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 http://tcpermaculture.com/

Wintergreen with frost – pic via http://tcpermaculture.com/

 

“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.

copyright-2017

I Love Lemons!

I’ve always wondered about where this saying came from: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. In this article I’m on the hunt for its author, and ponder why the amazing lemon has such a bad wrap. It does give us nutrition, flavour, colour, and of course lemon essential oil!

 

Sunny lemons

Sunny lemons

 

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

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and many other stores worldwide as an ebook and paperback

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Well of course the easy answer is that the fruit is sour. So if life is sour to you, add sugar, reinvent the moment and prosper.

The phrase was initially coined by Christian anarchist writer Elbert Hubbard in a 1915 obituary he penned and published for dwarf actor Marshall P. Wilder.The obituary, entitled The King of Jesters, praises Wilder’s optimistic attitude and achievements in the face of his disabilities:

 

“He was a walking refutation of that dogmatic statement, Mens sana in corpore sano. His was a sound mind in an unsound body. He proved the eternal paradox of things. He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Wikipedia

lemon The phrase was adopted again in the 1940’s by a couple of authors and especially attributed to Dale Carnegie, in his revolutionary self-help book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, first printed in the UK in 1948.

Ok, so most people won’t eat a lemon like an orange (some do though), but its flavour is a must-have for the kitchen.

And then there’s the rind which is often overlooked, but when it’s used in a dish makes something unmistakably divine. This flavour comes from the essential oil tucked away in little pockets all through the tough skin. This essential oil can do so many wonderful things, and is a fresh happy scent that appeals to young and old alike.

Lemon essential oil is an uplifting oil with a sweet innocence about it, but don’t be fooled – it has a solid place in modern aromatherapy.

Some aromatherapists and scientific data claim lemon oil is good for:

  • stimulating the action of white blood cells
  • killing bacteria in the gut
  • soothing and lessening varicose veins
  • tonifying the circulatory system and aiding high blood pressure
  • helping the body shed excess fluids
  • decreasing cellulite
  • improving concentration
  • easing rheumatic pain & gout pain
  • stopping the flow of blood with cuts and abrasions

…… and the list continues.

lemon mandala

lemon mandala

 

And from my book “Revelation! Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils”:

Lemon

 

refresh, reload

 

This gorgeous fruit and oil is a real winner for me. Even Martha Stewart commented on Oprah, that the one thing she really missed in prison, was lemons. They have a myriad of uses both with the juice, flesh and rind, but we will be focusing on the essential oil that comes from the rind. When I think lemon oil I think, “refresh”, “reload” like the refresh button on your computer. Aromatherapists use this oil for a variety of purposes, but to me it means start again. This oil is often used for cleaning so in that sense it helps clear the air, clear your energy and clear your perspective. It’s the oil of fresh starts.”

Suzanne R Banks

Yep. I still love quoting myself. Thanks for indulging me. For wonderful essential oil recipes for lemon oil check out my article 10 Recipes with Lemon Essential Oil – Citrus limonum

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

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copryright SR Banks 2015

Must-Have Mid Season Essential Oils!

Time marches on and so do the seasons. I’m getting excited because all around my neighbourhood in Sydney I can see the jasmine blossoms building strength, until one day soon, their beautiful, scented little white flowers will tell me it’s getting warmer. Phew!

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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 an ebook and paperback

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Jasmine in Sydney

Jasmine in Sydney

And if you’re in summer it’s probably peaking right now and you’re feeling warm and lovely and happy. There’s nothing like late summer on a beach in Mexico, or in a park in Europe savouring the long lingering summer light. I’m envious of all of you northerners right now.

Remember for us, everything happens in summer. Well there’s summer for starters, Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and finishing of with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Then it’s winter.

Just winter.

So you’ll understand my excitement when I see the jasmine getting read to bloom.


 

I took this pic in Mexico last year

I took this pic in Mexico last year

Mid to Late Summer Essential Oils

Lavender

If you’ve had a bit of sun over the past couple of months lavender will help your skin heal and regenerate. The perfect after sun oil, lavender is also the perfect first aid kit in a bottle. Make sure you dilute it in the right proportions before you coat your body with this grounding, centering and calming oil.

