Archive | December 2016

Cypress and Blue Cypress EO

Understand the difference between these two different genus of the Cupressaceae family of Evergreen/Conifers and then use them for their best traits.

 Cypress and Blue Cypress

Herbal Use, Essential Oil and Hydrosols

Jeanne Rose – January 2017

 

Conifer/Evergreen ~ Don’t confuse even the conifers with the evergreen. Conifer is a term meaning cone-bearer and has to do with reproduction while evergreen means a plant that is always green and has to do with the nature of the plant. Most conifers are evergreen but not all (Ex: Larch). Not all evergreens are conifers (Ex: Ivy). However, in this article we will assume that you know the difference.

Common Name/Latin Name: The Coniferae are the Conifers now known as Pinopsida. Yes, those botanists drive us crazy with their name changes. That is why you must know your plants by their Latin binomial and not just common name. How many times do you hear the word Cypress when the person actually means blue Cypress referring to the beautiful color of the essential oil of a particular plant. Blue Cypress is Callitris intratropica and Cypress generally refers only to Cupressus sempervirens. As you read on you will see the vast difference between these two related conifer trees.

Chart 1. Taxonomy

Naming: The word cypress is derived from an Old French word cipres, which was imported from the Latin word cypressus and this word was Latinized from a Greek word Kyparisso.

             Australian Blue Cypress Oil Northern Cypress Pine
Callitris intratropica R. T. Baker & H. G. Smith. The blue Cypress, Callitris intratropica is from the Greek word calli or beautiful and treis or three, alluding to the beautiful 3-fold arrangements of its parts, leaves i.e. scales and intratropica within the tropics.

Countries of Origin: Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens this tree, the pencil-pine or Italian Cypress, is from Southern Europe, Libya or SW Asia.  Eden Botanicals organically grown Cypress branches and leaves are steam-distilled in France.
Callitris intratropica, the so-called Blue Cypress because of the color of the essential oil; is native to Australia and grows in the Northern Territory (including Melville and Bathurst, Indian and other islands), the Kimberly region of Western Australia and, Cape York to Bowen in Queensland. Its range of altitude is from near sea level up to 900 meters. The tree usually grows in open forest but also found in heath forest, vine thickets, monsoon forest and on rain forest edges. Callitris intratropica is a medium to large sized tree, from 15 to 45 meters in height. The timber is very aromatic, resistant to termites and is known in modern times by aboriginals of Arnhem Land as “Kerosene Tree” because of its flammability, and “Mosquito and Sand fly tree” because of its effect on repelling these insects while being burnt and is mainly used in the wet season.

fig. 1. Blue Cypress ~ Callitris intratropica – photo by Jeanne Rose©

Other Named Cypress: There are many Genus of trees that are given this common name ‘Cypress’. They include trees the genera of Widdringtonia, Taxodium, Callitropsis, Callitris, Chamaecyparis, Fitzroya and more. It can be very confusing. Some Cypress trees are even called Cypress-Pine. However, our main concern in this short profile is the genus Callitris and Cupressus and specifically the species called sempervirens.

Endangered: Callitris intratropica can live for over 200 years, although the population has declined significantly since European settlement, because of over exploitation and the change in fire regimes and the introduction of grasses that burn with a greater intensity than the native grasses.
Some of the world’s ancient populations of Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, have declined in Europe and Iran due to overpopulation and war. Cypress trees can live a very long time such as the longest living Cypress, the Sarv-e-Abarkooh in Iran’s Yazd Province, whose age is estimated to be approximately 4,000 years.

Storage: All the blue-colored oils are likely to oxidize in time due to the azulenes and they should be kept cool. Since Blue Cypress is a somewhat viscous oil and comes from the bark and wood, do not freeze but keep in the fridge, probably in the door section. It will get more viscous but the colder air of the fridge will delay any deterioration and the essential oil will last longer. Just remember to bring it out of the fridge several hours before you are going to use the oil so that it warms up some. With the blue oils you must be very careful and conscious of their color. If it is oxidizing, it will go from a beautiful blue to green and eventually to brown. If brown put it down and do not use for therapy or medicinal use. This is why you must always check the organoleptic qualities of your essential oils – there is much to be learned by their color, clarity, viscosity and intensity.

Cypress oil from Cupressus sempervirens should be handled the way most conifers are and that is

Keep in a cool dry place and replace every year or so.”

