May Chang – A Princess or an Essential Oil?

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

 

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

 

May Chang   Litsea cubeba

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

“Revelation! Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils”

Chines

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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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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

 

 

De-Stress

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

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Chapter 9

De-stress

Another look in between the covers of my book

 

De-stress from distress and be happier

De-stress from distress and be happier

 

Stress in the 2ist century, in Western life, is pretty much the cause all kind of disease.

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”

George Burns,  Actor

There you go – stop worrying and stressing.

Live longer, and prosper.

Live long and prosper, the Vulcan goodbye

Live long and prosper, the Vulcan greeting

By simply using essential oils in any matter, you will give your brain and chance to refocus and change the current vibe.

* Just open a bottle of oil and have a big sniff. Your brain is in charge of your body so by re-calibrating your thought patterns you have a better chance of having a healthier stress-free body too.

* Put a few drops of an oil in the bottom of the shower before and/or after work, or a stressful day, to help you come down off your high cortisone levels. Once again, give you brain and body a wake-up call to release tension on a daily basis

* Chronic stress can lead to chronic (and acute) disease and we often find out too late. Stress and worry won’t help change your situation so you’ll have to change it from the inside out.

* Have a massage or make your own body oil to completely rejuvenate your body and cleanse your aura

What oils are great to use to minimise stress?

Roman chamomile - pic via 3morganic.com

Roman chamomile – pic via 3morganic.com

 

The Chamomiles – Roman and German

Both these oils often come in a 3 % blend as they are more expensive than most essential oils. See my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba.  Use these oils straight from the bottle like a perfume, but if you find them as a 100% pure oil just use them in the same ratios as you would with other oils.

Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is soft, syrupy and sweet and is a great oil for cramping and tension.

German chamomile has a dark blue colour and is deeply herbaceous smelling. This oil is good for heat and inflammation.

Marjoram - pic via www.101herbs.com

Marjoram – pic via http://www.101herbs.com

 

Marjoram

Marjoram is second to lavender for me. I use this oil frequently as it has such wonderful properties. Not only is it a great oil for stress and anxiety, it is a must-have for muscle soreness. It has a strong scent but manages to blend so well with all the other oils and it is an ancient herb that has lasted through the ages.

This oil also helps induce sleep, is great for treating grief, and helps calm an overactive mind. It is the oil of relief.

To find out which other essential oils can help you de-stress, click on one of the links below.

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK

Thanks everyone.

copryright SR Banks

 

 

10 Recipes with Marjoram Essential Oil – Oreganum marjorana

Marjoram - pic via www.podgardening.co.nz

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

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

In aromatherapy today marjoram is used for –

* aching and sore muscles

* general body pain and as a warming tonic

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

* to help with falling asleep

* to counteract stress and generally for calming and soothing

* to reduce coughing

Let’s try out 10 recipes –

An essential oil steam in the shower will do wonders for your mind and energy levels - pic via completehealthcircle.com

An essential oil steam in the shower will do wonders for your mind and energy levels – pic via completehealthcircle.com

1. Put A few Drops Of Oil into the bottom of the Shower

This works in a similar way to just taking a whiff straight from the bottle, but if you’ve got an extra minute, it will give you a completely different experience. Your whole body will be immersed in an essential oil steam. Just cover the drain with a cloth or your foot for a couple of minutes and breathe in the medicinal goodness.

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

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Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

2. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

 “Planning My Day”

Start out nice and calm –

Marjoram     1 drop

Bergamot    2 drops

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“Kindness”

Marjoram    1 drop

Nutmeg       1 drop

Mandarin     1 drop

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“Warm Heart”

Marjoram    1 drop

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

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“Serenity Now”

Marjoram                    1 drop

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

Lavender                     1 drop

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

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

 

3. Scent Your Space

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

“HEAD.ACHE”

Please go away –

Marjoram     8 drops

Lavender      8 drops

Peppermint  5 drops

Orange        4 drops

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“Chill Out Sunday Sessions”

Marjoram       6 drops

Petitgrain      10 drops

Peru Balsam   6 drops

Patchouli        3 drops

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Rub oil into your body - it's good!

