Make Fragrant Essential Oils: Warrior’s Spirit for Courage

This Warrior’s Spirit blend promotes courage and protection as well as physical and emotional support.

• 12 drops lavender oil
• 6 drops carrot seed oil
• 3 drops black pepper oil
• 3 drops angelica oil
• 3 drops myrrh oil
• 2 drops sage oil

Natural Perfumery

Craft evocative personal scents using natural ingredients, which lend delicate nuances to fragrances and evolve over time.

Thanks to the art and science of aromatherapy, we now appreciate the profound links between aroma and health; scents are processed in the amygdala, the same area of the brain that processes emotions. Because of the integration of scent and emotional processing, making natural perfume can contribute to our well-being. Perfume creation, which involves active olfaction and a total focus on the sense of smell, has been compared to concentrative meditation — it can help eliminate stress and bring about a sense of calm and peace. Not to mention, making perfume gives you the opportunity to develop your sense of smell!

Creating your own fragrances isn’t difficult. Maybe you already know that you prefer a certain type of perfume — an aroma that you identify with and that makes you feel good. Maybe you’d like to make a perfume to comfort, to uplift your spirits, to promote self-confidence, or for meditation. Or maybe you’d like to wear perfumes that reflect the season or evoke a specific mood. The possibilities are endless, and trying new combinations is part of the fun.

Natural Perfume Components

Natural perfumes made with essential oils and absolutes won’t be the same as commercial, alcohol-based perfumes. Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plants by steam distillation, or by physical expression, as in the case of citrus oils. Absolutes are made by solvent extraction; they’re aromatically similar to the plant but are very concentrated and best appreciated when highly diluted. Rose, jasmine, and orange blossom are the most popular absolutes. They’re expensive so you could use an infusion in jojoba oil as a budget-friendly alternative.

In mainstream perfumery, synthetic aroma chemicals dominate. This means that when a modern synthetic fragrance is applied, the effect is often linear — the perfume doesn’t substantially change its character from application until it has faded from our perception. The scent of perfumes made with extracts from aromatic plants, however, will evolve on our skin after application; we’ll first sense the top notes, then the middle notes at the heart of the scent, and finally the lingering base notes. Commercial perfumes are constructed for their initial impact and presence, their persistence, and for sillage — the trail of fragrance left in the air when the wearer walks by. Oil or wax-based natural perfumes are more subtle, and will usually fade more quickly. However, what’s lost in bombastic impact is more than made up for by the gentleness and beauty of naturally derived ingredients, and by the mood benefits of the aroma.

Fragrant Harmonies

Natural perfume isn’t composed randomly. To create a successful perfume, you’ll need to understand the olfactory relationships between essential oils, their volatility (which determines which scents are top, middle, and base notes), their diffusiveness, and their odor intensity.

The scent of every essential oil is made up of many chemical components, each of which has its own olfactory characteristics, and the components’ relative proportions have a major impact on the overall aroma of the oil. For this reason, some essential oils, such as rose or jasmine, are complex enough to make good single-ingredient fragrances, which are instantly recognizable. If you combine three essential oils, you create a new odor sensation, although you’ll still be able to discern the presence of the individual oils. But by combining five or more oils, you’ll create a completely new scent, which we’ll struggle to discern the individual ingredients of because hundreds of chemicals will be constituents contributing to the aroma.

In perfume, the initial impact is given by the “top note,” or the aromatics that evaporate most quickly; the heart of the scent is composed of “middle note” aromatics, defining the theme of the perfume; and less volatile “base note” aromatics anchor or fix the scent, giving it persistence. The oil or wax base of a natural perfume will also decelerate evaporation to an extent, which is why a natural perfume takes a little longer to make its presence known. By contrast, alcohol-based conventional perfumes are highly volatile.

In addition to the broad top, middle, or base category a particular aromatic might belong to, aromatic connections will be running throughout the perfume, because many essential oils share aromatic constituents. These form what we might think of as aromatic bridges, which will bring cohesiveness and harmony to your blend; aromatic contrasts will add drama and excitement.

Choose a Theme

When crafting a personal scent, you might want to create a soliflore, where one floral fragrance dominates; or a more sophisticated bouquet, which might be floral, herbal, or based on fragrant woods, soothing balsams, citrus, or vanilla. Each of these ideas can be fused so you might choose a floral-balsamic composition or an herbal-woody-spicy scent.

You can also create a more abstract scent that reflects seasons, places, or feelings. Evoke a walk in the forest with conifer oils or a tropical garden with sumptuous ylang-ylang. You could even use vanilla and citrus to make a fragrance inspired by the aroma of cakes baking!

Follow Your Nose

Top notes: Citrus is commonly used as a top note, because of its high volatility. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) has a fresh citrus top note and sweet citrus body, with lemony, floral, peppery, and lavender-like nuances — elements that can bridge with many other scents. Use the furanocoumarin-free (FCF) version to eliminate the risk of phototoxicity, which is a burning reaction from topically applied essential oils that are triggered by exposure to sunlight. Other citrus top notes include yellow grapefruit (C. paradisi) for sharpness, lime (C. aurantifolia) for lightness, mandarin (C. reticulata) for freshness, and yuzu peel (C. junos) if you like a stronger aromatic citrus presence. Many citrus essential oils and aromatics are phototoxic, though the risk is minimized by using steam-distilled essential oils; research the aromatic you plan to use before adding it to a scent.

Herbal top notes give freshness to a blend; try using bergamot mint (Mentha citrata), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and petitgrain (C. aurantium).

Floral top notes include the green scent of neroli (steam-distilled C. aurantium var. amara) and damask rose (Rosa x damascena), which gives a gentle freshness, lift, and harmony.

Spicy top notes include black pepper (Piper nigrum) for light warmth and lift, and caraway seed (Carum carvi) for sweet warmth and intrigue. Versatile coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum), with sweet, spicy, woody, floral, and citrus notes, can act as a bridge.

Middle notes: Floral heart notes can be as defining or as subtle as you wish. Heady Jasminum grandiflorum absolute should be used sparingly for its intense, diffusive, warm floral fragrance. Like rose and orange blossom absolutes, it makes for a classic floral heart. Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) is intensely sensual, and it makes a good soliflore. Rose absolute (Rosa x centifolia) will make a smooth, rich, sweet soliflore, or can be the dominant floral in a composition. In small amounts, its delicacy can transform fragrances. Orange blossom absolute (solvent-distilled from Citrus aurantium var. amara) is a rich and heavy floral that should be used sparingly. It can make an interesting soliflore with neroli as a top note. A little ylang-ylang extra (Cananga odorata var. genuina) goes a long way; it’s diffusive, sweet, rich, and tropical. In small amounts, it lifts and harmonizes blends.

For an herbal heart, try sweet, fresh lavender absolute; rose geranium (Pelargonium spp.); or sweet, diffusive Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) for its apple notes.

Citrus oils evaporate quickly, making them difficult to use in the heart of a scent. However, litsea (Litsea cubeba) is fresh, sweet, sharp, and lemony, and has reasonable tenacity.

Spicy oils make good partners for flowers and woods and can sit within the heart of a perfume. Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) is perfect for spicing up rose fragrances. Use it minimally; the scent is powerful, and the oil can irritate the skin. Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) should also be used sparingly.

Woods and resins for heart notes include Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which imparts woody and smoky notes; Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), which gives a mild “pencil shavings” aroma; and frankincense (Boswellia carterii), which offers a fresh, resinous effect. Both frankincense and Eastern red cedar reach the top notes while staying in the heart. Frankincense suffers from overharvesting for the essential oil trade, so be sure to seek out sustainably sourced oil if you wish to use it. Conifers usually make their presence felt in top notes, but are tenacious enough to stay in the heart.

Base notes: These oils all act as fixatives as well as fragrance elements. If you’re looking for a balsamic, ambery, rich effect, try the resin of rock rose (Cistus ladanifer) or myrrh (Commiphora myrrha).

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is distinctive and complex and will add character to blends with its persistent, earthy, herbaceous notes. Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides) is a rich, sweet, woody, earthy aroma, with remarkably persistent musky notes.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) is the base of many traditional attars; blend it with rose or jasmine to create a simple, beautiful scent. The scent is sweetly woody and persistent, with balsamic and musky notes. Sandalwood is often overharvested in the wild; seek sustainable sources for this oil.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is sweet, rich, and warm, with woody and even tobacco notes. The solvent-extracted absolute is quite expensive, so the budget-friendly way to use it is to buy vanilla-infused jojoba oil, to which you can add your other ingredients.

The given recipes are only a few examples of perfumes you can create. Adapt them to suit what you have available — or what you prefer — and don’t be afraid to substitute fragrances or vary the proportions of aromatics. Enjoy; it’s your perfume!

Natural Oil-Based Roll-On Perfume Recipe

This oil-based roll-on perfume recipe is easy to adjust to your personal fragrance preferences, and fragrance-infused carrier oils expand the possibilities.

Yield: 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) liquid perfume.

 

Pack your preferred personal scent into a roller ball bottle to have on hand throughout the day. Note that the provided measurements will give a concentration of around 5 percent essential oils. You shouldn’t use more than 2 drops of absolute per 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) of carrier oil.

Ingredients:

  • 10 drops essential oils and absolutes (see “Oil-Based Perfume Variations,” below)
  • 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) jojoba oil
  • A colored-glass roller-ball bottle

Instructions:

  1. Add your heart notes directly into the bottle, and smell as you go, in case you need to adjust.
  2. Next, add the base notes, and, again, remember to smell after every drop. You can always add more, but you can’t subtract.
  3. Finally, add your top notes.
  4. When you’re happy with the aroma, fill the bottle to the shoulder with jojoba oil, fit on the roller ball and lid, and invert the bottle gently several times to thoroughly distribute the oils in the jojoba.
  5. Give your composition a name, label the bottle, and note the formula.

Oil-Based Perfume Variations

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and must be sufficiently diluted in a carrier oil to be used safely on your skin. Don’t adjust the proportion of aromatics to carrier oil in these recipes. All the following quantities are calculated for 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) of liquid perfume.


Tropical Flowers

Top: 2 drops lime

Heart: 3 drops ylang-ylang

Base: 5 drops sandalwood

Variation: Use vanilla-infused jojoba as the carrier for a creamy effect.


Herbal Bouquet

Top: 3 drops bergamot mint, 2 drops rose, and 2 drops lavender

Heart: 1 drop rose geranium, 1 drop Roman chamomile, and (optional) 1 drop lavender absolute

Base: 1 drop patchouli or vetiver


Meditation

Top: 2 drops Bergamot and 2 drops neroli

Heart: 2 drops frankincense

Base: 2 drops Myrrh and 2 drops sandalwood

Rosewood Oil: “Bois-de-Rose” Benefits

Prized as a decorative tree and used to make furniture, chopsticks, and show pieces, rosewood is a versatile and durable tree that grows abundantly in Brazil. But rosewood is more than just a raw material used in manufacturing. The popular fragrant oil of the same name is extracted from its wood. Keep on reading to learn more about rosewood oil.

What Is Rosewood Oil?

rosewood oilRosewood oil is extracted from Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree that’s indigenous to Peru and Brazil. Rosewood, also called “bois-de-rose,” is a member of the Laurel (Lauraceae) plant family along with camphor, cinnamon, bay, and cassia. This aromatic tree can grow up to 40 meters high and is distinguishable by its reddish bark and yellow flowers. Many rosewood rain forests have been cut down to accommodate the high demand for this sturdy lumber, although legislation now requires planting a new rosewood in place of every tree that’s been cut down.

Rosewood oil has a characteristic aroma that’s warm, spicy, woody, fruity, floral, and enlivening. This characteristic aroma makes it an established ingredient in high-class perfumery and soap-making, especially during the early 1900’s, which caused deforestation of the tree.

Due to rosewood oil’s high price, however, manufacturers turned to cheaper alternatives, such as Chinese Ho oils from Cinnamomum camphora, as well as synthetic linalool. This allowed rosewood forests to thrive once again.

Uses of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil’s alluring fragrance has been widely lauded in the perfume industry, but its therapeutic properties are less well known. Aromatherapists use it to help treat depression, as it is said to impart feelings of happiness and strength. Rosewood oil also calms the mind and prompts hormone secretion. It also works as an aphrodisiac as it stimulates your body and libido allowing you to relax and let go of stress and mental clutter.

