Cardamom in Aromatherapy.

Cardamom (scientific name Elettaria cardamomum) is a perennial herb akin to reeds and is usually found growing in the wild. This herb is also widely cultivated in India and Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon).

Cardamom belongs to the ginger family and its oil is obtained by steam distilling the seeds that have already undergone a prolonged (about three months) drying process. Cardamom seeds that have been dried for a long period yield oils that enclose the best possible levels of chemicals. While cardamom essential oil can be acquired from various regions of the world, currently Guatemala is said to have the most favorable conditions to produce the best quality and most powerful oil. The aroma of cardamom essential oil is sweet and spicy.

Cardamom trees usually grow up to a height of 4 meters (13 feet) and produce long, green glossy leaves. The flowers of cardamom are small and yellowish having a violet tip. Cardamom plants have a large, plump rhizome, akin to that of ginger. After the blossoming, the plants bear oblong-shaped gray-hued fruits, each of which encloses numerous seeds.

Even in the ancient times, people were familiar with cardamom as well as its various therapeutic properties. For instance, the ancient Egyptians used cardamom essential oil in incense and perfumes. They also chewed cardamom seeds with a view to making their teeth whiter. On the other hand, the Romans used cardamom for treating stomach disorders whenever they over-indulged.

The early Arabs also pounded cardamom and used the powder in their coffee, while it has traditionally been a vital ingredient in Asian culinary. German physician and botanist Valerius Cordus was the first to steam cardamom to extract its essential oil in 1544 after the Portuguese explorations discovered the East.

Cardamom essential oil is extracted from the seeds of the herb’s fruit by a process known as steam distillation. The fruits are collected immediately before they mature. Usually, the yield of the essential oil varies between 1% and 5%.

Chinese as well as Indians have been using cardamom in their traditional medical practices for over 3,000 years now. This herb was used widely in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine system. Even the early Greek physicians adopted this herb in the 4th century B.C. Hippocrates, who is regarded as the father of medicine in the West, was among the ancient Greek physicians who used this herb extensively. Currently, people widely use cardamom as a spice owing to its composition. Medicinally, the essential oil of cardamom is valued for its ability to heal gastrointestinally (GI) problems. Traditionally, people have been using cardamom essential oil in the form of a tonic for the digestive, pulmonary as well as urinary systems, and also for reducing fever. In addition, this oil has also been employed by people for several centuries as an ingredient of several sensual aphrodisiac blends.

Several scientific pieces of research have been undertaken to explore the therapeutic attributes of cardamom essential oil and it is generally employed for treating problems related to digestive and respiratory problems. In addition, this oil may also have the potential for supporting the health of the muscles. Cardamom essential oil is also said to possess uplifting, stimulating and stress-relieving properties (similar to any other essential oil). This oil also stimulates the mind and brings in clarity.

It is important to emphasize that compared to other essential oils, cardamom is safer as well as gentler for children. In fact, use of a number of essential respiratory and digestive oils like peppermint or eucalyptus is generally avoided for children and it is often difficult to find a suitable alternative solution. On the other hand, cardamom essential oil can prove to be a wonderful substitute for several digestive as well as respiratory requirements.

From the emotional and spiritual point of view, cardamom essential oil is frequently employed for issues related to anger and frustration. In fact, this oil can be used to successfully treat issues like frustration, outbursts, rage, blame, judging others and more. Use of cardamom essential oil is known to assist one in stepping back from any unfavorable situation and assess it from a different perspective, where one is not as attached. This oil may also assist one to bring in changes that necessitate him/ her to be sincere with them and acknowledge the liability for things that they may have been responsible for. Cardamom essential oil also helps one to possess the power to usher in changes in them.

The essential oil of cardamom is known to be very useful for treating muscular as well as respiratory spasms, and, in this way, helps to alleviate asthma, whooping cough, muscle cramps, and muscle pulls.

It is worth mentioning here that the essential oil of cardamom possesses extremely potent antiseptic as well as anti-microbial attributes. This oil is also safe for use by most people, including children. When cardamom essential oil is employed in the form of a mouthwash by adding some drops of it to water, it helps to make the oral cavity germ-free and also gets rid of foul breath. You can also add a few drops of this oil to drinking water to eliminate the germs in it. In addition, people also use cardamom essential oil in foods in the form of a flavoring agent as well as to protect foods from becoming spoiled due to microbial assault. You may also add a few drops of cardamom essential oil to your bath water as this will help to make your skin and hair germ-free.

Cardamom essential oil is an excellent digestive agent. Consuming this oil improves digestion by invigorating the entire digestive system. This oil also possesses stomach properties – in other words, use of cardamom essential oil aids in sustaining the health of the stomach and ensure its proper functioning. It also aids in ensuring the correct secretion of digestive fluids, including bile, acids, and enzymes, into the stomach. Cardamom oil also works to protect the stomach from being infected.

The essential oil of cardamom helps to invigorate all the systems in our body. As a result of this stimulating or tonic effect, it uplifts the spirits, especially when one is suffering from fatigue or depression. Use of this oil also helps to stimulate secretion of various hormones and enzymes, circulation, peristaltic motion as well as excretion, thereby ensuring appropriate metabolic actions all over the body.

Use of cardamom essential oil has a relaxing or warming effect. In other words, this oil heats up the body, encourages perspiration, aids in clearing coughs and congestion of airways. At the same time, the essential oil of cardamom works to get rid of symptoms related to common cold. This oil also helps to alleviate headaches caused by ailments. You can also use cardamom oil to treat diarrhea due to severe cold.

The essential oil of cardamom also encourages urination, thereby reducing high blood pressure, and helps in losing weight, freeing the kidneys from calcium as well as urea deposits, and eliminating toxins.

Last, but not the least important, the essential oil of cardamom also possesses aphrodisiac properties and, hence, is effective in treating sexual weakness, impotence, erectile dysfunctions in males, frigidity and loss of libido.

General Properties:

  • antibacterial
  • anti-infectious
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • aphrodisiac
  • decongestant
  • digestive
  • diuretic
  • expectorant
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic
  • warming

Cardamom Blends Well With:

  • bergamot
  • caraway
  • cedarwood
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • orange
  • rose

General Uses:

  • anger
  • asthma
  • bad breath
  • common colds
  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • erectile dysfunctions
  • frigidity
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • impotence
  • loss of libido
  • muscular support
  • sexual weakness
  • stomach infections
  • stress
  • toxins removal
  • weight loss
  • whooping cough

Precaution:

Cardamom essential oil is considered to be safe for most people, as there are no reports of toxic side effects following the consumption of this oil. However, using this oil in excessive amounts may often lead to an overdose. When there is an overdose of cardamom essential oil, it will result in symptoms of uneasiness and too much heating up of the body as well as the digestive system. This may often cause irritation and loose bowels. As the warming effect or irritation caused by excessive use of cardamom essential oil may be detrimental to the baby, it is advisable that pregnant women, as well as nursing mothers, should stay away from this oil.

Bay Oil: The Essential Oil for Men.

Since its discovery in the 20th century, bay rum has been used as a tonic to treat muscle problems. It was found later on that the essential oil of bay, also known as bay oil or bay rum oil, contained antimicrobial compounds and other beneficial properties. Discover more about this spicy plant oil by reading the information below.

What Is Bay Oil?

Bay essential oil is obtained from the bay tree, an evergreen tree that originated in the West Indies, but is now harvested mostly in Morocco and Spain. The bay oil (Pimenta racemosa) is often confused with the bay laurel essential oil (Laurus nobilis). While these two plant oils share similar qualities, they come from two different plants.

The bay tree is also different from the bayberry shrub, from which early American settlers produced candies. The bay tree belongs to the plant family that produces allspice berries, also called pimento and Jamaica pepper. It grows up to 30 feet and possesses long-pointed leaves, with small yellow or white flowers and black berries.

The oil is extracted from the fresh leaves of the bay tree through steam distillation. The product is a yellow liquid with a strong spicy fragrance, which resembles that of clove oil.

