Tag Archives: rosewood

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)

VALUABLE ESSENTIAL OILS FROM WOOD

There are a few, very popular oils that come from the heart-wood of trees; Oud (Aquilaria agollocha, A. malaccensis, A. crassna) that I have written about earlier, Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) and Sandalwood (santalum album). I will not write again about Oud, but concentrate on Rosewood and Sandalwood. These oils come from the heartwood of trees – trees take a long time to grow and for each tree that is cut down we need to plant many, many more or the tree will become extinct.

Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) is a tree that grows in the Amazonian rain-forest, Brazil being the main producer of essential oil. It is a large, evergreen tree reaching up to 30 m in height and 2 meters in diameter. All parts of the tree are fragrant although only the heartwood is traditionally harvested and distilled. To give an acceptable amount of essential oil the tree needs to be 40 years old and have a diameter of about 30-40cm, but because of indiscriminate felling even trees with a diameter of 15cm will be cut as it is getting progressively harder to find fully grown trees. Because of its high content of linalool, the essential oil has been widely used in perfumes and soaps. Now linalool is produced synthetically for perfumes and the use of rosewood has diminished; In the 1960s, exports of rosewood oil from Brazil alone were around 500 tonnes per year. Today, the world market for rosewood oil is about 100 tonnes per year. Rosewood essential oil is often substituted by the cheaper Chinese Ho oil (cinnamomum camphora l. linaloolifera leaf oil)

Over the years the heavy harvesting of rosewood have diminished the number of wild-growing trees to a point where they are rapidly becoming a threatened species. Development of sustainable planting is underway, but a lot of wild trees are still felled for the sake of essential oil. Recent research aims to develop new essential oil production derived from rosewood leaves and stems.

Pricing of Rosewood essential oil: 10 ml  €6,40 or 8,65 US dollars.

Sandalwood (santalum album) grows in forests of southern India, the best known being Mysore. The tree reaches a height of 20 meters. It is a hemiparasitic plant as the roots attach themselves to nearby plant roots, obtaining nourishment and causing the host plant to die. Essential oil is produced in the heart-wood and the roots. The tree is mature at 60-80 years when it is harvested and the heartwood is distilled. The trees start producing heartwood at 30-50 yrs. As with rosewood, the trees are being over-harvested and today they are felled already when they are 30 years. Sandalwood has been used as an incense ingredient for the last 4000 years and is an important plant in Asia, used in all manners for its spiritual powers. Today the forests are too young to produce any essential oil, and since the late 1990’s there is only a mere 5% of forest left.

In late 1980 – early 1990 India exported 100 tonnes of sandalwood-oil/year. In 1996 the Indian government regulated export of sandalwood-oil, bringing the yearly amount down to 5 tonnes. This created a huge raise in the price of sandalwood essential oil; on the Indian market the price went from Rs20 000/ton in 1980 to Rs200 000/ton in 1990. Much work is being done in India to create a sustainable replanting of sandalwood-trees, but since it takes such a long time before the trees produce essential oil, this is less popular. Due to the extremely high prices, large amounts of trees are still illegally cut down and smuggled out of the country. In 1993 sandalwood-oil cost 185-200 US dollars/kg, during the last 5 years, the price has increased to 1000-1500 US dollars/kg.

A new player on the scene is Western Australia where sustainable plantations of sandalwood has been going on for some time. They have become the biggest exporters of sandalwood and are now even exporting to India, who is a huge user both of oil and wood. The sandalwood-oil from Australia is half the price of the Indian.

Price of Sandalwood essential oil: 5 ml: €27 (37 US dollars) or 10 ml: €42 (58 US dollars)

So you see, the value is not in the pricing or the oil, the value is in nature; in taking care and always returning something for that what we take and protecting our environment.

VALENTINE

My grandfathers name was Valentine. My father in law died on Valentines day, I found it sort of beautiful; he was so ill – and old – that his passing actually became an act of love. My mother in law said it was because he hated the whole thing, and she was probably right, but I stick to my romantic notions because they are prettier…

Love is in the air and so is despair. Around Valentines day my heart goes out to all lonely, abandoned and heartbroken people. It is like the whole world is enhancing the loveless-ness, much like Christmas. Therefor I am, today, creating blends to heal broken hearts and cover the wound of loneliness as well as blends to enhance love, affection, and lust.

