Tag Archives: nervous exhaustion

Sweet Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Sweet thyme header

Family: Lamiaceae

Synonyms: Common thyme, garden thyme

Aroma: Sweet, warm, herbaceous

Colour: Reddish amber

Sweet thymePlant: A perennial herb that grows to 40cm (8 inches) in height with narrow, deep green gray elliptical leaves and white to lilac flowers.

Main Growing Areas: France, Spain and the Mediterranean.

Major Constituents: Linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinene-4-ol, thymol, beta-caryophyllene

Interesting snippets: Roman soldiers bathed in a bath infused with thyme before entering battle.

Thyme was a strewing herb in Britain and was included in the posies carried by judges and kings to protect them from disease in public.

Thyme was used with clove, lemon and chamomile essential oils as a disinfectant and antiseptic in hospitals until World War 1.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and flowering tops/ steam distillation

Therapeutic actions: analgesic, antifungal, expectorant, bronchitis, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infections, arthritic and rheumatic pain, boils and infected pimples, cold hands and feet, chronic fatigue

Emotional and Spiritual: relieves fear and apathy, clears energy blockages, promotes self-confidence and courage, nervous depression, mental fatigue, stress, emotional confusion, mood swings, feeling disconnected

Robbi Zeck writes that thyme activates a vital force for the positive use of willpower, strengthening resolve and assisting in the breaking of negative patterns or habits. Thyme brings in a dynamic quality of energy that is needed by the physical body to maintain willpower, instilling a greater sense of fulfillment, empowerment and strong belief in oneself.

Gabriel Mojay states that by restoring morale at the very deepest level, thyme seeks to imbue both spiritual fortitude and bodily vigour. Whether discouraged, demoralised, apprehensive or alienated, we should always consider reaching for the oil’s warm and virile strength.

Philippe Mailhebiau writes that sweet thyme is very helpful for children suffering psychic problems due to parental lack of understanding and conflicts and who are unbalanced by family disharmony, due to its strong antidepressive and stimulating effect on the psyche.

Valerie Ann Worwood states that thyme joins with our guardians in assisting us in having strength and love for ourselves during times of reconciliation, when we strive to acknowledge the shadows and disrobe the outer shell of protection – the disguise which we may find difficult even to acknowledge.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Thyme Insight cardWILLPOWER & STRENGTH
Thyme is a fortifying essential oil that dispels despondency and negativity, giving those who withdraw, the strength to emerge with self-confidence and overcome obstacles. It removes fears and gives strength to feel fulfilled and worthy. Trust your intuition and draw on its power and influence to strengthen your will. Work with the positive aspects of willpower to draw on the dynamic energy of thyme and strengthen yourself on all levels.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I am strong enough to overcome any obstacle.

Sweet Thyme FCHCContemplations for the Soul:Thyme Contemplation cardIs there something you need to do but lack the strength and resolve to do it?
Are you feeling discouraged, despondent and negative with no belief in your ability to change?
Do have difficulty overcoming obstacles in your life?
Break those negative habits and strengthen your belief in yourself.
If you’re lacking in resolve look internally to understand the reason why.
Is it because you really don’t want to do it or are you afraid of the consequences if you do it?
Begin building your self-confidence by taking small action steps.
Each day do something to increase your confidence and belief in yourself.

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

Atterby D, Thyme Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.46 (2009)
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)
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)
Mailhebiau P, Portraits in Oils. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1995)
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)


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

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)

Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

melissa header

Family: Lamiaceae

Synonyms: Lemon balm, balm, common balm, bee balm.

Aroma: Fresh, sweet, lemony, herbaceous.

Colour: Pale yellow.

Melissa flowersPlant: Perennial herb that grows up to 90cm with tiny white or pink flowers. When crushed the leaves exude a sweet lemony aroma.

Main Growing Areas: France, Germany, Italy, Spain.

Major Constituents: Geranial, neral, citronellal, citral, beta-caryophyllene.

Interesting snippets: Melissa is said to be the name of the Cretan princess who first discovered how to get honey.

King Charlemagne (742-814) ordered lemon balm to be planted in every monastery garden because of its beauty.

Melissa was used in Arabia in the 10th century as a treatment for melancholy.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Steam distillation of the aerial parts of the plant before it flowers. The highest yields are extracted in late summer from the lower parts of the plant. Oil yield is approximately 0.02% by weight. It is often adulterated with lemongrass or citronella oils.

Therapeutic actions: Cold sores, flu, shingles, nausea, migraines, painful periods.

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous exhaustion.
Robbi Zeck writes that like a beam of light on a dark winter’s day, melissa softens extreme emotions, eases resentment, gladdens the heart and engages the soul in its own graceful rhythm.

