Be The Queen of Your Life

Video

Hello natural beauties! I have just done a couple of live TV shows on TVSN in Sydney, as Brand Ambassador for Springfields Aromatherapy, and their beautiful skincare. This week we featured the Rose Collection, so it was easy to talk about beautiful organic Bulgarian rose oil.

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My dressing room for the day - feeling nervous

My dressing room for the day – feeling nervous

Live TV is nerve-wracking! The presenters are professionals and can turn it on quite quickly. I, on the other hand, found it challenging to be succinct and precise while going with the flow. Anyway it’s over now – phew!

I talked about rose oil as being “the Queen of Oils” due to its complex molecular structure and the fact that it is a “premium” essential oil. It is very expensive because the production of the Attar of Roses, or Rose Otto (meaning steam distilled rose oil), is very labour intensive. It can take 5000 kgs to make 1 kg of essential oil – or more – depending on the harvest, the size of the flowers and other variables. After all this is a natural product and we are subject to the ebb and flow of nature.

Rose is the Queen of oils

Rose is the Queen of oils

 

Using the Queen of Oils sends a positive energetic message to your soul – I am the Queen of my life. When I treat myself as a Queen, I am not the only one who benefits. I have more to share with others when I acknowledge my divinty.

 

My good friend Darryl, The Vitalist, took a sound grab from the TV. Thanks Darryl:

 

In my practice I use rose oil:

  • help the body deal with excess heat
  • help dry, mature, and sun damaged skin
  • help a client deal with grief
  • help a client process difficult emotions
  • allow the heart to open
  • acknowledge a client’s success or fears around a challenge ahead
More beautiful roses from my recent trip to New Zealand

More beautiful roses from my recent trip to New Zealand

As rose oil is expensive it is usually sold in a 3% blend in jojoba which is perfect to use straight on your skin as a perfume. If you are fortunate to have a pure rose oil then even 1 drop can be enough to soothe your soul, uplift your emotions, clarify your mind and help you feel abundant in many ways.

Me and Sarah on set

Me and Sarah on set

After the shows I was met by Springfields owner Rodney, with chocolates and flowers from the new Springfields garden. I hope to follow this story more closely as time goes on as Rodney has started the process of preparing the garden, which will grow the plants that will be hrvested to make botanical extracts for the skincare products. I’m excited about that!

Rodney from Springfields with dahlias and lavender from the new garden

Rodney from Springfields with dahlias and lavender from the new garden

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

 

Have you ever used rose oil? What are your experiences?

 

copyright 2016

 

My Top 3 Oily and Easy Skincare Tips!

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

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK


 

My Top 3 Oily and Easy Skincare Tips!

 

 

sneakily borrowed from botani.com

oilve & oil – sneakily borrowed from botani.com

1. The Best Makeup Remover in the World

Oil. Olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, camelia oil, safflower oil, macadamia oil. You get the picture. Any medium or heavy oil will do the job perfectly. Nothing takes off waterproof mascara like good ol’ cold pressed oil. My system is to wet a makeup remover pad with some water, add a squirt of oil, remove makeup. Clean face with warm, wet washcloth. The end.

sneakily borrowed from wellnesswa.com.au

rosehips – sneakily borrowed from wellnesswa.com.au

2. The Best Face Moisturiser in the World

Rosehip oil. You can also try borage oil and apricot oil but I find rosehip is the best. It is dark and slightly scented, but once you start using it it’s hard to give up. I rarely even make creams for my face anymore because rosehip oil is so good. I put makeup on straight away after moisturising with rosehip and don’t encounter any problems. Rosehips are high in Vitamin C and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Rosehip extracts are now being used in herbal medicine for both the above properties – in joint formulas as well as immune stimulating formulas. It works best if you smooth the oil on a damp face, this also helps trap some extra moisture in too. I use a floral water in a mist bottle to make the process even more stunning.

You can definitely add essential oils to your rosehip and the best for the face are:

Geranium

Lavender

Rose

Neroli

Frankincense

Refer to my blog for the correct quantities to use –

articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

This lists essential oil ratios for making a body oil – for the face use half the quantity. For example if you use 1 teaspoon of oil for your body add 3 drops of essential oil. For the face use 1 drop of essential oil.

jojoba - it look a lot like an olive doesn't it?

jojoba – it looks a lot like an olive doesn’t it?

