Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil – Lemony Goodness from Australia

Lovely lemon myrtle an Australian native - pic via essentiallyaustralia.com.au

Lovely lemon myrtle an Australian native – pic via essentiallyaustralia.com.au

The lovely lemon myrtle tree (Backhousia citriodora) is a native to Australia and the leaves are used for food flavourings, as a tea, and are processed as an essential oil for our pleasure. If you’ve never smelt this powerful oil just imagine a crisp lemon scent with a deep twist of the Australian bush –  a magical blend of lemon and other Aussie leaves like eucalyptus and tea tree. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family, and the genus Backhousia. This is not to be confused with Myrtle which is also a part of the Myrtaceae family but has the genus Myrtus which is native to Europe. If you read about myrtle, it is likely to refer to this Myrtus communis.

This essential oil has a high citral content. Citral is the active ingredient which gives this and other oils their lemon scent, and it’s very interesting to note the amount of citral in a few essential oils:

Citral is present in the oils of several plants, including lemon myrtle (90-98%),

Litsea citrata (90%),

Litsea cubeba (70-85%),

lemongrass (65-85%),

lemon tea-tree (70-80%),

Ocimum gratissimum (66.5%),

Lindera citriodora (about 65%),

Calypranthes parriculata (about 62%),

petitgrain (36%),

lemon verbena (30-35%),

lemon ironbark (26%),

lemon balm (11%),

lime (6-9%),

lemon (2-5%), and orange.

Wikipedia

So isn’t it interesting that lemon only contains about 5% and this amazing lemon myrtle contains almost 100% citral! Wowsa!

So what does that mean?

In addition to the lemon scent, citral has been reported to have extremely high anti-microbial qualities and compared to tea tree seems to be much higher. The oil today is used just for this purpose and is particularly noted for it’s tested use on MCV which is a skin virus. Lemon myrtle essential oil is also used on cold sores, which are also a virus (herpes) so it stands to reason that this oil is very potent.

You could also use lemon myrtle oil as an inhalation for colds and flu and as a treatment for anxiety and depression (as many other lemon scented oils can be used for similar issues). It’s also great for cleaning because of it’s strong anti-bacterial action.

Dried lemon myrtle leaves - pic via www.abc.net.au

Dried lemon myrtle leaves – pic via http://www.abc.net.au

The lemon myrtle leaves have a history with the indigenous people of Australia, as the plant has been used as a flavouring and a medicine for many, many years. Today the leaves are also just dried and crushed to be used in foods and as a tea, and represent a particular group of foods and flavours only found in Australia.

I use this oil sparingly in my practice and it seems to jump out when someone is plagued by stress and really needs to detoxify their emotions. It works well in a perfume but you need to be careful about using too much in a body oil blend as it can be sensitising.

Check out a couple of simple recipes:

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

1. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“Start Anew”

Get rid of all the old stale emotions and energy –

Lemon Myrtle      1 drop

Juniper                1 drop

Orange                1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

5. Scent Your Space

In a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil

“Dark Energy Be Gone!”

Lemon Myrtle             10 drops

Patchouli                      5 drops

Cedarwood Virginian    5 drops

Rosewood                    5 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

10 Recipes with Indian Sandalwood Essential Oil – Santalum album

10!

10!

Following my recent article on Sandalwood, with links to a great series on Indian sandalwood being grown in Australia, I thought I might start a series called “10 Recipes”. I’ll feature a different oil each week with recipes for body oils, face and hair treatments, room scenting, space and aura cleansing and natural perfumes.

Sandalwood and oil - pic via www.fengshuidana.com

Sandalwood and oil – pic via http://www.fengshuidana.com

The traditional sandalwood that we’ve all come to know and love is often referred to as Indian or Mysore Sandalwood as it hails from the subcontinent of India. It is the rich, creamy, deep wood scent that has captivated the world. It is expensive because we have managed to strip India of it’s entire forests (we are very bad), so now it’s being grown in Australia (very good). This new oil grown and produced in Australia is Santalum album, so don’t get it mixed up with Santalum spicatum which is called Australian Sandalwood. Got it?

nourish your skin with oil blends

nourish your skin with oil blends

1.Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

“Snake”

Feel lithe and grounded –

Sandalwood        2 drops

Orange                3 drops

Rose Geranium    2 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

“Date Night”

