Essential Oils

For over several thousands of years, humans have been employing essential oils for therapeutic purposes as well as sustaining good health. In effect, the ancient Egyptians extensively used essential oils. Currently, essential oils are used extensively in lotions meant for external use, aromatherapy, comforting baths and in a great assortment of herbal medications.

essential oil bannerAny attempt to define essential oils accurately as well as in a few words is really difficult. For all practical purposes, one may possibly depict essential oils in the form of natural odoriferous (having potent fragrance) compounds that are present in or separated from plant materials. Generally, essential oils are in liquid form (in some exceptional cases they may be in semi-solid form, but seldom found in solid form), are not water soluble and volatile when they come in contact with steam. Essential oils evaporate at dissimilar paces under normal atmospheric pressure and at room temperature. Therefore, they are alternately referred to as ‘ethereal’ or ‘volatile’ oils too. In fact, the general term ‘essential’ is derived from the Latin expression ‘essentia’ – the ‘quinta essentia’, which the ancient alchemists regarded to be the attribute as well as the most vital element of all natural substances.

The comparatively rapid pace of evaporation of the essential oils and their distinct smell, apart from the chemical make-up of these oils, make them basically different from the stable, fatty oils. Among the several thousands of plant species identified by humans so far, comparatively a very little number of them provide essential oils. The essential oils actually develop either all over the complete plant or only in particular parts. A number of essential oils are found only in the roots, or the timber, bark, leaves, flowers or the fruits of the plants. In a number of instances different parts of the same plant may possibly enclose essential oils of dissimilar composition.

Over the years, numerous theories have been put forward to elucidate the essential oils’ biochemistry; nevertheless, none of them has been established as being totally acceptable. Possibly, the essential oils are just purging products in the life progression of the plants. If this is the case, they are similar to specific gums, resins and balsams; however, a number of essential oils definitely seem to be the forerunners of this type of exudation products.

It may be noted that as far as their physicochemical attributes are concerned, the essential oils greatly differ and their chemical composition is generally complicated. Some of them are near exclusively made up of only one element, for instance, the essential oils obtained from sweet birch (methyl salicylate), wintergreen and cassia oil (cinnamaldehyde). However, majority of the essential oils enclose a greater number of ingredients, sometimes 50 or even more – which is something not atypical. These individual constituents are members of numerous categories of organic compounds, especially the sesquiterpenes and terpenes, and their esters ,alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, oxides and lactones among other things. A number of these essential oils are open chained, while several of them are cyclic and bicyclic. Some of them also belong to the aromatic series, for instance, benzyl acetate and phenylethyl alcohol, and findings of recent studies have revealed that the azulenes appear to have a vital function in the essential oils.

An analysis of the essential oils can be achieved by conventional physiochemical examinations, for instance, finding out the specific gravity, solubility in alcohol, optical rotation, boiling point and others. In addition, it is also possible to verify the free acids, esters, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes ,phenols and phenol ethers through conventional tests. Recently, scientists have made vast advancement in examining essential oils, especially in isolating as well as identifying individual components, by means of introducing state-of-the-art chromatographic and spectroscopic methods, for instance infrared and ultraviolet (UV) absorption, nuclear magnetic resonance, gas and thin layer chromatography as well as mass spectrometry. As the smell will continue to be a vital decisive factor always, the assay of an essential oil will not be absolute without cautious organoleptic examinations. However, it requires substantial experience on the part of the examiner to undertake the organoleptic tests of essential oils.

Majority of the essential oils are actually isolated from different parts of plants, for example, the leaves, stem, wood, roots, flowers and bark, by means of a process known as hydro-distillation – partially in primordial, changeable stills – and partially in contemporary stationary distilleries. Only in the instance of citrus oils, which are present in the peel or coverings of the citrus fruits, essential oils are isolated by means of expressing the peel mechanically. Specific varieties of flowers are actually extremely fragile and, hence, the essential oils enclosed by them are unable to endure the hydro-distillation process, neither are they suitable for expression. Hence, the essential oils contained by such flowers need to be isolated by means of extraction using volatile solvents (generally, extremely refined petroleum ether) to yield the purported natural flower oils in a real, solid variety than can be converted into complete, liquid form. Such flowers include jasmine, acacia, tuberose, mimosa and the like. It is possible to process a number of flowers, including bitter orange blossom and rose, either by means of hydro-distillation or through solvent extraction.