Another popular use of rosewood oil is for skin care. It has tissue-regenerating properties that help prevent wrinkles and premature aging, and also works well for preventing a variety of skin conditions. You can use it to reduce the onset of pimples, acne, and blackheads while controlling the amount of sebum secreted by your oil glands. Rosewood oil also has wound-healing actions, making it an ideal first-aid remedy for cuts and insect bites.

To get rosewood oil’s therapeutic effects, you can:

  • Diffuse it using a vaporizer.
  • Dilute it in a carrier oil, and then place a drop or two on your skin or the affected areas that need healing. Note: DO NOT use it on facial skin without diluting it in a mild carrier oil first. You can also use it as a massage oil.
  • Add it to your bathwater. Use it while showering: after soaking for at least 3 minutes in steamy shower, turn the water off, put five to seven drops of the oil in the palm of your hand, and distribute it all over your wet body. The oil will penetrate very quickly and you can rinse it off if you prefer.
  • Mix it your favorite lotion or cream. Add a drop or two to your favorite moisturizer to reap its anti-aging benefits.

Rosewood oil also works as an effective insect repellent that repels mosquitoes, bugs, and ants. It can also work as a room freshener. Simply add 15 drops per 2 ounces of distilled water, and then spray as desired.

The Composition of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil’s high linalool content (86 percent) makes it highly useful for industrial applications. Linalool is modified into many derivatives that are essential to the food flavoring and fragrance industries.

Meanwhile, other components of rosewood oil like a-pinene, a-terpineol, camphene, neral, myrcene, geranial, 1,8-cineole, benzaldehyde, linalool oxides, and limonene  are responsible for its health-promoting effects. This oil works as a stimulant, antidepressant, analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Benefits of Rosewood Oil

rosewood oil benefitsI believe that rosewood oil is a wonderful herbal oil to have at home, as its sweet and pleasant aroma can greatly delight your senses. However, there’s a lot more to this oil than its enticing aroma. Here are some of the benefits of rosewood oil:

  • Relieves pain. Rosewood oil is a mild analgesic (not as strong as other herbal oils) that can help alleviate headaches, toothaches, and muscle and joint pain.
  • Heals wounds. This oil’s antiseptic properties help prevent wounds and cuts from getting infected, as well as stimulate faster healing.
  • Helps treat colds, coughs, and sinusitis. It has the ability to regulate smooth muscle contractions, helping control bronchial disorders such as asthma.
  • Works as an aphrodisiac and stress reliever. It can help treat impotence or frigidity, arousing sexual desire and improving sexual performance. Rosewood oil’s fragrance also has a calming and relaxing effect on your mind and body.

How to Make Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil is extracted from the wood chippings or shavings of the rosewood trunk. This oil is produced via steam distillation, which works by vaporizing the oil and the active ingredients in it so they can be extracted and condensed. This extraction method helps assure that you are getting a pure and high-quality rosewood oil.

I advise you to be very stringent when buying rosewood oil, as some brands may be adulterated or have been infused with other carrier oils, which will lower the potency. Choosing a  rosewood oil that’s produced by a reputable manufacturer is crucial

How Does Rosewood Oil Work?

Rosewood oil’s high alpha-pinene content is responsible for its impressive antibacterial properties, while the chemical components geraniol, nerol, 8-cineole, linalool, and limonene are useful for tissue regeneration. Studies have also shown that the topical use of rosewood oil can help destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous cells without adversely affecting healthy skin cells.

To take full advantage of its therapeutic benefits, Rosewood oil can be applied topically, inhaled, or vaporized. It is rarely taken orally. As with other herbal oils, I do not recommend ingesting or applying this oil without the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Is Rosewood Oil Safe?

side effects of rosewood oilRosewood Oil is may be highly beneficial, as long as it’s used in moderation and properly diluted. It blends well with citrus oils like orange, neroli, bergamot, lime, lemon, and grapefruit, as well as floral oils like lavender, jasmine, and rose.

Rosewood oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. However, I still advise doing a skin patch test before using this herbal oil.

Side Effects of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil has no known side effects. But despite its safe profile, children, pregnant women or nursing moms should not use this oil without the advice of their physician. Rosewood oil, especially at full strength, is not recommended for very young children as well.

People with sensitive skin should also be careful when using rosewood oil. If you see any signs of irritation after using this oil, stop using it immediately and contact your health care provider.

The Tranquility Oil; Vetiver Essential Oil

 

HISTORY OF VETIVER OIL USAGE

Derived from the aromatic roots of the Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn) Nash. botanical, Vetiver Essential Oil has come to be known as both the “Oil of Tranquility” and “The Fragrance of the Soil” in India and Sri Lanka, due to its grounding, sensuous, and deeply calming scent. Vetiver belongs to the Grass family and is sometimes referred to as Vetivert and Khus.

Since ancient times, almost the entire Vetiver plant has been used for various applications including the making of perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. Used in foods and drinks, Vetiver made a cooling beverage and sorbet flavoring. In tropical countries, Vetiver roots were traditionally used in the production of homemade evaporative coolers, which functioned as air conditioners before the inception of electricity. Due to their coolness, the roots were ideal for use in making grass mats. The process involved weaving the dried roots together with coir rope to make curtains, which were soaked in water before being hung in windows and doorways. As hot air passed through the cold, wet roots, the Vetiver curtains contributed not only cool air but they also exuded a comforting, alluring, earthy fragrance to the interiors of homes and functioned as insect repellants. Similarly, Vetiver grass mats were draped over cars to keep them cool as well. In India and Africa, Vetiver grass was thatched together to construct awnings, roofs, rugs, baskets, blinds, animal fodder and bedding, and other necessities for the home. To maintain cool temperatures for drinking water and to benefit from Vetiver’s health-enhancing properties, the roots were placed in Muslin sachets and kept inside clay water pots.

Since the Middle Ages, Vetiver Oil was most commonly used in scents. Its deep and woody aroma has come to be associated with masculine colognes, and it has come to be the main ingredient in a large percentage of men’s fragrances. As early as the 12th century, the Vetiver herb and the essential oil obtained from its roots have been used around the world for their soothing, protective, and uplifting properties:

In Ayurvedic practices, Vetiver Oil was respected for its spiritually inspiring aroma and for its remedial qualities. Accordingly, it was used to address countless health concerns including imbalances in psychosomatic temperament, arthritis and other joint disorders, muscular aches, headaches, fevers, loss of energy, heat strokes, and skin problems. During periods of high environmental temperatures, Vetiver Essential Oil’s refreshing properties made it ideal for cooling high body temperatures. Vetiver Oil became an integral part of Ayurvedic massages for its additional abilities to strengthen the nervous system by sedating the senses and thereby reducing the stress and physical exhaustion linked to low immunity. Before marriages took place, brides were given a purifying massage with Vetiver Oil.

Inspired by Ancient Chinese beliefs, Vetiver Essential Oil was used in traditional medicine to soothe and replenish dry skin, to balance the emotions, to ease negative feelings, to stimulate focus and energize the body, and to calm and cool the body. When patients suffered from a deficiency in their “Yin,” which often resulted in problems associated with the mind such as a dissociative state of depression, they were prescribed Vetiver Oil to use in meditation. Although similar applications of Vetiver Essential Oil exist today, there are several other natural applications that will be highlighted in this article.

BENEFITS OF VETIVER OIL

With over 100 sesquiterpene compounds and their derivatives, Vetiver Essential Oil’s composition is known to be intricate and thus somewhat complicated. The main chemical constituents of Vetiver Essential Oil are Sesquiterpene Hydrocarbons (Cadinene), Sesquiterpene Alcohol derivatives, (Vetiverol, Khusimol), Sesquiterpene Carbonyl derivatives (Vetivone, Khusimone), and Sesquiterpene Ester derivatives (Khusinol Acetate). The main constituents that are known to influence the aroma are α-Vetivone, β-Vetivone, and Khusinol.

It is believed that this scent – known for its fresh, warm yet cooling, woody, earthy, and balsamic notes – can encourage feelings of confidence, stillness, and tranquility. Its sedative properties have made it ideal for use in relieving nervousness and restoring a sense of serenity, and it is reputed to effectively diminish feelings of anger, irritability, panic, and restlessness. The strengthening properties of Vetiver Oil have made it an ideal tonic that eases problems of the mind to promote restful sleep and stimulate or enhance libido. By balancing emotions to promote positive moods, it also boosts immunity. Its scent can freshen a room while deodorizing any lingering stale odors, such as those that remain after cooking or smoking.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Vetiver Essential Oil is known to be a deeply hydrating moisturizer that firms, tightens, and protects skin against the harsh effects of environmental stressors, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and exhibiting anti-aging properties. By conditioning and nourishing the skin, Vetiver Oil promotes the growth of new skin. Its regenerative properties facilitate the healing of wounds as well as the disappearance of scars, stretch marks, and acne, among other skin ailments.

Vetiver Essential Oil’s low evaporation rate and its solubility in alcohol make it an ideal ingredient for use in perfumery. Accordingly, it has become a significant component in several perfumes offered by prominent brands. Some prevalent fragrances that incorporate Vetiver include Vetiver by Guerlain, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, Miss Dior by Dior, Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, and Ysatis by Givenchy.

Used medicinally, Vetiver Essential Oil works as a natural anti-oxidant that promotes relief from various types of inflammation such as that of the joints or inflammation caused by sunstroke or dehydration. “Vetiver Oil is known to relieve the body of aches and pains while easing mental and physical exhaustion as well as insomnia. Its tonic properties are reputed to have regenerative and immune-enhancing effects.”With its strengthening and grounding properties along with its comforting scent, Vetiver Oil is reputed to balance and preserve emotional well-being while enhancing concentration. This profoundly calming and relaxing effect has the added benefit of enhancing sensual moods and promoting restful sleep. When used in a therapeutic massage, the tonic properties of this oil enhance circulation and boost the metabolism as well as digestion. Its antiseptic properties are known to facilitate the healing of wounds by eliminating and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

Vetiver Essential Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Stimulating, Anti-inflammatory, Cicatrisant, Deodorizing, Anti-septic, Tonic, Detoxifying, Rejuvenating, Strengthening, Replenishing, Hydrating.
    • ODOROUS: Aphrodisiac, Sedative, Grounding, Calming, Balancing, Warming, Nervine, Deodorizing, Strengthening.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-septic, Aphrodisiac, Tonic, Anti-spasmodic, Immune-stimulating, Warming, Stimulating, Anti-inflammatory, Cicatrisant, Vulnerary, Detoxifying, Strengthening, Replenishing.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY VETIVER OIL

Vetiver is a tall, erect, rigid, fragrant perennial grass that belongs to the Poaceae (formerly called Gramineae) grass family. It shares many similarities in form and structure with other fragrant grasses such as Citronella, Lemongrass, and Palmarosa. It is also related to cereal crops such as Barley, Sorghum, Millet, Rye, Wheat, Maize, and Rice. Like other true grasses, the Vetiver plant has long, narrow blades that grow in tufts or bunches, and it is widely cultivated for the purpose of offering a protective border along roads, gardens, and between adjoining fields. Vetiver is indigenous to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia but is also cultivated in other tropical regions around the world, including Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Jamaica, Belgian Congo, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, India, China, and Australia.

Although Vetiver prefers sandy loam or clay loam soil and climates that are tropical, sub-tropical, or the Mediterranean, it can be established in various other soil types and climates. Vetiver can tolerate alkaline, highly acidic, or saline soil types as well as those with high levels of heavy metals, manganese, and aluminum. Vetiver is drought-tolerant and frost-resistant with an ability to endure temperatures as high as 50°C (122 °F) and as low as -10°C (14 °F); however, temperatures below 5 °C (41 °F) cause the roots to become dormant while frost causes the shoots to become dormant or to die. The underground parts of the plant can endure the low temperatures and the plant may regrow with improving weather conditions. Vetiver can also thrive in regions that may have a minimum annual rainfall of 450 mm. With a sensitivity to full shade, Vetiver will experience slower growth if kept out of the sun. This is especially true of young plants. Vetiver grass may grow to be 5 ft.

