Frankincense

Latin Name:  Boswellia carteri

Family: Burseracea

Also known as:  Olibanum

Distribution:  Native to mountainous regions of western India, southern Arabia and north-eastern Africa.  The majority of frankincense is produced in Somalia and Ethiopia.

Different species are found in different countries:

B. sacra-from Oman, Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia

B. carteri-Somalia

B frereana-Somalia

B. papyifera-western Ethiopia

B. serrata-western India

Extraction:  Frankincense is produced from the steam distillation of the resin of various boswellia species.  An absolute is also produced by solvent extraction.

Characteristics:  The oil varies from colourless to pale yellow.  The odor is fresh and slightly penetrating.

Actions:  anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, cicatrizant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine, vulnerary

Uses: blemishes, dry and mature skin, scars, wounds, wrinkles, asthma, bronchitis, catararrh, coughs, laryngitis, cystitis, dysmenorrhea, colds, flu, anxiety, and nervous tension.

Frankincense slows and deepens the breath, assisting in meditation, prayer, and deep relaxation.

Perfumery:  frankincense has been used in perfumery since ancient Egypt.  It has a fresh, top note and a warm, rich, sweet undertone.  It is often used as a fixative in perfumes and soaps.  It blends well with sandalwood, pine, vetiver, geranium, lavender, neroli, orange, bergamot, basil, pepper, and cinnamon. It works well with citrus blends as it modifies the sweetness and adds an interesting note.

Primary constituents:  Pinene, dipentene, limonene, thujone, phellandrene, cymene, myrcene, terpinene.

Interesting facts:  Frankincense has been used since antiquity as incense in China and India.  The Catholic Church has long used frankincense, and the ancient Egyptians used it in cosmetics and perfumes.  The kohl used by the Egyptians to paint their eyes was charred frankincense.  Medicinally, it has long been used for conditions such as rheumatism, syphilis, respiratory and urinary tract infections, and skin diseases.

 

Method of administration:  Massage, compress, bath, skin care, direct inhalation, diffuser, steam distillation, and oil vaporizer.

Contraindications:  Frankincense is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing.

 

More Info

Recipes

 

Please note: this information is not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a licensed medical practitioner or naturopath. Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to be effective.

 

Do not use essential oils internally unless under the care and guidance of a licensed aromatherapist.

 

 

 

 

 

Elemi

Elemi

Latin Name: Canarium luonicum

Family: Burseraceae

Also known as: C. commune, Manila elemi, elemi gum, elemi resin

Distribution: Elemi is native to the Philippine Islands and the Moluccas, where it is also cultivated. Distillation occurs at the source.

Extraction: Elemi is extracted with a solvent to form a resinoid and the oil is produced from the steam distillation of this resinoid. A gum and resin are also produced in small quantities.

Characteristics: Elemi is colourless to pale yellow with a light, fresh balsamic-spicy, peppery, citrus odor.

Actions*: Antiseptic, balsamic, cicatrizant, expectorant, fortifying, regulatory, stimulant, stomachic, tonic.

Uses: For aged skin, infected cuts and wounds, inflammation, rejuvenation, wrinkles, bronchitis, catarrhal conditions, unproductive coughs, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions.

Elemi has been used as a stomachic and as an expectorant. It eases congestion of the lungs and controls excess mucus.

Elemi is recommended in skin care for aged skin, infected cuts, inflammation, and wrinkles. It may also be beneficial for ulcers, fungal growths and infected wounds.

Emotional: Elemi oil can encourage soothing, calm, stillness, contentment, compassion, and peace.

Perfumery:  Elemi can be used as a top note fragrance.  It is often used as a fixative and as a fragrance in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes. It blends well with myrrh, frankincense, labdanum, rosemary, lavender, lavandin, sage, cinnamon, and other spices.

Primary constituents: a-pinene, sabinene, limonene, myrcene, phellandrene, dipentene, elemol, elemicin, terpineol, carvone, and terpinolene..

