Tag Archives: emotion

CHAMOMILE

There are mainly 2 different chamomiles used in aromatherapy: German or “blue” chamomile and Roman chamomile.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita): An annual aromatic plant, up to 60 cm high. It has a branching stem, feathery leaves and simple white flowers with a yellow center. It is native to Europe, but is now naturalized in North America and Australia. It is mainly cultivated in Hungary and eastern Europe where most of the oil is produced. All over Europe it can be found growing along fields and road-sides. The name “German” comes from earlier days when Germany was its main producer. It is often called Blue chamomile thanks to its deep blue-green color due to the chemical chamazulen. Chamazulen is not present in the fresh flower, it is only produced during the distillation process. The oil comes from steam-distillation of the flower heads.

It has a long tradition as a medicinal herb for all kinds of tension and for its anti-inflammatory properties. Usually it has been used in the form of tea or infusion. The scent is herbaceous with a fruity tinge.

USES:

  • SKIN: All kinds of inflammation; Acne, boils, dermatitis, eczema, inflammations, insect bites.
  • MUSCLE: Anti-inflammatory; rheumatism, inflamed joints, aches and pains, neuralgia, fibromyalgia.
  • EMOTION: Calming and relaxing to the nervous system; Headaches, insomnia, nervous tension, stress.
  • STOMACH: Anti-inflammatory and calming; Colic, indigestion and nausea. (Massage, tea & infusion)

This is a safe oil to use for children, elderly and weak individuals. Remember to keep the dosage down. The oil will stain both skin and materials.

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile): A small perennial plant, up to 25 cm high with a branched hairy stem, feathery leaves and white flowers with yellow centers, the flowers are larger than those of German chamomile. The whole plant spreads in a creeping manner and has an apple-like scent. It is native to southern and western Europe, now naturalized in North America. It is cultivated in England, Belgium, Hungary, USA, Italy and France. The oil comes from steam-distillation of the flower heads, the scent is warm, sweet and herbaceous.

It has been used as a medicinal plant for at least 2000 years, especially in the Mediterranean area. The ancient Egyptians made note of it, as did the Romans. The ancient Greeks called it earth-apple (kamai – earth +melon – apple) which later turned into chamameleum.

USES:

It is used much in the same way as German chamomile, being calming, anti-inflammatory, hypnotic and a nerve sedative. The roman chamomile has a different, more profound calming action than the German C. According to Dr’s Franchomme & Penoel, Roman chamomile is useful as a calming agent before operations.

This oil is safe to use for children, elderly and weak individuals. Remember; lower dosage. Excellent oil for babies suffering from colic.

Experience: I have had great use of Roman chamomile for my children when they have suffered from stomach-ache or anxiety. Colic: Blend 1 drop in 5ml vegetable oil, rub on tummy (clockwise) cover with a warming pad, lay against shoulder and rock baby gently. The oil, soothing motion and the massage that is given by the rubbing against the shoulder usually helps baby to calm down.

German chamomile is brilliant as an anti-inflammatory for most skin-problems, even eczema. Just pay attention to dosage. I find the scent reviving though calming. I have used it with great success for horses; both emotionally and as a healing agent for wounds.

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CARE: health-professionals and aromatherapy

Over the years I have held training courses and workshops on aromatherapy for health-professionals. Mind you, this is not “true” aromatherapy which is individual-based, but the essential oils can be useful in many different areas such as stress-management, care for the elderly, hospice, handicap, physiotherapy and much more. I create safe blends to be used in different areas and I train existing health-care professionals in how, when and why to use them. Very often this small addition to already existing practices gives huge results.

Care of the elderly (usually in old people’s homes); EO-blends help with a wide array of problems; fear, insecurity, stress, circulatory problems and appetite.

Handicapped (also intellectual): Stress, fear, confusion, mood-swings and comfort. If the individual is in a wheel-chair EO-blends help with different physical problems such as head-aches, muscle-tension and circulation.

Massage-therapists: Gives an added touch to the massage.

Physiotherapists: Blends help with respiratory problems, circulation, muscles, emotion and rehabilitation.

