Tag Archives: muscular aches and pains

Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum)

black pepper header

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

Family: Piperaceae

Aroma: Warm, spicy like aroma

Colour: Pale amber

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

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

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

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

The Greeks used it to combat fever.

If the fruits ripen before drying they yield white pepper.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition, Vol.1The Perfect Potion, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis P, Subtle Aromatherapy. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1992)
Eidson D, Vibrational Aromatherapy. Revealing the essence of nature through aromatherapy’s use of essential oils. Frog Ltd, Berkley, California (2000)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Black Pepper Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.1 (1997)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, (2014)
Lawless J, Complete Essential Oils. Element Books (1995)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Pine header

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

Family: Pinaceae

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

Aroma: Strong, fresh, resinous

Colour: Clear

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

Main Growing Areas: Northern Europe, North America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

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

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

Pine FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

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

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

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Davis, P, Aromatherapy An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Pine Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.42 (2008)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014 Pages 398 – 399
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

Caring For The Carer

caring for the carer

There are many men and women who are full time carers. They may be looking after someone who is physically or mentally ill. The person being cared for maybe a child or adult and is usually a family member.

There can be many challenges in looking after another but many rewards as well. The trick to remaining healthy so you can continue as an effective carer is to make time for yourself and ask for support when you need it.

I will talk about some of the physical and emotional challenges you may face and how to deal with them.

PHYSICAL CHALLENGES

Muscular Aches and Pains
Helping the person you are caring for with everyday tasks like getting in and out of bed, going to the toilet, showering, dressing and sitting in a wheelchair can all take their toil in back, neck, shoulder, arm and leg pain if not done correctly.

Carer

Learning correct manual handling techniques and the use of mechanical lifters can help prevent injury.

Massage can help relieve aching muscles. Investing in a monthly massage can help by relieving the physical pain and giving you time for yourself. If you are unable to book a massage you can make the following blend yourself and massage the affected muscles.

relaxing aroma massage

Relief for Aching Muscles
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) 3 drops, lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 2 drops, rosemary 1 drop in 10mls cold pressed  vegetable oil.

Aches and pains
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) 5 drops, peppermint (Mentha piperita) 5 drops, ginger (Zingiber officinale) 5 drops in 30 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil.

Headaches
The stress and worry that can come from always being on the alert to the needs of another can lead to tension headaches. Indian head massage is an easy and effective way to lessen the build-up of stress and tension headaches. Massaging the area with an essential oil massage blend is also effective.

Woman with Headache

Tension Headache Be Gone
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 2 drops, geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 2 drops, peppermint (Mentha piperita) 1 drop in 10mls  cold pressed vegetable oil. Massage neck, shoulders and temples with the blend. You can then massage the scalp without the blend if you wish.

Physical exhaustion
Driving to doctors and other appointments, lack of sleep, shopping and preparing special foods, making sure medications are taken on time and the other myriad of things that must be done when caring for another can all take their time and lead to physical exhaustion.

It is really important that you make time for yourself throughout your busy day. Do something just for you even if it is only for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. This could include going for a short walk around the block or garden, listening to your favourite music, having a massage, drinking a cup of tea or coffee in your garden really slowly and enjoying it, reading a few pages or chapter of a book or newspaper. If you are feeling physically exhausted the following blend along with getting some sleep may help.

listening to music

Wake up and Go
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) 2 drops, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) 2 drops, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 2 drops in a diffuser.

Lethargy blend
Blend rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 2 drops, geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 2 drops and peppermint (Mentha piperita) 1 drop in a burner or vaporiser.

Sleep
It can sometimes be hard to get to sleep or stay asleep when caring for another. They may need you during the night or you may be physically exhausted but still find it difficult to sleep. Stress and worry is another reason for sleeping difficulties. It is important that you get enough sleep so you can stay resilient and able to cope with caring for another.

Some tips to help you get to sleep.

