May Chang – A Princess or an Essential Oil?

Hello natural beauties! This oil has been popping up in my mind and in my oil collection lately so I thought it was about time (again), to have a closer look at May chang (Litsea cubeba), the sunny little oil that could.

 

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Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here: suzannerbanks.com.au

Digital downloads of my book Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils:

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The flower of Litsea cubeba – pic via ec.europa.eu/europeaid/

 

May Chang   Litsea cubeba

This gorgeous, sparkly essential oil is made from the berries of the tree which is native to China and south-east Asia. I was first introduced to it when a friend brought some back from her holiday in Thailand about 20 years ago. It’s part of the Lauraceae family which also holds cinnamon and rosewood. May chang, and these oils too, have a subtle peppery note about them too.

It is a lemon scented oil and is high in neral and geranial which is are monoterpenoid structures within the oil. It is however, more than that. It smells like bubbly lemonade. It has a 3D effervescence about it, and that’s probably not possible – can you smell effervescence?. Well I reckon you can in this lovely oil.

Mainly used for fragrance in soaps, May chang does have therapeutic properties in Aromatherapy and other modalities. In traditional Chinese medicine according to Salvatore Battaglia:

 

“….May chang is used to treat dysmenorrhoea that is relieved with heat or pressure, stomach aches, lower back pain, chills headaches and muscular aches from external conditions.”

 

So from this we can see that is has a warming quality to it, which you would expect from the local name of ‘mountain pepper”.It’s also described as a great oil for respiratory issues like asthma is it also being used in heart research in China.

 

Litsea cubeba berry- pic via /www.bellabaci.com

 

I call it a happiness oil. Here’s an excerpt from my book

“Revelation! Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils”

Chines

“If you search for May chang on the internet, you may come across images of a super-cute, young Chinese princess from the Chang clan in the Xing Dynasty. She is a fictional character in a Japanese manga series. Her quest is to seek the grand alchemist who will help her fine-tune her skills of making elixirs, master the art of chi to cure ailments, and bring her back to her clan back to its former glory by finding the secret to immortality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Princess may chang – pic via http://vsbattles.wikia.com/wiki/May_Chang

 

…. I use it to call in the energy of the sun into my heart and maintain a sense of purity, innocence and lightness…. It seems the creators of Princess May chang took into the account the uses of the oil and transferred its healing properties into very essence. Perhaps one of the secrets to a long life is happiness?”

 

If you haven’t tried this gorgeous sunny oil yet please do – and let me know how much you love it!

20 Good Reasons Lavender is the Superhero of Essential Oils

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

and many other stores worldwide as a Kindle and Paperback


20 Good Reasons Lavender is the Superhero of Essential Oils

Lavender at my local market

Lavender at my local market

The following is an excerpt from my book:

“Lavender – Singularly Spectacular for General Health”

 

If it all gets a bit too confusing, lavender is here to save the day. It’s the super hero of essential oils and here are 20 good reasons why:

 

1. It is a herb that has been used for perfumery and healing for centuries and is still thriving.

 

2. Lavender’s purple colour is related to the upper chakras, mainly the crown chakra which connects us with the universe and all the knowledge contained within its structure.

 

3. The perfect oil for use in first aid as it has properties of cell regeneration, anti-bacterial and anti-septic constituents. Perfect for cuts, grazes, falls and anytime first aid is required. Even rushing to someone’s aid with a little bottle of lavender can help shock and fright.

 

4. A great after sun oil and THE one indicated oil to use for any kind of burn.

lovely lavender

lovely lavender

5. Great for relaxing and inducing sleep.

 

6. It is calming and can be used for headaches and as an antidote for sadness and depression.

 

7. A wonderful tonic for the heart both physically and meta-physically.

 

8. It has warming and cooling properties and could be considered a balancing oil – an oil of evening things out. I call it the oil of solidarity.

 

Lavender backpackers in Akeroa NZ

Lavender backpackers in Akeroa NZ

 

9. Treats insect bites by immediately stopping the itching.

 

10. It’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

 

11. It’s grown and produced all over the world, each region giving its scent and quality to the oil.

 

12. Lavender oil can be inhaled as a steam for colds, coughs and sinus infections to relieve the symptoms.

wild lavender with buterfly

wild lavender with butterfly

13. It counteracts most kinds of pain – physical an emotional.

 

14. The herbaceous scent blends well with all other oils and can be used as the main part of a potion to provide a platform for all the other scents to project from.

 

15. The herb can be used in baking, in jams, in teas and in body products.

 

16. Children seem to like it – it tends to provide a sense of calm and security. It is also a powerful oil to use with the elderly to instill a sense of safety.

more gorgeous lavender

more gorgeous lavender

17. The essential oil is perfect for grounding and centering, using in spells and to help stimulate creativity.

 

18. It is wonderful to use if you need support and encouragement, and either don’t have anyone around to give that to you, or you’ve temporarily exhausted your own supply. Helps you to find the strength to carry on when times are tough.

 

19. Connects us to the great feminine power of Gaia.

 

20. One drop is enough to change your perspective from weak to strong.

lavender!

lavender!

