10 Recipes with Vetiver Essential Oil

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10 Recipes with Vetiver Essential Oil

 

Hairy vetiver root
Hairy vetiver root

Vetiver essential oil (Vetiveria zizanoides) is steam distilled from the root or “rhizome” of the plant. As you can see from the pic above the rhizome is hairy and fine, exposing as much surface area as possible to the surrounding soil. This scent of vetiver is similar to damp soil, although this is a simplification. It is an essential oil that is used extensively in perfume as a “fixative”; bringing all the scents together and binding or fixing them into a cohesive blend. It is used in many scents for men due it’s strong, deep, smoky aroma- but having said that it is also used in women’s perfumes too.

less IS more via zazzle.com
less IS more via zazzle.com

In aromatherapy it is therapeutically used for many things, and is also used the bind a formula together. I would use 1 drop of vetiver in a formula to make this possible. The most important thing to remember about vetiver is that the scent is so strong, less is more!

One drop is enough in a small oil blend for your body.

Vetiver is sometimes referred to as “The Oil of Tranquility”, especially in India where it is commonly used, and produced. If you just remember this little phrase you will automatically know what to use vetiver oil for – relaxing, de-stressing and being tranquil. It can also be used in hair care and skincare as a moisturiser for dryness.

Let’s check out some recipes;

1. Nourishing Body Oil

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”

“Crocodile Skin”

Remove the scaliness –

Lavender      3 drops

Palmarosa   3 drops

Vetiver         1 drop


“Softly, Gently”

Calm yourself down by oiling yourself up –

Lemon             3 drops

Jasmine 3%    10 drops * see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

Vetiver               1 drop


“Head in the Clouds”

Bring yourself down to earth and get “grounded” –

Lemongrass                     3 drops

Roman Chamomile 3%    6 drops * see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

Vetiver                              1 drop


2. Hair Mask

Warm 3 teaspoons of oil (either olive or jojoba) and add 7 to 8 drops of essential oil. Massage into your hair from the ends up. Wrap your hair in a towel (or some plastic wrap then a towel). Leave for 1 hour, or overnight, then wash and condition as usual. This is the same ratio for a body oil blend and for more info see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”.

Rosemary   2 drops

Lavender    2 drops

Orange       2 drops

Vetiver        2 drops


3. Scent Your Space

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

“Slow it Down Sister”

Chill, be calm

Marjoram    8 drops

Mandarin    8 drops

Spearmint   7 drops

Vetiver        2 drops


“Kids. Driving. Me. Nuts. Help”

Petitgrain                   10 drops

Cedarwood Virginian    6 drops

Peru Balsam                6 drops

Vetiver                         3 drops


4. 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 – very annoying!)

“Givin Myself Some Room”

Allow time to relax –

Rosewood         8 drops

Bergamot          8  drops

Ylang Ylang       4  drops

Cinnamon         4 drops

Vetiver               1 drop


“Serenity NOW!”

Orange                           10 drops

Rose Geranium               8 drops

Cedarwood Himalayan    5 drops

Vetiver                             2 drops


“Sweet Sleep”

Lavender    9 drops

Lime           8 drops

Marjoram    6 drops

Vetiver        2 drops


 

5. Soak in a bath

I don’t often recommend adding too many essential oils to a bath as they are difficult to disperse and can cause minor skin irritations when combined with the heat of the water. If you do like to use them in a bath, try 4 -6 drops in total and add the drops to another medium like sea salt, coconut milk, other milks or a water dispersible agent.

