Tag Archives: meditation

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood header

Family: Santalaceae

Synonyms: East Indian sandalwood, Mysore sandalwood, white sandalwood

Aroma: Warm, sweet, woody, and lingering.

Colour: Yellowish

Plant: A small, evergreen, parasitic tree with small purple flowers that grows up to 15 metres high. To survive the roots of the sandalwood tree must attach themselves to the roots of another tree but they don’t kill the host tree supplying them with nutrients. The tree must be over 30 years of age before it is cut down for oil.

Main Growing Areas: Southern India, Western Australia

Major Constituents: cis-alpha- santalol, cis-beta-santalol, epi-beta-santalol, alpha- santalal

Interesting snippets: It was used in ancient India for religious ceremonies.
The wood was used by the ancient Egyptians in medicine, for embalming the dead and ritual burnings to worship the gods.

sandalwood handicraftsThe wood is used for carved objects of high quality and has been referred to as botanical ivory.

Powdered sandalwood is burned as incense in Buddhist and Hindu temples.

In 1998 Indian sandalwood was listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species in India.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Steam distilled from the inner heartwood of the tree. 11.25 kgs of wood produces approximately 0.45 to 0.7 kgs of oil.

Therapeutic actions: Chronic infections of the pulmonary and genito-urinary tracts. Dry and inflamed skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, varicose veins, swollen lymph nodes, cold sores and sore, dry throat.

Emotional and Spiritual: Calming helping to reduce tension and confusion, nervous depression, insomnia and fear.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that sandalwood aids people who want to make human contact and overcome isolation. It helps them accept others with an open heart and diminish their egocentricity. Sandalwood fosters openness warmth and understanding.

Robbie Zeck writes that when seeking an overview, guidance or wise council concerning a particular aspect of your life, take time out for quiet reflection. Imagine standing on the highest mountain where the view is clear and expansive. Sandalwood will support you in shifting you from your present point of view, to a different kind of viewing point.

Gabriel Mojay states that sandalwood is indicated for states of obsessive worry and worldly ‘over-attachment’. Whenever we over-invest in seeing specific outcomes to our efforts – especially out of a neurotic need for security – sandalwood helps to re-establish an acceptance of reality as it is.

Loughran and Bull write that sandalwood quiets the mind, promotes a meditative state to better receive and integrate healing energy. She also encourages states of higher consciousness and a sense of unity.

Sal Battaglia believes that sandalwood has a strong affinity with the water element’s Zhi (Will). Zhi represents willpower, ambition, self-actualization and the will to live. It is the will we draw on to survive ordeals, overcome obstacles and preserve against hardships. It also represents collectivity – our sense of being part of a whole.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that sandalwood is a fragrance that stretches out to the universe into the hallowed space between heaven and earth, to contact the divine presence. Sandalwood brings our wisdom into a meditative state, quieting us so we can hear and rejoice in the choral singing of the universal soul.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Sandalwood Aroma Insight cardCONTEMPLATION
Contemplate life: go inside to realize the answers you seek. When working from inside, we have a peace and strength to see exactly how life’s events really are. Allow yourself to be still, away from the busyness of the external world. Sandalwood helps keep your space as your own: strong and free of other people’s negative energies, so that you can operate efficiently and enjoy life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I allow my inner awareness to guide me to the answer.

Contemplations for the Soul Card:Are you looking for answers?
Are you forever busy giving yourself no time to think?
Are you feeling emotionally drained wondering what the future will bring?
Do you feel frustrated, anxious and worried about your future security?
Take time out for contemplation today.
If you are seeking the answer to a problem you can simply go for a walk or sit in nature and allow your mind to wander.
Use your imagination to explore possible solutions to your problem. Worry and anxiety will only cloud your mind.
Take some slow deep breaths and allow your intuition to give you the answer.
Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

Safety: In general, non-irritating, non-sensitising and non-toxic. Because 0.34% of dermatitis patients reacted to patch testing with 2% sandalwood oil and the fact that there is a risk of photoallergic reactions especially in Japanese people Tisserand and Young recommend a maximum use level of 2%

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)
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)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
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)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Finding Inner Peace

Finding inner peace header

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

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

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

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

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

Sitting in nature

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

listening to music

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) brings a sense of joy

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

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

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

Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)

I first bought elemi essential oil based on her name but she has a lot of wonderful properties and is a very good oil for various skin conditions.