 

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted:

            The Cypress leaves and young branches are steam-distilled for the essential oil. Cypress used to be used in distilleries as staves to hold mash ferments to make alcohol before the invention of stainless steel and now used sometimes to scent the alcohol. Commonly seen throughout New Mexico, the Mediterranean Cypress is also known as the “drama tree” because of its tendency to bend with even the slightest of breezes. It is also the traditional wood used for Italian harpsichords.
Yield: 1.3-1.5%

The Blue Cypress, “The essential oil of Blue Cypress, Callitris intratropica, is composed of a considerable proportion of rather unique lactones like callitrin (I), callitrisin (II) and columellarin (III). “During the investigation of the volatiles obtained by hydrodistillation of the wood of this Cupressaceae species it was noticed that the oil yield increases with distillation time while the oil composition is shifted more and more towards the high boiling components. Both the method of production and oil are patented.”   “Clear oil is produced if the heartwood is distilled by itself, containing clear azulene compounds, which requires a separate National Industry Chemical Assessment to produce and is not covered by the registered Chemical abstract number.”
Yield: Yield is hard to ascertain as the numbers vary and parts of the distillation style is patented.

 fig. 2. Cupressus sempervirens • 2nd oldest tree in the world ~ Sarv-e-Abar, Yazd Province, Iran

 Organoleptics:
Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens is almost colorless to pale-gold, clear, non-viscous, intensity of 5 (scale is 1-10) and the taste is bitter and astringent.

Australian Blue Cypress Oil is a vivid and pure cobalt-blue colored oil (see fig. 1), opaque, viscous like cane syrup, medium intensity odor (5 on a scale of 1-10).  The taste is bitter. Turns green when oxidized. “…The oil was widely promoted in the essential oils and aromatherapy professions a decade past, and can be steam distilled from the powdered heartwood when a colorless oil is obtained according to Webb (2001) (other sources say pale lemon-green oil), but when this oil is reacted with natural resinous compounds in the bark & cambium, a cobalt blue oil containing guaiazulene is obtained – presumably the secret process referred to by Domio…” in the article written by Cropwatch.

fig. 3. Cypress & Blue Cypress from Eden Botanicals

             There are two other species of Callitris that are used for essential oil. See this link for Australian Essential Oils. http://www.aromaticplantproject.com/articles_archive/Australian_Essential_Oils.html

Australian Victorian Emerald Cypress Oil, Coastal Cypress Pine, Callitris columellaris F. Muell. The essential oil is a beautiful emerald green color, clear like green water, sticky and viscous like cane syrup, medium intensity odor (5-6 on a scale of 1-10), the scent is predominantly fruity, woody sustaining note and green/vegetal and floral back notes. Bitter taste.

Australian Jade Cypress Oil, White Cypress Pine, Callitris glaucophylla (syn. Callitris glauca) The essential oil is a pleasant jade-green color, clear like greenish water, sticky and viscous like cane syrup, medium intensity odor (5-6 on a scale of 1-10), the scent is predominant green/vegetal and woody, sustaining notes of herbaceous and a floral back note. Bitter taste.

 

Aroma Assessment:
Cypress (C. sempervirens) has a wood predominating note, sustaining notes of green and herbaceous and a spicy back note.

Australian Blue Cypress Oil (C. intratropica) scent is predominating wood, with vegetal sustaining notes and back notes of herbs and floral.

 

Properties of the EO, Hydrosol and Herb

General Properties and Uses: Both of these ‘Cypress’ oils are used as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant.
Cypress is stimulating and warming and antiseptic and also known for its very durable, scented wood, used most famously for the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City of Rome.
Blue Cypress is mainly analgesic, insect repellent, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
In cosmetics these two ‘Cypress oils’ are used as astringent, for firming, to reduce oil in the hair or skin and in shampoo to reduce dandruff,

Specific Uses of Herb and Oil

 Application ~ Australian blue cypress EO also contains eudesmol’s known for their anti-viral properties hence its reputation among aroma-therapists for the topical treatment of warts and cold sores (it has not worked well for me in this regard). It is used externally in men’s cosmetic products and in lotions for skin irritation, diaper rash and muscle aches and pains. This is a superb ‘first-aid’ oil and can be mixed with Tea Tree for this purpose. Both Blue Cypress and Cypress work particularly well in blends for aching muscles and joints.

Cypress is great in skin and hair care products for oily skin, and sweaty palms and feet. It works well at reducing overactive sweat and oil glands. It may be used in massage oils for rheumatism, aching muscles, abdominal cramps, circulation problems in blends with Lemon and Juniper berry oil for varicose veins and even hemorrhoids and for fluid retention and cellulite.

  • Inhalation ~ Cypress is a wonderful oil used for respiratory issues and congestion in a blend with other oils such as Eucalyptus and Blue Cypress not so much.
  • Ingestion ~ I would not use either of these oils internally, although the diluted Cypress hydrosol can be gargled for coughing or sore throat.