Gabriel Mojay writes that melissa is important for depression, particularly in those who are emotionally sensitive, easily traumatised by confrontation and do not respond well to pressure. Melissa can reach the deepest layers of the psyche and can help to restore both clarity and security to a confused, dependent soul.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I express my hurt and anger in a healthy way.

Melissa FCHC

Safety: Possible skin irritant to hypersensitive people, possibly 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)
Jefferies J, Melissa Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.35 (2006)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)


“Smell of rain, smell of spearmint, smell of soil.
And smell of boughs that are wet of gentle spring rain and shining clean”
Ali Shariati

I prefer to use spearmint rather than peppermint for children. There are also adults who prefer her to peppermint as she has a gentler aroma and energy. This is due to the different chemical constituents of spearmint and peppermint.

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae).

Synonyms: Common Spearmint (M.viridis), Garden mint.

Aroma: The aroma is similar to but less potent than peppermint.

Colour: Pale olive to pale yellow.

spearmint-leaves-and-flowersPlant: Grows to 75cm in height with oval or lance shaped bright green leaves. Slender spikes of small aromatic white, pink or lilac clustered flowers appear from summer to early autumn. It has a system of underground runners that grow outward from the buds situated at the base of the stem. If the roots are not contained it will overwhelm other plants and rapidly crossbreed with other nearby mints.

Main Growing Areas: Native to the Mediterranean but grown in many countries with the USA being the largest producer.

Major Constituents: Carvone, limonene, linalool, 1.8 cineole. (-)-carvone gives spearmint its typical aroma. As with other oils the aroma can vary due to differences in temperature, humidity, soil fertility and time of harvest. Spearmint contains very little menthol in comparison with peppermint.

Interesting snippets: The ancient Greeks used it in their bath as both a tonic and scent.
The Romans introduced spearmint into Britain where it was used it to stop milk from curdling.
In medieval times it was used to heal sore gums and whiten teeth.
Mentha comes from the Greek meaning mint or the Latin mente meaning thought.
Spearmint is thought to be the oldest of the mints and named spere mynte in the 16th century.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Flowering tops and leaves. The plants are usually harvested after the plant has flowered but before the seeds have ripened. Steam distilled from the flowering tops but the leaves and stem can also be steam distilled. The process can take between 35 and 50 minutes.

Therapeutic actions: Alleviates digestive disorders, nausea, wind, constipation, diarrhoea.
Relieves hiccups and nausea by relaxing the stomach muscles. Can also be used for travel sickness.
Because of her anti-inflammatory, decongestant and expectorant properties she is good to use as an inhalation at the first sign of a cold.
Research has shown spearmint to be effective against both gram+ and gram- bacteria and fungi and so could be considered in a blend for infected skin.

Emotional and Spiritual: Mental stimulant that cools and uplifts, good for tired minds, mental fatigue,  lightness of being, stress induced nervousness, nervous exhaustion, soothes the nervous system.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

spearmint aromatherapy insight cardINVIGORATION
Spearmint invigorates all levels of our being. Fresh and tingly, cool and soothing, Spearmint lifts heavy emotions and helps keep a clear intention to preserve and utilise your energies efficiently. Live the invigoration that Spearmint can bring to your life.

Contemplations for the Soul:Spearmint CFTS card

Are you feeling emotionally, mentally and physically fatigued?
Do you feel too tired to complete your tasks or face the day?
Are you building walls around your emotions in order not to feel them?
It’s time to start rebuilding your energy levels and bring joy back into your life.
Look at your diet. Is it draining or energising you?
Deal with what’s worrying you. Resisting or hiding emotions you consider too painful or shameful uses a great deal of energy.
Bring them into the light, face and feel them and free up your energy for more important things.
Be vulnerable, feel your emotions and see your energy levels soar.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising. Advisable not to use neat on children under 18 months of age.

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)
Hodges C, Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr, J, Spearmint Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.29 (2004)
Price L, Spearmint. The Aromatherapist, Vol 5, No 2 (1998)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)


“There is a lot more juice in a grapefruit than meets the eye.”

Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: C. racemosa, C. maxima var. racemosa

Aroma: Sweet, fresh, citrusy

Colour: Yellow with a hint of green

Grapefruit tree and fruitPlant: A large tree growing to 30 metres with glossy dark green leaves and large fragrant flowers. The fruit is usually yellow but may vary in colour depending on the cultivar.

Main Growing Areas: California, Israel and Australia

Major Constituents: Limonene, nootkatone, octanal and decanal

Interesting snippets: Grapefruit probably originated in Barbados from a natural cross between pummelo (Citrus maxima) and sweet orange (Citrus sinesis).

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Cold pressed from rind. The essential oil is usually produced as a by-product of fruit juice extraction.

