Tag Archives: lavender

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.

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 http://www.thefragrantbridge.com/guidelines-for-diluting-essential-oils/

7 Essential Oils for Christmas Calm

7-essential-oils-for-christmas-calm

There are essential oils that we associate with Christmas and New Year that can help you to stay relaxed during this often busy and stressful time. They can be used in the diffuser, as a room spray, in a massage blend or add a couple drops to the inside of the toilet roll to scent your bathroom or toilet.

In addition to diffusing these oils remember to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, and get plenty of sleep so you can cope better with both minor and major upsets. If you do find yourself getting stressed or upset take some time out to go outside or to another room and do some slow deep breathing. If you are able to go outside and spend a few minutes in nature and ground yourself all the better.

Do something you really like just for yourself. Have a relaxing bath or massage, listen to some of your favourite music or go for a walk along the beach. Finally just enjoy the season in whatever way you wish.

7 Essential Oils for Christmas
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) was one of the gifts given by the three wise men to the baby Jesus. She was at that time a very costly oil. She slows the breathing and induces feelings of calm and can help you to break free from the past, relax and access your inner guidance so that your true self can be seen.

Frankincense resin Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) was another oil given to the baby Jesus at his birth. She can help keep everyone calm. She clears emotional blockages, helps to close the wounds of loss and rejection and restores peace of mind. Both Frankincense and myrrh could be burnt as incense if you wished.

Pine (Pinus sylvestris) or Spruce (Picea mariana) can be used to bring in the scent of a Christmas tree. In addition both oils purify the air and clear negative energy from yourself and your environment. Add a few drops to pine cones if you have them.

Christmas tree

Mandarin or Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) can be used to bring a playful energy to the gathering. She is also useful to help overtired children relax and sleep.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) although not traditionally a Christmas oil can be used to calm everyone down if arguments develop or children become overtired. She can also be used to nurture and nourish you emotionally.

Christmas Room Spray
Combine spruce pure essential oil 8 drops, sweet orange 5 drops and cinnamon or nutmeg 1 drop in 16 drops of oil to water dispersant or sobuliser and add to a spray bottle containing 50mls distilled water. Shake well. If you don’t have sobuliser make sure to shake the bottle well before each use. This is a good blend to spray to cleanse an area especially if there have been arguments.

3 Wise Men Diffuser Blend
Frankincense pure essential oil 2 drops, Myrrh 2 drops, Sweet orange or mandarin 3 drops in the diffuser.

3 wise men

Tropical Christmas Diffuser Blend
Lime pure essential oil 3 drops, Mandarin or tangerine 3 drops, Cinnamon 1 drop in the diffuser.

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 of 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.

Essential Oils to Help You Relax

Essential oils to help you relax

Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.
Judith Hanson Lasater

Sometimes we can find it hard to relax. There can be various reasons for this including being very stressed, studying for exams, tired and aching muscles, being anxious and not sleeping well. Essential oils can help you relax, ease tense muscles and get a good night’s sleep.

Essential Oils for Relaxation include

BERGAMOT (Citrus bergamia) helps you to release feelings of anger, sadness and frustration that may be keeping you feeling tense and unable to relax.

ROMAN CHAMOMILE (Anthemis nobilis) helps you release tension and relax. She is gentle enough to use on children who are finding it difficult to sleep.

Clary sageCLARY SAGE (Salvia sclarea) helps to bring clarity allowing you to relax when you are feeling nervous, burnt out or mentally fatigued.

EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus radiata) can help when you are feeling trapped by circumstances. She gives you space to breathe and reassess the situation.

FRANKINCENSE (Boswellia carterii) slows and deepens your breath giving you the space to relax.

GERANIUM (Pelargonium graveolens) helps to balance your emotions, ease frustration and calm the mind.

GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus paradisi) helps when you’re feeling drained, burnt out or frustrated. Like all citrus she uplifts and refreshes the mind.

LAVENDER (Lavendula angustifolia) is a first aid oil to help soothe your emotions and bring a feeling of relaxation.

LEMON (Citrus limonum) clarifies and uplifts your mind allowing you to think more calmly and rationally.
Lime fruit LIME
(Citrus aurantifolia) is another oil for releasing stress and helping you to keep calm.

MARJORAM (Marjorama hortensis) helps stop those thoughts that are on a continuous loop in your mind. Eases anxiety allowing you to relax.

