Tag Archives: lemongrass

MOOD-SWINGS

We all get them; mood-swings. They usually kick in when we least of all expect it, and isn’t it strange that they only go in one direction…down? Or maybe we do have positive mood-swings, sudden bursts of inexplicable joy and happiness – of course we do, but they aren’t a problem, they are pure bliss. But the other ones; irritation, sadness, anger, impatience….the nasty lot, when they kick in it can get really bad, not only for ourselves but also for those around us.  This way of using oils is a for temporary measures – mood-swings – if the situation doesn’t change and the mood doesn’t “swing back”, you should see a certified aromatherapist for more profound help.

Here is a short list of oils to help you through those bad times:

  • PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) and other hormonal issues (women): Geranium (pelargonium graveolens), Clary Sage (salvia sclarea).
  • Anger and frustration: Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata complet), Petit grain (citrus aurantium), Patchouli (pogostemon cablin)
  • Sad and gloomy: Bergamott (citrus bergamia), Orange (citrus sinensis), Mandarine (citrus reticulata).
  • Sluggish and slow: Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis), Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus), Peppermint (mentha piperita), May Chang (litsea cubeba).
  • Cold and lonely: Cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum), Marjoram (origanum majorana).
  • Insecurity: Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora), Lavender (lavandula augustifolia/officinalis), Roman Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile)
  • Anxiety, nervousness: Frankincense (boswellia carterii), Neroli (citrus aurantium var amara), Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides)

There are so many useful oils for each description, the list goes on and on. These are a few of the most common oils that are also quite versatile, therefor making them a good buy for your home aromatherapy kit. Try the oils to find the one that fits you the best.

The best way to use essential oils for mood is by inhalation: Place 1-2 drops on a handkerchief and inhale deeply as needed. You can carry it with you during the day. When home, bathing is a wonderful way of relieving emotional imbalances. Make sure you rest after the bath.

Note: Cinnamon has a high content of phenols which makes it irritating to the skin. It should always be used in dilution (except in inhalation)

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AROMATHERAPY & CEREBRAL PALSY

The use of aromatherapy, especially in combination with massage, can be extremely helpful for individuals (all ages) suffering from any kind of handicap. As I said before, touch transgresses everything as do the essential oils. They reach into the very deepest part of a person to balance and sooth. I want to tell you about Jane, one of my clients some years ago. She was, at the time, aged 24 and suffered from hypotonic cerebral palsy (CP). She was living at home except for some holidays and her parents were wonderful and loving people, doing all they could to make her comfortable. Jane was in a wheelchair, unable to move at all which had, over the years, made her skeletal structure crooked and brittle so she had been through surgery a few times to be able to stay in the wheelchair. She had no communication-possibilities at all since she had no control over her face or body. Her respiratory system was very weak resulting in repeated bouts of pneumonia when she would have to spend time at the hospital. Her digestive system was also weak, and sometimes she wouldn’t take nutrition so then she would go to the hospital for feeding. She was also given medicine to help with the cramping.

When I saw her the first time she was strapped in her wheelchair, hands tightly clasped against her chest. She kept moving her head from side to side, gnawing her teeth. I sat with her and her mother for some time, chatting and bringing out the oils. I made a selection of oils for Jane to smell. I could see by the way she moved her head what oils were interesting to her, they made the motion of her head slow down. In this way she chose:

Orange (citrus sinensis) 14 dr, Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) 8 dr and Lavender (lavendula augustifolia) 10 dr. Blended in 100 ml blended vegetable oil + 50ml macerated oil of Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Together with her mother, we massaged her hands and arms, one hand each. Soon she started relaxing her fists, allowing her hands to lie open in her lap. Once the hand-massage was finished, the hand massaged by her mother stayed relaxed and open longer. I then massaged her legs, showing the mother how to enhance circulation. By this time Jane was meeting my eyes and her head was stiller. I just had this flash that she was suffering from headaches (constant gnawing of her teeth) so I asked her. Tears started rolling down her cheeks and I made an oil-blend for her face and neck which I massaged her with; feeling the tension leave her head as I massaged her scalp.

In a blend of 25 ml veg.oil blend + 5 ml of infused Teebalm (monarda fistulosa) + 3 dr of Neroli (citrus aurantium ssp amara var. pumilla).

I showed her mother and father the massage and made oils for them to use: Massage of legs, feet and stomach every morning, massage of face, head and hands 3-5 times during the day. A month later I visited again and Jane, was visibly happy to see me again. She basically stayed with the oil-blends above with small changes in the essential oils to help with circulation and relaxation. When I left Sweden I referred her to another very good aromatherapist in the area. Jane is still doing fine on the oils, her life (and that of her parents) a little bit easier. Over time her respiratory and digestive problems have lessened with a lot less traumatic days in the hospital.