 

  • Emotional uses ~ Cypress oil is inhaled for nervousness, tension and grief and is thought to promote comfort and strength.
  • Diffusion ~ Mix either of these oils in blends for diffusion, particularly for cleansing the air and uplifting the psyche. Make blends that suit you as they work well with other conifer oils, Rosemary or Lavender Oil and some of the other Mediterranean oils such as Cistus.
  • Perfumery and other ~ Cypress EO it is anti-aging and as fragrance in perfume. Blue Cypress EO can be used as a base note in many perfumes or particularly men’s colognes and scents. Use it where the other essential oils have no color so that the beautiful blue of the Blue Cypress shines through.
fig. 4.  Blue Cypress and Cypress showing the beautiful color
  • Hydrosol Properties and Uses ~ There is a Cypress hydrosol coming from France and it is considered to be cleansing and detoxifying and a good toning addition to a skincare facial spray. Samara Botane sells a hydrosol from the leaves and branches of Callitris intratropica that is preserved with alcohol and is said to have many uses. Personally, I have not as yet experienced either a Cypress or a Blue Cypress hydrosol.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most of which are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh. Also, a hydrosol does not have the same components as does the essential oil, the components are often very different and in very much smaller amounts.
  • Herbal Uses ~ Any of the conifer needles including Cypress and Blue Cypress can be used in infusion form in the bath for aching muscles or simply to cleanse the skin and provide a natural sort of deodorant for the body. I have on occasion used the branch tips in tea for its forward coniferous taste and especially for respiratory distress.

 

fig. 5. CypressCupressus sempervirens

 

FAVORITE RECIPES

  • Perfume

 

Chart 2. Lush Perfume

 

  • Skincare ~

CYPRESS SHAVING BALM

Using a premade shave lotion or thin cream or make one with Lavender hydrosol, Calendula extract, Oat protein, aloe gel, and glycerin, and then scent it with Cupressus sempervirens (Cypress) oil, Lemon oil, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) oil, Melaleuca quinquenervia (Niaouli) oil and preserve it with vitamin E and Rosemary extract. The scent should be at no more than 2-5% of the total.

  • Hair Care ~ Make an infusion with the needles and branch tips of either of these Cypress types, add to your shampoo and shampoo as normal, especially for oily scalp or dandruff. The EO can also be added to the conditioner to provide extra therapeutic action.
  • Body Care ~ The ancient use is that the decoction of wood of Cypress is an ‘excellent footbath against the feet stinking with perspiration’.

 

Personal Formulas

  • Formula for Hemorrhoids & Varicose Veins ~ Varicose Veins and hemorrhoids are pretty much considered the same if treated by an herbalist. And Cypress oil is a good oil to use. Here is a favorite formula that various people have commented upon. Mainly, that it makes them and their hemorrhoids smell good.

30 drops (1 ml) Cypress, +
30 drops high linalool Lavender, +
30 drops Lemon

Put into a 1-oz. glass bottle.  Succuss and mix completely.  Then fill with either Calendula infused oil or Jeanne Rose Bruise Juice 90% + St. Johnswort oil at 10%. Mix together. Apply regularly to the hemorrhoids/spider Veins/varicose veins by applying with gentle massage from bottom to top (from your extremities to your heart. — from 1-20-10

  • Energetic Use ~ Heart or Base note is Cypress, and depending on your ingredients can be used for broken veins, astringent, oily skin, rejuvenating, wrinkles and in spiritual/energetic use to inhale for loss of friends and for smoothing transitions and for indecision, and to soothe an irritable spirit.

 

COLLECTIVE INFORMATION:

The genus Cupressus, whose taxonomy has been reviewed eight times during the last 80 years, includes to date twenty-five species of evergreen plants diffused in the Mediterranean area, in the Sahara, in northern-western America, in central China. There is just a lovely article about this Mediterranean Cypress at http://www.photomazza.com/?Cupressus-sempervirens

 

Key Use: Cypress is the Oil of Astringency while Blue Cypress is like Tea Tree the Other Oil of First-Aid.

 

Chemistry and History ~ Cupressus sempervirens L. is a medicinal plant. The dried leaves of this plant are used as an emmenagogue and for stomach pain as well as for diabetes. Its dried fruit decoction is used for inflammation treatment, toothache, and laryngitis and also as a contraceptive, astringent, and antiphrastic (?) drug. The dried seed of this tree has been used for wounds, ulcers, bruises, sores, pimples, pustules, skin eruptions, and erysipelas. Cupressus sempervirens essential oil is used externally for headache, colds, cough, and bronchitis. Studies on phytochemical compounds of Cupressus sempervirens L. revealed that it contains active constituents such as flavonoids (cupressuflavone, amentoflavone, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin, and myricitrin), phenolic compounds (anthocyanidin, catechins flavones, flavonols and isoflavones, tannins, and catechol), and essential oils (EO). It has been demonstrated that the principal’s active from Cupressus sempervirens L. display antiseptic, aromatherapeutic, astringent, balsamic, and anti-inflammatory activities. Cupressus sempervirens L. antimicrobial activity has been reported in several studies.” —https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2015/538929/

GC/MS analyses of the cones of Cypress showed up to 50% a-pinene, and many other terpenes as well as a-cedrol and other alcohols.

