Lavender for Summer AND Winter Skin

Video

Hello natural beauties I hope you’re all faring well after the New Year. I’m so grateful I’ve been having  lots of lovely beach time this summer, which also means I have tan, and have been exposed to lots of UV rays. Lavender is the perfect essential oil to cool summer skin, but even if you’re in the dead of winter, it’s perfect for you too! Read on to find out how this amazing oil of oils can help you now ….

 

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SUMMER

  • Lavender has always been used to treat burns as its high linalool and linalyl acetate content helps soothe hot skin.
  • Used as a calming oil you can see how this relates to stress, sleep, healing skin and soothing skin too.
  • Mix a few drops of lavender oil into some natural aloe vera gel for the perfect after-sun treatment (although it can be a bit sticky)
  • Add a few drops of this amazing oil into your favourite body or face moisturiser to help soothe and repair sun damaged skin
  • Have a luke warm bath with some coconut milk and 4 drops of lavender
  • Make a body oil blend with lavender and your favourite cold pressed oil using this ratio:

 

lovely lavender in my neighbour's planter box out the frot

lovely lavender in my neighbour’s planter box out the front

 

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. It’s always best to patch test first, before you apply all over.

***** 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”

 

“After Sun Special”

Lavender        4 drops

Peppermint    2 drops

Vetiver            1 drop

 

I took this pic in Mexico in 2014

I took this pic in Mexico in 2014

 


WINTER

Warm up in winter with essential oils

Warm up in winter with essential oils

 

While lavender is wonderful for soothing and calming summer skin how can it help you in winter?

  • Lavender is an ancient healing herb oil that has strength and tenacity which is what one often needs to brave the winter months
  • Your skin can become very dry due to many reasons – artificial heating, hot showers and baths and by being continually covered up the dead skin cells often don’t have anywhere to escape to, leaving you dry and flaky
  • Lavender is the perfect oil to nurture you in the cold by doing steam inhalations to bring colour and life into your face – even add a few drops to your shower to give you an all over steam inhalation
  • Add a few drops to a hot foot bath to increase circulation
  • And as above: add a few drops of this amazing oil into your favourite body or face moisturiser to help soothe and repair dry skin
  • Make a body oil blend with lavender and your favourite cold pressed oil using the ratio above:

“Warm me up, Give Me Strength”

Lavender         3 drops

Rosemary        2 drops

Ginger             2 drops

 

Lavender in Sydney

Lavender in Sydney

 

“When in doubt, use lavender”

                       Suzanne R Banks

Ah yes there I go quoting myself again, hehe.

Do you use lavender all year round? I’d love to know x

copyright-2017

Rosemary Essential Oil – Get Fired Up!

Get fired up!

Get fired up!

Rosemary is a herb that is found all around the world in suburban gardens, dried in little bags and fresh at grocery stores. It’s a herb that has been used for medicine and in gastronomy for thousands of years and packs a powerful punch. Rosmarinus officianalis belongs to Lamiacae family (which has all the herbs in it) and the genus Rosmarinus.

I have written about this wonderful herb before when I attended a funeral and we were offered sprigs of rosemary to place on the coffin (Remember with Rosemary – Lest We Forget). Rosemary’s traditional use is that of remembering.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv. 5.) Wikipedia

The fresh herb and of course the essential oil, is stimulating to the mind, and is warming and generally stimulating in its nature. It is high in 1-8 cineole (found in high amounts in Eucalyptus), and camphor and a-pinene (also found in many others oils including sage and thyme, citrus oils, eucalyptus and cedarwood).

Flowering rosemary in my client's garden

Flowering rosemary in my client’s garden

Rosemary was found in the tombs of Egypt, used by the Greeks and Romans as medicine and revered as a sacred herb. More modern herbalists and physicians from the middle ages have used rosemary to treat any sickness of the head – and in this way we could see rosemary as a “cephalic oil” – the same as basil, which I have just written about. It has been used as a treatment for the liver, muscle aches and pains and for colds and sinus.