Her movements are involuntary, which makes the observations very interesting, proving that massage (and) essential oils have an impact on the central nervous system.

For info on Cerebral Palsy (CP):  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy

“MELTDOWN” training/diet

Now I will tell you about this training/diet program I am following. I chose to do it for my health; I want to stay strong, lean and fit so I can better enjoy my life. I know it’s only up to me, so when I was offered this chance, I grabbed it to “kick-start” myself. Many people found it strange that I would start such a hard-core program on the first of January, others think it’s crazy to invest so much energy, but this is something I do for myself, a measure of how much I value myself. I am prepared to take 30 days and totally concentrate them on me. It is also about motivation and self-control, I need to know that I am creating my life, that it is not “just happening to me”.

The program is called “Meltdown” and is put together by London-based personal trainer/coach Dax Moy. You can find him and his work on this link:

http://www.londonpersonaltrainingstudio.com

The program runs for 30 days, every day, and consists of 2 parts:

  • The Elimination Diet (ED) which can be downloaded free from above link.
  • The training program: Every day without fail you train 4 times/day for an average of 15-20 min./session. Every 5 days the program is changed to maximize the results. The exercises are all different, targeting every muscle in your body.

While I am on this program I receive all the information I need via internet. Also what nutritional aids I need to take, when to tweak my diet and why and some pep-talks. The information on new exercises are done both in writing and with pictures/movies. Very detailed and very clear.

I am now doing the 12th day of this program and I am feeling fantastic, energized but also tired. I can feel a dip. What is amazing about this is the awareness it creates about body and mind. I feel more balanced than since….I can’t even remember (and I am quite a balanced person).

In the last post I talked about soreness and stiffness. Well, that has all passed some time back, but training every day has left my muscles slightly tired and sensitive, so I have made a new oil that I now use before training:

  • Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) 15 dr
  • Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus)  15 dr
  • Ginger (zingiber officinalis) 15 dr

Blended in 30 ml vegetable oil. Again, this is a strong dosage, and it is good to do the sensitivity-test before using. This blend helps with circulation and warmth (ginger) since I tend to easily feel cold (especially now – what is with this arctic winter!!!) I also take magnesium to help with the energy metabolism and muscle function as it eliminates acids from muscles.

Other nutrients during this 30 day “ordeal” 🙂 are: Multivitamin, omega-3, zinc, barley-grass and chlorella. I also make sure that when I buy my food, I look for the best, most nutritious I can find.

ESSENTIAL OIL QUALITY – part 4

Modified Chemical PictureThere are  methods with which to change, increase or replace essential oils.

  • Synthesizing: Chemically recreating the aroma in a laboratory. Then you have an essence, not an essential oil. In my earlier entries I have spoken of the synergy in an essential oil and how important it is when we are using it for therapeutic/pleasurable reasons. A synthetic essence is nothing but an aroma. As far as making you feel better, it is only because the aroma is pleasurable…it stays in the nose. Synthetic aromas are often  sweet and slightly overpowering.
  • Cutting: Mixing a more expensive essential oil with other, cheaper, essential oils, or synthetic aromatics,  to create larger amounts of oil for economic purposes. Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)will sometimes be mixed with Lavandin (Lavandula fragrans). Lemonbalm (Melissa officinalis) will be mixed with Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). These oils are of course useless for aromatherapeutic use.
  • Standardizing: In industry (perfumery/toiletries/foods/pharmaceutical) the oils always need to be exactly the same, which they by nature are not, and this system was created to ensure a homogeneous aroma every year: The main 1 or 2 chemicals present in the essential oil are usually the ones that give the overall aroma.  When the proportion between them stays the same, the aroma will stay the same. Therefore certain standards are given to essential oils which decrees the percentage of the main constituents within the essential oil. If the percentage is too high, some is taken out. If the percentage is too low, some will be added.  Sometimes synthetics might be added, but mostly isolated chemical-extractions are used. Sometimes chemicals are extracted from the oil and used as they are, an example is Menthol that is extracted fromPeppermint (Mentha piperita). A much standardized oil is Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) where the main constituent is  cineol (60-85%).  The commercial standardization is 98% cineol.

All plants do not contain essential oils. A wide misunderstanding is that everything that has a scent has an essential oil, this is not so.

Apple, Lily of the Valley, Lilac, Peach, Strawberry….the list is long…DO NOT CONTAIN ESSENTIAL OILS. These are all synthetic aromas created chemically in a laboratory. They will do nothing but smell.