With a strong, complex, fibrous, and strongly scented root system that grows deep into the ground – deeper than some tree roots – Vetiver is reputed for its ability to hold topsoil in place, to restore damaged topsoil, to protect soil from erosion and infertility, and for its ability to conserve water. By drawing water into the soil, it enhances the soil’s properties by stabilizing it, controlling weeds, acting as a natural insect repellant, sustaining soil moisture, replenishing depleted groundwater, reviving springs, and absorbing chemical toxins such as those found in pesticides and fertilizers.

For various environmental problems around the world, Vetiver is an ideal solution: the depth of Vetiver roots means the plant is not easily extricated from the earth, and this strength has made Vetiver an ideal stabilizer for railway cuttings, due to its ability to prevent rockfalls and mudslides; in more than 100 countries, Vetiver is used to detoxify the environment with its phytoremediation properties; Vetiver is often found near embankments for its ability to slow the flow of water, block surface water runoff, and absorb pollutants and toxins in both the soil and the water.

During propagation, Vetiver grass is planted by its root divisions or ‘slips.’ They are each planted into wet soil at a specific distance from each other in order to ensure that they will form a hedge in their first year of growth. If the soil is not wet at the time of planting, it is irrigated immediately after the slips have been planted. Vetiver produces flowers that are brownish-purple and that resemble young wheat heads. Generally, Vetiver is harvested between December and February, with the tufts often being manually dug up by their roots. For mechanical harvesting, a tractor-drawn mouldboard plow may be used to pull up the roots. Compared to manual harvesting, with this method, the roots have a 15% higher recovery rate.

Vetiver roots that are intended for essential oil production are harvested between 18 months to 2 years after the plant is cultivated. The timing of the harvest is significant, as the yield of the roots and the oil percentage varies, depending on environmental conditions; an early harvest yields a higher volume of essential oil, but this oil will be of low specific gravity, which also lacks the valuable high boiling constituents. If the roots are harvested after more than 2 years after being planted, the quality of the essential oil improves, but the oil yield will be substantially reduced.

HOW IS VETIVER OIL EXTRACTED?

Vetiver Essential Oil is steam-distilled from the roots and rootlets or “rhizomes” of the Vetiver plant. The processing method involves first separating the harvested roots from the aerial parts of the plant, then washing the roots thoroughly. Next, they are sliced to a shorter length to facilitate drying. They are dried in the shade for 1-2 days in order for the final oil to have an enhanced aroma. Drying the roots in sunlight results in lower oil yield. Next, the roots are steam- or hydro-distilled to extract their oil.

Once the distillate separates into essential oil and a hydrosol, the oil is skimmed off and filtered. Similar to Patchouli and Sandalwood, Vetiver Essential Oil also improves with age, hence the decanted oil is allowed to age for several months – usually 6 – to allow the oil’s green and earthy scent to become deeper, sweeter, and fuller.

The resulting Vetiver Oil is thick and ranges in color from golden-brown to amber-brown to olive. It exudes a strong aroma that smells earthy, woody, and rich. Depending on its region of cultivation, Vetiver Oil may also have a sweet, smoky, or floral note. Its aroma has been described as being suggestive of the scent of Patchouli with a note of Lemon, and it has also been said to have the scent of woods and wetlands.

USES OF VETIVER OIL

The uses of Vetiver Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, soaps, shampoos, sprays, perfumes, and candles.

Used in aromatherapy applications, the scent of Vetiver functions as a natural aphrodisiac, stimulating sensual desire. To ease a stressed mind, which is known to consequently relax the body and thereby boost libido, simply dilute and diffuse Vetiver Essential Oil. For a Vetiver blend that involves more essential oils with aphrodisiac properties, blend and diffuse 3 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil, and 1 drop each of Rose Absolute, Sandalwood Essential Oil, and Patchouli Essential Oil.

For a Vetiver blend that can be applied in a massage, diffused in a nebulizer, or added to a bath, mix together 3 drops Vetiver Essential Oil, 1 drop Lavender Essential Oil, 1 drop Lemon Essential Oil, and 1 drop Clary Sage Essential Oil. The scent of this blend is believed to stimulate and strengthen the reproductive system, address the discomfort associated with menstruation, and balance hormones. Diffusing 5 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil for 30-60 minutes and deeply inhaling the scent can be beneficial for relieving or reducing stress as well as the symptoms of a headache. The same effect may be achieved by blending 2-3 drops each of Vetiver Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil.

For an uplifting Vetiver blend that reduces the feeling of being distracted and promotes concentration, especially while studying or focusing on a task, diffuse a mixture of 3 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil, 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil, and 2 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil. For a sedative Vetiver blend that is beneficial for creating a calming, restful environment, addressing sleep disorders, and easing restlessness, anxiety, and emotional outbursts, blend and diffuse 5 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil, 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

Used in cosmetic applications, Vetiver Oil can be diluted in a regular lotion or cream before being applied to the skin. This enhances the moisturizer’s ability to nourish and hydrate dry, irritated skin while reducing the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, wounds, and uneven skin tone. Its antiseptic properties make Vetiver Oil an ideal cleanser or moisturizing toner when 3-4 drops are added to Virgin Coconut Carrier Oil. A small amount of this blend can be poured onto a cotton pad and wiped gently across the face to purge the pores of impurities and to stimulate collagen production.

The cicatrizing properties of Vetiver Oil are known to encourage the growth of new skin and thereby facilitate the fading of scars or unwanted marks, such as those left by acne, burns, diseases, and cuts. For a tonic that accelerates the disappearance of such blemishes, blend 6 drops Vetiver Essential Oil, 6 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil2 oz. (60 ml) Rose water, and 1 tsp. Lemon juice. With a cotton pad, apply the blend to affected areas of the skin. For a body oil that nourishes and strengthens skin while keeping it hydrated, first add 8 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil to a small dish and add to this 3 tsp. of carrier oil. It is suggested that this blend is massaged into the skin after a shower while skin is still plump with moisture.

Vetiver can be applied to the hair and scalp to soothe inflammation associated with dandruff, psoriasis, or eczema. To create a hair mask that will revitalize the strands and reduce irritation, warm 3 tsp. of carrier oil such as Grapeseed, Olive, or Jojoba then mix in 2 drops Vetiver Essential Oil, 2 drops Orange Essential Oil, 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil. Massage this blend into the hair by starting from the tips of the strands and moving up to the scalp gradually. Wrap the hair first in plastic wrap then in a towel, and allow the mask to remain on the hair for 1 hour or overnight before washing it out with a shampoo and conditioner.

Used in medicinal applications, Vetiver is reputed to have a stimulating and soothing effect on the body. For a bath that will promote the relaxation of muscles, address aches, stiffness, and inflammation, boost circulation, and promote restful sleep, 3-4 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil can be added to a warm bath. The cooling effects of Vetiver are known to be advantageous for soothing skin that has been overexposed to the sun. For a calming bath blend with even higher effectiveness, blend together 4 drops Vetiver Essential Oil, 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops Rose Absolute. Add this blend to 2 tsp. of Sweet Almond Carrier Oil. Pour the mixture under running water in a bathtub to allow for better dispersion of the blend in the water. Soak in this bath blend for a minimum of 10 minutes.

In a massage, Vetiver Oil is known to ease physical and mental exhaustion, accelerate the relief of aches, and have an invigorating, regenerative effect on the skin. For a massage blend that addresses injuries, dilute 4 drops Vetiver Essential Oil, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil in 1 oz. (30 ml) carrier oil. Massage this blend into sites of injury. For a massage blend that addresses the discomfort of arthritis, dilute 4 drops Vetiver Essential Oil, 3 drops Marjoram Essential Oil, 2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil, and 2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil in 1 oz. (30 ml) carrier oil. Massage this blend into the affected areas. For a massage blend that relaxes the body and mind, 3 drops Vetiver Essential Oil can be blended with 6 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil and 6 drops Bergamot Essential Oil before being added to a massage oil of personal preference.

To use Vetiver Oil in a natural salve that encourages relaxation and restful sleep, first, combine ½ cup Coconut Carrier Oil and ¼ cup Beeswax in a pot on the stove and thoroughly melt them together over medium heat. Remove this mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Next, thoroughly mix in 10 drops Vetiver Essential Oil and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Transfer the blend to a glass jar and allow it to cool once more. Apply this salve to the bottoms of the feet before bed.

A GUIDE TO VETIVER OIL & ITS BENEFITS

VETIVER ESSENTIAL OIL

Botanical Name: Vetiveria zizanoides

Country of Origin: Indonesia

Believed to:

  • Be deeply balancing, calming, and grounding
  • Promote restful sleep and address restlessness
  • Exhibit anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, and immune-stimulating properties
  • Be warming and sedative
  • Stimulate circulation
  • Soothe feelings of anger, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, and stress
  • Boost libido by reviving sensual desires
  • Facilitate the fading of scars and unwanted marks
  • Offer relief from various types of inflammation and stiffness
  • Rejuvenate the body and skin
  • Encourage the growth of new skin, thereby facilitating the healing of wounds

VETIVER OIL SIDE EFFECTS

As per NAHA guidelines, we do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using Vetiver Oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women and those taking prescription drugs are especially advised not to use Vetiver Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Vetiver Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil and applying a small amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Vetiver Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.

Vetiver Oil is known to be a non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing oil and the only known potential side effect of Vetiver Oil is its ability to induce miscarriages when used by pregnant women. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use. Those with health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, liver damage or skin disorders are especially recommended to be advised.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions.

Cedarwood Essential Oil, Uses, Benefits, Skin Care, Hair Care, Aromatherapy

HISTORY OF CEDARWOOD OIL USAGE

Cedarwood Essential Oil is steam distilled from the wood of the Cedar tree, of which there are several species, such as Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus deodara, Juniperus Mexicana, and Juniperus virginiana, which are more commonly recognized as Atlas, Himalayan, Texan, and Virginian Cedarwood, respectively.

Throughout history, Cedarwood Essential Oil has been used by various cultures, such as Native American and Tibetan communities, to address ailments ranging from minor discomforts, including coughs and hiccups, to more severe illnesses. In Ancient Egypt, Cedarwood Oil’s antimicrobial and insecticidal properties made it valuable for use in mummifying procedures. In these and other societies, Cedarwood was also known to relax the body and mind, making it ideal for use in religious ceremonies and spiritual practices, such as communal prayer and independent meditation. Today, it continues to be used for similar applications as well as for cosmetic applications.

This article highlights the topical and medicinal benefits, therapeutic properties, and safe uses of Cedarwood Essential Oil.

CEDARWOOD OIL BENEFITS

Used in aromatherapy applications, Cedarwood Essential Oil is known for its sweet and woody fragrance, which has been characterized as warm, comforting, and sedative, thus naturally promoting stress relief. Cedarwood Oil’s energizing scent helps to deodorize and freshen indoor environments, while also helping to repel insects. At the same time, its anti-fungal properties help prevent the development of mildew. Its invigorating quality is known to improve cerebral activity, while its calming property is known to relax the body, and the combination of these properties helps to enhance concentration while decreasing hyperactivity. The soothing scent of Cedarwood Essential Oil is reputed to reduce harmful stress and ease tension, which in turn promotes the body’s rest, helps to clear the mind, and subsequently encourages the onset of quality sleep that is both restorative and reparative.

Used cosmetically on the skin, Cedarwood Essential Oil can help soothe irritation, inflammation, redness, and itchiness, as well as dryness that leads to cracking, peeling, or blistering. By regulating sebum production, eliminating acne-causing bacteria, and exhibiting a protective astringent property, Cedarwood Oil is reputed to guard the skin against environmental pollutants and toxins, thus helping prevent or reduce the chances of future breakouts. Its antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties help to eliminate unpleasant odors, making it an effective deodorizer, and its firming quality helps reduce the appearance of the signs of aging, such as loose and wrinkling skin.

Used in hair, Cedarwood Oil is known to cleanse the scalp, removing excess oil, dirt, and dandruff. It enhances circulation to the scalp and tightens the follicles, which helps stimulate healthy growth and thereby helps reduce thinning by slowing hair loss.

