Essential Oil of the Month: Rosalina for Respiratory Issues and Calming!

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Botanical Name: Melaleuca ericifolia

Country of Origin: Australia

Extraction Method: Steam Distilled

Plant Part: Leaves

Strength of Aroma: Medium

Aromatic Scent: a soft, lemony, medicinal, floral scent with an earthy, gentle lavender aroma and very mild Tea Tree aroma.

Blends Well With: Blue Tansy, Citronella, Cypress, Fir Needle, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Palmarosa, Spruce and Tea Tree.

Melaleuca ericifolia, commonly known as swamp paperbark or lavender tea tree is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and the genus Melaleuca, native to south-eastern Australia. It is a rather variable species and some specimens resemble Melaleuca armillaris but its papery bark and smaller, more prolific flower heads distinguish it from that species. It often grows in swampy areas hence the name swamp paperbark. The flowers are creamy-white in colour, arranged in heads or spikes on the ends of branches which continue to grow after flowering.

Aboriginal people used the bark of this tree for paintings, blankets, and roofing for shelters. Oil from the leaves was used for medicine and nectar from the flowers was used to make sweet drinks.

Has been traditionally been used for its antibacterial properties, both topically and via inhalation. Great for allergies, respiratory issues, and relaxation!

Can be used as an alternative to eucalyptus or tea tree.


If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oil is not recommended!
While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Disclaimer
While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Clove the Immunity Superstar!

  
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. It is an evergreen tree, which produces a flower bud it is often referred to as clove bud. The clove bud has a shaft and a head and hence it has the Latin name clavus, meaning nail.

  
Archeologists have found cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BCE. In the third century BCE, a Chinese leader in the Han Dynasty required those who addressed him to chew cloves to freshen their breath. Cloves were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle Ages in the profitable Indian Ocean trade, the clove trade is also mentioned by Ibn Battuta and even famous Arabian Nights characters such as Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold cloves from India.

Cloves were traded like oil, with an enforced limit on exportation. As the Dutch East India Company consolidated its control of the spice trade in the 17th century, they sought to gain a monopoly in cloves as they had in nutmeg but failed.
  
Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Angiosperms

Eudicots

Rosids

Order: Myrtales

Family: Myrtaceae

Genus: Syzygium

Species: S. aromaticum

Eugenol comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for clove aroma.

  
Clove is rich in minerals such as calcium, hydrochloric acid, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin A and vitamin C.

Benefits: antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulating properties. Traditional Chinese Medicine used clove for supporting a healthy digestive system. The oil is used for treating a variety of health disorders including acne, toothaches, indigestion, cough, asthma, headache, stress, healthy immune system, antioxidant support  and blood impurities. It is commonly used dental care; several toothpastes, mouth wash and oral care medications contain clove oil as an ingredient.

 

ORAC Value: (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) the antioxidant capacity of a food item.  Oranges = 750; Clove = 1,078,700. 

Steam Distilled 

Part used: Flower Buds

Note: Middle 

Aroma: Warm, spicy, woody, with a slightly fruity top note

  Blends well with: allspice, anise, basil, bay, bergamot, clary sage, cinnamon, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, vanilla, ylang ylang 

*Clove oil will darken or thicken with age and exposure to air.
If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, have a liver and kidney condition (specific to clove essential oil) or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Mastrante For a Long Nights Sleep!

Mastrante (Lippia Alba) is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to southern Texas in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Common names include bushy matgrass, bushy lippia, hierba negra, and pitiona or the Oaxaca lemon verbena. It is a multi-branched shrub flowers with white, pink, or light blue-purple corollas form on spikes. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental for its aromatic foliage and beautiful flowers.

Distillation:  Steam 

Part Used:  Leaves

Aroma:  earthy, spicy, fresh, anise seed or licorice like

The essential oil composition is unique to each plant, but may include piperitone, geranial, neral, caryophyllene, camphor, eucalyptol, limonene, carvone, germacrene, α-guaiene, β-ocimene, linalool, or myrcene.

