Tag Archives: mental fatigue

Juniper (Juniperus communis)

Juniper header

Family: Cupressaceae

Synonyms: Juniper

Aroma: Fresh, warm, rich balsamic, woody sweet pine needle like

Colour: Clear to very pale yellow

Juniper berriesPlant: Small tree that can grow to 12 metres in height with blue green needle like leaves, greenish yellow flowers and small round berries. The same tree carries green unripe one year old berries and blue ripe two to three year old berries.

Main Growing Areas: Northern Italy, Austria, Czech republic, Hungry, Croatia, Serbia and France

Major Constituents: alpha-pinene, beta-farnesene, beta-elemene, camphene, sabinene, myrcene, 1,4 cineole

Interesting snippets: Juniper branches were burned in temples as purifying herbs.

In England juniper branches were often strewn on the floor to sweeten the smell of the room and to cleanse the air of infection and disease

During the 19th century, the berries were burnt in French hospitals to prevent the spread of smallpox.

To the ancient Germans, juniper was the “Tree of Life” and branches were buried with the dead to facilitate their easy passage to their heaven, Valhalla.

ginJuniper berries are used for making gin.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: crushed, dried or partly dried berries/ steam distilled

Therapeutic actions: antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, weeping eczema, acne, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, arthritis, lower back pain, tiredness, poor circulation, cold hands and feet.

Emotional and Spiritual: nervous and intellectual fatigue, lethargy, apathy, negative thoughts, confusion

Fischer-Rizzi writes that psychologically juniper strengthens and uplifts the spirit during times of low energy, anxiety and weakness.

Keim Loughran and Bull state that juniper clears the body/mind/spirit of the damaging perceptions that interfere with our confidence and self-worth. She releases old thoughts, strengthens our intuition and deepens trust in our inner voice.

Robbie Zeck writes when you are feeling distressed and shut off from the experience of joy in your body and in your life, Juniper prepares the way for finding your centre. It brings clarification and stability during times of emotional and spiritual challenge. Juniper reduces the negativity stemming from habits, beliefs and behaviours that rob you of your joy of life.

Gabriel Mojay states that juniper is suited to the type of individual who feels burdened and aloof, deeply absorbed in their own thoughts – thoughts which revolve around worries, pressures and unpleasant memories. Feeling unsupported and misunderstood by others, they tend to withdraw and lose their social confidence. Juniper helps to purge them of the worry and self-absorption that is rooted in a fear of failure. Restoring their determination to overcome life’s obstacles, it replaces stasis and isolation with movement and openness.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:PREPARATION
Prepare for emotional, physical and spiritual challenges ahead. Set your goals and focus on preventing any of life’s little negative surprises. It is only when we are not prepared that we get those “surprises”. Failure to prepare leads to an emptiness and dissatisfied state allowing disappointment, self-doubt, guilt and low self-esteem to creep in. Be prepared and move beyond your limitations.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I cleanse my body, mind and spirit of negativity so I can soar.

Contemplations for the Soul:Are you feeling mentally exhausted due to the never ending thoughts going on in your head about how unworthy you are or the guilt and shame over something you have or haven’t done?
Are you afraid to do something because you feel you will fail or not make the grade?
Are you feeling angry, frustrated, uncertain or confused?
It’s time to cleanse the negativity from your body, mind and spirit and allow clarity and insight to shine through.
Take a shower or bath imaging you are washing away all the negativity. Watch the dirty water and negativity drain away.
Make the decision to meet whatever challenges come your way; ask for support when you need help to overcome them.
Be all you’re meant to be.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Skin sensitisation may occur if the oil has oxidised.

Note: Often adulterated with fermented berries. May also be adulterated with pinene, camphene, turpentine oil fractions, juniper wood and twig oils.

There are some trees in the Juniperus genera whose essential oils are called cedars such as Juniperus virginiana known as Virginia cedarwood or cedarwood, Juniperus ashei known as Texas cedarwood and Juniperus procera known as east African cedarwood. True cedarwood comes from the pinaceae family and the genera Cedrus.