Used medicinally, Cedarwood Essential Oil’s antiseptic properties are reputed to protect the body against harmful bacteria that are known to cause fungal infections, which can be destructive to the skin and general health. This natural wound-healing quality makes Cedarwood Oil ideal for application to scrapes, cuts, and other abrasions that require disinfecting. Its anti-inflammatory property makes it well-suited to addressing the discomforts of muscle aches, joint pain, and stiffness, while its antispasmodic property helps to soothe not only coughs but also spasms associated with digestion, respiratory ailments, nerves, and menstruation. As a tonic for overall wellness, Cedarwood Oil is known to support the health and function of the organs, especially the brain, liver, and kidney.

Cedarwood_EO_captionimage

Cedarwood Oil is reputed to exhibit an emmenagogue property that regulates menstruation by naturally stimulating circulation, thus benefitting women who suffer from irregular cycles.

Additionally, it helps to stabilize other impulses and contractions that may be experienced at this time, such as nausea and cramps.

Cedarwood Essential Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Anti-Inflammatory, Antifungal, Anti-Seborrheic, Astringent, Tonic, Firming/Tightening, Detoxifying, Stimulating, Soothing, Calming, Antioxidant, Restorative.
    • ODOROUS: Anti-Inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antifungal, Antispasmodic, Sedative, Tonic, Insecticidal, Soothing, Calming.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antifungal, Antiseptic, Astringent, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Tonic, Firming/Tightening, Detoxifying, Stimulating, Soothing, Calming, Antioxidant, Restorative.

CEDARWOOD OIL USES

To soothe asthma, coughing, congestion, a buildup of phlegm, and other respiratory discomforts that make it difficult to breathe easily, add a few drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil to a diffuser. Deeply inhaling its scent is known to facilitate relaxed respiration and to encourage sleep. To enhance the benefits of Cedarwood Oil, combine it with any of the following essential oils for a blend that is also aromatically appealing: Lavender, Frankincense, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon, Cypress, Neroli, Jasmine. A natural vapor rub can be made by diluting Cedarwood Oil in a carrier oil then massaging it into the chest and throat.

To soothe blemishes, diminish their appearance, and reduce the chance of experiencing future breakouts, dilute Cedarwood Oil in a light carrier oil, a regular face wash, or a moisturizer, such as a face cream or body lotion. Applying it in these combinations can help to purge the skin of impurities and excess oil, fortify it against microbes, eliminate infection, and decrease inflammation as well as peeling. Alternatively, Cedarwood Oil can be diluted in a carrier oil then added to a warm bath to address blemishes in hard-to-reach areas.

To naturally reduce hair loss, Cedarwood Essential Oil can be diluted in a regular shampoo and conditioner before being applied as usual in the shower. Alternatively, a few drops can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as Coconut, and massaged into the scalp for several minutes. This blend can be left in like a mask on the scalp for at least half an hour before it is washed out in the shower. For increased effectiveness, Cedarwood Oil can be combined with the essential oils of Thyme, Lavender, or Rosemary. This combination is known to purify and increase circulation to the scalp, which in turn encourages new hair growth and enhances the appearance of more voluminous hair. This blend can also be applied to other areas of hair growth, such as beards.

To soothe pain, aches, stiffness, and inflammation, Cedarwood Essential Oil can be diluted with a carrier oil of personal preference and massaged into the affected areas. This simple massage blend has the added benefit of facilitating the body’s detoxification by helping to eliminate internal pollutants, addressing water retention, and encouraging frequent urination. Regular massages with Cedarwood are reputed to help naturally shed weight, tighten loose skin, diminish the appearance of stretch marks, soothe eczema and acne, facilitate wound healing, balance blood pressure, ease hypertension, and reduce muscle spasms. Alternatively, diluted Cedarwood Oil can be added to a warm bath.

A GUIDE TO CEDARWOOD OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL (ATLAS)

Botanical Name: Cedrus atlantica

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from wood

Country of Origin: Morocco

Believed to:

  • Range in color from golden-yellow to brown
  • Exude a strong aroma that is woody, sweet, slightly reminiscent of mothballs, and sharper than that of Virginian Cedarwood, makes it a popular component in perfumes and colognes
  • Have grounding, calming, uplifting, and aphrodisiac effects on the mood as well as warming effects on the skin
  • Be ideal for enhancing skin quality and addressing acne
  • Be ideal for soothing respiratory ailments, such as coughs and bronchitis, as well as physical stress and inflammation
  • Be ideal for naturally reducing hair loss and dandruff

 

CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL (CHINESE)

Botanical Name: Cupressus funebris

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from wood

Country of Origin: China

Believed to:

  • Range in color from golden-yellow to brown
  • Exude a strong aroma that is sharp, fresh, and camphoraceous
  • Be ideal for easing muscular aches and pain, for removing warts, and for soothing skin-related complaints
  • Contribute anti-inflammatory properties to natural product formulations

 

CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL (HIMALAYAN)

Botanical Name: Cedrus deodora

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from wood

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Also called Tibetan Cedarwood
  • Range in color from yellow to brown
  • Range in consistency from thin to viscous
  • Exude a strong aroma that is dry, woody, slightly camphoraceous, and smoky
  • Be commonly used for its stimulating quality, making it an ideal component in aphrodisiac blends
  • Contribute anti-septic properties to natural product formulations

 

CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL (TEXAS)

Botanical Name: Juniperus ashei / Mexicana

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from wood

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Be colorless or pale-yellow
  • Exude a strong, sweet, balsamic, woody aroma that is similar to but softer than Virginian Cedarwood
  • Be ideal for easing respiratory difficulties
  • Contribute circulation-stimulating and oil-balancing properties to natural product formulations

 

CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL (VIRGINIAN)

Botanical Name: Juniperus virginiana

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from wood

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Range in color from pale-yellow to a shade of brown
  • Exude a strong aroma that is sweet, woody, softer than that of Cedarwood Atlas, stronger than that of Cedarwood Texas, and sometimes reminiscent of Sandalwood
  • Be ideal for easing stresses of the mind and nervous systems, such as anxiety and tenseness, and for facilitating easier breathing
  • Contribute antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to natural product formulations, making it ideal for preparations that address conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema

 

CEDARWOOD ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL (ATLAS)

Botanical Name: Cedrus atlantica

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from wood

Country of Origin: Morocco

Believed to:

  • Range in color from golden-yellow to brown
  • Exude a strong aroma that is woody, sweet, slightly reminiscent of mothballs, and sharper than Virginian Cedarwood
  • Be ideal for enhancing skin quality and addressing acne
  • Be ideal for soothing respiratory ailments, such as coughs and bronchitis, as well as physical stress and inflammation
  • Be ideal for naturally reducing hair loss and dandruff

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR CEDARWOOD OIL

Cedarwood Essential Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Cedarwood Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Cedarwood Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Cedarwood Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Cedarwood Oil include irritation, nausea, vomiting, and damage to the digestive system.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Cedarwood Essential Oil is steam distilled from the wood of the Cedar tree, of which there are several species.
    • Used in aromatherapy applications, Cedarwood Essential Oil helps to deodorize indoor environments, repel insects, prevent the development of mildew, improve cerebral activity, relax the body, enhance concentration, decrease hyperactivity, reduce harmful stress, ease tension, clear the mind, and encourage the onset of quality sleep.
    • Used cosmetically on the skin, Cedarwood Essential Oil can help soothe irritation, inflammation, redness, and itchiness, as well as dryness that leads to cracking, peeling, or blistering. It helps regulate sebum production, eliminates acne-causing bacteria, guards the skin against environmental pollutants and toxins, reduces the chances of future breakouts, helps to eliminate unpleasant odors, and reduces the appearance of the signs of aging.
    • Used in hair, Cedarwood Oil is known to cleanse and enhance circulation to the scalp, tighten the follicles, stimulate healthy growth, reduce thinning, and slow hair loss.
  • Used medicinally, Cedarwood Essential Oil is reputed to protect the body against harmful bacteria, facilitate wound-healing, address the discomforts of muscle aches, joint pain or stiffness, soothe coughs as well as spasms, support the health of the organs, regulate menstruation, and stimulate circulation.

RELIEVE AND STIMULATE WITH OREGANO

Oregano Essential Oil is reputed to relieve a cough and cold symptoms, to disinfect, and to soothe topical discomforts such as inflammation and itchiness. It can be used in numerous body care products ranging from skin and hair care to emotional care through aromatherapy. This article highlights what can be achieved with natural homemade recipes that use the advantages of Oregano Essential Oil.

USING OREGANO OIL IN A DIFFUSER OR ROOM SPRAY – TO FIGHT GERMS & ENERGIZE

When used in aromatherapy, Oregano Essential Oil can boost the immune system and improve the efficiency of the respiratory tract by loosening up and eliminating a buildup of mucus and phlegm. It can also soothe throat irritation to suppress coughing fits. Its calming and relaxing effects make it an effective sleep aid when diffused in the bedroom.

 

Anti-allergenic and sedative, Oregano Oil reduces bodily reactions to allergens and airborne pollutants that cause inflammation, such as pollen and mold. Due to its Carvacrol content, which exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, Oregano Oil can relieve swelling, itching, sneezing, and congestion. Flu and general sickness symptoms may diminish when Oregano Oil is inhaled. As a stimulant, Oregano Essential Oil is known to boost circulation, invigorate body and mind, and thus ease fatigue.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL DIFFUSER BLEND TO ENERGIZE
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 2 drops
Rosemary Essential Oil 2 drops
Peppermint Essential Oil 2 drops
Eucalyptus Essential Oil 2 drops

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In order to achieve a thorough mix of oils before adding them to a diffuser, add all oils to a 2 ml glass bottle.
  2. Roll bottle between hands to blend oils.
  3. Based on manufacturer’s instructions, add the appropriate number of drops to your diffuser.
  4. To make a massage blend, simply mix all the essential oils with 4 tsp. of a carrier oil of personal preference.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL STEAM BLEND TO ALLEVIATE COLDS AND ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 4 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 4 drops
Juniper Essential Oil 4 drops

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Thoroughly cleanse skin
  2. Boil 3 cups of distilled or purified water.
  3. Remove the water from the heat and allow it to cool in a bowl for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the essential oils to the water and stir.
  5. Place the bowl somewhere stable and comfortable where you can sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Drape a large bath towel over your head, shoulders, and the bowl.
  7. Lean over the bowl with your face 10-12 inches away from the water.
  8. Ensure that your eyes are closed during the entire steam, as the oils may irritate open eyes.
  9. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Enjoy the relief from congestion, mucus, inflammation, itching, and other cold and allergy symptoms.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL ROOM SPRAY BLEND TO FIGHT AND PREVENT GERMS
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 5 drops
Frankincense Essential Oil 5 drops
Lemon Essential Oil 5 drops
Tea Tree Essential Oil 5 drops
Epsom Salt 1 Tsp
Glass Spray Bottle 60 ml (2 oz.)
Distilled Water 60 ml (2 oz.)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all the essential oils with the Epsom salt inside the spray bottle.
  2. Swirl the mixture together to blend everything thoroughly.
  3. Fill the rest of the bottle with water, tightly close the bottle with the cap, and shake well.
  4. Spray into the air to eliminate and prevent germs.

 


 

USING OREGANO OIL IN A MASSAGE – TO RELIEVE PAIN

When used topically, Oregano Essential Oil can improve skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, and fungal infections, as it eliminates yeast, bacteria, and fungi. Its anti-inflammatory properties can neutralize the pain, itchiness, and general discomforts of insect stings and bites. Muscle aches, joint pains, and rashes may be relieved by using diluted Oregano Oil in a massage.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL MASSAGE BLEND FOR LATE PERIODS
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 4 drops
Almond Carrier Oil 1 tsp

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Measure out the carrier oil in a dark bottle.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oil and shake the bottle to mix the blend thoroughly.
  3. Massage the blend into the stomach and lower back in a clockwise motion for a few minutes. Repeat several times a day, if necessary, such as morning, afternoon, and night.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL MASSAGE BLEND FOR SORE MUSCLES
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 8 drops
Almond Carrier Oil 2 Tsp
Wheatgerm Carrier Oil 2 drops

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Measure out the carrier oils in a dark bottle.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oil and shake the bottle to mix the blend thoroughly.
  3. Massage the blend into the affected areas.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL MASSAGE BLEND FOR PAIN & INFLAMMATION
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 4 drops
Peppermint Essential Oil 3 drops
Cedarwood Essential Oil 2 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 2 drops
Sweet Almond Carrier Oil 1 Tbsp

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Measure out the carrier oil in a dark bottle.
  2. Slowly add in the essential oils and shake the bottle to mix the blend thoroughly.
  3. Massage the blend into the affected areas.