3. The Best Body Moisturiser in the World

Oil. Jojoba oil, almond oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia oil, olive oil, camelia oil, sunflower oil ……….

Add a few drops of essential oil and you have a natural, preservative free, paraben free, beautifully scented, quick aromatherapy treatment.

Use any essential oils for the body but it’s best to stay away from the following in large quantities

All the spice oils – use them but be conservative

Thyme

Peppermint

and any other strongly scented oil you can think of. Refer to my article Aromatherapy It’s Easy As 1 2 3 for the correct quantities to use.

Go for it. Using cold pressed oils is a start to simplifying your life by cutting out chemicals and toxic ingredients in personal care products. It does take a bit longer but if you value yourself and the world around you, it’s easy to make the effort.

Look after yourself first. Treat yourself first and everyone will benefit.

copryright SR Banks

The Divine Scent of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Anthemis nobilis - a classic illustation from Kohler's Medicial Pflanzen

Anthemis nobilis – a classic illustration from Kohler’s Medicinal Pflanzen

I have brushed over the chamomiles previously but would love to go into more detail about Roman chamomile. You can check out my previous blog Softly and Gently with the Chamomiles, but lets go into the world of this special, petit fluer in this article.

As with many plants this chamomile has a couple of botanical names – Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile. Either way you can pick up that it is considered a nobile plant – distinguished by rank and manner. It is part of the Asteracae family (daisies) and the genus Chamaemelum. I’ve always loved daisies because they are so sweet, simple and pretty. This chamomile also has a very pretty scent and the essential oil is magnificent! For a small flower the scent is BIG!

This scent greatly differs from the other chamomile used in Aromatherapy – German chamomile – which is much darker in colour, darker and heavier in scent too. Our beautiful little “Roman” daisy will appeal to everyone from kids to the elderly, and even our pets.

Chamomile - sweet flower, sweet scent

Chamomile – sweet flower, sweet scent

It’s hard to tell the chamomiles apart as a flower but the German chamomile tends to have a more prominent pointed centre with leaves pointing downward, whereas the Roman chamomile flower is generally more balanced and larger, with a flat centre and daisy-like leaves. This is a generalisation and I’m sure the gardeners out there will have something to say about that!

In Aromatherapy today Roman chamomile is used;

* for stomach cramps as it is a great anti-spasmodic

* as a stomach calming oil in general

* as a calming oil in all respects – both physically and mentally

* as a soothing tonic to overwrought emotions

* as a calming oil for children

* for headaches

* for period pain

* for any kind of cramping whether it be in the body, the emotions, the mind or the energetic body

* in body oil blends and treatments for red, inflamed skin

Roman chamomile - pic via 3morganic.com

Roman chamomile – pic via 3morganic.com

I find it difficult to describe scent but I would say that this oil is sweet and intoxicating, with honey-like tones. This is a description from Wikipedia –

“The word chamomile, and the genus name Chamaemelum come from the Greek χαμαίμηλον (chamaimēlon), “earth-apple”, from χαμαί (chamai), “on the ground” + μήλον (mēlon), “apple”, so-called because of the apple-like scent of the plant. “

I suppose it has an apple-like scent but at least this gives you an idea and also indicates how long this plant has been around.

According to chamomile.co.uk/history.htm

“Chamomile was known to the Romans and used for incense and in beverages. Ironically, the name ‘Roman Chamomile’ by which it is sometimes known, does not stem from this time, but from a rather arbitary naming of the herb in the 19th century by a plant collector who happened to find some growing in the Colleseum in Rome!”

 

This site also refers to the use of chamomile in Egypt for treatment of fever but as we know it was various monasteries throughout Europe who consolidated the use of many herbs in the Middle Ages and who’s recipes still exist today in alcoholic beverages and perfumes.

Old medicine = good medicine!

