Aromatherapy Oasis
  • Facebook Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Twitter Icon

Posts tagged ‘essential oils’

Juniper Berry Essential Oil

Latin Name: Juniperus communis

 

Family: Cupressaceae

 

Extraction Method:  Steam distilled from the ripe berries.

 

Aroma:  Balsamic, Fresh, Piney, Bittersweet and woody

Juniper is a small tree of the cupressaceae family which is named after genièvre.  Genièvre is French for juniper berry.  This prickly evergreen scrub can reach heights of 39 feet.  Juniper berry has blue-green needle like leaves, greenish-yellow flowers and small berries.  It takes the berries two years to turn from blue to black.  These ripe berries offer the highest quality oils and have greater therapeutic value.   Juniper is native to Northern Europe, North America and Southwest Asia.  You will find it growing  in coniferous forests, mountain slopes and moorlands.

It is said that Juniper may have been one of the very first plants to be used by humankind.  In fact, remains for the berries have been located at prehistoric dwelling sites in the Swiss lakes.  It was commonly burnt as a fumigant and ritual incense by the Ancient Greeks to combat epidemics and by the Tibetans and Native Americans for ceremonial purposes due to its aromatic antiseptic quality.

Juniper is both a lymphatic decongestant and a diuretic.  Juniper oil's diuretic property is coupled with a strengthening effect on spleen-pancreas making it one of the most powerful of aromatic decongestants.  It's reputation is known for relieving inflammation, fluid retention and cystitis.  Combined with Frankincense its astringent properties are beneficial for the external treatment of hemorrhoids.  But one of the most important actions of Juniper is that of a detoxifier.  It may be one of the most valuable oils in situations where the body needs to eliminate toxic waste.  Juniper's properties may benefit chronic tiredness, cold hands and feet, edema and lower back aches.   As a liniment, juniper warms an area by increasing peripheral blood circulation making it rubefacient.

Juniper has also been used for skin conditions such as eczema, acne, dandruff, dermatitis, boils, insect bites and bacterial infections.  It has been cited to help with conditions such as varicose veins and cellulite.  As stated in "Aromatherapy A-Z" Juniper should be considered if any skin conditions are slow to heal, but one should keep in mind that Juniper will stimulate the body into throwing off toxic residues.  This will make the skin appear worse before it begins to improve.

The cleansing nature of Juniper works on the mental plane as well as the physical.  Juniper is a psychically purifying oil.  It is especially useful for individuals that are exposed to contact with people in their course of work that are emotionally draining.  Juniper works, therefore, to break through psychological stagnation and bring about will-power.    It also helps to cleanse an individual from worry and self-absorption that is rooted in a fear of failure.  It aids in restoring one's determination to overcome life's obstacles.

I have made several blends utilizing juniper essential oils to support emotional concerns and after researching the history of the energetics; it gives one a deeper understanding of why this is such a great oil to address emotional issues.

 

Resources

Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999

Keville, K and Green, M. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide To The Healing Art, Crossing Press, Second Edition, 2009

Mojay, G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, The Healing Arts Press edition, Limited 1999

*Please note:  This information is not to replace physician advice or to be used as treatment or diagnose of a disease.

*Image courtesy of Jade Shutes/EWSAS (www.theida.com)

Vetiver Essential Oil

Latin Name: Vetiveria zizanoides

 

Family: Graminaea (Poaceae)

 

Extraction Method: Steam distilled from the root.

 

Aroma:  Balsamic, Warm, Earthy, Sweet, Rich and resinous.

Vetiver is a fragrant grass and the essential oil is obtained from the root.  It is a very laborious process to obtain this essential oil because the roots have to be dug out of the ground, washed, dried and sliced before they can be distilled.  The common name for the grass comes from it Tamil name vetiverr, meaning hatcheted up.  The distillation of the vetiver roots produce a heavy, warm and earthy aroma.  The smoky scent of vetiver is somewhat reminiscent of both Myrrh and Patchouli, but when diluted lemony undertones become more apparent.

