Mourning & Memories

canstockphoto13687122At this time of year, the days are getting shorter, and the world is getting a little greyer.

With Samhain just a few days past and Remembrance Day quickly approaching, you may find yourself thinking of loved ones that had passed away. You may be surprised by a huge feeling of loss once again. Or this year, there may be a quieter sense of melancholy, that you’re missing them. I find that my grief changes and evolves, and like my memories, are a part of me every day.

Self-care is essential for your well-being, but it is especially important if you have experienced a loss. Diffusing or using essential oils for inhalation can be extremely comforting if you are grieving. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the olfactory bulb,  the amygdala & other parts of our limbic brain which are considered to be “our emotional control centre.”  This is why the inhalation of essential oils is helpful when dealing with feelings of sadness, anxiety & loss…
(A simple way to use essential oils at this time would be to put a few drops on a tissue & then inhale the scent as needed. You can also dilute 2 drops essential oil in 1 TSP  carrier oil, & use this blend to massage on your chest to ease stress & anxiety. Essential oils to try:

Neroli Petitgrain, orangeNeroli: the essential oil from the blossoms of the Bitter Orange tree. This sweet floral scent is both calming & uplifting. It is helpful for sadness, anxiety, depression & insomnia.

Frankincense: long used in churches due to its calming and meditative qualities. It quiets the mind & calms anxiety by helping you breathe easier.

Lavender: a calming & comforting oil that has long been used for stress,  anxiety & insomnia.

canstockphoto17204511Bergamot: a citrus oil that gives Earl Grey tea its lovely scent. Bergamot, like Neroli, is both calming & uplifting so it is helpful to ease sadness & anxiety.

Myrrh: a spicy, warm scent &  like Frankincense, it can help to calm your anxious mind & is helpful for insomnia.

canstockphoto22518679Melissa: a fresh, essential oil that is also known “Lemon Balm”. This oil is soothing for the body, mind & spirit, it is helpful for sad, anxious & depressive feelings.


Geranium: a balancing essential oil that lifts your spirits.

Cedarwood: an earthy scented oil that helps to relieve stress, depression & ease anxiety.

You may also want to consider: Vetiver, Rose, Sweet Marjoram, Jasmine, or Clary Sage essential oils. Always check contraindications before using essential oils topically, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, for young children or if you have a medical condition.

When you are grieving, you can experience many different feelings;

  • sadness,
  • despair,
  •  anger,
  • loneliness.

At times like this, it is important to get the support that you need. Talk to your family & friends, find a support group, and if need be, talk to your healthcare professional. It is also important that you feel whatever it is that you are feeling and not judge it. While I think that self-help books can be beneficial, it is best to use them as a guide only and don’t worry because you are not at the”right stage” yet. There is no specific timeline to follow as everyone grieves differently.

Take the time that you need to honor your feelings & to honor your loved one(s)…

In loving memory of JM, RC, BP,  DT, & RP…

My Blog is for information only &  is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.



  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,    The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion,  an imprint  of   Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  •  Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

Inspiring the Possibilities…

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”    –  From “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)

canstockphoto12846846 I think that spring is all about great expectations; it is all about new growth both environmentally and spiritually. In many traditions, this is the start of the New Year, which to me, makes more sense because it is the beginning of the season of growth, not the beginning of winter. (The ancient Romans celebrated the Ides of March on March 15th (March is named after the Roman god Mars).

Being a gardener, spring is an exciting time; bulbs are starting to bloom, and I’m starting to see the new growth of my perennials. (I’m always amazed at these hardy, little plants that come back year after year). Some of my herbs from last year are starting to fill out, and I can’t wait to start adding them to my cooking; salads, sandwiches, and plates of pasta. (Bring on the  Pesto sauce).

My favorite herb is also one of my favorite essential oils. Sweet Basil is from the Latincanstockphoto0063361 “Basileum” which means royal or king. It is native to tropical Asia and has naturalized and grows wild all around the Mediterranean region of Europe where it thrives in the sunny weather. Basil has long been used in India for Ayurvedic medicine for colds & flues and in the middle ages, was used to treat “melancholy” and depression.   While they have identified 5 different chemotypes of Basil essential oil, I like to use the Sweet Basil ct Linalool variety. I find that it has an uplifting, fresh herbal scent. Read More

Rosemary for Remembrance…

“There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet – 1603

canstockphoto3545672November is the month to take a moment to remember the veterans of all of the wars, and to remember our peacekeepers. To honor them for their sacrifices; for the freedom that we take for granted. It is also a time to think about peace & tolerance and to learn from our past, from our choices, and from our mistakes.

In honor of November, I thought that Rosemary would be the perfect essential oil to blog about this month.  Rosemary is one of the oldest known herbs. It was found in ancient tombs in Egypt and was considered by the Romans and the Greeks to be a sacred plant, symbolizing love and death. Rosemary, along with Juniper berries,  was a cheaper alternative than some of the pricier resins and was burned instead of incense in their religious ceremonies to purify the air.
Rosemary is a popular herb, and it is a member of the mint family. It has a long history canstockphoto18229567as a medicinal herb, being burnt in the middle ages to ward off the Plague. It was used in hospital wards in France until the 20th century, which was right around the time that Rosemary’s antiseptic properties were proven.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers, leaves, and twigs. The essential oil has a strong, herbaceous fragrance, but the scent is quite different depending on the country and the conditions that the Rosemary was grown in.

Research has shown that Rosemary:

  • is said to be helpful to ease the muscular and arthritic pain. (The camphor borneal chemotype of Rosemary)
  • diffusing the cineole chemotype of Rosemary may ease symptoms of chest colds, bronchitis. Do not use Rosemary around infants, or children under 8 years old.
    is useful for hair care. (The verbenone chem type). Rosemary has long been thought to stimulate hair re-growth.
  • may help with concentration and a poor memory

* Diffusing Rosemary essential oil when you are studying for a test, is helpful for remembering the information.  The sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is linked directly to the limbic portion of the brain.  Author / Aromatherapist Robert Tisserand had an interesting article on his blog about “Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75%” check it out here. Read More