PALMAROSA (Cymbopogon martini) is useful when you feel restless, anxious and unable to sleep.

PATCHOULI (Pogostemon cablin) is a very grounding oil that brings a sense of peace.

Scott's PinePINE (Pinus sylvestris) can help you set boundaries if you are saying yes to everyone at the expense of yourself.

AUSTRALIAN SANDALWOOD (Santalum spicatum) very relaxing and meditative oil.

VETIVER (Vetiveria zizanoides) helps to centre and ground you when feeling mentally exhausted.

YLANG YLANG (Cananga odorata) helps bring a sense of peace and tranquillity when you are feeling angry, frustrated or unable to think clearly.

There are many different ways you can use essential oils.

Diffusers/Vaporisers
diffuser Using a diffuser or vaporiser is a good way to create a relaxing atmosphere. Use 6-8 drops of pure essential oils in your diffuser or vaporiser. Do not use oils diluted in vegetable oils here as the essential oils will not diffuse well and can leave a mess in your vaporiser.

Direct Inhalation – This is one of the easiest ways to experience essential oils. Simply open the bottle and sniff. You can also put one or two drops on a handkerchief or tissue. Alternatively put a few cotton balls into a small bottle such as a used essential oil or tablet bottle add 2 or 3 drops of essential oil, close the bottle. When you need to smell the essential oil simply open the bottle and sniff. The aroma will last a long time. This is useful for people with anxiety who may use a particular oil to calm them down.

Adding a drop or two of lavender, marjoram or frankincense to a tissue and placing that in the pillowcase or next to your pillow can help bring a peaceful nights sleep.

Clarity InhalerPersonal Inhaler – Add 15 to 20 drops onto the cotton pad replace the cap. Remove the cap and hold below your nose and inhale deeply. Replace the cap after each use.

Bath
Woman Lying in a BathtubAdd 6 to 8 drops to half a cup of full fat milk and then add that to the bath water and swish the water around before getting in. By adding the milk you help the oils disperse through the water instead of sitting on top.

Perfume
Make your own unique perfume by adding up to 7 drops of essential oil to 10mls of jojoba or a cold pressed vegetable oil.

Massage
relaxing aroma massageMassage is a very enjoyable way to relax. Use 10 to 12 drops in 25 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil. For sensitive skin 5 to 7 drops is enough. Massage is wonderful for relieving muscle aches and pains, stress and nervous tension.

Spray Mist
Misters can be good for creating a relaxing atmosphere as well as relaxing yourself. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil to a 100 or 125ml bottle of distilled water, flower water or hydrosol. If you have some sobuliser mix the oils with that before mixing with the water, as the sobuliser will help the oils disperse throughout the water. If you don’t have any sobuliser make sure you shake the misting bottle well before spraying. Also take care not to get water or the mist on any furniture or furnishings that can be damaged or stained by the water or essential oils.

Essential Oils and Anger

Essential oils and anger header

Anger, disappointment and blame are all natural emotions but if they are not expressed or held onto for too long they can lead to illness and disease.

angerAnger can be the result of fear, worry, anxiety or sadness we don’t want to feel. Sometimes it is easier to blame others rather than examine and express our own fears and insecurities.

Essential oils that can help you or others to process and let go of these emotions include the following oils. They can be used in a vaporiser, bath, massage or perfume. Use singly or in a blend.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is for those who do not express but instead repress their anger. This can lead to depression, mood swings and insomnia. Bergamot can help them explore their pent-up feelings and release them.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is for the perfectionists who have high standards for both themselves and others. When things don’t go as planned they blame themselves or others and may lash out. Afterwards they feel guilty and comfort themselves with too much food or alcohol. Grapefruit helps them to accept more realistic goals and clears the heavy feelings of self-blame and angry disappointment.

Lavender BeesLavender (Lavendula angustifolia) helps to calm strong emotions like anger that threaten to overwhelm the person. She can help clear pent-up feelings of annoyance and calm the person down after a sudden outburst of anger.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is ideal for those who harbour resentment because they feel neglected. They are moody and may even deny or not accept help when it is offered.

