The Tranquility Oil; Vetiver Essential Oil



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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.

Discover Relieving Ways To Fortify With Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract


Rosemary Antioxidant (CO2 Extract), sometimes referred to as Rosemary Oil Extract, is derived from the leaves of the Rosmarinus officinalis – “Rosemary” – botanical through carbon dioxide extraction. This ingredient is a pure antioxidant additive that retains Rosemary’s characteristic odor. It is commonly added to carrier oils or essential oils to further enhance and preserve their freshness while preventing the oxidation that degrades them and causes them to become rancid. Oxidation also alters the chemical composition of highly volatile essential oils, especially those obtained from citrus fruits and conifer trees.

Historically, the Rosemary botanical was used by the Queen of Hungary in a tincture called Hungary Water, which was the result of distilling Rosemary in Brandy. This concoction involving the use of Rosemary was used daily to treat the Queen’s gout and discomfort in her legs. The herb thus earned the moniker “The Vitality Herb.”


Rosemary Antioxidant is a viscous, deep olive-green fluid that is 100% oil-soluble, GMO-free and stabilized with Sunflower Seed Oil. It has a pH value of 4.5 – 5.5. This product is designed to be an additive that prevents the oxidation of carrier or essential oils and is not meant to be used for aromatherapy purposes.


The main constituent of Rosemary Antioxidant is Carnosic Acid at 10%. The ratio of Rosemary Carnosic to 100% natural Sunflower Seed Carrier Oil is 1:9.

Carnosic Acid is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Stimulating
  • Memory enhancing
  • Tonic

Rosemary Antioxidant has natural and multi-functional antioxidant properties that are greater than that of mixed tocopherols – a class of chemical compounds that largely exhibit the beneficial activities of Vitamin E. Rosemary Antioxidant provides natural oil blends with unparalleled fortification against deterioration and rancidity without any heavy metals, toxic chemicals, solvent residues, and inorganic salts. Another advantage of Rosemary Antioxidant is its ability to stabilize and completely dissolve in most vegetable oils such as those of Soybean, Peanut, and Sunflower Seed among others. It is soluble even at low temperatures and remains stable at temperatures higher than 200 °C (392 °F). Rosemary Antioxidant preserves the shelf-life of finished handmade natural products by slowing the oxidation of fatty oils. Used in conjunction with an emulsifier, it also delays the oxidation of water-soluble compounds. As a preservative, it inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

When used in homemade cosmetics, Rosemary Antioxidant naturally preserves products such as creams and lotions as well as other products containing herbal compounds. Due to its concentrated nature, it makes for an economical product, as it can be used in low percentages while still producing impressive results such as skin care benefits, especially for moisturizing skin and slowing the appearance of aging. It relieves skin inflammation and can soothe acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Rosemary Antioxidant protects cells against not only oxidation and inflammation but also against pathogens.


Rosemary Antioxidant is produced by the Supercritical CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Extraction obtained from whole, dried Rosemary leaves. This extraction method preserves the purity of the oil’s base constituents, yielding a highly concentrated finished product that contains the bio-active substances from the botanical matter, namely antioxidants and essential oils. Although this process involves high pressure, it does not involve the use of high temperatures and the oxygen preserves valuable plant compounds.

At standard temperature, CO2 behaves like a gas. When frozen, it acts as a solid (dry ice). If the temperature and pressure exerted on the CO2 are increased to be above its critical point – that is, the point at which a gas and a liquid attain the same density and thereby become indistinguishable – the CO2 assumes the properties of both a gas and a liquid; like gas, the CO2 expands to fill a container but is dense like a liquid. This extraction method is free of toxicity and flammability. After extraction, the CO2 evaporates, but it can be reused by returning it to a cold recovery vessel, which re-condenses the solvent vapors and collects the recycled liquid. The Rosemary extract is then stabilized in Sunflower Seed Oil to help increase its solubility.

The pungent, penetrating scent of Rosemary Antioxidant is characteristic of the Rosemary herb itself. It has been described as cineole-like, which is considered to be minty, cooling, and camphoraceous such that it exudes a rich herbaceous and woody fragrance. Its odor has also been likened to mothballs.


In various carrier oils and other liquid products, Rosemary Antioxidant can be added directly to them in order to extend their shelf lives. To use it as an additive in powder products, it must first be diluted with a carrier oil before being sprayed, immersed, rolled, or injected into the powder product.

Despite having the odor of Rosemary, the extract is not expected to have a strong influence on the scent of final homemade products, if added in low percentages. The recommended amount to add to cosmetic products in order to prevent the oxidation of carrier and essential oils and to inhibit an aromatic effect on the product is 0.2 – 0.4% of the total.

Rosemary Antioxidant should be thoroughly mixed into any product that it is compounding, and it should not interact with any metals such as Iron or Copper, especially at high temperatures. When mixed with products that have a pH value higher than 8.5, Rosemary Antioxidant will not demonstrate effective results.

Rosemary Antioxidant can be added to all anhydrous formulations (that is, formulations with all the water removed) as well as soaps, creams, lotions, massage gels, bath and body oils, emulsions, carrier oil blends, and fragile oils. When creating products that contain oils such as lip balms, lotions, lotion bars, creams, and scrubs, Rosemary Antioxidant can be added to the oil phases of the recipes.


Long-term studies and effects of Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract on people are not currently available, as the product is relatively new; however, completed tests have determined that it is generally safe to use, although most available data is insufficient for a conclusion.


    • Rosemary Antioxidant is derived from the Carbon Dioxide extraction of Rosemary leaves.
    • In cosmetics, Rosemary Antioxidant is an additive that enhances and preserves their freshness, especially that of the oils contained within them.
    • Rosemary Antioxidant protects the body and skin from free radical damage.
    • The main constituent of Rosemary Antioxidant is Carnosic Acid, which demonstrates antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and tonic activities.
  • Rosemary Antioxidant is even more effective than Vitamin E compounds in protecting natural products from deterioration and rancidity.

Evening Primrose Oil: Benefits and Uses


Known to be regal and noble enough for Kings and Queen’s to use in medicinal applications, Evening Primrose is famously referred to as the ‘King’s Cure-All.’ Historically, various parts of the Evening Primrose botanical – such as its seeds, fresh flowers, leaves, and roots – as well as its essential fatty acid were used in medicinal applications to address symptoms of acne, asthma, diabetes, eczema, fatigue, loss of libido and impotence, menstruation and menopause, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, poor memory, and rheumatism.

In Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, the plant’s and its oil’s therapeutic properties were revered and used to regulate and address issues associated with circulation, inflammation, the female reproductive system and the respiratory and nervous systems. Among various Native American groups and in communities of early settlers, the plant’s various parts were used to make infusions, poultices, and topical pastes intended to address bruises, wounds, and obesity. For some tribes, the plant’s roots even made up part of their staple diet. Its benefits were also used to support nutrition and nourishment as well as to soothe discomforts such as sore throats, stomach aches, gastrointestinal problems, and hemorrhoids.