  • Try drinking a warm glass of milk or a cup of chamomile tea an hour or two before bed time.
  • Visualization – Imagine a very relaxing scene. Make sure you involve all your senses.
  • Have a warm bath with 3 drops of lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and 2 drops of geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil in a half cup of full fat milk added to the bath. Play relaxing music to further relax you.
  • A chest massage using 3 drops of lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and 2 drops of geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential in 10mls of cold pressed vegetable oil.
  • Place a few drops of lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) or other relaxing essential oil on a tissue and leave near your pillow so you can breathe in the aroma.

Sleep easy blend
Add sandalwood (Santalum album) pure essential oil 1 drop, frankincense (Boswellia carterii) 1 drop and lavender  (Lavendula angustifolia) 8 drops to 10 mls cold pressed vegetable oil and massage your neck, shoulders and chest.

Lack of exercise
If you are lifting the person in and out of bed, showering, dressing and sitting them in a wheelchair and doing other physical work connected with caring you may be getting plenty of exercise.

If your caring doesn’t involve a lot of the above you may not be getting enough exercise. Exercise is important to help you maintain strength and flexibility, reduce stress, sleep well at night and keep up your energy levels.

Exercise

You don’t need to go to a gym. Walking, swimming, tai chi, yoga or gardening done 3 times a week for 30 minutes maybe all that you need to keep you healthy.

Eating Well
It may be a challenge at times to eat well but a healthy diet is essential if you are going to be able to have the energy and stamina to do all you need as a carer. Take time out occasionally to have a relaxing meal or catch up with family and friends.

Healthy diet

EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES

Stress and anxiety
Perhaps the biggest emotional challenge for the carer is dealing with the emotional feelings that can arise from caring for an extended period of time. There may be feelings of never having a moment for themselves, the idea that this will never end and they are stuck in this role for life, suggesting ways the person they are caring for can help themselves and being ignored and feeling guilty for wanting things to change.

Stress may show up as frustration, sadness, feeling unable to cope with everyday things, loss of hope, poor or no appetite, restlessness and difficulty in sleeping. Other symptoms may include tiredness, apathy, digestive problems, headaches, impatience anger and resentment.

Tips to help with stress
Difficult as it maybe accept that this is the way things are now and look for ways you can get help and support.

Ask your family and friends for support. Perhaps they can take over your role for a few hours while you take time for you. It may be so you can go to the hairdressers, have a massage, play a round of golf, see a movie, sit in the park or simply doing nothing and enjoying that feeling. It doesn’t matter how you spend the time. All that matters is that you spend it just for you so you can rejuvenate yourself.

support

Know that whatever comes your way you have the strength and ability to cope. You may need to look at another way of doing something but you will get through it.

Take care of yourself physically, eat well, make time for exercise and get a good night’s sleep.

Spend time with family and friends. If you don’t have time to do it in person, speak to them on the phone.

family support

Ask for assistance from charities, government agencies or your local council with showering and looking after some of the physical needs of the person you are looking after if appropriate.

Use essential oils in the form of massage or in a room vaporiser to help you relax. Make sure you choose pure essential oils to get the benefits.

Anxiety blend
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 2 drops, palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) 2 drops, geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 1 drop in 10mls cold pressed vegetable oil for massage or in a diffuser to vaporise.

Calm anxiety down blend
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) 3 drops, geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 5 drops, cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) 3 drops in 20 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil. Use as a body massage or to massage the solar plexus (where the rib cage makes a V-shape).

De-stress blend
Add sandalwood (Santalum album) 1 drop, lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 3 drops and sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) 2 drops to a vaporiser to help calm you down.

Stress relief blend
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) 3 drops, sandalwood (Santalum album) 3 drops, lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 2 drops in a vaporiser.

Uplifting blend
Blend sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) 4 drops, lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 3 drops and geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 2 drops in 20 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil. Gently massage a small amount of the blend into the back of the neck, onto the chest and over the solar plexus (where the rib cage makes a V-shape).

