Essential Oil Spotlight: Spikenard

Spikenard essential oil (Nardostachys jatamansi) gets its name from the spike-shaped rhizomes (or “spikes”) of the plant that the oil is distilled from. Highly prized in the Middle East during the time of Christ, spikenard is referred to several times in the Bible. Spikenard was also used in the preparation of nardinum, a scented oil of great renown during ancient times. Prized in early Egypt, it was used in a preparation called kyphi with other oils like saffron, juniper, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon.

Spikenard is commonly used for aging skin, insomnia, nervousness, perfume, and rashes. The oil is known for helping in the treatment of allergic skin reactions, and according to Victoria Edwards, “The oil redresses the skin’s physiological balance and causes permanent regeneration.”

It may also help with allergies, candida, flatulent indigestion, insomnia, menstrual difficulties, migraines, nausea, neurological diseases, rashes, staph infections, stress, tachycardia, tension, and wounds that will not heal.

This essential oil contains the following properties: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, deodorant, relaxing, and skin tonic.

Spikenard has an earthy, animal-like fragrance. It is balancing, soothing, and harmonizing.

Spikenard can be applied neat (without dilution) on adults when used topically on area of concern or to reflex points. It can also be diffused or inhaled directly.

at_spikenard

5 Ways to Use Spikenard Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try these oil blends in your diffuser:
2. Roll on for Sleep
Spikenard essential oil is also beneficial in helping with insomnia because of its relaxing properties. Here is a good recipe to put in a roll-on bottle to rub on the bottoms of your feet at night when you need a little help falling asleep:

Insomnia Blend:
1 drop Roman chamomile
2 drops lavender
2 drops marjoram
2 drops orange
1 drop tangerine
1 drop ylang ylang
1 drop spikenard
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on for short-term use or a 10 ml roll-on for daily use. Fill the roll-on the rest of the way with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil.

All-Natural Deodorant3. Add to Deodorant
Try putting spikenard in your all-natural deodorant. You could even make your own by using this recipe and replace the oils with this blend:
5 drops orange
3 drops juniper berry
2 drops spikenard

4. Add to a Warm Bath
Here is a bath blend that will remind you of being deep in the woodlands:

Relax in the Woodlands Bath:
1 drop spikenard
1 drop vetiver
5 drops cedarwood
10 drops white fir
4 drops cypress
1 cup (240 g) epsom salt
Mix oils in epsom salt, and add 1/4 cup of the mixture to your warm bathwater.

5. Use in a Massage
According to Patricia Davis, spikenard “is a wonderful oil for anybody who is tense or anxious, and has the ability to help people let go of old pain or emotional blocks that they are holding inside. Aromatherapists who work with chakra energy or auric massage would find this a very appropriate oil” (Aromatherapy: An A–Z, p. 301). Try using this blend that includes spikenard for a relaxing massage:

Relaxing Massage Blend:
3 drops neroli
3 drops petitgrain
3 drops marjoram
1 drop spikenard
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil)

To learn more about spikenard essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 110.
Aromatherapy: An A–Z by Patricia Davis.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Petitgrain

Petitgrain essential oil (Citrus aurantium) is obtained from the bitter orange tree. It is distilled from leaves and sometimes the tips of young twigs, but in earlier centuries it was extracted from unripe oranges, picked when they were still green and no bigger than a cherry, hence the French term petit grain, meaning “small grain.” This was uneconomic because in the effort to produce petitgrain essential oil, the crops of mature oranges were reduced drastically. So rather than producing oil from the unripe fruit, producers started distilling oil from the leaves of the tree and kept the oil’s original name. Because of its very pleasing scent, petitgrain has been used extensively in high-quality perfumes and cosmetics.

Petitgrain essential oil contains antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, and stimulant (for digestive and nervous systems) properties.

It is commonly used for depression, focus, greasy/oily hair, stress, and uplifting one’s mood. This oil may also help with acne, dyspepsia, fatigue, flatulence, greasy hair, insomnia, and excessive perspiration.

Petitgrain essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) on adults when used topically on area of concern or reflex points. It can also be diffused or inhaled directly and is generally regarded as safe for internal use (often consumed in small amounts in capsules).