Sources:
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)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Kerr J, Juniper Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.18 (2001)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

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)

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamomheader

Family: Zingiberaceae

Synonyms: Green cardamom, small cardamom, Amomum elettaria

Aroma: Warm and spicy with a slightly penetrating camphoraceous-cineole like odour

CardamonEssOilColour: Colourless to pale yellow, darkens when exposed to sunlight

Plant: A leafy stemmed shrub up to 4 metres high with very long leaves bearing small, yellow flowers with purple tips. The oblong grey fruit contains upwards of 20 dark red-brown seeds and are gathered just before they are ripe.

Main Growing Areas: Sri Lanka, India, Guatemala and El Salvador

Major Constituents: 1,8 cineole, alpha-terpineol, linalool, terpinene-4-ol, alpha-terpinyl acetate, geraniol

Interesting snippets: Reputed to be one of the oldest known spices.
Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for over 3000 years and was brought to Europe by the Greeks in the 4th century BC.

It is a principal ingredient in curry powder, and is used to flavour pastries, liqueurs and chewing gum.

Interestingly, Scandinavians use more cardamom than anyone else in the Western Hemisphere. They use it to flavour breads, cakes, candies, sausages and other meats. Their use of it originated with the Vikings who more than a 1000 years ago purchased it in Constantinople for their use back home.

cardamom-pods and seedsPart of Plant used / Extraction: Seeds/steam distillation

Therapeutic actions: Analgesic, antispasmodic, digestive, nausea and vomiting, colic, cramps, chronic bronchitis, lethargy, flatulence, coughs and colds

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous exhaustion, depression, poor concentration, overthinking and burdened by worries, feelings of weakness and fatigue. Calming, grounding, soothing & uplifting emotionally. Cardamom EO can help restore an “appetite for life”, our ability to digest, assimilate & be nourished by life.

Joy Bowles writes that psychologically cardamom seems to open and widen the imagination

Gabriel Mojay writes that cardamom is indicated for poor concentration, overthinking and worry – especially where there is a degree of nervous exhaustion. He further states that whenever we feel deprived of opportunity or generosity and fear that we may be denied fulfillment, cardamom oil reminds us of life’s true abundance and restores our desire for contentment.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes, cardamom gives us wisdom when we are overburdened with responsibilities, when we need to tap into our generosity of spirit to allow our hearts to be open and expansive in order to be gracious in our dealings with others. Also it gives encouragement when we need to take a step forward to offer a hand in friendship when we see that a person is in need.

Barry Kapp writes that cardamom taps into the corridor that leads us to our higher selves in a gentle and positive way. She expels fear, being stuck, frozenness and gives us feelings of courage, stamina, patience and strength.

Keim Loughran and Bull suggest cardamom helps to teach others with a grounded, clear, heart centred perspective and also helps us to accept life as it is while encouraging an enthusiasm for it.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Tisserand and Young suggest not applying cardamom to or near the face of infants or children due to her high level of 1,8 cineole.

Note: Cardamom is often adulterated with 1,8 cineole from eucalyptus or camphor oil

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kapp B, Wisdom of the Earth Speaks, The Truth About Medicinal Aromatherapy. www.WisdomoftheEarth.com (2008)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus / flexuosus)

Lemongrass header

Family: Gramineae or Poaceae

Synonyms: West Indian lemongrass, Guatemala lemongrass, Madagascar lemongrass (C.citratus) East Indian lemongrass, Cochin lemongrass, British India lemongrass, Vervaine Indienne lemongrass (C. flexuosus) Fevergrass.

Aroma: Fresh grassy citrus with earthy tea like undertone (C.citratus), fresh, grassy, lemony (C. flexuosus)

Colour: Yellowy amber to reddish brown (C.citratus) lighter yellowy amber (C. flexuosus).

Plant: Fast growing, tall tufted perennial grass that grows up to 1.5 metres tall

Main Growing Areas: India, Guatemala, Madagascar, Brazil, Malaysia, Vietnam, Comoros islands.

Major Constituents: Limonene, neral and geranial when present together in an oil are known as citral, farnesol – antibacterial, borneol, geraniol.

Interesting snippets: Traditionally used in Indian medicine for treating infectious illness and fever.
The majority of the essential oil is used in the flavour and perfume industries.
The fresh leaves are crushed in water and used as a hair wash and toilet water in India.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Fresh and partly dried leaves by steam distillation. 33 pounds of grass yields 1 pound of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Analgesic, insect repellent, skin tonic, antiseptic, antifungal, diuretic, lymph drainage, oily skin, jet lag, muscular aches and pains, rheumatic pain, tendinitis.