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copryright SR Banks 2015

 

Cure Mondayitis with Essential Oil Shower Steams

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK


 

Cure Mondayitis with Essential Oil Shower Steams

 

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

Mondays keep rolling around.

They finally turn into Fridays. There’s the week gone.

Then suddenly it’s August 2014 and we are in the future!

We can choose to go against the flow of life, but that won’t get us anywhere or anyplace except stressed, and stress is one of the leading contributors to declines in mental and physical health.

I’m writing about Mondays as a return to work for most people on the treadmill of this game of life. But not me! I’ve never been a  9 to 5’er, or a Monday to Friday worker so I have a different view. Mondays represent chillin out to me and even if I work, it never feels like I’m working because do what I love. Sometimes Monday may mean writing a few blog articles and that’s about it. It does make Friday less of a celebration but I can live with that.

So for those having to get up at stupid o’clock on a Monday morning to start a long work week, this is for you.

Working 9 to 5 what a way to make a livin'

Working 9 to 5 what a way to make a livin’

There are some essential oils that can wake you up, others that can relieve stress and some that just make you feel a bit happier. The easiest way to treat yourself with essential oils on a Monday morning is with a few drops of essential oil in the bottom of the shower, Cover the drain with a face cloth or even your foot. Allow the oils to vapourise with the steam, breathe deeply, enjoy the scented stimulation of your senses.

Check out these oils and see what magic they can deliver –

Eucalyptus – wake up, cleanse the cobwebs in your mind, embrace the new day with gusto

Lemon – gently refresh and reload your energy onto the new page of a new week

According to living.msn.com this Pantone colour Lemon Zest was a top colour for spring 2013

According to living.msn.com this Pantone colour Lemon Zest was a top colour for spring 2013

Peppermint – enliven your mind, remove headaches and head tension

Rosemary – zap your memory into gear, stimulate your brain

Flowering rosemary in my client's garden

Flowering rosemary in my client’s garden

Basil – open the upper chakras to start channeling new universal patterns and downloads

Orange – inject a little bit of happiness into your Monday morning

Oranges and orange oil can make you happy!

Oranges and orange oil can make you happy!

Petitgrain – a zingy green start to the day allowing all possibilities to unfold

Lemongrass – energy now! revitalize

Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Ginger – warm your emotions, get the circulation going

Ylang Ylang – release anger and frustration

The spidery, seductive Ylang Ylang flower

The spidery, seductive Ylang Ylang flower

Bergamot – calm your nerves

Cedarwood Atlas – remove ego, come from a spiritual perspective

Sandalwood Indian – be Zen, peace and calm

Raw sandalwood and the powder

Raw sandalwood and the powder

 

And if all that’s too hard, eat an orange or mandarin and throw the zest into the bottom of the shower. Squish it up with your feet. Breathe. Continue with your day.

And during the day if you do have some citrus fruit, save the peel (and/or eat some of it too), and let the zest sit on your desk for some instant aromatherapy in the afternoon.

Happy Monday peeps!

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

10 Recipes with Marjoram Essential Oil – Oreganum marjorana

Marjoram - pic via www.podgardening.co.nz

Marjoram – pic via http://www.podgardening.co.nz

Marjoram is an essential oil I use frequently with clients as it has a beautiful scent and some wonderful qualities. It hails from the Lamiacae family (along with many other herbs), the genus Oreganum and the species marjorana. It has a much more pleasant scent than oregano and therefore has more uses in aromatherapy.

In aromatherapy today marjoram is used for –

* aching and sore muscles

* general body pain and as a warming tonic

* to help someone deal with grief and as a sedative for distraught emotions

* to help with falling asleep

* to counteract stress and generally for calming and soothing

* to reduce coughing

Let’s try out 10 recipes –

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. Just cover the drain with a cloth or your foot for a couple of minutes and breathe in the medicinal goodness.

Marjoram in the shower will help you unwind at the end of a very stressful day, or give you warming shower before bed on a cold night.

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Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

2. 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!

 “Planning My Day”

Start out nice and calm –

Marjoram     1 drop

Bergamot    2 drops

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“Kindness”

Marjoram    1 drop

Nutmeg       1 drop

Mandarin     1 drop

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“Warm Heart”

Marjoram    1 drop

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

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“Serenity Now”

Marjoram                    1 drop

Roman Chamomile     2 drops * see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

Lavender                     1 drop

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Classic oil burner with a twist pic via top3.com.au

Classic oil burner with a twist – pic via top3.com.au

 

3. Scent Your Space

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

“HEAD.ACHE”

Please go away –

Marjoram     8 drops

Lavender      8 drops

Peppermint  5 drops

Orange        4 drops

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“Chill Out Sunday Sessions”

Marjoram       6 drops

Petitgrain      10 drops

Peru Balsam   6 drops

Patchouli        3 drops

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Rub oil into your body - it's good!

Rub oil into your body – it’s good!