Rub oil into your body – it’s good!

4. Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil. It’s always best to patch test first, before you apply all over.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

“Achey Breaky Body”

Marjoram     3 drops

Ginger         2 drops

Rosemary   2 drops

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“Pre Yoga”

Marjoram       3 drops

Lemongrass   3 drops

Black Pepper  1 drop

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“Apre Run”

Marjoram    3 drops

Rosewood  3 drops

Fennel         2 drops

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

copyright suzanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosemary Essential Oil – Get Fired Up!

Get fired up!

Get fired up!

Rosemary is a herb that is found all around the world in suburban gardens, dried in little bags and fresh at grocery stores. It’s a herb that has been used for medicine and in gastronomy for thousands of years and packs a powerful punch. Rosmarinus officianalis belongs to Lamiacae family (which has all the herbs in it) and the genus Rosmarinus.

I have written about this wonderful herb before when I attended a funeral and we were offered sprigs of rosemary to place on the coffin (Remember with Rosemary – Lest We Forget). Rosemary’s traditional use is that of remembering.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv. 5.) Wikipedia

The fresh herb and of course the essential oil, is stimulating to the mind, and is warming and generally stimulating in its nature. It is high in 1-8 cineole (found in high amounts in Eucalyptus), and camphor and a-pinene (also found in many others oils including sage and thyme, citrus oils, eucalyptus and cedarwood).

Flowering rosemary in my client's garden

Flowering rosemary in my client’s garden

Rosemary was found in the tombs of Egypt, used by the Greeks and Romans as medicine and revered as a sacred herb. More modern herbalists and physicians from the middle ages have used rosemary to treat any sickness of the head – and in this way we could see rosemary as a “cephalic oil” – the same as basil, which I have just written about. It has been used as a treatment for the liver, muscle aches and pains and for colds and sinus.

In aromatherapy today rosemary is used –

* for muscular aches and pains

* for stimulating memory – to be used in study and for the elderly

* for warming the body and increasing circulation to extremities

* as a digestive tonic

* as a tonic for the spleen meridian organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen)

Rosemary botanical drawing - from Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen

Rosemary botanical drawing – from Köhler’s Medizinal Pflanzen

As you can see the modern uses of rosemary are the same as the traditional uses of rosemary – stimulating and warming. It certainly is a strongly flavoured herb. Recently my friend, who has loads of rosemary bushes on his new property, stuck some in a bottle of gin and it didn’t take very long for the flavour to infuse.

I use rosemary frequently in my practice. Most clients have some type of muscle stiffness or soreness and rosemary is a real winner when it comes to relieving muscle tension. I’ll often use lavender, rosemary and marjoram together for a warming, pain relieving oil blend.

Rosemary oil is produced in a few countries around the world and this herb and oil has some very common chemotypes (again this is similar to basil and other herbs like marjoram too). Different chemotypes will have different scents and varying degrees of the common chemical constituents, depending on the soil, climate and other factors. Don’t get too confused, just dive in and use whatever rosemary oil you can find. It’s inexpensive and easily accessible!

Rosemary will stimulate your mindpic via goldenagersrock.com

Rosemary will stimulate your mind – pic via goldenagersrock.com

 

10 Recipes with Lemongrass Essential Oil- Cymbopogon citratus

Delicious lemongrass

Delicious lemongrass

Lemongrass belongs to the Poaceae family (the grasses), and its genus is Cymbopogon. Other plants you may know in this family are palmarosa, citronella and vetiver (same family different Genus).

Commercially lemongrass essential oil comes from Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon flexuosis, some of my suppliers have both, and some only have one.