Family: Burseraceae

Synonyms: C commune, Manila elemi.

Aroma: Fresh, spicy, woody, balsamic.

Colour: Colourless to pale yellow.

elemiPlant: Large tropical evergreen tree that can reach up to 30 metres. It has large white or yellow flowers and produces green fruits, which in turn produce edible nuts. It exudes a pale yellowish resin when the tree sprouts leaves; the resin solidifies on contact with the air and stops flowing when the last leaf falls.

Main Growing Areas: Philippines, the Moluccas.

Major Constituents: Elemol, elemicine, alpha-phellandrene, limonene.

Interesting snippets: The ancient Egyptians used elemi resin for embalming.
Elemi has been referred to as the poor man’s frankincense as she shares many of frankincense’s properties.
She’s closely related to the trees that produce frankincense, myrrh and opopanax.

C.luzonicum is classified in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “Vulnerable A1cd” which means there has been a reduction of at least 80% of the species over the last 10 years or 3 generations, whichever is longer due to a decline in the area of occupancy, extent of occurance or quality of habitat and the actual levels of exploitation.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Steam distillation of the resin.

Therapeutic actions: Helps build tissues and heal wounds, gangrene and abscesses. Respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and sinusitis especially where there is a lot of phlegm. Expectorant (helps to expel mucous from the lungs) when used in steam inhalations. Excellent for skin care especially for mature skin and is said to reduce wrinkles.

Emotional and Spiritual: She is a balancing, strengthening and centring oil. She brings the body, mind and soul into alignment. In meditation she induces a deep calm without drowsiness.
Stress that has led to exhaustion as she is both stimulating and a tonic.

Robbi Zeck writes that elemi propels you inward to look deeply into things in order to see their nature, adding a quiet touch. Elemi reflects the serenity of a soul which is shining.

Valerie Worwood writes that elemi can be used in emotional healing to encourage soothing, calm, stillness, contentment, compassion and peace.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising. Old or oxidized should be avoided. Skin sensitising if oxidized. Tends to resinify on ageing.

Note: Elemi is often adulterated with the addition of a-phellandrene and limonene.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Davis, P, Aromatherapy, An A-Z. The C.W. Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Smith I, Elemi. In Essence Vol.7 No.3 (2008)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Essential Oils for Meditation


Using essential oils to assist your meditative practice can enhance the experience. They may be used to cleanse and purify the meditation room or area of negative energy before beginning your meditation. Certain essential oils help you slow and deepen your breath allowing you to reach a deeper place of relaxation and contemplative awareness during the session. Finally they may be used at the end of the session to ground you.

Meditation maybe done indoors or outdoors. Choose a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Even 10 minutes can help if that is all you can manage in your day. You  can meditate sitting quietly in a chair or on a park bench, sitting crosslegged or lying on the ground or floor. Whatever works for you is perfect.


Essential oils to cleanse and purify:
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) – removes heavy negative emotions.
Juniper (Juniperus communis) – cleanses the room or area of negativity and helps raise the vibration.
Lemon (Citrus limonum) – cleanses the area and mind allowing you to focus.

Essential oils to deepen your contemplative awareness:
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) – cleanses the aura, deepens and slows the breath, ceases mental chatter and stills the mind allowing your spirit to soar.
Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) – brings a deep sense of inner stillness and peace. She quietens an overactive mind and strengthens the link between your crown and base chakras.
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) – opens your mind allowing you to access your inner guidance.
Sandalwood (Santalum album) – clarifies and stills your mind allowing a deeper connection to Spirit. She helps you reconnect to your true self so that inspiration can flow.

Essential oils to ground you:
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) – grounds you while bringing a sense of peace.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoide) – grounds, balances and centres you.


Methods of Use
diffuserFor cleansing use a diffuser or spray the area.
To make the spray, add up to 15 drops of a single oil or blend to 50 mls of water. Mix together and pour into a spray bottle shaking before each use. Be careful not to get on the furniture, cushions or curtains as it may leave water stains.