Emotional and Spiritual: Refreshing, uplifting, stimulating, alleviates stress and anxiety that may lead to depression, aids logical thinking, lack of concentration, mental fatigue

Robbi Zeck writes that lemongrass inspires expansion on all levels and motivates you to move beyond any limitations and opens the way for you to step into your best possible future.

Deborah Eidson suggests that lemongrass is an energetic tonic to the etheric body and shields the aura from electromagnetic bombardment. Lemongrass softens rigid mental attitudes, changing a pessimistic outlook to one of optimism as well as helping depression rooted in trying to live up to social standards.

Peter Holmes writes when lemongrass is inhaled in low amounts it induces feelings of renewal and transformation and helps to resolve day to day distressing feelings and emotions.

Valerie Worwood writes that lemongrass helps clear regrets and shame and encourages us to forgive those who have dishonoured and discredited us.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi considers lemongrass a secret aid for people who have trouble getting started in the morning.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Lemongrass Aromatherapy Insight Card

EXPANSION
Lemongrass gives you that kick-start to get you going.
Expand your mind and environment to a place where there are no restrictions, self-imposed or otherwise. Use curiosity to allow movement into other realms, experiencing new adventures that renew passion and excitement in your life.

Remove limitations and restrictions, whether self-imposed or not. Move beyond your normal boundaries and expand into the new. Lemongrass releases the feeling that you are just existing and takes you to the space where you are truly living.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: When my path is blocked, I find another way.

Lemongrass FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Lemongrass CFTS Card

Are you feeling restricted on some level, confused, off balance and pessimistic about the present and future?
Do you feel that you are just existing rather than living and dreaming of a life that seems impossible to obtain?
Do you find it hard to be flexible in your thinking and actions?
It’s time to become more flexible when dealing with challenging experiences and life.
Shift your attitude to one of optimism about the present and future no matter how dark it appears at the moment.
If you are trying to live up to some social standard that doesn’t serve you stop now and decide on your own standards.
Live your life according to your own standards.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-toxic. Tisserand and Young recommend not using lemongrass on people with hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and no topical use on children under 2 years of age. They also recommend a dermal maximum of 0.7% to avoid skin sensitisation.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Eidson D, Vibrational Healing, Frog Books (2000)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C, Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Holmes P, Aromatica: a clinical guide to essential oil therapeutics – Volume 1. Singing Dragon, London, 2016
Jefferies J, Citral Essential Oils. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.32 (2005)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Synonyms: Mitcham mint, balm mint.

Aroma: Piercing, refreshing, sharp, menthol.

Colour: Pale yellow or pale olive

Plant: Grows to around 100cm with underground runners. Purple blossoms grow from the axis of one or two leaves and form spikes at the end of each stem. It rarely seeds as it is a hybrid except in Japan where it seeds freely.

Main Growing Areas: USA, India, England, France, Australia.

Major Constituents: Menthol, menthone, pulegone, 1,8 cineole, sabinene hydrate, limonene, neomenthol, isomenthone, beta-caryophyllene.

Interesting snippets: Peppermint was used as a digestive herb and to scent the bath water by the Greeks and Romans.
Peppermint is thought to be a hybrid between spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica).
It was used in the14th century to whiten teeth and later to mask the smell of tobacco.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Flowering tops and leaves by steam distillation. Distillation of the dry material takes 45 – 60 minutes. The average yield is around 0.4% but can go as high as 1%.

Therapeutic actions: Small doses warm and tend to stimulate while large or frequent doses cool and tend to relax. Shock, sinus pain and congestion, indigestion, tension headaches, colds and flu, nausea, colic, flatulence, stomach pains, diarrhoea, muscular aches and pains, joint pain, bruises, insect bites.

Emotional and Spiritual: Clears the mind and stimulates clear thinking. Mental fatigue, motivation and self-confidence.

Robbi Zeck writes that peppermint assists in reconnecting you to your vital passion, whisking you away upon the winds of purpose. Being unfocused can turn you away from your bigger dream and when you are living passionately on purpose, the direction of your life will change.