Vetiver is native to the slopes of the Himalayan Mountains,  and Sri Lanka but the finest quality vetiver essential oil known as “Bourbon vetiver” originates from the Reunion Islands.  Large quantities of vetiver are also produced in Haiti and Java.

In India vetivvetiver placematser is considered a treasure because of it aromatic roots.  The roots are woven into door and window screens; sometimes referred to as tatties.  The wiry, fibrous roots darken the windows of homes in the burning noon of summer.  Constantly doused with water, the cool, sweet scent of their vapor turns scorching winds that dehydrate into moist and balmy breezes.  When the blinds are hydrated with water it revitalizes the scent of the roots and helps to clean and refresh the room.  The fragrance also helps to repel insects so fans made from vetiver are cherished by women from India to Java.  Vetiver placemats can be purchased online and they make excellent draw liners and can also be refreshed when washed.

Vetiver is an important perfume constituent.  It provides a rich and tenacious base note characteristic that serves as a fixative for Oriental perfumes.  Vetiver is perhaps more appealing in dilution.  It marries very well with Sandalwood, Jasmine, Cedarwood and lavender.  The vetiver of the Indian regions are most widely used for perfumery.

On an energetic level the most important action of vetiver are on the psyche.  It’s Indian name means “Oil of Tranquility”.  Due to its earthy quality, being extracted from the roots, it is a very grounding and stabilizing oil.  An ancient remedy with Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), the roots and its essential oil are used to alleviate thirst, heatstroke, headaches and fevers.  In terms of Oriental medicine vetiver is cool and moist in energy.  It clears heat, calms, uplifts, nourishes and it is reflected in it actions on a psychological level.  It relaxes an overheated, hyperactive mind and nurtures an insecure self-identity.  The scent of vetiver is relaxing, uplifting, comforting and it releases deep fear and tension. Vetiver imbues us with the calm, reassuring strength of the Mother Earth and her deep sense of belongings.

Vetiver also posses many therapeutic qualities.  Vetiver essential oil is a powerful circulatory.  As an immunostimulant, it increases our ability to withstand stress without becoming ill.  Vetiver eases sprains, muscular pain and liver congestion because it has a mild rubefacient effect.  This oil is also known to be antispasmodic, digestive stimulant, anti-fungal and anti-infectious.  Vetiver has been used to treat acne, wounds and dry skin.

 

Resources

Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999

Keville, K and Green, M. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide To The Healing Art, Crossing Press, Second Edition, 2009

Mojay, G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, The Healing Arts Press edition, Limited 1999

Schnaubelt, K. Medical Aromatherapy. Healing with Essential Oils. Frog, Ltd 1999

*Please note:  This information is not to replace physician advice or to be used as treatment or diagnose of a disease.

*Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/normvanthoff/

Neroli Essential Oil

Latin Name: Citrus aurantium var. amara

 

Family: Rutaceae

 

Extraction Method: Distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree, not the sweet orange that produces orange oil.

 

Aroma:  Sweet, floral, spicy, and citrus.

 

It is said that Neroli was named after the sixteenth-century Italian princess of Nerola who admired the scent.  She used it as one of her favorite perfumes.  This essential oil has a very exotic and sensual aroma and it would be a perfumers delight.  The scent is very strong, so it is advised to use in very small dilutions.  Neroli is one of three different oils that are obtained from the same (Citrus aurantium) tree.  Neroli is derived from the flowers; Bitter orange is derived from the peel and Petitgrain is distilled from the fragrant leaves.  The major producers of Neroli essential oil are Italy, France and Tunisa.

General Description: It is common for Neroli to have active principles of linalol, linalyl acetate, limonene, nerol, geraniol and nerolidol.  To be sure of what your Neroli essential oil consist of please refer to the GC/MS that your supplier should have available.  Neroli has a vast amount of properties from the medicinal to emotional.  It is described as both sensual and spiritual in that it helps to reestablish the links between a disconnected body and mind.  As stated by Garbiel Mojay; neroli may be considered for any deep emotional pain that robs us of our hope and joy.