Stay tuned for some recipes with this stunning essential oil which is more commonly retailed in a 3% blend in jojoba. This way we can use it straight from the bottle and it makes a wonderful perfume on it’s own. Fore more info on 3% blends check out my story here.

copyright suzanne

 

 

 

10 Recipes with Patchouli Essential Oil – Pogostemon cablin

Patchouli leaf - pic via www.vanaroma.com

Patchouli leaf – pic via http://www.vanaroma.com

Patchouli is a herb from the Lamiacae family (along with lavender, peppermint, marjoram and may other herbs), and the genus Pogostemon. It is a beautiful oil, and the scent is quite deep, earthy and dark, and perhaps an oil that you wouldn’t necessarily use on its own. It is  great oil to blend with others, but you do need to get the proportions right.

I was stimulated to write this as one of my blog followers has started getting into oils and was quite surprised when she opened her first bottle of patchouli. She described it as musty which I think is quite apt – but don’t let that put you off. Patchouli’s strength is in its ability to bring a blend together as it is regarded as a base oil. If you have made a very light blend with essential oils of a simple molecular structure (like citrus oils), you may notice they evaporate quite quickly and “fly away”. A few drops of patchouli will round-out the blend and keep it closer to the earth.

Patchouli is a grounding herb which relates to the base and second chakra, and it is connected to the hippie movement of the sixties. Please see my article “World Peace, Hippies, Patchouli Oil and The Evolution of Human Consciousness” for more on patchouli and how it relates to the world in general.

It is an oil that is often used for skin disorders such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. It also has skin regenerating properties so it’s great for use in face and body products too.

So let’s check out some recipes –

Chinese tea cup - perfect for a little perfume magic

Chinese tea cup – perfect for a little perfume magic

1. 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!

“I am Connected”

When your head is in the clouds and you need to feel belonging –

Patchouli       1 drop

Rosewood     1 drop

Lemongrass   1 drop

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“Compassion”

The world needs your kindness and compassion –

Patchouli     1 drop

Rose 3%     4 drops   * see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

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“(I’m Gonna Get) Get Sexy On Ya”

yep ……

Patchouli   1 drop

Ylang Ylang  1 drop

Orange         1 drop

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“Deep Sleep”

Sometimes you need a little help –

Patchouli    1 drop

Lavender    1 drop

Marjoram    1 drop

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“A Quiet Night with A Good Book”

Take some time out –

Patchouli    1 drop

Basil           1 drop

Petitgrain    1 drop

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I love this oil burner from pagethirtythree.com

I love this oil burner from pagethirtythree.com

2. Scent Your Space

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

“Party, Dance”

Set the mood for a dance-off –

Rosewood         8 drops

Geranium           6 drops

Mandarin            7 drops

Patchouli            4 drops

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“Meeting of the Minds”

When you’re a bit nervous about meeting someone –

Cedarwood Virginian    6 drops

Lemon                        12 drops

Lime                             6 drops

Patchouli                       3 drops

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“Need.To.Stop.Procrastinating”

Bergamot        10 drops

Rosemary          4 drops

Juniper               6 drops

Patchouli            5 drops

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nourish your skin with oil blends

nourish your skin with oil blends

3.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”

“Lovin Myself Sick Today”

You are wonderful –

Patchouli    2 drops

Lavender    3 drops

Bergamot   3 drops

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“Soft Supple Skin”

Peru Balsam       3 drops

Palmarosa           3 drops

Patchouli             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

Cedarwood Virginiana Has a Secret!

Cedarwood virginiana - pic via botany.csdl.tamu.edu

Cedarwood virginiana – pic via botany.csdl.tamu.edu

Cedarwood Virginiana has a secret – it’s a juniper tree! It’s botanical name is Juniperus virginiana but in Aromatherapy today it’s referred to as a cedarwood. I’ve always seen this tree and oil referred to as cedarwood and perhaps it’s because this native to North America is commonly called Red Cedar and/or Aromatic cedar, and a few other names too! It is from the Cupressacae family and the Juniperus genus whereas Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica), for example, is from the Pinacae family and the Cedrus genus. Himalayan cedarwood (Cedrus deodora) is from the Pinacae family and the Cedrus genus too.