Since the 17th century, Evening Primrose Oil has gained popularity for its remedial activity and has been used in Europe since then for medicinal purposes. Having become a nutritional supplement, it is also used in culinary applications. In addition to being used to address the aforementioned conditions, since the 1930s the Evening Primrose plant and its essential fatty acid also came to be used for the treatment of conditions such as hair loss, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Evening Primrose Oil continues to be used to address symptoms of allergies, poor circulation, and immune deficiencies. This article highlights the various other uses, benefits, therapeutic properties, and safe uses of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil.


The main chemical constituents of Evening Primrose Oil are Linoleic Acids (Omega-6), γ-Linolenic Acid (Omega-6), Oleic Acid (Omega-9), Palmitic Acid, and Stearic Acid.

LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-6) are known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Help slow the look of aging by sustaining skin elasticity and softness


  • Be anti-inflammatory
  • Nourish the skin with essential fatty acids
  • Support the growth of healthier and stronger skin, hair, and nails
  • Effectively soothe pain and discomfort associated with arthritis and symptoms of PMS, including headaches
  • Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness to improve flexibility
  • Potentially soothe symptoms of allergies
  • Encourage healthier brain activity
  • Help slow the look of aging by sustaining skin elasticity and softness
  • Help sustain the health and function of the cells as well as of the immune, nervous, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that eliminate dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Evening Primrose Carrier Oil exhibits soothing and moisturizing properties, and it is gentle enough for use on sensitive and prematurely aging skin. It is reputed to not only moisturize but to also enhance elasticity as well as the texture of flaking or peeling skin, making it an ideal ingredient in formulations for mature skin. With astringent and softening properties, it promotes the look of a healthy, clear, rejuvenated complexion with enhanced radiance. By addressing roughness, wrinkles, redness, dryness, and irritation, it is reputed to soothe skin afflicted with acne, eczema, and psoriasis. When used in hair, Evening Primrose Carrier Oil is known to hydrate and nourish the scalp to fortify the strands and soothe itchiness, dryness, and inflammation, thus preventing or reducing hair loss.

Used medicinally, Evening Primrose Carrier Oil is reputed to ease headaches, dizziness, muscular aches and weakness, tiredness, and slowed reflexes, and irritability.

As aforementioned, Evening Primrose Oil has traditionally been used to address symptoms of asthma, diabetes, itching disorders, obesity, cough, metabolic and digestive ailments, high blood pressure, and symptoms of menstruation as well as menopause, among other complaints. By facilitating the healing process, it works to reduce the appearance of scars, to soothe inflammation associated with topical allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.


As illustrated, Evening Primrose Carrier 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, Anti-Oxidant, Cleansing, Nourishing, Astringent.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Inflammatory, Astringent, Analgesic, Stimulant, Anti-Depressant, Sedative, Expectorant, Anti-Histamine, Anti-Coagulant, Immune-Stimulant, Hormone Regulator, Vulnerary, Antispasmodic, Demulcent, Bronchodilator, Cognition-Enhancing.


Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Evening Primrose Oil can be applied directly to the skin to hydrate and prevent acne. To reduce the chances of future breakouts, simply dab 2-3 drops of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil onto pimples to facilitate their healing.

Evening Primrose Oil makes an ideal moisturizer that enhances skin health, leaving the complexion looking rejuvenated. For a moisturizer that calms redness, inflammation, and itching, combine Evening Primrose Carrier Oil with equal parts Shea Butter and apply the mixture to the skin nightly before bed. This natural moisturizer is known to nourish the skin with essential fats, thereby soothing and clearing the complexion while promoting its softness.

For a moisturizer blend that is ideal for use on dry and sensitive skin, combine 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 20 ml (0.70 oz.) of Apricot Kernel Carrier Oil. To this, add 2 drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, 2 drops Neroli Essential Oil, 2 drops Rose Absolute, 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 4 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil. Using the fingertips, massage this blend into the face and neck and leave it on for 20 minutes. Blot any excess oil with a tissue. This moisturizer can be used 3 evenings a week after cleansing the face and neck.

For a calming balm that soothes sore feet and smooths cracked heels, in a small bowl combine 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Neem Carrier Oil, 5 ml (0.16 oz.) Avocado Carrier Oil, and 50 ml (1.70 oz.) Aloe Vera Gel. To this mix, add 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, 5 drops Benzoin Resinoid, 5 drops Myrrh Essential Oil, and 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil, then thoroughly combine all the ingredients. This balm can be applied to thoroughly-dried feet after they have been washed in a bath or shower. It is highly recommended that the feet be gently filed first in order to buff away any callouses, as this will prevent the deepening of existing cracks.

For a natural facial oil that is ideal for use on mature skin, simply combine the following ingredients in a small bowl: 12 ml (0.40 oz.) Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 20 ml (0.70 oz.) Avocado Carrier Oil, 16 ml (0.55 oz.) Rice Bran Carrier Oil, 2 ml (0.10 oz.) Vitamin E Liquid, 4 drops Neroli Essential Oil, and 4 drops Frankincense Oil. Regular application of this moisturizer is known to promote the tightening of the skin, which thereby diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

For a formula that can be applied as a nightly facial serum to nourish, soften, and smooth the skin, in a dark glass dropped bottle combine 2 Tbsp. Avocado Carrier Oil, 2 Tbsp. Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, 1 Tbsp. Pomegranate Seed Carrier Oil, and 10 drops of any essential oil that is reputed to have anti-aging effects. Suggested oils include Clary Sage, Frankincense, German Chamomile, Jasmine, Myrhh, Neroli, Patchouli, Sandalwood, or Ylang-Ylang. Next, cleanse the face and pat it dry with a soft, clean cloth. Apply 2-3 drops of this blend to the face and neck each night before bed.

For a hydrating and soothing hair oil treatment, simply massage a tablespoon of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil into the scalp and allow it to soak in for 30 minutes. It can be washed out in the shower as usual with a sulfate-free shampoo, then air-dried. Application of this conditioning hair mask 1-2 times each week is reputed to yield noticeable results for hair that appears stronger, fuller, healthier, more lustrous, and free from dryness and irritation.

Used in medicinal applications, Evening Primrose Carrier Oil is believed to soothe and prevent acne breakouts. To help lessen the topical discomforts of acne symptoms, combine 1 drop each of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil, Patchouli Essential Oil, and Tea Tree Essential Oil. This blend is known to not only promote general skin health but to also address acne-causing bacteria and reduce the chances of future breakouts.