Hospice: Smoothing the transition to accept the end of life and giving comfort to the individual.  This work also includes those near and dear to the sufferer.

Another area where I work with EO-blends is for health-professionals themselves. People who are constantly working with others, especially in demanding situations such as with elderly, handicapped or the dying, are very often taxed both physically and emotionally. To be able to do this work they need to stay balanced and healthy and the best way is to make sure that they pay attention to their personal needs and learn to recognize signals of stress or exhaustion. We all need to learn to pay attention to ourselves and review our personal status every now and then, especially if we work with others or with people who are suffering in some way. The only way we can be truly “useful” to our fellow beings is by staying whole ourselves.

ROCK ROSE

Cistus, Labdanum (Cistus ladaniferus)

A perennial shrub up to 3 metres high which grows wild in warm sheltered places on some mountainous Mediterranean islands and in the Middle East. The leaves are lance-shaped with white furry undersides, and the flowers are yellow with purple splashes at the center. The parts used for extraction are leaves and twigs.

Cistus produces 5 products:

  1. Crude gum of Labdanum: Dried leaves and twigs are boilde in water. The gum is skimmed off the surface of the water and dried. This is used as a herbal substitute for ambergris.
  2. Resinoid of Labdanum: The crude gum is mixed with alcohol and filtered.
  3. Oil of Labdanum: Essential oil by steam-distilling the crude gum. This oil is used by aromatherapists. It is also a highly valued raw material for perfumers.
  4. Concrète & Absolute of Labdanum: The dried leaves and twigs are extracted with the help of a solvent. This is widely used in cosmetics, perfumes and soaps as a warm balsamic scent with excellent fixative properties.
  5. Oil of Labdnum: Essential oil by steam-distilling dried and fresh leaves and twigs. This is of little use for either perfumery or aromatherapy.

The oil has been used since the middle ages for infected wounds, skin ulcers, skin and soft tissue disturbances. The gum was used for catarrh and diarrhoea.

The scent is warm, deep, musky, soothing and dry. Yang.

In aromatherapy its used for:

  • Lymph drainage: When added to a massage oil for a full body massage. Or locally as warm compresses on swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Menstrual pain: In combination with Marjoram (origanum majorana) as a massage oil or warm compresses over the abdomen.
  • Skin: Mature, wrinkled skin, rough, scarred and hard skin. Use for healing of wounds and scars; with Lavender (lavandula augustifolia), Imortelle (helichrysum italicum) or Frankincense (boswellia carterii). It might be helpful for eczema, inflamed skin and psoriasis. Remember to use lower doses on sensitive/inflamed skin.
  • Respiratory: As an inhalant for coughs and bronchitis.
  • Emotionally: After shock or trauma when the emotional system is cold or empty. Also to sooth and heal past or buried memories. It fills the individual with warmth and strength.

Do not use during pregnancy.

THE BRAIN

Previously I have talked about how we react to scents and how essential oils can interact with us through the limbic system of the brain. We constantly program our brains (subconscious) with different information; the more emotional the information is, the stronger the programming. Every time we are subjected to an impulse we immediately go to our archives and do a rapid search to find a correlation. Once some kind of correlation is found, we judge the latest impulse from this.  By doing this we are re-acting on impulses instead of acting upon them as something new and unknown, which hinders us from learning and experiencing. Another result from this is that we stop being in the present which lowers our ability to learn because the mind is associating to a known past or unknown future. Children are amazingly good at being in the present,  learning and remembering continuously.

Children learn better than adults on average not because they have better brains, but because they are still using their brains in the way they were designed to be used, and have not yet taken on board so many incorrect formulas” Tony Buzan

I have looked at the work of Tony Buzan and I like the simple way he structures thought and learning. By doing the mind-map work you stay in the present and by working creatively you enhance the memory. The mind-map is nothing new, I have done this off and on in my life, and I am sure plenty of you have done too, especially when you were kids!

Here is an interesting page where Tony Buzan tells his story, it’s well worth a read.