Fear and anger
Cedarwood atlas (Cedrus atlantica) 4 drops, sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) 3 drops, lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) 3 drops in 20mls cold pressed vegetable oil or in vaporiser.

Caring for Yourself
Too often as a carer you are so busy caring for another that you neglect your own needs and health.

Once you begin caring for a parent, spouse or child the relationship between you can change. This can result in more conflict and frustration on both sides. One may feel they are being told what to do and have little say in their treatment and life. The other may feel their advice is being ignored or they are being taken for granted with little or no time for themself.

They may both worry about finances and how they will pay for doctors, medication and other bills connected with their illness and living expenses.

medication

Following the advice above about eating well, exercising regularly, getting a good night’s sleep and getting help when you need it will all help you cope with the demands placed on you by caring.

Find someone you can talk to when it all gets a bit too much. This could be a family member, friend or professional counsellor. Join a Carer Support Group in your area where you can talk over your experiences and get tips and support from others who are going through similar experiences.

Most importantly give yourself the gift of time for yourself to do the things that you love or need. One of the fears that carers have is losing themselves and forgetting who they are on a deep level. Another is putting their life on hold. By taking sometime for yourself each day you stay in touch with you and your wishes and desires. You can remain strong whatever happens as you are nourishing yourself on a deeper level emotionally and spiritually.

young-woman-on-mini-retreat

Being a carer is not easy but the challenges you overcome can strengthen your relationship with yourself and the one you are caring for.

Some carer resources in Australia

http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/
https://www.carersnsw.org.au/
http://www.carersvictoria.org.au/
http://carersqld.asn.au/
http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/benefits-and-payments/carers\
https://www.carergateway.gov.au/what-is-respite-care?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy6OQ26qF1wIVUh9oCh0ThgL-EAAYAiAAEgKgXPD_BwE

Myrtle (Myrtus communis)

Myrtle

Family: Myrtaceae

Synonyms: Corsican pepper.

Aroma: Clear, fresh, camphoraceous, sweet, herbaceous.

Colour: Pale yellow to green.

Blue_myrtle_berriesPlant: A large bush or small tree with many tough but slender branches, a brownish red bark and small sharp pointed leaves. It has white flowers followed by small bluish black berries.

Main Growing Areas: North Africa, Mediterranean.

Major Constituents: Myrtenyl acetate, 1,8 cineole, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol.

Interesting snippets: The ancient Egyptians macerated myrtle leaves in wine to counteract fever and infection.
In Ancient Greece myrtle incense was burnt on Aphrodite’s (the goddess of love and beauty) altar.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and twigs by steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains, arthritis, inflamed skin, bruises, psoriasis and eczema. Helpful for stress and insomnia.

Emotional and Spiritual: Uplifting, refreshing. Eases anxiety and tension and soothes feelings of anger, greed, envy and fear.

Provides protection during major life transitions and promotes harmony, love and respect.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that myrtle maybe helpful for people who have had experiences that have made them temporarily unable to see their own beauty and for those with addictions and self-destructive behaviour.

Robbi Zeck writes during dark times, when you are in pain, struggling or feeling disheartened, gentle myrtle with its air of beauty and purity brings comfort and an elemental return to the source. When you are experiencing feelings of separation, use myrtle as a reminder that we are all born connected. Walk in your own beauty and be at one with all things. May there always be beauty around you, above you, below you and within you. Know that you are the gift who shines beauty and light out to others.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that its spirit is energetic truth, and forgiveness, giving support to the unsupported and teaching that divine love embraces all living beings

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)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Header image photo of myrtle by Forest & Kim Starr.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis / Chamaemelum nobile)

Roman chamomile

I have written about German Chamomile previously.  Roman Chamomile is considered a safe oil to use on children and excellent for emotional issues.