 


 

USING OREGANO OIL IN COSMETICS – TO HEAL AND SOOTHE

Used in cosmetics, Oregano Oil is known to have antioxidant activity that fights the look of aging, which results in skin that looks clear and smooth. As such, it can treat acne and brighten the complexion. Applied in massage, Oregano Essential Oil’s anti-inflammatory activity can soothe redness, irritation, bites, and discomforts associated with arthritis and injury.

 

  1. HOMEMADE OREGANO-TEA TREE OINTMENT FOR HEALING WOUNDS
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 2 drops
Tea Tree Essential Oil 2 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 2 drops
Frankincense Essential Oil 2 drops
Refined Coconut Carrier Oil 2 Tbsp.
Beeswax Pastilles (optional; for increased firmness) 1-2 tsp.

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a double boiler, melt the Coconut Oil (and Beeswax, if using) until liquefied.
  2. When the wax has liquefied, add the essential oils one at a time.
  3. Thoroughly mix the oils together, then pour into a small jar or 30 g (1 oz.) salve tin.
  4. Allow the mixture to set in the fridge.
  5. When ready to use, salve can be applied to minor cuts and scrapes then covered with a bandage.
  6. To prevent the salve from melting in high temperatures, store it in a cool, dry place.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL MOISTURIZING LOTION BLEND TO SOOTHE DRY SKIN
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 14 drops
Lemon Essential Oil 2 drops
Avocado Carrier Oil 60 ml (2 oz.)
Coconut Carrier Oil 60 ml (2 oz.)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sterilize a 4 fl. oz. ball glass jar by placing it in boiling water. Remove from heat then dry.
  2. Melt the Coconut Oil.
  3. In the glass jar, pour the Avocado Oil and essential oils, then pour in the Coconut Oil last.
  4. Allow the oils to combine thoroughly by placing the jar in the refrigerator.
  5. When the mixture has solidified into a soft lotion, it can be used to moisturize any area of dry skin without leaving a greasy residue.

 

  1. OREGANO OIL SALVE FOR SANITIZING HANDS
Ingredient Amount
Oregano Essential Oil 25 – 30 drops
Vitamin E Oil (optional) ½ tsp
Olive Carrier Oil ¼ cup
Coconut Carrier Oil ¼ cup
Beeswax 2 Tbsp

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill a pot with 1 inch of water and place on the stove over medium/low heat.
  2. In a glass jar, add the Beeswax and Coconut Oil and place the jar in the pot of water, maintaining the same level of heat on the stove.
  3. Allow the wax and carrier oil mixture to melt slowly for 10-15 minutes without overheating.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the 1 oz. tins by removing their lids for ease of pouring, as the salve is quick to cool and harden.
  5. Once the Beeswax and Coconut Oil have melted on the stove, stir in the Olive Carrier Oil and ensure it is thoroughly blended.
  6. Remove this blend from the heat, and quickly stir in the Oregano Essential Oil.
  7. Carefully pour the finished product into the tins. This recipe can fill 6 tins of 1 oz. capacity.
  8. Allow the salve to harden completely inside the tins before placing the lids on and before applying the salve. This cooling period typically takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

 


 

A LIST OF ESSENTIAL OILS AND INGREDIENTS IN THIS RECIPE ARTICLE

 

Rosemary Essential Oil: This pain-relieving oil stimulates blood circulation, which makes it a popular remedy for arthritis, muscle and joint pains, and headaches. It promotes faster healing for wounds by facilitating the process of coagulation.

 

Peppermint Essential Oil: This oil is popular for its cooling scent that improves focus and mental clarity, boosts energy, clears the respiratory tract, and releases muscle tightness. It is used to soothe and reduce aches and digestive problems. Its anti-microbial property protects the body against bacteria.

 

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Eucalyptus Essential Oil is a purifying, cleansing, clarifying, and immune-boosting oil that is ideal for use on skin, for use in aromatherapy, and as a surface cleaning agent and a fabric freshener. Eucalyptus Oil has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiseptic qualities, among other valuable properties.

 

Juniper Essential Oil: This oil boosts circulation and promotes the faster healing of wounds while protecting them from becoming septic and infected. By encouraging perspiration, Juniper Essential Oil cleanses the pores and the internal body systems of toxins, thereby preventing acne and other ailments associated with an accumulation of bodily toxins. Its stimulating scent combats depression, vertigo, and fatigue, and its toning properties have a tightening effect that leaves skin feeling firm and looking youthful.

 

Frankincense Essential Oil: This oil has a grounding scent and promotes easy breathing. It induces feelings of tranquility, contentment, and relief from physical and mental fatigue, as well as depression and anxiety, which are common factors in sleeplessness. It is known to reduce heart rate and blood pressure and to allow the body to reach an ideal body temperature that is conducive to sleep.

 

Tea Tree Essential Oil: This is a powerful, anti-septic immune system stimulant that is beneficial for eliminating bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It can treat wounds, provide soothing relief for aches, pains, and congestion, promote a sense of calm, and disinfect surfaces.

 

Epsom Salt: These salts are known to facilitate the expulsion of toxins from the body, relieve stress, promote relaxation, soothe inflammation, and enhance the body’s nutrient absorption.

 

Almond Carrier Oil: Almond carrier oil provides an intense hydration suitable for all skin types. This skin-softening lubricant is almost odorless and is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids. Skin will look and feel nourished and revitalized.

 

Wheatgerm Carrier Oil: This moisturizing oil soothes and softens dry, cracked skin and boosts its ability to regenerate and reduce the appearance of scars, leaving a healthy, even-toned, brightened complexion. It originates from the most nutrient-rich part of the wheat kernel and thus provides the skin with proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

 

Cedarwood Essential Oil: This oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe dry, itching, irritated skin such as acne and fungal infections. It can soothe aching muscles as well as tighten muscles. As a stimulant, it promotes hair growth and slows hair loss. It eliminates toxins in the body, thereby stimulating the metabolism and reducing coughs, and it is believed to enhance focus and wisdom.

 

Lavender Essential Oil: This calming oil is a popular choice for those looking to relieve both emotional and physical stress ranging from sadness to headaches. Its soothing scent diminishes feelings of restlessness and exhaustion. It improves sleep by reducing feelings of anxiety and emotional distress. It promotes a sense of inner peace by diminishing irritability.

 

Lemon Essential Oil: This stimulating oil is known to detoxify, disinfect, and induce sleep. Its ability to calm and relieve stress contributes to its ability to boost immunity, which prevents fevers and infections. It is an anti-fungal oil that is known to rejuvenate skin by soothing irritations, increasing skin luster, and reducing excessive oil.

 

Avocado Carrier Oil: This carrier oil is an odorless healing oil that is silky to the touch and is easily absorbed by the skin. Its anti-wrinkle and regenerative properties prevent the early onset of visible signs of aging by keeping the skin hydrated, nourished, elastic, and soft.

 

Coconut Carrier Oil: This oil mixes well with other oils in a product and extends the product’s shelf life. It penetrates the skin quickly and adds moisture without clogging pores. Coconut Oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties and helps combat unpleasant odors.

 

Beeswax: When added to creams and butters, Beeswax acts as a thickening agent and makes them more spreadable on the skin. By exfoliating and helping skin retain moisture, Beeswax prevents skin from drying out and promotes the appearance of rejuvenated skin.

 

Olive Carrier Oil: This strengthening oil introduces weight and moisture to hair, sealing it in. It repairs split ends and smoothes the look of frizz. By conditioning, treating dandruff, and removing the buildup that prevents the growth of new hair, it improves the health and appearance of hair.

 

Vitamin E Liquid: This powerful antioxidant reduces inflammation, repairs hair damage, and promotes better circulation to boost healthier growth.

Can You Eliminate Stress with Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils to improve well being. The oils are often placed in diffusers and allowed to permeate the air. It’s a practice that’s been used for centuries to address psychological and other issues. Ancient Egyptians employed the use of essential oils and other plant substances for massages, bathing, and healing. One of the major uses of aromatherapy in the US is for stress management.

How Aromatherapy Works

Some of the methods of aromatherapy include aerial diffusion (typically with an oil burner), topical application, and inhalation. It’s even occasionally administered vaginally, rectally, and orally for things like infection and congestion. Many practitioners use only natural essential oils since synthetics don’t provide the same benefit as the natural compounds. Synthetic fragrance oils may also contain chemical additives that can irritate the skin if applied topically.

Aromatherapy and Massage

Massage is another stress-relieving technique that commonly employs essential oils, incorporating touch and the physical manipulation of joints and muscles to relieve tension and stress. When you go for a massage, ask your masseuse if they can use essential oils geared toward soothing, relaxing, and de-stressing. You may be able to bring your own oil to the session.

Aromatherapy for Stress Relief

Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief. It offers a natural, organic alternative to pharmaceutical substances and works to enhance lifestyle modifications that further reduce stress. These natural lifestyle modifications are of course exercise, diet, meditation, and proper sunlight exposure. One primary application method for essential oils is indirect and direct inhalation. Through inhaling the oils (from a safe distance, of course), the brain reacts by slowing down. This elicits a deep level of relaxation.

Stress can hinder digestion, immune function, and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. While you may not be able to always eliminate a negative situation, aromatherapy is one effective way to combat the emotional upheaval that accompanies stressful events. Simply by reducing your negative emotions that surround a certain situation, you begin to change the way you think and act, thereby minimizing the situation.

The Dangers of Unmanaged Stress

  • Stress can affect your blood sugar levels, leading to hunger and, eventually, insulin insensitivity.
  • Many people who do not properly manage their stress experience weight gain.
  • Premature aging is another possible danger of not properly managing your stress levels.
  • General pain throughout the body can be a side effect of unmanaged stress.

The Best Essential Oils to Try First

Some of the most popular essential oils with stress-relieving properties include geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and lemongrass. Add aromatherapy to your arsenal as you fight against stress. The benefits can be quite effective, and the ease of use makes it a great choice.

How to Use Essential Oils

Be sure to read your labels to make certain that your oil contains organic, all-natural essential oils. Because oils are concentrated, they can irritate the skin without a natural and benign carrier oil. Never apply essential oils to the skin without properly diluting it in a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, and coconut oil. You can apply the oils to clothes, handkerchiefs, pillows, and just about anything. One method of using aromatherapy is simply applying oils to your hands and breathing in the oil deeply.

Recommendations for Stress Management

We all have stress and stressors in our life. Although stress has a negative connotation, it’s actually not inherently bad. Stress challenges you. It makes you tougher and more resilient to adversity. If you survive it—and recover from it—you grow stronger and learn from it. This is true of both psychological (mental) and physiological (physical) stress.

However, stress needs to be handled properly; when external stress becomes internal, it affects the body. Prolonged, uninterrupted exposure to stress slowly and gradually erodes the immune system. The physical manifestation of stress in the body increases your susceptibility to sickness and decreases your ability to recover from illnesses—both temporary and long-term.

When Psychological Stress Becomes Physiological

Stressful situations produce emotional reactions. This emotional reaction, be it fear or anger, sets off a hormonal response that activates the nervous system’s emergency survival mode. This chemical response to external forces has real health implications.

Stress produces a physiological response—your heart races, your face and body feel hot, you sweat, and your breathing may become shallow and fast. Inside your body, your muscles tense and prepare to act. Your blood pressure increases, your liver floods your blood with sugar, your pupils dilate, and you become hyper-aware of your surroundings. This phenomenon is called the fight-or-flight response, and it’s an evolutionary advancement that developed to help you survive when your life is at risk.