So back to our Cedarwood Virginiana. You can see by the pic above it has berries like a juniper tree, and leaves like a cypress, but the oil is very different from juniper essential oil and cypress essential oil. This essential oil is thick and creamy and smells like it could easily come from a wood, but also carries a very cleansing energy about it like juniper. I think in my very early days of aromatherapy I blended this oil like it was a basey wood and was never disappointed with the results. I’ve even read a description of the scent of this oil as “pencil- like” and it is also referred to as a pencil cedar , as the heartwood has been used to make lead pencils.

Eastern Red Cedar pic via www.realchristmastrees.org

Eastern Red Cedar pic via http://www.realchristmastrees.org

In Native American medicine this common tree has been used for respiratory infections and other ailments including arthritis and rheumatism, skin disorders and as a treatments for venereal infections (according to Salvatore Battaglia).

In Aromatherapy today Cedarwood Virginiana is used –

* as a treatment for oily and acne skin

* as a treatment for other skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis

*  as a soothing treatment for coughs and colds and as an expectorant

* to induce more spiritual connectedness

* as a space/energy cleanser

I’ve always loved using this oil so check out some simple recipes –

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

1. 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

“Psychic Awareness”

Open your upper chakras –

Cedarwood Virginiana   2 drops

Mandarin                       1 drop

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“A New Start”

Cleanse and refresh you attitude –

Cedarwood Virginiana 1 drop

Lemon                         1 drop

Rose Geranium            1 drop

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“And… Breathe!”

Take a quite moment for yourself –

Cedarwood Virginiana    1 drop

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

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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”

“Classic”

This is my go-to classic body oil blend –

Cedarwood Virginiana   2 drops

Orange                          4 drops

Lavender                       2 drops

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“Give Me Strength”

A warming blend for courage and physical strength –

Cedarwood Virginiana  2 drops

Bergamot                     3 drops

Rosewood                   3 drops

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

10 Recipes with Bergamot Essential Oil – Citrus bergamia

Bergamot - pic via globalhealingcenter.com

Bergamot – pic via globalhealingcenter.com

I just wrote an article about the wonderful oil of bergamot, so click here if you’d like to check it out. I received a great response to my story on this bittersweet citrus oil and that’s because it’s a universally adored oil and has been used extensively in perfume for hundreds (if not more) years. It’s sparkly, light, refreshing and I always categorise the citrus oils as oils of happiness. It’s also fab for using in love blends as it negates mild feelings of anxiety.

Bergamot is used in aromatherapy to help with feelings of sadness and depression and to generally improve moods. It can be used as a tonic for oily skin, and is wonderful for all kinds of skincare. There is a warning with bergamot oil though – there is a constituent in its makeup called bergaptene, and this renders the oil slightly phototoxic. This means don’t smother yourself with it then sunbake for 8 hours – you could burn baby!

Les check out some recipes –

Pink clay - pic via qrbiz.com

Pink clay – pic via qrbiz.com

1. Face Mask

Usually add 2 or 3 drops of oil to some clay and add water, floral water or hydrosol.

“Teenage Dream Skin”

For oily and acne skin try a face mask twice weekly with PINK clay –

2 teaspoons pink clay

Bergamot   1 drop will be enough here

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A personal mist is easy to make! pic via ebay.com.au

A personal mist is easy to make! pic via ebay.com.au

2. 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!)

“Ugh”

When you need  bit of a boost –

Bergamot             15 drops

Rose Geranium      5 drops

Lemon Myrtle         3 drops

Myrrh                    2 drops

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“I’m Lovely”

Yes you are ….

Bergamot            10 drops

Palmarosa             6 drops

Black Spruce        6 drops

Patchouli               3 drops

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“I Wonder What Good Fortune is Coming my Way?”

Get in the vibration to accept good things –

Bergamot                          12 drops

Cedarwood Virginian           6 drops

May Chang                         3 drops

Nutmeg                               3 drops

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“From Negative to Positive”

Change!

Bergamot          16 drops

Rosewood           9 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

3. 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”

“Soft Skin”

For beautiful feeling and smelling skin –

Beragmot      3 drops

Lavender       2 drops

Peru Balsam  2 drops

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“Don’t Dilly-Dally”

Make a fresh start in the morning to get moving –

Bergamot      4 drops

Lemongrass  2 drops

Eucalyptus    1 drop

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“You Will Be Mine”

Become absolutely irrisistable –

Bergamot        3 drops

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

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Scent your space

Scent your space

4. Scent Your Space

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

“I Love My Little Space in the World”

Bergamot            15 drops

Cedarwood Atlas   6 drops

Geranium              4 drops

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

“Let’s Dance”

Yeah!