Chart 3. Blue Cypress Chemistry

Contraindications: Do not confuse Cypress oil with Blue Cypress oil or the oils from other Cypress-like trees. Blue Cypress is only licensed for cosmetics while Cypress has many uses.

 

References & Bibliography:
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. botANNicals. 2015
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
http://cropwatch.org.uk/Blue%20Cypress%20oil%20further%20updated.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callitris
http://benthamscience.com/journals/current-bioactive-compounds/volume/11/issue/2/page/73/
http://www.australianbluecypress.com.au/about-blue-cypress
http://www.photomazza.com/?Cupressus-sempervirens
http://www.australianbluecypress.com.au/about-blue-cypress
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Rose, Jeanne. http://www.aromaticplantproject.com/articles_archive/Australian_Essential_Oils.html

 

Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Do not Ingest essential oils: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or honey to take internally.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapist suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

fig 6. Blue Cypress herbarium sample

 

 

 ~ JR ~

 

 

Calendula ~ When and How to Make infused oils

Jeanne Rose going to go back to herbal and gardening and perfumery basics of tincturing, infusing, weeding, blending with moon lore, and plant knowledge to make even better infused medicinal oils.

 

CALENDULA INFUSED OIL

Jeanne Rose ~ circa 1972

Kingdom is Plantae
Order is Asterales
Family is Asteraceae
Tribe is Calenduleae
Genus is Calendula – referring to the first day of the month or here the long growing period.
species is C. officinalis – originally meaning used medicinally. The Pot Marigold “my thoughts are with you”

 

Contents: fresh Calendula flowers & Virgin Olive oil
figure 1. Calendula infused oil

MAKE CALENDULA INFUSED OIL VS Calendula Hydrosol
           “I know that some will disagree with me on this subject but I strongly feel that distilling Calendula flowers is a waste of botanical product. Calendula Hydrosol is obtained from freshly picked Calendula flowers and distilled in a copper still. It produces a green and vegetative smelling hydrosol. It seems a waste of good Calendula flowers.” My suggestion is to not distil it but to infuse the fresh flowers in good-quality Olive Oil for an infused oil. This can be used in all skin care lotions. It works to smooth and soothe the skin, to heal small eruptions or sores. It makes a perfect infused oil. You use less resources when you infuse or macerate than when you distil.

When you distil the Calendula you will use (waste) up to 30 POUNDS of flowers (250 flowers per pound or 7500 flowers in 30 lbs.) to make ONLY 3 Gallons of hydrosol + all the water wasted going through the condenser. Though the hydrosol of Calendula is made from fresh flowers and is being used in new ways to combat old problems, The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and gives sources where you can purchase this new product, it is a serious waste of plant material.  When you distil for hydrosol you have to also think of the environmental impact of your work and the value of the water used.

Yes, there are some water-soluble compounds in the flowers but we can use the flowers more efficiently as a tea or compress. With the Calendula infused oil, you use 1 lb. of resin covered flowers to 1 gallon of good Olive oil. Nothing is wasted. I make my freshly picked Calendula infused oil from fresh flowers and not dried – it is a fantastic product.”

Sometimes an herbal product is a better choice of a product to use than a distilled product.

 

 Parts of Calendula Used. The flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers for infused oil.
Calendula Leaves – Gather these in dry weather, in the morning, after the sun has dried the dew — for tea. They can also be dried for tea. The leaves can be alternate, opposite, or whorled. They may be simple, but are often deeply lobed or otherwise incised, often conduplicate or revolute. The margins can be entire or lobed or toothed.

Calendula Flowers – The flowers are picked when they are covered with the resin and then used and if they will be dried, it needs to be done quickly in the shade, in a good current of warm air. They can be hung in mesh bags from tree limbs or spread out on sheets of paper, without touching each other. If they are dried and the flowers have been touching they will become discolored. Another method of drying is to spread them on screens in a warm dry attic or over a stairway. This has been described extensively in The Herbal Studies Course, chapters 31 and 33.   
          The flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers for infused oil.

Calendula resin: When you pick Calendula, your fingers will be sticky from the resinous bracts which form the green base of the flower head. This resin is an important part of Calendula’s healing and is a good indicator of strength. If you are buying Calendula, make sure you purchase the bright yellow or orange flowers which is a good barometer of its freshness and medicinal quality. If picking fresh flowers, the stickier (with resin) the better. The leaves and the stems very often contain secretory canals with resin or latex. This is particularly common among the Cichorioideae).