Although the stressors of modern humans look less like wolves and more like an overstuffed agenda or an upset client, your body still responds or rather overreacts, to these situations as if they come with claws. Daily stress pushes the fight-or-flight response to be on all the time. High-stress events activate the autonomic nervous system and produce the symptoms described above and inhibit the body’s detoxification process. Generalized stress, like worry that nags at the back of your mind, is more insidious. It flies under the radar, but still has the same hormonal, neural, and physical effects on the body.

How Stress Management Affects Your Health

Unrelenting stress eats away at the body and weakens resolve. Emotional and mental stress causes stress at the cellular level. Your mental state, mood, productivity, and health all crumble when you’re constantly subjected to stress and anxiety. This state leads to both an overactive and underactive immune response that many scientists believe is the root cause of many chronic diseases. Thus, it stands to reason that when you find effective ways to manage stress, you’ll not only improve your standard of life, you’ll support your health. The following are a few beneficial effects of stress maintenance and how stress can negatively affect your health.

Preserves DNA Integrity

Telomeres are the stretches of DNA on the ends of chromosomes that don’t contain genes but they do protect your chromosomes from degradation—sort of like the cap on the end of a shoelace. Although telomere shortening is a normal part of aging, not taking care of stress accelerates the process. People who are constantly stressed out, or who had stressful childhoods, have even more exaggerated shortening. You might be 35, but if you’ve lead an extremely stressful life, you could have the telomere length of someone much older. Stress management helps you maintain the length of your telomeres and protect the integrity of your DNA.

Encourages a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

When you’re not stressed out, you’re better equipped to plan for healthy living and more suited to carry out those actions. For example, if all your mental energy is spent worrying about a house repair, it’s easy to forget to pack a healthy lunch and put yourself in a position where you’re forced to eat unhealthy food on the go. It doesn’t stop there; people who are chronically stressed tend to be more reactive than proactive and engage in unhealthy habits like overeating, drinking, smoking, avoiding physical activity and not sleeping enough. These behaviors can become a downward spiral that leads to even greater psychological and physiological stress.

Promotes Weight Maintenance

If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight, stress management is something that needs to be at the top of your mind. There are many important you cannot overlook. Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, rise when stress levels rise. This hormone increases insulin levels and causes blood sugar to drop—it’s essentially the catalyst that sets off your appetite and incites cravings for unhealthy food. Research concludes that the more stressed you feel, the more you overeat. Long-term stress will most assuredly lead to weight gain.

Impacts Cardiovascular Health

Effective stress management has the potential to positively impact cardiovascular health in two ways. First, many activities that reduce your physical response to stress—such as exercise—are, in their own right, an important part of maintaining heart and blood vessel health. Additionally, stress can elevate blood pressure and heart rate to not only degrade your cardiovascular health but even increase your risk for arterial hardening, hypertension and therefore stroke and heart attack.

Supports Digestive Health

Maintaining a calm nervous system is essential for proper digestion. When your body perceives danger (the fight-or-flight response), it halts all nonessential, energy-intensive processes, including the rest-and-digest response. Chief among these is digestion. Acid reflux, ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation are other symptoms that manifest when you’re constantly stressed out.

Speeds Recovery Time

When the immune system is on high alert, it has trouble prioritizing its tasks. So instead of healing a bruise or cut, it’s putting out smaller fires in other areas of the body. Studies related to wound healing reveal that psychological stress impedes the body’s ability to repair itself.

How to Manage Stress

To thrive under stress, you have to take the opportunity to de-stress. This might mean making time to do the things you enjoy, getting adequate exercise and sleep, and taking breaks when you need them instead of powering through your exhaustion. Stress management techniques can foster recovery from the physiological response to stressful events.

  • Time Management
  • Prioritize Daily Breaks
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Deep Breathing Exercises
  • Cultivate a Healthy Gut
  • Get Enough Sleep
  • Take a Mental Health Day

Time Management

When you cram things into your schedule that you know you can’t accomplish, you only set yourself up for failure and inevitable disappointment for not living up to unreasonable expectations. There’s certainly a lot you can accomplish in a day, especially if you work on your time management skills, but be mindful of your capabilities. First and foremost, give yourself realistic time frames and plan breaks to collect your thoughts and prepare for your next commitment. Give yourself a buffer in case things run long or go wrong.

Prioritize Daily Breaks

Working lunches and desk lunches at the computer have become the norm in offices everywhere. Although the effort to stay productive comes from a good place, sometimes it’s just good to step away. Your brain isn’t capable of staying perfectly focused for hours-long stretches and trying to force it to do so just adds stress to it. Taking a break to refocus and recharge is key to recovering from life’s daily stresses.

Exercise

Exercise is the most underutilized stress reliever. Many complain of not having time to work out, but what they mean is that they’re too exhausted to go to the gym or even step outside for a walk. Getting enough daily physical activity not only relieves stress, it also helps you sleep better—another key element to relieving stress. Ironically, working out helps you feel more energized because it releases feel-good neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

Meditation

Meditation has been practiced in the East for millennia and is a practice that offers real, measurable, observable effects. Comparing MRIs and PET scans of people who meditate regularly to people who don’t show a remarkable difference in their brains. Meditators have more gray matter in the hippocampus—the area of the brain that controls the autonomic nervous system. Meditation relieves stress, helps you control your emotions and thoughts, tune out distractions, and improve your memory and ability to think. It’s also my favorite way to relieve stress. There are many meditation techniques.

Deep Breathing Exercises

When you feel stressed, your breathing becomes shallower. Shallow breathing activates the autonomic nervous system and feeds the stress response. Deep breathing exercises force you to slow down. It reduces blood pressure, increases the amount of oxygen that diffuses into your blood in the lungs, and relieves feelings of anxiety.

When you’re feeling stressed, take nine deep breaths to calm down. Inhale and exhale through your nose. At the top of your inhale, leave your throat open (your epiglottis, technically) and continue to inhale. See if you can breathe in just a little deeper for a second or two, then slowly exhale to the count of 8. Repeat this nine times, elongating the duration of your inhales and exhales as you continue.

Cultivate a Healthy Gut

Within the gut live the helpful probiotics that support many important functions, including digestion and immune response. You can cultivate a strong, robust community of bacteria by incorporating fermented, probiotic-rich food, such as kombucha into your diet. Alternately, a daily probiotic supplement can also provide a steady supply of beneficial probiotics and act like a vitamin for the gut. People who have a healthy, diverse gut microbiota appear to be more resistant to some of the negative health consequences of stress. It turns out that some probiotics help regulate human fear and anxiety responses.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential to cognitive function. Too little sleep worsens stress by affecting memory and the ability to focus. There’s really no question about it—a good night’s rest is the best way to feel less stressed and reduce the physiological toll of stress.

Wind down a few hours before bed to fall asleep more easily. This, of course, means putting your devices away and turning off the television. Treat yourself to an herbal tea and meditate to ready your mind and body for a good night’s rest.

Take a Mental Health Day

Taking a day or two to rejuvenate your mental and physical well-being can be instrumental in achieving mental and emotional balance. Give yourself permission to take the time you need. You’ll be a better, more productive person. Schedule and plan for longer vacations, too. Leave the country if you have the time and means to do so. One study found that vacationers who traveled abroad came back happier.

How to Curate a Tranquil Environment

There are many small changes you make to your daily routine and environment to curate a tranquil environment. Here are my top recommendations:

  • Let in as much diffused natural light as possible; harsh, inadequate, or irritating lighting has a very real effect on your stress level.
  • Surround yourself with plants, even a simple succulent or lucky bamboo on your desk will do. Adding a little greenery around you helps relieve stress.
  • Take a stroll through a park to help lower your stress level.
  • If a noisy environment is an issue, get a pair of noise-canceling or over ear headphones to shut out auditory annoyances. Play relaxing music or white noise to de-stress.
  • Aromatherapy is an effective means of significantly reducing mental stress. Add a few drops of essential oil of bergamot, lemon balm, lavender, or sage to your humidifier to enjoy the benefits. If you don’t have a humidifier, rub a drop between your hands and inhale.

Sustainable Changes for Stress Management

Effectively managing stress isn’t something you should do every-so-often when things pile up and you feel overwhelmed. You need to incorporate stress management techniques into your day, every day. It needs to be viewed with the same importance as eating.

Identify a few areas for improvement and commit yourself to improve. If you’re lacking regular and consistent restful sleep, ask yourself (honestly) what’s standing in your way and change it. If you can find time for a few hours of television but have “no time” to exercise in any form, you may need to make an honest assessment of your priorities and make a few adjustments.

But, don’t try to change your entire life overnight. It’s not reasonable and it never sticks. Doing a little every day is much better for building the momentum that will serve you well over the long-term.

The Aromatics of Peppermint Oil

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 domestic 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.

Peppermint-Oil

 

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 the 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 research has established that a blend of peppermint essential oil and caraway oil can also be used to effectively treat heartburns.
  • 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 the 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 the 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 to 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. However, 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 infections (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

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.

Essential Oils A Natural Substance

For over several thousands of years, humans have been employing essential oils for therapeutic purposes as well as sustaining good health. In effect, the ancient Egyptians extensively used essential oils. Currently, essential oils are used extensively in lotions meant for external use, aromatherapy, comforting baths and in a great assortment of herbal medications.

Any attempt to define essential oils accurately as well as in a few words is really difficult. For all practical purposes, one may possibly depict essential oils in the form of natural odoriferous (having potent fragrance) compounds that are present in or separated from plant materials. Generally, essential oils are in liquid form (in some exceptional cases they may be in semi-solid form, but seldom found in solid form), are not water soluble and volatile when they come in contact with steam. Essential oils evaporate at dissimilar paces under normal atmospheric pressure and at room temperature. Therefore, they are alternately referred to as ‘ethereal’ or ‘volatile’ oils too. In fact, the general term ‘essential’ is derived from the Latin expression ‘essentia’ – the ‘quinta essentia’, which the ancient alchemists regarded to be the attribute as well as the most vital element of all natural substances.

The comparatively rapid pace of evaporation of the essential oils and their distinct smell, apart from the chemical make-up of these oils, make them basically different from the stable, fatty oils. Among the several thousands of plant species identified by humans so far, comparatively a very little number of them provide essential oils. The essential oils actually develop either all over the complete plant or only in particular parts. A number of essential oils are found only in the roots, or the timber, bark, leaves, flowers or the fruits of the plants. In a number of instances, different parts of the same plant may possibly enclose essential oils of dissimilar composition.

Over the years, numerous theories have been put forward to elucidate the essential oils’ biochemistry; nevertheless, none of them has been established as being totally acceptable. Possibly, the essential oils are just purging products in the life progression of the plants. If this is the case, they are similar to specific gums, resins and balsams; however, a number of essential oils definitely seem to be the forerunners of this type of exudation products.

It may be noted that as far as their physicochemical attributes are concerned, the essential oils greatly differ and their chemical composition is generally complicated. Some of them are near exclusively made up of only one element, for instance, the essential oils obtained from sweet birch (methyl salicylate), wintergreen and cassia oil (cinnamaldehyde). However, the majority of the essential oils enclose a greater number of ingredients, sometimes 50 or even more – which is something not atypical. These individual constituents are members of numerous categories of organic compounds, especially the sesquiterpenes and terpenes, and their esters, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, oxides, and lactones among other things. A number of these essential oils are open chained, while several of them are cyclic and bicyclic. Some of them also belong to the aromatic series, for instance, benzyl acetate and phenylethyl alcohol, and findings of recent studies have revealed that the azulenes appear to have a vital function in the essential oils.

An analysis of the essential oils can be achieved by conventional physiochemical examinations, for instance, finding out the specific gravity, solubility in alcohol, optical rotation, boiling point and others. In addition, it is also possible to verify the free acids, esters, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, phenols and phenol ethers through conventional tests. Recently, scientists have made vast advancement in examining essential oils, especially in isolating as well as identifying individual components, by means of introducing state-of-the-art chromatographic and spectroscopic methods, for instance, infrared and ultraviolet (UV) absorption, nuclear magnetic resonance, gas and thin layer chromatography as well as mass spectrometry. As the smell will continue to be a vital decisive factor always, the assay of an essential oil will not be absolute without cautious organoleptic examinations. However, it requires substantial experience on the part of the examiner to undertake the organoleptic tests of essential oils.

