Buzz Off – The Tribe has Spoken!

It looks serene but….

It looks serene but it’s a jungle out there! It’s like being in the TV show “Survivor” 24/7!

I live less than 10 minutes from the city of Sydney, but I may as well be living in the swamp. In fact I feel a bit like Tammy Tyree who lived in the Mississippi swamps. Just call me Tammy. I am a bit cut-off from civilisation as I can’t talk on my mobile phone inside the house  – so it’s freeze out the back in winter when making a call or fend off the mosies in summer! A few years ago a neighbour told me my suburb was actually reclaimed swamp/wetlands and that there is a huge water table underneath us. Sydney actually has lots of underground water which would explain all the insect, especially mosquitoes and cockroaches. My other neighbour has frogs but I’ve unsuccessfully tried for years to get tadpoles. I gave up with my pond but I’m serenaded all summer with the croaking from next door.

So anyway……. for years my friends have baulked at sitting outside in the beautiful garden  because the mosquitoes are vicious. They are so big a friend once said “the mosie that followed me down the hall needs its own bedroom”. I have always made my own insect repellent in a mist bottle, but it has never been enough. Last year I got a few torches to burn citronella oil and that really helped. It’s the flame and smoke that keeps those little biters at bay. Add the topical application of some essential oils and a little bit of peace can be found in my backyard.

torch with a flame keeps those biters at bay

I now have a mosquito net over my bed because they are so bad at night it’s like a form of torture.

aaahhhhh peace at last

I have given up on the mist and gone for pure essential oils. After much trial and error I have found the best oils to keep away the insects are (in any combination):








and any oil that has a pungent aroma. No sweet pretty oils can be used, it will only attract them! Lavish these oils all over you especially around the ankles, neck and ears and anywhere where your flesh is exposed!

Of course having a gin and tonic will help as the quinine is supposed to be a malaria preventative, in case you get bitten by a mosie with the virus.  Ok, well it’s probably not strong enough in the tonic we now drink, but my when my father was in the British Army, serving in Africa, they were given salt and quinine tablets. Salt for replenishing minerals and quinine against malaria. Interesting eh?

Essential oils, a G & T, a mosquito net and a Survivor-like torch is my recipe for getting through summer in Sydney. When I quench the flame at the end of the evening I silently say “the tribe has spoken”, and retire inside.

Oils for Meditation

aaahhh meditation!

Meditation is a wonderful thing, and doesn’t really need any added help. It’s about being, not doing. It’s about connecting and detaching. So do we need essential oils to help our meditation practice? Probably not, but sometimes it adds anchoring to the ritual and helps some relax into the process. When you vapourise oils in a classic “oil burner” with a candle, the flame acts as an agent of transformation.

I love this oil burner from

My choices for meditation oils are:

Lavender – I use lavender for everything! It is as warming as it is cooling, It is calming and nurturing, It is centering and grounding, and brings together your energy. It is a well-known oil for relaxation due to its high ‘linalool” content. A few deep breaths of lavender at the start of your meditation will help you zone in to yourself quite quickly. My motto is “If in doubt, use lavender”.

Frankincense – oh ye olde magic of frankincense! It starts out as a resin from the tree and is then steam distilled to make the oil. It is the oil of breathing deeply and has its roots in spiritual and religious practices. By breathing deeply and expanding your lungs, more oxygen can flow into your body. The combination of increased oxygen and the natural feeling of relaxation when you take a deep breath, adds up to a very peaceful vibration. It is in this state we can connect with our higher selves, and essentially “God”. It is almost used in churches as a scent to induce a type of hypnotic trance.
For a quite peaceful meditation use frankincense oil.

Rose – the ‘queen’ of oils, it is an oil of self nurturing and self-love. Rose can be used for everything from heat exhaustion to cuts and wounds. The scent is divine and when you are in the presence of pure rose oil you wont be able to escape is enveloping nature. I think of rose crystal quartz when I use this oil too, the love crystal. Shakti Gawain talks about “pink bubbles of love” in her revolutionary book from 1978 “Creative Visualization”. Pink, oil of rose, and rose quartz go hand in hand – I often surround myself with the energy of rose quartz, and rose oil, when I feel I need a bit of help and kindness. Use rose oil in your meditation to give yourself a feeling of security, softness and love so you can open to the messages of the universe.

unpolished rose quartz borrowed from

So many oils can be used for the practice of meditation just be guided by your intuition and your personal fragrance preferences. You don’t even need to vapourise the oils you could just put a drop on your upper lip (patch test for sensitivity first).

Some more relaxing oils for meditation are:

orange, bergamot, petitgrain, lemon balm, neroli,

Some expansive oils:

pine, cypress, fir, tea tree, basil

The most important thing is to set some time aside to meditate – and that can be so hard in our busy daily lives! The oil is the icing on the cake.