The amount of essential oil yielded by a plant actually varies depending on the species. In majority of instances, the yield varies from approximately 0.2 per cent to 2.0 per cent. However, rose oil also known as otto of rose and clover oil are two extreme examples in this case. While rose yields only 0.025 per cent of essential oil, clover yields as high as 17.0 per cent of clover oil.

It may be noted that several regions of the world produce essential oils, especially those having warm as well as temperate climatic conditions.

Not more than a hundred types of essential oils have already achieved genuine commercial significance. These essential oils are extensively used to add fragrance as well as essence to nearly a limitless assortment of consumer items, including food products, chewing gums, confectionery, pharmaceutical and dental formulations, alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks, soaps, room sprays, detergents, insecticides, perfumes and cosmetics. They are also employed to camouflage the odor in artificial products, for instance rubber goods, leathers and plastics.

Health benefits of essential oils

It has been proved that the essential oils offer numerous health benefits. They are obtained from the leaves, flowers, stems, barks as well as the roots of plants by means of distillation. Essential oils may have a direct or indirect effect on our body’s physiological system. For instance, taking a few drops of peppermint oil by mouth may promote digestion. Similarly, breathing in lavender oil causes a soothing impact.

A number of essential oils may be taken orally to aid in stimulating digestion, while several other essential oils are applied topically to alleviate inflammation and provide relief from pain. Essential oils having antiseptic as well as anti-fungal attributes are also employed to sterilize and cure scrapes, cuts as well as other injuries and skin complaints.

Aromatherapy is one area where essential oils are employed extensively. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy is not only very popular, but has also proved to be useful in curing physical, emotional as well as aesthetic conditions. A number of essential oils have a tranquilizing and also invigorating effect on our nervous system and they can either raise or lower the blood pressure and regularize secretion of hormones in some way.

In addition, inhaling the steam of essential oils is helpful in the treatment of respiratory problems, for instance, a cold or influenza. The essential oils that are effectual for inhaling comprise eucalyptus, angelica, cypress, sage, myrtle, lemon grass, lemon, ocean pine, mountain pine, chamomile, juniper, niaouli, thyme, cedar and hyssop. It may be noted that steam inhalation of essential oil is usually not suggested for people suffering from asthma.

Employing essential oils for lymphatic massage is actually a typical aromatherapy treatment that activates the healing process of the body by means of inciting the blood circulation as well as lymph fluid. It needs to be noted cautiously that nearly all essential oils ought to be diluted prior to applying them directly to the skin, since direct application of essential oils may result in acute exasperation.

Normally, essential oils are diluted in the ratio of 15 drops of the oil to one ounce (approximately 28.35 grams) of carrier oil. It may be noted that carrier oil is basically any vegetable oil that is obtained by using the compress method on the fatty part of the seeds, kernels or nuts, for instance, wheat germ, almond, coconut, hazelnut, olive oil, jojoba and aloe vera oil.

There are a number of essential oils that alleviate the taut muscles and augment blood circulation. Such essential oils comprise lemon grass, lemon, rosemary, lemon verbena, juniper, lavender, birch, cinnamon and Swiss pine oils. On the other hand, essential oils that have a calming effect include petitgrain, Roman chamomile, rose, bergamot, lavender, mimosa, neroli, geranium, sandalwood, orange, cedar, rosewood, and tangerine. When you employ the facial and body oils every day, it helps to nurture the skin. Essential oils that are used for deep body massage comprise rose, jasmine, sandalwood, orange, cinnamon, ylang-ylang and iris.

Adding a few drops of essential oils to your bath will help to promote relaxation as well as lift your spirits. You may add five to ten drops of your preferred essential oil to the bath water and enjoy the benefits. Nevertheless, it is advisable that people having sensitive skin ought to dilute the essential oil by adding base oil. Ensure that you wipe the tub properly after the bath, since essential oils may leave stains on some type of tubs.

Having a comforting foot bath using essential oils is a wonderful experience. Add for drops of rosemary, peppermint and thyme oils to a big basin filled with water and soak your feet in it for some minutes to bring back life to your tired feet. In order to get some extra comfort, after you have soaked your feet, massage some lavender oil on them.

In addition, essential oils are useful in curing insomnia (sleeplessness) or to bring on a peaceful sleep all through the night. For this, you may add a few drops of the essential oil of your preference to perfume your pillow.

Last, but not the least important, handkerchiefs are an extremely handy means to utilize essential oils. Inhaling a handkerchief perfumed by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil will help to alleviate the tension and pressure that build up all through the day. Adding only two or three drops of the essential oil to a handkerchief will be enough to serve the purpose.

