Blue Christmas & Essential Oils

canstockphoto4430859With the Holiday Season fast approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of getting everything done; Being so busy, that you haven’t even thought about how you are feeling.
Some people really enjoy the holidays, while others find that the season isn’t so “Merry” and they are just trying to Make it thru December. It is important to be kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel your emotions, and most of all, not to judge them.

Self-care is essential at this busy time of year.
You may need a few strategies as you navigate this special, but sometimes stressful holiday season. A few things to try are:

  • lighten or create some flexibility in your schedule to allow for some down or alone time, so you can relax, unwind & breathe…
  • Only do things that are meaningful to you
  • Saying No when you need to
  • find yourself a support system, someone you can talk to, like a friend, a family member or maybe a qualified counselor or therapist
  • find small ways to make yourself feel nurtured, take a nap, light a candle, put on some music (Or not)
  •  maybe diffuse some essential oils.

Essential Oils have many different properties. Some are uplifting while other essential oils are more calming. Try diffusing some of the following essential oils if you are feeling:

Anger: try Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Lemon, Lavender, Patchouli, Rosemary or Spruce.

Anxiety: try  Cedarwood, Frankincense, Fir, Geranium, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Pine or Sweet Basil.

Depression: try Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Frankincense, Grapefruit,  Juniper Berry or Lavender.

Grief: try Bergamot, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lemon, Neroli, Rose or Tangerine.

Irritability: try Clary Sage, Chamomile (Roman), Frankincense, Lemongrass or Sweet Orange.

Sadness: try Bergamot, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Sweet Marjoram, or Rose.

This year I am taking my own advice, and I am adjusting my schedule to make time for some things that I “WANT” to do. I am:

  • making time for friends (There is always time for tea or lunch).
  • limiting extra shifts at work, (Sounds simple, right? Not if you are a recovering people pleaser).
  • Getting some extra rest.
  • Taking some time off from Aromatherapy. (My nose needs a break)

And I’ll be snuggling with my cat, Gambitt, on the couch, drinking Chai Tea and watching 12321547_10153772217379346_4659375759824016249_nsome of my favorite Christmas shows, like  “Elf” or “The 12 days of Krampas”  from Season 3 of Grimm or maybe “Pageantry” from Season 1 of Picket Fences.

But mostly, I will continue to try to find the balance & keep making the small changes as I move forward. It is the small changes that we make, that can make the most difference in how we are feeling…

Wishing you many moments of Self-Care & an Aromatic Holiday Season…   

 

My Blog is for information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice.

If you are wanting to diffuse Hyssop, try the decumbens variety

If you think that you are suffering from depression or anxiety, please consider seeing a medical professional

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com

Blue Christmas tree:   canstockphoto.com/marish

The Holidays have come again…

No matter what is happening in your life, the holidays always come…  

When you were young or if you had small children it was easy to get excited about the canstockphoto6330148holiday season. Every day there was something new and fun to do… Baking cookies, decorating the tree, attending a school Christmas concert or going out to look at holidays lights & store window displays.

But as you & your children got older it seemed as if some, if not most of the magic & fun were gone. For me,  my children are grown and our family traditions have changed. What I finally realized is that I need to honor the part of me that still misses seeing those excited little faces at holiday time. Transition and change are a fact of life. and it is my attitude to those changes that will affect how I feel throughout the upcoming season.
If you are going thru a transition, or are simply overdoing it,  take a few moments for yourself each and every day to check in and see how you are feeling. Self-care is always important, and some days it is more important than others. Things that I like to do for myself especially at this time of year are actually very simple: a warm, relaxing bath, having a cup of tea while curling up with a good book and of course diffusing some essential oils.
It depends on my mood which essential oil blend that I like to diffuse. At this time of year, I like to diffuse essential oils like Douglas Fir, Pine, or a citrus like Red Mandarin. I love to use Mandarin at this time of year. It takes me back to my childhood;  I remember my mom putting out a big bowl of Mandarin oranges on our coffee table as part of our holiday decorations.

Red Mandarin, Latin name Citrus Reticulata is native to southern China and was brought to canstockphoto8095059Europe around 1805. As Mandarins grew in popularity, they were soon “commercially cultivated” in southern Europe, northern Africa, and they were soon introduced to the Americas, South Africa, and Australia. Mandarin is a lightly scented, citrus oil that is good for easing stress and its calming and relaxing properties make it a good choice to use at bedtime. (It is mild enough to be used around young children & the elderly). It is said to useful for digestive upsets, muscular & joint pain as well as skin care.
(When properly diluted Mandarin is non-toxic, a non-irritant & non-sensitizing. If you are allergic to citrus fruit, it is best to avoid using this oil).

The older that I get, I find that I want the holidays to be a quieter, more introspective time. This year instead of overdoing, I think that I’m going to be under-doing. Less baking, less decorating, less gifting. Just Less! What I want more of is time; to reflect and just be. I also want more time to connect with the important people in my life. As I have been reminded lately, life is short, and all we really have is this moment…

I wish you many quiet moments & lots of  Self-Care this  Holiday Season…

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.