Botanical Name: Oenothera biennis

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from the seeds

Country of Origin: China

Believed to:

    • Be Pale Yellow to Golden Yellow in color
    • Have undergone refinement to remove its scent
    • Leave skin looking and feeling nourished with its high fatty acid content
    • Be ideal for use in manufacturing soaps as well as bath and skincare products
    • Be a nourishing, anti-inflammatory emollient for skin/hair that is dry and maturing
    • Soothe and diminish the appearance of eczema while slowing the look of aging
  • Leave an oily residue on the skin


Botanical Name: Oenothera biennis

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from the seeds

Country of Origin: China

Believed to:

    • Leave skin looking and feeling nourished with its high fatty acid content
    • Be Pale Yellow to Golden Yellow in color
    • Retain its virgin state after pressing
    • Retain a stronger color and aroma than the refined variety, which is natural due to the absence of filtering and chemical processing
    • Be ideal for use in manufacturing soaps as well as bath and skincare products
    • Be a nourishing emollient for maturing skin and dry hair
    • Calm the skin while slowing the look of aging
  • Leave an oily residue on the skin


Botanical Name: Oenothera biennis

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from the seeds

Country of Origin: China

Believed to:

    • Moisturize the skin to promote a revitalized complexion
    • Retain most of its nutrients, making it a potent ingredient for use in cosmetics and skincare products
    • Range in color from yellowish-Green to Deep Green
    • Exude an aroma that is similar to that of Linseed Carrier Oil (also known as Flaxseed Oil)
    • Moisturize and nourish skin and hair to enhance their appearance and texture, while reducing the signs of maturation
    • Leave an oily residue on the skin
  • Be ideal for use in manufacturing organic soaps as well as bath and skincare products that require the use of organic ingredients


Evening Primrose Carrier 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 Evening Primrose 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 Evening Primrose Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of the oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Evening Primrose 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 Evening Primrose Oil include itchiness, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, seizures, vomiting, the rapid growth of nails, or bleeding. Those taking anti-coagulant medications may experience excessive bleeding.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this Carrier 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.


    • Evening Primrose Oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the Oenothera biennis botanical.
    • Evening Primrose Oil has traditionally been referred to as the ‘King’s Cure-All’ due to the belief that its ‘majestic’ benefits and ‘honorable’ properties made it fit for Kings and Queen’s to apply medicinally.
    • Used cosmetically or topically, Evening Primrose Oil soothes and moisturizes the skin, scalp, and hair while enhancing elasticity. Furthermore, it promotes a healthy, clear, rejuvenated complexion with enhanced radiance and addresses roughness, wrinkles, redness, dryness, and irritation. It facilitates the healing process, reduces the appearance of scars, and calms inflammation.
  • Used medicinally, Evening Primrose Oil is reputed to ease headaches, dizziness, muscular aches and weakness, tiredness and slowed reflexes and irritability. It is believed to promote clear-headedness, decisiveness, and concentration while improving coordination, appetite, immunity, memory, sensuality, and vigor.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Can You Ingest Essential Oils?

Taking essential oils orally can cause health problems. Learn the safety requirements of ingesting these concentrated plant extracts.

I see it frequently in social media images: Just add X drops of Y essential oil to a tall glass of water and drink. I see it on advice columns with lines such as “boost your health” or “prevent cancer.” Unfortunately, taking this kind of advice could potentially make you quite ill.

Essential oils are highly concentrated volatile compounds extracted from whole or parts of plants—tree resins, flowering shrubs, peels of citrus fruits, seeds, grasses and so forth. A distiller may use hundreds of pounds of plant material and get only a pound of essential oil in return. For example, in the case of rose essential oil, it takes approximately 50 roses to make a single drop of essential oil. It can take 2,000 pounds of plant material from the cypress tree to get a single pound of the essential oil.

At these levels of concentration, a single drop in a glass of water could be the equivalent of drinking boxes of tea made from the same herb. Would you casually drink 50 bags of a herbal tea in a day? Of course, you wouldn’t. So, why would you drink a drop of the essential oil without express direction from a medical professional?

Water and Essential Oils Don’t Mix

Another problem with the advice to drink a drop of essential oil diluted in a glass of water is that this is a bad way to deliver essential oils to the body. It can be harmful to the tissues of the mouth and throat. Essential oils don’t mix in water; they need a dispersant. When I’m using them in the bath, I mix them in a dispersant such as milk, sea salt or a carrier oil first so they aren’t floating on the top of the water and irritating that oh-so-sensitive skin when I sit down. I might use a shot glass of milk or a few tablespoons of sea salts, but I don’t climb into the bath without dispersing the oils first.

When you add a drop to a glass of water, that droplet doesn’t mingle with the water like a drop of a herbal tincture would. It sits there, and you sling that glass back and take a big gulp. The first signs of distress from this method are irritations to the mouth and throat. They can be damaged by this concentrated plant oil, and repeated exposure exacerbates the situation. After a while other foods that don’t normally bother you may start to sting or burn in the mouth or throat. If you keep it up long enough, you risk becoming sensitized to the chemical components in the essential oil—then when you come into contact with ingredients that share one of those components you might break out in hives or trigger a migraine.

Is there any safe way to take essential oils by mouth?

You may be wondering if it is ever safe to ingest essential oils. And the answer is that yes, it can be advisable, but only under the care of a trained medical professional. The trick is to have a digestible transport to get it from the mouth and into the digestive system so it can be taken up into the bloodstream. Some clinical aromatherapists, as well as a few nurses and doctors, have received this advanced training. Factors that come into play include metabolism, contraindications, known allergens, medications and the nature of the illness in question. Essential oils aren’t to be consumed as a kind of daily multivitamin. Instead, these powerful plant oils are used internally to rid the body of parasites or worms, or in cases of bacterial and viral infections. They’re also called upon when antibiotic-resistant infections can’t be controlled.

Resist Marketing Schemes

Knowing that essential oils should only be ingested for specific maladies on the advice of a trained medical professional, you might be wondering how people can so easily become confused about whether to drink essential oils diluted in a glass of water. Some laypeople who sell essential oils advise taking essential oils internally and their suggestions can get a lot of traction on social media sites such as Pinterest and Facebook.

Let’s say you have an unopened 1⁄2-ounce bottle of lavender essential oil in your home right now. That bottle contains about 300 drops of essential oil. If you store it in a cool, dark space you can anticipate that this bottle will have a shelf life of around five years: 60 drops per year. With those 60 drops, you could have a monthly aromatic bath all year long, or make four 1-ounce massage oil blends.

But if you’re putting one drop in a glass of water every day, my thinking is that you’re a cash cow client. You might be told to ramp up your routine and do two drops, or three. You could go through two bottles of lavender essential oil before a year is up at that rate. That spells big money.

What’s a Good Alternative?

If drinking essential oils are sounding less and less like a good idea, perhaps you’re wondering about potential alternatives. Some of my favorite water additives are likely sitting in your fridge right now. Fresh herbs such as peppermint and lavender, and fresh fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, peach, and lime can be placed into a pitcher of water and left to sit for a few minutes, an hour or overnight for flavoring and to support a wellness goal. Herbal teas can be prepared both hot or cold and are much gentler on the body. As for using essential oils, the quickest way to the bloodstream is through direct inhalation: Put a drop or two of the essential oils on a cotton ball and hold it close to the nostrils while taking a deep breath. You can also use essential oils on the skin: Dilute one drop in a teaspoon of carrier oil (such as coconut or grapeseed oil) to aid absorption and reduce the risk of skin irritation.

Clinical Observations

Taking essential oils orally without consulting a medical professional can tax the liver and damage mucous membranes.

About once a month, I see a client complaining of right-side abdominal pain, lethargy, joint pain, and indigestion. At some point, they mention they’ve been adding essential oils to their drinking water because their neighbor said it would make their water taste better or help them lose weight (or cure Ebola). I try to restrain my initial alarm and calmly explain that essential oils and water don’t mix, literally and that the oils are effective mucous membrane irritants.