Uses:  The plant is used medicinally for its somatic, sedative (not inducing sleep but increasing the length of sleep.) It also helps prevent ulcers, it is an antidepressant, has analgesic, stomachic, anti-spasmotic, digestive, anti-hemorrhoidal and anti-asthmatic properties. Different biological activities such as cytotoxic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory.

The leaves are used mainly as a flavouring in soups etc, and occasionally as a cooked vegetable. Helps to repel mosquitos. A pleasant tasting tea is make from the leaves.

It is very grounding to the body. Grounding oils tend to be calming and promote relaxation while providing clarity and energizing.

Blends well with: Anise, Bay, Black Pepper, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Pine, Rose


If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!
While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Disclaimer
While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Spicy Carnation!

Carnations were mentioned in Greek literature 2,000 years ago. “Dianthus” was coined by Greek botanist Theophrastus, and is derived from the Greek words for divine (“dios”) and flower (“anthos”). Some scholars believe that the name “carnation” comes from “coronation” or “corone” (flower garlands), as it was one of the flowers used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Others think the name stems from the Latin “caro” (genitive “carnis”) (flesh), which refers to the original colour of the flower, or incarnatio (incarnation), which refers to the incarnation of God made flesh. The legend that explains the name is that Diana the Goddess came upon the shepherd boy and took a liking to him. But the boy, for some reason, turned her down. Diana ripped out his eyes and threw them to the ground where they sprouted into the Dianthus flower.

Although originally applied to the species Dianthus caryophyllus, the name Carnation is also often applied to some of the other species of Dianthus, and more particularly to garden hybrids between D. caryophyllus and other species in the genus.

Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus
Origin: Egypt
Process: Solvent Extracted Absolute
Plant Part: Flowers
Cultivation: Cultivated
Use: Natural Perfumery
Note: Middle note
Aroma: Spicy (clove-like), honey, floral with strong green notes

Blends well with:  Clary Sage, Coriander, Clove, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Jonquille, Lavender, Patchouli and Ylang Ylang

Uses:  Promotes healing of body and mind, happiness and well-being, decreased anxiety, increased sensuality, decreased irritation, a lifting of depression and apathy. Aids in digestion, calms muscle spasms, lymphatic cleansing, reduces growth of diseased cells, promotes kidney, prostate and bladder health. Helps enhances self worth, strength, and protection.

Symbolism and Events

  • For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on color.
  • Along with the red rose, the red carnation can be used as a symbol of socialism and the labour movement, and historically has often been used in demonstrations on International Workers’ Day (May Day).
  • In Portugal, bright red carnations represent the 1974 coup d’etat started by the military to end the fascist regime ongoing since 1926.
  • Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection.
  • White carnations represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolise regret that a love cannot be shared.
  • White carnations, in the Netherlands are associated with HRH prince Bernhard. He wore one during WWII and in a gesture of defiance some of the Dutch population took up this gesture. After the war the white carnation became a sign of the Prince, veterans and remembrance of the resistance.
  • Purple carnations indicate capriciousness. In France, it is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.
  • In France and Francophone cultures, carnations symbolize misfortune and bad luck.
  • Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance: According to a Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother’s undying love.
  • Carnation is the birth flower for those born in the month of January.
  • The formal name for carnation, dianthus, comes from Greek for “heavenly flower”, or the flower of Jove.
  • Carnations are often worn on special occasions, especially Mother’s Day and weddings. In 1907, Anna Jarvis chose a carnation as the emblem of Mother’s Day because it was her mother’s favourite flower. This tradition is now observed in the United States and Canada on the second Sunday in May. Ann Jarvis chose the white carnation because she wanted to represent the purity of a mother’s love. This meaning has evolved over time, and now a red carnation may be worn if one’s mother is alive, and a white one if she has died.
  • In Korea, carnations express admiration, love and gratitude. Red and pink carnations are worn on Parents Day (Korea does not separate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but has Parents Day on 8 May). Sometimes, parents wear a corsage of carnation(s) on their left chest on Parents Day. Carnations are also worn on Teachers Day (15 May).
  • Red carnations are worn on May Day as a symbol of socialism and the labour movement in some countries, such as Austria, Italy, and successor countries of the former Yugoslavia. The red carnation is also the symbol of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution.
  • Green carnations are for St. Patrick’s Day and were famously worn by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde. The green carnation thence became a symbol of homosexuality in the early 20th century, especially through the book The Green Carnation and Noël Coward’s song, “We All Wear a Green Carnation” in his operetta, Bitter Sweet.
  • In Poland, in times of People’s Republic of Poland, carnations were traditionally given to women on the widely celebrated Women’s Day, together with commodities that were difficult to obtain due to the economic hardships faced by the country’s communist system, such as tights, towels, soap and coffee.
  • At the University of Oxford, carnations are traditionally worn to all examinations; white for the first exam, pink for exams in between, and red for the last exam. One story explaining this tradition relates that initially a white carnation was kept in a red inkpot between exams, so by the last exam it was fully red; the story is thought to originate in the late 1990s.
  • Carnations are the traditional first wedding anniversary flower.
  • Carnation is the national flower of Spain, Monaco, and Slovenia, and the provincial flower of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The state flower of Ohio is a scarlet carnation, which was introduced to the state by Levi L. Lamborn. The choice was made to honor William McKinley, Ohio Governor and U.S. President, who was assassinated in 1901, and regularly wore a scarlet carnation on his lapel.