Gabriel Mojay writes that while the oil enhances concentration and absorption on one level, it works on another level to facilitate the digestion of new ideas and impressions. Acting on our psychological “stomach”, peppermint is conducive not only to study and learning but to developing emotional acceptance and tolerance. We can think of it for those states characterised by the phrase, “That’s something I just can’t stomach!”

Keim and Bull write that peppermint promotes healthy self-esteem, integrity and ethics. Helps us to discover our hidden gifts and strengths.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:
PURPOSE
Peppermint helps you connect with your purpose in life. Keeping your vital passion potent and ready to meet life’s challenges questioning your purpose and direction. Do not get caught up in other people’s games. Stay on your path, be true to yourself, go out on that limb and enjoy taking those risks to succeed.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I stay true to myself and my highest potential.

Safety: Non- toxic, possibly sensitising, and may cause irritation in people with sensitive skin. Avoid in cases of cardiac fibrillation and G6PD deficiency. Don’t apply to or near the face of babies or children. If taken orally it may exacerbate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Note: Peppermint is frequently adulterated with cornmint oil (M. arvensis) also known as Japanese peppermint (Hakka)

Sources:
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. 3rd edition Volume 1.The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
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)
Kerr J, Peppermint Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.9 (1999)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014 Pages 387 – 388
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

The Health Benefits of a Walk in the Bush

The Health Benefits of a Walk in the Bush

We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

There has been a lot written about shinrin-yoku a Japanese term meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” In Australia we’d probably call it “bush bathing.’

The idea is to take a slow walk through the forest, bush or any natural area stopping to admire anything that takes your fancy. This could be a leaf, tree, flower or rock. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, 15 or 20 minutes is often enough to benefit from the calming and restorative effects a walk in the bush can bring.

Rock formation at Salt Pan Creek

There are many reasons why a walk in the bush or forest can be beneficial for your health but the main reason given by researchers is that many trees give off compounds that support our immune system. Although this fact wasn’t known at the time, there were doctors in the past that set up sanatoriums in European pine forests to treat tuberculosis with great success.

Another reason to try shinrin-yoku is its stress relieving benefits that include lowering blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, headache relief, improved sleep, greater creativity, improved mood and increased energy. Simply breathing in deeply during your walk can help you experience these benefits.

symptoms of stress

You don’t need to find a long bush track to experience these effects. You could get the same benefits in a small park by sitting under a tree and taking the time to admire its leaves, flowers or bark while inhaling deeply. On one of my walks to the next suburb there is a small grove of eucalypts that I could walk through in 2 minutes or less but I take the time to slow down and admire the way each is different. It only takes a few minutes but is very uplifting. I’m also very lucky to have a bush track and river minutes from where I live.

Park bench

As shinrin-yoku is at its core taking the time to admire nature and slow down you could also spend time in your garden admiring the trees, flowers, herbs or whatever else you maybe growing there. Taking this time to slow down  helps to relieve your stress and the symptoms that accompany it.

But what if you don’t live near any nature and don’t have a garden you can retreat to? Essential oils can come to your aid. You can bring the scents of the bush or forest into your home and enjoy the benefits these little power houses bring.

Essential oils

Choose 2 or 3 essential oils from those below and place 6-8 drops in total in a diffuser to bring the bush or forest to you. You can also add them to a personal inhaler that you can take with you whereever you go. In addition to the benefits above these oils are very beneficial for the respiratory system.

Buddha wood – Eremophila mitchellii – uplifting, muscular aches and pains

Cajeput – Melaleuca cajeputi – lethargy, focus, respiratory issues

Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica – grounding, courage, respiratory issues

Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens – emotional and physical transition, respiratory issues

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus radiata – hemmed in, overwhelm, respiratory issues

Eucalyptus Staigeriana – Eucalyptus staigeriana – uplifting, anxiety, respiratory issues

Fragonia – Agonis fragrans – anxiety, stress, focus, muscular aches and pains, respiratory issues

Juniper – Juniperus communis – cleansing, worry, arthritis, mental fatigue

Kunzea – Kunzea ambigua – nervous tension, emotional and physical pain, muscular aches

Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citriodora – stress, focus, uplifting, respiratory issues

Lemon scented tea tree – Leptospermum petersonii – concentration, air purifier, respiratory issues