5 Ways To Use Petitgrain Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Petitgrain is a great oil to diffuse because it has the ability to uplift one’s mood and may help with stress, focus, and depression. Try these blends in your diffuser:

2. Roll on for Sleep
Petitgrain essential oil is also beneficial in helping with insomnia (especially when sleeplessness is caused because of loneliness or stress). Here is a good recipe to put in a roll-on bottle to rub on the bottoms of your feet at night when you need a little help falling asleep:

Sleepy Time with Petitgrain Roll-on Blend:
2 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
7 drops petitgrain
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on for short-term use or a 10 ml roll-on for daily use. Fill the roll-on the rest of the way with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil.

All-Natural Deodorant3. Add to Deodorant
Try putting petitgrain in your all-natural deodorant. You could even make your own using this recipe and replace the oils with this blend:
4 drops lime
4 drops orange
2 drops clove
2 drops petitgrain

4. Add to a Warm Bath
Petitgrain is most known for its ability to help with depression and for supporting the nervous system. It is a good alternative to use in place of bergamot essential oil when needed over a long period of time or when the photosensitive nature of bergamot is a problem (petitgrain essential oil is not a photosensitizer). Try adding petitgrain essential oil to your baths! Just mix the oil with epsom salt before adding to warm bathwater. Here are a few recipes to try:

A Refreshing Calm:
5 drops petitgrain
5 drops ylang ylang
5 drops orange
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Relaxing with Petitgrain:
5 drops petitgrain
5 drops lavender
3 drops fennel
2 drops orange
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Good Morning, Sunshine:
4 drops rosemary
6 drops grapefruit
5 drops petitgrain
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt

Bath woman

5. Care for Greasy/Oily Skin and Hair
Petitgrain essential oil has many applications in skincare because it helps to reduce over-production of sebum and is a gentle but effective antiseptic. This makes it a good oil for acne or oily dandruff. Just put a few drops in the final rinse after shampooing greasy hair, or apply after washing your face.

To learn more about petitgrain essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 101.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller
Aromatherapy: An A–Z by Patricia Davis
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson

Essential Oil Spotlight: Fennel

fennelFennel essential oil is steam-distilled from the seeds of the Foeniculum vulgare plant in the parsley family.

The ancient Egyptians and Romans awarded garlands of fennel to victorious warriors because the plant was believed to give courage, strength, and longevity. It has been used for thousands of years to treat snake bites, hunger, earaches, reproductive problems, lung infections, and worms.

The French use fennel to treat cystitis, sluggish digestion, and gout, to increase lactation, and for menopause problems.

It is commonly used for blood clots, bruises, kidney stones, and skin revitalization. Fennel may also be used for colic and indigestion, to stimulate the cardiovascular system, and for nausea, obesity, and hormone issues.

Fennel can be diffused or inhaled and can also be dropped under the tongue or used in cooking.

To learn more about fennel essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, pp. 113–14.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Rose

RoseRose essential oil is steam-distilled from flowers in the Rosaceae family. It can be applied topically, diffused, or inhaled. Its pleasant floral aroma may promote emotional balance.

Historically, the healing properties of rose were used as a medicine to aid with digestion, menstrual problems, headaches, poor circulation, and skin issues. It is still used widely in the East.

Rose has antihemorrhagic, anti-infectious, aphrodisiac, and sedative properties. It may be used to treat asthma, frigidity, sprains, nervous tension, ulcers, and wounds.

To learn more about rose essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, p. 155.

 

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cedarwood

Cedarwood

Cedarwood essential oil is steam-distilled from the wood of the Juniperus virginiana tree. Its warm, woody aroma has a calming effect.

Historically, cedarwood has been used for its strong antiseptic, diuretic, and insect-repelling properties. The French use it to calm anger and nervous tension as well as treat hair loss, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections.

Cedarwood is commonly used as a sedative and to treat cellulite, tension, tuberculosis, and dandruff. It may also help acne, congestion, and water retention.

Cedarwood essential oil may be used topically or aromatically to benefit the nervous and respiratory systems.

To learn more about cedarwood essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, p. 98.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Lemongrass essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the Cymbopogon flexuosus. Its lemony, earthy aroma may promote awareness and purification.