Medicinal Characteristics: Neroli has been used for circulation disorders such as hemorrhoids, indigestion and high blood pressure.  One of the physical actions of this oil is to relieve spasms in the smooth muscle, especially that of the intestines.  It has also been used to treat muscle pain.  Neroli is also beneficial for cosmetic uses.  It may regenerate skin cells for dermatitis; good for mature, sensitive, acne prone skin.  It may also repair scars and varicose veins.

Emotional Properties:  Neroli essential oil is a heavy weight when dealing with emotional concerns.  It is very valuable for dealing with anxiety and can be used effectively to reduce anxiety before stressful events such as interviews, examinations or public speaking events.  For those that are emotionally intense or an individual who can be easily alarmed and agitated this would be an ideal oil to utilize.  As stated in Aromatherapy: A complete guide to the healing art; neroli is one of the best antidepressants and it may counter emotional shock, mental confusion, nervous strain, fear and lack of confidence.  Along with lavender, melissa and rose; it is one of the best oils to calm and stabilize the heart and mind.  On a ending note this oil may have hormonal properties and has been used in ancient times as an aphrodisiac.

Safety Considerations:  No safety concerns specific to this essential oil.

Resources

 Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999

Keville, K and Green, M. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide To The Healing Art, Crossing Press, Second Edition, 2009

Mojay, G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, The Healing Arts Press edition, Limited 1999

 

*Please note:  This information is not to replace physician advice or to be used as treatment or diagnose of a disease. 

 

*Image courtesy of (http://orangeblossomfarmgreece.blogspot.com)

 

 

Naturally Scented Carpet Fresh Using Essential Oils

I am on a journey to make the switch to using natural cleaning products in my home.  I have been doing this for awhile and I love it.  I love making my own products because I am not limited to what is offered commercially.  The choices of aromatic blends are endless.  You can use the same three essential oils and just use different amounts of each and create multiple scents if you choose. 

 

Many people think that it is too difficult to make homemade natural cleaning products.  So I decided to share how easy it can be.  I was about to make a fresh batch of carpet fresh and decided to break out the camera to give a little demonstration.  I don't have much carpet left in my home due to allergens but nice area rugs gives a nice touch. 

 

I am currently using some of my older essential oils and oils that I have discontinued using for product making for Londa's Body Care.   So if you have some oils that may have oxidized it is a good way to use them up.  Sometimes it is hard to follow recipes on a video so I am including the recipe below.  Please if you like this site; leave a comment.  I would love it if you would share your own blends once you try making your own carpet fresh at home.  I love the feedback and interaction.

 

Carpet Fresh Recipe

  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 75 drops of Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil
  • 45 drops of Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • 30 drops of Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)

Instructions:

  • Add Baking Soda to a glass container
  • Mix essential oils in a separate container
  • Add essential oils to baking soda and mix really well
  • Add Baking soda to a container with a lid and allow the scent to soak in for 24 hours before use.
  • After 24 hours; sprinkle carpet fresh onto carpet and wait 15 to 20 minutes and then vacuum. 

 

 

Safety Concerning Aromatherapy Blending

"If used in an appropriate, sensible manner, essential oils are safe and their use should be free of any complications"  Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D

"In no case, should enthusiasm for aromatherapy, or any form of self treatment, preclude seeing a doctor if the conditions requires: Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D

 

What are aromatherapy blends?  Aromatherapy blends usually consist of a combination of essential oils in a base.  The base could be aloe vera, a carrier oil such as jojoba, lotion, salve or body butter.  There might be other bases, but these are the usual ones.  Another form of application would include the use of an essential oil inhaler.

Essential oils offer many great therapeutic properties but safety must be utilized, because essential oils are highly concentrated.   It is not recommended to apply essential oils neat (directly) onto the skin.  For example if you wanted to make a blend to address congestion due to a cold; there are a host of essential oils that may serve some benefit.  An aromatherapist would probably look for essential oils that are strong immune stimulants, anti-infectious and are mucolytic.  There are other properties to look for but I try to keep it simple when blogging. 

