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Essential Oils Information Page

AMYRIS

Amyris oil is a slightly viscous pale yellow liquid with a sweet woody fragrance.  It has a very soothing and relaxing effect on the nerves.  This is one of the properties of amyris oil that makes it a widely used treatment for stress and insomnia.

 
BERGAMOT
Essential oil
Citrus aurant.bergamia


I've included this oil on my list of must-haves mainly because I've never found anyone that didn't like it, AND because it has some attributes that are unmatched in any other oils.  As you see, it's a citrus, and has a lovely, fresh aroma and a nice, light green color.

If you're prone to bladder or urinary tract infections, you'll definitely want to have bergamot in your collection.  (Along with chamomile, sandalwood and tea tree.)  It can be added to your bath and used as a wash for vaginal itching, diluted appropriately, and if used correctly, can actually prevent an infection from spreading up the urinal tract.

this unique oil is refreshing and 'uplifting', but not stimulating ... think about that difference and you'll see how effective this oil would be for someone suffering from stress, anxiety or depression.  Because of its clean, citrus aroma, it blends well as a balancing oil to deeper or more floral notes. 

Bergamot has antiseptic properties which make it an important component in acne or problem skin preparations.

Bergamot inhibits certain viruses, particularly the Herpes simplex 1 virus which causes cold sores.  If you're prone to cold sores, you can dab a mixture of bergamot and eucalyptus in a little alcohol at the first sign of an eruption.  Also helpful with the pain of shingles and chicken pox.

Use diluted in the bath to avoid photosentisization of the skin -- any oil used undiluted in the bath will leave a fine film on top of the water and will naturally be left on the skin.  Citrus oils increase the skin's reaction to sunlight and make it more likely to burn.  

  •  Don't confuse this oil with the herb bergamot or bee balm.         

  •  Obtained by cold expression.  

  •  Bergamot is a Top note only.

  • It's one of the ingredients in Earl Grey tea.

 

Some aromatherapists choose to use Bergamot FCF- furocoumarin free , which removes the problem of Phototoxicity, BUT some Aromatherapists (yours truly included) refuse to use any altered oil, on the ground that if it has been altered,  it is not a true Essential Oil.

Main uses: depression, anxiety, stress, flatulence, colds, flu, cold sores, chicken pox, shingles, acne, oily skin, psoriasis, scabies, eczema, insect repellent, boils ... uplifting, helps relieve insomnia, refreshes.

Main actions: analgesic, anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cicatrizant, diuretic, deodorant, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticide, stimulant, tonic, sedative.

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CLOVE
Eugenia caryophyllata th.

Clove is antibacterial and anti-fungal and reduces inflammation and pain associated with toothaches, gum disease and sore throats and helps with bad breath.

Clove Oil is a warming, stimulating oil with pain relieving and antiseptic properties. You can put a drop on a Q-tip and swab your gums if you have a toothache for quick pain relief until you get to a dentist. It is equally useful for digestive problems and it also numbs the pain of arthritis, rheumatism and sore muscles when diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed on a painful area. It also smells wonderful mixed with orange oil and sprayed around the house during the holidays.
PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive stimulant, sedative, warming.

BLENDS WELL WITH: Orange, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sandalwood, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot
.

PRECAUTIONS: Use Clove in moderation and always dilute well with concentrations of no more than 2% to prevent skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, conduct a patch test before use.

For a household deodorizer: Using a glass bottle, combine 3 drops each of Bergamot and Clove in 2 oz. water for a room spray that kills germs and repels insects. Shake well before each use.

Diffuse for holidays: Blend six parts Clove and 3 parts sweet orange to create a warm and pleasant atmosphere in the home or office.

For a disinfectant mouthwash: When diluted in water, a single drop of Clove helps to disinfect the mouth and leave breath fresh.

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COPAIBA BALSAM
 

Copaifera langsdorfii  - Copaiba consists of at least 90% sesquiterpenes which contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Useful for acne, bronchial and pulmonary infections and/or general inflammation.
Copaiba has a deep, rich, earthy aroma.
Calming, balancing, grounding.

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EUCALYPTUS RADIATA
 

E. radiata  - Fresh, cooling, with woody undertones.  E. Radiata is often preferred over the common E. globulus, since it is softer, less harsh and therefore more pleasant to inhale.  It is a powerful antiviral oil.  It is child safe and controls microbes, fortifies resistance and general immunity.  E. radiata treats overall ear, nose, throat and upper-respiratory problems, acne, vaginitis, ear infections and herpes.  Its action is cooling and anti-inflammatory.

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EUCALYPTUS, LEMON

E. citriodora - As the name suggests, this Eucalyptus has a distinct citrus-like quality that is much like citronella/lemongrass.  Its aroma is fresh and strong with pleasant, soft undertones.  The high percentage of citronellal gives this eucalyptus a wonderful lemony scent, making it an inoffensive bug repellant.  It is also anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial, especially against Streptococcus.  Unlike standard eucalyptus, the scent is relaxing.  Lemon eucalyptus is the best choice when there are symptoms of heat, such as thirst, dryness, thick mucus and fever.  It is also specific for herpes, cystitis and arthritis.

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EUCALYPTUS SMITHII

Gully Gum (E. smithii) - An energizer and immune modulant, this species is very mild, making it a good choice for children or sensitive people.  Useful in the treatment of muscle pain.

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EUCALYPTUS
Eucalyptus Globulus

Eucalyptus essential oil has a cooling and deodorizing effect on the body, helping with fevers and migraine.  For the respiratory tract, it  helps with coughs, asthma, throat infections, sinusitis and catarrhal conditions.  It soothes inflammation and eases mucus, clearing the head from the stuffiness of colds and hay fever.

Eucalyptus oil is also useful as a warming oil when used for muscular aches and pains, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and poor circulation.

In skin care it can be used for burns, blisters, herpes, cuts, wounds, skin infections and insect bites.  It will boost the immune system and is helpful in cases of chicken pox, colds, flu and measles.

Euc glob is also effective against bacteria - especially staphylococci, and has a refreshing and stimulating action on the mind, helping to improve concentration.

How to Use:

Burners and vaporizers:  eucalyptus oil may be used for: frequent sneezing, hay fever, flu, respiratory problems, as an insect repellant , headaches and for helping to improve concentration.