Uses of Bay Oil

Like bay rum, West Indies bay oil is frequently used in cosmetics and perfumery, specifically in men’s personal care products. It also works as a skin toner and can help against razor burns and breakouts on skin. Unlike other plant oils, like rose or geranium oils (which are more “feminine”), its spicy and masculine aroma makes it a good choice for men.

Bay oil is also considered an analgesic in aromatherapy, relieving relieve muscle and joint pain and neuralgia. It may also be used as a massage oil or added to bath water to induce a relaxing effect. It is added to hair products like shampoos and for hair loss treatment. You may also use it to treat dandruff and oily or flaky scalp, and to give your hair a vibrant shine.

Historically, bay rum oil served as an insect repellent, and is particularly effective at moth abatement. It is often added to fumigants, vaporizers, sprays, and other insecticides.

Composition of Bay Oil

The essential oil of bay owes its analgesic properties to three chemical constituents: eugenol, chavicol (estragole), and myrcene. Because of the presence of eugenol, the oil can cause irritations and should be used under the guidance of an aromatherapy practitioner.

Benefits of Bay Oil

bay oil benefitsOne of the main benefits of bay oil is its ability to ease pain brought by neuralgia, which is severe pain that occurs due to a damaged nerve. It can also stimulate blood vessel contraction, and relieve pressure on the nerves. This can considerably alleviate pain.

Bay oil can also reduce pain from joint and muscle problems (including sprains and arthritis), and coughs and colds, viral infections, and flu. It also functions as a decongestant and can be used to treat respiratory problems when inhaled.

The prevention of hair loss is another promoted benefit of the oil from the West Indies bay tree. As an astringent, the oil triggers contractions in muscles and tissues. It fortifies the hold of scalp on hair roots, as well as strengthens gums and stops the sagging of skin and muscles. Hemorrhages can also be prevented when using bay oil, which can cause blood vessels to contract.

Bay oil, along with thyme oil, also showed antifungal activity. In a 2008 study, out of 26 plant species tested, thyme and bay oils were the most effective against Phytophthora cactorum and Cryponectria parasitica.

Further research has demonstrated the antibacterial effects of bay essential oil, along with 9 other essential oils – cinnamon, grapefruit, lemongrass, thyme, clary sage, wintergreen, clove, allspice, and camphor. These oils were tested on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitiveStaphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Researchers found that these oils were more efficient in eliminating the bacterial strains than vancomycin, the primary drug used for MRSA and MSSA treatment.

West Indies bay oil, as well as bay laurel oil, exhibited bacteria-fighting properties against other pathogenic species, such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.

How to Make Bay Oil

Bay essential oil is obtained when you steam-distill the fresh leaves of the bay tree. The leaves are gathered from a tree aged at least 5 year old. Salt or seawater is often added in the still. About 0.5 -1.5 percent of the weight by volume can be extracted into Bay Oil .

How Does Bay Oil Work?

Bay oil is primarily used topically. It can be used as a massage oil, or added to burners and vaporizers. Its effects, however, may vary depending on the amount you use. Higher amounts of bay oil may produce a sedating effect, while smaller amounts can serve as a stimulant.

Here are several ways you can enjoy the benefits of bay essential oil:

  • Improve sleep by mixing 10 drops of bay oil, 2 to 3 drops of sweet orange oil, 1 drop of clove essential oil, and almond oil as a carrier oil.
  • Relieve depressive symptoms by blending 2 drops of bay oil, 4 drops of black pepper oil, 4 drops of bergamot oil, and 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil.
  • Treat flu symptoms by adding a mixture of 2 drops of bay oil and 4 drops of myrtle oil in a diffuser.
  • Treat dandruff by adding 2 drops of bay oil to your shampoo.

It is also crucial to remember that bay oil, as well as bay rum and the fruit of the Bay tree, possesses toxic properties and should not be ingested.

Is Bay Oil Safe?

Undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritations, and bay essential oil is no different. Prior to use, it must first be mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Bay oil blends well with several essential oils, including eucalyptus, lavender, geranium, rosemary, thyme, and orange oils.

Also, essential oils must first be tested to determine if you’re allergic or not. Doing a skin test before use is an ideal option. You may also apply a drop of the diluted bay oil on a small portion of your skin, and observe for any adverse effects.

Due to the compound eugenol, it is advisable to use very minute amounts of bay oil. It was found that the oil is not irritating to human skin at 10 percent, but it is still recommended to use topically a maximum concentration of 3 percent.

Side Effects of Bay Oil

side effects of bay oilAlthough bay oil works as an antiseptic and decongestant for respiratory ailments, the oil’s eugenol content can irritate mucous membranes and skin. It should be used sparingly or upon the advice of a physician or professional aromatherapist.

The chemical’s presence also suggests that the oil may be hepatoxic and may halt blood clotting. It should not be used by people suffering from kidney and liver diseases and cancer, or those using anticoagulants. It is strictly advised not to apply the oil onto sensitive or damaged skin, as it can cause further harm.

Pregnant or nursing women should avoid the use of bay oil even after its dilution to prevent any sensitization’s. Children and infants should also be kept away from bay oil due to their delicate nature.

For more information on bay essential oil or any other plant oils, I would advise you to consult your doctor or a qualified aromatherapist.

Aromatherapy Ylang – Ylang.

Cananga odorata

Ylang ylang is basically a tropical tree indigenous to Asia, especially Indonesia. The blossoms of this tree are used to prepare an essential oil that is widely used in manufacturing perfumes as well as in aromatherapy. The ylang-ylang essential oil is extracted by steam distilling the highly fragrant flowers of the tree. Ylang-ylang flowers have a profound and sweet aroma something akin to that of jasmine and in many cultures, they are scattered on the beds of the newly married as a sign of good luck or wishing fertility. For a long time, the essential oil obtained from ylang-ylang flowers was regarded as an aphrodisiac, denoting that its aroma stimulates the desire for sexual activities.

Ylang ylang essential oil possesses other therapeutic properties as well. It is comforting and soothing oil that brings about a general feeling of wellness. In addition, this essential oil is also said to be effective in lowering blood pressure, especially when the condition is a result of tension or shock. Since this essential oil has a very potent aroma, it remains for a longer period and even has the aptitude to suppress other comparatively lighter fragrances. As the fragrance of ylang-ylang is enduring, it works fine as a fixative in several perfumes. In fact, when ylang-ylang essential oil is combined with other suitable aromatic oils, it becomes all the more potent. This oil is also used in the manufacture of skin care products, especially those meant for treating oily skin as well as stressed skin.

The ylang-ylang trees bear blooms that vary in color – pink, cream, mauve or yellow. These flowers have a potent, unusual and flowery scent. Owing to its potent aroma which is similar to that of jasmine (botanical name Jasminum officinale) – an expensive flower, ylang-ylang is often referred to as ‘the poor man’s jasmine’.

Generally, the ylang-ylang flowers are collected in the morning for flowers picked during this time of the day are best for preparing essential oil through steam distillation. In fact, the aroma of ylang-ylang flowers is most potent during the morning and afternoon. Normally, the essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers collected in the morning are of superior quality in the first distillation, while the latter distillations are somewhat lesser in excellence. The lesser quality ylang-ylang essential oil is sold as Cananga instead of ylang-ylang.

As discussed earlier, the ylang-ylang trees produce flowers having extremely sweet and floral scent. In the Malayan language, the term ylang-ylang actually denotes ‘flower of flowers’ or a superior quality flower. The ylang-ylang essential oil was used as an active element in the well-known Macassar hair oil during the Victorian era. Both men and women widely used the Macassar hair oil with a view to encouraging glossy hair growth. Presently, ylang-ylang essential oil is extensively used to manufacture floral perfumes.