Niaouli – Melaleuca quinquenervia – stress, mental fatigue, respiratory issues, muscular aches and pains

Pine – Pinus sylvestris – self-worth, self-confidence, respiratory issues

Australian Sandalwood – Santalum spicatum – contemplation, stress, respiratory issues

Silver Fir – Abies alba – clarity, anxiety, stress, respiratory issues

Spruce – Picea mariana – mental fatigue, clarity, centring, burnout, respiratory issues

Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia – tolerance, positive outlook, respiratory issues

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

Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Sweet basil header

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Synonyms: Sweet basil, true basil

Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous, refreshing

Colour: Colourless to pale yellow

Plant: An annual herb with dark green leaves and white flowers that grows to 60cm.

Main Growing Areas: France, Italy Egypt, USA, Bulgaria

Major Constituents: Linalool, 1.8 cineole, limonene, a-terpineol, methyl chavicol (estragole)

Interesting snippets: Basil is considered one of the sacred herbs of India where it is dedicated to Krishna and Vishnu.

In Ayurvedic medicine basil is combined with black pepper for malarial fever.

In Italy, basil was associated with love but in Greece it was associated with hate and misfortune and is a symbol for mourning.

Basil leaves and flowersPart of Plant used / Extraction: Flowering tops by steam distillation which lasts around 1½ hours and yields an average of 1% oil.

Therapeutic actions: respiratory congestion, bronchitis, flu, muscular cramps, nausea and vomiting menstrual cramps food poisoning

Emotional and Spiritual: mental fatigue, stress, gives the mind strength and clarity, fear, sadness and depression.

Gabriel Mojay writes that basil is indicated for those in whom despondency and dejection are coupled with a heightened need for emotional support and reassurance.

Basil can be helpful when you are at a crossroads in life or going through a spiritual death. She supports you in overcoming doubt, worry and anxiety allowing you to trust in spirit and renew your zest and enthusiasm for life.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Basil Aromatherapy Insight card

SELF – EXPRESSION
Basil increases self-expression by opening the heart and mind. The herb of love is for those in life who are able to utilize their intuition and express themselves in a straightforward manner, allowing them to move from a place of fear and live a life of positivity and clarity. Speak with enthusiasm and act with integrity from your heart, and then you speak your truth. Stop worrying just for the sake of it and get on with life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I speak my truth with love and integrity.

Basil Fragrant Change Healing card
Contemplations for the Soul:

Basil Contemplations for the Soul cardAre you belittling and putting yourself down or are you speaking positively to and about yourself? Have you been wounded deeply by the words or actions of others?
It’s time to speak your truth with love and integrity.
You may have been hiding the truth from yourself and others because of feelings of low self-worth, low self-esteem or from fear of what others will think of you.
It’s now time to reveal your true thoughts and not say what you think they wish to hear.
This does not mean using your words to wound but simply expressing your point of view in a calm manner.
Take note also of the way you speak to and about yourself. Remember your words have power, use them wisely.

Safety: 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.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Eidson D, Vibrational Aromatherapy. Revealing the essence of nature through aromatherapy’s use of essential oils. Frog Ltd, Berkley, California (2000)
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, Basil Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.12 (1999)
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

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 Mental Fatigue and Clarity

essential-oils-for-mental-fatigue-and-clarity-header

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

girl-in-classroomOctober begins the final term for the school year. Many will be doing their HSC, TAFE and university exams and starting to feel the pressure. Essential oils that help with mental fatigue and clarity can be very beneficial at this time not only for them but for anyone who feels the need for some more focus or clarity in their life.  These oils are all excellent for mental fatigue and bringing clarity to a tired mind.

For those who work and find their concentration waning in the afternoon or who can’t focus because they seem snowed under with work and decisions that need to be made, the following oils can help clear your mind. Perhaps you can take a personal inhaler to work with your favourite oil blend to use for a quick pick-me–up or mind clarifier.

Woman with mental fatigue

For those studying for exams who would like a little extra aromatic help. Try studying with a blend of two or three oils in your burner or add two drops to a tissue and smell frequently. When it comes time to do your exam bring a tissue with two drops of your blend on it and smell it when you need a little help remembering what you have studied. Remember to use the same blend each time.