In aromatherapy today rosemary is used –

* for muscular aches and pains

* for stimulating memory – to be used in study and for the elderly

* for warming the body and increasing circulation to extremities

* as a digestive tonic

* as a tonic for the spleen meridian organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen)

Rosemary botanical drawing - from Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen

Rosemary botanical drawing – from Köhler’s Medizinal Pflanzen

As you can see the modern uses of rosemary are the same as the traditional uses of rosemary – stimulating and warming. It certainly is a strongly flavoured herb. Recently my friend, who has loads of rosemary bushes on his new property, stuck some in a bottle of gin and it didn’t take very long for the flavour to infuse.

I use rosemary frequently in my practice. Most clients have some type of muscle stiffness or soreness and rosemary is a real winner when it comes to relieving muscle tension. I’ll often use lavender, rosemary and marjoram together for a warming, pain relieving oil blend.

Rosemary oil is produced in a few countries around the world and this herb and oil has some very common chemotypes (again this is similar to basil and other herbs like marjoram too). Different chemotypes will have different scents and varying degrees of the common chemical constituents, depending on the soil, climate and other factors. Don’t get too confused, just dive in and use whatever rosemary oil you can find. It’s inexpensive and easily accessible!

Rosemary will stimulate your mindpic via goldenagersrock.com

Rosemary will stimulate your mind – pic via goldenagersrock.com

 

10 Recipes with Basil Essential Oil – Ocimum basilicum

 

Beautiful aromatic basil

Beautiful aromatic basil

Basil is a herb from the Lamiacae family and the genus Ocimum, and has been flavouring our foods and healing us for centuries. It is a scent you won’t forget – green, herbabceous sweet and pungent. As an essential oil basil (sometimes referred to as sweet basil) is stimulating to the mind opening the upper chakras and giving the brain a cleansing, refreshing scent.

In aromatherapy basil oil is used –

* as a cephalic which means it stimulates the head in general so if used in small amounts it could help a headache. Some basil oils can be high in linalool oil which is present in large amounts in lavender.

* to ease stress and tension and calm mild anxiety (you may notice lots of essential oils are attributed to this use which shows that they can be easily used to help you relax – even if it’s just for a couple of minutes)

* as an anti-inflammatory agent for joint pain

 

Sneakily borrowed from thepoofairy.com (hehehehe)

Sneakily borrowed from thepoofairy.com (hehehehe)

There are many types of culinary basil but so far the winner in terms of essential oil production is this basil – sweet basil. When using this oil it can be tricky to get the proportions right because it’s so strong. Sometimes a drop is all you’ll need.

Let’s check out some recipes –

Take a huge whiff to change your focus in seconds

Take a huge whiff to change your focus in seconds

1. Open The Bottle and Take a Huge Whiff

This “recipe” is one for those who need to –

* wake up

* open to universal intelligence

* chill out and stop freaking out

* have a headache or have mental fatigue?

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There are lots of great essential oil diffusers on the market now - pic via www.aliexpress.com

There are lots of great essential oil diffusers on the market now – pic via http://www.aliexpress.com

2. Scent Your Space

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

“Can’t.Wake.Up”

When your brain needs a boost –

Basil              8 drops

Rosemary      4 drops

Peppermint    4 drops

Orange           9 drops

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“Summer Evening”

Add some basil to your gin and tonic too –

Basil          10 drops

Geranium    6 drops

Petitgrain    8 drops

Vetiver         1 drop

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“Oh Man What a Day!”

When you need to relax after a challenging day –

Basil               8 drops

Bergamot     12 drops

Lemongrass    5 drops

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“Living the Dreams”

For a slumber full of dreams –

Basil           4 drops

Lavender   12 drops

Mandarin    8 drops

Spikenard   1 drop

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Chinese tea cup - perfect for a little perfume magic

Chinese tea cup – perfect for a little perfume magic

3. 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!