Rose (Rosa damascena) is for those whose anger stems from feeling betrayed, rejected or hurt emotionally. She’s also for those who lash out in anger and are then filled with regret and remorse. Rose brings a sense of compassion for themselves and others.

yarrowYarrow (Achillea millefolium) is for those who are easily offended and strike out in rage. They feel vulnerable and may have been emotionally wounded in the past. They may on the other hand repress their feelings of anger and always be on the defensive or retort with sharp or sarcastic comments.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is for those who have a lot of anger because they feel frustrated and fearful and don’t know any other way to express it. Ylang Ylang can bring a sense of peace allowing them to face their fears.

Essential Oils and Crystals for the Heart Chakra

Heart chakra

The heart or 4th chakra is the centre of of love, affection, compassion, acceptance, optimism, joy, generosity, empathy, kindness, trust and forgiveness for yourself and others.

AnxietyWhen out of balance you may feel depressed, anxious, jealous, lonely, deep sorrow and grief, isolated, bitter and insensitive.  You may lack trust, compassion, self-respect and self-love, fear intimate relationships, be unable to forgive yourself or others, have unhealthy relationships where you are unable to love, love too much, lack boundaries or are a people pleaser.

Some questions to consider and perhaps journal about.
Do you always put others first?
Are you able to express your true emotions?
Do you find it difficult to connect with others?
Do you fear intimacy?
Do you believe you are worthy of love and being loved?
How do you show your love to those around you?
Do you find it easy or difficult to forgive others who have hurt you?
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How often do you allow yourself to feel vulnerable?

10 essential oils that can help with heart chakra issues
Bergamot - 3Bergamot
(Citrus bergamia) helps release pent up anger and frustration that can lead to depression when you feel unsupported or insecure.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is useful if you have isolated yourself emotionally from others.

Cypress 9Cypress
(Cupressus sempervirens) eases feelings of loss particularly of a person and enhances feelings of compassion.

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

Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) relieves emotional pain and promotes trust and unconditional love.

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

Lime fruitLime (Citrus aurantifolia) eases feelings of agitation, turmoil and stress calming you down and allowing you to explore your emotions and deal with challenging situations calmly.

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) can help if you have a tendency to be clinging, possessive or jealous and find it hard to let go of loved ones. She can also ease feelings of betrayal and allow you to forgive the betrayer and yourself for being betrayed.

rose and budRose
(Rosa damascena) restores a sense of security and well-being especially if you have suffered rejection, loss or abuse. She helps you to forgive others as well as yourself and experience more honest and meaningful relationships.


Ylang Ylang
(Cananga odorata var. genuina) eases the fear of intimacy, especially if you experienced rejection in the past and calms jealousy by helping you to feel more lovable.

Make your own heart chakra anointing blend
Choose 1-3 essential oils for a total of 3 drops and add to 10 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil.
Anoint the heart area with a few drops of the blend in a heart-shaped movement with your fingertips. Use your intention to open, balance, heal and then close the chakra.

6 Green and pink crystals that may be used to balance the heart chakra. 
AmazoniteAmazonite
allows you to express your heart and truth through your voice, set boundaries and to overcome your fear of conflict.

ChrysopraseChrysoprase helps you feel and express love as well as releasing attachment to fear based emotions and belief systems. She can also help you heal from abuse.

Green FluoriteGreen fluorite
dissipates emotional trauma, cleanses and heals the heart chakra and ensures that the mind and heart are in agreement.

KunziteKunzite helps open your heart to love in all its forms and encourages you to release your fears and enjoy life.

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

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

Essential Oils for Grief and Loss

Essential Oils for Grief and Loss

We all go tGriefhrough periods of grief and loss in our lives. When thinking about grief and loss you may equate it with the death of a partner, parent, child, close friend, relative or even a beloved family pet but there are many events in your life where you experience loss. Some examples include the loss of a job or career, the loss of your home due to fire or being unable to pay the mortgage or because the owner of your rented house or apartment wanted to tear it down, renovate or sell it. You may go through a relationship breakup or divorce. You may face a loss of identity due to the amputation of a limb or your children growing up and leaving home. You may also grieve the loss of a dream that can never come true, for example finding out that you can never conceive a much longed for child.

With loss you lose hope or what is familiar and must embark on a new life in the unknown. It can take time to grieve for what you have lost especially if it was someone, thing or place that was deeply loved. Losing your sense of self can also take time to process and heal as you mourn the loss of a limb, breast, being a mother, father or carer or even leaving behind a life of drugs and/or alcohol for an addiction free life can result in your questioning who am I now or what do I do now?