Blended massage oil or in the bath:  Eucalyptus oil can be used in blended massage oil, synergies, or diluted in the bath to assist with arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, mucous congestion, colds, headaches, rheumatism, sinusitis, catarrh, fatigue and muscular aches and pains.

In a cream or lotion:  Apart from giving pain relief to muscular spasms and rheumatism, eucalyptus oil can also help speed up the healing of slow healing wounds and ulcers, calm skin eruptions and clear congested skin.

Gargle:  Soothes a sore throat when diluted in a mouth gargle.

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FRANKINCENSE
(Boswellia carteri)

Frankincense is a great oil to add to your collection.

Recommended for anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, extreme coughing, scars, stress, stretch marks.

If you're congested, add a few drops of frankincense to a bowl of steaming water, tent a towel oer your head, lean over the bowl and inhale for several minutes -- frankincense is excellent for bronchitis and laryngitis.  Works very well with Eucalyptus.

Frankincense is probably most known for use in meditation because it induces you to breathe deeply and slowly, it is also one of the best oils for use in face products for mature skin and wrinkle prevention because it promotes cell growth.  If you have a skin wound, choose frankincense to promote healing.  Add to your weekly clay mask to prevent wrinkles, and probably most important, add to your daily hydrosol toner and/or your Facial Oil.

Face Mask for Younger Looking Skin:

2 tsp. clay (select for your skin type)
Frankincense Hydrosol (or water) - enough to make a paste
3 drops Frankincense
Apply to face and neck, relax 15 minutes, rinse off.

Apply your favorite hydrosol (facial toner) and facial oil.  Lovely!

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FRANKINCENSE FREREANA 

It is wonderful for the skin, it is skin healing and effective on boils, acne and scarring on the skin as well as to assist stretch marks to fade.  It promotes the regeneration of healthy cells and keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy.  Also effective as an antiseptic on wounds and cuts.  Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle, so add to facial oils and skin care.

Great for digestive issues.  Frankincense speeds up the secretion of digestive juices and facilitates peristalic motion.  It is also a carminative, giving relief from gas and indigestion (consider the hydrosol for this purpose).

Frankincense is a powerful expectorant and very effective for respiratory issues such as colds, flu, asthma, and other lung issues.  Relieves bronchitis and congestion.

Summary:  This variety of Frankincense originates in the mountainous regions of northern Somalia, where it is known as Maydi, and considered the King of Frankincense oils.  The scent is slightly pine-like with a citrus-y and more balsamic tone than the other varieties.

Outstanding properties for inflammation, muscles, joints, speeds the body's natural healing response.  Immune-enhancing properties help reduce the negative effects of daily stress and aging.  Promotes healthy teeth and gums (add to natural mouthwash).  Add a few drops to the bath along with lavender and eucalyptus to support the respiratory system.  Excellent for mature skin care, wrinkle prevention, and skin toning.

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FRANKINCENSE SERRATA

When you think of Frankincense, you think of a woody, earthy, deep scent, but this variety of Frankincense from India (Boswellia serrata) is a mild and less pungent variety, more of a complex and rich, but light wood.  This variety should not be mistaken for Frankincense from Somalia (Boswellia carterii) which is pungent, smoky and traditionally used in religious ceremonies.

This variety is the traditional Frankincense used in Ayurvedic medicine.  The powdered extract of the resin is traditionally used in anti-inflammatory preparations for arthritis, muscle and joint disorders, skin disorders, and now the EO is showing great results for this application also.

This variety is more  scarce than the common carterii variety and differs in scent, this is lighter and more of a middle note than a base note.  It's a lovely fragrance and would work well as an anchor for lighter florals and citrus oils.

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GRAPEFRUIT
(citrus paradisi)

The most important use of grapefruit is as an antidepressant; it's non-sedating; has an uplifting, bright aroma.

Properties:  antidepressant, antiseptic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic

Urinary system:  promotes kidney function by helping to eliminate water, therefore useful for obesity and water retention.  Also has a cleansing effect on the kidneys, helping to eliminate toxins from the body.

Emotion:  grapefruit has a balancing effect on the emotions.  It's uplifting, brightening up dark, depressive moods and boosting confidence.  It helps with procrastination, frustration and bitterness.  May even help to stabilize manic depression.

Digestive system:  acts as a tonic to the stomach and liver and promotes digestive secretions.

Like other citrus oils, grapefruit is expressed from the fruit rind.  Similarly, grapefruit shares with lemon and other citrus oils astringent and antiseptic properties, as well as stomachic and hepatic attributes that aid digestion.  Grapefruit's distinguished reputation as a weight-loss agent originates from its solvent effect on fat and its diuretic relief of water retention. 

Grapefruit is both a gallstone solvent and a liver tonic; it is also a lymphatic stimulant and regulator.  Its extract components and vitamin C content make grapefruit useful as an antimicrobial preservative. 

Grapefruit is a pleasant diffuser oil, having delightfully cool, refreshing, and uplifting antidepressant effects. 

It's good for oily skin and acne, has a tonic effect on the skin and scalp. 

Grapefruit provides pleasant temporary relief of the symptoms of bronchial cough, colds and flu; use as a VAPOURISATION, in a STEAM INHALATION or make a MASSAGE 0IL BLEND and rub into the chest, throat and back.

BLENDS TO TRY

Emotion:  7 grapefruit; 3 sandalwood; 2 lavender

Mood Uplifting:  5 frankincense; 2 ginger; 5 grapefruit

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Key benefits of helichrysum:

  • Reduces scarring:  useful for scars from wounds, surgical scars, acne.  Heli has been found to reduce discoloration from old scar tissue.

  • Decreases swelling:  helps to minimize swelling from bumps and bruises.  Most effective when used as a compress or soak right after the injury occurs.

  • Effects on inflammation:  Used in clinical practice for joint and muscle inflammation.


LAVENDIN, GROSSO or SUPER

Lavandula hbrid var. Grosso ... flowers … France ... Wild.

Like all Lavendins, this variety is a result of crossing Spike Lavender and Lavender angustifolia (vera). Its aroma is less floral. It has a touch of spice to its aroma, mixed with the herbal Lavender notes.

Top note.
Good for inflammation.
Lavandin Grosso contains terpineol-4 and linalyl acetate which make it a good antiseptic and stimulating oil (it is not sedating like lavender).