IMORTELLE / EVERLASTING: Helichrysum Italicum

Immortelle or Everlasting is the popular name of the plant Helichrysum Italicum /H. augustifolium. One of the reasons for the name is that the flowers of the plant retain their color and shape after drying, making them a popular flower for long-lasting natural flower arrangements, also called eternelles. Helichrysum means Gold Sun in Greek, and the flowers do resemble small golden suns as they grow on bushy, grey-green stems. The stems are woody at the base and the plant can reach  a height of 60cm or more. The flowers grow in clusters during the summer months. It grows on rocky sandy ground around the Mediterranean and is now also cultivated in the Balkans. The scent has herbaceous notes, reminiscent of warm hay, floral with a hint of honey.

The plant is steam-distilled to obtain the essential oils. Some of the best EO come from Corsica where only the flower-heads are distilled after being hand-picked. Over one ton of flower-heads is needed for about 1 liter of EO. In other places the whole plant above ground is distilled, creating a nice and useful oil but without the high and fine energy of the Corsican flower-oil.

PROPERTIES:

When meditating on this oil, what came to me was this: “The healing of mortal wounds on every level.” And it is a healing oil, especially for skincare and wounds. In Grasse, France, tests were carried out in the hospital using Helichrysum Italicum for broken skin tissue. There was rapid healing with very little scarring and no redness or infection. Research shows that by  multiplying the natural collagen count in skin cells, Helichrysum diminshes wrinkles. It is used to diminish bruises, heal skin-tissue, minimise scar-tissue (even old scar-tissue). It is anti-inflammatory, regulates cholesterol levels (for more info go to visit K-G Stiles), loosens mucous in the airways (inhalation). On an emotional level it can help reduce stress, is soothing and anti-depressant. On a deeper level it can help to unravel and heal emotional wounds.

  • Wound / bruise, try this recipe: Helichrysum italicum 2dr + Lavandula augustifolia 2dr. Apply 4 times/day for 1-2 days, then 2 times/day for 2-3 days. Then blend the EO in 5ml vegetable oil or Marigold (Calendula officinalis) infused oil and use 2 times/day until healed.
  • Mature Skin: Helichrysum 2dr + Carrot (Daucus carota) 2 dr + Rose (Rosa centifolia) 2 dr in 30ml blend of following vegetable oils: Sheabutter oil  (Butyrospermum parkii), Macadamia nut oil (Macadamia ternifolia) and Rosehip oil (Rosa rubiginosa), Apricot kernel oil (Prunus armeniaca). Massage into skin morning and night.
  • Emotional trauma: Make a blend of Helichrysum 4 dr + Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) 4 dr mixed in 30ml cold-pressed vegetable oil. Massage stomach and forehead each evening when going to bed. If this blend disturbs your sleep, you can exchange Myrrh for Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) which will be more balancing or Rose (Rosa Centifolia) which is more comforting.


AROMATHERAPY & ANIMALS

beautiful-black-horse

I get a lot of questions about animals and how I treat them. The first and main reason I even came to Luxembourg was because of horses and treating them; mainly one big very sad horse. Animals are individuals with very diverse personalities; some are pushy and some are shy – like the big sad horse; he is gorgeous with the step of an Olympic winner, but he is shy and insecure, and not very smart. He will never become the great competition horse he was meant to be. The pressure on him to succeed was so great that he became unreliable to handle, always ready to run away. He also had problems with the ligaments in one leg. With treatment (essential oils) and training à la Anna he became the nicest horse that even the smallest child could handle and his leg healed and stayed strong. But each time he went to competition he was a bundle of nerves. So in the end was acceptance from the very nice owners; they learned to just love their big wonderful horse and allow him to be part of the family.

Very often there is a communication-problem; things are expected and the animal can not deliver for different reasons. Sometimes the animal can be helped to develop the skills needed, sometimes it is just not there…it is the “wrong” individual. It is like asking an immensely shy person to speak to a large audience; they would rather die. Sometimes this skill can be trained, but not always.

Essential oils work with our emotions, memories, learning patterns and hormones, this makes them very powerful tools in any kind of healing or development. They transgress all existing barriers by going straight to the core of the individual.