All life is transition and change and it is how you deal with these losses that shape your life. Some you can pass through very quickly but others will take more time to process. Each person experiences loss and grief in their own way and must be given the time and space to express themselves.

Grief expresses itself in many different ways including but not limited to anxiety, fear, sadness, despondency, tears, guilt, anger, frustration, numbness, remorse, blame, regret, withdrawal, worthlessness, stress and depression.  You may do things that seem out of character for you. You may lose your appetite or eat continually trying to fill the void of what has been lost. You may sleep too much or be unable to get to or stay asleep. You may lose your hair or notice skin changes due to stress and anxiety. In Chinese medicine grief is considered to be the province of the lungs and so six months to a year after the loss you may suffer from lung related issues like flu, bronchitis or pneumonia.

If the loss was sudden and unexpected you may be in “what if..?” mode or regret the things you might have said or done or not said or done if you had known what was about to happen.

The following essential oils can help ease you through the grieving process allowing you to move on with your life. It is important when choosing which oils you will work with to keep in mind that aromas can be associated with a particular memory and to perhaps not choose a blend that you will use in the future which could be associated with your present loss and its painful memories especially in the case of the death of a loved one.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) joy
Bergamot helps to soothe your feelings of anger, frustration and blame. She helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel and bring a sense of joy back into your life. Don’t apply to skin that will be exposed to sunlight within 24 hours as bergamot is phototoxic.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) courage
Cedarwood gives you the courage and strength to hold firm in the midst of crisis and know that you will get through this.

Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) peace
Roman Chamomile helps you to feel at peace with the way you are feeling and soothes your feelings of being abandoned by the one you loved.

Cinnamon (Cinnamon zeylanicum) warmth
Cinnamon helps to dispel the numbness and isolation you may be feeling. She is emotionally warming and can help you regain your passion and purpose for life.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) transition
Cypress is calming at times of transition and when difficult changes need to be made. She helps you to move on in your life.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) calm and centre
Frankincense helps to calm and centre you when your mind seems to be overwhelmed with thoughts of what must be done or should have been done. She slows and deepens your breath so you can think more clearly. She can help you break free of the past.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) balance
Geranium helps to even out the emotional roller-coaster you seem to be on. She brings a feeling of calm strength, security and balance and soothes feelings of anger, frustration and irritability.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) optimism
Grapefruit helps dispel the anger, frustration, blame and depression. She brings a sense of optimism that you will get through this time of loss.

Kunzea (Kunzea ambigua) safe
Kunzea helps to release the shock and pain of your loss and to know you are safe.

Lavender (Lavandula angustafolia) nurture and forgiveness
Lavender reminds you to take time to nurture yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually during this time. She allows you to forgive yourself for things left unsaid or undone.

Lemon (Citrus limonum) clarity
Lemon helps clear your mind so that you can think clearly. Often at this time you will be feeling confused or unable to think clearly. She will also help uplift you mentally and emotionally. Don’t apply to skin that will be exposed to sunlight within 24 hours as lemon is phototoxic.

Linden blossom (Tilia vulgaris) love and respect
Linden blossom brings love and oneness to your heart and a respect for others and yourself especially when others seem not to care.

Marjoram (Marjoram hortensis) comfort
Marjoram can bring a sense of comfort and stop those anxious and what if thoughts that seem to be going on in your mind on a non-stop loop. She can help you accept your loss.

Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) healing
Myrrh brings a sense of inner stillness and peace that helps to ease your sorrow and grief and your feelings of loss and rejection.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) reassurance
Neroli helps to bring a sense that things will get better. She eases emotional exhaustion and helps bring unexpressed anger and feelings of denial to the surface.

Rose (Rosa damascena) compassion
Rose allows you to have compassion for the situation, person or yourself and to let go with love.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) stillness
Sandalwood can help you cut your ties with the past and move through your feelings of loss and isolation. She can bring a sense of clarity and moments of stillness.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoide) grounding
Vetiver helps to ground you offering you support and strength during this time of loss.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) tranquillity
Ylang Ylang helps calm feelings of anger and frustration and brings a sense of tranquillity. She has a very strong aroma so only a very little is needed.