The oils that are most associated with love are:

  • Rose (rosa centifolia, r.damascena) Opens the heart for love
  • Jasmine (jasminum officinalis) The enigmatic scent of sensuality
  • Sandalwood (santalum album) Stillness and unity, balsamic.
  • Bergamot (citrus bergamia) Relaxes, releases and refreshes, joy to the heart
  • Patchouli (pogostemon cablin) earthing and arousing. Playfulness
  • Ginger (zingiber officinalis) warming and invigorating
  • Ylang-ylang (cananga odorata var. genuina) Joy and sensuality, liberation
  • Black pepper (piper nigrum) Fire and power. Energy

There are plenty of oils that fit in there as well, but these are the most popular and best known. Use your imagination and have some fun.

The oils that will help a broken heart and/or loneliness:

  • Marjoram (origanum majorana) Warmth and safety in loneliness
  • Cypres (cupressus sempervirens) Opens and guides for new directions, change.
  • Frankincense (boswellia carterii) Spirituality, protection, warmth. Breath of life.
  • Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) restoring, calming, eases the mind,
  • Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica) stabilizes and opens the mind to a larger picture
  • Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) protective warmth like that of a mother
  • Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) opens the chest and breath, liberation
  • Myrrh (commiphora molmol/c. myrrah) tranquillity, solitude, peace
  • Benzoin (styrax benzoin) soothing and stabilizing. Enveloping sanctuary.
  • Clary sage (salvia sclarea) Relaxing, expansion, warmth

Use oil-blends in the bath before meeting with your lover – or your self. 10-15 drops of essential oil in 15-20ml of unperfumed soap or cream. Add the oil-blend right before you get in, and swish it around with your hand.

  • Sensual: Ylang-ylang 4 dr + Ginger 3 dr + Sandalwood 5 dr + Patchouli 3 dr.
  • Uplifting: Bergamott 4 dr + Black pepper 4 dr + Ylang-ylang 3 dr
  • Invigorating: Ginger 3 dr + Black pepper 3 dr + Patchouli 2 dr + Bergamott 4 dr
  • Love: Rose 2 dr + Sandalwood 4 dr + Patchouli 3 dr
  • Passion: Sandalwood 4 dr + Jasmine 2 dr + Ginger 3 dr

Use the same blends of essential oils in 5-10 ml veg. oil blend, preferably Jojoba-oil, for a sensual perfume to wear during the evening. You can also use these blends to scent your room; either put them in an aroma-burner / fan (3-7 dr depending on the size and ventilation of the room) or blend them in distilled water; 5-10 dr/ 100 ml. Shake well before use and don’t spray directly on surfaces.

Citrus-oils and rosemary can be used in any blend as an enhancer or pick-me-up. Many of the oils used for love are also used for loneliness. Have fun with the oils and don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember to always start with a lower amount of drops, this way you can smell if the scent is balanced and you have a chance to change your blend as you go along.

  • Loneliness: Marjoram 3 dr + Myrrh 3 dr + Orange 5 dr + Lavender 4 dr
  • Sadness: Lavender 4 dr + Frankincense 3 dr + Hyssop 4 dr + Clary sage 2 dr
  • Despair: Benzoin 3 dr + Rosewood 4 dr + Cedarwood 4 dr + Myrhh 3 dr
  • Changes: Cypres 4 dr + Rosewood 4 dr + Clary sage 3 dr
  • Love: Rose 2 dr + Marjoram 3 dr + Rosewood 4 dr + Myrrh 3 dr

Note: The oils of Rose and Jasmine are very expensive but the scent is strong so they go a long way. In true perfumery musky and deep earth-notes are used in perfumes, such as spike-nard, valerian and oud. They enhance the more flowery smells and act as fixatives. A blend should become one distinguished perfume, not a collection of scents. If you want your perfume-oil to deepen in scent, you should blend it beforehand and let it “mature”. You will notice the scent changing and deepening over time.

FRAGRANCES & FEELINGS

MonardaThere are so many different ways to use essential oils, depending on what result or effect you are looking for. When it comes to mood-enhancing, this will happen whatever way you use the oils, since they enter your system. Even if you have lost your sense of smell, the oils will have an effect on your moods and feelings.