Useful in treating skin conditions such as acne and sluggish skin, for scabies and other infectious skin diseases.

Coughs, colds, sinus infections, respiratory stimulant, eases breathing.
Sore muscles, rheumatic pains, stiff joints, muscular contracture, cramps.
Circulatory stimulant, cardiac tonic (eases palpitations), phlebitis, solar plexus spasms.
Refreshes tired mind, aids nervousness, fear, anxiety.

USES:
Good addition to cold and flu remedies with its proven germ killing ability, as well as its ability to stimulate the respiratory system and ease breathing.

Grosso is high in linalol for infections.

A blend of Lavandin Grosso and Spike Lavender is recommended for respiratory disorders, either by inhalation, or massage.

Urinary tract antiseptic.

 Lavandin is often used by commercial producers to adulterate lavender.

Veterinary:
Antiseptic, vulnerary, dermatosis, scabies.

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LAVENDER

Lavender angustifolia, officianalis, vera, True, Bulgarian,
Flowers… steam distilled
(There are many sub-species, varieties and cultivars)

Note: Lavender Vera is referred to and called wild lavender but the species are one and the same as L officinalis or angustifolia.
(Lavender advertised as "40/42" refers to a combination of natural lavender oils and synthetic chemicals to produce one with a standard production - mostly used in soaping and perfume.)

[Contact me for more info on other varieties, but these four (Stoechas, Bulgarian, Spike & Lavendin are the main lavenders produced for general use and serve all needs and purposes, further expansion is unnecessary.)]

This is the all-round, general purpose lavender used for relaxing and is also called "First Aid in a bottle". See full description below. This was our grandmother's lavender scent and the first choice to sustain every household.

Like all true Lavender oils, our Bulgarian Lavender is sedating, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral. Lavender functions as an adaptogen, aiding in restoring the body to balance. Can be used neat on the skin, for children, dogs and during pregnancy.

Favorite uses: Skin emergencies, burns, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, room freshening.
* * * * * * * * *


Lavender is, I think, THE most important essential oil we have available to us, and NO first aid kit should be without it.  Certainly no aromatherapy kit should be without it.  It is the FIRST essential oil I suggest you buy for yourself.

Lavender oil has a soothing and calming effect on the nerves, relieving tension, depression, panic, hysteria and nervous exhaustion in general. It is effective for headaches, migraines and insomnia and beneficial for problems such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, laryngitis, halitosis, throat infections and whooping cough.

 Lavender relieves pain when used for rheumatism, arthritis, lumbago and muscular aches and pains, especially those associated with sport. It tones the skin and is useful for all types of skin problems: abscesses, acne, oily skin, boils, burns, sunburn, wounds, psoriasis, lice, insect bites, stings and as an insect repellent.

Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat on the skin, and this is especially useful when treating a minor burn wound. I've had personal experience using lavender to treat burns, cuts and bites and can testify to its amazing healing ability, but this should only be in case of emergency.  At all other times, dilute with a carrier oil before using on skin.

In the diffuser, Lavender is helpful for allergies, anorexia, dizziness, sleeplessness (also in children), hay fever, headaches, depression, trauma, anxiety, hysteria, fear, nightmares, irritability, nervous tension and as an insect repellant.

Lavender oil can be diluted in a massage oil or used in the bath for abdominal pains, allergies, anorexia, arthritis, bowel disorders, fatigue, hay fever, headaches, insomnia, moodiness, trauma, anxiety, depression, hysteria, nightmares, fear, irritability, nervous tension, stress and for relaxing.

HEALTH AND USES

The analgesic, antiseptic and antibiotic properties of lavender make it a valuable treatment for colds, coughs, catarrh and sinusitis as well as influenza.  The most effective treatment for these conditions is steam inhalation. Put a few drops in a bowl of hot water with a towel draped over your head, breathe in the vapors. This soothes, decongests and attacks bacteria. Do this before bed for a sounder sleep.

Lavender is a must in all first aid kits, used in many emergencies big and small. Suitable for a wide range of infections.  For deeper cuts and wounds, flush the area with a blend of water and lavender to clean, or use lavender hydrosol.   New skin growth is promoted by lavender.  Sterilize your first aid utensils such as tweezers, scissors and needles with a bit of lavender before using.

SKIN CARE

Lavender keeps skin in healthy balance, helps in the reproduction of cells, constantly stimulating and rebuilding healthy new ones. It helps balance the secretion of sebum from the skin. Lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. All this, along with its delightful, delicate scent makes it a wonderful additive to creams, lotions and tonics.

PETS

Animals respond well both physically and emotionally to lavender. Rub a few drops of lavender in a carrier oil  vigorously between palms, creating a hot friction, then stroke upwards from paw to body, then from head to tail. Long continuous strokes relax and calm after exertion or upset. This will also promote a healthy and shiny coat and repel fleas. Rub into bare scarred areas to promote the regrowth of fur. Use as a disinfectant on wounds.

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LAVENDER SPIKE

Lavendula spic … atifolia France … flowers … steam distilled

Spike Lavender (the more medicinal of the lavenders) is high in Cineole and Camphor, which makes it a powerful germ killer and an effective addition to the first aid kit for antiseptic use, respiratory blends, and for general aches and pains. Often recommended as a component in an insect repellant blend, and is useful for hair and skin care.

SPIKE is highly antibacterial with antiviral, cytophylactic, decongestant, and expectorant properties - useful in blends for upper respiratory conditions when used in a diffuser. Diffuse it briefly morning and evening when those around you are coughing and sneezing, and wear it in your Aromajewelry.
Stimulating in large doses, rather than sedative, not useful as a relaxant.
Top note.

USES:
Skin, Hair, Nails:
Burns, dry acne, acne, fungal infections, athletes foot, insect stings, bites, scar tissue formation, ringworm, wound healing, scars, ulcers.
Muscular/Skeletal:
Rheumatic pain (with rosemary cineole, ravensara), muscle pain, paralysis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Other uses:

Flu, viral infections, well suited for children.
Eases teething pain (diluted), jaw massage; colic.
Use with clary sage to regulate and ease cramps.
Aids headache pain, (neuritis with peppermint), cerebro-spinal tranquilizer, balancing.

Veterinary: rheumatism, hoof problems, cuts, bruises, scabies, eczema.
Dogs: arthritis, trauma.