“Finally Me Time”

Frankincense   3 drops

Vetiver             1 drop


Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

copryright SR Banks

Argan Oil – “Liquid Gold”

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Argan Oil – “Liquid Gold”

The argan fruit - pic via theparakeetslounge.com

The argan fruit – pic via wsj.com  Johnny Greig

Argan oil has become increasingly popular in the west in the past few years. The tree is native to south-western Morocco where it happily exits in drought conditions and is perfect for semi-arid soil. The native tree, Argania spinosa also helps prevent soil erosion and even provides the perfect resting spot for goats. In 2007 UNESCO added this wonderful tree to the endangered species act, but since then Morocco has planted many more argan trees to cope with demand. A body was established in 2002 specifically to regenerate the “Arganerie”, which refers to the native populations of trees in Morocco. At this stage I can’t seem to find if the UNESCO ruling has been altered, but the positive effects of new plantations of argan trees has already been felt, especially in regards to employing women.

 

These tree dwelling goats love the argan tree

These tree-dwelling goats love the argan tree

 

The oil comes from the kernels in the fruit which are split open by hand, mainly by local women. It is labour intensive which is one of the reasons the oil is more expensive than other oils such sunflower, grapeseed and almond, for example.

Sometimes referred to as liquid gold, the oil is high in oleic acid, similar to olive oil. The kernels are roasted if the oil is intended for culinary use (again, in similar ways to oilve oil in the Mediterranean region), but is left natural when the oil is to be sold for cosmetic uses.

Argan oil is used in many hair care products  - pic via aloversanthology.com

Argan oil is used in many hair care products – pic via aloversanthology.com

Argan oil has really made an impact in hair care, but as with any cold pressed oil, it’s great for skincare too. I recently watched a YouTube instructional video by Aromatherapist Danielle Ryman. She makes her facial serum with almost all argan oil, only a few drops of rosehip oil and of course some essential oils. I also have a locally made face serum that contains, but is not limited to, argan oil. I haven’t used this oil straight on my face like I would with rosehip oil – but now I really want to!

You can almost see the oil in the flesh inside the kernel - pic via www.arganoil.fr

You can almost see the oil in the flesh inside the kernel

We must ensure that our demand helps build Morocco and not rape it of its natural resources. Maybe we are so desperate for new things, driven by our consumer attitudes, that we are always looking for the next best thing. Argan oil seems to fit the bill perfectly and various websites claims many properties. We must not forget that many carrier oils do the same thing, so as long as it’s sustainable, embrace this wonderful oil and try it in your new formulas. You could use this oil for –

* warm oil hair masks

* warm oil facial treatments

* face and body oil blends

* cuticle and nail treatments

and just about anything else you can think of.

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

copyright suzanne

Palmarosa – Soft Skin and Happiness

palmarosa pic via choicehealthmag.com

palmarosa pic via choicehealthmag.com

I’ve used this lovely oil with clients a few times in the past couple of weeks. It blends well with so many oils and adds a green, fresh and slightly rosey scent to a formula. This is a relative newcomer to aromatherapy and doesn’t really have a rich colourful history like the spice oils, but is a wonderful addition to a collection. This gorgeous grass originally hails from India and is sometimes known as East Indian geranium. It’s also grown in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Although I can’t really find out a lot about this lovely oil I assume, like lemongrass, it has been used in India as a part of their Ayurvedic lifestyle and natural way of treating disorders in the body.

Palamarosa (Cymbopogon martini) is a grass like lemongrass and citronella, and belongs to the same family – Graminae (or Poaceae). This is the family of ‘true grasses”. There’s also a gingergrass plant that creates an essential too, and that is quite close to palmarosa as it is a variation of the plant – Cymbopogon martini var. sofia. One of my suppliers offers gingergrass oil and although I don’t use it therapeutically is has a beautiful soft scent. Maybe I’ll do a story on that oil soon.

Back to palmarosa – which is an oil often used in cosmetics and soaps to enhance the scent and add an inexpensive rose scent to the product.

Rosa centifolia - another rose used to make essential oil

Rosa centifolia

I’ve always used palmarosa as a skin conditioning oil and one of it’s main components is geraniol so that may give you a hint too, as geranium is a great oil for the skin. However it’s interesting to note that geranium only contains about a third of the amount of geraniol than palmarosa! And while we are on the geraniol track, lemongrass has a high content of geranial – a different molecule with slightly different carbon bonds (with a similar function).