Interesting facts: The name “elemi” is derived from the Arabic phrase meaning “As above, so below” showing that the oil acts on the emotional as well as the spiritual level.  Although it is often known as the “poor man’s frankincense”, elemi must be appreciated for its many fabulous qualities (many of which are similar to frankincense).

It was one of the aromatics used by the ancient Egyptians in the embalming process. It is occasionally used as a flavoring in soft drinks and alcohol. It is also used in soaps and incense.
Although Elemi is called a gum, it is almost entirely made up of resin and essential oil.
Contraindications: Elemi is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing.

*for a listing of definitions, please visit Therapeutic Actions

Please note: this information is not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a licensed medical practitioner or naturopath. Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to be effective.

Do not use essential oils internally unless under the care and guidance of a licensed aromatherapist.

Benzoin

 Styrax benzoin

This resinous oil has a great calming and uplifting effect on the mind and helps to comfort the sad and lonely, while boosting circulation and easing respiratory disorders. At the same time it boosts the skin’s elasticity, while calming redness, itchiness and irritation.  When concentration is needed, it is best to avoid using benzoin oil as it can have a very relaxing effect.

Oil properties

Benzoin oil has a sweet, warm and vanilla-like aroma and is golden brown in color, with a treacle-like viscosity.

Origin of benzoin oil

Benzoin oil is extracted from resin of the Styrax Benzoin tree.  The tree is from Java, Sumatra and Thailand.

Benzoin is one of the classic ingredients of incense. In ancient civilizations it was used in fumigation and it is also an ingredient of ‘Friar’s balsam’, an aid to respiratory problems. It is also used as a fixative in the perfume industry.

Therapeutic properties

The therapeutic properties of benzoin oil include the following; antiseptic, anti-depressant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, carminative, cordial, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and vulnerary.

It can be used for:  bronchitis, coughs, colds, wounds, acne, eczema, psoriasis, rheumatism, arthritis, scar tissue, circulation, nervous tension, stress, muscle pains, chilblains, rashes and mouth ulcers.

Benefits-Benzoin oil has a calming effect on the nervous and digestive systems, a warming effect on circulation problems and a toning effect on the respiratory tract.

In skin care, it improves elasticity and helps cracked skin, while aiding the healing of sores and wounds and at the same time reducing redness, irritation and itching.

Uses-Benzoin oil can be used in massage oils, or diluted in the bath to assist with general aches and pains, arthritis and rheumatism, as well as chronic bronchitis and coughing. Poor circulation will also benefit from this oi. It also has a calming effect and helps to ease depression. It furthermore gives the skin a general boost by increasing elasticity, reducing redness, irritation and itchiness, while helping wound healing.

Blended in a cream-Benzoin oil is a good remedy for dry, cracked skin, cuts and wounds, as well as for acne and irritable and itching skin, while at the same time improving elasticity.

Benzoin oil blends well with: Bergamot, coriander, frankincense, juniper, lavender, lemon, myrrh, orange, petitgrain, rose and sandalwood.

Bergamot

Citrus aurantium var. bergamia

 

Family: Rutaceae

Parts Used:  The peel of the nearly ripe fruit

Origin:  Bergamo, Italy

Currently cultivated in:  Calabria, Guinea, Morocco, Corsica, Ivory Coast

Extraction Method:  Cold pressed

Fragrance/Note:  Top: fresh, sweet, fruity scent, with a slightly spicy undertone.

Blends with:  Lavender, neroli, jasmine, cypress, geranium, lemon, chamomile, juniper, and coriander.

Actions:  Analgesic, anti-depressant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, digestive, deodorant, parasitic, rubefacient, stimulant.

Conditions:  Acne, boils, cold sores, eczema, insect repellent, psoriasis, halitosis, mouth infections, colds, flu, anxiety, stress.