Several types of synthetic or man-made oils are also available and they are generally much inexpensive compared to their natural equivalents. However, such synthetically prepared oils never possess the same curative attributes or results that are present in the natural essential oils. In addition, always bear in mind that essential oils are completely dissimilar to the ‘scented’ or ‘perfume’ oils – which are also known as fragrance oils.

It may be noted that perfume or fragrance oils enclose elements as well as chemicals that are not always obtained from plant sources. Very much similar to the man-made oils, fragrance or perfume oils also do not possess any remedial or healing attributes. This is the primary reason why it is always very important to carefully read the labels on all products that you plan to employ for aromatherapy.

Use Of Essential Oils

Contrary to the common perception, essential oils are not oily, but undiluted liquids enclosing effervescing fragrant compounds usually distilled from different parts of plants, including leaves, flowers, stem, bark and roots. Essential oils actually possess the genuine aroma and concentrate of the plants they have been obtained from and are hence known as ‘essential’. Essential oils are very valuable and a small amount sustains for long. They are also called ‘volatile’ or ‘ethereal’ oils and most essential oils are usually clear in appearance. Speaking precisely, every year people around the globe harvest thousands of tons of trees, shrubs, aromatic plants, flowers, roots and grasses and distill them most frequently by steam to obtain essential oils and absolutes.

Where do essential oils come from?

The aromatic matters found in the plants are produced in the chloroplasts of the leaves. These distinctively smelling substances coalesce with glucose in the chloroplasts to develop into glucides, which later flow around the plant. The glucides accumulate in specific parts of the plants either at a particular time during the day or the year.

However, the essential oils are also formed in the tissues that perform the function of secretion in a number of plants, while in other plants they are blended with glycosides. In the second instance, the essential oils are usually not evident till the plant is dehydrated or squashed. An ideal example of this is the valerian. It is important to note that the essential oils are deemed to be performing significant roles in the food assimilation process or metabolism of the plants. While a number of essential oils have hormonal actions, others comprise a phase in some other development. For instance, the essential oil present in the rind or peel of the orange is basically a phase in the process of vitamin A synthesis.

Significantly, the essential oils may be present in nearly all parts of the plant. However, their concentration varies depending on the plant as well as moment in time of a day or a period in a year. For instance, essential oils are found in the roots of calamus and valerian, flowers like the lavender and rose, barks of the sandalwood and cedar-wood trees, fruits such as the lemons, cardamoms and oranges, berries like juniper and leaves of the thyme, rosemary and sage.

All plants possessing the essence ought to be harvested at a particular point of time during the day, in the right time of year and specific weather situations to enable one to extract the greatest amount of essential oils from the plants. In addition to these, as in the case of any other herbs (therapeutic or dietetic), the quality of the soil on which the plants are grown as well as the atmospheric or climatic conditions at a particular place also influence the amount and quality of the essential oils acquired from plants.

Absolutes are a special type of essential oils that are profound (heavy) and undiluted in nature. The essential oils extracted from flowers such as the roses and jasmines are perfect examples of absolutes. On the other hand, the essential oils that are in solid form at room temperature and need to be heated prior to use are known as balsams. Typical examples of the balsams include essential oils such as camphor and benzoin.

Properties of essential oils

It is important to note that though many essential oils may possess features that are exclusive to them, they may have common medicinal actions and utilities. In fact, more or less, all concentrates possessed by plants are antiseptic or insipid in nature. The essential oils derived from eucalyptus, thyme and the tea tree are best examples of this statement. In addition, a number of plant distillates also possess anti-viral characteristics. Among them, the essential oils extracted from garlic and the tea trees are the most potent.

Generally the concentrate obtained from garlic is not used for aromatherapy message for understandable reasons. However, as an alternative, the essential oil obtained from garlic is used as a medication as garlic capsules. Several concentrates obtained from plant such as the rosemary and juniper are known to be effective in alleviating or preventing rheumatism. Massaging these essential oils on the surface of the skin invigorates the flow of blood as well as things pertaining to the lymph and boosts the supply of oxygen to the aching regions in the body. This process helps to remove the undesired elements such as the uric acid and lactic acid from the system. It may be mentioned here that the wastes such as uric acids and lactic acids are largely responsible for the acute pain endured by people enduring arthritic and rheumatic symptoms.

Medicinal aromatherapy

Numerous essential oils as well as herbal medications also possess a fascinating feature and that is their ability to normalize or produce various natural substances that work through the adrenal glands to produce adjustments in the body to combat stress and increase resistance to stress, and which usually produce no side effects. In fact, scientists in Eastern Europe have discovered that garlic possesses a special property whereby it can raise unusually low blood pressure and at the same time lower very high blood pressure.

