Essential Oils for Summer Wellness

Summer is helped by essential oils

Summer is helped by essential oils

As promised, here’s a summer guide to essential oils for all my northern hemisphere buddies. There are lots of cooling oils and these can be used so well in summer to take the heat off your skin and cool down your energetic flow.

Lavender is the most versatile essential oil we have and it can be used all through the year

Lavender is the most versatile essential oil we have and it can be used all through the year

1. Lavender

Why?

* perfect for sunburn when diluted with a carrier oil. Lavender is great for all burns and I apply a drop direct for a small heat burn coming from the toaster or stove or anything you can think of

* takes the itch or sting out of an insect bite

* helps relax you and may help induce sleep on a hot summer’s night

* brings solidarity and strength so you can get all the summer fun things you want squished into a day

The divine scent of the rose is not the only thing it has going for it

The divine scent of the rose is not the only thing it has going for it

2. Rose

Why?

* wonderful for cooling the body in an oil, and even rosewater has cooling effects and that’s why in Indian cuisine you can drink a rosewater lassi, made not only for the beautiful taste but for helping the body deal with heat – delicious! Remember NOT to drink the essential oil though.

* it’s a self-nurturing oil so remember to treat your self first and then everyone will benefit – just like Cleopatra did!

* great for a facial oil if you’ve had a bit too much sun (for all the reasons above)

* usually comes (in retail) in a 3% blend in jojoba ready to use direct on your skin as a perfume (see my article on 3% blends in jojoba for more info)

Hairy vetiver root

Hairy vetiver root that makes the essential oil

3. Vetiver

Why?

* called the “Oil of Tranquility” in India this oil is not only very grounding and calming, it is also another oil that can be used to cool the body down

* only use a drop or two in any formula as it is so strong it can take over any of the other oils you have used

* wonderful to cool down over-heated kids throwing tantrums – use a drop on yourself and cuddle your child as they begin to settle

Bergamot - pic via globalhealingcenter.com

Bergamot – pic via globalhealingcenter.com

 

4. Bergamot

Why?

* this oil has a fresh summery citrus scent and can help release tension and anxiety

* wonderful for a body oil blend to nourish your skin, but only use AFTER sun not before, as it has some photo toxic properties

* brings an aura of cool and calm

A jasmine blossom in Sydney

A jasmine blossom in Sydney

5. Jasmine

Why?

* enhances summer sensuality

* brings a beautiful feminine scent to your aura and helps confidence in your sexuality – wear it as a scent when you go out for a dance and watch your magic unfold

* usually comes (in retail) in a 3% blend in jojoba ready to use direct on your skin as a perfume (see my article on 3% blends in jojoba for more info)

Delicious lemongrass

Delicious lemongrass

6. Lemongrass

Why?

* a great insect repellent either for cleaning, vapourising or wearing on your body in an oil blend

* lemon myrtle and citronella can also be used in place of lemongrass to ward off the biters

* gives a fresh boost to your energy if you are lagging in the heat

 

If you have a few people in your home, especially if you have kids, I recommend you diffuse oils in your home at night during summer, not only to create a lovely scented atmosphere, but to lend a little bit of cooling anti-bacterial magic to the mix. When using essential oils, remember they exist to not only help you create a wonderful feeling, but they can help you feel a little better, more comfortable and a little cooler too.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

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

copyright suzanne

 

 

10 Recipes with Lemongrass Essential Oil- Cymbopogon citratus

Delicious lemongrass

Delicious lemongrass

Lemongrass belongs to the Poaceae family (the grasses), and its genus is Cymbopogon. Other plants you may know in this family are palmarosa, citronella and vetiver (same family different Genus).

Commercially lemongrass essential oil comes from Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon flexuosis, some of my suppliers have both, and some only have one.

“East Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass (Malayalam: (inchippullu), is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to maritime Southeast Asia.” Wikipedia

Recently I have seen more C. flexuosis on offer and I wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference unless I had both bottles to sniff at the same time. There are variations in chemical constituents however if you bought either you would be fine to use them in the recipes below.

An essential oil steam in the shower will do wonders for your mind and energy levels - pic via completehealthcircle.com

An essential oil steam in the shower will do wonders for your mind and energy levels – pic via completehealthcircle.com

1. Put A few Drops Of Oil into the bottom of the Shower

This works in a similar way to just taking a whiff straight from the bottle, but if you’ve got an extra minute, it will give you a completely different experience. Your whole body will be immersed in an essential oil steam.

With a lemongrass steam in the shower expect to feel uplifted, awakened, refreshed and ready to go. Some extra happiness may also randomly occur.

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

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

2. 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”

“Pre Exercise Zinger”

When you need a bit of encouragement to get you going –

Lemongrass     2 drops

Rosemary         2 drops

Orange             4 drops

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

“After Exercise Soother”

Lemongrass       3 drops

Marjoram           2 drops

Lavender           2 drops

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

“Eye of the Tiger”

To give yourself some positive vibes for the day ahead –

Lemongrass                   3 drops

Cedarwood Virginiana    2 drops

Rosewood                     3 drops

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

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

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!

“Energy NOW!”

Lemongrass    1 drop

Basil                1 drop

Geranium         1 drop

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

“After Work Before a Dinner Date”

Refresh and revitalize –

Lemongrass        1 drop

Petitgrain             1 drop

Nutmeg               1 drop

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

“It’s Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride”

To help with travel sickness –

Lemongrass        1 drop

Ginger                 1 drop

Peppermint          1 drop

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

oil burner

A classic oil burner with a candle helps to remove and transmute unwanted energy

4. Scent Your Space

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

“Freedom”

Lemongrass     8 drops

Peru Balsam     9 drops

Cinnamon         8 drops

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

“A Night of Intrigue and Love”

Lemongrass        6 drops

Ylang Ylang         6 drops

Mandarin             6 drops

Sandalwood        6 drops

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

“Sunny Sunday”

The perfect scent for a Sunday afternoon –

Lemongrass          8 drops

Bergamot            10 drops

Cedarwood Atlas   7 drops

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

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

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

 

 

 

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):

Lemongrass

Citronella

Basil

Peppermint

Lavender

Clove

Thyme

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.

Lemongrass! An oil for all seasons

sneakily borrowed from candlemaking.com.au

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.