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Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Pinaceae Family

Therapeutic Effects of Essential Oils in the Pinaceae Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

Cedarwood - Pinaceae family

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

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

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

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

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

None known

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

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

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

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

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

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

Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)Scots pine Pinaceae family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

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

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

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

Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

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

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

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

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

Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

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

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

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

Emotional and Subtle
Use for anxiety and stress related conditions.

Skin sensitization may occur if the oil has oxidized.

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

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

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

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

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

Cedarwood header

Family: Pinaceae

Synonyms: Cedarwood atlas, atlas cedarwood. Atlantic cedar. Don’t confuse with cedarwood/ Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Aroma: woody, balsamic, sweet

Colour: Deep gold to yellow brown.

Plant: A tall pyramid shaped evergreen conifer growing up to 40 metres

Main Growing Areas: Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria, north America and Canada

Major Constituents: antlantone, caryophyllene, cedrol, cadinene, gamma, alpha and beta-himachalene,

Interesting snippets:
Cedarwood has been found in Egyptian tombs and was used by Cleopatra to look after her hair.
Cedarwood, cistus and galbanum were used in fumigation rites in ancient Egypt.
Cedarwood was used to make storage chests as it repelled termites, moths and ants.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Waste wood and sawdust by steam distillation. Trees around 20 -30 years old with wood chips from the heartwood are preferred. This yields around 3-5% essential oil. Cedarwood Atlas makes up less than 1% of the cedarwood oils whereas Virginian and Texas (Juniperus mexicana) make up 75%.

Therapeutic actions: respiratory conditions such as a dry, persistent cough, congestion, dry skin bronchitis

Emotional and Spiritual: Spiritual strength and endurance.
Anxiety, nervousness, nervous tension and stress.

Robbi Zeck suggests that it often requires considerable courage to rework the patterns of our lives and Cedarwood brings strength and commitment to that desire. Deeply consider and contemplate your soul’s journey where healing and higher learning has occurred.

Gabriel Mojay writes that cedarwood gives us the will to hold firm, even against persistent external forces. Steadying the conscious mind, it helps us to resist the sudden events and powerful emotions that threaten to undermine our confidence and morale. Cedarwood helps us to take a negative or threatening situation, and transform it into an experience from which we can derive strength and wisdom.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Cedarwood Insight card

(This reading is for Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) but also applies to Cedrus atlantica)
Cedarwood is invaluable in helping you through the toughest situations in life by giving you the willpower, focus and persistence to keep going. Access your courage and get what you want in life and business. You will stay grounded while taking charge without being irrational and over sensitive. Recognize negative situations and change them into learning experiences. You are the one in control. Tap into your courage and regain control over, and responsibility for, your life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I have the strength and courage to weather any crisis.

Contemplations for the Soul:Contemplations for the Soul cedarwood

Are there areas of your life you need to change or situations you need to face?
Have you changed your circumstances and are finding it hard to fit in or adjust to the change?
Are fear and a lack of confidence holding you back from making the necessary changes?
The cedarwood tree stands tall for centuries with an inner strength and harmony spreading her branches while being buffeted by the winds and storms of change around her.
Just as cedarwood spreads her branches taking the room she needs to expand and grow tall so too can you face all the challenges that life throws at you with courage, determination, dignity and grace; learning, growing and gaining strength from each challenge and experience.

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

Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Cedarwood Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.27 (2003)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Essential Oils for Endings and Beginnings

Essential oils for endings and beginnings

“You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.”
John Irving, The World According to Garp

The end of an old year and the start of a new one is just one of the many endings and beginnings that are occurring throughout your life.

In a few months summer will end and autumn will begin. As with many endings and beginnings the change maybe so gradual that we may not notice that we are in a new phase or time of life.

In your own life you have been through many endings and beginnings, You may have gone to preschool and then primary school, high school and possibly university, TAFE or college and then into the workforce. Each stage an ending and a beginning at the end of which you were no longer the same person you were at the beginning. You were a child with a child’s beliefs and ideas in preschool and primary and now you are an adult with adult responsibilities.

During your life you may lose parents, children, siblings and close friends. You mourn their loss and must find a new way to go on, a new beginning without them. Your parent may not physically die but may be lost to you through Alzheimer’s and so your way of relating to them and them to you is ended and you have to find a new way to continue the relationship.

Ending a journeyEndings and beginnings happen every day for example, finishing one project and beginning another or coming to the end of one journey and beginning another.

Changing your way of thinking can also signal an ending and beginning. Deciding to stop eating unhealthily, that you will no longer accept being treated with disrespect, changing your beliefs about yourself and what you are capable of will all lead to new beginnings.

Remember that sometimes what can seem like a terrible ending opens the door to something more wonderful. For example you lose your job only to get another that is higher paying and gives you the chance to excel.

