Tag Archives: wound healing

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)

Everlasting (Helichrysum italicum)


Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Immortelle, helichrysum, curry plant, gold strawflower.

Aroma: Sweet, honey-like, medicinal.

Colour: Golden yellow.

EverlastingPlant: Evergreen shrub with highly aromatic silver grey leaves and clusters of yellow daisy-like flowers.

Main Growing Areas: Corsica, Yugoslavia, France, Madagascar.

Major Constituents: alpha-pinene, gamma-curcumene, alpha-curcumene, neryl acetate, beta-caryophyllene.

Interesting snippets: The names everlasting and immortelle come from the flower’s ability to hold its colour and shape once dried.
In Italy the plant was once used as a broom.
The herb was used in ancient Greece for wound healing.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Fresh flowering tops by steam distillation. It takes over a ton of flowering heads to make between 900 gms and 1.5 kg of essential oil which is why the essential oil is so expensive.

Therapeutic actions: Bruising, sprains, cramps, scarring, wound healing, sensitive and inflamed skin, headache, muscular aches and pains, chronic coughs, rheumatoid arthritis.

Emotional and Spiritual: Emotional scarring, bitterness, frustration and resentment. Mental fatigue.

Gabriel Mojay writes that everlasting has the capacity to break through the deepest, most ‘stuck’ of negative emotions: enduring resentment, half-conscious anger, bitterness of spirit, and a stubbornly negative attitude.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that everlasting is ideal for people who may have received too little warmth and affection as children.

Robbi Zeck writes that when you are knotted-up inside and unable to stop thinking, the earthy, warming aroma of everlasting unravels the tension that develops from thoughts going round and round. If you are one of the walking wounded, yet immobilised by your thinking and your feelings, then use everlasting to ground you.

Contemplations for the Soul

Are you feeling angry, bitter, negative and resentful of those who seem to have the life you want?
Are you constantly anxious and unable to make any decisions because of it?
Things happen in our lives often in childhood that can leave us feeling emotionally scarred.
This can lead to a stubborn negative attitude and rigidity in an attempt not to experience that pain again.
Time now to begin to heal those scars, accept that you and the life you are living can change.
Go on a journey of self-discovery to find the person you were before all the hurt and pain.
Accept and even welcome change.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic, do not use if taking blood thinning medication.

Sources: Atterby, D, Everlasting Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.49 (2010)
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)
Kerr, J, Everlasting Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.25 (2003)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)


A Quick Guide to 9 Wound Healing Essential Oils

A Quick Guide to 9 Wound Healing Essential Oils header

Below is a quick guide to 9 wound healing oils. There are many others but these oils work exceptionally well. For more information on the oils click on the link.

1. Chamomile German (Matricaria recutita)
German chamomileGerman chamomile is a blue oil with a sweet herbaceous aroma. The oil is anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, cicatrisant (helps with the formation of scar tissue) and vulnerary (stops bleeding in wounds and tissue degeneration) making her an excellent choice for wound healing in both adults and children.

Use her for inflammation, boils, abscesses, infected cuts, splinters, muscular pain and sprains. Use her also for eczema, psoriasis and itchy dry skin.

German chamomile can be bought in 3% and 5% dilutions in jojoba and applied straight to the wound. If bought full strength dilute in cold pressed vegetable oil before applying to the wound. She can also be used in hot and cold compresses. See Guidelines for Diluting Essential Oils for more information.

2. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot Bergamot is well known for her anti-anxiety effect but she is also a wound healer.

Antiseptic, cicatrisant, febrifuge (reduces high body temperature), vulnerary.

Use bergamot for cold sores, shingles, wounds and acne.

Bergamot is photo sensitive and should only be used in dilutions of less than 1%. Avoid exposing the skin to sunlight for 24 hours.

3. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Geranium flowerGeranium essential oil is distilled from the leaves and flowers. She is not the red geranium you see growing in most gardens being much shorter and bushier.

The oil is antiseptic, cicatrisant, haemostatic (stops bleeding), styptic (stops external bleeding) and vulnerary.

Geranium is a good oil to use for burns, wounds, skin abrasions, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne, athlete’s foot and ulcers.

4. Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
HelichrysumHelichrysum is also known as everlasting and immortelle. She is an expensive oil but well known for her ability to heal bruising and may even stop it if applied fast enough.

The flowering tops are steam distilled and the oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cicatrisant and fungicidal (destroys fungal infections).