HOW TO USE THE OILS
Look through the list and choose one to three oils that seem to resonate with how you are feeling. Either use the oils singly or in a blend in any of the following.

Vaporize 3 or 4 drops in a diffuser or oil burner to scent the room. A grapefruit and frankincense blend will work well here when you want to cleanse the room of heavy emotions and help you breathe deeper and easier.

Room or body mists. Add 50 mls of purified water or hydrosol to a 100ml coloured spray bottle then add 30 drops of your essential oil blend and fill the bottle with another 50 mls of water or hydrosol. Replace the top and shake the bottle before each use. You can use this to spray a room but be careful not to get on your furniture, spray on yourself or spray the area in front of you and walk through the mist to cleanse or heal your aura.

Inhalation. Put some cottonballs in a small bottle and add 3 drops of essential oil. Close the lid and take with you to sniff when you need the oils help. You can also place a couple of drops on a handkerchief to take with you or place under your pillow at night to help you sleep if you prefer. You can also use a personal inhaler.

Add 4 to 6 drops to some full fat milk and add to your bath. The milk allows the oils to disperse in the water rather than sit on top.

Make a massage blend using 4 to 5 drops in 10mls of vegetable oil to massage your tight neck and shoulders. A gentle hand massage may also be considered. You could also use the blend on your chest to help move the grief through your lungs and sleep at night.

In addition you may want to wear a rose quartz pendant. You could also place a small tumble stone in the vegetable oil you set aside to make your blend for a few hours so it can absorb the energies of the rose quartz. Rose quartz is well known as a stone of compassion and love that opens the heart chakra allowing deep inner healing so that you are able to let the person/ situation go with love.

An affirmation that might help at this time is “I am able to let go of this person/situation as I have compassion, love and respect for them/it and myself. I wish love and joy to both of us.”

Finally take time out to be with friends, go for walks and talk about your loss. Nourish yourself physically as well as emotionally and spiritually. If it is your partner, relative or friend who has experienced a loss simply be there to listen and offer a shoulder to cry on.

If you would like a personalised grief inhaler or massage blend feel free to send me an email to discuss your needs.

Essential Oils and Anxiety

Essential oils and anxiety

AnxietyAnxiety is a mild form of fear where we react to a perceived threat. Fear is a necessary aspect of our lives as it alerts us to real danger and gives us a sense of self-preservation.

On the other hand anxiety is a reaction to an emotional threat that we don’t want to face such as grief, anger, embarrassment, perceived failure or guilt. Anxiety is our reaction to these emotions we believe will cause us harm and can manifest as a lack of self-confidence, a sense of apprehension or a feeling of insecurity or emotional unease. Some short term anxiety is natural as in the case of exam nerves or going for a job interview. Anxiety is only an issue when it becomes chronic or escalates into an acute state such as panic attacks where there is no real physical danger in most cases.

For many people anxiety is a future-oriented mood state in which they imagine all the negative scenarios and how they will react to them. For many this is a coping mechanism to deal with upcoming difficult situations or events. We don’t usually feel anxious if we are envisioning a positive outcome.

Worry is carrying

Anxiety may manifest physically as an elevated heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, upset stomach, diarrhoea, muscle tension, headaches, tiredness and difficulty falling or staying asleep.

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH ANXIETY
Meditation is a no cost or low cost strategy that allows your body to relax, release the fear and anxiety and repair and heal itself. Meditation can be as simple as going outdoors, taking off your shoes and socks allowing your feet or body to rest on the grass, sand or other natural surface and breathing slowing and deeply for 5 or 10 minutes

Tap into your wise all-knowing self. Sit quietly and ask if this is a situation you really need to worry about or can you trust that all will be fine.

Nourish yourself by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, maintaining healthy relationships, spending time in nature or the outdoors and doing the things that bring you joy.

Essential oils help you to relax as they go straight to the limbic brain the centre of our basic emotions and calm it down. They ground and calm you bringing you back to your body. You can try meditating with essential oils, vaporising them, using them in the bath or as a spray mist in your aura or on your physical body.

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR ANXIETY
Bowl of frankincense tearsFrankincense (Boswellia carterii) deepens and slows the breath calming and centring the mind. She is particularly useful when the mind is overwhelmed by thoughts of what can go wrong. Frankincense will help you to access your wise all- knowing self allowing insight into your anxiety.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a balancing oil useful for anxiety and panic attacks. Overachievers and perfectionists who worry about the outcome or not being good enough can benefit from this oil.

