Tag Archives: vetiver

VETIVER the oil of tranquility

vetiver roots

vetiver roots

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) also called khus khus, is a perennial scented grass. It has a straight stem, long narrow leaves and grows in tufts, reaching a height of 2 meters. It has abundant white scented rootlets.Vetiver is native to South India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but is cultivated in the Comoros Islands, Reunion, Java and Haiti. In India and Sri Lanka the essence is known as The oil of tranquility.

Vetiver handbag

Vetiver handbag

The fibrous grass is used for many different purposes; as protection against soil-erosion during the tropical rainy season, as pest and weed control in fields and to protect domestic animals from vermin. In 19th century Calcutta the rhizomes of Vetiver was manufactured into awnings, blinds and sunshades. During the hot season water was sprinkled over them which cooled the room while perfuming it. This made vetiver a very popular scent in Britain as it reminded the former British dwellers in India of the colonial times. At the time it was also used for perfuming linens and preventing moth. Ground rhizomes were used to manufacture sachet powders.

VetiverEssentialOilVetiver is widely used in perfumery. It has excellent fixative qualities (binding and stabilizing more volatile essences in a perfume blend). It imparts a woody, slightly earthy, green scent to the finished blend. The essential oil of vetiver is obtained by steam distillation of the washed, chopped and dried roots and rootlets. It is a viscous oil with an amber to brown, olive colour that deepens and turns reddish-brown with age, the scent is deep, smoky, woody and earthy with a touch of green freshness. The best quality oil comes from Reunion and is called Bourbon Vetiver.

USES.

  • Skin: Acne, oily skin, cuts and wounds
  • Muscle: Anti-inflammatory, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains and stiffness.
  • Nervous system: Depression, nervous tension, sleeping problems, stress, PMT.

Personal: I love this beautiful oil. It is safe to use with children, elderly or the very ill. It is deeply relaxing without being sopoforic rather, it brings you back into yourself and gives a feeling of calm assurance. I used it together with Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) for a nap when I was pregnant and to this day it was the most glorious sleep-time I ever had ūüôā I use it for clients mainly when they seem to be “outside of themselves” and can’t find peace and balance. Vetiver is deeply grounding and nurturing in nature. It is often well-liked by children and helps them to calm down when upset. I think the deep earthy scent reminds them of playing outside in the park or forest and it brings them to a happy place.

Advertisements

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)

AROMATHERAPY & CHILDREN

I have quite a few children brought to me for different reasons, ranging in age from 5 to 16 years old. There are plenty of reasons why a child / adolescent would need to see a therapist not least because of stress. Growing up is not so easy and there are so many different signals and pressures in a child’s life to make it confusing. At different points in life we need different back-ups – I am one.

Today I want to tell you about one child in particular – with the permisson of his parents. I will call him Joe.

Joe’s parents brought him to me when he was 11 yrs old. He had been vaccinated with the rubella-vaccine while he had a cold and after that he had slowly slipped into a non-communicable state. He would not make eye-contact, hardly played, very quiet, disappearing into himself when spoken to. He was hunched over with his arms across his chest, facing the floor. His whole posture screamed of protection and tuning out the world. He was failing badly at school and his condition just seemed to get worse. His parents had tried everything; doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, homeopathy…to no avail, he would not connect with anybody. When they asked me for help I told them that we could try, but there are never any guarantees in my line of work. Still they wanted to give it a try.

The first time I met Joe he would not meet my eyes or talk to me. Trying out oils for him would not function in the normal way and, of course, I could not get close to him or touch him. So we set up a meeting where some of his friends from school would be around and I joined them in their games. By doing this I could get some connection to Joe and through this connection choose oils for him. The oils that came to me were: Angelica (angelica archangelica), Frankincense (boswellia carterii) and Orange (citrus sinensis). I blended these essential oils in vegetable oil for the parents to massage him every evening before bed during one month.

When I saw him one month late he was much changed. He carried himself straighter, met my eyes for short moments and would even play with me and the other kids. He was curious about the oils and watched me intently when I chose “his” oils. Still he would not take part in the choosing. The moment I talked to him or tried to connect, he would withdraw into himself. This time the oils chosen were: Patchouli (pogostemon patchouli / p. cablin), Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) and Mandarine (citrus reticulata) again they were blended in vegetable oil for the daily bed-time-massage.

One month later he was like an extremely shy boy; the school had commented on his positive changes. He even played the flute on stage with the other children at school. His parents were very happy. He would look at me and talk to me, but refused to choose oils, though he was definitely curious. Oils chosen were: Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides), Mandarine (citrus reticulata) and Rose absolute (rosa damascena). Blended in veg. oil. Same procedure with the evening massages, but this time for a 3-month period as I felt he needed to “land” in himself with the help of one oil-blend.

The 4th time I saw Joe, 3 months later,¬† he was good. He was like any boy; back straight, met my eyes, talked and chose the oils himself. He was doing much better at school; both in his work and connection with other children. He had started to play football. He told me that he loved the oils, that “they made him feel safe so he didn’t need to live in his box”. (his words) The oils he chose were: Bergamott (citrus bergamia), Rose otto (rosa centifolia), Benzoin (styrax benzoin). Blended in veg. oil. Same procedure with the massage at bedtime. At this point I terminated the treatments of Joe, telling him that he could come back anytime he wanted but that he didn’t need me anymore. Joe was very proud.