If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!
While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Disclaimer
While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Distinctive Juniper!

Juniper has a clean, mildly penetrating, woody scent that has a cleansing effect on the mind, spirit, and body. It may work as a detoxifier and cleanser, is beneficial to the skin, and supportive to the urinary system

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Pinophyta

Class: Pinopsida

Order: Pinales

Family: Cupressaceae

Genus: Juniperus
  

PARTS USED: Berries

EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam distilled

NOTE CLASSIFICATION: Middle

AROMA : Fresh, green, fruity, balsamic undertone


BLENDS WELL WITHBlack pepper, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, elemi, fir needle, lavender, oakmoss, rosemary

Juniper berries are a spice used in a wide variety of culinary dishes and best known for the primary flavoring in gin (and responsible for gin’s name, which is a shortening of the Dutch word for juniper, genever). Juniper berries are also used as the primary flavor in the liquor Jenever and sahti-style of beers. Juniper berry sauce is often a popular flavoring choice for quail, pheasant, veal, rabbit, venison and other meat dishes.

Don’t confuse juniper berry oil with cade oil, which is distilled from juniper wood (Juniperus oxycedrus).

 
 

Many of the earliest prehistoric people lived in or near juniper forests which furnished them food, fuel, and wood for shelter or utensils. Many species, such as J. chinensis (Chinese Juniper) from eastern Asia, are extensively used in landscaping and horticulture, and as one of the most popular species for use in bonsai. It is also a symbol of longevity, strength, athleticism, and fertility.

Some junipers are susceptible to Gymnosporangium rust disease, and can be a serious problem for those people growing apple trees, the alternate host of the disease.

Some junipers are given the common name “cedar,” including Juniperus virginiana, the “red cedar” that is used widely in cedar drawers. “Eastern redcedar” is the correct name for J. virginiana. The lack of space between the words “red” and “cedar” indicate that this species is not a true cedar, Cedrus.

In Morocco, the tar (gitran) of the arar tree (Juniperus phoenicea) is applied in dotted patterns on bisque drinking cups. Gitran makes the water more fragrant and is said to be good for the teeth.

Some Indigenous peoples, such as the Dineh, have traditionally used juniper to treat diabetes. Animal studies have shown that treatment with juniper may retard the development of streptozotocin-induced diabetes in mice. Native Americans have also used juniper berries as a female contraceptive. The 17th Century herbalist physician Nicholas Culpeper recommended the ripened berries for conditions such as asthma and sciatica, as well as to speed childbirth.