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. 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”

“Achey Breaky Body”

Marjoram     3 drops

Ginger         2 drops

Rosemary   2 drops

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“Pre Yoga”

Marjoram       3 drops

Lemongrass   3 drops

Black Pepper  1 drop

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“Apre Run”

Marjoram    3 drops

Rosewood  3 drops

Fennel         2 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace Basil Essential Oil and Free Your Mind

Flowering basil - beautiful!

Flowering basil – beautiful!

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, is part of the Lamiacae family and the genus Ocimum. This family of plants also holds many herbs including mint, rosemary, lavender, patchouli and many more. The most common basil essential oil is sometimes referred to as sweet basil as there are a couple of chemotypes that are used to make essential oils.

Sweet basil is a linalool type. Linalool is one of the main ingredients of lavender, so this basil with have a softer scent and be more soothing and calming.

I have a basil essential oil that is a chavicol chemotype (methyl chavicol), which is slightly spicier and more camphorous in scent. I would use this with a client in a treatment blend if I wanted a warmer more stimulating blend. I would use the linalool type for a more relaxing blend, and I tend to use the sweet basil more often.

The stunning basil leaf makes a wonderful essential oil

The stunning basil leaf makes a wonderful essential oil

Basil takes its name from the latin ’Basileum’ meaning royal.  It is also considered a holy plant of India used in Ayurveda and dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna. This Indian basil is a different plant and is called tulsi, Ocimum tenuiflorumi. One of my suppliers now offers this as an organic essential oil but I haven’t smelt it yet so I’ll have to get back to you on that. There are some great tulsi teas on the market – they don’t taste like the sweet basil, just a soft lovely herb.

Sharp and spicy (yet sweet), basil helps clear the head and open the mind. It is referred to in aromatherapy as a “cepahilc” oil, which means pertaining to the head. It is a very powerful clearing oil, particularly effective when used in a vapouriser as an inhalation, or even when you are cooking! Making a fresh basil pesto is enough to make you feel refreshed and alive – especially when you use a mortar and pestle.

Basil is alluring - even to bees!

Basil is alluring – even to bees!

Basil essential oil is used for mental and physical fatigue and its anti-spasmodic properties make it ideal for treating menstrual problems and digestive disorders too.

* Sinus congestion, asthma and bronchitis are all soothed by basil.

* Fever can be treated effectively with basil.

* In the middle ages it was prescribed for melancholy and depression

So when you are feeling like you need some energy try basil oil for a quick pick-me-up. I’ll follow up with some recipes in the next article, but in the meantime buy a fresh bunch of basil instead of flowers and make sure you inhale the fragrance deeply. Get cooking with some basil and when you do, crush up a leaf in your fingers and allow the cooling fragrance to open your mind!

copyright suzanne

 

 

 

In Case of Indecision – Use Lavender

Fields of lavender never cease to amaze me!

Fields of lavender never cease to amaze me!

There are many subtleties in in Aromatherapy and while quite a few essential oils share similar properties, it’s the little nuances that separate them. Scent, of course, is one of them and then there’s the complex arrangement of molecules that we never really see or feel but that represent information that we absorb. We then translate that information into meaningful data that our brain and body can use on a physical level. Then there is all the energetic and metaphysical changes we can experience when using essential oils.

Lavender is unassuming yet powerful - pic via fanpop.com

Lavender is unassuming yet powerful – pic via fanpop.com

I love lavender and would use it in any circumstance. Really, how can you go wrong with a drop of lavender? According to it’s properties it probably isn’t good for someone with low blood pressure – but if someone fainted in front of me due to low blood pressure, and all I had was a bottle of lavender I would not hesitate to wave the open bottle under their nose. It would not do any harm. It may help greatly!

Lavender cupcakes! -pic via jessienextdoor.com

Lavender cupcakes! -pic via jessienextdoor.com

I have written about lavender before (see my article Lavender is the “Little Black Dress” of the Oil Wardrobe) and in the next few weeks I intend to go into more detail about the different kinds of lavender oil you can buy, but today I feel like I need the colour as much as the scent so this is my pictorial ode to the most magnificent of healing plants, lavender.

Lavender in my neighbourhood. Loves the sun and grows all over the world

Lavender in my neighbourhood. Loves the sun and grows all over the world

Open the bottle of lavender oil and have a huge whiff to help feel grounded and emotionally supported  by life.

Lavender has been revered for thousands of years as a healing plant

Lavender has been revered for thousands of years as a healing plant

A drop on your pillow may help with getting to sleep.

Lavender will always be stylish!

Lavender will always be stylish!

A drop or two on a steam inhalation can help a headache and help you de-stress!

French lavender fields create a colourful landscape with their colour AND scent!

French lavender fields create a colourful landscape with their colour AND scent!

A drop on a bandaid can help cuts, grazes and burns heal faster and reduce swelling and pain.

Even the colour of lavender is healing!

Even the colour of lavender is healing!

If you are in doubt about what essential oil to use, you should be ok with a little lavender

copyright suzanne

 

 

 

 

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

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

“Bon Courage”

Basil                1 drop

Black Pepper   1 drop

Peru Balsam    1 drop

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

“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

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

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

copyright suzanne