References:

  • 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

www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/free-information/articles-archive/mandarin/
www.quinessence.com/blog/mandarin-essential-oil

O Christmas Tree…

 

20161120_121454-1My favorite childhood memories of Christmas are baking cookies with my mom and going trekking through the bush with my family to get our Christmas tree. Decorated Fir trees have been used for over a thousand years to celebrate both Pagan and Christian winter holidays. The Ancient Romans decorated trees for their Saturnalia celebrations and German Christians started bringing evergreen trees into their homes in the 16th century to celebrate their everlasting life with God. Many early Christmas trees were hung upside down from the ceiling of their homes, which is interesting because I saw the same thing in a decorating magazine a few years ago  (What’s old is new again, I guess)

Douglas fir is one of the most common Christmas trees. (It isn’t actually a fir tree, it is considered to be a Spruce tree). Its Latin name is Pseudotsuga douglasii. In 1825 Scottish Botanist David Douglas travelled to the USA for the Royal Horticultural Society. In 1827 he made his way to Hudson Bay where he discovered close to 50 different varieties of plant material and including the Douglas-Fir (which was named in his honor). Most of the Douglas Fir essential oil is produced in France and other varieties are grown in USA, Slovenia, and Russia.

Research has shown that Douglas Fir is useful for:

  • it’s antiseptic properties (Good to diffuse or use in a room spray during cold and flu season.
  • for stress and stress-related issues. (Versatile because it can be revitalizing but calming at the same time)

Spiritually Douglas fir is a grounding essential oil that just plain makes you feel good. It is said to be good for the Heart and Solar Plexus Chakra, as it is calming and also uplifting.
My “Evergreen” Diffuser Blend is a grounding blend that reminds me Christmas and helps me to find a moment of calm in my busy day where I can re-focus my energies. To look forward to the upcoming holiday season and to appreciate the small gifts that are there, if you take a moment to look for them.

I wish you many small moments of Joy & a Blessed, Aromatic Holiday Season…

  • Douglas-fir essential oil shouldn’t be used if you are pregnant.
  • It may cause skin irritation, so always dilute it with a carrier oil before topical use.

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

References:
http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml
http://www.christmas-tree.com/where.html
https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/douglas-fir-essentialoil/profile
http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/treebook/douglasfir.htm
http://www.snowlotus.org/conifer-oils.aspx

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/170153/David-Douglas

Winter Solstice

I love the scents of the season from times past, as we make preparations to celebrate the Longest Night of the Year…

Winter Solstice is a 101_0256celebration of the new solar year and the completion of a cycle. In ancient times, the Romans honored the god Saturn with a “Saturnalia” celebration using some familiar traditions such as exchanging gifts, feasting and decorating with mistletoe, holly, and pine cones. (Early Pagans used  “The Holly and The Ivy”  to represent the masculine and feminine energies).

I love the scents of the season, whether from burning candles or from diffusing essential oils. The holiday scents of Mandarin, Cedarwood, Pine, and Juniper Berry are some of my favorites.

Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis) is an evergreen shrub that grows to approx. 6 ft. tall. It has bluish-green needles with small white flowers Juniper berries change to a dark blue color after 2-3 years and steam distilled to make the crisp smelling essential canstockphoto0127780oil. Most of Juniper Berries come from France, northern Italy, Austria, and Croatia.

Juniper Berries were burnt as incense by the ancient Greeks and Tibetians; North American indigenous people burned Juniper in their cleansing ceremonies. The Europeans thought of Juniper oil as a cure-all for cholera and typhoid. Juniper Berry was also used in the 10th century by the Vikings to make beer and by the Dutch in the 17th century to make gin.

Juniper Berry adds a crispness to the sweeter floral and citrus essential oil blends. My Winter Solstice blend has traditional holiday oils like Scotch Pine, Cedarwood, and Frankincense, but the addition of Mandarin and Juniper Berry that adds a freshness that balances the blend.

This time of year brings out the best in people, as we give of ourselves to our family, our friends, and to our community. It is also important that we take a moment to nurture our own spirit. To find the balance…

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or a little run down check out the properties of Juniper Berry essential oil.

  • Juniper Berry is contraindicated if you are pregnant, or have kidney issues.

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.

References:

  • 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
  • Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young,  Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition,      Churchill Livingstone, 2014
  • Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

http://thehealthyhavenblog.com/2010/12/21/suggested-uses-for-juniper-berry-essential-oil/
http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/yule_-_winter_solstice.asp
http://www.altogetherchristmas.com/traditions/hollyandivy.html
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/food.shtml
http://www.ginvodka.org/history/ginHistory.asp
http://www.posbeer.org/oppaat/sahti/history.php
http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/
http://www.webmd.com/…/ingredientmono-724-juniper.aspx?…724…juniper

Comfort, Joy & Myrrh.

 

greenmanGold, Frankincense & Myrrh have long been associated with Christmas and has been used in the Pagan & Druid traditions for hundreds of years. It was used as incense in Winter Solstice and 12th night celebrations and rituals.

Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians for everything from perfume and skin care to treating hay fever, healing and finally embalming. The healing properties of Myrrh were mentioned in both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, as well as the Koran. It was taken into battle by the ancient Greeks and used in Chinese medicine in the 7th century for this reason.

Myrrh is a small shrub-like tree from the Burseraceae plant family. It grows in countries with dry climates such as India, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia. Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) is a thick, resinous oil that has a warm, spicy scent. While it can be a little difficult to use, I find that it is always worth the effort. (Just warm your bottle of Myrrh oil in a cup of really warm water until it returns to its liquid state) Myrrh is a base note, and it adds a depth to any blend that it is used in. Use Myrrh well diluted in skincare, and in ointments.

On the spiritual side, like Frankincense, Myrrh is very comforting and takes you to that place of “stillness”, which is what we need in our very busy word.

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.

  • Myrrh is best avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding!!

References:

  • 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
  • Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young,  Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition  Churchill Livingstone, 2014
  •  Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-myrrh-essential-oil.html
http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/

Magical and Medicinal: Frankincense and Myrrh


http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267107.php