Historically, lemongrass has been used for infections and fever, as an insecticide, and as a sedative to the central nervous system.

The French use it to treat bladder infections, fluid retention, edema, and varicose veins and to heal the digestive system and connective tissue.

Lemongrass is believed to support the immune system and strengthen muscles and bones. Other possible uses of lemongrass are to improve circulation, wake the lymphatic system, treat respiratory problems, and improve eyesight.

Use topically, aromatically in a diffuser, in capsule form, or as a flavoring in cooking.

To learn more about lemongrass essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th edition, p. 135.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil is solvent-extracted or vacuum-distilled from the Citrus bergamia fruit (Kaffir lime) or pressed from the rind or peel.

Bergamot was used in Italy to relieve fevers, protect against malaria, and expel intestinal worms. Some believe that Christopher Columbus brought bergamot to Italy from the Canary Islands.

The French use it to calm agitation, treat appetite loss, colic, depression, infection, and intestinal parasites, and relieve rheumatism. Other possible uses are to improve skin conditions and to treat coughs, respiratory infection, sore throat, insect bites, and nervous tension. It is commonly used to heal cold sores and urinary tract infections, and for depression, stress, or insomnia.

Due to antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, bergamot may support the body systems that affect digestion, emotional balance, and skin.

Its uplifting and refreshing aroma is energy-giving and mood-lifting. It can also be effective as a deodorant or dietary supplement.

To learn more about bergamot essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th edition, p. 92.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Melaleuca

MelaleucaNEWMelaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of myrtle trees and shrubs. Aromatically, melaleuca’s earthy scent is known to promote cleansing and purity.

Historically, the leaves of the melaleuca tree were used to heal cuts, wounds, and skin infections.

In French medicine, melaleuca is commonly used to help support the body when dealing with athlete’s foot, bronchitis, colds, coughs, diarrhea, flu, rash, sore throats, and sunburn.

Today, melaleuca is primarily used to help with acne, allergies, bacterial infections, boils, canker sores, cavities, dermatitis/eczema, ear infections, gum disease, hepatitis, hives, inflammation, lice, pink eye, staph infection, viral infection, warts, and more.

Melaleuca is known to be analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, a strong antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, immune stimulant, insecticidal, neurotonic, stimulant, and tissue regenerative.

To learn more about melaleuca essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, pp. 140–141

Essential Oil Spotlight: Myrrh

Myrrh Subway Art AT Colors

Myrrh essential oil is steam distilled from the gum/resin of the commiphora myrrha tree. Historically, myrrh has been used as an incense in religious rituals, in embalming, and to help with cancer, leprosy, and syphilis.

The warm, powerful aroma of myrrh promotes awareness and is uplifting. Myrrh is known to have an effect on the hormone, immune, and nervous systems.

Myrrh is highly regarded for its anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, astringent, and tonic properties. Myrrh has commonly been used to help with appetite (increase), asthma, athlete’s foot, candida, catarrh (mucus), coughs, eczema, digestion, dyspepsia (impaired digestion), flatulence (gas), fungal infection, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers, decongesting the prostate gland, ringworm, sore throats, skin conditions (chapped, cracked, and inflamed), wounds, and wrinkles.

It may also help support the body when dealing with bronchitis, diarrhea, dysentery, hyperthyroidism, stretch marks, thrush, ulcers, vaginal thrush, and viral hepatitis.

To learn more about this amazing essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, p. 144

Essential Oil Spotlight: Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir.jpg

Douglas fir essential oil is steam distilled from the needles and twigs of the conifer tree Pseudotsuga menziesii. Douglas fir is prized for its effect on the respiratory system, muscles, and bones.

The fragrant aroma of Douglas fir creates a feeling of grounding and anchoring and promotes a sense of focus. It is said to have the ability to help balance emotions and stimulate the mind while allowing the body to relax.

Douglas fir is known for its antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, sedative (nerves), and tonic properties. The primary uses of Douglas fir include respiratory complaints, fever, and muscular and rheumatic pain.

Douglas fir is also known to help protect against anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cold, coughs, flu, infections, respiratory weakness, rheumatism, nervous tension, and wounds. It has been found to be soothing to sore, overworked, or tired muscles and joints.

To learn more about this amazing essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, p. 110