A Walk through the Herb Garden

Spending an afternoon in the Herb Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens ,Sydney was a sheer delight. Even just the little signs with the herbs and plants make me feel good. Herbs, fruits and flowers have been our food and medicine for centuries, give or take a millennia. Here are some pics …


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lovely lemongrass


Ah the beautiful lemon!

A culinary delight – Vietnamese mint


Tumeric! The anti-inflammatory wonder plant


Thyme is not vulgar! Hehe but very antiseptic 


Melissa is a strong anti-stress herb

Citrus aurantium is bitter orange


remember with rosemary


Oregano is often used as an antibacterial oil and herb


the one and only – Lavender is actually a herb

I can never get enough citrus!

Me with a shard of sunlight right through my third eye chakra


Take a walk in nature it will do you the world of good.

Plants are healers!


Justice – A Tarot Card Reading with Essential Oils

Justice - XI from the Rider-Waite deck

Justice – XI from the Rider-Waite deck

Justice is number 11 in the major arcana and speaks for itself really. It looks a lot like the Hierophant and also The Emperor. This is the last article about essential oils and the major arcana so be on the lookout next year for a free e-book to download!

The Emperor - IV from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The Emperor – IV from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The Hierophant - V in the Rider-Waite Deck

The Hierophant – V in the Rider-Waite Deck

It’s a card about balance and justice for all, and if this card shows up in a reading it could mean many things. This could be a time for you to be making a decision that involves others and you are called upon to be fair and just. It’s important here to use your life experience, your mind (the double-edged sword) and your intuition (the scales). Use all the tools at your disposal to bring about the right outcome.

It could mean that you are one of the people having to accept a decision that has been made that affects you directly. Are you in the midst of a court case, a challenge or a dispute that requires mediation? You must accept this decision and carry on with your life.

A decision has been made

A decision has been made

Perhaps this card is letting you know that you are in this place in your life because you have made good decisions throughout your journey. Maybe you are rising to a position of authority and this card is telling you to always remain fair, just and kind.

Anyway you get the drift! Kindness, fairness, good decisions, use your mind and your heart in all you do.

What essential oils could we use to embody this card?

? sneakily borrowed from biodagar.com

? pic via biodagar.com

1. Open The Bottle and Take a Huge Whiff

Rosewood – flow of love in the heart chakra

Rosemary – stimulate your mind and memory

Basil – open your crown chakra to the wisdom of the universe

Ylang Ylang – release frustration and anger toward others and yourself

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

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

2. Scent Your Space

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

What better way to help you make big decisions than to vapourise oils in your space?

“Heart and Mind”

Blend these two areas of power –

Rosemary         8 drops

Palmarosa       8 drops

Orange             9 drops



Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes –

Lime           10 drops

Petitgrain     10 drops

Geranium     5 drops


“Flow of Energy”

Ask the universe to help you get the right flow going –

Cardamom           5 drops

Pink Grapefruit    20 drops

Lemongrass          5 drops


Nourish your body with a beautiful oil blend - pic via redbookmag.com

Nourish your body with a beautiful oil blend – pic via redbookmag.com

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”

“Ok Concentrate….”

Be clear in your mind by waking up your body too –

Ginger        3 drops

Lemon       4 drops

Basil           1 drop


“Made with Love”

Use your heart’s intelligence –

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

Cedarwood Atlas    3 drops


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

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Buzz Off – The Tribe has Spoken!

It looks serene but….

It looks serene but it’s a jungle out there! It’s like being in the TV show “Survivor” 24/7!

I live less than 10 minutes from the city of Sydney, but I may as well be living in the swamp. In fact I feel a bit like Tammy Tyree who lived in the Mississippi swamps. Just call me Tammy. I am a bit cut-off from civilisation as I can’t talk on my mobile phone inside the house  – so it’s freeze out the back in winter when making a call or fend off the mosies in summer! A few years ago a neighbour told me my suburb was actually reclaimed swamp/wetlands and that there is a huge water table underneath us. Sydney actually has lots of underground water which would explain all the insect, especially mosquitoes and cockroaches. My other neighbour has frogs but I’ve unsuccessfully tried for years to get tadpoles. I gave up with my pond but I’m serenaded all summer with the croaking from next door.