Bergamot    10 drops

Cinnamon     5 drops

Spearmint     5 drops

Lime              5 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bergamot – Singularly Sensational!

A wonderful botanical illustration of bergamot in Kohler's Medizinal Pflanzen - pic via  en.wikipedia.org

A wonderful botanical illustration of bergamot in Kohler’s Medizinal Pflanzen – pic via en.wikipedia.org

Bergamot, Citrus bergamia, was the very first oil I bought. It’s green citrus scent is fresh and lively and it does wonders for your personality! As you can see from the illustration above it is a green citrus fruit that is not usually eaten, but used for production of essential oils and fragrances. It has a deep history in Europe and was named after a town in Italy – yep – Bergamo. Most of the world’s production still comes from Italy but it is also produced in France and according to Wikipedia, it is produced in Turkey for marmalade.

It’s a funny shaped little green citrus fruit which produces a most appealing and captivating scent. This is an oil you could use with children right through to a grandparent and get great results. And while we are on the subject, it is important to remember not to try and “cure” something with an essential oil, but to use these little gifts of nature to help you change focus, support your emotional well-being and to bring the beauty of the earth into your life. Having said that I bought bergamot essential oil to help with dermatitis I had on my hands and while I can’t exactly remembered if it helped me back then, it introduced me into a world of scented delights. This is a  world that goes beyond any perfume and you only have to compare a whiff of essential oil to a whiff of perfume and see what happens. Essential oils are coded pieces of information that we can turn into experience!

Bergamot - pic via globalhealingcenter.com

Bergamot – pic via globalhealingcenter.com

You can see from the pic the rind is very bubbly with an intense green colour and your essential oil should have a green tinge to it. The oil is high in limonene (which s present in many citrus and lemon scented plants), linalyl acetate and linalool (in lavender), and bergaptene which gives bergamot a warning of being phototoxic. I have a bergaptene free bergamot oil which I use with a client who gets a lot of sun. So from these few constituents you can see that bergamot could be relaxing like lavender, and refreshing like most citrus oils.

A drop of oil can be essential

A drop of oil can be essential

It has become popular over the past few hundred years through perfumery and one of the most famous scents in the world Eau de Cologne, is based on the bitter-sweet citrus oils with other herbs blended into their award winning combination. I wrote an article about my childhood and my grandmother, and Eau de Cologne over at Australian Perfume Junkies about a year ago, so check it out if you feel so inclined.

In aromatherapy bergamot oil is used for many things including –

* as an antidote for anxiety and depression

* as a treatment for anger and frustration (according to Salvatore Battaglia)

* as a mild treatment for cold sores (lemon myrtle works better for this)

* as a digestive and to help stimulate appetite – most citrus oils can make your mouth water when you smell them

* to help with symptoms of eczema and psoriasis

* as a treatment for acne

and

it’s the citrus flavour used in Earl Grey tea which is why a cup of this tea in the afternoon can refresh you and give you a little boost through the afternoon. Always remember the smell of an oil is very important, as we take in the oil through parts of our brain which can then use this information to create positive change in our bodies. So when you are having your next cup of Earl Grey tea remember to take in the scent while you’re drinking it too.

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea

Stay tuned and I’ll follow up this article with “10 Recipes with Bergamot”.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

 

Peppermint Oil! An Oldie but a Goodie!

Ah lovely peppermint - pic via thebodyhut.com.au

Ah lovely peppermint – pic via thebodyhut.com.au

Peppermint essential oil is usually Mentha piperita and comes from the family Lamiacae, and the genus Mentha. A supplier of mine also offers Mentha arvensis, but really when it comes down to it the variations won’t make a huge difference to the therapeutic value for most users of oils.This family also holds many herbs like lavender, sage, marjoram, patchouli, oregano, thyme and many others. It seems as though this family of plants has been around for thousands of years going back to, at least, the Romans, the Greeks, and it is even recorded in Egyptian records. These are hardy herbs and have wonderful medicinal properties.