Generally, ylang-ylang oil is considered to be warming and stimulating oil which also possesses aphrodisiac properties. The use of this essential oil has the aptitude to cause relaxation as well as inspire and inculcate a feeling of wellness among people. Ylang ylang essential oil is excellent for comforting the nerves, especially during stress, and also alleviates restiveness and tetchiness. A few drops of this essential oil added to bathwater or watered down for use as massage oil helps in promoting sound sleep. In addition, ylang-ylang essential oil is also said to be highly effective in treating rapid breathing and palpitations or tremors. This essential oil is also helpful in alleviating premenstrual tension and depression. The other therapeutic properties of ylang-ylang essential oil include its effectiveness to combat typhus, malaria and other types of fevers.

It may be noted here that ylang-ylang essential oil is frequently used in the form of candles, in baths or in oil burners to create a romantic setting or to work as an aphrodisiac prior to making love. In addition, this essential oil may also be diluted in suitable carrier oil and used for massage. The ylang-ylang blooms possess a potent flowery scent that invokes the feelings of the tropics. Using this essential oil as a dab in a cotton ball endures for several hours.

Like in the case of rose and jasmine, ylang-ylang flowers too must be picked early in the morning and prepared immediately for steam distillation. In fact, ylang-ylang flowers are processed by steam distillation infractions. In other words, this means that the steam distillation of the ylang-ylang flowers is stopped at various stages of the process and the oil is collected during the intervals. After the oil is collected, the distillation process is started once again.

As in the case of all other essential oils, even the quality of ylang-ylang essential oil also differs from one distillery to another. In addition, the quality of this essential oil also varies depending on the crop condition for a particular season and the time selected for harvesting the flowers and distilling them. In fact, very little proficiency is required on the part of the distiller as this wonderful oil can be obtained without much effort. The fact that ylang-ylang essential oil is quite inexpensive denotes that there is little or no room for the distillers’ art to produce this oil.

In fact, there are three fractions in the process involving preparing the ylang-ylang essential oil by vapor distillation. In other words, the distillation process is halted thrice. The first distillation of ylang-ylang flowers yields the highest quality of the essential oil and is believed to be possessing maximum insubstantial fragrance. This quality of ylang-ylang essential oil is highly prized by the perfume manufacturers. In fact, the different stages of steam distilling ylang-ylang flowers are determined according to the principle that cannot be easily described. Nevertheless, the distillation stage is split by the time taken to distil each fraction of the process.

While Ylang Extra is the most costly quality of essential oil obtained from the ylang-ylang flowers, Ylang I, II and III as well as Ylang Complete are also the complete distillation of this essential oil with no fractions or breaks during the process.

Ylang ylang is a superior variety of sesquiterpene (any specific terpene whose molecules contains 1.5 times as many atoms as a normal terpene). Ylang ylang III is the final fraction of the essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers of the plant and it is collected during the final hours of the distillation process. This variety of ylang-ylang essential oil is somewhat viscous, cruder and not as sweet oil as the other varieties of this essential oil. This variety of ylang-ylang essential oil is also more or less wholly made of sesquiterpenes. It may be mentioned here that sesquiterpenes are basically a category of chemical substances naturally present in higher plant and also found naturally in different alcohols. It may also be noted that sesquiterpenes are hardly present in volatile or unstable aromatic oils. When sesquiterpenes are extracted from the plants, these chemicals are known to invigorate the liver and endocrine glands. In fact, the potent antispasmodic and sedative properties of the ylang-ylang essential oil are attributed to the presence of sesquiterpenes.

Inhaling ylang-ylang essential oil is beneficial for overcoming fear as well as nervous tension. In fact, ylang-ylang essential oil should be considered foremost among all essential oils when an individual requires help to regulate as well as balance his or her nervous system. This essential oil is effective in facilitating one’s respiration for slower and more rhythmic breathing and is useful for treating panic attacks. Findings of several types of research have demonstrated that ylang-ylang essential oil invigorates the central nervous system and facilitates alleviating depression.

The essential oil obtained by steam distilling the flowers of ylang-ylang plant is a wonderful natural treatment for comforting tachycardia (rapid heart rate) as well as high blood pressure or hypertension. Ylang ylang essential oil is frequently used in massage oil lubricants and is reputed to provide relief from throbbing muscles and pains. This essential oil is beneficial for treating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings. In addition, it is also an effective remedy for lessening emotional blockage or congestion in the region of the heart.

Ylang ylang essential oil is specifically feminine or yin oil and is said to be obsessive and alive with sensations. You may try using this essential oil at times when you require integration as well as healing the shadow elements of the Divine Feminine. Ylang ylang essential oil helps to activate the Divine Feminine’s inexplicable magnetism as well as an aptitude for living life completely. The essential oil obtained by steam distilling ylang-ylang flowers invigorates sensations of delight and self-confidence. It can also be effective in prevailing over performance nervousness.

This oil is regularly used in fragrances meant for men and is said to be a therapeutic oil for men. Ylang ylang essential oil endorses a man’s relation and expression of the womanly and instinctive part of his nature. You may consider combining ylang-ylang essential oil with petitgrain, bergamot or any spice or wood oil to diminish the intoxicating flowery quintessence of ylang-ylang essential oil. At the same time, ylang-ylang essential oil has the aptitude to facilitate counterbalancing protective coping approaches that are able to result in aggressive types of the communique. In fact, ylang-ylang essential oil helps to coordinate the mind and emotions. At the same time, it mitigates present attitudes, mental approaches as well as opinions. It also encourages straightforward communication with other people. You may use ylang-ylang essential oil to comfort the nerves in stressful circumstances.

Ylang ylang is beneficial for the functioning of the kidneys as well as the adrenal gland. In addition, this essential oil is excellent for people with feeble knees and suffering from loss of bladder control.

Traditionally, ylang-ylang essential oil has been used for beauty and skin care since the hormones of this plant encourage the renewal of the cells. Using this essential oil bring in a balance in moisture retention by the skin, which is effective for maintaining the natural sebum production by the skin. This particular attribute of ylang-ylang essential oil makes it an appropriate remedy for different types of skin – sensitive, oily as well as dry mature. In addition, ylang-ylang essential oil promotes the growth of healthy and lusty hair and may perhaps also be beneficial for people enduring split ends. To obtain the utmost benefit, add a few drops of this oil to your preferred hair conditioner or shampoo and use it on your scalp.

In aromatherapy, ylang-ylang oil is primarily used for its potent antiseptic properties that help to comfort, soothe, balance as well as work as a tranquilizer. In addition, ylang-ylang essential oil is also beneficial as a stimulant for the reproductive system and has the aptitude to heal sexual problems of an individual. The other therapeutic properties of this essential oil include treating problems, such as insomnia or sleeplessness, hyperactivity in children and tension. Moreover, this essential oil is effective in alleviating problems associated with oily and arid/ dry skin. It is effective for most types of skin care. Ylang ylang essential oil also supports hair growth.

Ylang ylang is an effective essential oil that soothes as well as provides comfort. This attribute of ylang-ylang helps to alleviate nervousness, depression, shock, insecurity, anger as well as obstinacy. When you use this oil it will facilitate in overcoming all such problems. In addition, similar to the essential oil obtained from rose (botanical name rosa Damascena) and sandalwood essential oil (botanical name santalum album), the oil extracted from steam distilling ylang-ylang flowers also acts as an aphrodisiac. Moreover, ylang-ylang essential oil often forms an active element of several perfumes and cosmetics. It is also used to flavor foods and beverages.

General Properties:

  • antiseptic
  • aphrodisiac
  • relaxing
  • stimulant

Blends Well With:

  • bergamot
  • jasmine
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • patchouli
  • rose
  • rosewood
  • sandalwood

General Use:

  • anemia
  • anorexia
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • boils and carbuncles
  • colds
  • coughs
  • dandruff
  • depression
  • flatulence
  • fluid retention
  • glandular fever
  • gout
  • immune system
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood pressure
  • mouth infections
  • myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • nervous exhaustion
  • poor circulation
  • poor memory
  • rheumatism
  • rhinitis
  • scabies
  • sinusitis
  • ulcers
  • urinary infections
  • whooping cough
  • wounds and sores

Precautions:

Be careful, high concentrations of ylang-ylang essential oil can cause nausea or a headache.