In fact, the essential oil obtained from hyssop is said to possess a similar action like garlic. Several researches have demonstrated that the hyssop essential oil makes the blood pressure to rise, subsequently fall and finally stabilize it at normal conditions. Interestingly, such a feature is unique for essential oils obtained from garlic and hyssop and is absolutely absent in any artificial or chemical medicine.

It is important to note that a number of physicians engaged in the field of remedial aromatherapy have also found that combinations of specific concentrates are more potent compared to the individual essential oils present in the blend. They are of the opinion that this is primarily owing to an inexplicable combined effort of the concentrates at work. As a result, the impact of the blends is more compared to the total of each of the individual essential oils in the combination. This phenomenon is especially evident in the case of the anti-bacterial activity of the essential oils. For instance, a combination of essential oils obtained from thyme, clove, lavender and peppermint is much more potent compared to what the chemist may anticipate of the combination considering the collective chemical elements of the essential oils in the blend.

While a blend of a few essential oils may prove to be more powerful than the total strength of each of them, it has been intriguingly noted that when more than five concentrates are blended together the result is harmful or counter-productive. However, a number of essential oils are extraordinarily aggressive against microbial germs even when they are used individually. For instance, the essential oil derived from lemon is so aggressive that it counteracts typhoid, diphtheria and pneumonia bacteria below three hours! With a view to determine the essential oils that are most suited and effective for any individual, the French aromatherapy physicians normally undertake a special test known as the aromatogram that is said to be a vital key in optimizing treatment with aromatherapy. Employing the aromatogram entails collecting a layer from a contaminated region of the patient’s body, culturing the substance in a laboratory and subsequently testing it with at least 15 different essential oils to ascertain the right combination of the oils that would be most effectual for treating the infections in a particular person. Once the most powerful oils have been identified, they are produced as capsules and given to the patient for oral administration. It is surprising to note that under this form of treatment different combinations of essential oils are used to treat the same infections in different individuals. Hence, there is no fixed formula for treating any particular infection, but it depends on the individuals enduring the contagions.

Some therapeutic properties of essential oils

A number of essential oils possess some special remedial properties, including antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, cytophylactic and sedative. These topics are discussed in brief below.

ANTISEPTIC

As discussed earlier, more or less all essential oils possess antiseptic properties, which is one of their most noteworthy and helpful features. In fact, an expansive depiction of ‘antisepsis’ comprises anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and common anti-microbial actions that are present in essential oils obtained from fruits, leaves, roots, flowers and barks of plants such as lemon, thyme, garlic, tea tree, lavender, pine, sandalwood, cinnamon and eucalyptus.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Essential oils possessing anti-inflammation features aid in alleviating irritation and tenderness. Normally, the indications of inflammation include aches, swelling, redness and sectional or complete loss of the concerned tissues. Some of the essential oils that possess anti-inflammatory features include concentrates obtained from rose, chamomile, sandalwood, lavender, benzoin and myrrh.

CYTOPHYLACTIC

Many essential oils also help in restoring tissue function as well as renewal of cells. Essential oils derived from basil, pine and rosemary are known to possess such extraordinary features. They are said to reinstate the performance of the adrenal glands, while the concentrate present in cypress, jasmine and ylang ylang help to renew the functioning of the reproductive endocrine glands. On the other hand, essential oils derived from lavender and chamomile also rekindle the renewal of the cells in the dermis.

SEDATIVE

Many essential oils also have a distinct impact on the nervous system as their administration/ application leads to relaxation, comfort, alleviate pain, mitigate muscle contractions and soothe the nerve cells. Generally, essential oils obtained from rose, neroli, lavender, ylang ylang and geranium possess these special properties.

Using Essential Oils

In actual essence, essential oils do not denote any oil, but are unpolluted extracts from a wide range of plant parts, including the leaves, petals, flower heads, seeds, nut kernels, stalks and barks as well as gums and resins obtained from trees. In fact, the essential oils enclose the active element of any plant in an extremely condensed and powerful form. They are called essential oils as these substances are very vital for various human functions. It is important to water down or dilute the unpolluted and concentrated essential oils before applying them on the skin as they are really very potent.

As mentioned above, although the essential oils are referred to as ‘oil’, they do not possess any oily feeling. In fact, majority of the essential oils are lucid. However, some of them, like orange, lemongrass and patchouli have an amber or yellowish hue.

