhalerYou can place your favourite essential oil on a tissue to smell when needed or place 4 drops of your favourite essential oil on a cotton ball, insert in a small bottle with a tight fitting lid and open the bottle and inhale the fragrance, as and when you need. another option is to use a personal inhaler

Finally, you can wear your essential oil blend as a perfume. To create this blend, just follow the same steps as described above for massage.

Essential Oils to Relieve Stress
Although there are many oils that can be used to help with stress, the following oils are readily available and relatively inexpensive.

Chamomile Roman (Anthemis nobilis)
Chronic tension, insomnia, muscular aches and pains, headaches and nervous indigestion. She is also useful for calming irritable children and colicky infants. (Can be bought in a 3-5% blend in jojoba.)

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
To ease muscular aches and pains, helps to calm the mind and restore a positive outlook and vitality.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
To help with anxiety, slows down breathing, calming and centring the mind.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
For lethargy, chronic anxiety, eases frustration and irritability, nervous exhaustion due overwork and stress.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis)
Lavender is one of the most useful oils for stress. She calms and soothes the nerves, relieves tension both muscular and emotional. She helps with stress headaches and insomnia. Lavender is considered an aromatic rescue remedy helping to relax the body and mind and is useful for panic and anxiety attacks.

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
Poor appetite, nauseous headaches, tension, insomnia, eases frustration, moodiness and irritability.

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
Insomnia, anxiety, nervous exhaustion, calming and uplifting, poor appetite.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Enhances concentration and study, apathy, mental and physical fatigue, uplifts the spirit.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Poor concentration, anxiety, muscular stiffness and pain, can help bolster self-confidence and calm an overactive nervous system

Some Blends To Get You Started
Here are some blends to get you started. Enjoy making your own combinations using your favourite essential oils.

Anxiety
Lavender 2 drops, palmarosa 2 drops, geranium 1 drop in 10mls vegetable oil for massage or in a diffuser to vaporise.

Sore, stiff or tight muscles
Eucalyptus 3 drops, lavender 2 drops, rosemary 1 drop in 10mls vegetable oil for massage.

Tension headache
Lavender 2 drops, geranium 2 drops, sweet orange 1 drop in 10mls vegetable oil for massage. Massage neck, shoulders and temples with the blend. You can then massage the scalp without the blend if you wish.

Nausea
Peppermint 2 drops, sweet orange 2 drops in 10mls vegetable oil massaged into the stomach area.

Exhaustion
Peppermint 2 drops, eucalyptus 2 drops, rosemary 2 drops in a diffuser.

I am available to do aromatherapy massages on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in Padstow. Phone or email for an appointment.