Good Night Beauty Regime.

A good night’s sleep is an essential part of your beauty regimen and does more for your good looks than the best balm or treatment. While you sleep, blood continuously replenishes your skin, giving it a rosy glow. A well-rested complexion is also less prone to breakouts. Of course, night time is also the right time to treat your body to some extra conditioning and moisture.
Here are a few recipes to try that you can use right before you get in bed.
Night Time Lotion
This rich lotion is packed with oils and vitamins. Massage it into your body and face before going to bed at night and you’ll wake up with soft, smooth skin that looks and feels amazing. Make sure to remove any jewelry and wash your skin before applying it.
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup distilled water
1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon wheat germ oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax
In a glass container, dissolve baking soda in the water and set aside.
In a small saucepan or microwave-safe dish, mix the oils and wax together and heat gently {use the stove-top or microwave} until wax is melted. Heat the soda-water mixture but do not boil and then pour it into a blender. Blend on slow speed, slowly adding the oil-wax mixture in a steady stream. Mix well and transfer to a heat-resistant container. Allow the mixture to cool. {The lotion will thicken as it cools.} Yield: 6 ounces
Lullaby Massage Oil
With lavender and chamomile in the mix, this massage oil is the perfect cure for a bad case of insomnia. The almond oil conditions skin.
1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
5 drops essential oil of Lavender
Place chamomile flowers in a small saucepan and pour the almond oil over them. Gently warm the oil for a few minutes, but do not boil. Allow the oil to cool; then strain out the flowers. Add the lavender essential oil and pour into a clean bottle. To use: Slowly massage a small amount onto dry skin or tired muscles. Yield: 4 ounces
Relaxing Lavender Bath
This is the perfect herbal bath to ease your mind and body after a full day. Along with lavender, it contains oatmeal and baking soda to soothe dry, sensitive skin. Substitute dried chamomile for the lavender in this recipe if you prefer.
1 cup dried lavender flowers
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup baking soda
In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients and process until you have a smooth, fine powder. To use: Pour 1/2 cup into your bath as you fill the tub. Yield: 28 ounces
Eye Rest Pillows
These pretty silk pillows are simple to make and offer an effective way to ease eye strain and relax at the end of the day. You can find flax seeds at most grocery and natural food stores. If you can’t find silk fabric, try using old scarves.
2 rectangle pieces of silky material, 5″ x 9″
1 cup flaxseeds
1 tablespoon dried lavender
Stitch the material together to form a small sack, and fill it with flax seeds and lavender. Stitch the remaining end closed. To use: Lie down with the pillow over your eyes. To calm inflamed skin, cool the pillow by placing it in the refrigerator.
Evening Nail Oil
Massage this rich combination of natural oils onto your nails before going to bed to strengthen and condition them. Do this regularly and you’ll see improvements in a few short weeks even with dry, cracked nails. Find liquid lecithin at your local natural food store.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons liquid lecithin
1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. To use: Dab a small amount on your fingers and rub thoroughly into your nails. Yield: 1/2 ounce
Tips for a Good Night’s Rest
 
* Stick to a sleep schedule to keep your biological clock in sync.
* Avoid late dinners.
* Exercise at least four times a week, but avoid workouts close to bedtime.
* Use your bedroom only for sleep, not for surfing the web or work.
* Practice a sleep ritual like a warm bath, reading, or listening to music before going to bed.

Bath Cookies; Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath; A Scented Bath Powder..

Bath Cookies

If you like experimenting with recipes in the kitchen, you’ll get a real kick out of making these “cookies” for the tub. Bakers will recognize the steps in dough-making, rolling, and baking, but there’s a twist!
Make one batch for yourself and another for friends.
2 cups fine sea salt
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus more for rolling dough
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon dried, chopped lavender or sage {optional}
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil {if necessary, break open several capsules}
8 drops essential oil or perfume oil of your choosing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine salt, cornstarch, and baking soda. Stir in chopped herbs, if using. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil, vitamin E oil, and essential oil and keep stirring until you form a dough.
2. Rub cornstarch on a rolling pin and spread some on a work surface. Roll the dough out to about 3/4 inch. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters or a biscuit cutter. Place your “cookies” on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and store in a tight-topped cookie tin in a cool, dry place.
3. When ready to use, place one to two of your bath cookies into the tub as the water runs.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath.

Mixing up this pleasantly scented bath will give you a double benefit. You’ll gain as much pleasure making the concoction as you will from soaking in it. The combination of powdered milk, oatmeal, and cornstarch will leave you feeling silky and soft. The cinnamon will gently warm you and offer up a soothing aroma.
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whirl to combine. Transfer into a clean, tightly covered, moisture-proof container, where it will keep indefinitely.

2. Add about 1/2 cup of the Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath to a full tub of warm water and enjoy the soak.

Delicately Scented Bath Powder.

This variation provides a lightly scented powder suitable for adults.
While alum is used as an antiperspirant and deodorant for adults, it is best to use a simple sprinkle of cornstarch on baby’s skin.
2 tablespoons crumbled dried chamomile flowers
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon orris root
1/2 teaspoon alum
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let stand a few days.

Gypsy Herbal Astringent Lotion.

This wonderful herbal astringent lotion has been hailed as the first herbal product ever produced and marketed. Legend has it that the early Gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a cure-all. Whether or not it is I hardly know, but I do know that it is an excellent astringent for the face and a great rinse for dark hair.

This Gypsy herbal astringent lotion combines gentle common herbs in a masterful way, it’s easy to make, and it’s a versatile formula that serves many purposes. The Gypsies used it as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, footbath, and who knows what else! I have seen this formula sold in department stores in exotic little bottles for a fancy price. You can make it for the cost of a few herbs and a bottle of vinegar.

  • 6 parts lemon balm
  • 4 parts chamomile
  • 4 parts roses
  • 3 parts calendula
  • 3 parts comfrey leaf
  • 1 part lemon peel
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1 part sage
  • Vinegar to cover (apple cider or wine vinegar)
  • Rose water or witch hazel extract
  • Essential oil of lavender or rose (optional)
  1. Place the herbs in a widemouthed jar. Fill the jar with enough vinegar that it rises an inch or two above the herb mixture. Cover tightly and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 to 3 weeks.
  2. Strain out the herbs. To each cup of herbal vinegar, add 2/3 to 1 cup of rose water or witch hazel. Add a drop or two of essential oil, if desired. Rebottle. This product does not need to be refrigerated and will keep indefinitely.
  3.  To use: Pour a small amount of the toner onto a clean cotton ball and rub over your scalp or massage lightly into your scalp after shampooing.

Eucalyptus {Eucalyptus globulus}

Also, Known As:

  • Blue Gum
  • Blue Gum Tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fever Tree

The familiar tree known as the eucalyptus is indigenous to Australia. This popular quick growth tree is now cultivated in many other countries. The tree is one of the quickest growing tree species around; it is also among the world’s biggest and tallest trees. The eucalyptus grows successfully in many places with varied soils and climate. When fully grown, some sub-species of this tree can cross two hundred fifty feet in height. The eucalyptus is an efficient dry land tree, putting out a vast network of roots underground to probe for water. The efficient ability of the eucalyptus at scrounging water from the soil has been applied to great effect in draining marshy and waterlogged areas in land reclamation programs. This characteristic of the tree has proven to be of the greatest help in the complete reclamation of water bogged malarial swamps in many countries with hot and humid climates. For example, the malarial swamps in the Central American country of Guatemala were largely reclaimed by planting a large number of eucalyptus trees in the marshy wastelands that acted as the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Eucalyptus trees are characterized by the possession of bluish white colored bark, the bark easily peels off and many trees shed the bark. The tree bears green branchlets and foliage at the top. A white and waxy bloom coats the tender shoots and the leaves. The leaves of eucalyptus plants are dissimilar in shape and other characteristics, while the bluish green hue and sticky tender leaves tend to grow in opposite venation and are heart shaped, bluish-green, the mature green colored leaves grow in alternate venation, they are also lance-shaped and have a smooth texture. Eucalyptus has a peculiar pungent smell; this is due to the aromatic oil contained in the leaves and buds of the plant. This pungent scent is given off by crushed or bruised leaves.