Juniper is one of the plants used in Scottish and Gaelic Polytheist saining rites, such as those performed at Hogmanay (New Year), where the smoke of burning juniper is used to cleanse, bless and protect the household and its inhabitants.
Juniper berries are steam distilled to produce an essential oil that may vary from colorless to yellow or pale green. Some of its chemical components are alpha pinene, cadinene, camphene and terpineol. Leaves and twigs of Juniperus virginiana are steam distilled to produce oil of juniper. Middle Tennessee and adjacent northern Alabama and southern Kentucky are the centers for this activity. The U.S. Forest Service has provided plans for the apparatus required. This work is typically done during periods of cold weather to reduce the loss of essential oil to evaporation, which is greater in warmer weather, and to take advantage of a time of year when labor might be more readily available. 

 Juniper in weave is a traditional cladding technique used in Northern Europe, e.g. at Havrå, Norway.

  

Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.

Some people apply juniper directly to the skin for wounds and for pain in joints and muscles. The essential oil of juniper is inhaled to treat bronchitis and numb pain.

In foods, the juniper berry is often used as a condiment and a flavoring ingredient in gin and bitter preparations. The extract and essential oil are used as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages.

In manufacturing, the juniper oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

Juniper extract and juniper oil are used in cosmetics including lipstick, foundation, hair conditioners, bath oils, bubble bath, eye shadow, and many other products.
In drier areas, juniper pollen easily becomes airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs. This pollen can also irritate the skin and cause contact dermatitis. Cross-allergenic reactions are common between juniper pollen and the pollen of all species of cypress.

Monoecious juniper plants are highly allergenic, with an OPALS allergy scale rating of 9 out of 10. Completely male juniper plants have an OPALS rating of 10, and release abundant amounts of pollen. Conversely, all-female juniper plants have an OPALS rating of 1, and are considered “allergy-fighting”.
Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops essential oil to the carrier oil.

Avoid in kidney or liver disease!

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!
While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Nagarmotha – The Weed of Many Uses!

Cyperus scariosus : This member of the papyrus and Xiang Fu (an important Chinese herb) family. It is also known as Nut Grass and Cypriol in English, Musta or Mustak in Sanskrit, Shacao in Chinese and Motha in Gujarati.

Nagarmotha has been called “the world’s worst weed” as it is known as a pest in over 90 countries, and infests over 50 crops worldwide.

It can be found in the Ayurvedic encyclopedia, Charaka Samhita (ca. 100 CE) as an excellent natural remedy for treating digestive disorders, fevers, dysmennorhea and certain other health conditions. This herb has also been an incredible part of Traditional Chinese Medicine where it is highly regarded as the primary qi (prana or life force) regulating herbal medicine since at least 500 A.D.

Process: Steam Distilled
Plant Part: Roots
Note: Base/Fixative – medium siliage
Aroma: Earthy, deep, oriental with notes of dry forest and smoky leather. Also plays host to aromas of frankincense, cedar, cinnamon (spicy) and camphoraceous. Adds a distinctive and interesting note to masculine or unisex perfumes.

Blends well with: resins and wood oils such as myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood, labdanum, cedar, vetiver, lavender, and spice oils like cinnamon, clove, and ginger.

Use: Helpful with bronco-pulmonary congestion, mucus, scabies, and scanty periods. Nagarmotha essential oil has very good digestive and carminative properties, is an effective killer of intestinal worms, a diuretic and anti-pyretic medicine. Many ancient texts have also describe it as an anti-inflammatory medicine, a general and nervine tonic, a promoter of uterine contractions and an excellent binder of stool. Aids vomiting, diarrhea, problematic digestion, intestinal bleeding, dysentery and specific and non-specific colitis. Used for ailments like fever, burning maturation, skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation, neurasthenia and general debility. Maybe also be useful in kidney stones, fibromyalgia, gout and other uric acid sensitive conditions.

Used for scenting the cloths of tribal women in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Used in perfumery, scented soaps and cosmetics, and for making agarbatti incense. It is a flavoring agent for tobacco products.

