The Wonders of Wintergreen

Thanks for tuning in again natural beauties. This week a client and friend brought me a gift from the USA – Wintergreen Life Savers. She had promised she would bring some back to me so I could have a taste – and had been inspired to do this after I used wintergreen in an oil blend for one of her treatments. She said that this lolly was a blast from the past and a loved candy from her childhood.



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As you can see from the comment in my pic above – wintergreen as a flavouring for a candy is very unusual for me (and I would think many Aussies too). To me it’s like eating a sports rub like Deep Heat or Dencorub. It is commonly used as a flavouring in America, but I’m not sure if it’s embraced the same way in other parts of the world. After the initial blast and sensation of the essential oil of wintergreen in my mouth, the fragrance subsided into a general sweetness. Phew.

Some of my classic aromatherapy text books warn against using this oil at all, which seems strange when you can eat it in a lolly )this is however, at an extremely low dosage). Wintergreen is an essential oil of warmth, expansion and healing and can be used in an external oil blend for:

  • sore muscles
  • a chest cough
  • a headache
  • tension
  • poor circulation

I think the reason this oil is misunderstood is that some texts say it is high in the same chemical constituents that are in aspirin – but that’s not quite true. It has a high concentration of methyl salicylate ……

“Methyl salicylate is good for some people, not for others. A blanket contraindication is not necessary, but it is best avoided in pregnancy – all salicylates are teratogenic in sufficient amount, including methyl salicylate and aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). Methyl salicylate must be absolutely avoided by anyone taking blood-thinning drugs, as it increases the action of the drug, and this causes blood to leak into tissues and  internal bruising occurs.


Wintergreen oil has some wonderful properties, but I would not like to see it used at more than 5%.”


Robert Tisserand


wintergreen - Gaultheria procumbens

wintergreen – Gaultheria procumbens


NB: As Robert Tisserand says above, he would not recommend using this at a higher concentration then 5%. Well 5% is a very high concentration in aromatherapy as mostly our oil blends are a standard 2.5%.

I have used this oil with an elderly client who is on blood thinners and it really helps him with back pain. I don’t use it all the time and when I do make a blend I always add other oils too.

Common sense and intuition must always play a part when you use essential oils. One size does not fit all. 


Here are a few recipes for an oil blend at 2.5%

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”


Wintergreen with frost - pic via

Wintergreen with frost – pic via


“BRRR I’m Freezing”

Wintergreen     1 drop

Lemon             7 drops



“The Anti Cough”

Wintergreen         2 drops

Marjoram             2 drops

Frankincense     4 drops



“Period Pain-Away”

Wintergreen     2 drops

Lavender         4 drops

Peppermint     1 drop



“Oh My Aching Knees”

Wintergreen     3 drops

Ginger             3ginger drops

Cypress          2 drops


Do you like wintergreen?

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.


20 Good Reasons Lavender is the Superhero of Essential Oils

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

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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.



Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copryright SR Banks 2015


Australian Eucalyptus Oil – A Review and Giveaway

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

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and many other stores worldwide as a Kindle and Paperback

Australian Eucalyptus Oil – A Review and Giveaway


The picturesque road to Banalasta

The picturesque road to Banalasta – it was stinking hot and there was a bushfire in the distance

At the end of last year I visited a friend in Armidale which is about 5 hours drive from Sydney (or about an hour flying). On our way to see friends in Tamworth – the Country Music Capital of Australia – we saw signs to a Eucalyptus farm. A few kilometres up a bumpy dirt road we found the gorgeous little shop and cafe, selling eucalyptus oil from the property “Banalasta” (the land of healthy waterholes). They are growing quickly and increasing their wholesale business to the USA, as well as supplying the Australian public through online sales and sale on the property. They are a certified organic farming business.

The lovely people gave me a quick look around out the back, where they actually store the leaves and distill the oil. Here are a few pics:

Here you can see fresh eucalyptus leaves (Eucalyptus radiata) harvested off the property, from living trees (that continue to live). The scent was absolutely divine!

Fresh eucalyptus leaves awaiting distillation

Fresh eucalyptus leaves awaiting distillation


The massive vats used for distilling the oil:

Distilling vats

Distilling vats


The receptacle that collects the essential oil:

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - where the essential oil is collected

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – where the essential oil is collected


Glass measuring and testing equipment to assess each batch:

Ooo glass measuring equipment!At Banalasta they also grow and distill lavender (Lavandula Intermedia grosso):

Lavender just about to flower outside the shop

Lavender just about to flower outside the shop

The Oil: Eucalyptus radiata certified organic

The Scent: A sweet and soft eucalyptus, almost like you are eating a eucalyptus candy. Within the scent I can detect mild camphorous tones and the poetic sense of the Australian bush.