 

Calendula Chemistry. The German herbal medicine manufacturer, Dr. Theiss, registered ‘Rinathei’ in 1998 for its own exclusive production use. This variety is claimed to be rich in faradiol triterpenoids believed to be most responsible for calendula’s anti-inflammatory activity. Intriguingly, a readily available dwarf ornamental variety, ‘Calypso Orange,’ is also rich in faradiols, having the highest content of 10 cultivars tested, as much as a third more than ‘Erfurter Orangefarbi.
The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to the presence of compounds such as saponins, resins, and essential oils.

figure 2. fresh Calendula flower

 Calendula infused oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes good carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. To make this product use The Aromatherapy Book and refer to pages 249-250.  Calendula Infused Oil is a wonderful product to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available Jeanne Rose teaches both courses and classes making this wonderful infused oil for massage, blending or perfumery.
I do not recommend sun infusion ~ I AM NOT a proponent of letting something sit in oil for 4-6 weeks, hot during the day and cooler at night, as this is a perfect way to create spoilage. I use the hot maceration method and get my perfect Calendula oil or St. Johnswort Oil in about 2-3 days.

 

TO MAKE INFUSED OIL: To make this product use The Aromatherapy Book or the Aromatherapy Studies Course and read up on it. Use 1 lb. of fresh flowers to 1 gallon of organically grown Olive oil. Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers when they are ready and covered in resin; pick them in the morning when the dew is dry but the sun not yet high and infuse and macerate them slowly over a series of days in organically-grown Olive oil, heating gently but not boiling, cooling, heating and cooling until the flowers have exuded (sweated) their liquid moisture. Keep heating and cooling until the pot lid no longer collects the condensation, pouring off the condensate and drying the inside of the lid. During hot weather, this might be done in a day but here in San Francisco it takes about 3 days. Cool, and allow the oil to drain into a clean container.

         When pouring off the condensate, remember to not pour it back into the oil, but into a separate container. This liquid can be considered a perfect hydrosol of Calendula as it is the natural exudate from the flowers. Collect it and then use it as a facial tonic within the next three days.

After the oil has taken on the deep orange color of the flowers, (2-4 days of warm maceration), let it cool enough to pour into a glass jar. Use a funnel lined with a mesh bag and pour the oil through the bag into the jar. The mesh bag collects any stray bits of plant material. It is not necessary to use a filter or filter paper as that just adds another dimension to the product and does not remove any bacteria or yeast. If you have made the oil correctly it will be yeast and mold-free for up to a year and the filter paper doesn’t filter only makes a mess.

Now you will have to be patient and let the finished Calendula Infused Oil sit for a day or two and settle. Any liquid that may be left will drop to the bottom of the jar and the oil decanted into a clean container. If the oil is cloudy, however, you will have to heat it gently one more time to remove the fluid. My Calendula Infused oil is golden yellow-orange and clear and will stay pure for up to a year or more.

At this point, pour your oil into sterile quart or 8-oz. bottles. Label your product with its name, contents, the size of the container, and your name or phone number or website. Store them in a basement or wine cellar at about 45-55°. They will keep until you use or sell them.

 

      MEDICINAL ACTION AND USES. Used externally as a local application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. Fresh Marigold flower is a useful remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee when rubbed on the affected area. A lotion made from the infused oil, flower wax and an essential oil is most useful for sprains and wounds, and if you have a hydrosol water distilled from these flowers that is good for inflamed and sore eyes (but only used if kept sterile).

 

INGREDIENTS: Calendula infused (Olive) oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. Olive oil by itself contains the phytonutrient, oleocanthal, which mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation in the body. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.

Calendula officinalis (is used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

 

USE. Used for dry or sensitive skin, baby care, and also good carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers, infuse and macerate in olive oil, heat gently and cool several times removing all condensate that collects on the lid. Then allow the oil to drain into a clean, sterile container. Only the common variety with deep orange color and sticky resin is of medicinal value. The yellow flower can also be used but it does not make as deeply colored infused oil and it seems of ‘lesser’ strength.  Calendula Infused Oil is a wonderful product to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available there are classes to teach the making of this wonderful infused oil.

figure 3. Bottles of Jeanne Rose Calendula Infused Oil

 

Medicinal Action and Uses. Calendula infused oil made from fresh flowers and organic olive oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes good carrier oil used in blends, lotions, and massage.

The flowers also called Marigold are chiefly used as a local remedy. They have a stimulating action and are diaphoretic (makes you sweat) when taken as a warm tea. Given internally, it encourages a natural internal action and prevents suppuration (pus formation as in an abscess or a vesicle and the discharge of pus). The usual recipe for herbal infusion is of 1-ounce dried herb to a pint of boiling water, steep for 10-20 minutes and take internally, in doses of one tablespoonful, every hour; and used externally as a local application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. It is useful as an internal tea in chronic ulcer, varicose veins, etc. This infusion was formerly considered to have much value as an aperient (mild laxative) and intestinal cleanser in obstructions in the digestive system and for jaundice.

Fresh Marigold flower is a useful remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee when rubbed on the affected area. The hydrosol is made from fresh flowers and is being used in new ways to combat old problems. The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and gives sources where you can purchase this new product.