Eucalyptus leaves are harvested and the aromatic oil is extracted for commercial purposes. For example, the essential ingredient in balms like the Vicks Vapo-Rub and other herbal remedies contains the aromatic eucalyptus oil. Vicks Vapo-Rub is a very popular over the counter mentholated herbal preparation and many millions of people have been using this remedy for many years to locally alleviate the symptoms of various respiratory disorders, particularly the symptoms of chronic asthma and bronchitis. The topical remedy is used by placing a small amount of the ointment on the chest of the affected person, following by a slow and gentle rub using the forefingers in a circular motion to spread out the soothing balm on the chest. A flannel cloth is at times laid over the skin rubbed with the Vapo-Rub – this results in warm stimulating and penetrating effect persisting for a longer time on the skin.

Among all native tree species in Australia, the Eucalyptus globulus species of tree is considered to be one of the most widely cultivated trees as far as commercial and non-commercial acreage is concerned. This tree species can be easily spotted at many of the parks and gardens in all Australian cities and urban centers. This tree has also been naturalized in many countries around the world. For example, Algeria on the North African coast, Brazil in South America, France, Spain, Portugal, and India all have fully naturalized and teeming populations of eucalyptus plants – the eucalyptus is almost cosmopolitan in distribution in the contemporary world and grows all over the world. Many Californians even regard the eucalyptus as a native species and are unaware that it is an introduced species due to its huge success there.

Eucalyptus is classified into four primary recognized sub-species – each of which differs from the other trees, in a range of physical or morphological characteristics that includes the type of bark, the habit and the arrangement of flowers when in bloom.

The Eucalyptus tree known as the “Tasmania blue gum” is botanically known as the – E. globulus tree. This sub-species of eucalyptus is found growing in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the island of Tasmania including a population in the islands of Bass Strait. This sub-species of eucalyptus can also be found in some areas in the southern part of the state of Victoria. This sub-species of eucalyptus is characterized by bearing flowers singly in the axils of the leaf. The bark of this sub-species is rough and most of the bark at the base of the tree trunk never peels off. The state of Tasmania uses the flowers of this subspecies of Eucalyptus as its floral emblem.

The subspecies of Eucalyptus called the “Maiden’s gum” is botanically called the-E.globulus maiden-tree. This sub-species of the eucalyptus can be found growing in Northeastern regions of the state of Victoria and in south-eastern New South Wales. The flowers of this sub-species of eucalyptus form into groups of seven along the axils of the leaf when in bloom. The bark at the base of the trunk normally peels away in this tree type.

The subspecies of Eucalyptus called “Gippsland blue gum” is known as the “E.globulus pseudolobules” to botanists. This sub-species of eucalyptus can be seen growing in southeastern New South Wales State, Flinders Island in the Bass Strait as well as in eastern and southern parts of the state of Victoria. This sub-species bears flowers primarily in floral groups of three attached along the axils of the leaves. The bark at the base of the trunk usually peels away leaving the tree base bare.

The subspecies of Eucalyptus called the “Southern blue gum” are known as the E.globulus bi costa ta to a botanist. This sub-species of eucalyptus is mainly found in a number of places along the Great Dividing Range in Australia, extending from the northern region of the state of New South Wales to the western region of the state of Victoria. This sub-species of eucalyptus tends to bear flowers primarily in groups of three in the leaf axils. This sub-species of eucalyptus possesses a rough bark that is usually retained at the base of the tree.

Eucalyptus is cultivated in many parts of the world and is a popular tree for cultivation and reforestation efforts as it is quick growing. The sub-species globulus is especially a popular tree for cultivation in many parts of the world. Some of its characteristics including the pretty and blue-grey – glaucous – juvenile foliage and its rapid growth make it ideal for land wasteland reclamation and reforestation efforts. This sub-species may not be suitable for all locales and places as it may be too big and demand too much space for average-sized suburban blocks. This sub-species of the eucalyptus also has a very robust and vigorous root system that fans out rapidly underground – the spreading roots can damage housing and underground pipes if the tree is not sited at a suitable location.

The globulus sub-species of the eucalyptus possess an open textured wood that is marked off by distinct growth rings – which can be used to identify the age of the tree. This wood of this sub-species is also hardy and strong as well as being durable; it, therefore, finds use in a variety of roles and manufactures, such as in the manufacture of railway sleepers, to make piles and planks, the paper industry, as well as a being a source of wood oil and in the manufacture of honey. Wood of this sub-species has also been used as a fuel and the tree coppices well. The quantity of volatile oil obtainable from this sub-species is relatively low compared to the other sub-species of eucalyptus. However, this sub-species still serves as a substantial source of volatile oil and commercial extraction of the oil from this sub-species species is carried out on an extensive scale in Spain and Portugal and on a lesser scale in other places. The soap making and perfumery industry utilizes this pale yellow volatile oil in the manufacture of a variety of products.

Parts Used:

Leaves, oil.

Uses:

The Australian aborigines traditionally used various herbal remedies made from different parts of the Eucalyptus to treat fevers and all kinds of infections. These days, remedies made from the eucalyptus are used by many people all over the world for the treatment of these types of complaints. The potent antiseptic and anti-viral power of the eucalyptus makes it very helpful to treat colds, flu, and it is often used as a gargle to treat sore throats.

The remedies made from the eucalyptus are effective in the treatment of chest infections of all kinds as the plant has strong expectorant action – disorders like bronchitis and pneumonia are often treated using this herbal eucalyptus remedy.

The essential oil of the eucalyptus is diluted and then used on the skin as a form of an herbal chest or sinus rub, this oil induces a warming and mildly anesthetic effect on the skin. The oil helps in relieving respiratory infections and complaints of all kinds. A similar effect can be induced by the use of a eucalyptus infusion or tincture as an herbal gargle to treat soreness in the throat. The essential oil can also be used in the diluted form to bring relief from the symptoms of rheumatic joints, symptoms like sudden aching pains and stiffness. The diluted essential oil is also useful for the treatment and alleviation of the symptoms of neuralgia, and to treat some kinds of skin infections caused by bacterial pathogens.

Other medical uses
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( COPD )
  • Herpes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tension headache
  • Viral infection

Habitat:

The eucalyptus is an indigenous Australian species, originally it was found only there. Due to the great popularity of the eucalyptus as a quick growth tree, it is now extensively cultivated in plantations around the world in countries that have a tropical, sub-tropical or temperate climatic regime. Eucalyptus trees are quick growing hardy species, however, it has been increasingly realized that planting the eucalyptus plants without planning can bring great ecological disruption and environmental problems to any area. One of the primary reasons is that these trees often absorb huge volumes of water from the ground and this can prevent the normal growth of native plant species – often endangering the local plant community. However, the water absorption capability of the eucalyptus species is considered very beneficial in some cases, especially when trees are planted to help dry up marshy areas – thus lowering the risk of malaria in an area. The leaves of cultivated trees are harvested and subjected to distillation to obtain the essential oil or they are dried and used for other purposes.