Essential Oils for Clarity and Mental Fatigue
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a memory and mental stimulant that relieves nervous exhaustion bringing clarity.

Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) is mentally stimulating and energising and helps you to stay focused.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) provides clarity when you are emotionally and mentally confused or unable to make decisions. She stimulates and grounds your mind.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) can help when you are feeling overwhelmed. Take a few deep breaths to help calm you and stimulate your mind.

Lemon (Citrus limonum) clears your head, refreshes your mind and calms you enhancing rational and logical thinking.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) invigorates, stimulates and refreshes your mind.

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) uplifts you and helps calm your mind when you get stressed and are unable to think clearly.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) enhances memory and concentration, assists you in assimilating new ideas and may provide inspiration and insight.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) stimulates your memory while reducing mental fatigue bringing clarity and focus.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) mentally stimulates and uplifts in addition to invigorating you both physically and mentally.

Below are some ideas for blends you may like to try
Add up to 6 drops to your vaporiser. For a tissue make your blend up in a small bottle and add two drops from that onto your tissue. Experiment with your blends until you find one you like.

Clarity InhalerAnother idea you might like to try is to add 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to a few cotton balls inside a small bottle and close the lid. Open the lid and take a few whiffs whenever you are studying. If the opening is large enough you may be able to take a cotton ball out of the bottle and leave it on your desk to inhale while you are doing your exam. For an easier option use a personal inhaler.

Clarity
Basil
Lemon
Rosemary

Mind refresh
Eucalyptus
Lime
Spearmint

Mental Stimulant
Basil
Lemongrass
Peppermint

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

tea tree header

Family: Myrtaceae

Synonyms: Ti-tree

Aroma: Fresh, spicy, medicinal.

Colour: Clear, colourless to pale yellow. Dark yellow indicates old or oxidized oil.

Teatree 5Plant: An evergreen tree that grows to 7 metres with paper like bark, small narrow leaves and profuse flowers.

Main Growing Areas: East coast of Australia.

Major Constituents: terpinene-4-ol, gamma-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, 1.8 cineole, para-cymene.

Interesting snippets: The first essential oil distillation was done in 1924.

The botanical name comes from the Greek melos meaning dark or black, and leukon meaning white. This was a reference to the white papery bark on the higher trunk and the black bark on the lower trunk.

From the 1790s onwards, the first European settlers who colonised the areas around the Clarence and Richmond Rivers learned from the Bundjalong tribe how to use the leaves for healing purposes, such as inhalations for respiratory ailments, and poultices, infusions and ointments for infected wounds.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and twigs by steam distillation. Yield varies from 1.8 to 3.5%. The oil oxidises over time.

Therapeutic actions: Infected skin rashes, acne, boils, colds, flu, tinea, candida, sore throat.

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous debility, mental fatigue and chronic lethargy.
Robbi Zeck writes that tea tree will take you beyond any points of difference, raise your tolerance level and encourage you to see the bigger picture. It builds confidence and a strong sense of integrity that also helps to develop robust immunity and inner containment.

Gabriel Mojay writes that tea tree oil is of special importance to physically delicate individuals who struggle not only with their bodies, but with the feelings of victimisation and doom that can easily accompany and exacerbate chronic ill-health.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Tea Tree insight card

UNDERSTANDING
Replace your “victim” mentality and feelings of doom and gloom with a feeling of understanding. Take a step back; release the struggle in life by understanding why events happen. By finding patience and seeing other points of view, you bring tolerance and growth into your environment and life. Enjoy the chance to learn to understand yourself and the others in your life.

Fragrant Change Healing card: There is always another point of view.

Tea tree Fragrant Change healing card

Contemplations for the Soul:

Tea tree FCHC

Are you dealing with a challenging situation, problem or person?
Are you trying to find an answer but it keeps eluding you?
Do you lack confidence and think of yourself as a victim in this situation?
Are you feeling confused and emotionally shattered?
Try looking at it from a new perspective.
Take a wider view and look at the bigger picture rather focussing on a small part of it.
Change your attitude from one of victim to one of a confident, focussed individual who has the ability to remain strong no matter what kind of toxic or challenging circumstances they find themselves in.
Remember you have the strength and insight to deal with this challenge or person.

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

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Kerr J, Tea Tree Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.13 (2000)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)