In some cases, the client gets a liver panel. Typically, we discover that the liver isn’t happy with this intense routine and the doctor advises her to discontinue use. Sometimes the damage is permanent—vocal chords aren’t what they used to be, or there’s damage to the esophagus or stomach. The liver is usually pretty capable of self-healing, and once the poison is removed, liver enzymes normalize, the abdominal pain disappears and energy levels perk up again. The mystery joint pain and other weird symptoms ease and disappear, too.

For reasons I can only deduce as marketing gimmicks, a couple of companies have been putting nutrition fact labels on their essential oils as if a product roughly 100 times concentrated should casually be used as a nutrition supplement. Essential oils have no vitamin or mineral content, zero nutrition content, and should be considered a drug when used orally. The FDA sent strongly worded letters to two such companies that market essential oils as dietary supplements while using drug claims.

The French use essential oils in enteric-coated pills to treat mild to moderate depression and irritable bowel syndrome. If you lived in France, your psychiatrist or doctor could prescribe an aromatic medicine for you and you’d fill the prescription down at the pharmacy. A doctor to whom I refer clients prescribes oral essential oils for parasitical infections such as amoebas, Lyme disease or for other infections such as antibiotic-resistant staph (MRSA). So yes, sometimes essential oils are used orally as medications—but under close observation, because they can easily turn into a poison with the wrong route of absorption or the wrong dosage.

Can you overdose on an essential oil? Absolutely. And sometimes that dose is very small, less than 1 teaspoon for some.

Learn More

To learn more about the safety of using essential oils, consult these resources.

“Are Essential Oils Safe?” from the University of Minnesota

Internal Use Statement from the Alliance of International Aromatherapists

Essential Oil Safety Information

“Aromatherapy Undiluted—Safety and Ethics”

Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young

Clinical Aromatherapy by Jane Buckle

Handbook of Essential Oils by K. Hüsnü Can Başer & Gerhard Buchbauer

Aromatherapy for Health Professionals by Shirley Price & Len Price


The rise in “makeover your medicine cabinet” approaches to using essential oils presents three key problems:

  1. It is the least effective way to therapeutically use essential oils.
  2. It does not address the root problem.
  3. It is illegal in the United States.

To best understand the problems we must first look at how this all got started…

A Brief History of Botanical Medicine

Humans have been employing the use of botanicals, or plants, to support and restore health for some 50,000 years. Or, you could probably say botanicals have been used as long as humans have been on the planet.  Botanical medicine has a 5,000 year written history based on the energetics of the person and the plant. You see, humans have been treating the individual long before they fully understood anatomy, physiology, and states of disease.

When the shift began in the last century to do away with this model of healing and instead treat disease and illness, the lay-person lost a valuable resource for wellness care. Prevention was tossed to the wind and we lost sight of taking care of ourselves based on our energetic makeup. And if you look around, we’re really rather suffering from the lack of wellness-based medicine in our lives and our communities, aren’t we? I certainly think so.

Botanical Medicine is Holistic at its Core

If you had an appointment today with an Ayurvedic practitioner, a Chinese medicine practitioner, a herbalist, or myself, you wouldn’t be treated for your high blood pressure, your osteoarthritis, or your migraines. While all of these symptoms are important and will be considered by the practitioner as part of a whole you’ll really be treated based on your energetic constitution and the symptoms will be viewed as clues to what’s really going on.

How do you experience the world? Are you a fire constitution expressing too much heat through chronically inflamed joints? Are you an air constitution expressing too much wind that leaves you mentally spacey during the day and with troubling insomnia at night? Has damp or dry energy patterns tipped the scales for your constitution?

Any constitution can experience similar symptoms but getting to the root of the cause takes some asking, listening, and observing (hence my 5 pages of questions on my intake form!). A fire type and an air type can both have knee pain but their origins are very different and their treatment plans should be different as well.

Replacing Drugs with Essential Oils

So you want a natural solution for [insert health complaint here]. After being steeped in treating disease states instead of the person for the past hundred years your first thought isn’t going to be: “I’ll use this essential oil because it has this energetic aspect that my body needs for balance.” Nope. You’re going to look at what western medicine would classify the essential oil for.

Let’s say you’ve got a sinus headache. It’s allergy season here in Southeastern Utah and between the mold and the plant pollens, a lot of folks are really suffering. What would be your first choice for that sinus headache from your essential oil kit? If you looked just at the chemistry you might choose, say, Peppermint. It’s rich in terpenic alcohols (aka monoterpenols) and right there on the monograph, it says “decongestant,” that’d be just the thing!

But wait, that’s only part of the story of peppermint essential oil. Peppermint’s energetics give us deeper clues as to who should be utilizing this essential oil. It’s in the pungent family (TCM, Ayurveda, AGM) and likes to move and circulate energy in the body. It’s also classified as a Yin botanical with cooling properties. So, who needs these properties? Someone with a hot and Yang temperament, yes? Aha! What if your constitution tends toward cold though? What if your dominant dosha is Vata? What if it’s a Yin and cold season and the last thing you want is to amplify that temperature in yourself? Oh, then this isn’t the right essential oil for you at all. In fact, it might exacerbate your constitution and you’ll only feel worse. Well, that’s not the relief you were looking for.

If you choose an essential oil like a drug: this essential oil for this acute health problem; the worse that happens is you feel worse, or it doesn’t work. While unpleasant, or disappointing, it isn’t necessarily life-threatening if you’re working within safe dosing guidelines. What is potentially life-threatening is when essential oils are bought and sold to advanced disease states like cancer, high blood pressure, or an autoimmune condition. There aren’t any essential oils that will replace chemotherapy, blood pressure medication, or treat multiple sclerosis. Not that these disease states cannot be improved by treating the individual, it’s just that essential oils aren’t drugs. What happens if you follow the bad advice of taking Frankincense essential oil for cancer? If you take enough to wipe out cancer it will be too poisonous a dose for your eliminatory organs to handle and you’ll go into organ failure and die. If you don’t take enough, it will likely protect the cancer cells giving them the opportunity to continue to grow and spread, and if you’re in chemotherapy at the same time it will make the chemo harder to do its job.

Essential Oils Cannot Legally be Sold or Recommended as Drugs

So, if death or worsening of a condition isn’t an indication enough that essential oils aren’t drugs and shouldn’t be used to treat from a western medicine perspective there’s the fact that it is completely illegal for essential oils to be recommended and sold as drugs in the United States. The branches of U.S. government, designed to protect consumers and the field of medicine, have created specific laws around this.

In the United States a sales representative (product rep/consultant), an employee at Whole Foods, your aromatherapist, your herbalist, or your aromatic therapies practitioner, cannot:

  • treat medical conditions – headaches, cancer, cold/flu
  • prescribe, recommend or suggest essential oils, herbs, or nutritional supplements for medical conditions
  • diagnose medical conditions

…unless they are licensed in their State to practice and prescribe medicine.

Why this is Great for You and Me

Making it illegal to use essential oils as drugs is a rather good thing for both you and me. Firstly, it protects you, the consumer, from snake oil sales folks that want to sell you a product for your medical condition. There’s no reason an untrained, unlicensed person should be practicing or prescribing medicine. Okay, we could probably argue the benefits of emergency medicine in the event of the zombie apocalypse.