The essential oils are produced in the tiny hollow spaces in the plant cells. Depending on the plant, they may be found in the petals, seeds, roots or even peel as in the instance of the oils extracted from the citrus fruits. These essential oils are removed from the plant parts by the distillation process or cold pressing. It may be mentioned here that the essential oils may differ significantly both in terms of cost and attributes or quality. A number of aspects, such as the scarcity of the plant, the country and the environment in which the plant was cultivated, may have impact on the price and the quality of the essential oils. The price and quality of the essential oils are also determined by factors like the standard of the distiller and the quantity of oil produced by the plant.

Here are two examples to enable you to comprehend the matter better. While 100 kg of rose petals yield merely 20 ml of rose oil, it required 100 kg of leaves to produce 1 to 1.5 liters of peppermint oil. Although this particular aspect creates a difference in the price of rose oil and peppermint oil, it essentially does not reflect that one is less effectual than the other. As the essential oils enclose the real concentrate of the plant from which they are extracted, a tiny amount of it not only lasts for long, but is also extremely effective.

It may be noted here that the essential oils do not mean any perfume or aromatic oil. The essential oils are actually extracted from real plants and offer therapeutic benefits, but the perfume oils are manufactured synthetically. Moreover, the perfume oils contain synthetic substances that create an artificial aroma and hence do not have any remedial value.

The remedial essential oils have the potential of offering several advantages and produce an intense effect on the body as well as the mind. It is possible to get relief from a headache or restore the vigor lost during the day by means of essential oils. The essential oils are fantastic and very simple to use in a bath, foot-bath or hand bath. When you massage with essential oils in the characteristic aromatherapy manner, it helps to invigorate the blood circulation throughout the body. At the same time, it sets off the natural healing process of the body. The fragrances of the essential oils have an impact on the sensitive hub in the brain and control our feelings.

In order to set free the natural aromas of the essential oils one must use fragrance burners, aroma stones or spraying flasks. When you do this, you will be amazed to see how wonderfully it works on your body and mind.

Essential oil fragrance burner

Essential oil fragrance burners are normally used for bigger areas so that the fragrance may linger for quite some time. It may be mentioned here that the more the space, the more quantity of essential oil will be needed. As the essential oils fade away very fast distributing their aromas all over the room, you may need to add more oil after some time with a view to preserve the impact.

Spraying flask

Usually, spraying flasks are used to produce a brief, but instant effect in a room or any other place. In fact, spraying flasks may even be used inside a car either to stimulate your energy or to diminish the odor in the interior of the vehicle. In the event of having colds close to you, you may spray with lemon or once you have vacuumed the area, you may use your preferred essential oil or a combination of different oils. Alternately, you may also spray the covers, pillows and mattresses with lemon and lavender to make them smell clean and fresh.

Aroma stones (Sand stones)

Aroma stones are generally used to emanate aroma for an extended period of time in small areas like toilets, halls, cupboards or even the chests. Using peppermint aroma stones in cars is very beneficial as it enables you to keep your focus and simultaneously neutralize car sickness. In addition, an aroma stone may also be used as a part of the decoration of the house or office.

It is important to keep in mind that you can use the essential oils in abundant ways to reinstate the synchronization of your mind and the body. For instance, you may use the essential oils as a remedy for headaches, air fresheners and even to enhance your concentration while studying for examinations. These are only a few ways; there are many more ways – virtually anything that you may think of. You may even blend a number of essential oils with a view to realize a specific health benefit or merely combine them to enjoy their aromatic sensation. In fact, the chemical constitution and the fragrance of the essential oils are capable of providing you with precious emotional and physical healing advantages. Normally, such benefits may be attained by several means that may comprise breathing as well as external application of the watered down or diluted essential oils on the skin.

As the essential oils are highly concentrated and very powerful, they are normally diluted by adding any carrier oil, such as apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil and others before applying them on the skin. So, when you are using an essential oil, you are actually using a watered down blend of oils. This makes it easier for the skin to soak up the essential oils.

Inhaling the essential oils cautiously also provide important remedial advantages. When you inhale the essential oils in moderation, the oil molecules go into your lungs and are then soaked up by the bloodstream.

One may buy the essential oils in the form of blends of a number of unpolluted essential oils. When you purchase a blend of essential oils, you actually get some benefits. For instance, if you were to purchase a pure blend of essential oils, you don’t need to procure all the essential oils separately. While doing so would not only be very expensive, but you would also have to take the trouble of blending the particular essential oil you purchased proportionately with other oils. It is must be mentioned here that it requires great expertise and some experience to do the job.