Contraindications:  Can be phototoxic.  It is recommended that one avoids direct sunlight for 12 hours after topical application.  A bergaptene-free Bergamot oil may be used to avoid this issue.

Folk Remedy:  Has been used for many years in Italy for fever and worms.

Methods of administration:  Massage, compress, bath, direct inhalation, diffuser.

Additional information: Research has shown that bergamot is useful for mouth, skin, and respiratory infections.  It is particularly useful in inhibiting the Herpes simplex I virus which causes cold sores. It is used as the flavoring in Earl Grey tea.  One of the most popular oils used in perfumery.  It is recommended for people who are stressed, tense, and anxious.

Aromatherapy: Bergamot is relaxing, calming, and restoring.  It is said to help to regain self-confidence, and it refreshes the spirit.

Recipe:

Serenity Bath

5 drops lavender

2 drops bergamot

1 drop mandarin

Combine and mix with 2 tbls unscented bath salts or 2 tbls honey.  Add to bath just prior to entering.  Can also be used in a diffuser.

 

For Colds and Flu

3 drops lavender

3 drops Bergamot

2 drops Tea Tree

To ward off an oncoming cold, use as above for bath or in a diffuser.  You can double the essential oils and add to 4 ounces of distilled water in a bottle with a mister.  Mist in air for antiviral, antibacterial, and aromatherapy benefits.

 

References:

 

Tisserand, R, Balacs T, Essential Oil Safety A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 1996, Churchill Livingstone, UK.

Battaglia, S, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 1995, Perfect Potion, Australia

Cooksley, V, Aromatherapy, Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate, and Heal, 2002. Penguin Press, USA

Lawless, J, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, 1995, Element Books, UK

 

This information is intended for educational purposes only and not to be considered complete or guaranteed to be accurate. It is not in our intention to make any medical claims associated with the oils, and the information provided should not be used to replace sound medical advice.

 

 

Ginger Essential Oil

 Zingiber officinalis

Family:  Zingiberaceae

Synonyms:  Common ginger, Jamaican ginger, ginger root

Safety:  May cause irritation to sensitive skin.  Use low dosages during pregnancy.

Region grown:  Ginger is native to the area near the Indian Ocean: Southern China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.  It is now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries, such as:  Jamaica, West Africa, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam, and Australia.  Jamaican and Nigerian ginger are considered high quality.

Method of extraction:  Steam distillation of the unpeeled rhizome.  The rhizome is chopped beforehand to expose more surface to the steam.  Shavings and peelings can also be used.

Characteristics:  Ginger essential oil has a sweet, oriental odor, unlike the pungent flavor of the spice.  Nigerian ginger has a heavy, woody aroma.  Ginger has a green to yellowish color, and feels thin when rubbed between the fingers.  Ginger oil thickens with age and when exposed to air.

Perfume:  Ginger has a warm, spicy, fresh, woody top note.  It is long-lasting and adds a spicy sweetness to blends.  Jamaican ginger is more of a top note, while Nigerian ginger is a base note.  Blends well with: Cedarwood, coriander, frankincense, grapefruit, lime, neroli, orange, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, and vetiver.

Historical:  Ginger was used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Indians, and Japanese, and was traded by Arabian traders.  It has been used in France and Germany since the 9th century.  Ginger is used extensively in Chinese medicine, especially for the treatment of fevers, coughs, and nausea.

Therapeutic actions:  Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-emetic, antispasmodic, aperitif, aphrodisiac, carminative, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific.

Principal Constituents:  Ar-curcumene, Alpha-zingiberene, Beta-sesquiphellandrene, bisabolone, and farnesene, limonene, citronellol, geranial, & 1,8 cineole.

Common uses:  Arthritis, poor circulation, rheumatism, colds and flu, coughs and sore throat, diarrhea, colic, indigestion, nausea, nervous exhaustion, travel sickness, constipation and gallstones, varicose veins, muscular aches and pains, fatigue, and hangover.

