Fantastic Fall: Essential Oils for the Season
Fall, like Spring, is a time of extreme change for many living in non-
temperate areas. The air becomes drier or in some circumstances
wetter and cooler. These and other changes can foster the dreaded
cold or flu, which would normally be fought off by your body.
Emotional stress tends to be stronger in the Fall as we tend more
torward reflection. To assist in staying healthy, there are a number
of things you can do using essential oils in your environments.
The air becomes drier in the Fall. The membranes in your nose can
become dry and non-effective. This lack of proper filtering of air
can result in germs and bacterial agents gaining access into your
body and causing problems. Thus, creating a moist environment in your
home or work space is vital. Many people today use a central
ventilation system which includes humidification. Since mold,
bacteria and other foreign toxins can rapidly grow in stagnant water,
be sure to have your system properly serviced and ask if it is
suitable to add essential oils to the water being used.
Some system are not equip to allow for this. This is also true for
the electric humidification models being sold on the market. Read the
packaging carefully to see if essential additions are allowable. If
you find the model you have does not allow for aromatherapeutic
additions, you can use a pot of water on the stove (with essential
oil added) or a separate essential oil diffuser. As always remember
safety and do not leave the stove unattended. Some also find placing
water with essential oils in front of a fire place or on a radiator
to also work very well. The moisture plus the addition of the
essential oil will help your body to fend off various types of
infections. Changing the water frequently is, however still needed.
Key essential oils to use include Lavender and Tea Tree. These help
the immune system in the body to function normally and in themselves
kill germs, bacteria, mold, etc. Be sure to buy pure essential oils
and use enough when attempting to purify the air.
Fall can also be an emotionally uncertain time for people as well.
While the leaves may be a time of great beauty, the shorter days can
lead to sadness and light depression commonly known as "the blues".
Essential oils, particularly Lavender, have uplifting and mood
balancing qualities that may help one on both a mental and physical
level. You may want to consider these other essential oils for your
Fall Medicine Chest:
Bergamont (Citrus bergamia) : Bergamot oil is a powerful antiseptic.
In appropriate dilution, it has proven its use in the treatment of
many troublesome skin complaints, such as eczema, some of which can
be reluctant to respond to other forms of treatment. Stress-related
complaints such as headaches and irritability will often respond well
to a massage with oil of bergamot in the blend. The effect of the oil
is vitalizing and uplifting, soothing tension away without any
sedative effect. Bergamot eases problem gastrointestinal spasm and
flatulence and gentle abdominal massage can bring relief from
constipation and colic. The oil is also detoxifying and is thought to
help in the treatment of cellulite when used in massage. In addition
to this, when used for bathing, berga-mot oil can soothe inflammation
and can help alleviate vaginal itching and the symptoms of cystitis.
In inhalation or massage, it can be used in the treatment of
respiratory infections such as sore throats and bronchitis. Bergamot
can also be used in a mouthwash to deodorize bad breath and fight
mouth and throat infections, or on the hair to control dandruff.
Suitable methods of use Bathing, hair care, inhalation, massage,
mouthwash, skin care, vaporizer/diffuser.
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) : Cedarwood oil has a rich, honey color
and a warm, woody, sweet smell that appeals to both sexes. The oil is
extracted from wood - sawdust, chips and shavings - by the process of
steam distillation. Aromatherapists use Cedarwood oil for the
treatment of respiratory ailments. It has antiseptic properties, and
is effective against coughs, bronchitis and catarrh. Its use in skin
and hair care is well recognized, and it can be very beneficial in
the treatment of dandruff, eczema and acne. As an ingredient in a
blend to perfume a room, cedarwood oil is warm and pleasant. The oil
is particularly useful in treating stress and tension.
Cinnamon (Cinnamoma Cassicia): There are two different oils extracted
from the tree. Cinnamon-leaf oil has some use in aromatherapy, but
cinnamon-bark oil is a strong irritant, high in toxicity and should
not be used. Cinnamon-leaf oil is extracted from the leaves and young
twigs of the tree by steam distillation. Commercially, it is used in
the food and drinks industry in some sweets and carbonated drinks,
and in the pharmaceutical industry it is used in cough medications
and dental preparations. Aromatherapists can use cinnamon-leaf oil in
massage to relieve rheumatism, and it can also be beneficial in the
treatment of digestive disorders. It is a stimulant and is used to
treat circulatory problems. It can also be of benefit to those who
are suffering from nervous exhaustion. In Traditional Chinese
Medicine, Cinnamon is used to warm the interior as well as used for
exterior conditions such as a common cold or flu.
Clove (Eugenia aromatica): This essential oil is extracted from the
buds of the tree. The scent of the oil is hot-spicy, sweet,
penetrating. Clove is a tropical evergreen tree that grows to a
height of about 40-70 feet and has aromatic dark green leathery
leaves and bright pink buds that bloom into yellow flowers, followed
by purple berries.
Heating the oil creates vapors which open sinuses and breathing
passages. This oil is uplifting, an aphrodisiac and reviving, is a
mental stimulant, improves mental clarity and memory; improves
digestion; reduces pain by numbing the area; a disinfectant and
repels insects. Clove bud oil can irritate the skin and should either
be avoided or used with extra care by people who have sensitive skin.
Use small amounts.
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) : Essential oil of patchouli is
obtained by the process of steam distillation from the leaves of the
plant which are previously dried and fermented. The oil is thick and
viscous and is orange-amber in color. It has a distinctively sweet
and earthy smell that is long-lasting and unlike other essential
oils, actually improves with age. Patchouli oil is antiseptic and
anti-inflammatory and can be used in skin care to treat acne, oily
skin and open pores as well as minor sores that are weeping and
reluctant to heal. It is also beneficial in the treatment of
athlete's foot, chapped and paintful skin and eczema. Patchouli is
particularly beneficial to aging skin and will also help prevent
scars and stretchmarks. When used in a massage blend, particularly in
abdominal massage, or alternatively in a warm compress, patchouli can
relieve constipation and combat flatulence. Patchouli can also be
used to strengthen the spirits when exhaustion has set in and will
help restore a sense of calm and determination in stressful times.
The oil also has aphrodisiac properties and can benefit in particular
those whose desire or sexual performance has been adversely affected
by stress and fatigue. Patchouli oil can also be used as an insect
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides): Vetiver is a grass, a member of the
family Poaceae (Gramineae) and it is native to southern India, Sri
Lanka and Indonesia. It grows to a height of approximately 6 feet. It
has deep, strong roots and is planted in some countries to protect
the soil from erosion. Therapeutically, Vetiver oil has a profoundly
relaxing effect on the nervous system, relieving tension and stress.
It can be used to good effect in the treatment of insomnia. In India,
Vetiver oil is known as the oil of tranquillity. In baths or in
massage, vetiver is beneficial in the treatment of the symptoms of
disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism and stiff muscles. It is
warming and comforting and will help to relieve the tension that is
often associated with chronic pain. Vetiver oil also benefits the
circulatory system, stimulating and warming, especially when used in
combination with massage. In skin care, the antiseptic and slightly
astringent properties of vetiver can be used to good effect in the
treatment of oily skin that is prone to spots.
A Fall Blend:
Add 10 drops of Lavender
5 drops of ginger
2 quarts of water.
Set your stove on extremely low to allow the steam to diffuse into
the air. You can also do the same with a tea pot without a whistle.
Remember to always watch the stove and turn it off when no adults are
Add 10 drops of Bergamot
4 drops of Clove
3 drops of Cinnamon
add to water in a diffuser.
Light a tea light under the oil to gently diffuse the scent into any
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
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