“East Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass (Malayalam: (inchippullu), is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to maritime Southeast Asia.” Wikipedia

Recently I have seen more C. flexuosis on offer and I wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference unless I had both bottles to sniff at the same time. There are variations in chemical constituents however if you bought either you would be fine to use them in the recipes below.

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.

With a lemongrass steam in the shower expect to feel uplifted, awakened, refreshed and ready to go. Some extra happiness may also randomly occur.

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”

“Pre Exercise Zinger”

When you need a bit of encouragement to get you going –

Lemongrass     2 drops

Rosemary         2 drops

Orange             4 drops

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

“After Exercise Soother”

Lemongrass       3 drops

Marjoram           2 drops

Lavender           2 drops

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

“Eye of the Tiger”

To give yourself some positive vibes for the day ahead –

Lemongrass                   3 drops

Cedarwood Virginiana    2 drops

Rosewood                     3 drops

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

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

3. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“Energy NOW!”

Lemongrass    1 drop

Basil                1 drop

Geranium         1 drop

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

“After Work Before a Dinner Date”

Refresh and revitalize –

Lemongrass        1 drop

Petitgrain             1 drop

Nutmeg               1 drop

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

“It’s Gonna Be a Bumpy Ride”

To help with travel sickness –

Lemongrass        1 drop

Ginger                 1 drop

Peppermint          1 drop

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

oil burner

A classic oil burner with a candle helps to remove and transmute unwanted energy

4. Scent Your Space

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

“Freedom”

Lemongrass     8 drops

Peru Balsam     9 drops

Cinnamon         8 drops

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

“A Night of Intrigue and Love”

Lemongrass        6 drops

Ylang Ylang         6 drops

Mandarin             6 drops

Sandalwood        6 drops

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

“Sunny Sunday”

The perfect scent for a Sunday afternoon –

Lemongrass          8 drops

Bergamot            10 drops

Cedarwood Atlas   7 drops

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

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

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

 

 

 

Lavender – Simple and Complicated All at the Same Time

Lavender rules the essential oil library

Lavender rules the essential oil library

The scent and uses of lavender are the easy bits to understand. What’s a little more complicated is the different types of lavender and where they are grown. There’s English lavender, French lavender, Australian lavender, New Zealand lavender, Bulgarian lavender and so much more. Some of these lavenders are the same botanical species and others are different. There’s Spike lavender and Lavandin too so what does it all mean when it comes to essential oils?

 

Lavandula angustifolia from Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen

Lavandula angustifolia from Köhler’s Medizinal Pflanzen

True Lavender/English Lavender;   Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender essential oil usually refers to any of the botanical lavenders in general but the most commonly grown lavender for essential oil production is Lavandula angustifolia – sometimes referred to as “true lavender”. This used to be called Lavandula officianalis which is an older classification, and is also still called English Lavender. I have also seen this oil called “fine lavender”.

A typical analysis of this oil shows a high linalyl acetate and linalool content. This accounts for the scent of lavender among many things, and linalool has also been shown to have a calming action. As for most essential oils, there may be a few primary chemicals but there are often many other constituents. It is the oil as a whole that gives it a unique character.

I have two different bottles of Lavandula angustifolia wild harvested from the same island off the Yugoslav republic. They have slightly different scents even though it’s the same plant, it just comes from a different area.

Spike lavender - pic via www.cadima.com

Spike lavender – pic via http://www.cadima.com

Spike Lavender;   Lavandula latifolia

This lavender is Lavandula latifolia and is also grown for essential oil production. It can also be classified as Lavandula spica and the difference between this lavender and true lavender is the chemical composition. Spike lavender is much higher in camphor and also 1-8 cineole (high in eucalyptus oil). It is more pungent and the scent of camphor is strong.