In cultivation, the ideal site to grow eucalyptus is in sites that have a good exposure to sunlight. The tree grows best in soils that are moderately fertile and are well drained. Eucalyptus also prefers moisture retentive and circumneutral soils and gives optimal growth in such soils. However, as already mentioned the eucalyptus is a hardy plant and can easily grow with success in most soil types. It is a strong plant and can tolerate even poor and very dry soils. The tree is tolerant of even those soils that are particularly low in essential mineral elements required by most other plant species. One eucalyptus has been grown on a site, the established mature trees become very tolerant to drought and prolonged dry periods. When planting the eucalyptus, it is best to avoid planting in frost pockets or along windy sites. Growing eucalyptus plants usually need a sheltered position; the young eucalyptus plants may not be able to tolerate extreme cold temperatures and will also not grow well if exposed to winds that are dry or desiccating during the crucial early growth stage. Eucalyptus plants are tolerant of moderate rainfall and are tolerate annual precipitation from 80 to about 160 cm. The species also tolerates fluctuations in annual temperature ranging from 16 to 20°C. As the eucalyptus is a sub-tropical species, it does not possess the deciduous habit of stopping growth in cold weather and trees will continue to grow until it turns too cold for any growth to occur. This factor makes the eucalyptus plants vulnerable to physical and tissue damage from the appearance of sudden cold conditions and frosts. Eucalyptus trees resist the cold better, when the fluctuation in the temperature is much more gradual such as in woodlands and sub-temperate areas, often stopping growth and becoming dormant – eucalyptus plants grown in such conditions or areas are much more cold resistant than plants grown in temperate or colder regions. The eucalyptus trees also survive much better and grow at an optimal rate if provided with a deep mulch in the site around the roots – this mulching prevents the freezing of the soil and aids the resistance of the trees to cold weather. The Genus Eucalyptus is nevertheless one of the most adaptable plant genus’s around and the trees are remarkably hardy in all kinds of weather conditions. The hardiness of each generation can undergo a dramatic as seeds from subsequent generations of plants grown in the temperate zones are planted – the tree adapts to the local conditions in a few generations. Among all the different eucalyptus sub-species, the “Tasmanian blue gum” with a total number covering about 800,000 ha in dozens of countries around the world is considered to the most extensively planted sub-species of eucalyptus. The Tasmanian blue gum is the eucalyptus species of choice in S. Europe and can commonly be seen there, particularly in countries such as Italy, Spain, and Portugal. This sub-species of eucalyptus is used as a source from commercial timber, as a tree for soil stabilization in degraded lands and as a source of the essential eucalyptus oil found in the leaf extract. Eucalyptus trees are also extensively planted in bogs and marshy areas to help lower the wetness of the land in land reclamation projects or to rid such areas of breeding mosquitoes – the high transpiration rate of eucalyptus plants is the reason for their efficiency in clearing excess water from bogs and marshes. Eucalyptus plants are shallow rooting during the early growth periods and have to be planted at the permanent sites while they are small to protect them from the danger of high winds. Eucalyptus saplings do not tolerate disturbance to the root system very well and are best grown in containers initially before they are taken for planting at permanent sites. Eucalyptus trees are also favored by apiarist as the nectar-rich flowers are a good source of nectar for bees. The typical balsamic eucalyptus aroma is given off by leaves when they are slightly bruised – a stand of eucalyptus trees can be identified by the presence of this peculiar aromatic smell.

Eucalyptus trees are propagated using stored seeds. The seeds are sown on the soil surface either in February or March, usually in seedbeds within greenhouse – sites with good exposure to incoming sunlight is preferred. The best method to grow seedlings of sub-species that are from high altitudes is to subject them to cold stratification for six or eight weeks. As soon as the second sets of seed leaves appear, the seedlings are placed into individual pots – this is done because it becomes difficult to successfully move or transplant the seedlings at a later stage. Early in the summer, seedlings are planted out into the permanent positions and at this stage, usually given them some protection from the cold during the winter of the first year of growth. Eucalyptus seeds are often sown in June as well, in such a case, the young trees are only planted at the permanent site late in the spring of the next year. Eucalyptus seeds are viable for long periods of time and can be stored for years on end.

Research:

There has been numerous and extensive research into the essential oil of the eucalyptus in the last half century. The essential oil has been shown to possess a distinct and potent antiseptic action as well as a power to dilate the bronchioles and respiratory passages in the pulmonary system. The main constituent of the oil is a compound called cineole, however, the potency of cineole, when used alone, is weaker compared to the whole essential oil – other compounds in the oil are also responsible for the beneficial effects in addition to the cineole.

Components:

The volatile oil contains about 70% eucalyptol (1, 8-cineole), as well as pinene, limonene, alpha-terpineol, and linalool. While it is similar to the oils of related species, this oil appears to be better tolerated by the skin.

Applications

Leaves:
HERBAL STEAM INHALATION – This steam remedy can be prepared by pouring scalding boiled water on a few eucalyptus leaves in a bowl, the vapors can be inhaled to alleviate chest infections and respiratory ailments.
Essential oil:
EUCALYPTUS COMPRESS – A herbal compress can be prepared from the oil to treat topical problems. Two ml of the oil dispersed in a hundred ml of water can be used to soak a compressed pad. The thoroughly soaked pad can be pressed on inflamed skin, rubbed on painful joints, and applied on skin burns and other topical complaints.ORAL GARGLE – Five drops of the eucalyptus oil mixed well and diluted in a glass of water can be used as a gargle for throat infections and as a general antiseptic mouthwash.

TOPICAL CHEST RUB – About 0.5 – 2 ml of the essential oil can be diluted in twenty-five ml of almond oil – this can be used as rubbing oil to relieve complaints like bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold. This oil is a good topical rub for influenza affected patients as well.

INHALATION – Some hot water can be used to dilute ten drops of the essential oil. The vapors given off can be inhaled to treat and relieve chest infections or pulmonary problems of all kinds.

HERBAL OIL – Two drops of the essential eucalyptus oil can be mixed with ten ml of sunflower oil or another herbal ointment base, this herbal oil can be applied to the skin to treat cold sores and other topical problems.

MASSAGE OIL – A herbal massage or rubbing oil can be made by mixing ten to twenty drops of the essential eucalyptus oil with ten to twenty drops of herbal rosemary oil, with the addition of twenty ml of infused bladder-wrack oil or some almond oil – this oil can be massaged on the joints to treat symptomatic rheumatic or arthritic pain in affected patients.

Directions For How To Make Rose Oil Using The Cold Infusion Method.

 

Work with intention, allowing space in your busy life to be present. It is fitting to say a short blessing or prayer that the final product is an effective healer.

Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena are the most commonly available Roses and are well-suited for herbal skin care.

1) Fill a clean jar ¾ full with freshly dried or dry rose petals and buds. You can break up and bruise the petals gently.

2) Fill the jar to the top with carrier oil of choice. I use extra virgin olive oil most commonly, though sweet almond or coconut (melted) would work well.

3) Cap and shake to distribute the herb.

4) Label with the herb used, where it is from, the oil used, quantities of each, the date and the method of preparation.

5) Allow the jar to sit in a cool, dark place, shaking daily.

6) At 4 weeks/28 days/1 moon cycle, strain the oil into a clean bowl, squeezing the herb to get every drop. I find it helpful to use an old t-shirt or cheesecloth to catch the herb. Then lift the t-shirt with herb in it and squeeze that.

7) The strained liquid is your finished oil. Essential oil can be added or it can be left as is. It will have the sweet scent of roses, though it may be light. You could always make a double or triple infusion, where you would use the filtered herbal oil as the carrier oil for a fresh batch of rose petals.

Rose Oil can be used as any other herbal oil, for cosmetic, massage and medicinal purposes.

Therapeutic Benefits of Roses 

     Aside from providing an aesthetic appeal, which contributes to the overall pleasure and feeling of well being, roses have a genuine practical use in our regimens of good health. Rose oil and rose water are derived from the flowers and rose hips have many valuable properties.

     It is suspected that the rose was probably the very first flower from which rose oil and rose water were distilled; possibly in the 10th Century Persia. Today, most of the rose oils are still produced in that region of the world. A very large quantity of rose petals is needed to produce a very small quantity of oil. Thus, it is very costly. Thankfully only a small amount of rose oil is needed in therapeutic preparations. It is not used in its concentrated state, but rather in a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba, and grapeseed.