Feel a little bit sexier –

Sandalwood    2 drops

Ylang Ylang     1 drop

Bergamot        4 drops

—————————————————————————————————————–

A clay face mask is the best and most natural clarifyng mask. pic vis chiclooking.com

A clay face mask is the best and most natural clarifyng mask. pic via chiclooking.com

2. Face Mask

Usually add 2 or 3 drops of oil to some clay and add water, floral water or hydrosol

For any skin type use white or pink clay –

Sandalwood       1 drop and leave it at that, sandalwood is strong enough

—————————————————————————————————————–

essential oil diffuser

essential oil diffuser

3. Scent Your Space

In a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil

“Buddha Breeze”

Connect to your spiritual energy –

Sandalwood    8 drops

Mandarin         8 drops

Palmarosa       8 drops

Vetiver             1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

“Boudoir Baby”

Sandalwood      6 drops

Ylang Ylang       4 drops

Bergamot        12 drops

Lemon Myrtle    3 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

“Why Not?”

Garner some courage –

Sandalwood      8 drops

Lemongrass    10 drops

Black Pepper    8 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

Anoint your third eye and breathe! pic via buelahman.wordpress.com

Anoint your third eye and breathe! pic via buelahman.wordpress.com

4. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“YEAH!”

Rejoice in life –

Sandalwood    1 drop

Rosewood      1 drop

Black Spruce   1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

“Yep I’m Awesome”

Get vibing on yourself –

Sandalwood    1 drop

Petitgrain         2 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

a simple hairdressing mist bottle will do the trick for your amazing essential oil mist

a simple hairdressing mist bottle will do the trick for your amazing essential oil mist

5. Personal Aura Cleansing Mist & Room Mist

In a 50ml mist bottle filled with water add 25 drops of oil

(depending on the packaging you have, you may need to use a little alcohol -like vodka- at the bottom of your bottle first, so the oils disperse into smaller drops to prevent clogging the atomiser top. I’ve found sometimes it works just with water, and sometimes it doesn’t)

“Alpha Brainwaves”

A meditative energy –

Sandalwood       6 drops

Lemon              12 drops

Lavender            7 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

“Settle Down Kids”

Mist around the kids to help them chill –

Sandalwood      4 drops

Orange            14 drops

Spearmint          7 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas.See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Sandalwood from India to Australia

Mysore sandalwood now grown in Australia

Mysore sandalwood now grown in Australia

I was recently asked to contribute to an article called “Sandalwood Dreams” appearing as an 8 part series by perfume officiando and writer Jordan River.

It started with a surprise present in the post via my friend and perfume blogger Portia Turbo from Australian Perfume Junkies. I was happy to open the package to find a cute little bottle of sandalwood oil and a beautiful colour brochure, almost a book! This was a sample of Santalum album, commonly known as Indian sandalwood or Mysore sandalwood. The big difference is that this Indian Sandalwood is grown in Australia, from seeds obtained from India, and it packs a powerful punch. This oil is now being offered by one of my trusted suppliers and it’s more expensive than the Mysore sandalwood has ever been, however it’s now sustainable and offers the world a great solution to the previous shortage.

Click here to access Jordan’s magnificent series on this wonderful oil grown in Australia.

I appear in Part 7 which is titled “What Does It Smell Like?” that also asks other experts on the scent of Indian sandalwood grown in Australia.

Australian Sandalwood - pic via www.australian-aridlands-botanic-garden.org

Australian Sandalwood – pic via http://www.australian-aridlands-botanic-garden.org

I have also previously written about the two types of sandalwood on Australian Perfume Junkies (so click here for the original story, with excerpts from the story below):

An essential oil from a wood can draw us in to world of intrigue and secrets, ancient knowledge and divine scent. Wood oils bring an oil formulation together and can be considered “grounding” and “centering” – due to the fact the tree roots delve deep into the earth. Oils from woods have been used for thousands of years in sacred ceremonies, embalming techniques and in traditional healing. Cherish these beautiful gifts from nature.

Today most oils come from renewable plantations but in the case of Sandalwood we have seen a decline in the tree population for many years. Indian Sandalwood has been over farmed, which has led to a crisis in the industry and in our forests. Illegal felling of young trees has also led to more stringent controls from the Indian government to help sustain production long-term. This is the one driving factor in the huge price increase in the last 10 years, and is also the reason why the Australian Sandalwood industry is booming.