Interesting facts:  CO2 extracted ginger contains more pungent compounds, making it more heating and diaphoretic.  It should be used carefully.  In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is the universal medicine and can be of benefit to all.  Ginger destroys toxins, prevents nausea, is rejuvenating, alleviates respiratory issues, and reduces pain.

Ginger is one of the most effective antidotes to nausea and it improves digestion.  It is a stimulant and an aphrodisiac.  It is also effective against herpes.  Ginger is very effective against jet lag.  Combine with lavender, grapefruit, and peppermint and, when travelling, keep on hand to inhale periodically.

Lavandin

Lavandin Hybrid Lavandula intermedia

FamilyLamiaceae

Synonymslavender grosso, L. super, and L. abrialis

Safety:  Lavandin has a much higher camphor content than true lavender.  Should not be taken orally and should be used with caution in those suffering from epilepsy.    Do not use on children.

Region grown: Lavandin is a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and spike lavender.  It is a strong growing plant which produces a great deal of oil.  France produces more than 1.000 tons of lavandin per year.

Method of extraction:  Steam distillation of the fresh flowers.

Characteristics:  Lavender oil is colorless, pale-yellow, or yellow-green.  It feels slick between the fingers and is absorbed quickly.  It has a sharp, camphorus, herbaceous odor.

Perfume:  Middle note.  Lavandin has a slightly camphorus scent.

Historical:  Lavender has been used for thousands of years.  The name Lavandula comes from the Latin word Lavare meaning “to wash”.  It was used by early Romans for strewing and to scent baths.  It was also one of the ingredients used by the “Four Thieves” to protect themselves from the plague during the Middle Ages.  It has also long been used for headaches, insomnia, and nervous upset stomach.

Therapeutic actions:  Lavandin has many of the same qualities as true lavender (to a lesser degree), however, due to the higher camphor content, it is not used to relax and promote sleep.  It can be rather more stimulating.  It is effective for muscle aches, pains, and rheumatism, respiratory conditions, and as a deodorant.

Principal Constituents:  Lavandin contains 20-60% linalool,  5-25% 1,8-cineole, 5-15% camphor, and 15-50% linalyl acetate.

Common uses:  Acne, boil,s bronchitis, cold sores, dermatitis, eczema, lice, ringworm, sunburn, asthma, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism.

Interesting facts:  Lavender is one of the most used and most studied essential oils.  It is said to be effective for over 70 ailments. It is one of the “triple threat” essential oils, being antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.

In the home:  Use lavender in pillows or sachets in drawers or cabinets to repel insects.  Lavandin is very effective in a massage oil for muscle aches and pains, also as a deodorant and deodorizer.

Lavender, Spike

 Lavandula latifolia

FamilyLamiaceae

Synonyms:  Spike lavender

Safety:  Lavandula latifolia has a much higher camphor content than true lavender.  Should not be taken orally and should be used with caution in those suffering from epilepsy.

Region grown: Spike Lavender grows naturally in the Mediterranean region, particularly Spain and Italy.  It is now grown England, United States, Japan and Tasmania.

Method of extraction:  Steam distillation of the fresh flowers.

Characteristics:  Lavender oil is colorless, pale-yellow, or yellow-green.  It feels slick between the fingers and is absorbed quickly.  It has a sharp, camphorus, herbaceous odor.

Perfume:  Middle note.  Spike Lavender has a sharp scent and is mainly used for scenting soaps and laundry detergent.

Historical:  Lavender has been used for thousands of years.  The name Lavandula comes from the Latin word Lavare meaning “to wash”.  It was used by early Romans for strewing and to scent baths.  It was also one of the ingredients used by the “Four Thieves” to protect themselves from the plague during the Middle Ages.  It has also long been used for headaches, insomnia, and nervous upset stomach.

Therapeutic actions:  Spike lavender has many of the same qualities as true lavender, however, due to the higher camphor content, it is not used to relax and promote sleep.  It can be rather more stimulating.  It is effective for muscle aches, pains, and rheumatism.