Appears in the spells of Vashikarana. It is said that a person applying it to their forehead is assured of a long series of successful love affairs.

Not bad for being a weed!


Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Amyris (Torchwood) Calming to the Body and Mind!

Amyris: generic name is derived from the Greek word αμυρων (amyron), which means “intensely scented” and refers to the strong odor of the resin; it is also known as West Indian Sandalwood. Is known as a Torchwood because of the highly flammable wood.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Toddalioideae
Genus: Amyris
P.Browne
Type species
Amyris balsamifera
L.

Is a type of balsam.

Blends well with:  masculine scents & Citronella, Geranium, Lavandin, Lavender, Nagarmotha, Oakmoss, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sassafras, Sandalwood, Vetiver, & Ylang Ylang.

Used as a substitute for sandalwood, though scent profiles are different.

Note: base & fixative

Part used: wood

Steam distilled

Chakra: Sacral

Chakra color: orange

Scent profile: It has a hidden note of sweet dry earthy vanilla is similar to Benzoin Absolute, cedar (woody) with balsamic notes.

Used as: Antiseptic, deodorant, emollient, sedative, improves circulation. Very calming to the skin and the mind; considered an aphrodisiac.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Petitgrain – The Stress Relieving Aphrodisiac!

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium bigaradia Rutaceae) translates to small grains. It comes from the immature bitter orange.

Stem distilled from Twigs, leaves and stems.

It has a sharp green, fresh orange, floral with a touch of woodiness.

Note: Top & Middle

Chakra: Root & Heart

Chakra Color: Yellow

Blends well with:

Basil, bergamot, coriander, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, neroli, orange, palmarosa, rosewood, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

Properties:

It treats acne, fatigue, oily skin, insomnia, and stress. It is an antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, antidepressant, deodorant, nervine and sedative substance. It encourages a balanced monthly cycle for women. This oil can help to release denial, avoidance and self judgment.

It is energizing, reassuring, stabilizing and uplifting. It is considered an aphrodisiac. It inspires strength and commitment.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Aromatherapy: Scents For The Soul

Aromatherapy: Scents For The Soul.

Aromatherapy: Scents For The Soul
Posted on February 13, 2015 by TheGirl
oils, body oil, essential oil, aromatherapy, S.C Rhyne
***This Saturday, at Bed-Vyne Brew in Brooklyn, will be my book signing, scented oils release, and wine!***

Got a case of the winter blues? A lot of people get sad this time of year — the days are short and dark, it’s cold and dreary and we spend most of our time shut away indoors. You’re listless, don’t have much enthusiasm and generally just feel blah.

If you’re also experiencing changes in your eating or sleeping habits, feeling hopeless or worthless or thinking about suicide, you could be suffering from a serious form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In this case, seek medical attention as soon as possible. But if you’re symptoms are less dire and more doldrum-y, you may benefit from aromatherapy.

What’s Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and plant extracts to maintain and promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse coined the term his 1937 book, “Aromatherapie.”

Inhaling these aromatic essential oils stimulates the sniffer’s olfactory system, which sends a signal to his or her limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions and retrieves learned memories. This signal causes a release of chemicals that can make the subject feel calm and relaxed or alert and stimulated, depending on the scent and the individual’s emotional response to it.

The scientific community has no hard proof that aromatherapy can directly heal you from a physical ailment, but there is ample evidence that it can make you feel good and boost your mood. This study found a link between aromatherapy and mood enhancement, and as William Malarkey, professor of internal medicine and one of the study’s researchers pointed out, “If an individual patient uses these oils and feels better, there’s no way we can prove it doesn’t improve that person’s health.”