Utilities of Essential Oils

Essential oils have multiple and varied uses. They are used in the manufacture of perfumes and to add aroma to skin care items. They are also added as drops to a vaporizer (spray) and also in spraying flask with a view to produce a specific environment, to put off a cold or just to refresh the air. Essential oils are also used in baths, foot-baths or hand baths with the objective to warm or loosen up cold limbs. In addition, essential oils are also used for foot-baths, hand baths and baths to generate an invigorating effect. They are used in compresses for cooling effects of sunburn. When added in massages and any skin care oils, the essential oils help in enhancing the blood circulation. Essential oils may also be inhaled directly from a vaporizer or any simple bottle to help in clearing blocked air passages or just to unwind.

Directions For How To Make Rose Oil Using The Cold Infusion Method.

rose essential oilWork with intention, allowing space in your busy life to be present. It is fitting to say a short blessing or prayer that the final product is an effective healer.

Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena are the most commonly available Roses and are well-suited for herbal skin care.

1) Fill a clean jar ¾ full with freshly dried or dry rose petals and buds. You can break up and bruise the petals gently.

2) Fill the jar to the top with carrier oil of choice. I use extra virgin olive oil most commonly, though sweet almond or coconut (melted) would work well.

3) Cap and shake to distribute the herb.

4) Label with the herb used, where it is from, the oil used, quantities of each, the date and the method of preparation.

5) Allow the jar to sit in a cool, dark place, shaking daily.

6) At 4 weeks/28 days/1 moon cycle, strain the oil into a clean bowl, squeezing the herb to get every drop. I find it helpful to use an old t-shirt or cheesecloth to catch the herb. Then lift the t-shirt with herb in it and squeeze that.

7) The strained liquid is your finished oil. Essential oil can be added or it can be left as is. It will have the sweet scent of roses, though it may be light. You could always make a double or triple infusion, where you would use the filtered herbal oil as the carrier oil for a fresh batch of rose petals.

Rose Oil can be used as any other herbal oil, for cosmetic, massage and medicinal purposes.

Therapeutic Benefits of Roses 

     Aside from providing an aesthetic appeal, which contributes to the overall pleasure and feeling of well being, roses have a genuine practical use in our regimens of good health. Rose oil and rose water are derived from the flowers and rose hips have many valuable properties.

     It is suspected that the rose was probably the very first flower from which rose oil and rose water were distilled; possibly in the 10th Century Persia. Today, most of the rose oils are still produced in that region of the world. A very large quantity of rose petals is needed to produce a very small quantity of oil. Thus, it is very costly. Thankfully only a small amount of rose oil is needed in therapeutic preparations. It is not used in its concentrated state, but rather in a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba, and grapeseed.

     Generally rose oil and rose water (a by-product of distillation) are used topically rather than internally; with the exception of aromatherapy.In this case the rose essence may be inhaled, via steam or diffusion. Three varieties of rose are used in commercial production of rose oil and rose water: Rosa Centifolia, Rosa Damascena and Rosa Gallica. The product will vary slightly in colour between these species but the therapeutic benefits are the same.

     The use of the rose is far and varied. It has a long history in its use in folk remedies, especially in the area of skincare. It is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skins. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. It is important to ensure that the product contains the genuine natural rose oil. Many manufacturers label their products containing rose essence but it could be synthetic. Synthetic rose ingredients have no therapeutic value at all! Remember, with authentic rose oil, a little goes a long way.Certainly rosewater is a less expensive way to provide skincare. It is very soothing to irritated skin.It is also a tonic and antiseptic. Rosewater has been shown to be very valuable as an antiseptic in eye infections.

     The rose also offers a soothing property to the nerves and emotional /psychological state of mind. It is regarded as a mild sedative and anti-depressant. It is increasingly used in treatments for conditions of stress: nervous tension, peptic ulcers, heart disease, among others. There is indication that rose essence may also positively influence digestion, bile secretion, womb disorders and circulation. In addition, a tea made with rose petals (pour 150 ml of boiling water over 1 /2 grams of rose petals) often soothes a mild sore throat.

     Rose hips (the flowers which have swollen to seed) are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, C, D and E. They also contain bioflavonoids, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, tannins and zinc. Taken in the form of tea they are good for infections, particularly bladder infections. Rose hip tea is also used in the treatment of diarrhea. It is an especially good source of vitamin C.