Palmarosa

This mildly rose scented grass (like lemongrass) is great for skin renewal too, and allows you to be flexible and flowing in your attitudes. If you haven’t already warmed up this summer, palmarosa with help your mind unwind and open up to new adventures – there’s still plenty more spontaneity to be had this summer.

Peppermint

Lovely peppermint is a cooling oil, but take care if you are using it on your body as it can be sensitising. The best way to cool down with peppermint is to put a few drops into the shower and let the beautiful aroma surround and cool you. Breathe in deeply and enjoy your scented summer.


 

 

Brrrrrrr

Brrrrrrr

 

Mid to Late Winter Oils

Rosemary

Warm up and get the circulation going! Rosemary can help fatigued muscles feel better, and generally stimulate your mind so you can dream up the best spring and summer possible. It is also an oil of remembering to help us tune into our multi-dimensional existence, and to prepare us for the abundance of summer.

Juniper

Release excess fluid in your body and joints with juniper essential oil. It is a wonderful oil for releasing negativity, so if you tend to get a bit sad during winter because of lack of light, this is your oil. It’s fresh, clean scent can lighten the vibe of any house or space, including your mind.

Sandalwood

Whether you choose Mysore (Indian) sandalwood or Australian sandalwood, this spiritual oil can help you focus within. Take time this winter to meditate – the perfect accompaniment to a cold day or night. Winter is a time of planting ideas that can come to fruition over summer so don’t delay in creating your life.


Essential oils can help support you mentally, physically, emotionally and energetically if you allow them too. You can create a scented paradise for your self and your loved ones, creating life long memories and rituals.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copryright SR Banks 2015

 

I Just Used Wintergreen On A Client …..

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I Just Used Wintergreen On A Client …..

Wintergreen - be cautious!

Wintergreen – be cautious!

 

Well it’s nothing new I often used wintergreen on clients. A couple of drops at the most. I’m an aromatherapist and I am trained, however it wasn’t an oil I learnt about at college. A couple of text books I have, say we mustn’t use wintergreeen, as it’s too strong and potentially toxic. I say to you, follow this advice, as in everyday life there are other oils you can use that don’t have the potency, and that are more tried and tested.

Wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens, comes from the family Ericaceae and the genus Gaulteria. The family Ericaceae generally refers to heath or heather and it has (according to Wikipedia), over 120 genera. This family also includes plants such as cranberry, blueberry, huckleberry, azalea, rhododendron. I’m not sure if any other plants in the genus lend themselves to producing essential oils, but I’d love to find out!

“Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry, checkerberry, boxberry, or American wintergreen) is a species of Gaultheria native to northeastern North America from Newfoundland west to southeastern Manitoba, and south to Alabama.[1] It is a member of the Ericaceae (heath family).”

 

Dwelley, Marilyn J. (1977). Summer & Fall Wildflowers of New England via Wikipedia

 

Eastern teaberry sounds nice!

Wintergreen - pic via naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

Wintergreen – pic via naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

The oil of wintergreen smells like a lot of sports rubs and liniments, very menthol-like. You can understand why it would be used in a product for sore muscles, when you look at the traditional uses of the oil –

Traditionally this oil has been used for –

* joint pain and inflammation

* muscle and tendon pain

* headaches

* bad circulation

and many other issues, that you could take aspirin for – pain and inflammation.

The reason it is thought of as toxic is that it is extremely high in Methyl salicylate, which when absorbed by the body turns into salicylate, basically aspirin. But a very, very high dose of aspirin from a very small amount of wintergreen oil. Check out this article, which states:

“The sudden death of a 17-year-old Staten Island high school track star was caused by the accidental overuse of an over-the-counter remedy routinely used by millions of Americans to treat sore muscles and joints, the New York City medical examiner ruled after a two-month investigation.”

 

This happened in 2007, and while rare, please take note that just because something says it’s “natural” or has “natural ingredients, doesn’t always mean its safe.

From Kohler's Medizinal Plfanzen a book now in the public domain

From Kohler’s Medizinal Plfanzen a book now in the public domain

So basically it’s a anti-inflammatory, high in aspirin, and can cause people to react with asthma and other aspirin overdose issues.

Use lavender or German chamomile instead.

OK?