Use her to help reduce old scars, eczema, dermatitis and itchy skin rashes.

5. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
Lavender BeesLavender has been called first aid in a bottle. She is a very gentle oil and safe to use on children. There are many different lavenders so please ensure you get Lavendula angustifolia.

Lavender is analgesic, antiseptic, cicatrisant, rubefacient (increases blood flow and warming) and vulnerary.

Use her for wounds, ulcers, cuts, scratches, minor burns, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, boils and acne, sunburn, insect bites, muscular aches and pains.

Use her diluted in cold pressed vegetable oil, as a compress or mist spray.

6. Myrrh (Commiphora molmol)
myrrh resin Myrrh is steam distilled from a resin. She has been used since ancient times for wound healing although not as an essential oil.

She is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cicatrisant, fungicidal and vulnerary.

Use myrrh for chronic and slow healing wounds and ulcers, weepy eczema and athlete’s foot. She can also be used to heal wounds of an emotional nature.

For mouth and gum infections and ulcers add a drop of myrrh to a glass of water, swish around the mouth and spit out. You can also use myrrh tincture.

7. Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Patchouli leaves and flowersPatchouli was used to protect cashmere shawls from moths in Victorian times.

She is antiseptic, cicatrisant, cytophylactic (encourages the growth of skin cells), febrifuge (reduces high body temperatures), fungicidal and an insecticide.

Use her for rough cracked skin, sores, wounds, eczema and fungal infections

8. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
tea treeTea tree is well known for her ability to clean and heal wounds.

She is antiseptic, cicatrisant, fungicidal and an insecticide.

Use tea tree for wounds, skin abrasions, minor burns, weeping ulcers, nail infections, athlete’s foot, mouth ulcers (see myrrh above), infected rashes and muscular aches and pains.

9. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
yarrowYarrow like German chamomile is a blue oil and has a similar aroma.

She is also distilled from the leaves and flowering tops.

Yarrow is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cicatrisant and haemostatic.

Use for wounds, open sores and eczema.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)

Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)

Spikenard header

Family: Valerianaceae

Synonyms: Nard, false valerian root, Nardostachys grandiflora, jatamansi

Aroma: Warm, earthy, peaty, bittersweet, woody.

Colour: Pale to deep amber, blue to green.
Although most authors write that spikenard is pale to deep amber in colour, Meg Shehad states that true spikenard is blue to green in colour and a reconstituted oil made from patchouli oil called spikenard is pale to deep amber.

spikenard-nardostachys-jatamansiPlant: Aromatic herb that grows to 1 metre with long spoon like leaves and small rosy, pale pink or blue flowers and a fragrant rhizome root.

Main Growing Areas: Himalayan mountains, Nepal, northern India.

Major Constituents: borynl acetate, isobornyl valerianate, borneol, terpineol, patchouol, eugenol.

Interesting snippets: Early Egyptian, Hebrew and Hindu civilizations used her for both ritual and medicinal purposes.

Spikenard is the oil Mary Magdalene used to anoint the feet of Jesus.

She was also used as a consecrated oil for monarchs and high initiates.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Rhizome and roots, steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Antispasmodic so good for nausea, constipation, intestinal colic and helpful for haemorrhoids and varicose veins. Nourishes and soothes the skin easing the symptoms of dermatitis and psoriasis. Wound healing.

Emotional and Spiritual: Nervous tension, anxiety, insomnia and stress related symptoms. She can instil a profound sense of peace.

Gabriel Mojay writes that it works to replace despondency and resentment with acceptance and compassion. Nourishing the hope of both heart and soul, spikenard allows us to “surrender” and through its serenity and earthy humility, conveys the power of devotion to one’s chosen path.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that spikenard is a fragrance of forgiveness offered with love. Its purpose is to release the past from the shackles of our own making, those which relentlessly bind us to repeating actions which affect the freedom of the spirit.

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

Sources: Davis, P, Aromatherapy, An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Shehad M, https://www.gritman.com/blog/spikenard-buyer-beware/
Smith I, Spikenard. In Essence Vol.6 No.2 (2007)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Milfoil, thousand weed, achillea, soldier’s woundwort.

Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous similar to German chamomile.

Colour: Deep blue.

Yarrow 7Plant: Perennial with tiny clusters of white or pink flowers growing to a metre in height. The lower part of the stem is leafless and woody while the upper stem has alternate feathery lace like leaves.

Main Growing Areas: Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, France.