     To best use rose oil for topical purposes (i.e. skin care), use approximately 8 drops of essential rose oil for every 10 ml of carrier oil. Apply directly onto skin. Rosewater may be used with abandon. There is no such thing as too much of it. For emotional wholeness and wellness, rose oil may also be used in a room diffuser, aromatherapy ring (a brass ring placed atop a hot light bulb will work to evaporate the essential essence throughout the room) or in steaming hot water on the stove. Whatever works!

     To brew rose hip tea, which by the way is truly delicious, roughly chop up entire rose hips. Cover with distilled or purified water and boil for 30 minutes (longer if desired). Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and add a bit of honey if desired. One can also find Rose Hip Tea in the local health food stores.  The essence of rose need not only be used to treat ailments. Whether inhaled and enjoyed from a freshly cut bouquet of sumptuous blooms or splashed on as rosewater after a shower or bath, it is simply a pleasure to be enjoyed by all!

Bach Flower Remedies.

Bach-Flower-ChartThe physical manifestations of diseases have their root cause in emotional and psychological stress which includes fear, worry, loneliness, insecurity and jealousy. The body’s natural resistance to disease reduces as these situations reach extremes. Bach Flower Remedies assist in stabilizing emotional and psychological stress and seek to calm the turmoil produced by these exigencies. It gives the body a chance to heal itself naturally, with remedies made out of wild plants, flowers, bushes and trees.

The Supplement to the Eight Edition of the Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States lists all thirty-eight Bach Flower Remedies as homeopathic medicines and so they have official recognition. Comparatively cheaper, these floral remedies are simple to use. When selected correctly they are known to be consistently successful in getting the desired results.

Rescue Remedy is the best known Bach Remedy. Five Bach flowers are combined to make this emergency first aid medicine. It works quickly and is quite useful in various situations. However it is not the panacea for all ills and cannot be used to replace conventional medical care.

Doctors, homeopaths, and healthcare personnel throughout the world carry the Rescue Remedy as part of their emergency kit or on their person to use during medical emergencies. It comes in handy especially when psychological and emotional balance must be established at the time of crisis or otherwise.

To Dr. Bach goes the credit of discovering all the thirty eight Bach Flower Remedies. They have been used since 1936 to restore a sense of perspective in individuals who have been afflicted with major or minor emotional and psychological imbalance.

There are seven classifications, according to Dr. Bach, of the emotional and psychological states. Within the framework of each of these seven there are variations. The main categories are the following:

  • Despondency or despair
  • Fear
  • Insufficient interest in present circumstances
  • Loneliness
  • Over care for the welfare of others
  • Oversensitive to influences and ideas
  • Uncertainty

The following is a short, non-specific explanation of the thirty eight Bach Flower remedies and their uses. The remedies are appropriately listed according to their categorization.

Despondency or Despair:

  • Crab Apple (Malus pumila) is for those who are crouched in feelings of shame or fear of getting infected due to cleanliness issues and also for those with low self esteem because of bodily disfigurements. This also assists in disinfecting and cleaning injuries both of a physical and mental nature.
  • Elm (Ulmus procera) is for anyone who plods away, over-exerting themselves as they have taken on more responsibilities than they can handle and now feel weighted down.
  • Larch (Larix decidua) is useful for boosting confidence especially in those who expect to fail in spite of being competent as they give up even before trying.
  • Oak (Quercus robur) is intended for those who, despite setbacks, drive themselves hard to achieve their goals not allowing even hardship and infirmity to get in the way.
  • Pine (Pinus sylvestris) helps self critical people to save them from blaming themselves for others’ mistakes. They are never satisfied with their own efforts and attach faults to themselves. They suffer constant guilt as they feel they have not put in their best efforts.
  • Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is used to treat stress that has accrued from emotional and mental trauma after grief, accident or loss.
  • Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) is good for anyone who is laden with despair, when anguish is overwhelming and they have reached the threshold of endurance.
  • Willow (Salix vitellina) is used when a situation seems unfair and unjustified leading to resentment and bitterness at the misfortune they have undergone.

Fear:

  • Aspen (Populus tremula) is used to cure formless anxieties and fears that seem to have no known causes in which a sense of impending disaster, accompanied by premonition and apprehension are prevalent.
  • Cherry Plum ((Prunus cerasifera) is the antidote for fear of losing physical and mental control. It is used to control unmanageable tempers and impulses that could lead to physical harm to others or to oneself. Suicidal tendencies and inordinate temper are both subdued.
  • Mimulus (Mimulus guttatus) is used to counter known fears, like fear related to heights, pain, poverty, death, darkness, fear of being alone or fear of others. It is also used to cure shyness and timidity.
  • Red Chestnut (Aesculus carnea) is used to cure extraordinary fear arising out of anxiety and concern for others, particularly loved ones. A gnawing, disquiet fear of an impending disaster is always anticipated.
  • Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummularium) is used when panic, terror, fright, hysteria, and nightmares reach extreme proportions.