It’s also great for me, as an aromatherapist, that I don’t have to practice medicine. Or prescribe medicine. I didn’t go to medical school and I have zero interest in practicing western medicine. My CPR training card doesn’t give me any authority to treat your medical condition any more than your neighbor licensed in plumbing does.

I can treat you as the wonderfully holistic person that you are – with your unique way of absorbing and expressing this beautiful life. And that’s why I’ve spent 19 years studying holistic medicine! I love tapping into the body’s own innate healing abilities by gently nudging it towards homeostasis, that balanced state it thrives in and strives for.

Eastern and Western Medicine Synergy

In closing, I want to talk about the benefits of combining modern and ancient medicine models in the practice of aromatherapy.

Eastern aromatherapy looks at the energetics of the person and the essential oil and prepares a treatment plan based on supporting the constitution of the individual. Be it grounded in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Ancient Greek Medicine, or another system, it always supports the person, not the allopathic disease state.

Western aromatherapy closely analyzes and studies the chemistry of the essential oil. This information gives us the biophysical action of the essential oil, dosing parameters, and safety information like contraindications and cautions. Then it looks at the scientific study of the human body: anatomy and physiology (A&P). A&P gives us guidance on routes of absorption, how the chemistry of the essential oil travels in the body when we smell it, when we apply it to the skin, when we use it internally, and the best methods to accomplish each of these routes for the highest therapeutic effect.

Each area gives us one half of the story, and when combined we have a holistic, modern, wellness tool that is powerful, safe, and very effective. Toss in a healthy diet, loving movement of your body, and we could quite possibly change the world with aromatherapy!


This article is focusing on the problems with selling essential oils like drugs.

Some of the key problems are:

  1. Essential oils aren’t approved as drugs in the United States.
  2. A prescription is required by a medical professional licensed to prescribe medicine in his/her State.
  3. A license to practice as a pharmacist and control a pharmacy is required.

To first understand the problems we need to look at some of the ways essential oils are regulated in the United States.

Classification of Essential Oils

fdaEssential oils are regulated by the following federal agencies:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Fish and Wildlife departments
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

The federal government doesn’t recognize essential oils as their own class of consumer products. Instead, the category an essential oil falls under is based on:

  1. the words you & the manufacturer use to market the essential oil – referred to as “claims” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  2. the perception of how the essential oil is to be used by the consumer.

An essential oil might be sold under one of these categories:

  • cosmetic
  • dietary supplement
  • approved drug
  • GRAS flavoring
  • soap
  • air freshener or household cleaner

As much as we love our all-in-one bottles of essential oils the federal agencies don’t. Accordingly, you can’t market the same bottle for multiple categories. It’s a pick one or none kind of deal. If an essential oil is sold as a cosmetic (topical use product) it cannot make structure/function claims. If an essential oil is sold with structure/function claims (supports the natural functioning of the respiratory/digestive system) it is classified as a dietary supplement and can be sold in pre-formulated capsules to be taken by mouth or in a dietary supplement bar clearly labeled not a food. If an essential oil is sold as a food and beverage flavoring ingredient it can only be used according to GRAS dilution standards to appear in products around 100-1000 parts per million. If an essential oil is sold as an over-the-counter drug it must be formulated according to the FDA’s monograph. If an essential oil is sold as an approved (new or old) drug it is sold by prescription by a licensed pharmacist in a licensed pharmacy that meets federal regulations for formulations and dosing.

Please note I am not covering livestock and veterinarian use of essential oil sales as that is not an area I have researched nor do I have a great deal of interest in.

Cosmetics are a classification of essential oils intended for use on the skin and body. And yes, as I’ve pointed out above, a cosmetic product cannot also be a dietary supplement and vice versa.

“articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)].

Dietary supplement is a classification of essential oil constituents intended for use in the body. A good example of a product on the market that meets DSHEA guidelines and employs a C02 extraction of cinnamon is New Chapter brand’s Cinnamon Force alongside the alcohol extraction of the herb cinnamon. Remember, an essential oil cannot be sold as both a dietary supplement and a cosmetic – the same bottle cannot be sold for skin use.

Congress defined the term “dietary supplement” in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement the diet.

GRAS flavoring is a classification of essential oils that are intended to flavor foods and beverages. There’s a good bit of confusion around GRAS and essential oils – namely that GRAS doesn’t mean it is a dietary supplement and that the FFDCA has guidelines for essential oils used in flavoring foods and beverages that generally range somewhere between 10-1000 parts per million in a finished product. To get a better idea of what this looks like I recommend you read my article: Essential Oils and GRAS: What it really means.

“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive. For example, substances whose use meets the definition of a pesticide, a dietary ingredient of a dietary supplement, a color additive, a new animal drug, or a substance approved for such use prior to September 6, 1958, are excluded from the definition of food additive.

Essential oils can also be sold in soaps, in perfumes (under the cosmetics guidelines), as air fresheners (regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission), and of course in OTC and new drugs. Just keep in mind that soaps, perfumes, air fresheners, diffuser blends can’t be sold with cosmetic, drug, or dietary supplement claims (i.e. you can’t sell a diffuser blend for immune support during cold and flu season).

Why we can’t sell essential oils as drugs

If you want to sell essential oils as drugs there are a few legal hurdles in your pathway:

  • State licensure as a pharmacy facility and as a pharmacist
  • Compliance with current good manufacturing practices (CGMP)
  • Labeling with adequate directions for use
  • FDA approval prior to marketing
  • A prescription from a medical professional with a current license to prescribe

Some folks are not prepared to go to pharmacy school to sell Lavender essential oil for headaches or a cold-flu essential oil blend. Not to mention getting essential oils approved as drugs (hundreds of thousands of dollars), and have you even priced liability insurance to work as a pharmacist in this litigious country? Yeesh!

Ways you can’t sell essential oils

Again, a disclaimer that I am not your legal adviser but am offering information based on consulting with no fewer than 7 licensed attorneys in 4 states and that I rather devour regulatory websites like romance novels, this is what it boils down to:

Ways you can’t sell a bottle of Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, or other essential oil:

  • You can’t make disease/condition claims without a license to practice medicine, prior approval from the FDA as a drug, a pharmacy license, and a prescription from a medical professional with a license to prescribe (since you can’t treat medical conditions, prescribe, and fill prescriptions all under the same roof). Disease/condition claims would include terms like headaches, cold/flu, cancer, high blood pressure.
  • You can’t make drug claims without prior approval from the FDA, a pharmacy license, and a prescription from a medical professional with a license to prescribe. Drug claim examples would include terms like analgesic, expectorant, antispasmodic, antimicrobial.
  • You can’t sell a bottle of essential oil with structure/function claims if it is to be applied to the outside of the body or inhaled unless you follow the guidelines of manufacturing an over the counter drug and then you wouldn’t have a bottle of essential oil anymore you’d have a topical OTC drug.

Further thoughts on ‘relaxation’ and structure-function claims

To sell Lavender essential oil with a claim of “relaxation” it must be in the form of a dietary supplement. Not a raw ingredient like a bottle of essential oil but readily available in a product that will go into the consumer’s mouth. Leaving the consumer to manage dosing and dose forms on their own is fraught with problems, namely:

  • dosing is based on the chemistry of the essential oil to determine the level of “active” ingredients in the form of specific chemical constituents.
  • dosing is measured in milligrams and based on the weight of the average adult consumer.
  • capsule selection is based on whether the capsule should dissolve in the stomach acid or in the lower bowels.