The Verdict: A must have for all scent enthusiasts

To Win:

10ml bottle Eucalyptus radiata

10ml bottle Eucalyptus radiata

Please comment via the little thought bubble at the top of the blog and tell my why you’d LOVE this little bottle of Aussie goodness. The winner will be chosen through on the 20th May 2015.

Thanks so much! You can support local organic farmers by buying direct from Banalasta here:

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copryright SR Banks 2015


The Start of the Vlog!


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

Amazon USA      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

and many other stores worldwide as a Kindle and Paperback

The Start of the Vlog!

at the movies!

at the movies!

I’ve started my YouTube channel to try something new.

I’ve been writing 2 articles a week for just over 2 years, and sometimes it’s hard to find things to write about – especially now I have a book to promote too.

I’ve got a way to go with presenting style but I’d be grateful if you hang in there with me, as I talk about essential oils and aromatherapy.

This week I introduced myself – now you know what I look like (but after having said that I had just come from the hairdresser’s so it’s not always going to be that pretty)





And I also talked about Fennel Oil:





So with a few less “ums” and “ahs” and “so’s” and “yeah’s”, I’m looking forward to doing some new things. Please subscribe to my channel if you feel so inclined.

hearts to you

hearts to you


Thanks so much everyone,


copryright SR Banks 2014




Himalayan Cedarwood – Cedrus deodora

The shaggy Christmas tree type of Cedrus deodora - pic via

The shaggy Christmas tree type of Cedrus deodora – pic via

While I was searching for some good pics of Himalayan cedarwood I came across a few species variations, but they all look gorgeous – especially the one above which looks like the perfect Christmas tree to me. This cedarwood comes from the Pinacae family and the genus Cedrus (like Atlas and Lebanon cedars but not Virginian cedar which is actually a juniper).

The essential oil of Himalayan cedarwood is steam distilled from the wood, however I can’t find any evidence to support the notion that the needles are also used. I would have thought some twigs and leaves would also be used in the distillation process, but at any rate it’s a bloody gorgeous oil. It has an almost creamy, spicy, woody scent which seems much more rounded than Cedar Atlas and has roots in Ayurvedic medicine and spirituality on the sub-continent of India. Traditionally in India, the forests of Cedrus deodora have been regarded as sacred places, maybe even where one could reach a clearer connection with Shiva. In one of my Ayurvedic Aromatherapy books, the author Farida Irani claims the wood is offered to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Both these Gods are part of the Hindu religion.

It’s also the national tree of Pakistan.

In both Ayurveda and traditional aromatherapy this cedarwood is indicated to treat –

* respiratory tract infections, particularly the lungs as it is a drying oil

* urinary tract disorders

* fluid retention

* oily and acne skin.


Up close and personal with Himalayan cedarwood - pic via

Up close and personal with Himalayan cedarwood – pic via

As with many essential oils Himalayan Cedarwood is used to treat anxiety and stress related conditions and isn’t it interesting that many essential oils are used for the same thing.


By smelling an essential oil your brain responds almost immediately to the stimulus and starts to bring about change. This change could be anything from a change in emotion, a stimulus to the hormone producing centres in the brain and/or a shift in consciousness. These moments can start to breakdown resistance to the flow of life and therefore be interpreted as lessening stress. The outcome will be stronger the more you like the scent of the oil, and the more you are willing to release negativity.


One type of Himalayan cedrawood - pic via

One type of Himalayan cedrawood – pic via

Enhanced connection to spirit is often a claim when using essential oils and I wholeheartedly agree with this surmise. Essential oils are little drops of coded information, on which the future of the universe rides. Delve into a scented paradise and try to disprove me; you won’t be able to as you continue to expand exponentially!

Stay tuned for 10 Recipes with Cedrus deodora!

copyright suzanne



Caraway Essential Oil – What’s That Used For?

Caraway botanical drawing from Kohler's Medizinal Pflanzen

Caraway botanical drawing from Kohler’s Medizinal Pflanzen

Caraway essential oil is steam distilled from the caraway seed of the plant Carum carvi. This belongs to the Umbellifrae (also known as Apiacae) family and the genus Carum. Other similar plants belonging to the same family are fennel, parsley, carrot, angelica, anise, celery, chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, and parsnip, just to name a few.

I have never used this oil in my practice because it doesn’t have many traditional uses in Aromatherapy and other more common oils are usually used for therapeutic value, like fennel. I couldn’t find a typical analysis, which gives the breakdown of chemical constituents in an oil, but I have found some basic information naming the major active ingredients.

Carvone - pic via

Carvone – pic via

According to Wikipedia:

“The fruits, usually used whole, have a pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma that comes from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene.[10] Anethole, generally regarded as a minor product in the essential oil of this species, has also been found to be a major component.”