Nearly colorless, with a fresh, floral-herbaceous clear scent and a slight woody undertone. Spike lavender can be mixed in a water or spray bottle and used on the skin as a natural astringent.

Avoid in pregnancy.

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LAVENDER, STOECHAS

LAVENDULA STOECHAS -- **excellent germ killing ability**

This is the lavender to select when treating a cut or wound, or any skin problem.
When you desire calming and sedating properties, choose lavendula angustifolia

First Aid -- apply directly to the cut or wound.

Properties:
Anti-asthmatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive and expectorant.  It is used internally to alleviate nausea.  Externally, the essential oil is used as an antiseptic wash for wounds, ulcers, sores, etc.

It is the LAVENDER you want to have in your First Aid Kit.

Uses:

  • Room Spray -- mix with alcohol and water, spritz to freshen the air, especially in motels, cars, office, school.
  • Diffuser -- blend with grapefruit for a morning pick-me-up or with rose geranium for a lovely scent throughout the day.

Safety:

  • Avoid this lavender when pregnant.
  • Avoid this lavender with babies and children; instead, choose lavendula augustifola.
  • Not for use in skin care products long-term on sensitive or damaged skin.

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LEMON MYRTLE
Backhousia citriodora

Origin:  Australia

A powerful antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal agent.  Recent studies have shown this to be an amazingly potent form of natural citral.

Lemon scented myrtle is also supremely germicidal.  It has shown to be effective against colds, coughs, sinus and chest infections and lung congestion. 

Can be diffused for a delightful room freshener or used in aromatherapy massage blends.  It can be used as an addition to sanitizing and freshening laundry when added as a clothes rinse.  Because it has a lovely clean lemon fragrance, it's perfect for uplifting the spirit and soothing emotions. 

Dilute properly in a carrier oil or cream base for use on the skin.  Lemon myrtle is extremely strong and potent in its undiluted form due to its high citral content.

For skin care, lemon myrtle is recommended for oily skin and acne.

I love to use it for cleaning, much prefer it over tea tree!

Technical data on Backhousia citriodora:

How can B. citriodora help our immune systems?

Since it contains the highest amount of citral of any known plant, it exhibits anti-viral properties. Out of 49 Australian essential oils, B. citriodora and B. angustifolia had the highest titres against staphyloccus aureus, salmonella typhi and mycobacteria phlei. (N.B. Of the Eucalyptus species, all gave poor results and only 2 out of 7 Melaleuca species gave fair to good results.)

The phenol coefficient of B. citriodora is 16 (i.e. 16 times more effective than phenol, considerably higher than Melaleuca and Eucalyptus but not as high as thymol), which makes it an excellent germicide.

Since it is 25% more effective on a broad range of microorganisms than Melaleuca, any conditions helped by Melaleuca will be even further benefited by the application of B. citriodora.

  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Common Names: Lemon-scented myrtle, Sweet verbena tree; Lemon ironwood.
  • Origin: Rainforests of south east Queensland.

Description: A pale yellow or yellow mobile liquid of intensely fresh lemon-like odor with a pleasant sweet-green undertone. Its odor is much cleaner and fresher than Lemongrass EO and there are no grassy-fatty notes. Even the amylacetate-like fruitiness of Lemongrass is absent in B. citriodora.

Indications: Common cold, influenza, bronchitis, indigestion and other irritable gastrointestinal disorders, herpes simplex - apply topically over area or on reflex points of feet.

Applications: As an acne cream it would be vastly more effective than other products on the market. As B. citriodora has 25% more activity against a range of microorganisms than melaleuca (phenol coefficient of 16 versus 12) it would do well in preparations such as shampoos, toothpaste, hand soaps, antiseptic lozenges, deodorizers, dental applications, throat gargles, mosquito/insect repellants, cleaning formulations, veterinary products (flea repellant) and perfumes. The dried herb of B. citriodora makes an excellent tea and gargle. Even singers and rock stars gargle with B. citriodora as a herbal infusion to help with raw throats. Many people are reporting improvements using B. citriodora topically on psoriasis, rashes, folliculitis, neuro-dermatitis, itching, tinea, candidiasis and headaches. Some have found it deterred the most persistent cases of ants in the house with just a few countertop applications where essential oil of Peppermint, Cinnamon, Lemongrass failed.

In tests against fungus, citral is very active, more so than camphor, and, as with all essential oils, direct their action to the microorganisms' cell membrane. Their activity is broad spectrum thus reducing the possibility of microorganisms developing a resistance.

In fact, whatever conditions are helped by Lemongrass or Melissa oils (e.g. depression) will receive even more benefit from B. citriodora simply by virtue of the fact that it contains more citral.

Modes of Application: Use topically (dilute with carrier oil), add small amounts to beverages and drinks as flavoring, wipe on counters, add to cleaning agents, shampoos.

**Avoid prolonged inhalation via diffusion. Do not add to bath, douches or enemas!**


Because it has the world's highest concentration of citral, without question, this is a very important oil for the aromatherapy and herbal industries along with personal hygiene products, food and beverages (both hard and soft). Already, the Japanese are very interested in adding B. citriodora to their tea for flavor enhancement. Its taste is very smooth, clean, lemon-like and pleasant.

 *Some herbal practitioners like to add B. citriodora to teas and extract/tincture compounds to vastly improve the flavor and also to provide anti-microbial and possible immunostimulating benefits, so helpful during winter months.

As our world becomes more and more toxic with its corresponding negative effect on our first line of defense: the immune system, this potently anti-microbial essential oil deserves a place among some of the most therapeutic oils the world has to offer.

Pengelly A., Australian Medicinal Plant, Aust. J. Med. Herbalism, Vol 3 (3) 1991

Schnaubelt K., Potential Application of Essential Oil in Viral Disease, Int. J. Aromatherapy, 1988/89, 1/2:33
Schnaubelt K., Friendly Molecules, Int. J. Aromatherapy 1989, 2:20
Tisserand R., The Essential Oil Safety Data Manual, Sussex - Tisserand Aromatherapy Institute, 1988

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MANDARIN
(Red & Green)

There are subtle similarities and differences both analytically and in scent and flavor.
Italian Mandarins are considered superior aromatherapists. 
Considered safe during pregnancy and with children.


Green Mandarin (Italy) is both relaxing and uplifting with a tart but sweet scent (yummy).  Touted as the most relaxing of the citrus oils, it is very effective used in synergies for sleep and calming.