During the meditation add up to 5 drops of a single or essential oil blend to a diffuser or vaporiser. If outdoors, add 2 or 3 drops to a tissue and inhale or use a personal inhaler.

To ground add a drop of oil to a tissue and breathe in deeply.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Frankincense header

…and when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:10

3 wise men

Frankincense is an oil that is often associated with Christmas as she is  one of the gifts given by the three Magi to the baby Jesus. She also has had a long tradition of being used in religious ceremonies.

Family: Burseraceae

Synonyms: Olibanum

Aroma: Fresh, slightly camphorous

Colour: Pale to greenish yellow

Frankincense treePlant: Frankincense is a small tree that grows to a height of  7 metres. It has abundant narrow leaves and white or pale pink flowers.

Main Growing Areas: Somalia, southern Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and Northern India

Major Constituents: a-pinene, sabinene, limonene, myrcene, octanol, ocytl acetate

Interesting snippets: Frankincense has been burnt in temples and used in religious ceremonies for centuries and continues to be used even today for that purpose.

The Egyptians believed Frankincense was the sweat of the Gods, which had fallen to earth.
The earliest recorded use of Frankincense was found in an inscription on the tomb of Hatshepsut, a 15th century BC Egyptian queen.
Kohl, the eyeliner used in ancient Egypt was a powder made from ground charred Frankincense resin.

The name Frankincense is derived from the Old French franc meaning free, pure or abundant, and the Latin incensum meaning to kindle or to smoke.

It is theorised that the “burning bush” in the bible was a Frankincense tree whose evaporating essential oil ignited.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Resin. The resin is usually harvested in spring Frankincense resin and autumn. The bark is usually scraped or chipped away to expose a milky white resin, which is allowed to dry in the sun for 2 weeks or more. During this time the resin  forms yellowish tears, which are scraped off and collected in baskets and then shipped to France to be steam distilled. The tears contain 56% resin, 30% gum and 4-8% essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Very good for respiratory conditions including bronchitis, laryngitis, coughs and congestion.
Skin care for mature, dry and sensitive skin. Excellent for wound healing.

Emotional and Spiritual: Slows down breathing and induces feelings of calm. Ideal for meditation as she helps to still the mind and cease mental chatter allowing the spirit to soar.
Helps restore a sense of equilibrium when feeling anxious or confused.

Gabriel Mojay writes that whenever you have allowed yourself to be weighed down by the past, or any form of over attachment frankincense can help you break free by encouraging tranquillity, insight and spiritual self discipline allowing the ego Self and transpersonal Self to work in unison.

Robbi Zeck writes that Frankincense cleanses the aura, is finely attuned to the subtle energies and paves the way to the higher self. It will cultivate positive inner guidance so that your true self can be seen.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that in cases of spiritual shock or loss, when the spirit can step out of the body, even for a brief moment, Frankincense can gently ease us back into our earthly home.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Frankincense Aromatherapy Insight card

The oil for protecting your space and you from worry overwhelm and anything or anyone that drains your energy. Frankincense links your past with your future, which relates to how you perceive and handle the present. You can be the wise person that you are by protecting yourself from life’s negative experiences. Feel protected and free.

Fragrant Change: I feel protected, calm and at peace with myself.

Frankincense Fragrant Change Healing card

Contemplations for the Soul:

Are you obsessing over something that happened in the past?
Are you worried about the future and something that may never happen?
Have you lost touch with your spiritual self?
Are you feeling overwhelmed, worried, stressed or anxious and need to put things in perspective?
Are you procrastinating because the outcome is uncertain?
Time to get clear and still your mind so that your inner guidance can be heard.
Sit quietly, slow your breathing and concentrate on something that brings you a sense of peace.
Slow your breathing even more.
Allow your inner guidance the chance to give you an answer.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising.

Sources: 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)
Kerr, J, Frankincense Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.2 (1997)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Price L, Frankincense. The Aromatherapist, Vol 4, No 4 (1997)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)




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.

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.

Frankincense (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 (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.