Important: If you are sensitive, always use lower doses. You can also test the oil by rubbing a drop of essential oil mixed in vegetable oil onto the inside of your arm. If it itches or turns red, lower the dosage even more or avoid that essential oil/blend. Don’t ever use pure essential oils on your skin. Our sense of smell gets quickly used to a new scent and we don’t smell it anymore. This might make some people use higher doses than necessary. If you are not sure about the scent – leave the room, breath some fresh air and come back.

  • Room fragrance: You can use an electrical aroma-fan which diffuses the oils without heating them – this is the best way to disperse oils in a space, especially to clear the air from bacteria. Aroma-burners use a tea-candle (heat) to disperse the essential oils, this is excellent for fragrance and mood-enhancing. Aroma-stone is an electrical appliance that disperse the oil with the help of heat without using a candle, better to use in childrens room or such. When heated, the oils loose some of their antiseptic qualities, so they are not as effective in, for example, a sick-room.

Tips: If you don’t have an appliance you can drop your essential oil onto a tissue or cotton-ball and lodge by the radiator – make sure there is no risk of fire. Or you can use a bowl of hot water in which you drop your oil.

Dosages: In a small to medium room or a childs room use 2-4 drops. Do not refill more often than once an hour, especially in childrens room where you would also use fewer drops. In a large room you can use up to 10 drops. Bathrooms are easily scented by dropping a drop of essential oil in the wash-basin and rinse it out with warm water. Some people use scented pot-pourri, you can easily scent it with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance. There are plenty of ways to use essential oils as air-fresheners, room scents etc. Use your imagination and enjoy.

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  • Baths: Pure essential oils are irritating to the skin and mucous membranes so you need to mix them in something since they do not disperse in water. You can mix them in vegetable oil, unscented soap or body-lotion. You can also use cream (like Cleopatra). Soap, lotion and creme will mix the oils with the water – just swish around – vegetable oil will lie on the surface. If you want bubble-bath use the soap! Always add the essential oils when bath is ready.

Dosages: 5-10 drops of essential oils in a carrier. For children 2-5 drops in a carrier. If bathing a child in a smaller bath, use only 1-2 drops in a carrier. For babies; avoid essential oils unless a certified aromatherapist has given you advice.

  • Skin-care: Essential oils are wonderful for skin-care. You can mix essential oils in any un-perfumed lotion, soap, shampoo, conditioner or creme. Try using as natural products as possible to maximize the effect of the essential oils.

Dosages: 10-20 drops of essential oil to 100 ml of lotion, soap, shampoo, conditioner. 2-5 drops of essential oil to 50 ml of face-cream.

Tips: Always start with the lower dosage; it is easy to add more if you like. This way you can control the strength of the scent.

ESSENTIAL OILS (following oils are very useful for emotional imbalances. They are not too expensive and blend well with each-other. They are a good start for aromatherapy.)

  • Lavender (lavandula officinalis, lavandula augustifolia) Wonderful calming and relaxing oil. It is a very good oil for skin-care; dry skin, acne, irritations etc. Helps heal small wounds and burns. Excellent after-sun if burned, use with Aloe Vera gel. If you have problems falling asleep, lavender can help you. Take a lavender-bath before bed or use it as a room-fragrance. (Tips: put one drop on the front of you pj’s or by your pillow when you go to bed.) When there is stress, worry, anxiousness or fear; lavender is calming to the mind. Place a few drops on a tissue and inhale from it. Lavender is a wonderful oil for children; skin, fretfulness, problems sleeping. Wonderful for childrens baths and room-scenting. OBS: use low dosage on children – max 2 drops for sleep – higher doses tend to have the opposite effect.
  • Orange (citrus sinensis) Uplifting to the spirit and safe to use also for children. It brings sunshine into our souls. If really low and unhappy, orange is wonderful to use. It is a versatile skin-care oil especially for oily skin and acne.  OBS: orange essential oil is sensitive to oxidation and stays good only about 6 months. If the oil is cloudy, don’t use it. Once it is oxidized, it becomes a skin-irritant.
  • Rosewood (aniba roseodora) Calming and strengthening in character it is a wonderful oil that is safe to use also for children. It helps when there is insecurity and depression, anxiety and mood-swings. Excellent skin-care oil especially for dry, mature skin and acne.
  • Bee Balm (monarda fistulosa) Tonic, up-lifting and releasing for the emotions and spirit. Balances when there is slight hysteria. Useful for oily skin.
  • Geranium (pelargonium graveolens) Balancing oil  which is highly useful when there are mood-swings, irritation and PMT.  Good general skin-care oil balancing for most skin-types.
  • Frankincense (boswellia carterii) Relaxes and deepens the breathing. Good when there is anxiety and stress. Opens the mind to meditation and quietens inner chatter. Good for oily skin, mature skin and acne.
  • Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata var. genuina) Euphoric in nature, this oil lifts the spirit and creates a sense of euphoria. Do not use when concentration is needed. For some people it can help when there is a problem with falling asleep – especially when the reason is mental worries. It is extremely helpful when there is anger. In skin-care it is especially  useful with oily skin and acne. OBS: The scent is very strong and can, in higher doses, give head-ache and/or nausea. Use with care.