Principal Constituents:  The chemical constituents differ due to altitude.   Spike Lavender contains 30-35% linalool,  25-32% 1,8-cineole, and 10-20% camphor

Common uses:  Acne, boils, cold sores, dermatitis, eczema, lice, ringworm, sunburn, asthma, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism.

Interesting facts:  Lavender is one of the most used and most studied essential oils.  It is said to be effective for over 70 ailments. It is one of the “triple threat” essential oils, being antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.

In the home:  Use lavender in pillows or sachets in drawers or cabinets to repel insects.  Spike lavender is very effective in a massage oil for muscle aches and pains, also for respiratory ailments.

Lavender, True

 Lavandula angustifolia

Family:  Lamiaceae

SynonymsLavandula vera, Lavandula officinalis, common lavender

Safety:  Non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing.  Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be applied neat to the skin.

Region grown: Lavender is native to the Mediterranean.  It is now grown all over the word.  Most lavender oil is produced in France, England, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Morocco, Australia, and Tasmania.

Method of extraction:  Steam distillation of the fresh flowers.  Fresh lavender produces a higher yield of oil with higher ester content.

Characteristics:  Lavender oil is colorless, pale-yellow, or yellow-green.  It feels slick between the fingers and is absorbed quickly.  It has a fresh, floral, sweet, and herbaceous odor.

Perfume:  Middle note.  Lavender has a pleasant, refreshing aroma with a woody undertone.  Blends well with:  Most oils, especially, bergamot, citrus oils, clary sage, geranium, patchouli, pine, & rosemary.

Historical:  Lavender has been used for thousands of years.  The name Lavandula comes from the Latin word Lavare meaning “to wash”.  It was used by early Romans for strewing and to scent baths.  It was also one of the ingredients used by the “Four Thieves” to protect themselves from the plague during the Middle Ages.  It has also long been used for headaches, insomnia, and nervous upset stomach.

Therapeutic actions:  Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, balancing, calming, decongestant, relaxing, sedative, soothing, & tonic.

Principal Constituents:  The chemical constituents differ due to altitude.  Lavender grown above 2,000 ft has a higher ester content.  (This creates a soothing, balancing and antimicrobial oil.)  Lavender is rich in linalyl acetate and linalol.  It also containes a-pinene, limonene, linalool, camphene, delta-pinene, coumarin, and cineole.  (English lavender has a higher cineole content than French lavender.)

Common uses:  Acne, boils, cold sores, dermatitis, eczema, lice, ringworm, sunburn, asthma, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, nervous tension.

Interesting facts:  Lavender is one of the most used and most studied essential oils.  It is said to be effective for over 70 ailments. It is one of the “triple threat” essential oils, being antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.  It has also been shown to be effective in patients with dementia, easing agitation.  It has also been used post-operatively for pain management.  Patients who had lavender oil placed in their mask required less morphine than the control group.  It is also used in doctors and dentists office waiting rooms to reduce stress and anxiety.  Lavender oil is very calming, inducing a deep restful sleep.

There are many species of lavender and each species has different chemical constituents and properties.

In the home:  Lavender can be misted into the air to deodorize and impart a fresh floral scent.  It can be used on pillow cases to relax and induce a deep sleep.  Also, use lavender in pillows or sachets in drawers or cabinets to repel insects.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Latin Name: There are many species of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus globulus is covered here.

Family: Myrtaceae

Also known as: Gum tree, blue gum, stringy bark, fever tree, Tasmanian blue gum.

Distribution: Native to Australia and Tasmania, eucalyptus is now cultivated in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Russia, USA, and China.

Extraction: Steam distillation of fresh or partly dried leaves.

Characteristics: Eucalyptus is a colorless or pale yellow, thin liquid with a slightly oily feel. It has a distinctive camphoraceous aroma.