None of these is left to the consumer to guess at. And in the end you don’t have a bottle of Lavender essential oil, you have a carefully formulated bottle of encapsulated essential oil. You still have to follow current known safety guidelines, observe laws related to manufacturing, labeling, and advertising, as well as report back to the FDA adverse events consumers have experienced.

I think it is important to remember that encapsulating an essential oil doesn’t reduce potential toxicity with regards to:

  • Teratogenicity – the capability to cause malformations or defects to an embryo or fetus.
  • Hepatotoxicity – the capability to cause toxicity in the liver.
  • Nephrotoxicity – the capability to cause toxicity in the kidneys.
  • Carcinogenicity – the capability to cause cancer through the damage of genome or the disruption of cellular metabolic processes.

The responsibility to make every effort to avoid poisoning the general population through careful regard for dosing (amount and length of use) and delivery systems is on the company’s shoulders. Think companies aren’t responsible for this? Head on over to the U.S. Department of Justice and see for yourself what kind of hot water you can get into when you combine greed, unsafe ingredients, and not following labeling laws. Scrutiny in the dietary supplements industry has skyrocketed in the past few years as consumers are reporting more adverse reactions, raw ingredients are being adulterated or contaminated, and companies are not following federal and state laws when manufacturing products for consumers.

Will we lose access to essential oils in America?

There is a concern felt in many branches of the essential oil and aromatic therapies industry that we may lose access to essential oils if they continue to be sold as unapproved drugs. If essential oils are deemed too dangerous because people are drinking them in water and recommending their use for ebola would it surprise any of us that the FDA pulls them all off the market?

We have this amazing wellness tool and it would break my heart if we lost access to it. Not simply because my livelihood revolves around access to essential oils in my practice, aromatherapy but because they do play a role in my personal wellness care.

How do you sell essential oils in the United States?

So, dear reader;  If you need a space to commiserate on the challenges of retailing essential oils here I’m totally cool with that. I do respectfully ask that you don’t use the comments section to complain that essential oils should be legal to sell as drugs, or that so-and-so or such-and-such company is violating X number of federal laws, or to get on your soapbox about big pharma or government agencies or conspiracy theories. I appreciate your thoughtful replies and look forward to hearing from you!

Foot Detox: Know the Facts

Foot Detox: Know the Facts, Top Benefits, and Recipes

When you think about detoxing, you probably think about detox diets, colon cleansing, or fasting. But, in recent years, detoxing through the feet has gained popularity. Proponents say foot detox therapy eliminates toxins from the body, increases energy, offers immune support, and improves overall health and well-being. However, foot detoxes are not without controversy. Does detoxing through your feet really work, and are there any side effects? What different techniques exist for a foot detox? Read on for answers to these questions and more.

What Is a Detox?

Detoxing, short for detoxification, is intended to eliminate or neutralize toxins throughout the body. Toxins are virtually everywhere, including in the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and common home products. There are approximately 85,000 chemicals regulated under the United States Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) but the Environmental Protection Agency has only banned or restricted use of a handful of chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons, asbestos, radon, lead, and hexavalent chromium. Unfortunately, many of these are persistent organic pollutants that stay in the environment long after their use is discontinued.

Toxins accumulate in the liver and colon, and there are many detox techniques that can neutralize and help move them out of the body. Toxins are also removed through the body’s natural elimination routes such as sweating, breathing, urinating, defecating, and during menses.

What Is a Foot Detox?

Foot detoxes are intended to remove toxins and metals from the body by drawing them out through the feet. There are a variety of techniques for detoxing through the feet, including foot masks and scrubs, detox foot pads, acupressure, and ionic foot soaks. Proponents believe that a foot detox helps make the body’s pH level more alkaline. It’s also thought to deactivate a variety of harmful organisms. Some health care providers, including chiropractors and holistic health centers, offer foot detox baths and charge high prices for the service. Foot detox baths are also sold in stores for at-home use.

Benefits of Doing a Foot Detox

  • May remove toxins
  • Reduces swelling
  • Calms the body
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Improves mood
  • Burns calories
  • Encourages normal blood sugar
  • Boosts cardiovascular health

Since the feet are rich with nerve endings and sweat glands, it seems like the ideal place in the body to detox and de-stress. There’s no denying that soaking your body or just your feet in hot or warm water is calming. But hot detox foot baths may also help reduce swelling, boost your immune system, and improve your overall health and mood. A recent study even found that, like exercise, hot baths can help burn calories, boost cardiovascular health, and encourage normal blood sugar. People who advocate for detoxing through the feet say that it can ease mental distress while improving sleep and overall well-being.

Further, the manufacturers of the ionic foot baths claim their product eliminates alcohol, acids, alkali, bleach and chlorine, detergents, emulsifiers, synthetic dyes and fragrances, toxic metals, pesticides, petrochemicals, preservatives, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Detoxing with the right kind of foot pads can also have unique benefits. The best detox pads stimulate the kidney acupressure point to release tension and support overall health.

Does Detoxing Through Your Feet Really Work?

There has been some controversy around whether certain types of foot detox methods – specifically ionic foot baths and detox foot pads – actually work. Certain television shows have even looked at whether ionic foot bath detox methods did what was claimed.

Most proponents of foot baths believe that the water changes color as a result of toxins leaving the body and accumulating in the water. In reality, placing metal electrodes in the bath’s saltwater produce rust in a rapid manner through electrolysis. The color the water changes to has nothing to do with the toxins. In fact, the electrolysis will change color even without feet being placed in the foot bath.

A 2012 study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at urine and hair samples from people who had used a foot detox bath and were unable to find evidence that the bath eliminated toxins from the body.

However, another study found that regular use of ionic foot baths decreased the amount of aluminum and arsenic present in the body. One practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine reported that ionic foot baths made the body less acidic and more alkaline after just one use. Additionally, this alkaline state lasted 48 hours after use.

6 Different Ways To Do a Foot Detox

Ionic foot baths aren’t the only way to do a foot detox. In fact, there are a variety of ways to detox the body through the feet, including Korean and Chinese acupressure-based foot soaks, detox foot pads, foot scrubs, masks, and soak recipes that use naturally detoxifying Epsom salts, Bentonite clay, and other ingredients.

Ionic Foot Bath

Ionic foot baths operate by sending an electrical current through a tub of water, which causes the water molecules to divide and create negative oxygen ions. Once enough are present in the water, the body absorbs them through osmosis, which is the movement of compounds from higher to lower concentration. Some newer devices also produce positive ions.

The foot bath process is quick and simple. You soak both feet in the bath which is filled with warm salt water. An electronic array is also placed in the foot bath, which sends a direct current into the water. The combination of the water, salt, and the array are meant to generate negative ions by separating oxygen and hydrogen from the water, neutralizing charged particles in the body and drawing toxins with the opposite charges out.

Don’t be fooled by infomercials claiming that the dark water that comes out of the ionic foot bath water is toxins from your body, or that different toxins create different colors. The color of the water is caused by a reaction of the salt water and the electrolysis array, which creates rust. The ability of these ionic foot baths to detox the body through the feet has come under scrutiny, and there are conflicting reports on whether they work.