Insufficient Interest in Present Circumstances:

  • Chestnut Bud (Aesculus hippocastanum) helps those who learn nothing from their experience and form patterns of repetitive mistakes.
  • Clematis (Clematis vitalba) is meant for those who lean towards escapism, those who daydream about the future and are not in touch with reality, they lack concentration, have no interest in the present and are flighty.
  • Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) helps those who cannot bring themselves to the present realities, are always bringing to mind the “good old days”. Homesickness and nostalgia have a grip on them.
  • Mustard (Sinapis arvensis) is used for those who suffer from deep feelings of melancholy and unexpected sadness and total gloom for no clear reason.
  • Olive (Olea europaea) serves as an impetus to regaining energy sapped through illness or personal suffering. It brings relief from physical and mental exhaustion and fatigue.
  • White Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) improves persistent and undesirable thoughts, mental wiles and obsessions with an incident or worrisome circumstance.
  • Wild Rose (Rosa canina) helps those who cannot lift themselves out of apathy and who are resigned to the fact that their circumstances are beyond improvement and they do not seek out happiness.

Loneliness:

  • Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is for talkative people who love to tell all and sundry their problems and are always looking for someone to pass their time with as they hate being on their own. They are full of themselves and very poor listeners.
  • Impatiens (Impatiens glandulifera) helps impatient people to control irritability with people who are slower than they. They are quick in thought and act swiftly but only because they lack tolerance.
  • Water Violet (Hottonia palustris) is suitable for those who prefer to remain aloof, reserved, seem proud, self reliant and who radiate a ‘snobbish’ aura. They are capable but like to advise from a distance without involving themselves too closely.

Over Care for the Welfare of Others:

  • Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is meant for those who desire perfection and so are always finding faults in other people or things. They fail to notice the good points in others because they are so busy nit-picking and disapproving. They exaggerate other people’s minor peculiarities and show irritability.
  • Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is useful for possessiveness and over caring of those close to them. Self-centered and weepy they force others to fit into their line of thinking.
  • Rock Water (Aqua petra) is for those who are strict adherents in their daily lives. Harsh with themselves they will make any sacrifice to follow an ideal or set an example for others. They are extremely diligent about following a severe lifestyle for personal, religious or societal reasons.
  • Vervain (Verbena officinalis) is useful for anyone who is opinionated, always preaching, moralizing; injustice infuriates them. Their behaviour can become domineering, belligerent and obsessive if it crosses boundaries.
  • Vine (Vitis vinifera) is used on strong willed leaders when they cross limits and become imperious, authoritarian, callous and tyrannical.

Oversensitive to Influences and Ideas:

  • Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) is useful for those who hide their troubles from others as they think it will burden them. A cheerful facade might hide their suffering but escape from pain is hidden in alcohol and medication.
  • Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum) is useful for those who cannot say no as they could subvert their own desires to please others and so find themselves exploited.
  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is useful for untenable negative feelings like jealousy, envy, suspicion, hatred and revenge, states that need more loving.
  • Walnut (Juglans regia) is used to smoothen transitional periods like teething, adolescence, puberty and menopause as this brings emotional stability. It helps to break past links, adjust to new beginnings, like new jobs, new residence, cultures and also relationships.

Uncertainty:

  • Cerato (Ceratostigma willmottianum) is used for those patients who have doubts on their decision making and judgmental skills. They persistently seek advice from others as they feel they are being ill-advised.
  • Gentian (Gentianella amarella) is for those who are easily discouraged. Even small setbacks result in self doubt, hesitation and dejection.
  • Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is for those undergoing feelings of despair, futility and hopelessness.
  • Hornbeam ((Carpinus betulus) is meant for those suffering from acute Monday morning like blues as they feel listless and want to put off doing anything. They feel their physical and mental state needs a fillip.
  • Scleranthus (Scleranthus annuus) is meant for the indecisive who seem to dither between choices, sometimes one seems right then the other and the first again. They are troubled by mood swings and energy.
  • Wild Oats (Bromus ramosus) is for those who are unhappy with their career choice or lifestyle but don’t know what career they wish to pursue exactly.