Meditate, and the whole world will benefit.

10 Great Reasons to use Essential Oils

There’s a 10 in there somewhere

1. They are from a natural source and have a distinctive scent

Essential oils come from a natural source and you can detect a deepness in their scent that can never be replicated.

2. Essential Oils can set a Mood

When you use essential oil in your home or space, their chemical structures positively effect your emotions and those who enter you’re scented zone. This doesn’t happen with GLADE or other chemical, synthetic fragrances.

3. Oils can support your life journey

Your spirit will be uplifted when you use essential oils to conjure change in your life. This is not about the emotions, it’s about acknowledging your soul with heavenly scents from nature.

4. Essential oils are great for First Aid

Essential oils are great for first aid. Lavender is #1 and Tea Tree is #2. When in doubt use lavender as it has anti-inflammatory and cell regenerating properties. Tea Tree is more

sneakily borrowed from

sneakily borrowed from




5. Use them in your cleaning/cleansing regime

Add essential oils to your cleaning products to leave your home beautifully, naturally scented while removing bacteria and inviting new beginnings.

6. Use oils for a great sleep

Induce and enhance sleep with chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and even orange. The best way to do this is to vapourise the oils in the bedroom. This is great for calming kids down in the evening.

7. They can nurture your skin

Add a drop or two to your moisturiser to stimulate cell growth and leave a wonderful, natural calm energy.

8. Essential oil will make you the envy of your friends

Everyone will notice when you wear essential oils as a perfume or body oil. They have far reaching effects, they are quite magical and a little goes a long way.

9. Essential oils have a medicinal history

When you use an essential oil you are connecting to the history of the plant through the ages. Most oils and the plants they come from, are the original medicines. Using these plants as medicines, early man was connected to Earth as a life giver.

sneakily borrowed from

10. Essential oils can help you create

Essential oils will help you tap into your creative force by working through your brain and affecting how you see the world. They use their subtle power to weave your subconscious mind into your everyday life. The results can be amazing!

Lemongrass! An oil for all seasons

sneakily borrowed from

Just look at the pic above. Lemongrass appears to be a substantial, almost “meaty” root. The essential oil of lemongrass definitely has a substantial scent, and I would dare say is one of the more popular oils. In general, men like the deep gutsy scent, women adore the verve and vitality and kids and pets resonate with it’s fresh yet syrupy energy.

Lemongrass is a great oil for energising and creating energy where there is lack. In cooking lemongrass gives a zingy, lemony bite to a dish. I often use the oil with clients when they are lacklustre. It’s like the giddy-up oil. The get-going oil.

Lemongrass is great for summer to ward off insects – just put some drops straight onto your skin to keep away the mosquitoes.

Lemongrass is great for winter as it helps to start you up on a cold morning.

Lemongrass is fantastic for spring to clear away the cobwebs of winter.

Lemongrass is wonderful for autumn as a mood enhancer when you realise summer is coming to an end.

The main active ingredient in lemongrass is citral. Then there’s lots of other little helpers including geraniol, limonene and nerol. Can you guess what other oils these belong too? If you said geranium, lemon and neroli you are right. These molecular structures are found in other oils too. Each essential oil has its own character that is created by different chemical consituents but it’s hard to pinpoint the magic. It’s all about the old adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. This refers to the energetic presence an entity has. You can break down a plant into scientific measurements, but its the synergistic combination of all the little molecules that makes it unique. With essential oils, their uniqueness is their scent.

The scent of lemongrass can been described as lemony, herbaceous & strong. A little goes a long way. It’s a very tropical scent and is grown in hot areas in Asia and Africa. Perfect for bringing the warmth of the tropics into your life.

Try a few drops in the shower for an awakening steam treatment.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Geranium rules my ‘hood!

Geranium in the back lane

I love geranium essential oil. I love rose-geranium essential oil too. It’s flowery, it’s a little bit girly and it has a vibration of happiness and cheeriness. I just walked around the block and took a few pics of the lovely, brightly coloured flower. It loves the sun and so do I.

Geranium essential oil is great for skincare and I often use it in my face creams.

Geranium around the corner

These pictures of geranium may not necessarily reflect the exact geranium plants that the oils are distilled from but there is definitely an aroma when you squish up a leaf and smell it (after you’ve asked the plant’s permission of course!).

Geranium bourbon, originally from the Reunion Islands is considered the best geranium for skincare in Aromatherapy, but I’m not even sure if it is produced here anymore. The first plantings for production came from the island which was originally called “Bourbon”. It is the pelargonium graveolens plant that produces this oil. Rose geranium is produced from a cross of two different geranium plants – pelargonium cv rose.