With animals I usually work either with emotional imbalances or with obvious physical problems such as wounds, sprains etc. When there is an emotional imbalance or trauma I usually also do some ground-work and I train the owner and animal in communication so there is a lasting balance. For the owner this takes some work, thought, learning and energy. The ones who are prepared to do this end up with good results and lots of happiness with their animal.

Where there are physical problems I use the essential oils pharmaceutical; I check their chemistry and use them from that physical point of view. Essential oils used in this way is powerful medicine, and today research is being done on certain essential oils to see if they can be used on antibiotic-resistant bacteria-strains.

Thujone

SCENTING WITH ESSENTIAL OILS – do you smell it?

smelling1The whole point to scenting with essential oils is because they are mood-enhancers and they will make a difference in how we feel, or perceive, our environment. In the early 90’s a study was made where essential oil of petit-grain (Citrus aurantium) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisii) were used to scent the air in an underground pedestrian tunnel. Pedestrians were asked simple questions before entering the scented tunnel(1) and after(2).

  1. How do you perceive the underground tunnel? Everybody without exception said it made them anxious and ill at ease.
  2. Everybody without exception said they felt uplifted and calm.

Just a small example of what essential oils can do to your emotional world. Essential oils are basically balancing, meaning they will bring you to a good state of normality when you are upset in any way. Upset can also be over-the-top high and stressed out by something wonderful; essential oils will bring you back to a level where you will still feel wonderful, but in a balanced way. When you feel down or angry or scared, the oils will help you to balance that by their up-lifting properties.

For use of different oils, please see earlier posts where I present useful oils for different states of mind.

How to do it:

  • Aroma candles;….sort of. Essential oils are volatile and burn easily. I have experimented much with this and all that happens is that the oils smell slightly burned and the candle burns too high and gives off a blackish smoke. Essential oils in aromacandles are usually blends of synthetic fragrances that do nothing but smell good. This in itself can be enough if you are happy with that.
  • Aroma burners; Definitely. You fill the cup with water and 3-10 dr. of essential oils (depending on the size of the space you want to scent.) and light a tea-candle under. BUT; if there is not enough water so it burns away; the essential oils will get burned, leaving a not so nice smell and a almost impossible-to-remove-residue in the bowl. Aroma-burners can be a bit messy.
  • Electrical burners & bulb-rings; Easy to use and the oil will not burn since the heat is controlled. Good to use in children’s room since it doesn’t really need any supervision. Don’t forget to unplug it!
  • Aroma-fans; These are the best. The essential oil is dropped onto a filter that fits on top of a fan. Electrical current (or batteries) moves the fan so the essential oils are dispersed into the air. This way the oils are never heated or warmed, making them keep maximum therapeutic power. Used in this way the essential oils effectively kill a large percent of airborne bacteria and pathogens.
  • Aroma stones; Good for personal use like in an office or your car. Scents a small area since there is no heat or motion to move the oils into the atmosphere.
  • Hot water / radiator; functions for momentary uses; like in the bathroom. Just a drop or 2 of essential oil in the hand-basin, rinse with warm water and the bathroom is beautifully scented. Essential oils on cotton-balls behind the radiator works fine if you are sure they will not catch on fire!!! Better to float essential oils on hot water in a bowl.

The thing to know is that essential oils are volatile; they “fly” easily which is also why they burn easily. Heat or motion (such as a fan) is always needed to disperse them.

The Japanese are very forward with the whole scenting business; they were already using essential oils in the ventilation-systems of big offices back in the mid-90’s.  They were/are also pioneering the use of scented billboards and  scented video-publicity in public places. The idea is this: If you are constantly bombarded with an uplifting scent each time you see the publicity for, say a washing-powder, you will – almost automatically – buy that powder, since you are programmed by the scent to feel good whenever you see the packaging….brilliant! And it functions so well.

Essential oils will not cover up a smell or anesthetize your olfactory system. But they will make things smell nicer and they will definitely make you feel better, calmer and happier.

Aroma-burner