Red Mandarin (Italy) is very sweet and faintly floral like orange blossoms.  Very calming and uplifting as well as relaxing.  Like Green Mandarin, Red is also very popular as a sleep aid,

You can't go wrong choosing either of these mandarins; personally, I can't choose so I use them both!

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OREGANO
(Oreganum vulgare)

Uses:  Cough, digestion, flu prevention, yeast, fungal eradication.

Constituents:  Carvacrol, thymol, cymene, caryophyllene, pinene, bisabolene, linalool, borneol, geranyl, acetate, linalyl acetate, terpinene.

Oregano EO is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-allergenic and anti-oxidant.  Treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, fungal infections, indigestion, upset stomach, enteric parasites, and painful menstruation.

Effective in treating fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete's foot.

[This oil does not have a pleasant smell, but it is one of my first choices for health.  I keep a very small vial with just a few drops in it, and beginning in the fall sniff during the day to prevent viral illnesses.]

Treats lung conditions, bronchitis, sinusitis, allergies and cold symptoms including coughs.

Components of Oregano EO:

Carvacrol - this volatile oil was proven in studies to be a powerful antimicrobial food preservative.  Research shows it's effective against bacteria such as:

  • Escherichia co

  • Salmonella enterica

  • Listeria monocytogenes

Carvacrol also works as an antifungal.  A recent study proved you can use carvacrol to eliminate parasitic infections.

Thymol – Thymol has antiseptic properties and is also a natural fungicide.

Terpenes have antibacterial properties. The name terpene originates from the word ‘turpentine’. While turpentine is known as a common solvent for stripping off paint, this ingredient plays a healthier role in Oregano EO. Tea tree oil is another healthy oil that contains terpene.

Rosmarinic acid has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. The antioxidant activity of rosmarinic acid is said to be stronger than that of vitamin E. It’s been shown to prevent free radical cell damage, thereby lowering your risk for atherosclerosis and cancer. It is currently being studied for its effects on Alzheimer’s Disease.

Naringin has antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and cholesterol lowering activity. It was shown to inhibit cancer cells from growing. It is a major flavonoid in grapefruit giving the grapefruit juice its bitter taste. Oregano EO may not only help fight germs, it may also help fight oxidation and reduce your risk of cancer. Research shows Naringin stimulates the effect of caffeine and could therefore increase its fat burning action.

Tocopherols – The most well known tocopherol is vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

Suggested Uses

You can enjoy oregano essential oil in a variety of ways. The most simple, of course, is to place a single drop on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale to increase mental clarity. You may also inhale the oil during a cold or the flu to reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Other suggested uses for oregano oil include:

  • For treating athlete’s foot, ringworm and other fungal infections, make an oregano ointment by combining 2 drops oregano essential oil with 2 oz. coconut oil. Rub the mixture into the affected area twice daily until the infection subsides.
  • For healing warts, combine 2 drops oregano essential oil with 2 oz. castor oil and apply directly to the affected area in a circular motion at least three times a day.
  • For a powerful all-purpose cleaner, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 2 tsp. liquid castile soap and 25 drops oregano essential oil in a large spray bottle. Shake before each use. This cleaner works well in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial. In fact, oregano essential oil is 26 more times as powerful an antiseptic than phenol, a common ingredient in commercial cleaning products.
 ***Safety warning:   Must be diluted, do not use neet, it will burn the skin if used neet and will burn the mouth if ingested neet.  Dilute in a proper carrier oil.  Email me if you need help making the proper selection.

This is not the commonly sold oil in grocery stores labeled Oil of Oregano which is intended for cooking or ingesting -- this is much more powerful.

Do not use during pregnancy.

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PINE
(Pinus sylvestris)

Distilled from the needles and imported from France. It has a strong, coniferous, woody aroma.

Pine is a middle note. 

Blends well with: cedarwood, lemon, marjoram, rosemary, tea-tree, eucalyptus, lavender and juniper berry.

POSSIBLE USES:

Circulatory, muscles and joints: for poor circulation.  

Relieves muscle aches and pains, combats stiffness in the joints, used for arthritis, gout, rheumatism.

Emotions/mind:  for fatigue, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions, neuralgia.  To transform regrets, self-blame, feelings of inadequacy.

Genito-urinary: cystitis, fights urinary infection.

Respiratory and immune system:  used for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, colds, flu, laryngitis, sinusitis, sore throat.

Skin/hair: cuts and sores, scabies, lice, excessive perspiration.

Actions:  Antimicrobial, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic (pulmonary, urinary, hepatic), antiviral, bactericidal, balsamic, cholagogue, choleretic, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, hypertensive, insecticidal, restorative, rubefacient, stimulant (adrenal cortex, circulatory, nervous), vermifuge.

-------------  formulas for you to try --------------
SORE THROAT

Steam inhalation:  equal parts Ginger, Pine, Ravensara

Add 6 drops to bowl of steaming hot water.

Lean head over bowl, cover with towel and inhale deeply.

Massage neck and behind ears:
5 parts Chamomile
2 parts Lemon
1 part Pine

Dilute in 2 tsp carrier oil.

 

BATHROOM FRESHENER

4 parts Lemon
2 parts Oregano
1 part Pine
2 parts Sage
1 part Thyme


Eight drops to 2 cups filtered water in spray bottle.

 

COUNTER SPRAY / IPE

Cinnamon--20 drops
Lemon--20 drops
Oregano--20 drops
Pine--20 drops
Thyme--20 drops

Blend 3 ml EOs with 1 oz vodka or pure alcohol. Use 10 drops in 3 oz of water. Shake well before use in the sprayer. If using as a wipe, use the same dilution as for the spray, but pour it on the cloth you use to wipe down surfaces.

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RAVENSARA
Ravensara aromatica

Ravensara is one of my favorite antiviral oils.

  • From Australia and Madagascar
  • Helpful for chronic fatigue
  • An essential oil which has a regulating effect while energizing the immune system
    and balancing the circulating immunoglobulins.
  • A very good expectorant, helpful for bronchitis.
  • Gentle yet effective. Can be used on young and old alike.
  • Apply neat to cold sores. A very powerful antiviral oil.