In aromatherapy today palmarosa is used for

* hydrating the skin and hair

* as a stimulant for skin cell growth therefore working well on scar tissue and the uneven appearance of skin

* as a tonic to the digestive system

* as an insect repellent – just like lemongrass and citronella

* I use it as an oil for happiness and for flexibility in the emotions and thoughts

Try these combo’s –

Scent your space

Scent your space

1. Scent Your Space

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

“Aperitif”

Get your house in the mood for a lovely dinner

Palmarosa      10 drops

Mandarin         8 drops

Juniper            7 drops

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

“I’m Going to be Flexible on this Issue”

Palmarosa      8 drops

Rosemary       5 drops

Geranium       5 drops

Siberian Fir     7 drops

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

nourish your skin with oil blends

peru balper nourish your skin with oil blends

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”

“Sweet and Soft”

Soften up your skin and add a little sweetness –

Palmarosa      3 drops

Peru Balsam   3 drops

Lavender       2 drops

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

“Gettin’ Vibed Up”

An oil blend to refresh and send you into the day with gusto –

Palmarosa     2 drops

Cinnamon     2 drops

Lemon          2 drops

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

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

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Essential Oils for Hair Care

Lovely long hair in great condition

Lovely long hair in great condition

If essential oils can be used on your skin then they can be used on your hair too.

By now you know I dislike any kind of synthetic fragrance so you can imagine how much I really dislike most shampoos and conditioners. Hair styling products often have strong scent as well but those products are harder to replace with natural ingredients.

Shampoo

My advice is to find a natural unscented shampoo (they do exist) and add some essential oils. You could add essential oils to the whole bottle if you feel confident you have a lovely blend, or pick new oils each time you shampoo. Even though that sounds a bit harder it’s like aromatic dressing – making a new nourishing body oil blend each day. It allows for spontaneity and creativity, and each day you’ll feel emotionally and physically different from the day before.  As essential oils have individual purposes, you will be treating yourself for the day, according to your needs.

You’ll just need a little dish to squeeze some shampoo into, then add oils.

a cute little dish

a cute little dish

I’m going to estimate you’ll need 2 tablespoons of shampoo (but of course this will differ depending on the length and thickness of your hair). This equates to about  40 mls of shampoo so we will add 15 drops. If you are sensitive to essential oils reduce the amount to 10 drops or less. This ratio is lower than what I recommend for body oils for 2 reasons –

1. It’s close to your eyes and nose

2. You will wash it down the sink anyway

For more info on body oil ratios see this article.

You will be washing your hair AND having an aromatherapy treatment at the same time! YAY!

washing hair with essential oils can be revitalising

washing hair with essential oils can be revitalising

I don’t necessarily agree with using different oils for different coloured hair, and as always, some oils are better than others for this purpose.

Try these combo’s

1. “Lovin Myself”

For all hair types

Lavender     5 drops

Rosewood   5 drops

Orange        5 drops

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

2. “Just Stepped Out of A Salon”

For hair that’s a little oily

Spearmint                    6 drops

Lemon                        6 drops

Cedarwood Virginian   3 drops

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

condtioning hair - add essential oils

conditioning hair – add essential oils

Conditioner

The same ratios apply as for shampoo but at least by leaving the conditioner on your hair for a while will allow more benefits to soak in. Find an unscented conditioner and blend away.

1.”Rapunzel”

For drier hair types

Peru Balsam      6 drops

Mandarin           6 drops

Patchouli           3 drops

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

2. “Smooooooth”

For all hair types

Geranium         4 drops

Marjoram         4 drops

Bergamot        7 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

They are the basics, so I think I may have to do a Part 2, to include hair conditioning treatments with oils and natural hair masks using natural ingredients from the cupboard.

Stay tuned!

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013