A little more than a year later, Joe came back since he wanted some oils just for the times he felt low. He chose: Patchouli (pogostemon patchouli / p.cablin), Orange (citrus sinensis) and Elemi (canarium luzonicum /c. commune) blended in veg. oil.

Last year (almost 4 years later) I saw him at a fair, helping children climb a pile of crates. He looked so strong and happy, next to him stood his girlfriend.

SMALL DO-ABLE STRESS-TIPS

stressStress is around all the time in different disguises and usually we don’t even notice them until they grow into improportionate monsters that we are completely incapable of handling. At this point you need some serious help. But we can do a lot by ourselves…it doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time – actually, these measures might probably save you both time and money!

Here are the stress-symptoms and what you can do to change that specific symptom, which over time will help  you to handle the stress.

  • Head-aches: Drink more water – 1 glass/hour is easy to remember. Or keep a 1/2 l. bottle with you at all times and make sure you drink 2-3 of these. Get some fresh air. Reduce your intake of coffee, try drinking water or herbal tea in your breaks. Peppermint-tea is an excellent “pick-me-up” when energy¬† is flagging, it can also help with head-aches and nausea. Essential oils: Either as inhalation from a tissue or by rubbing a drop mixed with some veg. oil or non-perfumed cream into your temples and the base of your skull. Keep with you essential oils of Peppermint (mentha piperita), Lemon (citrus limon), Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis), Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus). Citrus oils and eucalyptus or “minty” oils help to revive energy and sharpen the mind. Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) can be very helpful¬† with head-aches but due to its calming properties can be difficult to use in the work-place since it might relax you too much.
  • Stiffness/pain in neck, back & shoulders: Move! Pay attention to your posture, get a new chair at work which allows you to sit up straight, or get a big ball to sit on. Every hour, take 2-3 min. to exercise; shoulder-rolls, knee-bends, back-stretch, neck-stretch…Shake your body loose, go out and breath some fresh air, or open a window. Rub your neck and shoulders. Start paying attention to your body! Listen to what it tells you. stretching
  • Irritation & mood-swings: Breath. Use a short and simple breathing-exercise to get you grounded and relaxed: Sit on a chair without crossing arms or legs. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing; take deep breaths all the way down to your stomach. Try to make each breath as big and deep and slow as possible. Breath in on the count of 4, breath out on the count of 4 – like waves on a beach. Very quickly you will feel your breathing slowing down and your body relaxing. The tension in your head will disperse and you get more energy and balance. This will help your mood. Essential oils in the work-place: Any citrus-oil will help, Black-pepper (piper nigrum), Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) followed by a citrus or Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis).¬† At home, where you do not need to stay mentally sharp you can use: Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata), Frankincense (boswellia carterii), Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica), Geranium (pelargonium graveolens), Rose (rosa centifolia).
  • Indigestion: Check your eating-habits. If you spend a lot of time sitting still, you need less food. Eat smaller meals and avoid heavy foods such as; bread, pasta, deep-fried foods, heavy sauces, sweets and cakes. Stay clear of pre-processed foods. Fill up on salads, vegetables, lean meat, fish or chicken. Sauces based on yoghurt are fine. Drink water or green tea, nothing else. Snack throughout the day on¬† fruit, vegetables and nuts. After a meal, take a walk. Even 5 minutes is enough.¬† This way your energy-levels will stay consistent through the day, your blood-sugar won’t spike. You will not suffer from indigestion in any form (farting, burping, feeling swollen, cramps, pains…) and you won’t gain weight! Herbal teas for digestion are really useful; there are some already blended from different herbs, also good are: peppermint, fennel, cumin, rosemary. Nettel-tea and green tea is good to drink during the day .herbtea
  • Sleeping problems: Usually the problem is overload in the head; constant chatter, thoughts churning, anxiety attacks – or a mix of all these. Sleep is a habitual thing, you need to get good sleeping-habits. First of all food: Make sure you have 3 hours to digest your last meal before bed-time. Don’t drink alcohol in the evening; it might help you fall asleep, but the moment it starts breaking down in your system your sleep will be destroyed.¬† When your body needs to break down, or digest, it is working hard and this does not induce nor help sleep in any way. Make¬† your evenings calm; relax, read a book, lower the lights, take a bath, drink a calming tea such as; chamomile, hops, lavender or a pre-blended herbal tea. Stay clear from bright lights, coffee, black tea, sugary snacks, television. Get to bed early; around 10.oo pm. Create a dead-line for your working day; every evening you stop all action at say, 8 o’clock. If you are worried about forgetting things; write it down. Keep a paper and pencil by your bed and write it down as it arises, then you will, mentally, be able to let it go . Use breathing-exercises or other relaxing techniques once you are in bed. Bring a hot bottle to bed. Keep your bedroom cool and dark – use your bedroom only for sleep and love. Essential oils: Lavender (lavandula augustifolia), Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata), Roman Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile), Marjoram (origanum majorana), Frankincense (boswellia carterii), Rose (rosa centifolia), Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora), Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides). Use on a tissue beside your bed, in a bath before bedtime, in a diffuser during the evening.¬† If you keep to this habit, you will find that you start sleeping better.sleep

That’s it for today: If you have any questions or problems, please tell me and I will answer you.