Ravensara has a slightly medicinal, eucalyptus-like, slightly sweet with a touch of fruit scent. It is a top note in perfumery. Blends well with Helichrysum, Orange, Mandarin, and Lavender.

Possible uses:

Emotions/mind: clarifying, purifying, stimulating.

Muscles/joints: rheumatism, arthritis, soothing agent, muscle relaxant, muscle fatigue, menstrual discomfort, aches and pains, healing cuts, wounds, burns and scrapes.

Respiratory and immune system: used for clearing the sinus and breathing passages, anti-infectious, anti-viral, loosening tight muscles, rhinopharyngitis, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, viral hepatitis, cholera, herpes, infectious mononucleosis, it's an expectorant.  Helpful for chronic fatigue.   It has a regulating effect while energizing the immune system and balancing the circulating immunoglobulins.

SORE THROAT

Oils to choose from: Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Thyme, Ginger, Parsley, Pine, Ravensara, Sage

COUGH

Carrier oil--1 oz
Chamomile, Roman or German--4 drops
Cypress--5 drops
Eucalyptus--4 drops
Frankincense--5 drops
Marjoram--6 drops
Ravensara--3 drops

Rub into the throat area.
STEAM INHALATION:

Chamomile-–2 drops
Lavender–-2 drops
Ravensara–-2 drops

Add to bowl with steaming hot water. Lean head over bowl, cover with towel and inhale deeply.

Massage neck and behind ears with:
Chamomile-–5 drops
Lemon-–2 drops
Ravensara-–1 drop

Dilute in 2 tsp carrier oil.
 
Make a drink with 1 drop Lavender, 2 drops Lemon and 1 tsp honey.
Dilute in glass of warm Rose Hydrosol that has been boileD.

 

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ROSE
Rosa damascena

Steam distillation or absolute.

Base note.

Rose is sensual, uplifting and used in skin care to help keep it looking young.

Chemical Components: Terpene Alcohols and parafins .

This oil is used for all skin types because it is so balancing, but in particular, this oil is used for mature and dry skin. It is used for acne, wrinkles, broken capillaries, eczema, depression, migraines, nervous tension, stabilizing the central Nervous system, balances hormones and regulates the menstrual cycle and therefore has been mistakenly referred to as an emmenegogue and not to be used during pregnancy, which is a myth. (Although, being rather conservative, I still caution the use of ANY Essential Oil during the first trimester, especially if there has been a history of miscarriage.) It is also used for frigidity, hangovers, nausea, an immune stimulant and asthma.

Rose, like the heavier oils, gets better and not worse with age. You can keep Rose forever.  Unlike your citrus Oils which have a very short shelf life (9 months to a year usually), Rose improves with shelf life.    Note though, that it may start to solidify after some time, this is okay.  One of the main chemical constituents of rose oil is paraffin, so it can get a waxy layer at the top, just warm it in the palm of your hand for a while.

Rose essential oil is VERY expensive, but fortunately you need very little compared to most other oils.  Usually only one or two drops is sufficient in a formula.  You can also use rose EO in a 10% dilution with jojoba oil which is very effective.

Another excellent alternative is Rose Hydrosol (or hydrolat).

Hydrosols are the waters that are left after the steam distillation of plant material. Every plant that is steam distilled has a hydrosol, and now they are becoming better known and used more often. These waters contain minute amounts of the essential oils that they were distilled from, and they are being used more and more as a therapy themselves.  In some instances the essential oils are too potent to use (facial toner, cats, infants), and that's a good time to use the gentle hydrosol.

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ROSE GERANIUM

Botanical Name: Pelargonium graveolens

Plant Part: Herb

Extraction Method: Steam distillation

Origin: France

Description: Rose geranium is a hairy perennial shrub, often used in hedgerows, and will stand up to about one meter high (3 feet) with pointed leaves, serrated at the edges and pinkish-white flowers. The leaves and stalks are used for extraction, and the oil is obtained through steam distillation.
Color: Pale yellow green
Common Uses: Rose Geranium oil can be used to help in the treatment of the following: acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hemorrhoids, lice, mosquito repellant, ringworm, ulcers, breast engorgement, edema, poor circulation, sore throat, tonsillitis, PMS, menopausal problems, stress and neuralgia. It's reputation as an extremely versatile essential oil is well documented.

Consistency: Thin

Note: Middle

Strength of Aroma: Strong

Blends well with: Rose Geranium Blends well with Angelica, Basil, Bergamot, Carrot seed, Cedarwood, Citronella, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lime, Neroli, Orange and Rosemary.
Aromatic Scent: As the name implies, many of the chemical constituents are similar to that of Rose essential oil. While it should not be mistaken as an alternative to Rose, it does have some of the Rose floral notes in a base that is both sweet and herbaceous.

History: The plants originated from South Africa as well as Reunion, Madagascar, Egypt and Morocco. They were introduced to European countries such as Italy, Spain and France in the 17th century. In early times geraniums were planted around the house to help keep evil sprits at bay.
Cautions: Non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitizing, though it can cause sensitivity in some people and due to the fact that it balances the hormonal system, it should be avoided during pregnancy.

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ROSEMARY
Rosmarinus officinalis

Uses and Actions:

Anti-catarrh, antispasmodic, anti-infectious, bactericide, cicatrizant, fungicide, chologugue, econgestant, digestive, emmenagoge, expectorant, sudorific, tonic.

There are THREE types of Rosemary:
  • Camphor Type (Do NOT use on Pregnant women and Children under 10)
  • Rosemary Verbenone type (again I wouldn’t use this on a pregnant
    woman and young children)
  • Cineole type Rosemary

 Cineole Tpe Rosemary is the mildest Rosemary, and can even be used by young children and pregnant women after the first trimester. (Note: I don’t recommend ANY use of Essential Oil during the first trimester of pregnancy with the exception of peppermint and ginger, and then only sniffing a drop on a cloth tissue).

 Each of these Types of Rosemary have their own area of specialty.

Rosemary Camphor is used for tired muscles, rheumatism, cramps, sciatica, arthritis, colds, flu, all respiratory infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, catarrh, stomach upsets such as constipation, bile production, flatulence, edema, nervous exhaustion, headaches, migraine, lethargy, and is a memory aid.

Major Chemical components: Ketones, Terpene Ketone.

Rosemary Verbenone is  MUST for skin care. It is reputed to be excellent for skin regeneration, acne, dermatitis, dry skin, broken veins, dry or oily hair, dandruff, seborrhea, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, asthma.