Jasmine flowers

Jasmine (Jasminum officinalis) calms the nerves, releases tension and uplifts the mind. Jasmine can be of particular benefit when anxiety alternates with depression.

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis/angustifolia/vera) is an oil that is readily available and is known as an aromatic “Rescue Remedy”. She eases nervous tension and can help ally feelings of panic as well as calm any strong emotions that threaten to overwhelm the mind.

Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) calms the mind when thoughts are going round and round in circles. She offers a sense of self nurturing especially when you are thinking that nobody cares.

Neroli flowerNeroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) reminds us that we always have a choice. She helps us to face painful emotions such as guilt, shame, hurt and anger and to find peace of mind once we have done so.

Rose (Rosa damascena) can assist those who suffer from deep anxiety caused by insecurity and a fear of losing control. Rose helps to heal deep emotional wounding and despair.

Essential Oils and Overwhelm

essential oils and overwhelm

Many people today are in a state of overwhelm. How many times do you hear someone say, “I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start.” or “I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t cope.” and perhaps burst into tears?

OverwhelmOverwhelm occurs when you are stressed, stuck and afraid to tackle something that is unknown, difficult or scares you. It is the fear that you have too much to do, too little time or energy, don’t know where to start and will never get it all done. It is a form of procrastination especially for the perfectionist and those who feel responsible for everything and everyone. For those who have poor self-esteem and lack personal boundaries, the inability to say no can result in overwhelm when they realize they can’t fulfil all their commitments.

Overwhelm manifests on both physical and emotional levels and can show up as tight neck and shoulders, a knot in your stomach, tiredness, stress, confusion, anxiety, helplessness, lack of motivation, short-temper and panic attacks. Each person is unique and so your way of manifesting overwhelm will be unique to you.

Burnout occurs when overwhelm has been present for an extended period of time without being addressed.

Here are a few tips and essential oils to help you get out of overwhelm and back on track.
1. Admit you are overwhelmed and ask for help.

2. Make a to-do list of all that needs to be done. Choose 3 to 5 tasks to do each day. These may be the most pressing, or will help you breathe easier and give you a sense of accomplishment once they are completed. Also consider choosing tasks that once done will eliminate the need to do other tasks on your list. Only plan to finish these tasks so they can be crossed off your list. Should you finish these quickly you then have the choice to add another 3 to 5 tasks or give yourself time for you and your own self-nourishment.

3. Learn to say no. This can be difficult when you have low self-esteem or difficulty setting boundaries. Pine essential oil (along with an affirmation or mantra such as I am worthy and I can say no) used on your solar plexus can be helpful here.

4. Delegate and let others help you. You don’t have to do it all. If you feel responsible for everyone and everything try using black pepper essential oil in your diffuser or on your solar plexus or sacral chakras.

5. If there seem to be too many tasks and you don’t know which to choose first try meditating with neroli or sandalwood. Meditation can be as simple as taking 5 minutes to inhale the oil and savouring the aroma or of going into the garden and really seeing a flower or looking out the window and really concentrating on an object. After taking this time out look at your list again and choose.

6. Get grounded. When you are overwhelmed your energy is scattered. Try grounding yourself by going outside, taking off your shoes and socks and putting your feet on the grass or some other natural surface. Take a barefoot walk, lie on the grass and look at the clouds, sit on the ground and do some deep breathing. Breathe in vetiver, a very grounding oil, if you don’t have access to the outdoors.

7. Consider what you are avoiding and what the fear is behind it. Once you are clear about what’s stopping you, face the fear and go and do the task. Use nutmeg to help you over that feeling that it’s all too hard, ginger to help stop procrastinating, geranium to bring balance and grapefruit to remove those heavy negative feelings.

8. Use sweet fennel in your diffuser to help you complete your tasks.

9. Once you have completed the 3-5 tasks you set yourself for the day, take some time out to nourish yourself. Have a fragrant bath, eat a nourishing meal, spend a little time outdoors, have a massage or do something you really enjoy.

Before you know it you will have completed your to-do list and have a sense of accomplishment. Continue to use the tips and essential oils above to stop you getting into overwhelm and possible burnout again.