Some Essential Oils to Help With Endings and Beginnings
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) can help when you feel you have lost your way. She is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) helps you to stand firm when there seems nothing but chaos around you.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is ideal when going through emotional and physical change. She helps you to grieve losing the old while accepting the new.

Fennel Sweet (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) helps remind you that as one door closes another opens.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) helps you to rebalance and relax especially when going through stressful endings.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) is psychologically cleansing and purifying helping to support you when going through challenging endings and beginnings.

Kunzea (Kunzea ambigua) helps to ease the emotional pain you may feel during this period.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) will nurture and nourish you emotionally during this period.

Marjoram (Marjorama hortensis) helps ease any anxiety you may be feeling.

Rose (Rosa damascena) provides compassion for yourself and others who may be going through these times with you.

Ways to Use the Oils
Use a single oil or a blend of 2 or 3 oils in a diffuser, vaporiser, shower, bath, spray mist, massage or perfume. See https://www.thefragrantbridge.com/guidelines-for-diluting-essential-oils/

Emotional Spring Cleaning

Emotional Spring Cleaning

“You can only start from where you are and you can only begin in the present”.
Patrick McBride

Cleaning suppliesIn the Northern hemisphere it is spring and people are thinking about doing spring cleaning but you can also do the same here in the Southern hemisphere clearing out what you no longer want or need on a physical as well as a mental and spiritual level.

The following essential oils can help.
Bergamot for emotional spring cleaningBergamot (Citrus bergamia) is helpful for reflecting on what you wish to release. She can help release repressed emotions bringing in light and happiness.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) brings insight and clarity when you are not sure what needs to be released.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) helps you let go of emotional worries, habits and beliefs that no longer serve you.

Clove for emotional spring cleaningClove (Eugenia caryophyllata) helps you release clutter on all levels so that you can open up to new experiences and possibilities.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) gives you the strength and courage to let go of what is no longer useful in your life whether physical, mental or emotional.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) helps support and protect you during this time of transition.

Fennel Sweet (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) helps you complete what needs to be done so that you can begin the next stage or cycle afresh.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) helps you to rebalance during this time of letting go of the old and bringing in the new.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) reminds you to nurture yourself during this time and to forgive what needs to be forgiven.

Choose up to 3 oils that seem most appropriate for you and make a blend to either vaporise or wear.

If you are doing a lot of emotional clearing you may wish to make a blend to put on your solar plexus chakra. Use up to 2 or 3 drops of essential oils in total in 10mls of cold pressed vegetable oil and massage into your solar plexus while saying the following fragrant change affirmation.
“I have the courage, strength and insight to complete this cycle and begin anew.”

If you prefer I can make a personalised perfume or inhaler for you

Essential Oils for Cleansing

essential oils for cleansing header

September is the month when many people decide to do some spring cleaning here in Australia. You may wish to clear the build-up of negative energy from your home, workspace or self.

There are many essential oils that can help you. These include:
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – helps clear the mental clutter. She clears and cleanses a room and brings in positive energy.

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) – helps release and cleanse the physical, emotional and mental clutter.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) – cleanses negativity in people and their environment, giving a sense of freedom and spaciousness.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) – helps break ties with the past that may be weighing you down.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) – dissolves emotional energy blocks and heavy negative feelings, especially blame, anger and frustration.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) – cleanses and clears a room or person of negative energies and protects against negativity.

Lemon (Citrus limonum) – clears emotional confusion. Clears and cleanses the room.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) – clears and cleanses a room. Dispels negative energy and releases limitations.

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) – clears feelings of agitation and heated emotions. Purifies the mind and body.

Pine (Pinus sylvestris) – clears and cleanses a room. Repels and clears negative energy.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – clears and cleanses a room. Provides protection from negative influences.

Spruce (Picea mariana) – clears and cleanses bringing a sense of spaciousness.

How to Use
Cleansing and Protecting Your Aura
Use juniper or pine to cleanse or protect your aura before or after visiting crowded places, for example a shopping mall or train. Put one or two drops of the oil in the palm of your hands and stroke them lightly over the physical body and/or through your aura. Make sure the strokes touch the ground and sweep away from yourself or the person you are cleansing.

Add up to 6 drops of essential oil to half a cup of full fat milk and add to the bath water. (The milk helps the oil disperse through the water rather than sitting on top of it. You could also use a solubiliser for this purpose). Lay in the bath and breathe in the cleansing aroma. If you use frankincense you could also visualize cutting all the old ties that are weighing you down.

Use up to 4 drops in the vaporiser to clear the room after an argument or heavy healing session.

Make a spray using 50 mls of spring water and up to 15 drops of essential oils to spray your room (don’t spray furniture) or self (make sure your eyes are closed). This is also useful for cleansing areas after you have de-cluttered a space or your wardrobe.