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ESSENTIAL OILS AND EMOTION

essential-oilEssential oils are wonderful mood-enhancers. I have many clients experiencing depression and anxiety from stress. While stress takes time to balance, the emotions involved can quite readily be helped with essential oils.
Usually the scents/blends I use for people are chosen specifically for them and then used in a massage. This way the system is programmed for relaxation from this specific blend. I have found this to be an effective way to “open the door” for further work with stress. An overloaded system and/or brain can not assimilate information…this is one of the reasons the downward-spiral of stress is so debilitating; handling stress comes from knowledge and conscious choices. You learn to handle stress, it doesn’t just happen.

When stressed or depressed we are very bad at helping ourselves. Even if we know how to do it, we don’t manage to do it. Everything is too much, and nothing feels very important anymore. The only thing we feel we can do is close our eyes and hope for it all to go away.

This is where the brilliance of essential oils come in: It is actually enough to open the bottle and inhale deeply from it to feel some release. When I say inhale, I mean inhale. Take a deep breath and bring the scent of the oil as deep into yourself as you can. Close your eyes while doing it, and feel what happens to you.
This is the simplest and most basic way of using an essential oil for mood-enhancement. You can also put a few (3-5) drops on a tissue or handkerchief and carry it around with you for use during the day. Since essential oils are volatile, you might need to refresh the oil after a few hours.

The choice of oil is individual. It is all about what you feel. Smell essential oils and see what they do to you. Remember that your system usually can handle only about 5 different oils at a time, then it is suffused. Go outside, breath some fresh air and then you can smell some more. This, of course, is highly individual.

ESSENTIAL OILS:

Woody oils are grounding and strengthening:
Cedar (cedrus atlantica) Warming and calming.
Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) Strengthening and balancing.
Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) Balancing, relaxing and uplifting

Resinous oils are protective and warming:
Frankincense (boswellia carterii) Uplifting, deepens breathing, meditation.
Myrrh (commiphora myrrha) Warming and emotionally healing.
Benzoin (styrax benzoin) Warming, euphoric, calming, protecting.

Floral oils are calming uplifting and emotionally releasing:
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens) Very balancing when there is also anger, frustration or irritation.
Lavender (lavandula officinalis / augustifolia) Wonderfully calming when there are also sleeping-problems.
Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata) Uplifting, euphoric and very good where there is anger. (High doses can give head-ache and/or nausea)

Citrus oils are uplifting and refreshing. They also blend well with the above-mentioned oils. Citrus oils carry sun-energy and this can be helpful during the wintermonths.
Orange (citrus sinensis) Sweet, uplifting.
Lemon (citrus limon) Refreshing, clears the mind
Mandarin (citrus reticulata) Sweet, helps the inner child.

Another great oil when there is sluggishness, tiredness (physical & emotional):
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) Uplifting, clears the mind, stimulating.

Orange blossomNote: Essential oils are not drugs. They work with the body. If your system is exhausted and you need to sleep, even the most stimulating oil will not keep you alert.
Also note that if depression is severe it is good to bring in some stimulating oils (citrus, rosemary) since the more calming oils can enhance depression in higher doses.

QUALITY: Buy good quality oils. If the oil is of an inferior quality, you will not have the benefits. Essential oils are natural, they have life-energy. If they are handled and stored wrongly they will lose their properties. E.O are quite costly but they go a long way. Always look for the latin name on the label, this way you are sure that you get the real thing. (There are many different cedars, for example, and one of them is slightly toxic to the system.)
The label should also say 100% pure essential oil.

WARNING: Essential oils are highly concentrated and can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Do not use them internally, do not use neat on skin, keep away from eyes, children and pets.