Using Aromatherapy to Boost Your Mood

Aromatherapy is practiced by rubbing the essential oil on the skin or inhaling the scent. These oils can also be included in massage oils, lotions and candles. Here’s a guide to get you started:

As an air freshener. Citrus (particularly lemon) oils are a great way to stimulate the senses and help you feel energized. Add a few drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray the room a few times.
In the bath or hot tub. Geranium, lavender and bergamot reduce anxiety and stress. Add 6-8 drops of these to your bath, or add crystal beads and elixirs scented with these oils to your bath or hot tub.
As you relax. Essential oils of juniper, rosemary, lavender, fennel, carrot, grapefruit, lemon and cedar wood are all said to increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Add a few drops to a warm, wet wash cloth and place it on your forehead as you relax.
In lotion and massage oil. Add several drops of chamomile, sage or clove oil to your favorite unscented lotion or to jojoba oil.
In a plain, unscented candle. Light an unscented candle and add a few drops of jasmine, juniper berry, peppermint or ylang ylang oil to the melted wax as it burns.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match your oils. Keep trying combinations and delivery methods until you find the combination that works for you. You can find essential oils at health food stores, alternative/New Age shops and, of course, online.

IMG_0336

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Ginger Essential Oil of the Month: The Stomach Tamer!

IMG_0260

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a rhizome it is widely used as a spice or a medicine. It is related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal.

One traditional medical form of ginger historically was called Jamaica ginger; it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastroparesis, slow motility symptoms, constipation, and colic. Some studies indicate ginger may provide short-term relief of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Studies are inconclusive about effects for other forms of nausea or in treating pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle injury. Side effects, mostly associated with powdered ginger, are gas, bloating, heartburn, and nausea.

Tea brewed from ginger is a common folk remedy for colds. Ginger ale and ginger beer are also drunk as stomach settlers in countries where the beverages are made.

  • In Burma, ginger and a local sweetener made from palm tree juice (htan nyat) are boiled together and taken to prevent the flu.
  • In China, ginger is included in several traditional preparations. A drink made with sliced ginger cooked in water with brown sugar or a cola is used as a folk medicine for the common cold. “Ginger eggs” (scrambled eggs with finely diced ginger root) is a common home remedy for coughing. The Chinese also make a kind of dried ginger candy that is fermented in plum juice and sugared, which is also commonly consumed to suppress coughing. Ginger has also been historically used to treat inflammation, which several scientific studies support, though one arthritis trial showed ginger to be no better than a placebo or ibuprofen for treatment of osteoarthritis.
  • In Colombia, ginger is mixed with hot agua de panela to relieve cold and flu-like symptoms.
  • In Congo, ginger is crushed and mixed with mango tree sap to make tangawisi juice, which is considered a panacea.
  • In India, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headache, and consumed when suffering from the common cold. Ginger with lemon and black salt is also used for nausea.
  • In Indonesia, it is used as a herbal preparation to reduce fatigue, reducing “winds” in the blood, prevent and cure rheumatism and control poor dietary habits.
  • In Nepal, ginger is is widely grown and used throughout the country as a spice for vegetables, used medically to treat cold and also sometimes used to flavor tea.
  • In the Philippines it is used as a throat lozenge in traditional medicine to relieve sore throat. It is also brewed into a tea known as salabat.
  • In the United States, ginger is used to prevent motion and morning sickness. It is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and is sold as an unregulated dietary supplement.
  • In Peru, ginger is sliced in hot water as an infusion for stomach aches as infusión de Kión.
  • In Japan it is purported to aid blood circulation. Scientific studies investigating these effects have been inconclusive.

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There are over 1,200 species of Ginger

Ginger comes from a Sanskrit word “srngaveram” meaning “horn root”.

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It has a spicy, sweet, woody and earthy aroma makes one physically energized.

Middle note

The dried root is steam distilled to produce the essential oil.

Chakra: Promotes opening of the sacral (sex) chakra that governs the small intestine. Also helps process the energy of the solar plexus chakra.

Chakra Color: Orange

Blends well with: Bergamot, cedarwood, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lemon, lime, mandarin, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang ylang

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Did you know that Ginger has been used in Gingerbread for over 4,000 years? This is as far back as the records show in ancient Greece! Is this the only known sweet that combats nausea?

Did you know that the Romans used it in a wine for aphrodisiac powers?
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