And from a paper 1994 UPDATE ON ESSENTIAL OILS IN SASKATCHEWAN SPICE CROPS by F. Sosulsk$, A.E. Slinkard and G. Arganosa:

“Carvone contributes the typical aroma of caraway seed and the carvone to limonene ratio in the essential oil should be 60:40”


Limonene pic via


It is important to note that even when we have a chemical breakdown of an oil, we must consider it as a whole and remember the old adage “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”. This means we can expect an oil to behave in a certain way when we find out what molecules it contains, but there will also be a unique signature that lends itself to other properties too.

Caraway essential oil could be used for digestion, as for fennel and aniseed. Regulating menses and attendant pain could also be helped by caraway oil, but I would probably just stick with fennel. In these instances I would dilute a drop or two in some carrier oil and rub all over the stomach and lower back. I would also use caraway for coughs and lung problems (especially catarrh) in a steam inhalation


Caraway seeds - they look like fennel seeds don'y they? pic via

Caraway seeds – they look like fennel seeds don’t they? pic via

According to Aromatherapist Danielle Ryman, fossilized caraway seeds were found in Neolithic dwellings in Switzerland, and in Mesolithic sites, which means that it was in use up to 8,000 years ago. She also says the Ancient Egyptians used the spice in religious rituals, (like many aromatic plants and flowers) and in cooking to make foods like bread and onions more digestible.

So it seems the modest caraway seed has similar properties to other Umbellifrae seeds and you can check out my article Star Anise, Aniseed and Fennel Essential Oils – What’s the Difference? to understand more about those oils -their similarities and differences.

Essential Oils for Winter Wellness

Warm up in winter with essential oils

Warm up in winter with essential oils

It must seem strange to all my northern hemisphere readers that I’d be writing about this subject now. Well it is winter for us in the southern hemisphere, so next week I’ll do an article on essential oils for summer so you guys don’t miss out.

What essential oils to use for winter …… hmmm?

Flowering rosemary in my client's garden

Flowering rosemary in my client’s garden

1. Rosemary


* Stimulates blood circulation, good for those with cold hands and feet (used in a body oil)

* Works against catarrh and congestion (used in a body oil or a drop in a steam inhalation)

* Works a pain reliever for sore muscles and for aching rheumatic joints (used in a body oil)

* Stimulates the brain and memory so it can wake you up on a cold winter’s day (used in a steam inhalation or a shower steam)

Warming, spicy ginger

Warming, spicy ginger

2. Ginger


* Warming to the digestive fire and the body in general (used in a body oil)

* Alleviates catarrh (used in a body oil or steam inhalation)

* Soft and gentle to treat people who are very sick with a cold or flu and may help stimulate appetite (diffuse in the sick room or use as a body oil)

Lemon myrtle flower- pic via

Lemon myrtle flower- pic via

3. Lemon Myrtle


* highly anti-bacterial and anti-viral (diffuse this oil in the home or office to help prevent YOU from getting what THEY have)

* use lemongrass or lemon as a substitute if you can’t find lemon myrtle oil



Eucalyptus globulus is the most commonly produced essential oil although there are quite a few - pic via

Eucalyptus globulus is the most commonly produced essential oil although there are quite a few – pic via

4. Eucalyptus


* the number one oil to break down mucous in the sinuses and lungs (used in a steam inhalation and diffuse in the sick room)

* an expectorant (used in a steam inhalation)

* generally helps easier breathing (diffuse in the sick room) and may also help throat inflammation


Sage - use in small amounts

Sage – use in small amounts

5. Sage

* analgesic for a sore throat (used as a body oil or a drop in a steam inhalation)

* Clary sage can also be used for a sore throat (used as a body oil or a drop in a steam inhalation)

Ah lovely lavender

Ah lovely lavender

6. Lavender


* general aches and pains from the cold and/or sickness (used in a body oil or diffused in the sick room)

* analgesic for a sore throat  (a drop in a steam inhalation)

* analgesic in general for headaches and other inflammatory symptoms (diffuse in the sick room and in a body oil)

The fennel plant

The fennel plant

7. Fennel


* helps with catarrh and lung congestion acting as an expectorant (use in a body oil)

* acts as an analgesic in coughs and colds (used in a body oil)

* digestive tonic to calm an upset stomach (diffuse in the sick room or in a body oil)


As you can see these oils can help you feel a bit better if you get sick in winter, or warm you up when your feet are freezing, or help clear the air of unwanted germs.

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 winter not only to create a lovely scented atmosphere, but to lend a little bit of anti-bacterial magic to the mix. Of course when using essential oils they will not necessarily cure an infection or disease, but they can help you feel a little better and more comfortable 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