And FYI my blend was equal parts of lavender, juniper and lemon with a couple of drops of wintergreen. It was stunning. I’m going to text my client now to see how she’s feeling.

Look after yourself people!

 

copryright SR Banks 2014

 

 

Palo Santo – I Tried to Like You But I Didn’t, Sorry

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

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Palo Santo – I Tried to Like You But I Didn’t, Sorry

The spindly tree Palo Santo pic via blessyourbody.com

The spindly tree Palo Santo

About this time last year, Palo Santo popped into my world. Within a week or two, a friend had asked about it and one of my readers here on the blog also mentioned it in one of her blends. I’d never used it nor had I really heard much about this oil. So my interest was sparked and I did a bit of research to find –

* it belongs to the Family “Burseraceae” of which frankincense and myrrh also belong, and it definitely shows in its form and the fact that it’s a desert dwelling tree and looks just like a frankincense or myrrh tree

* according to Wikipedia the Burseraceae family has also been called the incense tree family

* its sort of like the South American sandalwood, as the scented wood is used to make incense and of course essential oil

* it is used in the Americas more than in Europe or Asia

* it has been used for healing in communities in South American countries for many years and has a strong place in their folklore too

* spiritual and healing ceremonies often used the smoke of the burning wood to purify bad or stagnating energy (similar to indigenous Australians using tea tree branches, and Native American Indians using sage for smudging)

* my friend who studied in Thailand was told it was good for increasing sexual drive and raising kundalini

The dried wood can be burnt directly

The dried wood can be burnt directly

“It is widely used in folk medicine for stomach ache, as sudorific, and as liniment for rheumatism. Aged heartwood is rich in terpenes such as limonene and α-terpineol.”  Wikipedia

As it is very high in limonene one would expect a lemon scent (if only slightly), but the mix of molecules makes for a very deep, earthy, heady scent indeed!

I bought a couple of bottles from a small environmentally focused company in Ecuador and I was feeling very international and slightly self-important when I placed the order. I was excited to receive and smell this intriguing oil of history and healing in many South American cultures including Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, and on the Galapagos islands.

Then it arrived. It probably didn’t help that I was unwell at the time. I ripped open the bag to find a cute little wooden box. Opened the box, cracked the lid, took a huge whiff and almost vomited. It has an earthy, rich, almost truffle scent, which is pungent and warm.

I could end the story right there, but I put it away in the oil cupboard until my friend dropped in for a blend. A week or two later she came by to collect her bottle of oil (she had actually experienced this oil in a yoga teacher training place in Thailand!)

She was excited. I wasn’t.

50 ml bespoke body oil made by me

50 ml bespoke body oil made by me

I made her oil blend and put 6 drops of Palo Santo in 150mls with a few other oils. Months later she reported that her body oil blend was beautiful, but now I’m scarred for life!

The weather is warming up and I’ve started to smell the Palo Santo wafting from my studio. It has managed to penetrate the triple bubble wrapping.

It is POWERFUL.

Use with caution!

Ay comments on this interesting oil are welcomed.

copryright SR Banks

 

 

Lemon Essential Oil = Refresh and Reload

Lemon - gorgeous simplicity

Lemon – gorgeous simplicity

One of my first stories on this blog was about lemons –  The Loveliness of Lemons!.

Lemons truly are delightful and I categorize the essential oil from the rind as an oil of happiness. Sparkly, zingy, zesty, fresh, clarifying and clean, lemon essential oil is a must-have oil for the aromatherapy enthusiast.

I use lemon oil frequently when treating clients as I find it’s a great addition to a body blend for sore muscles. When I was studying, I remember my teacher telling me a therapist she knew used lemon juice with oil for sore muscles and had great results. Not sure if I could do that (you’d smell like a salad after the massage), but the essential oil is definitely the go.

Aw -  a baby lemon!

Aw – a baby lemon!

From my earlier article:

Lemon essential oil is an uplifting oil with a sweet innocence about it, but don’t be fooled – it has a solid place in modern aromatherapy.

Some aromatherapists and scientific data claim lemon oil is good for:

  • stimulating the action of white blood cells
  • killing bacteria in the gut
  • soothing and lessening varicose veins
  • tonifying the circulatory system and aiding high blood pressure
  • helping the body shed excess fluids
  • decreasing cellulite
  • improving concentration
  • easing rheumatic pain & gout pain
  • stopping the flow of blood with cuts and abrasions

…… and the list continues.