I often use Rose geranium for scenting a space and in personal mists, and geranium bourbon for skincare creams and old blends for the body.

Geranium in my street

Some aromatherapy teachings claim geranium is a great balancing oil for the emotions as it’s main active ingredients geraniol and citronellol, work on the frontal and adrenal cortex of the brain. So basically, it’s a happy oil. You don’t need to be a genius to know that. Just take a huge whiff straight from the bottle and smile!

Try these combo’s:

Oil Blend to nourish your body:

“Oh Lady!”

3 teaspoons carrier oil like almond, grapeseed, jojoba

Geranium bourbon   3 drops

Orange                    3 drops

Patchouli                 1 drop

In an oil vapouriser to scent your space:

“Life is Grand”

Rose geranium         8 drops

Spearmint               8 drops

Mandarin              10 drops


Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Remember with Rosemary – Lest We Forget

We remember Ken with rosemary

I was at the funeral of my ex-partner’s Dad the other day. He was a war veteran and the service was in the chapel of a beautiful retirement village for old soldiers. The service was a simple family affair with tears and laughter.

As people were arriving the chaplain said to my friend, “there’s a rosemary bush out there. would you like me to pull some off the tree, and then all the family can have a sprig to lay on the coffin?” I piped up and said yes.

At that moment I took the picture above, and silently said to myself “remember with rosemary”. I’m not sure if it happens in any other country but we celebrate our soldiers, war veterans and give thanks to those who have given themselves selflessly. We do it with with rosemary.

I’ve always loved the way such on old herb has made it through to modern times. I’ve always loved that it’s made it through the ages with it divine purpose intact. Rosemary is used to stimulate the brain. Always recommended for study, rosemary can help you remember things.

So when the ANZACs (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) and other soldiers from Australia who have fought in wars, commemorate the fallen in marches and ceremonies, it is common to wear a sprig of rosemary on the lapel. To remember. To stimulate the mind and create an anchor to the scent. So the next time rosemary is smelt, the memories of those who have gone before us, will bring them right back into our minds again.

I just loved that we were given a sprig of Rosemary for Ken’s farewell. The Last Post was played and the beautiful stanza from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For The Fallen” was read. It is synonymous with Australian and New Zealand Remembrance days:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
So to connect with a love one who has passed, remember a person or animal that has lived before you, or to connect with a time in history or your own past life…….
flowering rosemary

flowering rosemary

Use rosemary.
Remember with rosemary.

Coconut – The Truth About the Scent

sneakily borrowed from HINT: the oil is good for hair

So do you love your coconut soap? Your coconut body moisturiser? Do you love your coconut sunscreen? How about your coconut lip balm?

There’s no doubt about it, coconut is a magic fruit. Is it a fruit? No, apparently it’s a drupe! Find out more about the drupe.

Anyway, it’s amazing. The world of nutrition and natural therapies is quickly spreading the word about coconut. The western world is a bit behind the times as Harry Belafonte, in the sixties, sang;

‘Coco got a lot of iron

make you strong like a lion”

sneakily borrowed from where you can listen to the smooth sound of Harry

“Coconut Woman” was written in 1957 by Harry Belafonte and Irving Burgle. Some say it’s not about coconut, but about cocoa (chocolate). I’m not sure about that because the song talks about “coconut water” with “rum”. I digress. Let’s get back to coconut.

Coconut water and coconut oil are the two buzz products of the drupe. I eat coconut oil by the teaspoon and it’s oily and delicious. Even though it’s classified as a saturated fat it has so many health benefits which can include;

– Helping to lower cholesterol

– Converting easily and quickly to energy so it’s not stored as fat

– Helping to  boost metabolism and immunity

– Softening hair and skin when used as a moisturiser

– Helping to lower resistance to insulin – great for type 2 diabetes

– Good for cooking as it has a high flash point so it maintains its goodness in the cooking process for longer than other oils

And now the scent! Pure coconut oil is fantastic for nurturing your hair and skin, and it has a soft, natural scent that we automatically connect to tropical islands with coconut palms waving in the wind. Unfortunately a lot of coconut scented products use an artificial fragrance to intensify the scent. Even if your product has coconut oil in it, it could also have “fragrance”. For those on the natural path, beware. I remember using Reef Oil in the 80’s as a sun tan lotion. It has a long list of ingredients, the last being fragrance, artificial of course. And this is what a lot of people think that real coconut smells like in a personal care product.


It doesn’t.

If you are serious about simplifying your life and using as many natural items as possible then always check your “coconut” soap, or lip balm, or moisturiser to see what is listed. Chances are if it says “fragrance” it’s synthetic.

If you don’t care whether your product is natural or not then it doesn’t really matter. “Fragrance” away until your heart’s content.

Long live the coconut!