Major Chemical Component: Ketones, Verbenone.

Rosemary Cineole is the one to diffuse when suffering from sinusitis, catarrh, bronchitis, colds, flu, stress, nervous exhaustion, constipation.

Major Chemical Component: Cineole

Myth Busting: Most aromatherapy books warn against using rosemary if you have High Blood Pressure or Epilepsy. 

According to Martin Watt (the AT safety authority), there has been NO evidence to support that warning. There is actually no evidence that it does raise BP.  Anecdotal evidence has shown rosemary to be the oil of choice of epileptics to head off an attack and during the recovery period after an attack.

So next time you read that warning, remember, it’s a well publicized MYTH.

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SANDALWOOD
(Santalum album)

Steam Distilled

Base note:  The base note of this oil lingers for a long time.  In India, temples built of sandalwood centuries ago still emit the odor of this wood.

Sandalwood is an aid to meditation, spiritual growth, and is balancing.  Treats depression, nervous tension, stress, neuralgia, sciatica, bladder infections, hormonal issues, nausea, strep, staph infections, UTI, stimulates the immune system.

Wonderful for skin care, acne, both oily and dry skin, cracked and chapped skin, aging skin.

Actions include antidepressant, aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrizant, decongestant, emollient, expectorant, fungicidal, insecticidal, sedative.

Once the oil has been distilled, it is matured for six months to achieve the right maturity and perfume.  It develops from a very pale yellow to a brownish yellow.  It is extremely thick and viscous with a heavy, sweet, woody and fruity aroma which is pungently balsamic.

Sandalwood oil can be adulterated with diverse oils such as castor, palm and linseed.  Although experts can spot this, many people are deceived in this way.  When buying Sandalwood, make sure that it is not Australian or West Indian -- oils from these sources have little therapeutic value.  Vietnam and New Caledonia have well controlled plantations of genuine Sandalwood.  The best quality oil comes from the Indian province of Mysore where the Sandalwood trees are protected by the state government.

Blends well with cedarwood, benzoin, neroli, orange, patchouli, vanilla, rose.

A very smooth, deep, aromatic scent.

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SPEARMINT
Mentha spicata

Calming.  It is refreshing, cooling, gently vitalizing.

Helpful to blemished skin.

Often I prefer spearmint over peppermint, particularly in a children's blend.  It's milder and sweeter than peppermint. 

Spearmint increases alertness, opens up the respiratory system, and lifts the spirit.  Like lavender, however, it can also be used sparingly at bedtime to bring about a sense of calm and relaxation.

Energizing to the mind and body. 

Use in bath water for its refreshing effect. 

Common Method of Extration: Steam Distilled

Color: Clear

Consistency: Thin

Perfumery Note: Top

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium

Aromatic Description: Minty, slightly fruity aroma that is less bright than peppermint.

Traditional use:  Insect repellent, emollient, astringent, soothing agent, muscle relaxant

Blends well with bergamot, orange, jasmine, lavender, sandalwood.

Possible Uses: Asthma, exhaustion, fever, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies, vertigo.

Safety Information: Use recommended dilution or less.  Mucous membrane irritant.

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SPIKENARD
Nardostachys jatamansi

Plant Part: Dried root

Extraction Method: Steam

Origin: Nepal

Description: Spikenard is a soft, aromatic herb with a strongly pungent rhizome root. It is native to the mountainous regions of Northern India, as well as China and Japan.

Color:Golden Yellow

Common Uses: Spikenard is used by aromatherapists for rashes, wrinkles, cuts, insomnia, migraines, and wounds.

Consistency: Medium

Note: Base

Strength of Aroma:  Medium -Strong Blend well with: Spikenard blends well with Lavender, Patchouli, Pine, Vetiver, and spice oils.

Aromatic Scent: Spikenard essential oil has an earthy, harsh wood like smell that is slightly musty.

History: Spikenard was one of the early aromatics used by the ancient Egyptians and is mentioned in the Bible in Song of Solomon, and in the Book of John where Mary used it to anoint the feet of Jesus. It has also been used historically by wealthy Roman women in perfumes and beauty preparations.

Cautions:
Spikenard should be avoided during pregnancy.
 

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TEA TREE
(Melaleuca Alternifolia)

Origin:  Australia

Distillation Method:  Steam distillation of leaves

Medicinal Properties:  Antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-biotic, anti-infectious, immune stimulant, antiviral, parasiticide, cicatrizant*, vulnerary*, expectorant

Actions  Tea Tree is one of the most remarkable essential oils.  Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-puritic, anti-viral, ANTI-INFECTIOUS, bactericidal (large spectrum-gram +, staph, gram-, coli, proteus, Klebs, entero & more), anti-parisitic, anti-fungal, decongestant, expectorant, immune stimulant, insecticide, and more.

Uses:  Use for cuts, burns, scrapes, any type of skin abrasions; acne, abscess, athlete's foot, herpes, dandruff, oily skin, rashes, warts, diabetic gangrene, impetigo, ringworm, pediculosis, wounds, protects skin from burns during radiation treatments, after treatment with rose & lavender; emphysema, tonsillitis, ear, nose & throat infection; cold sores, cankers, and infections.  Helps stop the spread of colds and infectious illnesses.  Lice, fleas, and parasites.  Thrush, cystitis, vaginitis.  Asthma, bronchitis, coughs, sinusitis.  Blisters, warts, bug bites.  Stimulates circulation, aids hemorrhoids, varicosities, aneurysms, stimulates lymphatic circulation.  Often referred to as an all-purpose germicide and first-aid kit in a bottle.

Tea tree oil was originally a folk remedy developed by the Australian Aborigines for treatment of insect bits, burns, and cuts; now used in soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, shampoos, cleaning products, colognes and toiletries.

Compatible EOs:  Excellent as a preventive with rosewood, thyme, linalool, ravensara; before surgery with niaouli; for treating wounds with lavender; added to mineral water for protection against infection.

Effect:  Stimulant

Note:  Top.

Biochemical Class:  Monoterpene; oxides: 1.4 cineole, 1.8 cineole (>18%).