“Ascended Masters”

Tap into this great wisdom –

Basil      1 drop

Nutmeg 1 drop

Lime      1 drop

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“Big Day Ahead”

Basil            1 drop

Palmarosa  1 drop

Lavender      1 drop

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“Bon Courage”

Basil                1 drop

Black Pepper   1 drop

Peru Balsam    1 drop

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“I Invite Understanding”

When you need a nudge to gain understanding –

Basil                  1 drop

Ylang Ylang       1 drop

Pink Grapefruit   1 drop

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Nourish your body with a beautiful oil blend - pic via redbookmag.com

Nourish your body with a beautiful oil blend – pic via redbookmag.com

4. 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”

“Bring it On!”

For a kickstart to the day –

Basil          2 drops

Rosemary  2 drops

Orange      4 drops

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

copyright suzanne

 

 

 

 

Softly and Gently with the Chamomiles

Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile

Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile

What a pretty flower! I always loved daisies as a child, and the chamomiles belong to this species called Asteraceae or Compositae. Chamomile is famous for it’s soothing nature and tranquil effects, and is used in both herbal medicine and aromatherapy alike. I’ve always thought of Aromatherapy as a specialist part of herbal medicine, powerful because it insists we use our sense of smell for healing and interacting with the world.

1. Roman Chamomile 

Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile

This chamomile has a sweet honey like aroma, and appeals to many people because of this softness. Roman chamomile is usually found in a 3% jojoba blend because of its price. It is often overlooked in favour of German chamomile but please give it a try. It is one of those oils that gives an immediate reaction of bliss.

In aromatherapy Roman chamomile is the one used as an anti-spasmodic treatment, an tonic for unclenching, that may also help the smooth muscle of the gut relax. Also great for muscle spasm and tension and general fatigue and stress.

Best of all, I like to use Roman chamomile as a perfume straight from the bottle. No doubt people will be attracted to you when you wear this oil as you will smell divine and will be radiating a sense of calm and knowingness. Try these recipes

“Floatin’ on a Cloud”

For release of gripping tension and pain in the body make an oil blend with 3 teaspoons of carrier oil and add:

Roman Chamomile 3%      8 drops

Marjoram                           2 drops

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“Venus”

As a pulse point perfume mix these drops together and anoint your chosen spot –  for attracting and resonating with a goddess-like energy

Roman Chamomile 3 %    3 drops

Rosewood                        2 drops

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German chamomile - Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita)

German chamomile – Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita)

2. German Chamomile

This tiny little flower is a different genus to Roman chamomile and what sets it apart from most oils is its blue colour. During the distillation process, one of the consituents – chamazulene – is changed to give a deep blue hue to the oil. This oil is best used as an anti-inflammatory and works well with lavender in this sense. It is great for stress, anxiety, and any tension in the body. It is a strongly scented herbaceous oil and I would not say this is an oil to use as a perfume. Think BLUE – think COOLING! A good oil for joints and muscles as well as an over thinking mind. German chamomile is more readily found then Roman chamomile and will also be in a 3% jojoba blend. Try these remedies:

“Release”

For a treatment of painful joints make an oil blend with 3 teaspoons of carrier oil, rub over the joint and cover with a bandage. Rest. Add these essential oils to create your treatment:

German chamomile  3%   8 drops

Lavender                          2 drops

Peppermint                       1 drop

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“Cocoon”

After a stressful day stop your mind from over-processing by mixing the following into a little container and rubbing on your temples and third eye. Remember to put a little of the oil residue inside your nose to gain maximum benefit, and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil.

German Chamomile           2 drops

Orange                               2 drops

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The chamomiles are your ancient tool for stress release.

Remember to use your intention when you make your blends to give extra power and personality to the formula.  For more information on intention see my article What Do I Mean when I Say “Use Your Intention”?

copyright suzannerbanks 2013