Acupressure-Based Foot Soaks, Foot Massage, and Foot Spas

Korean and Chinese foot spas have been around for thousands of years, and these unique therapy experiences are expanding in popularity across the U.S. The feet are like roots of a tree, and the sole or bottom of the foot contains hundreds of nerve endings and acupressure points that can be massaged to help certain parts of the body.

During a session at a foot spa, feet are soaked in a hot bath solution, followed by a foot and leg massage. The foot massage is the focus and stimulates acupressure points in the feet that correspond to different organs in the body to release tension, improve circulation, and support overall health and vitality. Acupressure and reflexology help balance the chi or energy in the body, encouraging better circulation, restful sleep, and normalization of health ailments ranging from head pain to digestion. And of course, soaking one’s feet in a warm bath and massaging the pressure points on the feet promotes relaxation.

Do-It-Yourself Foot Soak

You can also create a do-it-yourself detox foot bath at home using warm or hot water, Epsom salt, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Have a partner massage your feet at the reflexology points in the diagram that corresponds to any issues you deal with, or do the foot massage yourself.

Reflexology points diagram.

When selecting essential oils, lavender is a great choice. Not only is it calming, but animal studies have shown it to normalize liver and kidney disruptions caused by exposure to certain pesticides. Another option is tea tree oil, which is powerful against germs. If the aroma of tea tree is too potent for your tastes, mix it with lavender for a mild, pleasant scent.

Foot Masks

One simple way to do a foot detox is to use a clay foot mask to clean and detoxify the feet. It relieves stress at the end of a long day, too. Foot masks can soften skin and tackle toenail fungus, surface fungus, odor, and athlete’s foot. I recommend do-it-yourself recipes because they are completely free of any chemical additives, which defeat the purpose of a detox.

Bentonite clay offers benefits as a detox agent and is safe for both internal and external use. Bentonite clay has naturally occurring positively charged ions that draw out negatively charged toxins, including those in pesticides and toxic metals. Other studies have found that Bentonite clay has properties that fight against mycotoxins and aflatoxins from mold.

Here is my favorite DIY clay foot mask recipe:

Clay Foot Mask

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar one tablespoon at a time, until the clay mask becomes a thick paste. You may not need all of the apple cider vinegar, so add it slowly and gradually until the mask is the consistency you desire. Add more clay as needed. Once the ingredients are combined to a thick paste, spread it on both feet and allow it to fully dry. Recline in a comfortable chair during this process. After 30 minutes, wash off the foot mask and dry your feet.

Foot Scrubs

Like a foot mask, a foot scrub can also clean and detoxify the feet, reducing odor and preventing fungal infections if you use essential oils with antifungal and antibacterial properties. Foot scrubs also exfoliate dead skin from the feet.

Here is my favorite DIY clay foot scrub recipe:

Detox Foot Scrub

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to spread the essential oil throughout the mixture. Apply to each foot, rubbing the grainy salt mixture gently along the sole, in between the toes, on the top of the foot, and around the ankles for at least five minutes per foot. Spend extra time on the sole, applying pressure to the reflexology points that correspond to any areas where you need improvement. This coarse mixture exfoliates the skin as well as provides detoxification from the essential oils you choose.

Peppermint oil supports the gallbladder and overall digestive system. It’s an important part of the foot scrub because it leaves a tingly clean feeling. You can add any essential oil, but lemon, lemongrass, and juniper have particularly helpful detoxification properties. Lemon oil supports the immune system and helps detoxify the liver. Lemongrass is an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant powerhouse. Juniper oil supports liver function and detoxes the liver, colon, skin, and lungs. Pick your favorite!

Detox Foot Pads

Detox foot pads cause the feet to sweat and draw circulating toxins out of the feet. However, not all foot pads are created equally.

Like foot massages that focus on ancient acupressure or reflexology points, effective foot pads tap into the ancient science of reflexology. In addition to being very relaxing, reflexology stimulates areas on the feet that correspond to different organs and muscles in the body. This helps to release tension, improve circulation and support overall health and vitality.

Unlike other brands, our 100% organic Detox Foot Pads use carbon-titanium adhesive to boost both bioelectricity and blood flow through the feet and body. The foot pads specifically stimulate the kidney acupressure point to encourage detoxification. Our detox foot pads are made with organic, all-natural ingredients like bamboo extracts, herbs, and tourmalineTourmaline is a gemstone that emits far infrared radiation (FIR). Studies have found that FIR – specifically from ground tourmaline – promotes cell repair and helps defend cells against damage from X-rays, and normalizes joint swelling and other issues.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Therapists who offer foot detoxes – particularly the ionic foot spa and foot soaks – caution that some people should exercise caution and seek advice from their healthcare provider before using these therapies, including:

  • Children under age 5
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • People who have pacemakers, electrical implants, and organ transplants
  • People who have diabetes, congestive heart failure, or who are on dialysis
  • People with open sores on their feet

You can experience a “healing crisis” from any detox, including a foot detox. When the body releases accumulated toxins, you may experience fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and flu symptoms. A healing crisis doesn’t usually last longer than three days. If you have symptoms for longer or the symptoms are especially disruptive, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

In contrast, our detox foot pads contain organic, natural ingredients, and can safely be used by people of all ages. The only side effect might be a slight chance of allergic reaction by certain individuals, as with any product.

Laurel Essential Oil

Laurel Leaf essential oil has a fresh, spicy scent that opens your lungs and your mind.

It’s invigorating and inspiring.

Laurel has a host of therapeutic properties. I like to remember that it’s associated with achievement and victory. So it’s a great helper when it comes to clearing away anything that stands between you and your best—that’s why it’s good for healing so many issues! (That’s how I like to think of it, anyway!)

Stay focused and clear with Laurel.

I especially love using Laurel for decongestion and mental focus. It is the perfect companion when you have a cold or allergies but still has to go to work.

Use 5 drops of this stock blend in your diffuser.


  • 10 drops Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • 10 drops Rosemary ct. camphor (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor)
  • 20 drops White Spruce (Picea glauca)
  • 10 drops Distilled Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)



Massage sore muscles with Laurel Leaf essential oil.

Have you ever seen someone win a race and be crowned with Laurel leaves? This is a practice from ancient times that has survived to today.

When we think of Laurel Leaf essential oil (sometimes called Bay Laurel or Sweet Laurel), we can think of a cheering section to help us stay energized and go the distance.

So if you need a massage oil for sore muscles, perhaps resulting from a cold or flu (Laurel is excellent for respiratory issues!), Laurel is a great choice for your blend. It soothes, encourages, and energizes.

Here’s a recipe you can try for your next massage.


  • 2 oz (60 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 6 drops Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • 8 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct camphor)
  • 15 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)



Use Laurel Leaf for respiratory health.

When I make a blend for respiratory support, I know I can rely on essential oils that contain the chemical component 1,8 cineole.

1,8 cineole is antiviral, antimicrobial, mucolytic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. It’s present in oils like Laurel Leaf and Eucalyptus, which are famous respiratory helpers.

Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite Aromatherapy inhalers that I use to support my lungs and sinuses. I carry my inhaler with me and use it to prevent myself from getting sick. If I’ve forgotten to bring it along and happen to get sick, I rely on it even more.

Stay Healthy Inhaler

  • 3 drops Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis)
  • 5 drops Saro (Cinnamosma fragrans)
  • 4 drops Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole)


You can get blank Aromatherapy inhalers at Amazon. They look like little lip balm tubes, and inside there is a cotton insert. Just drop your essential oils on the cotton insert, then snap the inhaler closed. To use it, just raise it to one nostril, pinching the other closed, and inhale.



Wash up with Laurel Leaf essential oil.

Laurel Leaf essential oil doesn’t want anything to slow you down, least of all a cold. It’s a wonderful anti-infectious agent, so it can “deactivate” microbes before they get in your system.

That’s why it’s the perfect ingredient for foam soap.

Here’s a recipe that’s easy to make, and perfect for the bathroom sink. You’ll need a 2 oz (60 ml) foam pump bottle.

Laurel Orange Foam Soap

  • 2 oz (60 ml) castile soap
  • 6 drops Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • 15 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • 10 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)


I’ll bet you can guess the blending directions on this one! (Just put everything in the soap pump. Easy, right?)

You can find foam soap pumps at Amazon They have two sizes—50 ml and 250 ml. This recipe is for a 50 ml bottle. You’ll notice that the Castile soap doesn’t quite fill the bottle to the top. That’s because when you put the lid on, the liquid will rise, and if it’s too high it could overspill.



Get to know Laurel.

Spend a little time blending with Laurel, and you may find yourself connecting with it in more ways and getting different blending ideas.

Anise {Pimpinella anisum}

Also, Known As:

  • Anise
  • Aniseed
  • Anise Plant
  • Common Anise
  • Hua-hsian
  • Sweet Cumin

In the ancient Chinese as well as the traditional Indian or Ayurvedic system of medicine, the herbal remedy anise has assumed a very popular stature and its utilization in various herbal medications is seen in both systems for many centuries now. The most commonly known type of anise is the ash colored variety from Spain, although, there exist several varieties of the aniseed-with more or less similar properties as a herbal remedy. Related to the common parsley and the common garden carrot, the anise belongs to the same botanical family of plants – the Umbelliferae family.

The herbal tea made from the anise can help improve memory function, it can reduce or stop oiliness in the skin, and it can be used to calm down a nagging and persistent cough in patients. The anise is also used to increase the production of breast milk in nursing mothers and at the same time, it serves as a natural antacid and can be used to replace either Tums or Rolaids in the treatment of heartburn and indigestion in affected individuals. These wonderful remedial benefits can be obtained by preparing anise herbal tea. Prepare this tea by bringing a quart of water to a boil using a pot or saucepan. When the water has begun to boil, you can then add about seven teaspoons of the herbal aniseed, and gently reduce the heat and simmer the content down to one pint or half a pint. Following this, gently strain the liquid and add four teaspoons each of honey and glycerin- which can be obtained from a drugstore, and used to preserve syrup tea while the water is still warm. To bring relief from hacking and persistent coughs, take two teaspoons of this syrup once about every few hours. This herbal syrup can also be used to strengthen memory functions, by taking two tablespoons thrice every day for a period of a few months. To treat skin problems drink two teaspoons of the herbal tea form made by excluding the addition of glycerin and honey once or twice every day, the herbal tea can also be used to fulfil milk needs and can be used to bring relief from stomach problems and other disorders associated with the digestive system.

Egypt has seen the cultivation of Anise for at least 4,000 years, and the plant grows wild in that country. Some of the Pharaonic medical texts show that the anise seeds were used as a herbal diuretic, and such remedies were also used in the treatment of different digestive problems, and as a remedy to relieve a toothache and pain. Even the ancient Greeks were familiar with the medicinal use of this herb. Early in the 1st century AD, the Greek scientist, Dioscorides wrote that the anise “warms, dries and dissolves” various symptoms in the body, he said the anise “facilitates breathing, relieves pain, provokes urine and eases thirst” in patients affected by such symptoms. This herb also saw widespread and popular use in the renaissance period.

Plant Part Used:

Seeds, essential oil.

Herbal Remedy Use:

The herbal remedies derived from the seeds of the anise are famous for their ability to bring about a reduction in gas and bloating affecting a person, they are also able to settle the problems related to digestion. Remedies derived from anise seeds are very commonly used with infants and children to induce relief from cases of colic, and these remedies are also given to people of all ages to help in relieving the symptoms associated with indigestion and nausea arising as a result of different reasons. Another beneficial effect of the anise seeds, mainly their antispasmodic properties are very helpful in effectively dealing with the symptoms of menstrual pain, with the discomfort during asthma attacks, in the treatment of whooping cough, as well as in the treatment of other spasmodic coughs, and cases of bronchitis in different patients. The use of these anise seeds derived remedies for their expectorant action is often suggested to treat these different respiratory ailments and disorders. At the same time, the remedies made from the seeds of the anise are also believed to be able to bring about an increase in the production of breast milk; furthermore, these remedies may be beneficial in the treatment of impotence and frigidity in individuals affected by such ailments. The essential herbal oils derived from the anise are also used in the treatment of similar complaints in patients. The essential herbal oil is also a topical remedy, and it is used for the external treatment accorded to lice and to treat cases of scabies in patients.

It is suggested that the essential oil must be consumed by patients when they are under careful and responsible professional supervision. Women in the term of pregnancy must also abstain from taking anise, with the exception of minute amounts, such as those normally used during cooking.

Other medical uses

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( COPD )

The Habitat of Anise:

The areas of the world such as North Africa, western Asia, and the eastern Mediterranean are regions where the plant grows in the wild anise is native to these geographical regions, though it present cultivation is widespread. These days, the anise plant is very widely cultivated for its seeds; these have a medicinal value and are also used as a flavoring agent in cooking as a part of some traditional cuisines.

The plant is an annual herb. It is usually cultivated these days and not harvested from the wild, the seeds are sown in dry and light soils in the early summer. The anise is also planted as thin seedlings at four inches apart in the fields. To produce fully ripened seed heads, the anise requires at least 120 frost-free days in a year.


Anise contains a volatile oil (comprising 70-90% anethole, together with methyl chavicol and other terpenes), furanocoumarins, flavonoids, fatty acids, phenylpropanoids, sterols, and proteins. Anethole has an observed estrogenic effect, and the seeds as a whole are mildly estrogenic. This effect may substantiate the herb’s use as a stimulant of breast-milk production.

Potpourri with Anise Seeds:

  • 4 Tbs. anise seeds
  • 2 Tbs. ground clove
  • 2 Tbs. ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 4 drops rose oil
  • 1 cup unrefined salt
  • 12 cups of fragrant rose petals
  • 1 cup fine salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger root, sliced
  • 2/3 cup powdered orris root

Dry the rose petals to a leathery texture. Mix coarse and fine salt, and layer petals 1/2 inch deep with salt. Store in a dry, dark, airy place for 10 days, and stir daily till moist potpourri base has formed.

Mix in the remaining ingredients. Seal the jar and cure for 6 weeks. Turn into decorative containers.