Major Constituents: Camphor, 1,8 cineole, iso-artemisia, azulenes, achilline, sabinene.

Interesting snippets: Grown specifically for medicinal use as it is considered a weed in most places.
Yarrow tea has long been used for mild digestive upsets and menstrual cramps.
It is said that Achilles tended his soldier’s wounds with yarrow during the war with Troy.
The 50 wooden sticks used for the I-Ching were made from the stems of the yarrow plant.

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

Therapeutic actions: Cuts and abrasions, eczema, menstrual pain.

Emotional and Spiritual: Gabriel Mojay writes that yarrow oil is most appropriate for those in whom feelings of anger or rage are linked subconsciously with emotional wounding and vulnerability.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi considers yarrow the perfect oil for times of major life changes such as mid-life crisis and menopause because it helps reconcile opposing forces when we are feeling torn.

Robbi Zeck asks you to learn how to maintain your balance in every situation without abandoning your integrity. Ask for clarity of vision so that your inner perspectives will match your external actions. Yarrow with its balancing action refines the senses, enhancing the power of your insights as well as your outer vision.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I am nurtured and protected as I release the anger, pain and bitterness from the past.

Yarrow FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul:

Have you been deeply hurt and are still feeling angry and bitter about it?
You may find yourself lashing out at every perceived insult, hurt and offence in order not to feel any pain and protect yourself.
You may become defensive seeing insults where none are intended.
You may pretend that these insults or hurts have no effect on you while sinking deeper into anger at yourself for not addressing them, leading to a depression or sadness that seems never ending.
Take time now to nurture yourself as you release all the bitterness, pain and anger.
Feel the pain, forgive yourself and the person or people who caused it; let it all go knowing you will come through this stronger and able to love and feel joy again.

Safety: Non-irritating, possibly sensitising, non-toxic. Possibly best not to use in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kerr, J, Yarrow Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.19 (2001)
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)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

German chamomile

German chamomile is best known for easing the pain and inflammation of red, itchy skin but she also has lesser known spiritual and emotional benefits too.

Family: Asteraceae, Compositae

Synonyms: Blue chamomile, Hungarian chamomile

Aroma: The steam distilled oil has a sweeter, fruitier aroma than the CO2 exacted oil which smells more like newly mown grass.

Colour: Blue if steam distilled, yellowish green if CO2 extracted

German chamomilePlant: An annual herb that grows up to 60cm tall with a hairless, erect branching system. The flower has a dark yellow to orange dome shape centre with the flower head being 1.5cm broad with 15 to 18 white strap shape petals that drop downward.

Main Growing Areas: Native to Europe and Western Asia, Hungry, France

Major Constituents: Farnesene, chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol oxide A&B, beta-caryophyllene

Interesting snippets:
German chamomile is the oldest known medical herb.
In Germany it is known as good for everything, the Greeks called it ground apple and in Spain it is known as little apple.
Chamomile stands for patience in adversity in the language of flowers.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Partly dried flower heads are used in steam distillation while fully dried flower tops are used in CO2 extraction. Steam distillation produces 0.1-0.5% essential oil while CO2 extraction produces 4-5%.

Therapeutic actions: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing, eczema, ulcers, sprains, PMS and menstrual pain, mouth ulcers, muscular pain, eases the itchiness of insect bites.

Emotional and Spiritual:
Valerie Ann Worwood writes when confusion seems to have become prevalent in a person’s spiritual life, and the laws of the Creator seem to have no meaning to the life we live on earth, then the fragrance can often help us to understand.

According to Robbi Zeck it helps loosen the grip of old habits, ideas and beliefs that are no longer useful in living the life you want to live. She asks you to imagine your life speaking to you and consider what it would say.

Joni Keim Loughran and Ruah Bull write that it helps you to identify what is true, and also a way to speak it with grace, accuracy and power. To achieve this, it helps you to be centred, grounded and to think clearly.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Chamomile German insight card

Chamomile assists you to let go of emotional worries and break patterns that are limiting your potential. Learn that you will be in more control if you let go and trust the process of the happenings around you. Allow life’s adventures to be just that, adventures. Chamomile will assist you to stop being critical of yourself and others just because events or people are not living up to your expectations. Remember your expectations are just that and move on.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitizing

Sources: Atterby D, German Chamomile Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.45 (2009)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A-Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens)

Palo santo header

Palo Santo belongs to the same family as elemi, frankincense and myrrh.