     Generally rose oil and rose water (a by-product of distillation) are used topically rather than internally; with the exception of aromatherapy.In this case the rose essence may be inhaled, via steam or diffusion. Three varieties of rose are used in commercial production of rose oil and rose water: Rosa Centifolia, Rosa Damascena and Rosa Gallica. The product will vary slightly in colour between these species but the therapeutic benefits are the same.

     The use of the rose is far and varied. It has a long history in its use in folk remedies, especially in the area of skincare. It is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skins. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. It is important to ensure that the product contains the genuine natural rose oil. Many manufacturers label their products containing rose essence but it could be synthetic. Synthetic rose ingredients have no therapeutic value at all! Remember, with authentic rose oil, a little goes a long way.Certainly rosewater is a less expensive way to provide skincare. It is very soothing to irritated skin.It is also a tonic and antiseptic. Rosewater has been shown to be very valuable as an antiseptic in eye infections.

     The rose also offers a soothing property to the nerves and emotional /psychological state of mind. It is regarded as a mild sedative and anti-depressant. It is increasingly used in treatments for conditions of stress: nervous tension, peptic ulcers, heart disease, among others. There is indication that rose essence may also positively influence digestion, bile secretion, womb disorders and circulation. In addition, a tea made with rose petals (pour 150 ml of boiling water over 1 /2 grams of rose petals) often soothes a mild sore throat.

     Rose hips (the flowers which have swollen to seed) are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, C, D and E. They also contain bioflavonoids, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, tannins and zinc. Taken in the form of tea they are good for infections, particularly bladder infections. Rose hip tea is also used in the treatment of diarrhea. It is an especially good source of vitamin C.

     To best use rose oil for topical purposes (i.e. skin care), use approximately 8 drops of essential rose oil for every 10 ml of carrier oil. Apply directly onto skin. Rosewater may be used with abandon. There is no such thing as too much of it. For emotional wholeness and wellness, rose oil may also be used in a room diffuser, aromatherapy ring (a brass ring placed atop a hot light bulb will work to evaporate the essential essence throughout the room) or in steaming hot water on the stove. Whatever works!

     To brew rose hip tea, which by the way is truly delicious, roughly chop up entire rose hips. Cover with distilled or purified water and boil for 30 minutes (longer if desired). Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and add a bit of honey if desired. One can also find Rose Hip Tea in the local health food stores.  The essence of rose need not only be used to treat ailments. Whether inhaled and enjoyed from a freshly cut bouquet of sumptuous blooms or splashed on as rosewater after a shower or bath, it is simply a pleasure to be enjoyed by all!

CHAKRA HEALING ESSENTIAL OILS.

Just as color, sound and stones have a certain resonance with the Chakras, so do different plants. Essential oils are the fragrant distilled essence of plants, and can be used to help balance the chakras. Use the fragrances which are the most appealing and pleasing to you, and it is recommended to blend the pure essential oils with a carrier oil, such as almond oil.

 

Essential Oils Which Resonate with the Chakras

Root Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Root Chakra are corn, clematis, rosemary, ylang-ylang, myrrh, frankincense, benzoin, patchouli and sandalwood.

Sacral Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Second Chakra are all citrus oils, such as neroli, melissa, and orange. Also rose, hibiscus, jasmine, Indian Paintbrush, and lady’s slipper.

Solar Plexus Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Third Chakra are yarrow, chamomile, peppermint, lemon juniper, vetiver, petitgrain and marjoram.

Heart Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Fourth Chakra are holly, poppy, rose, eucalyptus and pine, bergamot, melissa, jasmine or rosewood.

Throat Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Fifth Chakra are cosmos, trumpet vine, larch, blue chamomile, sage, lemongrass, geranium or hyssop.

Third Eye Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Sixth Chakra are wild oat, Queen Anne’s Lace, madia, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, spruce, frankincense, patchouli, elemi or clary sage.

Crown Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Seventh Chakra are lotus, angelica, star tulip, frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, jasmine, benzoin, neroli, lavender, angelica or St. John’s Wort.

How to Use Essential Oils for Chakra Balancing:

The simplest and most direct way is to rub a drop or two, blended with your carrier oil, onto the skin above the Chakra you wish to treat.

Another way is to rub the oils into your palms, then wave your hands through your aura, rather than placing the oil directly on the skin. This will disperse any negative energy which has collected in your aura. Swirl your hands first in a clockwise motion, to break up and dispel unwanted energies, then go clockwise, to rebalance your aura.

You can also treat your environment, by using an oil diffuser. This is a small ceramic piece, with a shallow bowl shape at the top, and a hollow area underneath, where you place a small candle. Place a little water, plus a few drops of essential oil in the shallow bowl, and light a candle underneath; as the candle warms the bowl, the oil will begin to burn off, and diffuse into the air.

Essential oils are generally safe, but do not ingest them, and use caution on your skin. It is possible to develop allergies. Essential oil treatments are also not recommended for pregnant women or children.

Aromatherapy Peppermint.

Menta Piperita

Peppermint (botanical name Menta Piperita) is basically a hybrid plant – a cross between the spearmint and watermint. Although the herb is native to Europe, presently it is grown across the globe. This perennial herb possesses numerous therapeutic properties that were identified and used by the Indians, Egyptians and Chinese since the ancient times. In order to avail the detoxifying attributes of the peppermint, the ancient Romans used to make wreaths with this herb and wear them as crowns during festivities. Owing to its sharp and spicy fragrance, peppermint is well accepted by most people.

The peppermint plant usually grows up to a height of 30 cm to 90 cm. The plant has smooth stems that are squares in cross section. The rhizomes or subterraneous roots of the plant are fleshy and travel far and wide while the bare roots are fibrous. The plant bears deep green leaves with reddish veins that are 4 cm to 9 cm in length and 1.5 cm to 4 cm in width. The peppermint plant bears purplish blooms that have four-lobed corolla in whorls around the stem. The plant usually blossoms between mid and late summer.

The essential oil extracted from peppermint not only has a soothing effect, but it also rejuvenates the skin and is tremendously resourceful for household use. The oil possesses a clearing aroma that is effective in fighting fatigue and, at the same time, very stimulating. Use of this essential oil enhances the capability to concentrate as well as brings clarity of thoughts and decisions. Peppermint essential oil is said to be inspiring and revitalizing.

It may be mentioned here that irrespective of the herb, all essential oils are prepared solely using the herbs or the plants. This denotes that the essential oils do not enclose any outside element, such as moisturizer, which could dilute their attributes or potency. As a result, whenever bottles containing essential oils are opened, they exude an exceptionally strong smell.

Peppermint essential oil is beneficial for people enduring headaches, asthma, cramps, fainting, colic, flatulence, nausea, and fevers. It is known to be highly effective in relieving pains associated with these conditions. This oil also has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, distress, tension, anxiousness, lethargy and/ or vertigo (light-headedness).

The essential oil extracted from peppermint can be used in various ways. Some of the different uses of peppermint essential oil are briefly mentioned below.

Provided you have a water spritzer (a container for two different liquids or drinks), fill it up with water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it. If the bottles are small, you need to add just 15 to 20 drops of the oil, while you may add 20-30 drops of oil in medium-sized bottles. Shake the mixture of oil and water thoroughly and gently spray it on your bedding, curtains and also carpets as an alternative to a room deodorizer.

Get a small pot filled with water for boiling over a stove top. Add three to five drops of peppermint essential oil to the water and inhale the aromatic vapor. While doing so, ensure that you take deep and slow breaths enabling the mixture to infuse your lungs.

In aromatherapy, peppermint can be effectively used as a massage oil to alleviate a number of conditions. However, as in the case of any essential oil, remember to dilute the peppermint essential oil blending it with any suitable carrier oil before use. In fact, the moisturizers present in carrier oils help to make the skin smooth and softer – supple to touch. As the concentration of peppermint essential oil is extremely high, only a few drops (one to three) of it need to be added to a little amount of carrier oil.