Australian sandalwood - pic via watoday.com.au

Australian sandalwood – pic via watoday.com.au

The Indian type “Santalum album”, and the Australian sandalwood “Santalum spicatum” have similarities but are wonderful in their differences. The Indian wood is the classic deep, sweet exotic scent that we have come to know and love and in the Australian oil, you can actually smell the bush. It really is beautiful. I use both oils, and both are considered to be premium oils and are more expensive than common oils.

Traditionally Sandalwood has been used for spiritual ceremonies and the spread of the use of this oil is claimed to have come hand-in-hand with Buddhism. If anyone has been to India you would know the widespread use of the scent in incense and temples, in soaps and perfumes.
It is used therapeutically to treat acne, urinary disorders and infections and as a nervine tonic to ease stress and anxiety.

Sandalwood and oil - pic via www.fengshuidana.com

Sandalwood and oil – pic via http://www.fengshuidana.com

There is also an oil produced called West Indian Sandalwood but this tree comes from a different species and is sometimes called amyris oil. I’ve never used this oil, and have never seen it anywhere. It apparently has a slight sandalwood scent (hence it’s name) and is used in perfumes and fragrant body products.

 

Sandalwood is an oil for softening the edges in your life. Breathe it in and you wont be disappointed.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

 

Digital Scent vs Analog Scent

Analog clock - great for planning ahead

Analog clock – great for planning ahead

 

Well I’m not sure if I can use the analog/digital signal to describe scent but I’m gong to anyway. It is usually applied to sound recording and clocks at a very basic level so check out this description:

 

“The difference between analog and digital technologies is that in analog technology, information is translated into electric pulses of varying amplitude. In digital technology, translation of information is into binary format (zero or one) where each bit is representative of two distinct amplitudes.”   diffen.com

 

Something stuck in my mind a while ago when I was talking to someone about my need to use an analog clock while I was doing treatments so I could plan as I was working. For example I always look up at the clock to note in my mind how long I’ve been massaging the right leg and how much time I need to spend on the back, or do I need to leave more time for the face and head, and so on. He said analog is great for planning ahead whereas digital is about right now. I loved that description!

Digital clock - the time is now!

Digital clock – the time is now!

So with analog we can quickly see what has gone before and what is to come. It shows us a range of past, present and future (but of course that is an incorrect description because we know in quantum physics all those possibilities exist at once).

With digital we see only now! That’s cool because in quantum physics that’s all we have.

 

Smelling an essential oil could be an analog experience - pic via plantlifeworld.com

Smelling an essential oil could be an analog experience – pic via plantlifeworld.com

Ok so here’s my application of signal to scent:

Essential oils come from a natural source even though they undergo a process of some sort. They are made up of molecules that have been present in a living organism and carry an energetic force. This magic that they hold can be used a tool to access higher consciousness via the brain and can also effect the body this way too. Scent is a powerful mechanism that can transform our physicality and our spirit and sub conscious too, and with essential oils we are treated to the divine scent of mother nature.

When I first started using essential oils after a weekend workshop with two amazing Australian aromatherapists, I was shocked to hear that neither of them could use perfume anymore, after using essential oils. This was 20 years ago now and of course I am exactly the same. This is because essential oils carry this invisible life force and they are undeniably powerful. They give us a range of scent from the first whiff to the lingering notes on our bodies. They connect us to past experiences and allow us to see potential for the future. They give a complexity of scent that only exists in nature and that can never be replicated, even by the masters of chemistry (according to Luca Turin a master Perfumer).

To me essential oils are ANALOG. They have range and are complex. They are old school.

Perfume is digital - pic via bubblews.com

Perfume seems to be digital to me – pic via bubblews.com

 

Perfume is still absorbed through the nasal cavity into the brain and can also connect us to experiences of the past, present and future – as can any smell. Perfumes that are available today will be mostly made up of molecules that have been created in a lab, and that are quite precise in their scent. So you may have hundreds of different molecules that go into a perfume and it’s the master perfumers who will conduct this symphony of scent.

People all over the world love perfume but I don’t. I don’t like the alcohol as a base. I don’t like cold feeling it gives me and the way there seems to be too many conflicting ideas in one spritz. There are, of course, some perfumes that are way better than the dross out there. With perfume there are many precise notes blended to create the scent – but usually it’s too many.