Family: Burseraceae

Synonyms: Holy wood, incense tree because of the resemblance of the twigs of the tree to incense sticks.

Aroma: Refreshing woody scent with hint of frankincense

Colour: Clear to pale yellow

palo santoPlant: Grows in dry, tropical forests reaching a height of 4 to10 metres. It is densely branched with a smooth, non-peeling bark that is purple tinged but appears to be pale or silvery gray due to a covering of lichens.


Main Growing Areas: Indigenous to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and the Pacific coast of South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and the Galapagos islands).

Major Constituents: Limonene, terpineol, alpha-pinene, menthofuran, carvone, germacrene, carveol, juneol and pulegone.

Interesting snippets: The tree or limb must die a natural death and remain in the forest for 4 to 10 years to decay in order to produce a good quality essential oil. Cutting down the tree and leaving it to decay for the same amount of time will yield an oil of a poor quality.

The wood has been used in South America to make barrels for ageing wine.
The burning wood is used to repel various insect species and to protect cattle from vampire bats.

The Incas and shamans in Central and South America used and continue to use it, as part of their sacred healing rituals to heal, remove or cast spells, and gaze into the future.
In Peru, shamans light palo santo sticks and use the smoke to fumigate the aura of ritual participants in order to clear evil spirits, patterns of misfortune, and negative thinking.

palo-santoPart of Plant used /Extraction: Steam distillation of the heartwood of aged, fallen trees.

Therapeutic actions: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, antiviral, diuretic, reduces fever, sedative, headaches, wound healing, joint and muscle aches and pains, sprains and respiratory symptoms, coughing, bronchitis, asthma, colds.

Emotional and Spiritual: Grounding, calming, anxiety, depression, emotional stress or trauma, panic attacks, clears negative energy.

Safety: Possible skin sensitization if oil is old or oxidized.

Sources: Berkowsky B, Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014

Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)

Spike lavender header

Spike lavender although not as well-known as true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the first oil I reach for  in cases of respiratory and muscular issues.

Family: Lamiaceae, Labiatae.

Synonyms: Lavandula spica, Aspic lavender.

Aroma: Fresh, floral-camphoraceous, smells similar to rosemary.

Colour: Pale yellow.

Plant: Shrub grows from 30 to 80 cm tall. The flowers are pale violet on loose spikes at the top of tall, branchy stems that lean over somewhat.

Main Growing Areas: Spain, Italy,  France and  Portugal.

Major Constituents: 1.8 cineole, camphor, linalool.

Interesting snippets: Spike lavender grows at low altitudes whereas true lavender grows at high altitudes hence its high camphor content and aroma. Spike lavender is more stimulating than true lavender.
Spike lavender was used by the ancient Romans to scent their bath water.
The word Aspic comes from the Greek meaning “Egyptian cobra”. It’s possible that this name was chosen because the ancients used Spike lavender against the venom of the asp.

Part of Plant used/Extraction: Flowering tops. Steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: This is an excellent respiratory oil. Use it for bronchitis, laryngitis, headaches associated with catarrh and the onset of colds and flu with fatigue, chilliness, aches and pains. It is useful for  muscular spasms and cramps and sore overworked muscles as well as rheumatic pains and menstrual cramps. Relieves insect bites and stings. Helpful for shingles, chicken pox, wound healing and burns.

Emotional and Spiritual: Useful for nervous tension, anxiety and depression. It helps to ease frustration, irritability and moodiness in people who find it difficult to express themselves. Instils feelings of vitality and confidence while easing tension and anxiety in those with chronic fatigue.

Safety: Because of its camphor content it is perhaps wise not to use with epileptics whose seizures are not controlled by medication.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Guba R, The Really True, True Lavender Story. JAM Winter (2002)
Kerr J, Lavender Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.8 (1998)
Mailhebiau P, Portraits in Oils. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1995)
Mojay G, Spike Lavender Class notes

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender header

When my eyes were closed, at night in my little room,
my favourite hill used to come to me,
and I would sleep under an olive tree,
enveloped in the scent of hidden lavender
Marcel Pagnol

Lavender is one of the most loved and widely used oils in aromatherapy. There are many different types of lavender including Spike Lavender which I will discuss in another blog.

Family: Lamiaceae, Labiatae

Synonyms: Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula vera, True lavender, French lavender, Tasmanian lavender

Aroma: Sweet floral, herbaceous and refreshing with a balsamic wood undertone

Colour: Colourless to pale yellow

Lavender BeesPlant: It is a small very fragrant shrub that grows to a metre tall with pale green spear shaped leaves and purple flower heads on a spike.