Please see my article Essential Oils from Herbs are Spectacular for a more comprehensive list of healing herbs. I’ll be concentrating on these herbs over the next few weeks so stay tuned.

Peppermint lollies - pic via health.com

Peppermint lollies – pic via health.com

Peppermint essential oil is one of the most used oils in the world and this is because it’s use in food flavourings. Peppermint lollies are sweet, cute and fun and for all these reasons I also see peppermint essential oil as an oil of happiness. It appeals to many people, both young and old and is an easily accessible and inexpensive oil.

A typical analysis of peppermint oil shows it is high in menthol and menthane, and these constituents are the ones that give peppermint its heat. Funnily enough this warmth or heat actually translates to a cool feeling, and peppermint could be considered and anti-inflammatory oil.

Peppermint oil is used in aromatherapy today –

* as an antidote for nausea and travel sickness

* to help calm symptoms of irritable bowel (via products that contain peppermint oil)

* as a pain relief for muscles and nerve pains

* as a decongestant for the sinuses

 

Most people love peppermint - pic via www.milkandhoneyherbs.com

Most people love peppermint – pic via http://www.milkandhoneyherbs.com

I use peppermint oil –

* in a steam inhalation to relieve a headache (it really works well) and sinus headaches and pain

* and in any blend of oils to relieve pain – menstrual pain, muscle pain, aching limbs, arthritis pain

I would not use peppermint oil in many body oils, but I have added it to a blend for a client with psoriasis and eczema and it seems to cool her itchy skin.

Peppermint is good for pain!

It’s also great to clear your mind, wake you up and to make you feel refreshed. It will even do that when you have a good quality mint in your mouth.

Try these 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

Peppermint will help with a headache, sinus congestion and a tired mind.

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”

“Calm Down”

For itchy skin or even an irritable feeling –

Peppermint   1 drop

Lavender       4 drops

Patchouli       2 drops

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5. Scent Your Space

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

“Happy la la”

Clear the air and make room for some happy vibes –

Peppermint        8 drops

Orange             17 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 suzannerbanks 2013

 

 

 

 

Spikenard – an Essential Oil with a Rich History and a Heady Scent

Nardostachys grandiflora or Nardostachys jatamansi pic via www.medievalcookery.com

Nardostachys grandiflora or Nardostachys jatamansi pic via http://www.medievalcookery.com

In a recent article I included spikenard in one of my recipes – see The Hierophant – A Tarot Card Reading with Essential Oils. It is commonly called spikenard, nard and the Indian name jatamansi (which is what I call it in my mind).

When I posted the link on my Facebook page one of my friends read the article (thanks Jason), and wanted to know more about this oil. My brief comments went something like this:

It’s an oil of the bible and the story is that Mary used this to bathe Jesus feet, and it was said to cost as much as a year’s wages. It has history in other religions and appears connected to the first and second Temples of Jerusalem. Used in Ayurveda it’s great for healing and a deep connection to spirit.

So that is a quick look at the oil and I thought I’d elaborate because it’s so amazing. This is a strong oil and belongs to the same family as Valerian, Valerianaceae. I must say I’ve never used Valerian oil in my practice, as even the scent of Valerian tea is super strong and if you’ve ever taken an herbal sleep formula with Valerian, you can smell it as soon as you open the bottle!

So spikenard has the same deep, base, intensity that valerian has, and also the vetiver root (even though vetiver is more like a grass). As with vetiver oil, the rhizomes of the spikenard plant hold the essential oil. It’s sweet, heavy and almost syrupy as it flares out of the bottle. One or two drops is enough in any formula to invoke the meta-physical properties of the oil, and to bring an oil blend together and give it substance.

spikenard flower - pic via www.rkessentialoil.com

spikenard flower – pic via http://www.rkessentialoil.com

As with many essential oils, the plants have been used for centuries for both healing and  religious and spiritual ceremonies. We are relying on ancient texts to illuminate us on the uses of these plants and also the scholars who translate them. It is always fascinating to me that thousands of years ago great healers knew what the plants were good for even though they had no scientific means of measuring their components. So is this intuition, trial and error, or a combo of both? However we look at it, it is a gift from the universe and our modern medicine would be nowhere today without this ancient knowledge.