Majority of the essential oils are actually isolated from different parts of plants, for example, the leaves, stem, wood, roots, flowers, and bark, by means of a process known as hydro-distillation – partially in primordial, changeable stills – and partially in contemporary stationary distilleries. Only in the instance of citrus oils, which are present in the peel or coverings of the citrus fruits, essential oils are isolated by means of expressing the peel mechanically. Specific varieties of flowers are actually extremely fragile and, hence, the essential oils enclosed by them are unable to endure the hydro-distillation process, neither are they suitable for expression. Hence, the essential oils contained by such flowers need to be isolated by means of extraction using volatile solvents (generally, extremely refined petroleum ether) to yield the purported natural flower oils in a real, solid variety that can be converted into complete, liquid form. Such flowers include jasmine, acacia, tuberose, mimosa and the like. It is possible to process a number of flowers, including bitter orange blossom and rose, either by means of hydro-distillation or through solvent extraction.

The amount of essential oil yielded by a plant actually varies depending on the species. In the majority of instances, the yield varies from approximately 0.2 percent to 2.0 percent. However, rose oil also known as Otto of rose and clover oil are two extreme examples in this case. While rose yields only 0.025 percent of essential oil, clover yields as high as 17.0 percent of clover oil.

It may be noted that several regions of the world produce essential oils, especially those having warm as well as temperate climatic conditions.

Not more than a hundred types of essential oils have already achieved genuine commercial significance. These essential oils are extensively used to add fragrance as well as essence to nearly a limitless assortment of consumer items, including food products, chewing gums, confectionery, pharmaceutical, and dental formulations, alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks, soaps, room sprays, detergents, insecticides, perfumes, and cosmetics. They have also employed to camouflage the odor in artificial products, for instance, rubber goods, leathers, and plastics.

 

Health benefits of essential oils

It has been proved that the essential oils offer numerous health benefits. They are obtained from the leaves, flowers, stems, barks as well as the roots of plants by means of distillation. Essential oils may have a direct or indirect effect on our body’s physiological system. For instance, taking a few drops of peppermint oil by mouth may promote digestion. Similarly, breathing in lavender oil causes a soothing impact.

A number of essential oils may be taken orally to aid in stimulating digestion, while several other essential oils are applied topically to alleviate inflammation and provide relief from pain. Essential oils having antiseptic as well as anti-fungal attributes are also employed to sterilize and cure scrapes, cuts as well as other injuries and skin complaints.

Aromatherapy is one area where essential oils are employed extensively. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy is not only very popular but has also proved to be useful in curing physical, emotional as well as aesthetic conditions. A number of essential oils have a tranquilizing and also invigorating effect on our nervous system and they can either raise or lower the blood pressure and regularize secretion of hormones in some way.

In addition, inhaling the steam of essential oils is helpful in the treatment of respiratory problems, for instance, a cold or influenza. The essential oils that are effectual for inhaling comprise eucalyptus, angelica, cypress, sage, myrtle, lemongrass, lemon, ocean pine, mountain pine, chamomile, juniper, niaouli, thyme, cedar, and hyssop. It may be noted that steam inhalation of essential oil is usually not suggested for people suffering from asthma.

Employing essential oils for lymphatic massage is actually a typical aromatherapy treatment that activates the healing process of the body by means of inciting the blood circulation as well as lymph fluid. It needs to be noted cautiously that nearly all essential oils ought to be diluted prior to applying them directly to the skin, since direct application of essential oils may result in acute exasperation.

Normally, essential oils are diluted in the ratio of 15 drops of the oil to one ounce (approximately 28.35 grams) of carrier oil. It may be noted that carrier oil is basically any vegetable oil that is obtained by using the compress method on the fatty part of the seeds, kernels or nuts, for instance, wheat germ, almond, coconut, hazelnut, olive oil, jojoba and aloe vera oil.

There are a number of essential oils that alleviate the taut muscles and augment blood circulation. Such essential oils comprise lemongrass, lemon, rosemary, lemon verbena, juniper, lavender, birch, cinnamon and Swiss pine oils. On the other hand, essential oils that have a calming effect include petitgrain, Roman chamomile, rose, bergamot, lavender, mimosa, neroli, geranium, sandalwood, orange, cedar, rosewood, and tangerine. When you employ the facial and body oils every day, it helps to nurture the skin. Essential oils that are used for deep body massage comprise rose, jasmine, sandalwood, orange, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, and iris.

Adding a few drops of essential oils to your bath will help to promote relaxation as well as lift your spirits. You may add five to ten drops of your preferred essential oil to the bath water and enjoy the benefits. Nevertheless, it is advisable that people having sensitive skin ought to dilute the essential oil by adding base oil. Ensure that you wipe the tub properly after the bath, since essential oils may leave stains on some type of tubs.

Having a comforting foot bath using essential oils is a wonderful experience. Add four drops of rosemary, peppermint and thyme oils to a big basin filled with water and soak your feet in it for some minutes to bring back life to your tired feet. In order to get some extra comfort, after you have soaked your feet, massage some lavender oil on them.

In addition, essential oils are useful in curing insomnia (sleeplessness) or to bring on a peaceful sleep all through the night. For this, you may add a few drops of the essential oil of your preference to perfume your pillow.

Last, but not the least important, handkerchiefs are an extremely handy means to utilize essential oils. Inhaling a handkerchief perfumed by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil will help to alleviate the tension and pressure that build up all through the day. Adding only two or three drops of the essential oil to a handkerchief will be enough to serve the purpose.

Several types of synthetic or man-made oils are also available and they are generally much inexpensive compared to their natural equivalents. However, such synthetically prepared oils never possess the same curative attributes or results that are present in the natural essential oils. In addition, always bear in mind that essential oils are completely dissimilar to the ‘scented’ or ‘perfume’ oils – which are also known as fragrance oils.

It may be noted that perfume or fragrance oils enclose elements as well as chemicals that are not always obtained from plant sources. Very much similar to the man-made oils, fragrance or perfume oils also do not possess any remedial or healing attributes. This is the primary reason why it is always very important to carefully read the labels on all products that you plan to employ for aromatherapy.

Use Of Essential Oils

Contrary to the common perception, essential oils are not oily, but undiluted liquids enclosing effervescing fragrant compounds usually distilled from different parts of plants, including leaves, flowers, stem, bark, and roots. Essential oils actually possess the genuine aroma and concentrate of the plants they have been obtained from and are hence known as ‘essential’. Essential oils are very valuable and a small amount sustains for long. They are also called ‘volatile’ or ‘ethereal’ oils and most essential oils are usually clear in appearance. Speaking precisely, every year people around the globe harvest thousands of tons of trees, shrubs, aromatic plants, flowers, roots and grasses and distill them most frequently by steam to obtain essential oils and absolutes.

Where do essential oils come from?

The aromatic matters found in the plants are produced in the chloroplasts of the leaves. These distinctively smelling substances coalesce with glucose in the chloroplasts to develop into glucides, which later flow around the plant. The glucides accumulate in specific parts of the plants either at a particular time during the day or the year.

However, the essential oils are also formed in the tissues that perform the function of secretion in a number of plants, while in other plants they are blended with glycosides. In the second instance, the essential oils are usually not evident till the plant is dehydrated or squashed. An ideal example of this is the valerian. It is important to note that the essential oils are deemed to be performing significant roles in the food assimilation process or metabolism of the plants. While a number of essential oils have hormonal actions, others comprise a phase in some other development. For instance, the essential oil present in the rind or peel of the orange is basically a phase in the process of vitamin A synthesis.

Significantly, the essential oils may be present in nearly all parts of the plant. However, their concentration varies depending on the plant as well as the moment in time of a day or a period in a year. For instance, essential oils are found in the roots of calamus and valerian, flowers like the lavender and rose, barks of the sandalwood and cedar-wood trees, fruits such as the lemons, cardamoms and oranges, berries like juniper and leaves of the thyme, rosemary, and sage.

All plants possessing the essence ought to be harvested at a particular point of time during the day, in the right time of year and specific weather situations to enable one to extract the greatest amount of essential oils from the plants. In addition to these, as in the case of any other herbs (therapeutic or dietetic), the quality of the soil on which the plants are grown as well as the atmospheric or climatic conditions at a particular place also influence the amount and quality of the essential oils acquired from plants.

Absolutes are a special type of essential oils that are profound (heavy) and undiluted in nature. The essential oils extracted from flowers such as the roses and jasmines are perfect examples of absolutes. On the other hand, the essential oils that are in solid form at room temperature and need to be heated prior to use are known as balsams. Typical examples of the balsams include essential oils such as camphor and benzoin.

Properties of essential oils

It is important to note that though many essential oils may possess features that are exclusive to them, they may have common medicinal actions and utilities. In fact, more or less, all concentrates possessed by plants are antiseptic or insipid in nature. The essential oils derived from eucalyptus, thyme, and the tea tree are best examples of this statement. In addition, a number of plant distillates also possess anti-viral characteristics. Among them, the essential oils extracted from garlic and the tea trees are the most potent.

Generally, the concentrate obtained from garlic is not used for aromatherapy massage for understandable reasons. However, as an alternative, the essential oil obtained from garlic is used as a medication as garlic capsules. Several concentrates obtained from a plant such as a rosemary and juniper are known to be effective in alleviating or preventing rheumatism. Massaging these essential oils on the surface of the skin invigorates the flow of blood as well as things pertaining to the lymph and boosts the supply of oxygen to the aching regions of the body. This process helps to remove the undesired elements such as the uric acid and lactic acid from the system. It may be mentioned here that the wastes such as uric acids and lactic acids are largely responsible for the acute pain endured by people enduring arthritic and rheumatic symptoms.

Medicinal aromatherapy

Numerous essential oils, as well as herbal medications, also possess a fascinating feature and that is their ability to normalize or produce various natural substances that work through the adrenal glands to produce adjustments in the body to combat stress and increase resistance to stress, and which usually produce no side effects. In fact, scientists in Eastern Europe have discovered that garlic possesses a special property whereby it can raise unusually low blood pressure and at the same time lower very high blood pressure.

In fact, the essential oil obtained from hyssop is said to possess a similar action like garlic. Several pieces of research have demonstrated that the hyssop essential oil makes the blood pressure to rise, subsequently fall and finally stabilize it at normal conditions. Interestingly, such a feature is unique for essential oils obtained from garlic and hyssop and is absolutely absent in any artificial or chemical medicine.

It is important to note that a number of physicians engaged in the field of remedial aromatherapy have also found that combinations of specific concentrates are more potent compared to the individual essential oils present in the blend. They are of the opinion that this is primarily owing to an inexplicable combined effort of the concentrates at work. As a result, the impact of the blends is more compared to the total of each of the individual essential oils in the combination. This phenomenon is especially evident in the case of the antibacterial activity of the essential oils. For instance, a combination of essential oils obtained from thyme, clove, lavender, and peppermint is much more potent compared to what the chemist may anticipate of the combination considering the collective chemical elements of the essential oils in the blend.

While a blend of a few essential oils may prove to be more powerful than the total strength of each of them, it has been intriguingly noted that when more than five concentrates are blended together the result is harmful or counter-productive. However, a number of essential oils are extraordinarily aggressive against microbial germs even when they are used individually. For instance, the essential oil derived from the lemon is so aggressive that it counteracts typhoid, diphtheria and pneumonia bacteria below three hours! With a view to determining the essential oils that are most suited and effective for any individual, the French aromatherapy physicians normally undertake a special test known as the aromatogram that is said to be a vital key in optimizing treatment with aromatherapy. Employing the aromatogram entails collecting a layer from a contaminated region of the patient’s body, culturing the substance in a laboratory and subsequently testing it with at least 15 different essential oils to ascertain the right combination of the oils that would be most effectual for treating the infections in a particular person. Once the most powerful oils have been identified, they are produced as capsules and given to the patient for oral administration. It is surprising to note that under this form of treatment different combinations of essential oils are used to treat the same infections in different individuals. Hence, there is no fixed formula for treating any particular infection, but it depends on the individuals enduring the contagions.