This variety is grown in Spain, Portugal and France and they do vary in scent. I haven’t used or smelled Spanish Spike Lavender, but is is claimed by two Aromatherapists I admire, that the French Spike lavender is a lot softer and sweeter than the Spanish oil. The French oil has less camphor. It is interesting to note here that there are many ways an oil can vary in scent even when it is the same cultivar. The makeup of the soil and local temperatures play a big role in these variations.

True lavender tends to be the prettier plant with a prettier scent.

Lavandin and true lavender- ic via www.marvellous-provence.com

Lavandin and true lavender- ic via http://www.marvellous-provence.com

 

Lavandin;   Lavandula x intermedia

Lavandin is grown in France but I’m not sure where else! It is a cross between Lavandula latifolia  and Lavandula angustifolia. It s often used in place of lavender in body products, and any lavender product you can think of. I have a huge bottle of lavandin a friend recently brought back from France and it’s lovely. It has more camphor then true lavender so I have been using it as I would spike lavender. I would say lavandin and spike lavender oils are great for warming for muscles, aches and pains and to move cold energy out of the body.

ah lavender!

ah lavender!

 

This only scrapes the surface of all the lavender out there and if you’re a gardener you’ll know this is somewhat simplified. These are the main lavenders used for essential oil production and I love and use them all!

 

 

 

 

5 Essential Oils to Get You Started with Vigour in 2014

Happy shiny people - pic via www.breathezy.com

Happy shiny people – pic via http://www.breathezy.com

Christmas is over.

New Year celebrations are over. (Except we’ll be having another party for Chinese New year when we celebrate the year of the horse).

The year has started.

I’m lagging a bit behind and found it hard to drag myself out of bed this morning so looked to my trusty friends (my essential oils), to get me vibed up.

My last article 2014! The Universal Number of 7! was all about this year and its intrinsic number of truth. To seek the truth of your existence here on earth, you will need a bit of curiosity and of course some energy to keep you going. Some essential oils will open your mind and stimulate the frontal cortex, and other essential oils will give you body a bit of a kick start.

Flowering rosemary

Flowering rosemary

1. Rosemary

Stimulate your mind with rosemary. Remember with rosemary. Study with rosemary, warm your body up and help sore muscles release tightness. It is an easily accessible and inexpensive oil with a long history of medicinal uses.

 

2. Lavender

Lavender will always be on every list of oils I create. It is a relaxing oil but also an oil of solidarity and bringing your energy together. It’s the stalwart – loyal, reliable and hard working.

Lavender can ground your energy, help induce a state of calm, help with pain relief and generally be a medicinal oil of great standing.

Black pepper

Black pepper

Black pepper

Forward ho! Black pepper is the spice that can warm your heart, open your mind and also be a warming tonic to your body. It is a great oil for finding your dharma and taking your unique brand of evolutionary energy into the world. Even though the spice itself is quite piquant, the essential oil of black pepper has a magical sweetness about it.

 

Lemongrass

I think this oil may be one of the most loved oils in the world. It has so many uses but I’ll always use this oil for a client who is lacking energy. It’s lemon scented goodness is backed up with a deep grassy green scent that represents freedom to me.

Need physical energy? Use lemongrass!

Basil

Basil

Basil

Oh you just can’t keep a good herb down! The herbs are so wonderful for healing and have been used for centuries. Basil is an oil for opening your mind and stimulating your brain. It is expansive and great for maintaining fluid thought and allowing universal intelligence to come through your crown chakra. Basil is for clarity and can be used on your body like lavender, as it has a high content of linalool which is an active ingredient in lavender.

How can you use these oils to stimulate your energy?

* try taking a whiff straight from the bottle

* put a few drops in the bottom of the shower (cover the drain for a minute with your foot or a cloth) and inhale

* make an oil blend for your body – for a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”.

* it will be best to use a combination of oils rather than just 7 drops of the one oil as, for example,  black pepper is slightly sensitising and could be too strong for some people

* as a hint, use lavender and a citrus oil to one of the oils above to make a lovely blend

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

copyright suzannerbanks 2013