There is so much to write about here I’ll just touch on the most interesting references to this oil. Said to have been used in the Temple of Solomon, the First Temple of Jerusalem (circa 800 BC)  and the Second temple (circa 530 BC onward to about 70 BC), in the incense called Ketoret mentioned n the Hebrew Bible and other texts. Ketoret is also very similar to the Egyptian incense called kyphi too which was recorded in the Pyramid texts dating back to 2300BC. Also talked about in the Bible, as mentioned above, this plant was used in Greek and Roman healing and ceremonies, and even used in medieval cookery. And as jatamansi, it’s been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years too, especially for grounding Vata, helping digestion and and as a heart tonic.

spikenard - pic via www.aroma-pure.com

spikenard – pic via http://www.aroma-pure.com

Ok so what is spikenard used for in modern Aromatherapy?

* as a calming tonic for someone freaking out (as is valerian and vetiver)

* to induce sleep

* to act as a calming digestive tonic

* as a wound healing oil by acting as a anti-bacterial agent and also an anti-inflammatory

* as an oil for meditation to induce a soothing, calming energy to connect to higher consciousness

* as a base oil to bring an oil blend together

* to stimulate hormone production

* for mature and dry skins

When you use this oil, use it sparingly like you would do with Vetiver. The secrets of the universe are encoded in every drop of oil!

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Rose and Rosehip – A Winning Combination for Youthful Skin

rosehips

rosehips

I declare the best facial moisturiser in the entire world to be essential oil of rose with rosehip oil. Some may disagree but I don’t care because I love it. And here’s why ……

Rosehip Oil

the orange colour of reosehip oil

the orange colour of rosehip oil

Rosehips are the little buds left on a rose bush after the flowers have gone. They are high in Vitamin C and are now being used in supplements for immune strength and as an anti-inflammatory agent in joint formulas too. We have been drinking delightfully pink rosehip tea for years too, which is high in anti-oxidants and can help with colds and flu. It is the fruit of the rose bush and is also used in jams and jellies.

The oil can be extracted by cold pressing the buds or by using CO2 extraction process. This sounds a bit technical but it is actually a good way to extract oils as not much energy is needed, and the products are very near to their natural state.

It is obvious that all these amazing properties are present in the oil which is a dark orange colour, quite viscous with a distinct scent. It is luxurious to say the least and I find it funny when I read the back of the labels of some retail products that say to use “a few drops”. I use way more than that everyday. I use a decent pump’s worth. It is hydrating. soothing, and the Vitamin C really keeps your skin looking and feeling youthful!

Sometimes the scent is what puts some people off but I use it straight and love it. This is where mixing some rose essential oil into it will turn it into a stunning serum.

Rose Essential Oil

Rosa damascena - the most used rose for oil production

Rosa damascena – the most used rose for oil production

As a skin oil rose is amazing because it treats heat and redness in the skin. It is a complex oil revered through the ages for its use in beauty and femininity. Great for any skin condition from eczema and psoriasis through to scars and sunburn.

It is called the “Queen of Oils” and will make you feel just that. It is an oil of inner strength and wisdom.

Who wouldn’t want to have it everyday? I’d take a drop of rose oil over any perfume or any scented skin cream, any day.

Quantities for mixing (assuming you have rose 3% in jojoba):

5 mls rosehip oil          add           4 drops

10 mls rosehip oil        add           7 drops

15 mls rosehip oil        add          11 drops

20 mls rosehip oil        add          15 drops

25 mls rosehip oil         add          19 drops

30 mls rosehip oil        add          22 drops

(These are my own ratios for any oil in 3% jojoba for the face. It will be a higher concentration for the body. They are also rounded up and down to get a whole drop – unless you can get 1/2 a drop or 3/4’s of a drop, but I cant seem to do that very well!)

Or just pump some rosehip onto your fingers and add a few drops of rose oil. Sometimes we just need to simplify things.

create your own natural skincare

create your own natural skin care

For more notes on rose oil please see my article “Stop and Smell The Roses”

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013