Safety:  A very safe oil.  Non toxic, non irritating, may cause slight sensitivity in some individuals in improperly used.  One of only two essential oils that may be used neat (undiluted) on the skin, the other is lavender.  As with any pure essential oil, consult with your friendly aromatherapist for proper use if you're unsure.J  PLEASE NOTE:  Recent laboratory tests indicate that Tea Tree Essential Oil is more effective as an antibacterial agent in weak dilutions (less than 2%) than it is neat.  In my experience, Tea Tree EO used neat can be harsh on sensitive skin, and since it is more effective in a weak dilution, this would be the method of choice, especially for acne and other skin disorders.

Use for Pets:  Excellent for treating pets with two exceptions:  (1) NEVER use ANY EOs on cats** except by diffusion; rather, use hydrosols which are mild, yet still contain some of the properties and benefits of the EO; (2) DO NOT use tea tree EO on puppies or toy breeds, any small dog under about 8 pounds.

SIMONE'S OPINION:  Tea Tree is a truly amazing essential oil.  Between lavender and tea tree its tough choosing which one I wouldn't want to live without ... BUT ... I consider tea tree to be an absolutely ESSENTIAL part of my first aid kit and I have a bottle in each room of the house:  in the laundry room for sanitizing the dog towels in the washer; in the kitchen for adding to the dishwashing liquid; in the bathroom for adding to the toilet bowl; in the nightstand drawer to add to the diffuser at any time it's needed; even in the car!J

RECIPES:

Cold & Flu Blend

8 drops eucalyptus globulus EO
4 drops tea tree EO
3 drops lavender or lavendin EO
30 ml carrier oil (Fr Coconut, Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, etc.)

Add the EO blend to the carrier oil(s) in an amber glass bottle, cap securely and label.
Store away from heat and light

This is a 2% dilution blend.

Apply to the neck, chest, back, wrists and soles of the feet.
Use 6-8 drops in a bath after the tub has filled
You may also use the essential oil blend without the carrier oil inhaled or on a tissue, in a diffuser, or in steam inhalation

(Only use essential oils in diffusers, never use carrier oils)

Germ Free Carpet Spray

2 ml lemon EO
2 ml grapefruit EO
1 ml tea tree EO

add EO blend to a small amount of vodka or alcohol; add to 16 oz dist water in a spray bottle.  Vacuum and then spray onto the carpet.  This is great to keep a clean floor for the babies and children!

(1 ml = approx. 20 drops)

Sore Gums and Plaque

Mix three to five drops of tea tree EO in a cup of water and use as a mouthwash twice daily.  Do not swallow it  The mouthwash can also help toothache, bad breath, gingivitis, and canker sores.  Australian dental patients are often advised to apply tea tree oil to infected teeth a few days before dental work to prevent postoperative infections.

Cuts and Abrasions

Wash the wound with tea tree hydrosol or Flutterbye Antibacterial Soap, then apply a few drops of pure tea tree EO or tea tree EO diluted in a carrier oil as mentioned earlier.  If you pull off a hangnail, you can avoid the usually inevitable localized infection by immediately daubing the site with a few drops of tea tree oil.

__________________________________________________
* wound healing
** the cat's liver is unable to filter essential oils, and the skin is paper thin, making them potentially toxic if used in direct application

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THYME
(
Thymus vulgaris )

Thyme -- infection free

Thyme is distilled from the leaves and flowering tops and is imported from Spain.  It has a sweet, intense herb-medicinal odor.

Thyme was used by ancient Greeks to disinfect air and inhibit infectious diseases.

Some traditional uses: to heal colds, bronchitis, for relieving muscle aches and pains, to aid concentration and memory, for reliving fatigue and said to heal anthrax

Blends with: bergamot, lemon, rosemary, lavender and sweet marjoram

AVOID USE IF PREGNANT OR WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

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Vetiver is grounding and balancing; it should be included in any blend for anxiety.  Vetiver is also very relaxing and is a mild sedative, so useful for stress.  Blends well with citrus oils including Neroli, Petitgrain, Grapefruit.  Research indicates Vetiver stimulates production of red blood cells and that it is useful for 'aches and pains.'

In India, Vetiver leaves are woven into mats and hung in windows and doors to repel insects.  They add the oil to baths and apply it to the skin for a cooling effect.

Vetiver is also cooling to the mind and is a great oil of choice for those suffering withdrawal from drugs, alcohol, nicotine, etc.  Vetiver helps quill jitters and provides peace of mind and body.  It is also known to be a good choice for trauma victims who are anxiety ridden and hypersensitive.

Therapeutic Properties of Vetiver

 

  • Antifungal - inhibits growth of fungus
  • Antiseptic - assists in fighting germs/infections
  • Cooling
  • Grounding
  • Immune stimulant - stimulates functioning of immune system
  • Nervine - supports the nervous system: strengthens, restores, eases
  • Sedative - reduces activity, calming (insomnia)

 


There are several grades of ylang ylang essential oil which are extracted at different times during the flower's lengthy distillation. The superior ylang extra is drawn off during the initial phase. Next, ylang II is extracted and finally ylang III. Products known as "ylang complete" are available which can be either a blend of the three grades of ylang or the complete oil that results from the full, uninterrupted distillation of the flowers.

No uniform standard exists as to when the distillation is suspended and each grade of ylang drawn off. This results in a notorious inconsistency of aroma across the three grades; an experienced nose is required for accurate evaluation. If ylang extra is taken too soon, for instance, many of its outstanding aroma characteristics could show up in the secondary ylang II oil -- thereby creating an outstanding ylang II but a weak ylang extra. If the secondary ylang II distillation is allowed to go too long, some of the less fine aroma characteristics of ylang III might show up in the ylang II.

The standard bearer of all ylang grades is ylang extra, which has a creamy, delicate aroma, never overpowering or too densely sweet. Aroma-sensitive individuals sometimes experience headaches when inhaling the potent ylang III, but usually don't when inhaling the subtle sweetness of ylang extra.

In aromatherapy, ylang evokes feelings of deep, languid calm that melt away anxiety, tension and stress. Ylang tends to predominate, so it should be used in small amounts on its own or when blending with other oils. Too much of a good thing might evoke negative effects; restraint is the key to working successfully with ylang. When creating blends, start with amounts that seem too small. Let the blend age for several days before evaluating the aroma, so the power and radiance of the ylang can expand through the blend and reach its ultimate presence. You may find that a blend comprised of as little as 5 to 10% ylang smells like 20 to 30%.