To me perfumes are a DIGITAL scent. They are precise and do not have complex ranges, as they have many digital signals mixed together. There doesn’t seem to be any expansiveness or invitation to connect with the universe.

Hey, but if it’s digital it must be about NOW, which can only be a good thing. They are modern and contemporary, and fall in line with our digital era.

There’s a place for both in our world – let’s never lose the analog!

The Benefits of Beeswax in a Body Cream

nourish your skin with oil blends

nourish your skin with oil blends or should you use cream?

I love using oil blends on my body and try to do it daily, however I do know many people who just won’t use oil on their skin because it’s too high maintenance – meaning it’s too messy, or it ruins their underwear or it takes too long to soak in or blah, blah, blah! I may be preaching to the converted here but using oils on your body can be so beneficial. When I say “oils’ I am referring to coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil and other carrier oils. This past winter my skin looked like crocodile skin so I decided to whip up a batch of cream with beeswax, oils and cocoa butter (basically because that’s the stock I had available).

Bees and their beeswax - pic via sweetbeez.org

Bees and their beeswax – pic via sweetbeez.org

It did really help my skin and I remembered one of my clients saying that her facialist sometimes talked about the right time for cream and the right time for oil. So when your body skin is scaly and horrible, that would be the perfect time to use a cream.

Why?

In a body cream, if it’s made naturally, you’ll get oil, water and emulsifying wax at the very least. You may also get essential oils, beeswax, cocoa butter, mango butter or shea butter too, to make it rich and gorgeous. Then hopefully there will be some pure essential oils added to the mix to give you a scented experience and emotional support. If you have a cheap cream made in huge vats, by big companies that is sold all over the world you’ll get water with a whole lot of synthetic crap. So when I talk about using a body cream I’m referring to a beautiful hand-made cream or a high quality cream from a boutique shop, health food shop or a market.

Handmade cream - pic via tipjunkie.com

Handmade cream – pic via tipjunkie.com

In a body oil blend you’ll be getting a carrier oil (or oils), and some essential oils which in itself is a wonderful treat but sometimes you just need a little more.

What’s the diff?

The wax. And beeswax is the bomb and adds so much more to a cream than a synthetic wax could ever do.

 

pola wax - a synthetic emulsifying wax

pola wax – a synthetic emulsifying wax

Most people will also use an emulsifying wax that is sure to combine the oil and the water into a smooth cream, although I’m sure others could make a beautiful cream with only beeswax. It is now much easier to find a 100% natural emulsifying wax but many waxes sold on the market will have synthetics in them. If your emuslifying wax beads are very white they probably have some synthetics in them. Anything with a number in it, like PEG-150 Stearate, is synthetic. A lot of synthetic preparations are safe to use but some are not. You can check the toxicity of ingredients at www.ewg.org/skindeep/

 

Wax will

* provide a mild barrier between your skin and the environment and give protection which is wonderful for dry skin and rashes and will help the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis

* make your skin feel beautiful and soft as it acts as an humectant (draws and holds moisture) and as an emollient

* have some mild actions including being an anti-inflammatory agent as it has been used over the centuries for wound healing

* mild anti-bacterial action as in honey (we know to use honey for coughs and colds because of this)

 

I recommend using a combo of both oils and creams on your body, and as in everything in life, mix it up a bit.

And from William Cowper’s poem, “The Task” (1785): “Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor”.

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

 

 

Expand Your Consciousness with 10 Natural Pulse Point Perfumes

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

If you’ve been with me the past couple of weeks I’ve been talking about 2014 being a year in which we are called to seek the truth and expand our consciousness. This will not only help you evolve and grow but in turn will send your ripples out into the universe to join with others in the necessary and imminent jump in consciousness for humanity. Look I know it may sound heavy to newcomers of the revolution but it’s easy really – just be mindful of your purchases and know where all your food comes from, be kind to people and animals, voice your opinion and champion the cause of the underdog, stand up for the planet and use essential oils.

One of the easiest ways to use essential oils is to make a little perfume to dab on your wrists (to sniff during the day), your heart (open to the love), your third eye chakra (see the truth) and anywhere else you fancy.

Chinese tea cup - perfect for a little perfume magic

Chinese tea cup – perfect for a little perfume magic

Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix essential oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras. Use 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil (almond, sunflower, grapeseed, jojoba) – always patch test first!