The other consideration is the dilution rate.  As stated in the above paragraph safety has to be utilized when using essential oils.  Bottom line:  You have to know your oils.  Dilution rate is the amount of essential oils that is added to a carrier.  The normal range would be 2% which is 10 – 12 drops of essential oil added to a carrier.  But keep in mind that when dealing with elderly, the young or for applying to the face a lower dilution of 1% should be utilized which is 5 to 6 drops of essential oil in a carrier.  Now getting back to knowing your essential oils.  Some essential oils due to their chemical makeup should only be used at 1%; for example black pepper.  You have to also keep in mind that there are essential oils that should be avoided if you suffer from high blood pressure or are pregnant.

Most importantly the quality of essential oils used in blending is very important.  A certified aromatherapist should use high quality GC/MS tested oils.  This allows an aromatherapist to know the chemical make up of each essential oil used and it is a way to tell if the essential oil has been adulterated.  If I am using lavender but it does not show lavender characteristics it may be a chance that it was diluted with a chemical or another inexpensive oil.  If an essential oil is sold for two cheaply of a price; there is a great chance that the oil has been adulterated and this is very important.

This blog is not to scare or intimidate an individual but to see some of the steps involved for an aromatherapist when they custom blend.  This is why an intake form is necessary and the initial fee because a lot of time is allocated when blending.  A book that I recommend for those that want to know a little more about essential oil therapy is Advanced Aromatherapy: The science of essential oil therapy by author Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

Aromatic blending is amazing because there are so many essential oil combinations that can be used.  You can put 20 people in a room to blend for a specific reason and it is a huge chance that there will be no duplicate blends.  As stated in previous blogs education is key when blending with essential oils.  I continue to read and add books to my library and I have some recommended books in my store which helps me continue to blog and share information. 

 

Black Pepper Essential Oil

Latin Name: Piper nigrum

 

Family: Piperaceae

 

Extraction Method: Distilled from partially dried, unripe fruit.

 

Aroma:  Spicy, Sharp, warm and slightly herbaceous

 

My first expereince using black pepper (Piper nigrum) was for perfumery.  Black pepper is a top/middle note and I find it amazing in aromatic blends.  I now love to use black pepper for therapeautic blends because of it ability to aide with circulation.  It is a must in most of my pain blends and circulatory blends.  

General Description: When you think of black pepper you would think of  spicy and warm and that is the correct description of this essential oil.  This essential oil may help in getting things moving when talking about circulation and it being a digestive stimulant.  Black pepper possesses analgesic, anticatarrhal, expectorant, stimulant and tonic properties (Price).  According to Aromatherapy for Common Ailments written by Shirley Price; she states that the warming properties of black pepper, sweet marjoram and ginger help to relax muscles and relieve mild pain.

Medicinal Characteristics: Used to treat food poisoning, indigestions, colds, flu, and congested lungs.  It may lower fevers and improves poor blood circulation.  It is antiseptic, antiviral, rubifacient, febrifuge and anti-inflammatory.

Emotional Properties:  The scent of black pepper is emotionally stimulating and some say an aphrodisiac (Keville and Green).  Can be used for fatigue, low energy, depression and weakness. 

Safety Considerations:  Although nontoxic, use at low dilution becasue it can irrate the skin and avoid using in baths.

Resources

 Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999

Price, S. Aromatherapy for Common Ailments, Simon & Schuster Inc, 1991

Price,S and Price, L. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Chruchill Livingstone, Fourth Edition, 2012

http://www.aromaticsinternational.com/essential-oils/blackpepper105

**Photo courtesy of Steenbergs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/steenbergs/)

*Please note:  This information is not to replace physician advice or to be used as treatment or diagnose of a disease.

 

My Nephew Demonstrating Using An Organic Aloe Vera Facial Blend

I love blending and making wonderful products.  Recently I made a facial blend with a base of organic aloe vera gel with a blend of the following essential oils: Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus, German Chamomile, Matricaria recutita, Orange, Citrus sinensis, Palmarosa, Cymbopogon martini var motia and Tea Tree, Melaleuca, alternifolia.