Fear and Essential Oils

Fear and essential oils header

Fear is faith that it won’t work out.
Sister Mary Tricky

Businessman Clasping His Face in HorrorSomeone once said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real but I think the quote above is also true. How many times do you not even attempt do something because you’re convinced it won’t work out and you don’t want to face your fear of failure?

Essential oils are very useful to help you deal with your fears and you will find a list of oils to help you below.

Fear is a form of self-preservation that can present as simple consternation, apprehension, dread, panic or terror. When you are feeling panicked your heart races and you breathe more quickly and shallowly. You may feel like running away or conversely be unable to move.

If it is a more chronic form of fear you may feel the above in a milder form or just have a general sense of unease. You may also feel anxious, frustrated and angry.

Fear can show up as perfectionism, procrastination, lack of self-confidence, feeling insecure and fear of failure, losing control, change or being hurt in love. You may forget the words to a speech or turn down invitations to social events due to your fear.

Fear can alert you to real danger but often it is based on emotion rather than fact. For example you may procrastinate because you fear that you will not do something correctly or others may judge you on the results. Perfectionism is also a form of fear based on feeling vulnerable.

Fear can also paralyse your personal growth when it is a reaction to change and transformation. You cannot know how each change will affect you. The mind sees the death of old patterns and beliefs as a mini death and wants to protect you.

Oils that can help with the issues associated with fear include:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Needing to be in control regardless of the consequences, low self-esteem and self-worth.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – Courage to move forward and stand firm in the face of crisis.

Chamomile German (Matricaria recutita) – Helps to let go of fixed expectations, old ideas and beliefs.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – Cope with and accept difficult change.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – Perfectionists and those who deny their feelings, panic attacks.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Procrastination, self-doubt, restores initiative and determination.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) – Fear of failure, support in challenging situations, strengthens will-power.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) – Feels oppressed and suffocated by situations or other people.

Rose (Rosa damascena) – Can’t bear to be left alone due to fears of being abandoned, fear of losing control, insecurity.

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

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) – Face challenges, feels threatened by need to change, calm strength, panic attacks.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) – Fear of intimacy, helps you to recognise whether or not the fear is appropriate and deal with it, anger, sense of peace.

The oils can be used singly or in a blend in the bath, vaporiser, in massage or as an anointing oil. Use on the solar plexus and/or wherever else feels appropriate. For details on diluting the oils click here.

You may need to seek professional help for your fear if it is strongly affecting the way you live your life. The oils will help you to change on a soul level if you so desire.

Essential Oils for the New Year

essential_oils_for_the_new_yearOften at this time of year people make New Year resolutions with the intention of keeping them but by the end of the month many are forgotten. Perhaps they were too difficult to keep and you are now feeling bad about that.

May I suggest that you either make resolutions that make you feel good and are very easy to keep or that you choose a word that will be your guiding light for 2015.

Woman having an aromatherapy massageSome examples of New Year’s resolutions that may feel good could be to have some chocolate or other food you fancy once a week but really take the time to enjoy it and how it makes you feel good rather than feeling bad because you perceive that it is bad for you. Another could be that you will give yourself time for you once a week. This could be as simple as having a regular massage, vaporising some oils, going for a walk or sitting in the garden for five minutes. It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something you enjoy. Give yourself the gift of you. You give so much to family, friends and work so why not give something to yourself?

If you choose a word that will be your guiding light for the year choose one that feels right for you. It may be a word you hear or see several times or you can meditate and see what comes. Know why you are choosing the word and put the power of intention behind it.

You may choose the words release or letting go as a guide to help you clear the clutter in your life whether physical, mental, emotional or releasing unwanted kilos.
You may choose beauty or gratitude so that even in the darkest of times you can see or find the beauty around you or feel a sense of gratitude for something in your life. You may even choose a word like progress or innovative. It doesn’t really matter what the word or phrase is as long as it feels right for you and can act as guiding light to help you through the coming year.

Some oils that you may like to use to help with your potential are
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) – can help you find and stay focussed on your direction in life and take responsibility for your actions.

CedarwoodCedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – can give you the courage to move forward and follow your dreams.


German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – can help you let go of old ideas, beliefs, emotions, and habits that you no longer need.

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) can bring clarity when you are feeling overwhelmed and not sure what you should be doing.

Geranium 7Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is another oil to choose if you are beginning something. She can bring a sense of renewal and is also the perfect oil for bringing balance to all aspects of your life, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) – motivates you to move past any restrictions or limitations you have put in place.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – helps you reconnect with your purpose and passion in life.

Fennel 5Sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) – is helpful if you feel that there are aspects of the past year that you need to bring to a close so that you can begin afresh.