Mum's lemon tree with the washing hanging on it

Mum’s lemon tree with the washing hanging on it

Lemon essential oil is inexpensive and accessible and has a scent that is also easy to inhale. Within the chemical constituents and energy of the drops of lemon oil, lay the coded information of lightness and happiness. I often say the words “refresh and reload” in my mind when I get the bottle of lemon oil out, and it does just that!

* Feeling tired and uninspired? Lemon oil.

* Need a new perspective on life? Lemon oil.

* Want some more joy? Lemon oil.

*Just like clicking on the “reload” icon in your web browser, lemon essential oil can give you a clean slate to start from.

Lemon blossoms - I wonder why they aren't made into an essential oil like Neroli?

Lemon blossoms – I wonder why they aren’t made into an essential oil like Neroli?

* Add some drops of lemon oil to your water when cleaning surfaces in the house or completely brighten your home with lemon essential oil in the bucket of water for mopping the floors. When cooking with lemons I always keep the rind to rub over the kitchen benches at night to combat bacteria.

Lemons are a fruit of old and have origins in Asia – from Burma and India through to China.

They entered Europe near southern Italy no later than the 1st century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. However, they were not widely cultivated. They were later introduced to Persia and then to Iraq and Egypt around 700 AD. The lemon was first recorded in literature in a 10th-century Arabic treatise on farming, and was also used as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens.[1][2] It was distributed widely throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region between 1000 and 1150. Wikipedia

So a big hooray for lemons, and lemon essential oil. They have survived for this long because they are wonderful! Stay tuned for my next article 10 Recipes with Lemon Essential Oil.

 

copyright suzanne

 

 

 

10 Recipes with Rosemary Essential Oil – Rosmarinus officianalis

Rosemary is a wonder herb and so is the oil

Rosemary is a wonder herb and so is the oil

Rosemary is a spicy, stimulating essential oil which warms the body and helps the mind to remember. It is used frequently in Aromatherapy as it’s accessible, inexpensive and gives great results.

Rosemary will warm up the hands and feet and can even help with arthritis pain. It is wonderful in an oil blend for muscle pain and I often use it in a treatment blend with lavender and marjoram for this very purpose.

When you need more energy (both mentally and physically), a bit more warmth; when you need to get your brain working – think rosemary essential oil. Let’s check out some 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.

Use rosemary in the shower if you can’t seem to wake up in the morning or if you need your brain to switch on for a full day ahead.

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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

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”

“Oh My Aching Body”

You get the drift –

Rosemary        8 drops

Lavandin         8 drops * for more info on Lavandin see my article Lavender – Simple and Complicated All at the Same Time

Marjoram        8 drops

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“Winter’s Run”

A pre-run warm up blend – pay attention to your feet and calves when rubbing in the oil –

Rosemary         10 drops

Lemongrass        8 drops

Ginger                 7 drops

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“Long Day Ahead”

A stimulating body blend to keep your muscles going –

Rosemary    6 drops

Orange        6 drops

Rosewood   6 drops

Palmarosa   6 drops

Vetiver         1 drop

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Sexy black diffuser from puzhen.com

Sexy black diffuser from puzhen.com

3. Scent Your Space

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

“Must Keep Studying!”

To keep your brain awake –

Rosemary          12 drops

Petitgrain           12 drops

Buddha Wood     1 drop

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“Meeting of the Minds”

A great blend to get brain storming in your meeting –

Rosemary     8 drops

Basil             6 drops

Mandarin     11 drops

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“Whistle While you (House) Work”

Come on its time to do the housework –

Rosemary      10 drops

Ylang Ylang     8 drops

Lime                7 drops

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The classic Duralex glass dish is handy to make oil blends and quick perfumes in

The classic Duralex glass dish is handy to make oil blends and quick perfumes in

4. 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!

Wonder Woman”

Rosemary               1 drop

Sandalwood Indian 1 drop

Geranium                1 drop

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“Car Pool Tonic”

Rosemary        1 drop

Peru Balsam    2 drops

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“Confidence is the Key”

Rosemary         1 drop

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

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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