 

An infusion of the freshly gathered flowers, drunk hot is useful in summer fevers and cold, as it gently promotes perspiration – a decoction of the flowers has been used to treat smallpox and measles. Marigold flowers are very useful for children’s ailments.

The expressed juice of the flower or the dried powdered flowers, snuffed up the nose triggers sneezing and a discharge of mucous from the head. Years ago when I tried to express the juice of fresh flowers, I used a Champion juicer, got only a few drops of juice but used this, diluted by half with water, as nose drops for a client who had a hole in the septum.

The leaves when chewed at first taste gummy and sweet followed by a strong penetrating salty taste. The expressed juice of flowers and leaves, which contains the most of this pungent matter, especially with Rose petals has been given in cases of costiveness (retained feces), where it acts as an aperient and proved very useful for this problem. Since it is gentle, it can be used with children and in small doses for your pets.

The leaves and flowers can be eaten as a salad and also been considered a medicinal culinary herb, useful in skin diseases and swollen lymph nodes of children. Some of the stronger scented Calendula with lots of resin is recommended to remove warts.

 

Using the Moon to Make the Infusion:
Phases of moon

For instance, it is good to start a tincture on a New Moon in a Water sign (Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces).

If you want to weed a garden, or filter/strain your infused oil or Bruise Juice ~ do it in the last quarter leading to the full moon in an Earth sign (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn).

If you want your blend/infusion to have a strong good scent or to boost the olfactory powers of a scent, make sure you pick the plants when they are ready. When they are ready means at the time when their scent is the best. For instance, Jasmine at night, Tuberose early in the morning or at dark, Chamomile types in the early morning, Roses when the dew is dried but before the sun is high.

Start blends in the New Moon/First Quarter in a Fire sign (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius).

The Llewellyn book on moon signs can be used for off-line reference, and there are online websites that have the phases and astrological signs.

 I am keeping my book, Herbs & Things open in my reading room because I want to be able to reference the formula and what I had to say then.  I already visit various moon lore and weather sites on the Internet for basic charts. When I make Bruise Juice, I pick and start work on a waxing to full moon when the herbs are at their fullest. Let it drain and bottle on a waning moon. For great moon information see — any weather or navy site or go to MoonMenu for a quick moon update.

 Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy • 415-564-6785 or www.JeanneRose.net

Resource:
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/calendulapix.html
The Aromatherapy Book. http://www.jeannerose.net/books
The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet by Jeanne Rose. $24.50 from http://www.jeannerose.net/
 In-person Seminars, courses, and classes by home-study or Distance Learning
Calendula Infused Oil
1 quart = $150 + S&H
8 oz. = $45 + S&H
http://www.JeanneRose.net 

Pictures During the Process of Making Infused Calendula Oil

 

~ JR ~

JUNIPER BERRY EO/HYDROSOL

Many benefits and uses come from the female seed cone that produces Juniper “berries”; the properties including delightful information by Jeanne Rose is fascinating and useful.

 

Juniper Berry Essential Oil/ Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ 12/25/16

Common Name/Latin Binomial and Family: Juniper berry, Juniperus communis is in the evergreen or conifer family, Cupressaceae, it is the berry oil, the essential oil that is steam-distilled from the merged scales of the cone, the berries, that we usually just call Juniper oil.
However, there are other Juniper trees of the genus Juniperus that are also commercially used just not in the same way, such as (Juniperus virginiana often called –cedar or pencil Cedar). Do not confuse these two oils.

Name: Juniperus simply means Juniper and communis means common.

Some Other Commonly used Junipers: J. bermudiana L. timber for pencils; J. californica Carr. berries for gin or hydrosol; J. cedrus Webb & berth. In the Canary Island forest; J. chinensis L. ornamental and berries for gin; J. communis L. the common Juniper berries used to flavor gin and liqueurs and eaten with meat, there is a French form has rather sweet berries that I prefer to use to flavor drinks; J. excelsa M, Bieb. used as medicine; J. occidentalis Hook., the wood is used in fencing and berries to flavor local liquor; J. oxycedrus L., the heartwood that gives the parasiticidal oil of Cade through a destructive distillation; J. sabina L., the twigs are medicinal and insecticidal and berries are toxic; and 

J. virginiana L. incorrectly named ‘cedar’ or red cedar and native to North America the wood of which is used to make pencils, making medicinals and wood for insect-proof chests and small pieces placed among clothing, the oil used to scent soap and it has many cultivars.  This oil/hydrosol was profiled in Jeanne-blog.com http://jeanne-blog.com/cedar-wood-virginia/

1-juniper-berries-oregon-copyfig. 1. JR photo of Juniperus occidentalis from Oregon

Countries of Origins: Juniperus communis, the common juniper, is a species of conifer that has the largest geographical range of any woody plant, with a distribution throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic south in mountains to around 30° N latitude in North America, Europe and Asia. Relict populations can be found in the Atlas Mountains of Africa.

 Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Juniper berry organic from Bulgaria; Juniper berry CO2, cultivated and kosher grown in India; and Juniper leaf/branch grown in Slovenia.

Endangered or Not: Common Juniper (Juniperus communis, is threatened or endangered in a number of states. Bermuda Cedar, Bermuda Red Cedar, Bermuda Juniper bermudiana, this species is currently listed as Critically Endangered.

 

General description of Plant habitat and growth:  Evergreen shrub or tree growing up to eighteen feet with narrow, stiff, prickly needles and little brown cones called berries that turn black in the second or third year.  The common Juniper, Juniperus communis, is a native to the Northern Hemisphere.   “…A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially the Juniperus communis, are used as a tasty spice, and also give gin its distinctive flavor.
Juniper berries have been called the only spice derived from the conifers although tar and inner bark from pine trees is sometimes considered a spice as well….” —Wikipedia

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: The essential oil is either a CO2 extract or a a steam distillation of the berries (merged scales) and has a very rich, deep aroma. The ripe fruit is dried, crushed, or slightly dried, and then steam distilled or it is carbon dioxide extracted or the leaf and branch is hydro-distilled.
Yield:
   0.2-2.0% for the berry oil.

Organoleptic Characteristics:
Color:  the Juniper berry can be a rich Golden Yellow to a colorless oil; the Juniper berry CO2 is a pale yellow to dark yellow, while the Juniper leaf/branch oil is colorless.
Clarity: Clear
Viscosity: Non-viscous, although I have experienced a few berry oils that were somewhat viscous.
Intensity of Odor: leaf is a 3, CO2 is a 3-4 and the SD berry oil will be 4-5.
[Scale is 1-10 with 10 being the most intense]
Taste: herby, bitter, Astringent

Aroma Assessment: The scent of Juniper berry depends upon terroir. If it is from France it often has a citrus and fruity back note whereas when it is from the USA it has an herbaceous and sometimes mild camphoraceous back note.  The three I photographed and smelled most recently; the leaf/branch oil was quite herby and a conifer needle scent, Juniper berry was woody and herbaceous and the CO2 herby and citrus. But each was different from the other. I suggest that you first purchase samples and choose the one you like the best to use.

img_2700fig. 2. Juniper Oil of leaf and berry – courtesy Eden Botanicals

purple-bar

Properties of the Essential Oil

(General Properties and Uses) of juniper berry and leaf oil: Properties are by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application). By application the properties are antiseptic, diuretic, emmenagogue, antiparasitic, tonic, and depurative (purifying) and by Ingestion they are diuretic, depurative, and antiseptic; by Inhalation it is tonic, brain tonic, and respiratory expectorant.
General Uses:  It is an expectorant and antiseptic and can be used externally as a cleanser, and in massage oils and cosmetics.  It has been used as a medication for urinary problems, genital warts, itchy vulva or jock itch in the form of a sitz bath.  Juniper berry essential oil can be taken in very small amounts to act as a diuretic for cystitis and to detoxify the body, but a tea of the berries is more highly recommended, especially mixed with Rosemary herb and Fennel seed. Juniper berries, 1 or 2, can be eaten as an aid to jet lag or for ‘change of location’.

I view aromatherapy as a branch of herbalism,
and learning when use of the herb is preferable to use of the essential oil.
This is an important aspect of aromatherapy training.

 

Specific Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP):

  • Application: It is antiseptic and used externally as a cleanser and for problem skin. It may also be diluted and applied for pain relief for arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica or to relieve itchy vulva, jock itch, acne, eczema, and premenstrual bloating. Juniper berry or leaf is a valuable addition to skin and body care products due to its astringent and antiseptic qualities and is a wonderful addition in an astringent cleanser for the skin it and a wonderful odor and deodorizer in men’s products.
  • Inhalation: to alleviate mental exhaustion, in a blend for asthma, hay fever, and nervous tension.
    •Ingestion:
    Juniper Berry oil may be taken internally, in very small amounts. It helps the body release fluids and is used for obesity, urinary infections, and gout. It is used in tiny amounts as a diuretic for cystitis, to detoxify the body (depurative), and for overindulgence of food. (1 drop/herbal capsule such as Marshmallow root). It is used in the making of Gin and in flavoring meat foods.
  • Emotional Uses or Energetic Uses: Juniper Berry oil is inhaled to aid the memory, and to visualize being guarded from negativity and danger or use in a bath for depleted energy. I quite like this oil as a ‘change of location’ scent — to inhale or to eat a berry when flying and even to alleviate jet lag.
  • Diffuse/Diffusion: Juniper berry oil can be diffused in a blend with other oils that are less intense in scent, such as Rosemary, Lavender, citrus oils. It has a very cleansing effect on the air, is refreshing and helpful for concentration in a work space.
  • Perfumery: I especially prefer the Juniper berry oil from France in perfumery where it works well with citrus scents such as Bergamot and with Lavender and other conifers and when using Juniper berry from the U.S. I use it with base notes such as Galbanum and Oakmoss
  • HYDROSOL Properties and Uses: The USA sample was tested and was largely camphor and terpinene-4-ol with smaller amounts of borneol and other components. This Juniper hydrosol would be wonderful in the bath for aches and pains or as a compress for injuries. European Juniper hydrosol might better be used in facial care and toners and air sprays.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most of which are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh. Also, a hydrosol does not have the same components as does the essential oil, the components are often very different and in very much smaller amounts.
3-juniper-berry-2-yr-old-copyfig. 3. Juniper berries