Sometimes it is hard to get teenagers to use a product especially for their face but I was very suprised to get a video email from my Nephews Xavier and Isaac showing how Xavier has been using the blend.  He just recieved the blend and it has been less than a week, but I can not wait until I can hear the results.  I just wanted to share what has meant so much to me.  The ending of course added that special teenage touch.  I hope you enjoy.

 

What Is Aromatherapy

"Aromatherapy is… the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well being."  Valerie Cooksley

 

"Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body and soul."  Robert Tisserand

 

 

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using plant oils in treatment.  These plant oils have been and continue to be used for purpose of altering a person's mind, mood, cognitive function or health.  Most people think of aromatherapy as just a nice smell for candles, massage oils or as an air freshener.  It is good for those things but  for so much more. 

Aromatherapy is non-invasive in the fact that it can be used through inhalation.  A big part of aromatherapy is smell which utilizes your olfaction membrane.  Immediately upon smelling a scent,  that message is transported to your limbic system.  The limbic system is a part of the brain and it is the seat of our emotions.  For example if you smell rotten food in the garbage your face may automatically frown up showing your dislike for the scent.  But on the other hand if you smell beautiful roses or flowers you may automatically smile, showing your like for the scent.  Inhalation of essential oils does so much more than to alter moods.  It absorbs very quickly into the blood stream and directly affect the central nervous system.  As stated in Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide To The Healing Art, inhalation also produces physical reactions, such as lowered blood pressure.

Another route of absorption for essential oil used in aromatherapy is the skin.  The skin is our largest organ and what ever we put on it, get absorbed into our bloodstream.  A blend of essential oils can be applied to stop infection or for it's anti-inflammatory properties.  Sometimes people only focus on one method of use but they can be used simultaneously.  While addressing a physical concern you can address another emotional concern at the same time.

There is a science that backs aromatherapy because each essential oil is comprised of many different components; to many to name at this time.  It can help us understand some of the more complex mechanisms in which oils can be used to treat disease.  But the other mystery of aromatherapy is considered  just that, a mystery because science is not equipped to understand the miracles that happens in life with the interaction of these oils.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Latin Name: Helichrysum italicum

 

Family: Asteraceae

 

Extraction Method: Distilled from the flowering top

 

Helichrysum essential oil has many varieties but only the H. italicum serotinum have the chemical constituents of nerol, neryl acetate, geranoil, pinene and linalol (Davis 140).  Helichrysum is also known as everlast or immortelle since the flowers last so long.  This herb is also native to the Mediterranean and North Africa.  Helichrysum is cultivated in Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia (Keville and Green). 

 

General Description: Helichrysum is an amazing essential oil because it has so many functions; from emotional to medicinal.  This essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy for its fragrance and healing properties.  I use helichrysum in a facial serum because it may help stimulate production of new cells, excellent for scar tissue and wound healing.  It is considered to be a very safe oil, non irritant, non toxic and tolerated by most sensitive skin (Davis).

Medicinal Characteristics: Used to treat infection, bronchitis, fever, muscle pain,arthritis and inflammation of chronic cough (Keville and Green).  Because helichrysum is an anti-inflammatory, it is beneficial for use in massage blends for arthritis and rheumatism.

Emotional Properties:  This a very comforting oil and has been used to reduce stress.  The scent has been used to aid in lifting one from nervous exhaustion and lethargy.  I have used this essential oil in many emotional support type blends that address old and new emotional wounds and trauma.

 

Resources

 Davis P. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition C.W. Daniel Company Limited, England, 1999
 Keville, K. Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, The Crossing press, USA, 1995

*Please note:  This information is not to replace physician advice or to be used as treatment or diagnose of a disease.

 

Facebook
Google+
http://aromatherapyoasis.com/tag/essential-oils/page/2/">
Twitter
YouTube