These days, there are several stores that sell ceramic oil burners meant for aromatherapy. Generally, these ceramic oil burners have the appearance of archetypal, glass milk bottles, but are smaller having a small, detachable, saucer-shaped lid, underneath which one can position a tea-candle. When you have lit the candle, replace the lid and pour in a small quantity of peppermint essential oil in the lid. As the candle will heat the oil in the lid, the sharp and spicy aroma of peppermint will infuse the air. This will help to refresh your senses.

You may also put in two to three drops of peppermint essential oil on a handkerchief and fold it before placing it under a pillow. While the delicate aroma of the oil will not be too intense for your nose, it will help in ensuring sound sleep.

As mentioned earlier, peppermint essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is, hence, used to treat a number of conditions. Its health benefits are many and some of them are briefly discussed below.

  • Since peppermint oil possesses potent antiseptic properties, it is very helpful in dental care. This oil not only helps to get rid of foul breath but also aids the gums and teeth to fight germs. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that peppermint essential oil forms an active ingredient in toothpaste. In addition, like clove oil, peppermint essential oil is highly effective in healing toothaches.
  • The essential oil extracted from peppermint is also effective in alleviating digestive problems while promoting digestion. On many occasions, people add a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a glassful of water and drink it following a meal with a view to facilitating digestion. The digestive properties of peppermint essential oil make it an excellent tonic for those enduring poor appetite. This oil also possesses carminative properties and, hence, is effective in expelling gas formed in the stomach and intestines, thereby, providing relief from flatulence and bloating. In addition, this essential oil is also useful when one is suffering from an upset stomach or motion sickness. Initial researches have established that a blend of peppermint essential oil and caraway oil can also be used to effectively treat heartburn.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also a good home remedy to cure a headache and nausea. Topical application of watered down peppermint oil on the forehead is helpful in providing relief from headaches.
  • As in the case of a majority of the essential oils, peppermint essential oil also has the aptitude to alleviate tension, depression as well as mental exhaustion. These actions of peppermint essential oil are attributed to its ability to revitalize and refresh. This oil is also helpful in providing relief from nervous anxiety and restiveness. It is also known to be an effective remedy for insomnia.
  • Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol content and, hence, is helpful in clearing the congestion in the respiratory tract. It also possesses potent expectorant properties which help it to draw out mucus and phlegm from the lungs, providing instant, albeit provisional, relief in several respiratory problems, such as cold and cough, sinusitis, nasal congestion, bronchitis and even asthma. Owing to these actions of peppermint essential oil, it is widely used in several formulations for cold rubs. Massaging or rubbing the cold rubs enclosing peppermint essential oil on the chest helps to get rid of nasal congestion as well as blockage of the respiratory tract almost instantly.
  • The essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant also possesses analgesic properties and, hence, it can be used topically to get relief from pains and aches. Peppermint essential oil encloses calcium antagonism which is believed to facilitate in providing relief from pain. This oil also has a cooling nature, which is effective in bringing down high temperatures during fever.
  • It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is highly effectual for colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and also during double-contrast barium enema (the inducement of a barium salt suspension into the rectum and colon before taking an X-ray). In such cases, peppermint essential oil is applied intraluminally (a lumen inside the space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine). Presently, scientists are studying the additional benefits of the oil’s anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also known to augment blood circulation throughout the body.
  • It has been found that the essential oil extracted from peppermint plant possesses the property to relax the muscles. Also, relaxing the stomach muscles helps in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome. Initial findings of several types of research have proved this action of the oil, but the scientists are yet to determine the precise manner in which it works.
  • As mentioned before, peppermint essential oil contains high amounts of menthol which is beneficial for the health of the skin. Owing to the presence of menthol, using this oil topically on the skin brings forth a cooling effect. In addition, this oil nurtures dry skin and removes the problems associated with oily skin.
  • Peppermint essential oil also helps to fortify the immune system, thereby, enhancing the body’s capability to fight against diseases. In addition, this essential oil also helps to safeguard the body against several ailments.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also extremely beneficial for our hair. It brings forth a calming effect when applied on the head and facilitates getting rid of dandruff and lice. In addition, peppermint nourishes the hair follicles and makes the hair appear glistening.
  • Although researchers are still trying to ascertain the anti-cancerous properties of peppermint essential oil, it is generally believed that this oil is helpful in treating cancer. Moreover, peppermint essential oil is said to be effective in curing tuberculosis.
  • Many herbalists recommend the use of peppermint essential oil for people suffering from urinary tract infection {UTI}. Nevertheless, it needs to be mentioned that the scientists are yet to ascertain the use of peppermint essential oil for this purpose.

General Properties:

  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • carminative
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic

Blends Well With:

  • eucalyptus
  • juniper
  • lemon
  • rosemary
  • rosewood

General uses

  • abdominal pains
  • acne
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bites
  • bruises
  • colic
  • coughing
  • mouth thrush
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • painful menstruation
  • stings
  • stress
  • swollen gums
  • toothache

Precaution:

Although the essential oil extracted from peppermint possesses several therapeutic properties, it is said that this oil negates the efficacy of a number of homeopathic medications. Similar is the case for the essential oil derived from eucalyptus

 

Peppermint Oil: Four Surprising Utilities.

For several centuries, the oil obtained from the peppermint plant has been a vital element of several medications and there are sufficient reasons for this too. Peppermint oil is not only intense but also highly aromatic. In addition to being an established analgesic, carminative, and expectorant, peppermint oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties and, it is widely used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) problems like indigestion as well as stomach spasms. However, this oil is used in mild doses for these purposes. There are an increasing number of evidence indicating that peppermint oil can also be used for treating irritable bowel syndrome {IBS}.

Generally, peppermint oil has been extensively used in the form of an internal medication. However, it also offers a number of cosmetic benefits; for instance, it is especially effectual in augmenting the health of our mouth, skin, hair and nails.

Four Amazing Uses of Peppermint Oil:

Mouth care

Peppermint oil possesses antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it effectively kills several harmful microbes that may be present in our mouth and eventually lead to tooth decay. It has been found that menthol, an active element present in peppermint oil, is effective in treating foul breath.

You may use peppermint oil to prepare an effective mouthwash. Add three to four drops of the oil to a little amount of clean purified water and gargle with this solution for anything between 30 seconds and one minute. For best results, you may add one teaspoon of baking soda to the solution as this will enhance its tooth whitening attributes.

Skincare

Individuals who want their skin to appear more youthful and healthy will find peppermint oil very beneficial. This oil is a proven astringent and possesses the ability to put off blockage of the skin pores. In fact, peppermint oil has been proven to be a very effectual natural therapy for acne. It contains elevated levels of menthol, which aids in keeping the skin cool and make the dull patches brighter. Applying peppermint oil to the face helps to cleanse the waste and dirt build-up.

A solution prepared by adding peppermint oil to water is ideal for external use on the skin all over the body. You may also add other ingredients beneficial for the health of the skin like aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar to augment the potency of the solution.

Hair care

Many commercial shampoos and conditioners enclose peppermint oil as an active ingredient and there are important reasons for this. This oil possesses significant invigorating and regenerative actions, which may aid in alleviating scalp irritation, encourage new hair growth as well as revitalize the existing hair. In addition, application of peppermint oil to the scalp results in a cooling sensation, making the entire head feel stimulated and refreshed.

You can prepare an effective natural shampoo at home by blending peppermint oil (10 drops), olive oil (three tablespoons), baking soda (10 tablespoons), and aloe vera gel (6 ounces) with purified water (7 ounces). You can store this home-made shampoo in a bottle for use when necessary. It is much more nourishing compared to commercial shampoos and does not contain any chemicals that may deplete the natural oils from the hair.

Nail care

Many people across the world are affected by fungal nail infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. While such problems hardly ever raise medical concerns, they definitely are cosmetic problems and may be responsible for obstinate itching and other bothersome symptoms. Since peppermint oil possesses anti-fungal attributes, it can effectively deal with fungal nail infections. Just apply peppermint oil to the infected nails once or twice every day till the problem disappears.