So anyway……. for years my friends have baulked at sitting outside in the beautiful garden  because the mosquitoes are vicious. They are so big a friend once said “the mosie that followed me down the hall needs its own bedroom”. I have always made my own insect repellent in a mist bottle, but it has never been enough. Last year I got a few torches to burn citronella oil and that really helped. It’s the flame and smoke that keeps those little biters at bay. Add the topical application of some essential oils and a little bit of peace can be found in my backyard.

torch with a flame keeps those biters at bay

I now have a mosquito net over my bed because they are so bad at night it’s like a form of torture.

aaahhhhh peace at last

I have given up on the mist and gone for pure essential oils. After much trial and error I have found the best oils to keep away the insects are (in any combination):








and any oil that has a pungent aroma. No sweet pretty oils can be used, it will only attract them! Lavish these oils all over you especially around the ankles, neck and ears and anywhere where your flesh is exposed!

Of course having a gin and tonic will help as the quinine is supposed to be a malaria preventative, in case you get bitten by a mosie with the virus.  Ok, well it’s probably not strong enough in the tonic we now drink, but my when my father was in the British Army, serving in Africa, they were given salt and quinine tablets. Salt for replenishing minerals and quinine against malaria. Interesting eh?

Essential oils, a G & T, a mosquito net and a Survivor-like torch is my recipe for getting through summer in Sydney. When I quench the flame at the end of the evening I silently say “the tribe has spoken”, and retire inside.

Lemongrass! An oil for all seasons

sneakily borrowed from candlemaking.com.au

Just look at the pic above. Lemongrass appears to be a substantial, almost “meaty” root. The essential oil of lemongrass definitely has a substantial scent, and I would dare say is one of the more popular oils. In general, men like the deep gutsy scent, women adore the verve and vitality and kids and pets resonate with it’s fresh yet syrupy energy.

Lemongrass is a great oil for energising and creating energy where there is lack. In cooking lemongrass gives a zingy, lemony bite to a dish. I often use the oil with clients when they are lacklustre. It’s like the giddy-up oil. The get-going oil.

Lemongrass is great for summer to ward off insects – just put some drops straight onto your skin to keep away the mosquitoes.

Lemongrass is great for winter as it helps to start you up on a cold morning.

Lemongrass is fantastic for spring to clear away the cobwebs of winter.

Lemongrass is wonderful for autumn as a mood enhancer when you realise summer is coming to an end.

The main active ingredient in lemongrass is citral. Then there’s lots of other little helpers including geraniol, limonene and nerol. Can you guess what other oils these belong too? If you said geranium, lemon and neroli you are right. These molecular structures are found in other oils too. Each essential oil has its own character that is created by different chemical consituents but it’s hard to pinpoint the magic. It’s all about the old adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. This refers to the energetic presence an entity has. You can break down a plant into scientific measurements, but its the synergistic combination of all the little molecules that makes it unique. With essential oils, their uniqueness is their scent.

The scent of lemongrass can been described as lemony, herbaceous & strong. A little goes a long way. It’s a very tropical scent and is grown in hot areas in Asia and Africa. Perfect for bringing the warmth of the tropics into your life.

Try a few drops in the shower for an awakening steam treatment.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Meet me in the Shower

Hot steamy shower with essential oils

A fast, easy way to brighten up your day is to take something (or someone you love) into the shower with you. Or both. When I say ‘meet me in the shower”, I really mean, take my hints about aromatherapy into the shower with you.

So that could be really disappointing for some, and an absolute relief for others.

Steaming with essentials oil in the shower gives your entire being a blast of positivity.


A few drops of essential oil will literally and figuratively open your mind. When the oils mix with the steam and are inhaled by you, the little molecules of scent will connect with receptors in your nasal cavity, the information being transported through different parts of your brain to effect change in hormonal glands, and in turn your feelings.

They will also open up your nose, your facial sinuses, and make you feel alive!

The best oils to wake you up will be peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, lemongrass and tea tree (among many, really).


Essential oils have a bewitching nature that will surround and envelope you with their presence. It’s like a scented meditation and will set the mood of inspiration for the entire day. To be inspired is to be in spirit. To acknowledge your spirit via the fractal nature of essential oils will connect you to the beauty of the universe.


I did a weekend workshop many years ago with In Essence, an Australian company founded by two sisters. Their recipe for showering with essential oils was to put 6 drops of oils in a 200 ml bottle, shake as you go and pour the water onto your body with the addition of a skin brush. Although I don’t do that everyday, occasionally it can be a real wake-up zinger! I prefer to use a body oil blend after the shower as its softer and more nourishing.

When you do your essential oil steam you will need to cover the shower drain with a plug or a wash cloth, and simply drop some oils into the bottom of the shower recess. Depending on what oils you use, about 6 drops will be plenty.

It’s easy and effective!

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.