Family: Asteraceae, Compositae

Synonyms: English chamomile, garden chamomile, true chamomile

Aroma: Sweet, hay-like, herbaceous scent with a hint of apples.

Colour: Pale yellow.

Roman chamomilePlant: Bushy feathery leaves on a 25cm long stem containing a single flower. The flowers are larger than those of German chamomile.

Main Growing Areas: Italy, France, England, USA.

Major Constituents: a-pinene, camphene, sabinene, methallyl angelate.

Interesting snippets: Roman chamomile has a long history as a healing herb. It has been used by the Greeks, Romans and Moors.
In Tudor England it was known as the ‘plant’s physician’ as it was believed to encourage the good health of nearby plants.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Flower heads / steam distillation. 5kg of fresh flowers yields approximately 1kg of dried flowers. This yields about 1% oil when distilled.
Roman chamomile is an expensive oil because it is very labour intensive. The harvest season lasts about two and a half months with the flowers being harvested every two weeks. The percentage of oil obtained from each distillation is also very low. You can buy good quality Roman chamomile in a 3 to 5% dilution in jojoba. This makes the oil very affordable.

Therapeutic actions: Teething pain and colic in children. Menstrual pain, muscular aches and pains. Indigestion and nausea. Use in a blend to massage the abdomen / stomach.

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous tension, stress, tension headaches, anxiety and insomnia. Considered a calming and relaxing oil. Helpful to settle children who have nightmares or insomnia. Try combining with lavender or mandarin.
Joni Keim Loughran and Ruah Bull write that Roman chamomile gives us a calm acceptance of our own limitations.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I treat myself gently and lovingly especially when those around me don’t.

Roman chamomile FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Roman chamomile CFTS card

Are you feeling let down by someone or impatient like a child waiting for something to happen?
Are you feeling grumpy, discontented or frustrated about some issue in your life?
Perhaps you have let others walk all over you in an effort to win their love or approval.
It’s time to let go of the worry, tears, pain, hurt, resentment and anxiety that has been plaguing you.
Consider if it is worth keeping those people in your life who do not respect you and if not let them go.
Forgive and be gentle with yourself for being fooled by someone or something.
It’s time to trust again and ask for the help and support you need.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitizing although there have been rare cases of contact dermatitis.

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)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Kerr J, Chamomile Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.6 (1998)

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

clary sage

Clary sage carries spiritual timelessness within itself
– a second could be a year, a year a second –
and brings the realization
that it’s how much love we can pour into a second that counts.
Valerie Ann Worwood

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) should not be confused with Sage (Salvia officinalis).
Family: Lamiaceae

Synonyms: Muscatel sage, clary.

Aroma: Bittersweet, spicy, camphoraceous, muscat-like.

Colour: Pale yellowy green

Clary sagePlant: Biennial or perennial herb grows between 30 and 100cm with tall flower spikes rising above hairy heart-shaped leaves. The flowers are pale blue, lavender, pink or white.

Main Growing Areas: France, Russia, USA, Morocco, England, the Mediterranean, Australia.

Major Constituents: The exact composition of the oil varies depending on the area where it is grown. Linalyl acetate, linalool, alpha-terpineol, geraniol, sclareol.

Interesting snippets: The herb was highly esteemed in the Middle Ages for digestive disorders, uterine and menstrual complaints and as a general nerve tonic.
In 19th century England the herb was used to add bitterness when brewing beer. The beer was renowned for producing a euphoric intoxication followed by a severe headache.
Was used to combat the night sweats and strengthen the immune system of patients with tuberculosis in the past.

clary-sage-6Part of Plant used / Extraction: Flowering tops and foliage by steam distillation. A higher elevation and drier soil will yield 2-3 times more oil per plant than one grown at a lower elevation and in moist soil.

Therapeutic actions: Muscle relaxant, antispasmodic and regulator of woman’s hormones. Scanty periods, PMS and said to be a uterine tonic able to induce labour and to restart contractions if they have stopped. Muscular stiffness and spasm, tired, aching legs, headache and migraine.