Actions*: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti rheumatic, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, decongest, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycemic, rubefacient, & vulnerary.

Uses: Eucalyptus is recommended for headaches, neuralgia, as a decongestant for colds and catarrh. Also as an inhalation for flu, sinusitis, and bronchitis. It also relieves muscle aches and pains, burns, blisters, cuts, and insect bites.

Perfumery: Eucalyptus is a top note with a high odor intensity. It blends well with basil, benzoin, cedarwood, frankincense, juniper, lavender, lemon, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, pine, & thyme.

Principal constituents: The main constituent is 1,8-cineole (65-80%), also known as eucalyptol. Eucalyptol is an oxide with expectorant properties. It also contains alpha-pinene, limonene, terpinene, and other minor constituents.

Interesting facts: The name “eucalyptus” is derived from the Greek words ” eu”‘ meaning well, and “kalipto” meaning covered. This refers to the cup-like structure covering the bud.

Eucalyptus trees are very fast-growing and produce a very hard and heavy wood. The oil can oxidize, so it should be stored in the smallest container possible for the amount you have.

Everyday uses: Soak washcloths and sponges in water with 1 drop of eucalyptus to cleanse and deodorize.

Add 3 teaspoons to hot water to scrub floors. Use 3 drops in water to clean trash cans. Add 1-2 drops to the cardboard inside of a toilet roll to deodorize.

Contraindications: Eucalyptus oil is contraindicated with homeopathics. It is non-toxic, non-irritant (in small doses and dilution), and non-sensitizing. Do not take internally.

 

*for a listing of definitions, please visit http://www.bella-oils.com/pages/Essential-Oil-Information.html

Please note that this information is not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a licensed medical practitioner or naturopath. Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to be effective.

Do not use essential oils internally unless under the care and guidance of a licensed aromatherapist.

 

 

 

 

 

Geranium Essential Oil

                                Geranium Essential Oil

Latin Name:  Pelargonium graveolens

Family:  Geraniaceae

Also known as:  Rose geranium, Egyptian geranium

Distribution: Geranium is native to South Africa and is now cultivated in Madagascar, Reunion, North Africa, Egypt, Spain, Morocco, China, France, and Italy.

Extraction:  Steam distillation of the wilted leaves and flowers.

Characteristics:  Geranium essential oil is a colorless to greenish-brown oil with a heavy, sweet, rose-like aroma.  The color of the oil depends on the technique of distillation.

Actions*:  Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, antidepressant, antifungal, anti microbial, astringent, cell proliferant, expectorant, emmenagogue & toning.

Uses: Pain relief from sore throat, tonsillitis, bruises, burns, insect bites, & oral ulcers.  Depression, acne, burns, cuts, infection, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, bloating, menopause, PMS, balance hormones, stabilize emotions.  Geranium is well known for its uplifting and balancing properties.

Perfumery:  Geranium is a middle note with a high intensity.  It has a warm aroma reminiscent of rose.  It blends well with basil, bergamot, clove, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, neroli, patchouli, rose,  sandalwood & Ylang Ylang.

Principal constituents:  Monoterpenols: Citronellol, geraniol, and linalool.  Ketones: Isomenthone, & menthone. Esters: geranyl formate.  Limonene & geranyl acetate.

Interesting facts:  Geranium oil is often used to adulterate rose oil.  Geranium was known in ancient times as a powerful wound healer.

Everyday uses:  Geranium is often used for menstrual issues.  In a base oil, it can be rubbed over the abdomen.  It can help with engorgement during breast feeding.

Contraindications:  Generally non toxic, non irritating, and non sensitizing, Contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy.  May irritate the skin in sensitive individuals.

 

*for a listing of definitions, please visit http://www.bella-oils.com/pages/Essential-Oil-Information.html

Please note that this information is not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a licensed medical practitioner or naturopath. Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to be effective.

Do not use essential oils internally unless under the care and guidance of a licensed aromatherapist.