Here are a few recipes to make a quick difference in your life –

“I Once Was a River”

Flow with the space-time continuum –

Cardamom    1 drop

Rosewood     1 drop

Lemongrass   1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

“Tiger’s Eye”

See clearly and try to be objective –

Frankincense    1 drop

Clary Sage        1 drop

Orange             1 drop

—————————————————————————————————————–

red roses

“I’m Lovin’ Myself Sick”

Love yourself, it just gets better when you do –

Rose 3% – use it straight from the bottle

* see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

——————————————————————————————————————

“No More Nervous Nelly”

Reduce the amount of cortisol in your body by chilling out and stressing less –

Neroli 3% – use it straight from the bottle

* see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

——————————————————————————————————————

we are one

we are one

“Meditate More”

Says it all really –

Lavender       1 drop

Mandarin       1 drop

Vetiver           1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

“Intergalactic”

The truth is out there (it’s in here too) –

Basil           1 drop

Petitgrain   1 drop

Juniper       1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

"The Black Peal" pic via crystalinks.com

“The Black Peal” pic via crystalinks.com

“Seek”

You are the seeker – what will you find? –

Sage     1 drop

Lime     2 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

“Macro to Micro”

We are a star, an ocean, the wind …….

Sandalwood Mysore    1 drop

Lemon                         2 drops

——————————————————————————————————————

accept everything good

accept everything good

 

“Amazing Opportunities are Coming My Way”

It’s all about pure potentiality –

Petitgrain                   2 drops

Cedarwood Virginian 1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

“Lions and Tigers and Bears”

Be courageous –

Black pepper    1 drop

Black Spruce    1 drop

Palmarosa         1 drop

——————————————————————————————————————

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

5 Essential Oils to Get You Started with Vigour in 2014

Happy shiny people - pic via www.breathezy.com

Happy shiny people – pic via http://www.breathezy.com

Christmas is over.

New Year celebrations are over. (Except we’ll be having another party for Chinese New year when we celebrate the year of the horse).

The year has started.

I’m lagging a bit behind and found it hard to drag myself out of bed this morning so looked to my trusty friends (my essential oils), to get me vibed up.

My last article 2014! The Universal Number of 7! was all about this year and its intrinsic number of truth. To seek the truth of your existence here on earth, you will need a bit of curiosity and of course some energy to keep you going. Some essential oils will open your mind and stimulate the frontal cortex, and other essential oils will give you body a bit of a kick start.

Flowering rosemary

Flowering rosemary

1. Rosemary

Stimulate your mind with rosemary. Remember with rosemary. Study with rosemary, warm your body up and help sore muscles release tightness. It is an easily accessible and inexpensive oil with a long history of medicinal uses.

 

2. Lavender

Lavender will always be on every list of oils I create. It is a relaxing oil but also an oil of solidarity and bringing your energy together. It’s the stalwart – loyal, reliable and hard working.

Lavender can ground your energy, help induce a state of calm, help with pain relief and generally be a medicinal oil of great standing.

Black pepper

Black pepper

Black pepper

Forward ho! Black pepper is the spice that can warm your heart, open your mind and also be a warming tonic to your body. It is a great oil for finding your dharma and taking your unique brand of evolutionary energy into the world. Even though the spice itself is quite piquant, the essential oil of black pepper has a magical sweetness about it.

 

Lemongrass

I think this oil may be one of the most loved oils in the world. It has so many uses but I’ll always use this oil for a client who is lacking energy. It’s lemon scented goodness is backed up with a deep grassy green scent that represents freedom to me.

Need physical energy? Use lemongrass!

Basil

Basil

Basil

Oh you just can’t keep a good herb down! The herbs are so wonderful for healing and have been used for centuries. Basil is an oil for opening your mind and stimulating your brain. It is expansive and great for maintaining fluid thought and allowing universal intelligence to come through your crown chakra. Basil is for clarity and can be used on your body like lavender, as it has a high content of linalool which is an active ingredient in lavender.

How can you use these oils to stimulate your energy?

* try taking a whiff straight from the bottle

* put a few drops in the bottom of the shower (cover the drain for a minute with your foot or a cloth) and inhale

* make an oil blend for your body – for a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”.

* it will be best to use a combination of oils rather than just 7 drops of the one oil as, for example,  black pepper is slightly sensitising and could be too strong for some people

* as a hint, use lavender and a citrus oil to one of the oils above to make a lovely blend

Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013