 

~ FAVORITE RECIPES ~

  • Jeanne’s Favorites Uses of the herb, oil and hydrosol: I use Juniper berries whenever I travel. I just chew a few as sort of an anti-jetlag food, or I chew one to make my breath taste better. For these uses I need to use the sweet Juniper berries that come from France. I also use the Juniper berries (especially the ones from the NW or here in California) as an ingredient in my famous ‘Bruise Juice’. It is remarkable for adding more anti-pain therapeutics to my product. Regarding the essential oil, I add it equally to Sage oil, Basil oil, Cypress oil and Rosemary oil as an application for aching muscles and for temporary external use for pain-relief from sports injuries like painful legs, arms, golf elbow, etc.

 

  • Jeanne Rose Skin Care Formula

For aging skin, dry skin, sensitive skin or acneic skin,
Use a few drops of the following daily as an application before going outside.
Mix all together carefully before using.

6 drops sweet high altitude Lavender
4 drops true Clary Sage from the flowers
1 drop Galbanum
5 drops sweet Juniper berry
32 drops of your favorite carrier or lotion.

.

Jeanne Rose’s Tomato Tales with Juniper Berry: I have used Juniper berry oil, the berry (herb), and hydrosol for as long as I have used anything and have never had an unpleasant or wildly or even a mildly memoristic experience with them that I can remember.  It is one of the easiest herbs and oils to use. In food the berry is delicious particularly with meats and fowl, the oil works great in massage blends to relieve muscle pain and the hydrosol is just a wonderful addition to the bath for skin cleansing.

 

Key Use:  The oil of Edema. [for obesity, urinary infections, skin problems, arthritis, and gout and massage for aching muscles]

Chemical Components: Constituents: Juniper berry essential oil contains 8% resins; 0.4% Juniperene; Pinene and Terpinenes. Monoterpenes (which make up most of the essential oil) alpha- and beta-pinene, sabinene, limonene, terpinene-4-ol, alpha-terpineol, borneol, geraniol, myrcene, camphene, camphor, alpha-eudesmol and many others.

Sesquiterpenes such as beta-caryophyllene, delta-cadinene, Diterpenes, Neolignan glycosides, lignan (podophyllotoxin is present and is toxic to the nerves, gut and liver), tannins, flavonoids, resin in the essential oil include cedrene, alpha-pinene pectin, sabinene, cedrol, myrcene, terpinene-4-ol, limonene, beta-phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, gamma-terpinene, beta-pinene, alpha-eudesmol which may inhibit calcium channels and appears to be neuroprotective in a stroke model.

Antifungal compounds are found in the juniper parts such as oidiolactone C. Isocrupressic acid in Juniperus communis has been identified as an active abortifacient compound, Alpha- and beta-cedrene from Juniperus occidentalis have antimicrobial activity.

Historical Uses and Interesting Information: Common juniper was used by Native Americans of the Great Basin as a blood tonic. Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest used tonics made from the branches to treat colds, flu, arthritis, muscle aches, and kidney problems. Cones were used by the southern Kwakiutl of British Columbia for treating stomach ailments and wood or bark was used to treat respiratory problems. The Interior Salish used cones to make medicines for a variety of ailments. Eurasians made tonics from common juniper for kidney and stomach ailments, and for muscular uses and rheumatism.
Common juniper contains a volatile oil, terpinene-4-ol, which is known to increase kidney action. Common juniper extract, which can be fatal in even fairly small amounts, was used to make gin and as a meat preservative. Common juniper is highly valued as an ornamental plant and is widely cultivated and provides good ground cover even on stony or sandy sites. This species was first cultivated in 1560.

Contraindications: Do not confuse Juniper berry oil with Cade oil from Juniperus oxycedrus or the toxic oil from Juniperus sabina. Juniper berry oil and herb (Juniperus communis) is contraindicated in those patients with reduced renal function.

 

References:
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. botANNicals. 2015
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/juncom/all.html
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/juniperus-communis.html
fig-4-juniper-berry-jeannerosefig. 4. Jeanne Rose photo of J. communis in Golden Gate Park
Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Do not Ingest essential oils: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or honey to take internally.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapist suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©
fig-5-juniper-illustrationfig. 5. Botanical illustration of Juniper communis

 

 

~ JR ~