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The Fragrant Life

Available at the A.R.E. the complete Edgar Cayce Readings Online, look up your health question.

'As long as our souls and personalities are in harmony, all is joy and peace, happiness and health.  It is when our personalities are led astray from the path laid down by the soul, either by our worldly desires or the persuasion of others, that conflict arises.  This conflict is the root cause of disease and unhappiness.'   'Heal Thyself', Dr.E. Bach (1931), C.W. Daniel Company, Great Britain.

"But flowers distilled 
though they with winter meet
Lose but their show;
their substance still lives sweet."

                                    William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's romantic reference in his 16th Century Sonnet V to distilling  the essence of flowers gives us a clue as to the longevity of the art of making waters, oils and perfumes from the essence of plants. Indeed, the use of plant essences dates back as far as 5,000 years. Ancient civilizations from the Babylonians, to the Phoenicians, to the Egyptians- all used various preparations of botanical essences in their religious, medicinal and culinary practices. Today, this aromatic art or aromatherapy is enjoyed worldwide, and interestingly with some of those same ancient fragrances. This edition of the newsletter celebrates the fragrant uses of essential oils and how you can incorporate their precious aromas to create, refresh and enhance your moods.

Awakening The Senses With Scent...
Aromatherapy is defined as  "the therapeutic use of essentials oils". However, my favorite one is 'the use of pure essential oils to enhance the quality of mind, body and spirit.'  It is now an accepted fact that distinct aromas, be they a favorite foods or the scent of a particular flower can evoke immediate memories and create subtle responses in the brain. So it's no wonder that we try to infuse our environment with pleasing, "feel good" fragrances. Would you like to explore the fragrant world of flower essences? Below are some of our more popular essential oils. Use them in room diffusers, potpourris, aromatic waters, incenses and sachets, to create you own personal, signature blends-any way you want.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia). Named after a small Italian town in Lombardy, this essential oil is perhaps best known for giving Earl Grey tea its unique flavor. Bergamot is uplifting and refreshing, and its citrus/floral scent also soothes nervous tension and stress.   Its bouquet is described as 'delightfully citrus with a slightly spicy overtone'. Bergamot stands by itself or can be blended with Lavender, Juniper, or Coriander. Makes a great personal scent for man or woman. 

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). There are a number of varieties of Lavender, all of which are indigenous to the Mediterranean. This aromatic variety is commonly known as Garden Lavender and True Lavender. Its  calming essence soothes stress, anxiety and insomnia. Lavender's floral bouquet blends well with Patchouli, Clary Sage, Clove and most citrus and floral oils. For a truly exotic perfume, blend with Sandalwood or Natural Jasmine.

Frankincense (Boswellia species). Frankincense or Olibanum is one of those ancient fragrances we mentioned earlier that's been around since antiquity and is still popular today. Its truly unique aroma is a stress-reducer. Additionally,  when Frankincense is used as a fragrant inhalant, the sweet  steam eases breathing.  The essential oil has a warm, sweet balsam-like undertone and blends well with Mimosa, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Pine, and Cinnamon. It is also a great addition to a men's fragrance.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin). The Patchouli herb is native to the Far East and the West Indies. The "earthy, Eastern" aroma of its essential oil may have contributed to its reputation as an aphrodisiac. Its strong scent fades to a sweet, rich aroma with time, and very little is needed to create a long-lasting personal essence. Patchouli blends well with Vetiver, Sandalwood, Lavender, Bergamot and heavier oriental-type bases.

Safety Sense
Aromatherapists offer the following cautionary tips when working with essential oils: 

  • Always dilute in a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil or a cream before using on skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated are seldom applied neat (undiluted) to the skin. 

  • If using a non-irritating essential oil or fragrance that can be applied directly to the skin, it's still always a good idea to do apply to a small area on on your hand to check for irritation. If irritation or redness occurs, you may need to reduce concentration or avoid altogether. 

  • Keep away from eyes and face. Always wash your hands before and after working with oils. 

*Sources: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless; Comforting Scents- Your Personal Aromatherapy Journal, Valerie Gennari Cooksley; The Essential Oils Book- Creating Personal Blends For Mind & Body, Colleen K. Dodt; An Album Of Fragrance, Edith G. Bailes; Creative Aromatherapy, Christine Wildwood.

Some Easy Ways To Use Essential Oils

Air freshener: Fill a mist spray bottle with purified water and 10-50 drops of essential oil. Replace cap, shake and spritz into the air.

Quick sachet: Put 10 drops of essential oil on a cotton ball, place it in a plastic bag (do not seal) and put in a drawer or closet to scent clothes.

Simmer pot: Add about 10 drops to water in pot and simmer.

Candles: With a needle, carefully poke a deep hole in the top of an unlit, unscented candle (away from the wick). Put a few drops of oil into the hole, then light wick.

Quick Reference guide to oils

Oil Remedies Properties and Uses
Cedarwood (Atlas)
Cedrus atlantica

Antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, insecticide, sedative.   Helps to clear the mind, eases anxiety and tension, sedative; expectorant, opens sinuses and breathing passages.

Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus oil is toxic if taken internally.    Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant.   Opens breathing passages, clears congestion; refreshing, reviving, improves mental clarity and alertness.
Boswellia carteri
Antiseptic, astringent, carminative, eases anxiety, relaxing;   anti-inflammatory, soothes bruises and burns; rejuvenates skin; vapors help to deepen breathing.
Geranium (Rose)
p. graveolens roseum
Anti-depressant, soothes nerves, relieves anxiety; stimulating in large amounts, Antiseptic, astringent, repels insects; healing to skin, helpful for acne, soothes inflamed, irritated skin.
Juniperus communis
Antiseptic, antispasmodic, detoxifies, cleansing to the intestines;   analgesic, eases pain of swelling, menstruation, rheumatism, arthritis;   refreshing, improves mental clarity and memory, tonic.
Lavendula vera
Analgesic,antidepressant,calming, balances emotions, refreshing, helps promote restful sleep; anti-inflammatory, healing to the skin; antiseptic, cleansing, decongestant, detoxifying; relieves pain, antispasmodic,diuretic.
Citrus limonum
Antimicrobial, antispasmodic, bactericidal, refreshing, increases alertness and helps decision making; antiseptic; detoxifying; soothes insect bites; astringent, helpful for oily skin and hair, tonic.
Citrus aurantifolia
Restorative, uplifting, eases stress, anxiety and mental fatigue, helpful for depression; astringent; disinfectant; antiseptic, tonic
Citrus cinensis
Mood uplifting, carminative, relaxing, eases tension and stress, calming particularly for children; antispasmodic, tonic
Pinus sylvestris
Refreshing, improves memory and mental clarity, promotes simplicity and direction; vapors open breathing passages, helpful for respiratory problems, expectorant, stimulant of the adrenal cortex, circulation and nervous system.
Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary extract is an ideal addition to you formulations, as this product is hailed for it's anti oxidant properties. Rosemary Extract is as well known for both its anti oxidant and anti rancidity action. After extensive laboratory testing, its use is recommended for formulations that contain fats and lipids with sensibility to rancidity in cosmetic (and food) compositions. Rosemary extract is known for it's excellent water solubility, making it an ideal antioxidant to add to aqueous cosmetics such as shampoos, shower gels, conditioners, soaps and creams. Rosemary extract not only acts as wonderful anti oxidant, but will also preserve the color and aroma of your products, and acts as an antiviral and anti microbial agent.




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Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Copyright 2007 Edgar Cayce Australia, PO Box 114, Pomona, Qld.,   4568   Australia.