Emotional and Spiritual: Stress related conditions. She seems to encourage vivid dreams and enhances creative work due to her narcotic effect. Clary sage causes feelings of euphoria and elation.

Gabriel Mojay writes that clary sage is indicated for nervous anxiety and depression characterised by changeable moods, indecision and emotional confusion. When we have lost our felt instinct for our life’s true purpose unable to see clearly in the here and now clary sage restores lucidity to the instincts and allows inspiration to flow.

Robbi Zeck writes that clary sage switches on the inner lights, caresses the creative mind, awakens your sensory perception and broadens your intuitive horizons. It enables you to access deeper parts of the subconscious as you explore options and sift through information, leading to inspired decision-making.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Clary Sage Insight card Courtesy of J.Jefferies & K.Osborn

CLARITY
For times of emotional and mental confusion, mood swings and indecision, or just when you feel burnt out and weepy. Clary Sage restores harmony and regenerates interest in life, helping you to be clear about what you want and how to get it. Do not be influenced by others. Stay clear and focused as to what you want. Access and work with your intuition to remove events that distract you from your path. Travel that road emotionally uplifted, but in a calm state. Clary Sage does not throw you over the top, but keeps you confident and steadfast in reality by connecting you to the earth. Broaden your perception and your horizons, tapping into your subconscious to make those choices clearly, and now.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I listen to my intuition and follow its guidance.

Clary Sage Fragrant Change Healing card

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Best to avoid using if you will be drinking alcohol as she can lead to a severe hangover and nightmares. Some authors have suggested this oil not be used during pregnancy as it may cause a miscarriage but there has been no evidence shown that supports this.

Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Davis, P, Aromatherapy, An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr, J, Clary Sage Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.3 (1997)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

 

 

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)

Ginger header

With the courage encapsulated in ginger’s fragrant breath, we can utter that one crucial word, or think that one crucial thought, that changes our direction and starts the walk along a new and brighter road.
Valerie Ann Worwood

Family: Zingiberaceae

Aroma: Rich warm and spicy. The CO2 distilled oil smells more like the ginger root than the steam distilled.

Colour: Clear yellow to orangey yellow with a hint of green

gingerPlant: Reed like erect leafy perennial growing up to one metre with a branched thick, pungent tuberous rhizome (root) growing horizontally near the surface. Flowers are small, yellow-green with purple lips.

 

Main Growing Areas: Jamaica, China, India, Africa, Australia

Major Constituents: camphene, beta-sesquiphellandrene, zingiberene, curcumene, gingerin, gingenol, gingerone. There can be a significant variation in the main constituents depending on where the ginger is grown and distilled. This may affect the aroma and could possibly influence the therapeutic actions.

Interesting snippets: Ginger’s use predates written records. It was and still is used as a spice.
In India, it is said that ginger awakens “agni”, the inner fire of divinity and creativity.
In the Middle Ages ginger was used to counter the Black Death.

ginger rootPart of Plant used /Extraction: Root / Steam distilled from the dried, ground, unpeeled rhizome. It takes between 20 and 30 rhizomes to produce 1 kilo of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Nausea, travel and morning sickness. Poor circulation, cold hands and feet, muscular aches and pains. Eases menstrual cramps. Coughs, colds and sore throats. Poor appetite.

Ginger teaGinger Infusion/Tea: Cut very thin slivers from the ginger root, and simmer them for 10 minutes using about 6 thin slivers from a root of average thickness, to each cupful of water. Add a little honey to make a drink to quell travel and morning sickness, stomach cramps and for colds and flu. (Recipe from Patricia Davis)

Emotional and Spiritual: Activates willpower, stimulates initiative, restores determination. In those with poor vitality it can help to boost their confidence and morale. Helps when you are feeling emotionally cold and flat. Nervous and/or physical exhaustion.