Main Growing Areas: France, Bulgaria, China, Tasmania, England

Major Constituents: Linalool, linalyl acetate, caryophyllene, lavandulyl acetate

Interesting snippets: The name lavender comes from the Latin lavare meaning to wash or bathe. It was used by the Romans in their baths, cooking and to freshen and disinfect the air as well as to cleanse and heal their wounds.

There is evidence that the 16th century glove makers who used lavender to scent their gloves were less likely to suffer from cholera and the Black plague.

In 1970 it took 20 people four to five weeks to harvest four hectares of lavender compared to 1996 when two men and a tractor cut 30 hectares of lavender in three weeks.

Lavender oil was first distilled in the 16th century in England along with many other aromatic plants.

Dr Jean Valnet a french army surgeon who used lavender to treat serious burns and war injuries wrote that in the French Alps when the hunter’s dogs were bitten by snakes they would pick lavender, crush it and rub it onto the bites which immediately neutralised the venom.

There have been studies done showing that lavender can extend the sleep periods of people suffering from dementia.

LavenderPart of Plant used /Extraction: Flowering tops. Steam distillation. The quality of the oil can be affected by the weather, time of harvest, and the altitude. The harvested plants are left to dry for 2-3 days prior to distillation to remove most of the water content. The bulk of Lavender oil is distilled after around 20 minutes with the full distillation lasting around 40-45 minutes using dried or semi dried material. Because the amount of linalyl acetate in the essential oil is used to determine the quality and price of the oil there is always the temptation to adulterate lavender with linalyl acetate from either another cheaper botanical or synthetic source.

Therapeutic actions: Coughs and colds (I prefer to use spike lavender) wound healing, muscle spasm, minor burns, reduces scarring, eczema, measles, chicken pox, bruises, nappy rash.
Ron Guba describes lavender as a “first aid” remedy par excellence, treating a host of minor injuries, aches and pains on both the physical and emotional level.

Emotional and Spiritual: depression, insomnia, nervous tension, tension headaches, mental stress, cleanses and soothes the spirit relieving anger and exhaustion to help create a calmer approach to life. Calming, relaxing effects can help in reaching deeper states of meditation.

Gabriel Mojay writes that soothing the sense of trauma that inhibits self-expression, lavender is suited to the individual who is full of creative potential, but who is frustrated in fulfilling it due to self-conscious reserve. An aromatic “Rescue Remedy” it works to calm any strong emotions that threaten to overwhelm the mind.

Philippe Mailhebiau writes that true lavender prepares children stressed and disturbed by things going badly within the family environment for sleep and that it is the essential oil for preadolescent insomnia involving restless nights and grumpy, miserable awakenings often due to the mother’s absence at least mentally if not physically.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes when deep sadness covers the spirit like a suffocating blanket, lavender gently lifts the weight. When the inner tears fall, lavender wipes them away. When depression clouds the psyche, lavender blows it asunder. And for those with worries that trouble the spirit, lavender lifts the veil of despair.

Robbi Zeck writes that where there has been self-neglect and lack of self-care wearing away the health and energy of your body, Lavender brings nourishment and heartening reassurance.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:
Nurture yourself and your environment and step away from all that holds you back. Create your own “protected space” where you can feel uninhibited, safe and free to be all that you want to be. When you are feeling stuck emotionally or physically in life re-group your energies and start again so that you can feel strong and confident. Take the time to create your sanctuary where you can ask for and obtain all that you need.

Mother holding a baby surrounded by lavender(Courtesy of J. Jefferies & K. Osborn)

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I nourish my body and soul everyday.

Lavender affirmation

Contemplations for the Soul Card:

Lavender contemplation

What do you need to feel nurtured?
How do you nurture yourself and others?
Are you always giving to others but never to yourself?
If so why do you care so little for yourself?
Are you nurturing your creativity and talents or hiding them away because you’re shy or worried about what others may say?
If you are feeling stressed take a few minutes out of your busy day to nourish and nurture yourself.
Spend a little time giving to yourself.
This can be as simple as going for a short walk or buying yourself a little treat.
Taking time to relax and nurture yourself creates greater inner peace and harmony.
How will you nurture yourself today?

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic, safe to use with children and in pregnancy

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Guba R, The Really True, True Lavender Story. JAM Winter (2002)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
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