Therapeutic actions: Constipation, nausea, fluid retention, cellulite

Emotional and Spiritual: Mentally refreshing and energising, stress, nervous exhaustion, depression, mental and spiritual clarity, helps to achieve harmony and balance calms mind chatter

Robbi Zeck writes that when you are feeling drained, strung out and depressed, Grapefruit provides a new zest for life. With its light, fruity aroma it gives wings to feelings of heaviness, uplifts sagging spirits and radiates optimism. Learn from your obstacles and cultivate the ability to remain open to the moment. Life is essentially refreshingly sweet and Grapefruit brings the gift of appreciation. Live your life consciously every moment and take full advantage of every single day.

Gabriel Mojay writes that grapefruit is particularly suited to those individuals who, tense and under pressure, resort to food as a means of dealing with difficult emotions. Essentially cleansing, clarifying and refreshing, it works to rid the ‘heavy’ feelings that accompany those of angry disappointment, allowing us to perceive and accept more realistic goals.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:


Renew that zest for life. Stop feeling disappointed and wrung out. Focus on life’s positives, looking after yourself better and nurturing yourself emotionally. Grapefruit removes heavy, negative emotions that can feed our addictions when expectations are not met. An emotional purifier, grapefruit releases self-doubt and frustration, get out of that mood and have some childlike fun again. Be optimistic and move from the state of poverty consciousness to prosperity consciousness.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I appreciate all that I have and the abundance that flows to me each day.

Grapefruit FCHCContemplations for the Soul Card:

Grapefruit CFTS card

Have you lost your zest for life?
Does it all seem too much and you just want to go back to bed and forget about the world.
Are you finding it hard to see or find what is good in your life?
Are you a perfectionist with impossibly high standards that no one including yourself can live up to?
Begin today to appreciate what you have even if it is something as simple as the gift of friendship.
Accept also that you and others in your life are doing the best you/they can even if you/they don’t live up to your standards.
As you begin to appreciate the people and all that you have in your life your mood will lift allowing more peace and opportunities to come your way.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic. Possibly mildly photosensitive.

Note Grapefruit essential oil deteriorates quickly on exposure to air, daylight or moisture. Keep in the refrigerator to prolong her shelf life to a maximum of 12 months.

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 Healing, Frog Books (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, Grapefruit Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.21 (2002)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

Angelica header

Angelica – Like a tiny bell, an angelus, softly calling, it asks us “what do you really believe in?” Jane Grayson

There is an angelica essential oil made from the seeds of the angelica plant but I am discussing the oil made from the root here.

Family: Apiaceae

Synonyms: Angelica officinalis, garden angelica, wild celery, Holy Ghost.

Aroma: Earthy, peppery, herbaceous.

Colour: Pale to light yellow when freshly extracted, changing to dark orange and then brown due to age and oxidation.

Angelica Plant: Large hairy plant up to 2 metres with ferny leaves and umbels of white flowers followed by pale yellow oblong fruits. It has a strong aroma and large rhizome.

Main Growing Areas: Europe, Siberia, Belgium, Hungary, Germany.

Major Constituents: Alpha-pinene, 1,8 cineole, alpha-phellandrene, limonene, borneol, angelicine, bergaptene.

Interesting snippets: In 1665 a monk had a dream in which St Michael the archangel told him to use the herb to help victims of the bubonic plague.
The liquor Benedictine derives its distinctive flavour from angelica.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Dried root by steam distillation.154 grams of root yields about .453592 grams of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Painful periods, arthritic pain, sinus infections, coughs, colds, bronchitis, migraine, lack of appetite.

Emotional and Spiritual: Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that angelica is for those who are afraid, timid, weak or who lack perseverance and have a tough time making decisions.

Robbi Zeck writes that angelica brings a fiery action to the physical vitality and can assist in strengthening your resolve and to follow through with your convictions. Angelica encourages you to stand your ground, to assert and to express your truth and confidence.

Gabriel Mojay states that the root oil’s influence on the mind and emotions is relaxing, stabilising and yet strengthening. It is appropriate for those who are prone to fatigue or nervous exhaustion, and who at the same time complain of insomnia and mental anxiety.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: Angelica – I receive inspiration from many sources nature, human and angelic.

AngelicaContemplations for the Soul:Angelica CFTS cardAre you having a hard time making a decision, asserting yourself or expressing your truth?
Do you lack perseverance or give up easily because things don’t seem to work out for you?
Is there another way to look at this situation and your part in it?
Have you tried everything you can think of to change or make the situation better and yet nothing seems to change?
You have an inner strength and now isn’t the time to give up.
The time has come to ask for angelic support.
The inspiration or answer you receive may come from nature, music, another person or a totally unexpected source.
Be open to all the possibilities.

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

Note: Short shelf life of 18 months as she oxidises rapidly once opened.

Sources: Atterby, D, Angelica Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.53 (2012)
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)
Grayson J, The Fragrant Year. The Aquarian Press (1993)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Mojay G, Angelica Class notes
Smith I, Angelica. In Essence Vol.6 No.1 (2007)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)