Energizes the aura and encourages inspiration, enlightenment and the replacement of continued futile struggle with a knowing acceptance and transformation.

Gabriel Mojay writes that ginger is indicated for those who may have clear plans and good intentions, but who lack the personal drive and optimism to manifest initiative and take real or immediate action. They are frequently disconnected from their physical body, and may shy away from vigorous and sustained activity.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Ginger

STAMINA / PROCRASTINATING
Ginger releases you from procrastinating so that you can just get on with what has to be done.
For the emotionally cold-hearted, warm yourself and draw on those hidden reserves of energy. Stop waiting for the right time to do things, as the right time never comes. Take the initiative and complete the hard tasks, and you will feel energized and free. Utilise Ginger to draw on those hidden reserves of energy and stamina, reviving yourself physically with Ginger’s warmth.

Fragrant Change: I have the strength and endurance to move forward and succeed.

Ginger FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Ginger CFTS card

Are you procrastinating, waiting for the right time or people before you begin a project?
Do you lack the courage and conviction to put your ideas out there and act on them?
Do you spend more time talking about what you will do rather than taking action?
Do you have good ideas, make plans but fail to put them into action due to self-doubt?
Make the decision to begin acting on your ideas.
Take one small action step today towards achieving your goal.
Continue each day to take another step until you have reached your goal.
Have the courage and confidence to do what’s right for you and put your plans into action.

Safety: Non toxic, non irritant but may cause sensitisation in some individuals.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils (2006)
Davis P, Aromatherapy An A-Z The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Kerr, J, Ginger Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.22 (2002)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)

Kunzea (Kunzea ambigua)

Kunzea

Kunzea is one of my favourite oils for easing emotional pain.

Family: Myrtaceae

Synonyms: Tick bush, Ducane kunzea.

Aroma: Clean, fresh.

Colour: Pale to golden yellow.

Kunzea flowers 4Plant: Tall, up to 5 metres shrub with small dark green leaves on long arching thin branches. Flowers are small, white (rarely pink) and profuse being 1.5 cm in diameter and crowded along short lateral bracts.

Main Growing Areas: North East Tasmania, South East mainland Australia.

Major Constituents: alpha-pinene, 1,8 cineole, globulol, viridiflorol, biocyclogermacrene.

Interesting snippets: Native animals seek relief from infestations of ticks by brushing against, sleeping or lying under the trees.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves, stems and branches by steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Gout, insect bites, cuts, minor burns, muscular aches and pains, arthritis, flu, shingles, eczema.

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous tension, stress, mild anxiety.
Robbi Zeck writes kunzea helps to defuse deep emotional pain that has grown solid as a result of suppression, creating internal blocks in the body’s meridian system. Pain and crisis are part of the human cycle and mindful awareness can transform pain. Pain in the body indicates that something is wrong. Pain can also activate growth and a potential for healing. Pain is often the opening through which you can learn to trust yourself and see yourself differently. Learn to breathe your spirit fully into life. Use your breath to move you through the fear of pain and the pain of fear. There is no such thing as an event or a pain without a feeling associated with it. Where there is pain in the body, there is always an emotion attached to the pain. Kunzea assists in the release of physical and emotional pain and in transforming the immediate shock of accidents.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I acknowledge the pain I feel and gently realease it.

Kunzea

Contemplations for the Soul:

Kunzea

Have you been deeply hurt by the words or actions of others?
Have you done things that have hurt you on an emotional or spiritual level?
Have you suppressed or buried the pain so as not to feel it?
It’s time to acknowledge your feelings, forgive those who caused the pain and let it go.
Release those who are causing you pain in your life.
Find a place where you feel safe. This may include visiting a therapist or speaking to a trusted friend or family member.
Regain your confidence. Know that fear and pain are a part of life but dealing with them when they occur instead of supressing them will allow you to move on and enjoy life.

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

Sources: Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)

Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)

Webb, M, Kunzea Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.21 (2002)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)