Some therapeutic properties of essential oils

A number of essential oils possess some special remedial properties, including antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, cytophylactic and sedative. These topics are discussed in brief below.

ANTISEPTIC

As discussed earlier, more or less all essential oils possess antiseptic properties, which is one of their most noteworthy and helpful features. In fact, an expansive depiction of ‘antisepsis’ comprises anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-viral and common anti-microbial actions that are present in essential oils obtained from fruits, leaves, roots, flowers, and barks of plants such as lemon, thyme, garlic, tea tree, lavender, pine, sandalwood, cinnamon and eucalyptus.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Essential oils possessing anti-inflammation features aid in alleviating irritation and tenderness. Normally, the indications of inflammation include aches, swelling, redness and sectional or complete loss of the concerned tissues. Some of the essential oils that possess anti-inflammatory features include concentrates obtained from rose, chamomile, sandalwood, lavender, benzoin, and myrrh.

CYTOPHYLACTIC

Many essential oils also help in restoring tissue function as well as the renewal of cells. Essential oils derived from basil, pine and rosemary are known to possess such extraordinary features. They are said to reinstate the performance of the adrenal glands, while the concentrate present in cypress, jasmine, and ylang-ylang help to renew the functioning of the reproductive endocrine glands. On the other hand, essential oils derived from lavender and chamomile also rekindle the renewal of the cells in the dermis.

SEDATIVE

Many essential oils also have a distinct impact on the nervous system as their administration/ application leads to relaxation, comfort, alleviate pain, mitigate muscle contractions and soothe the nerve cells. Generally, essential oils obtained from rose, neroli, lavender, ylang-ylang, and geranium possess these special properties.

Using Essential Oils

In actual essence, essential oils do not denote any oil but are unpolluted extracts from a wide range of plant parts, including the leaves, petals, flower heads, seeds, nut kernels, stalks, and barks as well as gums and resins obtained from trees. In fact, the essential oils enclose the active element of any plant in an extremely condensed and powerful form. They are called essential oils as these substances are very vital for various human functions. It is important to water down or dilute the unpolluted and concentrated essential oils before applying them to the skin as they are really very potent.

As mentioned above, although the essential oils are referred to as ‘oil’, they do not possess any oily feeling. In fact, the majority of the essential oils are lucid. However, some of them, like orange, lemongrass, and patchouli have an amber or yellowish hue.

The essential oils are produced in the tiny hollow spaces in the plant cells. Depending on the plant, they may be found in the petals, seeds, roots or even peel as in the instance of the oils extracted from the citrus fruits. These essential oils are removed from the plant parts by the distillation process or cold pressing. It may be mentioned here that the essential oils may differ significantly both in terms of cost and attributes or quality. A number of aspects, such as the scarcity of the plant, the country and the environment in which the plant was cultivated, may have an impact on the price and the quality of the essential oils. The price and quality of the essential oils are also determined by factors like the standard of the distiller and the quantity of oil produced by the plant.

Here are two examples to enable you to comprehend the matter better. While 100 kg of rose petals yield merely 20 ml of rose oil, it required 100 kg of leaves to produce 1 to 1.5 liters of peppermint oil. Although this particular aspect creates a difference in the price of rose oil and peppermint oil, it essentially does not reflect that one is less effectual than the other. As the essential oils enclose the real concentrate of the plant from which they are extracted, a tiny amount of it not only lasts for long but is also extremely effective.

It may be noted here that the essential oils do not mean any perfume or aromatic oil. The essential oils are actually extracted from real plants and offer therapeutic benefits, but the perfume oils are manufactured synthetically. Moreover, the perfume oils contain synthetic substances that create an artificial aroma and hence do not have any remedial value.

The remedial essential oils have the potential of offering several advantages and produce an intense effect on the body as well as the mind. It is possible to get relief from a headache or restore the vigor lost during the day by means of essential oils. The essential oils are fantastic and very simple to use in a bath, foot-bath or hand bath. When you massage with essential oils in the characteristic aromatherapy manner, it helps to invigorate the blood circulation throughout the body. At the same time, it sets off the natural healing process of the body. The fragrances of the essential oils have an impact on the sensitive hub of the brain and control our feelings.

In order to set free the natural aromas of the essential oils, one must use fragrance burners, aroma stones or spraying flasks. When you do this, you will be amazed to see how wonderfully it works on your body and mind.

Essential oil fragrance burner

Essential oil fragrance burners are normally used for bigger areas so that the fragrance may linger for quite some time. It may be mentioned here that the more space, the more quantity of essential oil will be needed. As the essential oils fade away very fast distributing their aromas all over the room, you may need to add more oil after some time with a view to preserve the impact.

Spraying flask

Usually, spraying flasks are used to produce a brief, but the instant effect in a room or any other place. In fact, spraying flasks may even be used inside a car either to stimulate your energy or to diminish the odor in the interior of the vehicle. In the event of having colds close to you, you may spray with lemon or once you have vacuumed the area, you may use your preferred essential oil or a combination of different oils. Alternately, you may also spray the covers, pillows, and mattresses with lemon and lavender to make them smell clean and fresh.

Aroma stones (Sandstones)

Aroma stones are generally used to emanate aroma for an extended period of time in small areas like toilets, halls, cupboards or even the chests. Using peppermint aroma stones in cars is very beneficial as it enables you to keep your focus and simultaneously neutralize car sickness. In addition, an aroma stone may also be used as a part of the decoration of the house or office.

It is important to keep in mind that you can use the essential oils in abundant ways to reinstate the synchronization of your mind and the body. For instance, you may use the essential oils as a remedy for headaches, air fresheners and even enhance your concentration while studying for examinations. These are only a few ways; there are many more ways – virtually anything that you may think of. You may even blend a number of essential oils with a view to realize a specific health benefit or merely combine them to enjoy their aromatic sensation. In fact, the chemical constitution and the fragrance of the essential oils are capable of providing you with precious emotional and physical healing advantages. Normally, such benefits may be attained by several means that may comprise breathing as well as external application of the watered down or diluted essential oils on the skin.

As the essential oils are highly concentrated and very powerful, they are normally diluted by adding any carrier oil, such as apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil and others before applying them on the skin. So, when you are using an essential oil, you are actually using a watered-down blend of oils. This makes it easier for the skin to soak up the essential oils.

Inhaling the essential oils cautiously also provide important remedial advantages. When you inhale the essential oils in moderation, the oil molecules go into your lungs and are then soaked up by the bloodstream.

One may buy the essential oils in the form of blends of a number of unpolluted essential oils. When you purchase a blend of essential oils, you actually get some benefits. For instance, if you were to purchase a pure blend of essential oils, you don’t need to procure all the essential oils separately. While doing so would not only be very expensive, but you would also have to take the trouble of blending the particular essential oil you purchased proportionately with other oils. It is must be mentioned here that it requires great expertise and some experience to do the job.

Utilities of Essential Oils

Essential oils have multiple and varied uses. They are used in the manufacture of perfumes and to add aroma to skin care items. They are also added as drops to a vaporizer (spray) and also in spraying flask with a view to producing a specific environment, to put off a cold or just to refresh the air. Essential oils are also used in baths, foot-baths or hand baths with the objective to warm or loosen up cold limbs. In addition, essential oils are also used for foot-baths, hand baths and baths to generate an invigorating effect. They are used in compresses for cooling effects of sunburn. When added to massages and any skin care oils, the essential oils help in enhancing the blood circulation. Essential oils may also be inhaled directly from a vaporizer or any simple bottle to help in clearing blocked air passages or just to unwind.

In Essence; Spring Aromas

There’s something special about spring. Spring makes things new, it revitalizes your surroundings. The sun warms the earth, seeds begin to sprout and flowers bloom. It awakens the senses from a dormant state that winter engulfs. It is like a new beginning. It’s like the definition of hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had, or that events will turn out for the best. It is as if starting anew.

Aromatherapy can help us harmonize ourselves with the movement of the incoming season. Let’s take a look at some regenerating essential oils that you can incorporate this Spring…

  1. Lavender Its name in Latin “lavare” means to wash or to clean. Lavender is harmonizing to the spirit and when inhaled, it can calm an agitated mind and lift the mood almost instantly. Reduces stress and overall tension while bringing luster and balance to the skin.
  2. Palmarosa also known as “Indian geranium oil” is such a delight! Its light, citrusy-grassy-rose aroma is warming to the body, relaxes tight muscles, lessens pain and reduces inflammation*. Its sweet perfume is healing, regenerating and uplifting to the mood.
  3. Bergamot “Sunshine in a bottle.” It allows us to “relax and let go” and gives a feeling of freshness, joy, and energy in cases of sadness and depression caused by fatigue and unreleased tensions and frustration.
  4. Geranium The oil of balance. Geranium balances overall and is a beautifying oil that can help us be more productive, reconnect with ourselves and “feel life” again. 
  5. Coriander It refreshing and spicy aroma is grounding and soothing. Diffuse in the air to give the room a little spruce.
  6. Lime Detoxifying and purifying, lime enhances circulation and is revitalizing. Its sharp aroma enhances energy and mental clarity.
  7. Scotch Pine The fresh aroma often reminds us of the hiking through the forest. It is purifying, warm and cleansing while helping keep us alert and mentally clear. Dilute with a carrier oil and massage to soothe sore muscles and joints after gardening or strenuous workouts.
  8. Roman Chamomile transition into spring with ease with this precious oil. It can help bring emotional stability in times of nervousness, restlessness, exhaustion, stress, tension, grief, and depression.
  9. Lemongrass Strengthening of the nervous system, anti-infectious, and eases muscular aches and pains, among many other things. It helps us concentrate when we need to think clearly and is uplifting and energizing.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot “Sunshine in a Bottle” (Citrus bergamia)

Sunshine in a bottle”, as many Aromatherapists can relate when we refer to Bergamot. Just a drop or two can elevate the mood and bring smiles almost instantly. The oil of Bergamot we carry is extracted through cold pressing the peel of the Bergamot fruit and is grown in the Ivory Coast. It is named after the Italian city of Bergamo in Lombardy, where the oil was originally sold.

Bergamot Essential Oil is a balancing oil that can be used to lift the spirit in times of depression, melancholy, stress or tension; while also calming anxiety, nervousness, stress, and fear. It is considered in Aromatherapy as a relaxant and sedative.* As a matter of fact, it is one of the most studied essential oils for helping with anxiety and its effects can be enhanced with other essential oils.

It gives a feeling of freshness, joy, and energy in cases of sadness and depression caused by fatigue and unreleased tensions and frustrations.  Bergamot helps us to “relax and let go” especially when we have pent-up feelings. It reminds us that life is good for promoting optimism and lifting off our shoulders physical and emotional tension.
It also stimulates hormone secretion and thus helps maintain proper rates of metabolism.

Interesting facts: Bergamot is a hybrid of the bitter orange and lemon.  It was and still is a primary ingredient in one of the first ‘eau de cologne’ formulas, and continues to this day to be found in a number of ‘high end’ perfumes and colognes. Earl Grey Tea is lightly flavored with a hint of Bergamot.

Feeling stressed? Take the time to inhale the sweet, exotic citrus aroma of Bergamot. Here are more ways you can use it…

Bergamot Blends well with:
Lavender, Basil, Clary Sage, Cedarwood,  Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Peppermint, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ho Wood and all citrus oils such as orange and tangerine.

Bergamot is found in the following Eternity Blends: HappinessAnxietyClear MindConfidence, and Stress Relief.

“Rays of Sunshine”- Make this synergy by adding the following in a 5ml Amber bottle:
2 tsp Bergamot
1 tsp  Sweet OrangeTangerineClementine or Blood Orange (your choice)
½ tsp Geranium

How to use this Synergy:

  • Add a few drops to your diffuser to brighten up the room.
  • Make a room spray: Add up to 80 drops of the synergy first to a 4oz aluminum bottle with atomizer. Add witch hazel. Mix. Then add purified water.
  • Make a massage oil to lift away stress and tension. Mix 10-12 drops + 1oz carrier oil in an amber glass bottle.
  • Add a drop or 2 to a tissue and inhale when in need of a quick “pick me up”.

 

** Caution: Citrus essential oils and the sun do not get along. Do not use photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun.